(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra (GPYO) Board of Directors has named Joseph A. Capone the new Executive Director of the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, effective immediately.
Capone’s background as executive director, fundraising executive for the arts and education, and former music educator will help to further advance the musical training program which serves over 180 students between the ages of 8 and 18.
“We are excited to welcome Joe as our new Executive Director,” says David DeFreese, Chair of the GPYO Board of Directors. “His nonprofit experience and enthusiastic support of the arts will help us forge new paths while building on the foundations of the program. With Joe in this position, we look forward to great music experiences for our student musicians, our families, and the community.”
Capone’s tenure as Executive Director of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park (PA) produced a significant expansion of programming and growth in visitorship for the historic park. Prior to that position, he served in leadership positions at the Philadelphia Opera Company, Bristol Riverside Theater and the Princeton Festival. He began his career as a music teacher in the School District of Lancaster (PA), teaching 6 th – 9 th grade general music, choral music, strings and theater. After completing graduate work at Westminster Choir College, he served in its administration in several capacities. Capone holds a BS in Music Education from West Chester University, cum laude and a MM in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College, with distinction.
In partnership with GPYO Music Director Dr. Jessica Morel, Capone will oversee the remainder of the 2022-2023 season. All four ensembles will perform on January 29 at the Nicholas Music Center at Mason Gross School of the Arts, on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, and on June 11 at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium.
“I am so excited to begin working with the board, artistic staff, musicians and families of GPYO. This is a wonderful opportunity to help guide this amazing organization into its next phase of development and help to further anchor the GPYO in the community. This is an exceptionally exciting time for GPYO and I am honored to be part of the organization.”
Capone succeeds Interim Executive Director Wendy Norris, a GPYO alumna and Chicago-based nonprofit management professional and arts researcher, who assumed the role in September 2020. She will remain in place through November 21 to facilitate the leadership transition.
Founded in 1960 as the Mercer County Symphonic Orchestra, the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra has been delighting audiences and training young musicians for more than 60 years. The Orchestra’s mission is to provide excellent training and performance opportunities for students seeking a challenging musical ensemble experience, and to cultivate a lifelong appreciation of the arts. GPYO ensembles have toured Europe and the United States, and have collaborated with a number of New Jersey’s finest performing groups. The GPYO draws its membership from Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Through their involvement with the orchestra, gifted young musicians learn to work with others in pursuing common goals, and enrich all our lives through public performances of classical music. Instrumentalists from elementary through high school may join by competitive audition.