Leadership and Staff

Music Director

Maestro Andrew Sewell enters his fourth season as music director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony and twenty-first season with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, having had long tenures with the Wichita, Toledo and Mansfield, Ohio Symphonies.  Known for his innovative programming and knack for discovering new talent, Sewell is a highly skilled orchestra builder with a wide knowledge and range of repertoire. In demand as a guest conductor, he has led the Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Columbus, Syracuse, Illinois, Monterey, Gulf Coast and Eugene Symphony Orchestras, as well as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, National Symphony of Mexico, Kyushu Symphony (Japan), City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, OK Mozart Festival, WI Peninsula Music Festival and Masterworks Festivals in the US and London. In 2019, Maestro Sewell returned to guest conduct the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong for the seventh time, in honor of their twentieth anniversary season.

A native of New Zealand, Maestro Sewell received his music training on the violin, piano and cornet, and began conducting at age 16. Six years later, he made his professional opera debut with the Mercury Opera and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  Winning the Australian Guarantee Corporation’s Young Achiever’s Award allowed him to further his studies abroad. Sewell holds a Master of Music degree with Honors in Conducting from the University of Michigan

The summer Concerts on the Square in Madison continue to expand, drawing weekly crowds of 45,000 people and are a highlight of the summer.  While not conducting, he enjoys cycling and other outdoor pursuits and visiting family in New Zealand. He and his wife, Mary have three grown children and reside in Madison, Wisconsin.  Over the years he has been credited with numerous awards for services to music including the 2017, Service to Music Award from the Association of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras, the 2013 Rabin Arts Youth Award for Individual Achievement by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, the 2005 Best Individual Artist Award by Wichita Arts Council, and 2005 Musician of the Year by the Wisconsin State Journal, for services to music and the greater arts community. You will often see him at a local coffee shop, grocery store or cycling on the backroads of Wisconsin or San Luis Obispo.

Executive Director

Anna James Miller

Anna James Miller is a former professional ballet dancer and dance teacher with over a decade of performing arts leadership experience. The daughter of four-time Grammy Award-winning cellist and composer Eugene Friesen, music has played a major role in her life since childhood.

Originally from the East Coast, Anna moved to the Seattle area in 2000 and worked for organizations including Seattle Opera, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Icicle Arts, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Federal Way Symphony, Auburn Symphony, and Bremerton Symphony. Most recently, Anna worked in a communications role with Kitsap Community Foundation, organizing a regional day of giving which raised $2.2M for 337 local nonprofits, and assisting with the launch of a COVID-19 community relief fund and resource directory.

With a deep passion for education as well as the arts, Anna taught funding and grant writing for nonprofits at Olympic College’s Business and Technology Division and served as a teaching assistant for graduate and PhD courses in Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in arts administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, and professional certificates in advanced fundraising and grant and proposal writing.

Anna and her visual artist spouse Bryan, along with their young daughter Cassidy are excited to be in San Luis Obispo. She is thrilled to partner with Maestro Andrew Sewell and take the SLO Symphony to new heights, and bring her arts advocacy to aid SLO County’s cultural recovery during this economically uncertain time.

Learn more about Anna in the July 2020 edition of Central Coast Journal >

Board of Directors

Officers

Jill LeMieux, President
Director of Membership, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

Mark Sherman, Past President
Physician, Pacific Eye

Jim Walker, Secretary
Business Service, SESLOC

Jessica Hoffman, Treasurer
PLM Project Manager, Gas and Process Division
Atlas Copco Mafi-Trench Company LLC

Directors

Joe Benson – Senior Corporate Counsel, MINDBODY

Matthew Green – Director, Cuesta Sustainability Resource Center

John Gilbert

Bob Gordon – Owner, Gordon’s Floral Design Studio

James Hathaway – Senior Vice President, Coast Hills Credit Union

Michael Johnson – Co-founder, CTO Doculynx

.

Robert Lin

Karen Loewi Jones – Compliance Manager, Midnight Cellars

Stefan Podell – Composer and Arranger

David Slade

Mike Zigelman

.

Honorary Life Member

Clifton Swanson

Symphony Staff

Andrew Sewell
Music Director

Anna James Miller
Executive Director

Jenny Beddy
Office Manager

Kristen Hintz
Communications Manager

Thor Larsen
Multimedia Production Lead

Richard Dobeck
Personnel/Librarian

Sarah Raines
Executive Assistant

Audre Smikle
Volunteer Services, Americorps Member