Grand Teton Music Festival welcomes new executive director Emma Kail

JACKSON, Wyo. — After a nationwide search, the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) Board of Directors announced the appointment of Emma Kail as GTMF’s new executive director, replacing interim ED Simon Woods.

Kail joins GTMF with long experience both as a musician and as an administrative leader in major classical music organizations across the U.S.

GTMF board chairs Barbara McCelvey and John Costello commented, “We are thrilled Emma is joining the GTMF family. She is a charismatic and strategic leader with a strong track record across all aspects of symphony orchestras. She and her family will be a great addition to the Jackson community.”

“Emma enjoys an enviable reputation in the orchestral world. Her background and her long experience working with musicians make her decision to join Grand Teton Music Festival extremely exciting,” added music director Donald Runnicles. “Her vision and enthusiasm for our festival and community are palpable, and I look forward enormously to our collaboration.”

Kail has a strong background in music performance. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, she studied trumpet performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music before earning her master’s degree in music at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Michael Sachs. She also pursued an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Her early career included administrative positions at the Grant Park Music Festival, Omaha Symphony, and the University of Chicago, and she was a member of the 2007-08 cohort of Orchestra Management Fellows of the League of American Orchestras.

Upon joining the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as the director of artistic administration, she was the chief creative partner to music and executive directors in developing artistic plans to support the institution’s vision and community relevance.

“The path I see for GTMF involves the organization engaging with the community and redoubling a commitment to partnerships and artistic excellence,” Kail said. “A cultural institution’s artists, staff, and patrons all need each other to best serve the community and mission, and it’s clear that the connection between our musicians, Donald Runnicles, board members and supporters runs very deep. The potential for the Festival to sustain and grow its reach is tremendous, and I am honored to be tasked with the responsibility of stewarding it into the next era.”

Emma Kail officially begins her work with Grand Teton Music Festival on September 1, immediately following Woods’ departure. Kail will move to Jackson Hole with her husband, Jeffrey, their two young sons James and Charles, and their cat, Ninja.

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