• 55°

ARTS AND CULTURE: Huntington Symphony Orchestra names executive director, CEO

HSO celebrates 13 years of service from outdoing executive director Hogan Haas

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Huntington Symphony Orchestra (HSO) Board of Directors unanimously voted to name the local professional violinist, award-winning music educator, administrator and community builder Ian Jessee as its next President and CEO, effective June 21, 2021.

“Ian Jessee’s vast experience as a performer, educator, and administrator — coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit and deep familiarity of the Huntington metro area — made him the perfect choice to lead the Huntington Symphony Orchestra into our next era,” shared Larry Tweel, HSO Board Chair. “We are so grateful for outgoing Executive Director Hogan Haas’ 13 years of exemplary service to the HSO and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

“West Virginia has a special musical community and I’m thrilled to be leading the Huntington Symphony Orchestra into its next era,” says Ian Jessee, HSO Executive Director and CEO. “After the year we’ve all experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic, I look forward to cultivating partnerships throughout Huntington and the greater state to bring even more people together to rejoice in music.”

A West Virginia Resident since 1997, Ian Jessee has grown to become a key pillar in the state’s musical community. He is currently a principal violinist with numerous regional orchestras, including the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Valley Symphony Orchestra, River Cities Symphony Orchestra and the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.

As an educator, he maintains an active private violin studio and is building a vibrant musical community for youth as the Conductor for the West Virginia Youth Symphony’s (WVYS) middle-tier ensemble, Youth Strings. He formed the Cadet Strings, the youngest string orchestra ensemble tailored for beginner students within the WVYS after cultivating a robust Elementary School Strings Program throughout Kanawha County in Charleston, West Virginia through the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Kanawha County Board of Education joint String Education Program.

A conductor for public schools in Kanawha County from 1998-2018, Jesse’s ensembles garnered national recognition at the National Orchestra Festival in 2006 and 2011, and his programs were listed as a “Top 50 things in WV” by the West Virginia State Journal. In 2011, his program was a recipient of the Arts Alive Award.

As an administrator, Jessee has held numerous roles in business operations that support performances, international tours, balancing budgets, and strategic student growth throughout his musical career in the region. Jessee received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Performance from The Ohio State University.

Ian Jessee assumed his new role as Executive Director on June 21, 2021, and succeeds longtime leader Hogan Haas who stepped down for retirement. After 13 years of continuous service to the HSO, Haas, an Ironton native was instrumental in the continuing development of the Picnic with the POPS Summer Series concert program as well as the Janet Bromley Education Outreach Program, named in honor of HSO orchestra member Janet Bromley. Haas was also responsible for the opening of the current HSO offices, located at 763 Third Ave. in Huntington.

For questions about upcoming performances and events or ways to support the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, please visit www.huntingtonsymphony.org. To get in contact with Ian Jessee, call 304-781-8343 or email huntingtonsymphony@gmail.com.