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Jennifer Teisinger began her 20-year career in the performing arts managing concert operations and music education programs, and since 2005 has led three different organizations as executive director. Described as a top-notch administrator who is ‘cool under pressure,’ and recognized for her work ethic of unwavering dedication and integrity, Teisinger is a natural strategic planner and problem solver, an enthusiastic fundraiser, and an experienced leader who knows how to bring out the best in her staff and at the same time inspire board members individually and as a group.
Prior to joining the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as Executive Director, Ms. Teisinger served in the same role with the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Vail, Colorado. A strong believer in the power of commissioning new music, Teisinger’s first project at Bravo! Vail was to establish the New Works Fund, which financed the premiers of five commissioned pieces of music in celebration of Bravo! Vail’s 30th Anniversary. This endeavor was recognized by the New York Times, who responded by including Bravo! Vail in their list of top 10 Summer Classical Festivals. Always looking for ways to build momentum, Teisinger seeks out new initiatives that resonate with an organization’s core mission, vision and values. As an example of this work, Teisinger led Bravo! Vail to expand the popular After School Piano Program, launch a Spring Family Concert Series, establish a new String Instrument Program, and reformat the annual Gala to resonate with the culture and tradition of Bravo! Vail.
For nine years Teisinger was the Executive Director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony (Idaho), the largest privately funded free-admission orchestra in America. Her accomplishments there showcase her skill at securing an orchestra’s financial stability while developing programs that encapsulate the culture and tradition of the organization. The Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s budget increased by 45% during her tenure there, the benefits of which included establishing an endowment and planned giving program, doubling the reserve fund, expanding artistic offerings, and tripling the staff. Upon her arrival in Sun Valley, the Board commenced a capital campaign to support the Symphony’s interest in the construction of a new performance venue. The campaign raised $5 million, surpassing its goal by $2 million. Ms. Teisinger then played a pivotal role in the design and planning details for the construction of the world-class Sun Valley Pavilion, which was built primarily for the Symphony’s use. Once the Sun Valley Summer Symphony moved into its new summer home, Teisinger and Music Director Alasdair Neale launched the In Focus Series to expand the festival season and showcase orchestra musicians in a variety of ensemble sizes. The capabilities of the new venue expanded artistic programming that stretched the genres the Symphony was capable of presenting which inspired Neale and Teisinger to program semi-staged works, choral pieces, film-orchestra presentations, and collaborative partnerships with composers. Teisinger’s passion for new works and commissions resulted in seven world premiers of orchestral and chamber works during her time in Sun Valley.
Ms. Teisinger also served as executive director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Washington State) where she steered a focused board building effort resulting in increased board membership by 25%, increased fundraising event income by 25% and lengthened the concert season.
Music education has been a major focus for Teisinger throughout her career. In addition to running the education programs at the San Jose Symphony and managing the internationally recognized San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, she enhanced the reputation of the Sun Valley Summer’s School of Music and Summer Music Workshops when she spearheaded an innovative three-year partnership with the genre-defying trio Time for Three, called Project Tf3. Complete with its own fundraising campaign, Project Tf3 commissioned the trio to write a new orchestral work annually for three years, and to work with local music students and schools.
Jennifer Teisinger has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a master’s degree in music from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music in Houston, both in oboe performance. She has served on the youth orchestra division board of the League of American Orchestras as well as on the boards of the San Jose Youth Symphony and the Pioneer Montessori School in Ketchum, Idaho. She and her husband, Chris Gripkey, are the parents of two daughters who both enjoy dancing, which has prompted Teisinger to volunteer as a fundraising strategist for two dance studios in Colorado. Teisinger enjoys an active lifestyle including hiking and Nordic skiing with her husband, reading historical fiction and biographies, and is always on the lookout for a new vegan recipe.