Cue the fanfare - Beaverton Symphony Orchestra adds an executive director
Call him the new boss. Call him the big-vision guy, if you must, or the longtime insider.
But don't call Mayne Mihacsi, the newly named executive director of the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, a bean-counter.
"I bristle at that term. I hope I'm adding value, not just calculating value."
Mihacsi takes over the reins of the orchestra that was created in 1984 by Charles Encell. It's a brand new position, made possible by a joint fellowship grant from Intel and Social Venture Partners-Portland. And Mihacsi arrives at this position as logically as a composer uses a bridge to link a verse and a chorus.
Mihacsi comes from Intel. And Mihacsi comes from inside the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra. Deep inside: He's been with the company since 1986 as a trumpeter.
He retired from the tech giant but took advantage of the company's Retirement Encore Program, which helps employees move on to the next big challenges of their lives. He formerly served as Intel Client Computing Staff Technical Marketing Manager. And hidden in that mouthful of a title is the word "marketing," which serves as the bridge to his new role.
"Smaller nonprofits, like ours, tend to lack marketing insight, and logistics insight," Mihacsi said. "An executive director can focus on marketing and promotion, on volunteers and committees; all the important stuff that goes on before a performance."
That includes focusing on the mission and vision, not just the next arpeggio.
But, unlike some executive directors, he also brings decades of experience nestled deep in the brass section, looking out at the audience and not the other way around.
"We are producing a product," Mihacsi said. "It's important to understand how it's experienced."
Travis Hatton, music director of the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, said Mihacsi's new position is pivotal. "BSO is proud to promote from within," Hatton said. "Mayne is someone we know and trust, a loyal BSO member and a fine musician. And, he just happens to have an accomplished professional background, which he's willing to bring to bear for BSO."
Prior to this hire, Hatton was the company's only paid staff member. He said Mihacsi will focus on "anything that doesn't have to do with the music." Which includes fundraising, marketing and advertising, and coordinating donors.
"He was, easily, the right guy for the job," Hatton said. "Just head-and-shoulders over anyone else."
Holly Hutchason sits on the BSO board, is chairwoman of the Development Committee, and has been a cellist with the company for about a dozen years. She called Mihacsi "the right person at the right time" because he's highly organized. And also because the orchestra is expanding both its audience and its repertoire.
"We thought it would be good to have someone reining in all the various groups," she said.
Mihacsi agreed. "Our volunteers are amazing," he said. "But their work might not touch all of the things the organization needs. I suppose, from now on, that's my job."
When the company was created, the repertoire leaned toward the usual suspects: Beethoven, Brahams, Mozart and the like. But under the baton of Hatton, the repertoire has stretched to include pops performances, works by new composers, and such robust works as Gustav Holst's "The Planets."
Mihacsi is one of more than 240 retiring Intel employees that have become "Encore Fellows" with local nonprofit organizations, where they help the organization build capacity, operate more efficiently, and ultimately, have a broader impact on their community.
The Beaverton Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra comprising 80 members. It presents six concerts each season.
Camille Saint-Saëns' "Symphony No. 3: Organ"
Antonin Dvorák's "Carnival Overture" Claude
Debussy's "Children's Corner Suite"
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17
3 p.m. Sunday, March 19 (with a prelude conversation 30 minutes prior to both shows)
Grand Auditorium, Village Baptist Church, 330 S.W. Murray Blvd., Beaverton
$10 general; $5 youths; $20 family.
Purchase online at www.beavertonsymphony.org
Or call 1-855-HEARBSO.