University of Michigan Cardiologist and Researcher Geoff Barnes announced as incoming board president.

April 29, 2019 (Ann Arbor, MI) – The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra announced on Saturday that Dr. Geoffrey Barnes will assume the role of President beginning July 1, 2019. Current President Richard Hendricks will remain as an active member of the orchestra’s Board of Directors.

Barnes is a cardiovascular physician and researcher at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a lifelong passion for classical music. He serves as a pioneering researcher, educator, and advocate for high-quality healthcare through his work with medical organizations and leading medical journals.

Barnes and his husband Grant have been A²SO subscribers since 2012, first joining the symphony after meeting Executive Director Mary Steffek Blaske at a symphony-sponsored event for young Ann Arbor professionals. After his first season as a subscriber, he was invited to become a member of the A²SO Marketing Committee. He officially joined the Board of Directors in 2015, and was soon elected to the position of Vice President of Marketing in 2016. In 2017, Barnes was elected to the position of First Vice President. “I’m passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community. Discovering that the A²SO intersected with both my love of classical music and my strong commitment to the community led me to join the board,” said Barnes in an interview last week. “As a father of a three-year-old, I am especially passionate about our outsized commitment to education. I believe that’s one of the brightest examples of how the A²SO makes an impact. We not only provide the community with high-caliber musical performances, but also expose tens of thousands of young people to the power of music through multiple concerts and community events each season.”

Executive Director Mary Steffek Blaske said, “Geoff Barnes’s commitment to the community through the A²SO is terrific. Our entire board, staff, and musicians look forward to working with him in this new role.”

Barnes plans to spend his time as President exploring new opportunities to reach young professionals and grow that segment of the A²SO’s audience. “As someone who is under 40, one of my passions is growing the thirty-something audience and helping them to see just how enjoyable, powerful, and moving classical music can be,” said Barnes. “It’s important to connect the symphony to where people are and weave more familiar music into our classical concerts. It’s not always about Beethoven: John Williams and other contemporary film composers are now finding their way onto traditional concert programming, and that’s something I’d like to explore.” Along these lines, Barnes also hopes to increase the representation of young professionals on the Board of Directors, drawing from a wide range of professional backgrounds and ages.

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