The ESO has promoted a long-time employee and hired a new patron services manager. Wendy Evans has been promoted to ESO Director of Community Engagement and Orchestra Personnel, and Audra Odzana has been named Patrons Services Manager.
Wendy Evans, an ESO musician in the first violin section since 1996, was hired as personnel manager in 2009, and Education and Outreach Manager in 2010. As Director of Orchestra Personnel, Ms. Evans manages the audition process, engages musicians for performances and handles all personnel issues. In her role as Director of Community Engagement, she oversees the Ainsworth Concerts for Youth, Traveling Ensembles, Masterclasses, Musician’s Care performances at Advocate Health Care hospitals, and Listeners Clubs events. She is the chair of the ESO Education Committee and co-hosts a radio program called “The Elgin Symphony Orchestra Listeners Club Radio Show,” which is also a monthly podcast.
Ms. Evans received a BM in violin performance from Morningside College, and a MM and Performance Certificate in Violin Performance from Northwestern University. In addition to the ESO, she has performed with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Florida Symphony and Omaha Symphony. Ms. Evans has appeared with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.
Audra Odzana has over 15 years of box office, subscription management and customer service experience, having previously worked as Audience Services Director of Paramount Theatre, and as Customer Service Director at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. She started her box office and customer service career with Conservatory Theatre Arts at Webster University. Ms. Odzana has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Marketing from Webster University and continues to take business, marketing and customer service courses.
Now in its 67th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times – in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016. The ESO strives to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. Before concerts, area musicians often perform in the lobby, and patrons can buy drinks at the bar and purchase gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Pre-concert chats are given by Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances, and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants. In addition, free Listeners Club discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered in Geneva and Elgin on Wednesdays before ESO Classics Series concert weekends. Flex passes are available for purchase so that you can choose your concerts at a later date based on your own schedule. And if a patron can’t make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience.