Now in her fourth year as Executive Director, Jessica Wisser formerly served as General Manager for Cantata Singers, a choral organization dedicated to the performance of works both old and new. A music lover from a young age, Ms. Wisser began her music career as a pianist, later branching out to study voice and music theory. She graduated with a B.A. from Duke University, focusing on a double major in Music and Public Policy. She was very active within the University’s music department, performing with the Duke University Chorale under Rodney Wynkoop, as well as with Duke University’s oldest all-female a cappella group, Duke Out of the Blue.
Ryan began his career with the ASO in July 2011 when he was hired as box office and patron services manager and is currently undertaking a variety of new roles in production and sales as general manager. A trained musician, Ryan completed his M.M. in music composition from Bowling Green State University in 2008 and has worked as an arranger, transcriber and copyist for a variety of musical acts encompassing both classical music and jazz. He currently performs as a freelance musician on trumpet around the Washington DC/Virginia area.
MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Joining the ASO staff in 2014, Melinda Kernc formerly served as General Manager of the California Philharmonic in Pasadena, California. Graduating with a B.A. from Principia College and earning a double major in Music (Vocal Performance) and Mass Communication, she has dedicated herself to the arts through performance, instruction and arts administration. Ms. Kernc directs fundraising and advertising activities for the ASO as well as public and community relations with media. Serving as a former Music Director in a progressive private school, Ms. Kernc maintains a private studio (voice, piano) and performs regularly as a singer throughout the Washington, DC metro area.
Ms. Kelly, who also plays cello with the ASO, is in charge of hiring the musicians for the ASO concerts. She works closely with Music Director Kluge and the Musicians’ Union to find the best musicians in the area for the ASO concerts. She received her musical training at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Fontainbleau, France, encouraged by her musician/conductor father, James Swift. She has been part of the Washington, DC area musical scene since 1975 as a player, contractor, librarian, and teacher. Current responsibilities involving the first three roles find her working at Wolf Trap, Kennedy Center Opera House, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Post-Classical Ensemble and Opera Camerata in addition to the ASO. She teaches cello at the Levine School of Music, Episcopal High School and at her McLean home.
Craig has served as a stage manager for several Washington & Baltimore orchestras. He has been with the Alexandria Symphony since 1997. Craig has previously served as an Instrumental music teacher for students aged Kindergarten through college. In addition to playing stage manger he is freelance percussionist and is the Music Director of the Kensington (MD) Baptist Church.