Sept. 30 2009 12:00 AM

Symphony hires new head



After a six month search the Lansing Symphony Orchestra has hired Courtney Millbrook as executive director. Millbrook, 33, of Grand Ledge, has worked as assistant development director at the Wharton Center for the last year and a half.

Her experience also includes positions with Frederic Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the American Cancer Society in Grand Rapids.

Chuck Hilary, president of the symphony’s board, said the board screened about 40 applicants for the position before deciding on Millbrook. “The two main things to me were the ability to raise funds and an administrative background, so I’m pretty excited about her,” Hilary said.

Millbrook’s familiarity with mid-Michigan didn’t hurt. “She’s knows the area well, and that made a lot of sense to us,” Hilary said. “We’re excited about her.”

Millbrook begins her new job Oct. 19.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the symphony,” Millbrook said. “It’s an area I’m passionate about.”

Although she isn’t a musician herself, Millbrook said part of her job is to get people in the seats and keep them there, which she can identify with. “I bring that perspective of an audience member, and that’s a role I’ll play and look forward to playing,” she said.

Millbrook replaces David Gross, who left in March for a job with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.