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In Music News | Bremerton Symphony conductor canned

Bremerton Symphony conductor/music director Elizabeth Stoyanovich let go mid-season.

These are strange, quiet days at the Bremerton Symphony.

Last week the Bremerton Symphony Association Board of Directors released a cryptic dismissal notice, to the press and online at, which relayed “effective this month, their Music Director and Conductor, Elizabeth Stoyanovich, will no longer be with the organization.”

The move was abrupt and a bit unusual, given that the symphony is mid-way through its 2008-2009 season and Stoyanovich had signed on as the Symphony’s music director and conductor through 2012 last February when Gena Wales was promoted to the post of executive director — an job formerly performed by Stoyanovich.

In her announcement of Stoyanovich’s dismissal, board president Holly James stated “the current climate required the BSA take a different direction for the future.”

James wasn’t able to comment by What’s Up’s press deadline, but she cited the economic climate in local news reports. Both the BSA executive director, Wales, and the symphony’s assistant conductor Gary Dahl, who’ll replace Stoyanovich in the interim, defaulted to James when asked about board’s reasoning for dismissal and the search for a new conductor.

Stoyanovich, who is also part-time conductor for the Butte Symphony Orchestra in Montana, a mother of two and the main breadwinner for her family, was naturally uneasy, when she was reached for comment, about searching for a job in such unstable economic times. She also expressed concerns for the BSA’s direction, but noted that if the majority of the board made this decision, then she had no choice but to look for a new job.

Since the announcement Jan. 15, community members have voiced concerns over the potential impacts of losing a conductor of Stoyanovich’s caliber. She served the symphony in the capacities of conductor, executive director music director and overall energizer for the past six years.

Wales said the search for a new conductor is being mulled by the board and will likely begin soon.

For more on the Bremerton Symphony Association, go to

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