Zoellner Arts Center welcomes an Administrative Director

For immediate release November 4, 2011 — (that means the following copy is straight from the marketing staff of Zoellner)

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University announced today that J. Andrew Cassano has been named Administrative Director effective November 28, 2011.

Cassano joins Zoellner from the Schaeffer Performing Arts Center at Kutztown University where he served as Director.

“We are very pleased that Cassano will be joining the new management team for the Zoellner. Of the many fine candidates we reviewed for the position, we (the search committee) found him to be the most well-rounded and able to deal with the many layers of constituents inside and outside the building,” said Nadine Sine, Professor and Chair of the Department of Music and Search Committee Chair.

In his new role as administrative director, Cassano will be responsible for the overall administration and operation of Zoellner and is expected to contribute to strategic planning, oversee day-to-day operations, foster a culture of collaboration, create and maintain a stakeholder-friendly environment, and oversee financial management. The Zoellner Arts Center hosts over 100 performances a year and boasts annual attendance of more than 25,000.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the dedicated team of staff and faculty at the Zoellner Arts Center,” says Cassano. “Zoellner is critical to the arts and entertainment fabric, community, economy and culture of the Lehigh Valley, as well as an amazing facility and cultural laboratory for Lehigh University.”

A resident of Alburtis, PA, Cassano has been a leader in Arts Administration for over 12 years working with some of the most talented and celebrated performing artists. He has worked as Director of Operations at Summer Music at the Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT where he oversaw the complete operations for an 8,000 capacity outdoor performing arts center that presented over twenty concerts including symphonic and popular artists. In 2001 he joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO) as Production Manager and then Manager of Artistic Operations where he oversaw the all concert operations, artist management and a $2.5 million budget for over 70 annual concerts. While at the HSO he was a key leader in the planning and implementation of their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, which became the premiere MLK event in Connecticut, two regional tours with famed tenor Andrea Bocelli, as well as serving as Project Manager for the orchestra’s 10,000 capacity summer facility in Simsbury, CT.

In 2005, he was recruited by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) as the Director of Artistic Operations and then Vice President of Artistic Operations managing an $8 million dollar budget and the concert operations for over 140 events, including the production department, artistic services, education department and front of house services. While in Rochester he also assisted in creating and executing the RPO’s strategic plan and branding, and served as the primary liaison to the Eastman School of Music’s $55 million dollar renovation and expansion of the Eastman Theater. He supervised the RPO’s annual residency at the Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, CO and the site development for a joint summer facility with the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Most recently, Cassano served as Director of KU Presents! where he planned and managed all aspects of the professional Performing Artists Series, Children’s Series, Specials Events and Ursa Minor’s Café, including long-range artistic and strategic planning, programming, operations, finances, marketing, fundraising, educational and community engagement. He served as Co-Chair for the $14 million dollar renovation and expansion of the University’s Auditorium. Cassano has worked in the Stage Management and Production departments for the Yale Repertory Theater, Goodspeed Musicals, Palladium Theater of London, England and Cedar Point Amusement Park. He is currently a member of the Board for Pennsylvania Presenters.
Cassano has a B.A. in Theater from Purdue University and an M.F.A. in Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama.