Arts groups and corporations of all sizes rely upon the hard work of individuals to keep their mission moving forward. We at Ars Musica are blessed to have member Alexandra Cramer, ampoule known to us as Alex, clinic since she took on the role of Administrative Director in September 2004. The close of this concert season marks her ninth and final year as she steps down to pursue new endeavors. Rest assured that Alex will still be singing with Ars Musica, and helping to nurture the community of our choir.
Since accepting the role of Administrative Director, Alexandra has handled a multitude of tasks to keep our organization going strong. The position as described in our by-laws entailed keeping records and communications, obtaining permits, managing schedules, maintaining the mailing directories, and filing grant applications. Alexandra would later add responsibilities for ticketing and box office. Still, for all of these essential tasks, when asked about achievements she wished to highlight, Alex saw herself as someone who could “connect the dots for other members.” As a community choir, we are nothing without our members, and Alexandra’s ability to bridge information needs added to the cohesion of the chorale.
Remembering the first few months of her tenure, Alex spoke of the lessons she learned and the necessity of mastering new skills quickly. One example included her first annual fund mailing working with chorale members and the post office to get things mailed. The collection and updating of the mailing list has been integral to connecting with our friends and supporters, and another way of Alex uniting choral music fans. Her early days also included the important Bergen County grant from the Division of Cultural and Historical Affairs. Alexandra spent much time preparing the data and each subsequent year has seen continued support for Ars Musica from Bergen County, all thanks to her efforts.
While the challenges that arise in this field are primarily with logistics, Alex said her main challenge was likely finding a balance in the implementation of her responsibilities, and the energy spent thinking about them. To her credit, Alexandra has managed many roles during her tenure and learned that while it is important to be precise and work hard, not worrying about every little thing does help. Even with planning every detail, there can be pleasant surprises. In 2006, Ars Musica toured in Austria, and Alex handled logistics including chartering a bus for 35 people to JFK Int. Airport. When the bus arrived, the name “Alexandria” was on the side and she thought it a “sweet coincidence” of work coming to fruition.
Alexandra is looking forward to some traveling this spring and summer, and will be joining us for an exciting season in 2013-2014. When asked for any final thoughts on her work, Alex made sure to include how so many people have been a part of helping to run Ars Musica. “Frankly, if I listed everyone who made my life easier in this job, I’d probably list the entire board of directors, past and present, and indeed the whole choir. Thank you all!”
And our deep thanks to you, Alex, for all your dedication and hard work.