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Mankato Symphony Orchestra announces Balge as interim executive director

MANKATO — The Mankato Symphony Orchestra announces the selection of Bethel Balge as Interim Executive Director. Balge follows the Mankato Symphony’s previous Executive Director, Hannah Bretz, who is leaving the organization in December.

“We are very excited to have Bethel taking on the role as Executive Director of the Mankato Symphony,” says Shannon Beal, Board President. “Bethel brings to the job an exceptional combination of energy, artistry, and experience to the challenges of running a musical organization. We are grateful to Hannah Bretz for her passion for our organization and wish her all the best.”

Balge joins the Mankato Symphony Orchestra with breadth of experience as an arts administrator and educator, as well as professional classical musician.

In addition to teaching at both Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato) and Martin Luther College (New Ulm), Balge is founding Artistic Director of the Summit Avenue Music Series and Co-Artistic Director of the ProMusica Minnesota Chamber Music Festival. Winner of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts and the McKnight sponsored Artist Grant, as a professional pianist Bethel has performed in Germany, Russia, and throughout the United States.

“As a proud resident of South Central Minnesota, I am excited to work with the exceptional musicians and staff of the Mankato Symphony,” says Balge. “I’m looking forward to bringing the work of this wonderful organization to more people in our communities.”

Balge will start her role with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 11.

The Mankato Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating emotion-packed, high-quality musical experiences and promoting musical education in and for South Central Minnesota.

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