IN Rising Star Sammis named Opera Executive Director

Press Release: At Pensacola Opera’s Annual Membership Meeting on July 19, 2011, Ruth Orth, Chair of the Opera’s Board of Trustees, announced Erin Kelley Sammis as the company’s new Executive Director.

Sammis has been with Pensacola Opera since May 2007 as the Director of Development and Marketing. Over the past year, Sammis has assumed the additional responsibilities of day-to-day operations and management of the company.

Kyle Marrero, Pensacola Opera’s Artistic Director since 2000 says, “Erin’s promotion to Executive Director has been a natural transition. She has brought, and will continue to bring, Pensacola Opera to new heights through her contributions to the company. I am thrilled to see her have this opportunity. The company is in good hands and our collaborative work will ensure the future of Pensacola Opera for years to come.”

A native of South Carolina, Sammis has over seven years of experience in non-profit administration, having worked previously for Chicago Opera Theatre in Chicago, IL and the Girl Scouts of Tulip Trace Council in Bloomington, IN. Sammis has also trained extensively as a singer and pianist, holding a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Furman University (Greenville, SC) and Master of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). While at Indiana University, she was an Associate Instructor of Voice and was seen in several leading operatic roles and recital presentations. She also was selected to be a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre St. Louis in 2004.

Sammis currently serves on the Downtown Advisory Board to the Downtown Improvement Board, is a regular grants panelist for the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and is a graduate from the Leadership Pensacola Class of 2009. In 2010, she was recognized as a Rising Star in the Independent News. Sammis also actively participates in the music program at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Pensacola.

Ruth Orth, Pensacola Opera’s Chair says, “We are extremely fortunate that Erin Sammis has chosen to call Pensacola “home.” Her gifts of talent, enthusiasm, creativity, and congeniality are boundless, and we at Pensacola Opera are reaping the rewards of her good work. Erin is truly a gift to our community.”
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