By Amber Kennedy

With extensive experience in performance and arts administration, Emily Ondracek-Peterson has been appointed as the first executive director of the F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music at Old Dominion University.

"My priority of preparing students for successful and sustainable careers in music is a great fit with ODU, which has a university-wide emphasis on entrepreneurship," Ondracek-Peterson said. "I look forward to leading the Diehn School as it develops into a regional and national musical leader."

The position was created to lead the School of Music's fundraising and development initiatives, branding and recruitment, as well as advocating for the school within the University and in the community.

Ondracek-Peterson has pursued courses of study in a wide range of areas, including undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Juilliard School, a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also earned an MBA specializing in business strategy and leadership and entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado.

Diehn School offers five undergraduate majors, a minor in music and a master of musical education degree. While the school was founded in 2019, the University's Department of Music has been an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1978.

The school represents the cutting edge of musical training throughout the region, said Nancy Klein, professor of choral music and longtime music chair.

"We provide exceptional performance opportunities for our students that set us apart from other institutions within the state," Klein said. "The stellar faculty are all active performers, musicians and scholars, sharing their skill and knowledge with a diverse student body - it is a vibrant place to be for aspiring musicians!"

Ondracek-Peterson brings extensive experience in many areas of the performing arts. She has appeared as violin soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and was awarded Chamber Music America's ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2010 for her performance activities with the Voxare String Quartet. Ondracek-Peterson is co-artistic and festival director of the Crested Butte (Colorado) Music Festival, where she oversees artistic planning and educational programs.

As a teacher, Ondracek-Peterson has held positions at Teachers College, Columbia University, and numerous artist-in-residence appointments at universities in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she was a two-time Morse Fellow at The Juilliard School and a New York Philharmonic teaching artist.

Ondracek-Peterson has started several successful businesses in the arts, most notably the educational vlog "Noted Endeavors" with acclaimed flutist Eugenia Zukerman and in association with Musical America. She consults about education programs, organizational leadership and digital marketing with nonprofit organizations as a principal at the firm PetersonBandar.

"We are excited by Dr. Ondracek-Peterson's arrival at ODU as she joins our outstanding faculty and students," said Jonathan Leib, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters. "A musician of her caliber joining our faculty is another indication of the growth and excellence of the Diehn School of Music."

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