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The Hochstein School Appoints New President & Executive Director

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The Hochstein School Appoints New President & Executive Director

The Hochstein School announces the appointment of Hilary Field Respass as President & Executive Director as of July 1, 2022. 

Hochstein Board Chair Jennifer Stenzel said, “After an almost year-long process that drew on the work, wisdom, and voices of so many, and from which we learned so much about the vital role that arts education plays in all our lives, I am delighted to announce that the search committee has successfully completed its work to identify Hochstein’s next leader.”

Hilary Field Respass has served as Executive Director of Boston University Tanglewood Institute since 2014. Prior to that she held the leadership role at the community divisions of The Hartt School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut – a program that served more than 1,500 youth and adults in music and dance instruction – and New England Conservatory in Boston. 

The President & Executive Director search was carried out by a committee that included Board and Advisory Board members as well as representatives of the School’s faculty and staff. Respass succeeds Margaret (Peggy) Quackenbush, who announced in September 2021 that this would be her last school year and she would be retiring as Hochstein’s President & Executive Director after more than 40 years at Hochstein. Quackenbush joined the Hochstein faculty in 1979 and has been Hochstein’s President & Executive Director since 1992. 

Respass says, “As I journeyed through the search process these past few months, I have been moved again and again by the deep pride, caring, and commitment that The Hochstein School has for its teaching, its dance- and music-making, and for every person in its community. It is a privilege to succeed such a strong leader as Peggy Quackenbush, and I am honored and very excited to become part of this inspiring, extraordinary place.”

Stenzel adds, “We are excited by Hilary’s varied experience and her demonstrated commitment to expanding access to arts education of the highest caliber. Providing opportunity and removing the barriers to participation are at the core of Hochstein’s mission.”

Early in her career, Hilary Field Respass was Managing Director of the acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva. She served as Director of Operations at the Aspen Music Festival and School during the construction and opening of the Benedict Music Tent and the Burlingame Housing Project. She was also Director of Artistic and Management Services for the League of American Orchestras, where she managed the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, the Ford Made in America commissioning project, and the Music Alive composer-in-residence program. Respass has degrees in music education and clarinet performance from New England Conservatory and University of Michigan.

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