Pasadena Symphony and Pops CEO Joins Gooden School Board of Trustees

The Gooden School board of trustees today announced the appointment of Pasadena Symphony & POPS Chief Executive Officer Lora Unger to its board. The Gooden School, celebrating its 40th year in Sierra Madre, offers a classical education for the 21st century with high academic standards, a reputation for the arts and service learning. Ms. Unger is joining a board consisting of parents, former parents and business and community leaders from the San Gabriel Valley.

“The Pasadena Symphony has a long history in our community and Gooden School is proud to be a part of this, from being a part of its music education programs to supplying young musicians for their Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra” said Michael Belter, Chairman of the Board. “With Lora’s deep expertise in the world of musical performance and education, coupled with her leadership and fundraising abilities, she is the perfect addition to our strong board of trustees.”

“The Pasadena Symphony & POPS has always had a special relationship with this wonderful school and its families,” stated Ms. Unger. “I am looking forward to bringing my skills as a musician and administrator to the Gooden School, which has always been known for its strong performing arts program, which is growing all the time.”

Ms. Unger, who is also a trained violist, holds a BA in Music with a Minor in Business Administration from the University of Louisville, and received her MA in Arts Administration from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati College of Business Administration. She was elected to the CEO position at the Pasadena Symphony Association in November 2014 after 6 years as its COO. Unger played a critical role in designing and implementing the PSA’s Recovery Plan that instituted a best-practices approach which produced a transformed organization with new artistic leadership, performance venues, board membership and expanded programming.
Previously she worked with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Cincinnati, Modesto, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras in public relations, marketing and artistic operations. She was a League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellow with residencies at the Aspen Music Festival, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. In 2007, she was recognized as an Emerging Arts Leader from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. She is a member of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras and a presenter at their conferences.

About The Gooden School

Founded in 1975, The Gooden School is an independent Episcopal School, kindergarten through eighth grade, where academics and the arts come together. With Gooden’s reputation for academic excellence, community service and character building, graduates are accepted by the finest high schools and universities. For more information, visit or call (626) 355-2410.

About the Pasadena Symphony Association

Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show Glee.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.


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