Catherine Underhill

Catherine Underhill

Adjunct Assistant Professor

W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts
Room 206
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214


(315) 445-4201


Courses: AAD 503 - Governance; AAD 505 - Development

In the Community: Managing Director, Symphoria

Catherine is a Syracuse native who returned to the area in September 2013 after more than 25 years to assume her responsibilities as Managing Director of the new orchestra, Symphoria. Prior to her work with Symphoria, Catherine served for 12 years as Executive Director of the Colorado Music Festival, in Boulder, Colo. During her tenure, she oversaw the merger of the six-week summer classical music festival with a year-round community music school that offers instruction on all instruments and voice to individuals of all ages and all abilities. Helping create this unique and successful business structure aimed at connecting people of all ages with inspiring musical experiences fueled Catherine’s passion for enhancing access to great music, which is a core value underlying her work with Symphoria.

Although not formally trained in music (beyond her short career as 2nd flute in her elementary school band), Catherine brings more than 25 years of experience in leadership positions in a wide range of arts organizations to Symphoria. Prior to her work with the Colorado Music Festival, Catherine served for several years as Executive Director of The Dairy Center for the Arts, in Boulder, where she managed the $3.5M conversion of an abandoned dairy processing plant into a vibrant, multidisciplinary arts center that became home to 14 local arts organizations. Additional professional experience includes serving as Deputy Director with the Southern Arts Federation, a regional arts organization based in Atlanta serving nine southern states; managing the Arts, Tourism & Cultural Resources program at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver; and serving as a Fellow in the States Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Catherine holds a BA and MA in Art History, and an MA in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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