Alana Richardson is an educator, musician, and a catalyst for change. Known for refining and elevating programs and organizations to achieve their highest impact, Alana updated and expanded Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s community engagement work in her role as Director of Education, a position she held for 5 years serving 35,000 students and teachers annually. There Alana shifted seven established education programs to student-led programming through a series of participant think-tanks, strengthening student buy-in and long-term impact. A strategic collaborator, Alana built a team of composition instructors and worked closely with Music Director Jose Luis Gomez and TSO artistic staff to reestablish the 25-year-old Young Composers Project’s position as an industry-leading music education initiative.
Through connecting disparate ideas across constituent groups, Alana consistently finds creative solutions to overcome both new challenges and established roadblocks. When the 2018 Arizona teacher strike occurred during TSO’s youth concert field trip weeks, Alana quickly determined to open the school events to the broader community, allowing students to still experience the power of live classical music while sharing it with their families for the first time. During the pandemic when change in the arts sector was desperately needed and in-person learning was impossible, Alana worked with industry leader Aubrey Bergauer to shift her Leadership Development for Young Professionals course to an online model, shaping and marketing the program to rising leaders across the U.S. and abroad.
Alana’s ability to communicate clearly and consistently while leading and supporting diverse teams helps people and organizations realize previously unattainable goals. Now as Associate Director of the Institute for Composer Diversity, her authentic and enthusiastic leadership motivates and moves people forward towards achievement of long term vision, as she quickly identifies big picture goals and simultaneously prioritizes immediate opportunities.
As a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a degree in East Asian Studies who studied abroad at Beijing Language and Culture University, and a bassist since fourth grade, Alana believes in the unique power of cross-cultural connection through music. She loves engaging with new communities through performance, in programs such as Gramado International Music Festival in Brazil, Purple Bamboo Chinese Music Ensemble at the University of Arizona, and chaperoning the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra on a tour to South Africa.