Jacksonville Symphony adds news position to executive team with a focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

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For the first time in the organization’s history, the Jacksonville Symphony adds the Vice President of Education and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives to its executive team. The position will be held by Marianne Rice, who previously held the position of Director of Music Education and Community Engagement. This addition firmly plants the Jacksonville Symphony among a handful of orchestras across the country paving the way for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to take center stage within the organization’s body of work.

Marianne Rice, new VP of Music Education and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

Marianne Rice, the Jacksonville Symphony's new Vice President of Music Education and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

"...we’ve made a commitment to become culturally responsive to the needs of our community by introducing symphonic music for all to enjoy and experience. What a wonderful opportunity for me to be a part of this great endeavor," says Marianne Rice.

For the first time in the organization’s history, the Jacksonville Symphony adds the Vice President of Education and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives to its executive team. The position will be held by Marianne Rice, who previously held the position of Director of Music Education and Community Engagement. This addition firmly plants the Jacksonville Symphony among a handful of orchestras across the country paving the way for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to take center stage within the organization’s body of work.

The addition comes after the Symphony created the organization’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force, following an in-depth research study by the Bucherati Group. The task force is comprised of Symphony Board members, staff and musicians, with a focus on developing a working initiative that represents the greater Jacksonville community by presenting change through dialogue, inclusion and accountability.

“There should be no doubt that these DEI initiatives are an integral part of the Symphony’s mission to enrich the human spirit through symphonic music,” says President & CEO Steven Libman. “The goals created by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force set the stage for a bright and inclusive future for the Jacksonville Symphony in our community.”

Rice joined the Symphony in October 2020 after a generous gift from Lori Doolittle to endow the music education and community engagement directorship. She is a lifelong educator and came to the Symphony directly from Duval County Public Schools, bringing with her experience teaching all grade levels, designing and implementing curricula, and working specifically with the performing arts to create education programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Benedict College and master’s degrees from both Norfolk State University (Music Education) and Old Dominion University (Secondary Education). Rice previously served as an education program specialist for Dr. Marlena Smalls and The Hallelujah Singers of Beaufort, South Carolina. She has also published “Music Education Through Gullah: The Legacy of a Forgotten Genre” as well as a children’s book called “Anire’s Adventures.”

As the Lory Doolittle Endowed Vice President of Music Education and DEI Initiatives, Rice will implement community and educational school programs that offer a holistic experience of symphonic music while introducing the community and students to music that is expressive and representative to our community.

“I have prepared for this my entire life,” Rice says. “I was fostered in the world of music and cultural diversity at an early age. The Jacksonville Symphony is aware of the multicultural communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. To that end, we’ve made a commitment to become culturally responsive to the needs of our community by introducing symphonic music for all to enjoy and experience. What a wonderful opportunity for me to be a part of this great endeavor.”

For interview requests or additional information, please contact:
Sydney Schless
Director of Marketing & Communications
sschless@jaxsymphony.org
(w) 904.354.4513

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The Jacksonville Symphony is North Florida’s leading music nonprofit offering live performances at Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and other venues throughout the area. In addition, the Symphony provides music instruction for youth through the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. For more information about the Symphony, visit jaxsymphony.org, like them at facebook.com/jaxsymphony, follow them on @jaxsymphony, on Instagram at JaxSymphony and on YouTube at JacksonvilleSymphony.

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