Community engagement and diversity awareness are both topics very important to the Philharmonic Association.  We envision our ensembles as a place where musicians of all backgrounds, all cultures, and all experiences can unite with the common goal of playing great classical and  jazz music.  We strive to reach out to a diverse array of communities in order to ensure that all youth musicians in the area we serve have the opportunity to pursue their musical interests and passions.

The Philharmonic Association has recently made an exciting step towards increasing our community engagement and diversity awareness–we have hired Heather Elliot to be our Director of Community Engagement! We are so grateful to have found the right person for this important job.

Parent of TYS violist, Sterling Elliott, Heather Elliot has demonstrated a passion for the work of the Philharmonic Association through her years of diligent volunteering. She recently went above and beyond in her volunteer efforts, and negotiated free rehearsal space for TYS at the Doubletree Inn on Veterans Day when TYS was unable to rehearse at Athens. The same enthusiasm that characterizes Mrs. Elliott’s volunteer efforts, is evident in her attitude towards community outreach and diversity awareness.  

Heather Elliot has not only a passion for these areas, but extensive experience.  Ms. Elliott has been involved in  diversity initiatives since her student days at Francis Marion University. From  1986-1988 she was active in the Academic Cultural Enrichment Counselors Program that ensured minority students were engaged and included in campus life and goals. She graduated with a Bachelor in Political Science. At the Department of Corrections, she worked in Education Services to help students develop life management skills and identify relevant employability skills while guiding them to develop goals and objectives for employment progression and fulfillment. And then, at IBM from 1998 – 2009, she developed and deployed Diversity Awareness events for multiple Customer Fulfillment Organizations as a Diversity Awareness Representative. Heather’s son, Sterling, plays the viola in the Triangle Youth Symphony.

The Philharmonic Association is so grateful that someone as passionate and experienced as Heather Elliott has stepped forward and agreed to work with our organization to increase diversity and community engagement.  We are excited to see the positive impact that Heather Elliott will have on our organization and on the community that we serve!