Tucson Symphony names UK native, veteran arts manager to lead orchestra


“If everything (health-wise) continues to move in the right direction, then gradually, in a season or two, we can put this all behind us,” added Meecham, who was born in the UK and has been living in the United States for much of his professional career.

Meecham comes to Tucson as the orchestra not only navigates a post-pandemic course but deals with years of staff instability including in the CEO’s office. Meecham is the fifth person to lead the orchestra since Andrew Birgensmith left the job in March 2014 after serving less than three years.

“There has been a lot of staff turnover in the last few years and my goal is to add some stability because it’s exhausting the organization,” said Meecham, the father of two high-school-age children. “It doesn’t seem like there was any single reason … but the combination of them all has been very hard on the organization.”

Meecham also shares TSO Music Director José Luis Gomez’s vision for the orchestra, that it be “very much a part of the community as a community leader as well as an artistic leader,” he said.

And he is impressed with Gomez’s strides in his first few seasons here to reach out and connect with the Hispanic and Spanish-speaking communities. It is similar to the community outreach Meecham has done throughout his career including in Utah, where he made strides in connecting the Utah Symphony & Opera with younger audiences.

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