Name: Marjorie Mathieu
Family: I have two grown daughters: Ann-Marie and her husband, Greg who live in Boston with my two grandsons – Ethan who is 3-years-old and Aaron is eight months; and Marissa, to be married in the fall to Dodger, who lives in Washington, D.C.
Years in the Golden Isles: I moved here 18 years ago from West Virginia.
School: I have a B.S. in pharmacy and an M.B.A., both from West Virginia University.
Occupation: I worked in healthcare administration most of my career, recently retiring from Southeast Georgia Health System, where I served as vice president in operations.
What does a typical day look like as the president of Coastal Symphony of Georgia: There is really no typical day! We have plenty of Zoom meetings these days, as I serve as an ex-officio member of all standing committees: finance, governance, events, fund development, marketing, and volunteers. I also work closely with our executive director, Sharon Flores. This season has been especially challenging due to COVID, with planning and executing our Variations on a Season, where we transitioned to five outdoor concerts with smaller orchestras instead of our usual four indoor concerts, both for the safety of the musicians and our audience.
What are some aspects you are most excited about for this year’s Cabaret? The new venue and theme! We are holding the event outdoors this year, at the Atlantic Court at the King & Prince, with the theme of “ALOHA Cabaret 2021”, on Friday, May 21. I believe it is one of the first major social events since COVID, and so we are excited in anticipation of a sell-out crowd! Our tropical setting with Hawaiian-style music and entertainment, as well as flavorful island cuisine, is sure to please!
Since the organization was founded, what are some of the biggest accomplishments? The Coastal Symphony of Georgia has been in existence since 1985, so there have been lots of changes since then! Moving to a totally professional orchestra under Louis Haza was a milestone for us as we drew on the strong foundation built by the organization over the years. Our current conductor and music director, Michelle Merrill, is really exciting! She combines music from the Old Masters, which we all love, with compositions from new and exciting composers, women composers, and composers of color in her programming. This season was especially challenging since we moved to our outdoor Variations on a Season in an effort to keep classical music playing in a safe environment for our patrons. We also enjoy being a community partner, offering the Musical Mentor program in the local schools, as well as offering music through our community engagement efforts. In February, CSG musicians offered videos in honor of Black History Month on Constant Contact, YouTube, and Facebook, and in April, a string quartet will appear “live” in one of the City of Brunswick’s 250th-anniversary celebration events.
What are some other fundraising events you do to benefit the Symphony? In a “normal” year, we typically offer a series of Salons and Soundbites, both of which are musical events offered in smaller venues, such as local homes and restaurants. We hope to resume those in the future. We also have a “Sip and Shop” planned for the first weekend in May, thanks to J. McLaughlin at the Shops at Sea Island. A portion of the proceeds that weekend will be donated to the symphony. And of course, we have other opportunities available, such as the Crescendo Circle, the named chairs program, and corporate sponsorships. Ticket sales for the symphony only cover a portion of the cost of presenting quality orchestral music to our community. We literally could not do it without the support of the wonderful people of the Golden Isles.
Favorite landmark in the Golden Isles: I love Wesley Gardens in the spring! Right now the azaleas are in full bloom, and I always make it a point to walk there during this time of year. I never realized azaleas came in so many colors until visiting there!
Describe your perfect Saturday in the Golden Isles: I walk the beach almost every Saturday! It never looks the same twice! I also enjoy riding my bicycle out to Hampton along the trail. And with so many choices in fine restaurants here, there is always an opportunity for lunch or dinner out with friends.