BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Naples Orchestra & Chorus Board of Directors and its entire management staff are volunteers.

CHRISTOPHER DAVIES – PRESIDENT

Chris is a Director at Cohen and Grigsby, P.C., a full-service law firm of 150 lawyers with offices in Naples and Pittsburgh. Chris heads the condominium, cooperative and homeowner association practice group and focuses his practice on providing advice to boards of directors within community associations and also handles real estate closings. He is an active member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and a published author and frequent lecturer in his field. Chris has lived in Southwest Florida since 1985, moving here after graduating from Tulane University School of Law with both J.D. and LL.M. degrees.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Chris was raised in the Anglican Royal School of Church Music tradition, starting as a chorister at the age of 7. He also played violin in the local youth county orchestra. 

CLAUDIA POLZIN – VICE PRESIDENT

Claudia was born in Sandwich, Illinois, the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in vocal music and theatre and obtained a Master’s degree in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. 

Her career began in Minneapolis where she taught secondary choral music and theatre. Moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan her career shifted to health-care administration and she held the position of VP of Human Resources for the Regional Medical Center in Marquette. Moving to Florida, she returned to her career in music and the arts and was the Director of Education and Development at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts for over twelve years. Joining Vanderbilt Presbyterian in 2010, she is active in the choir and programs for young people in music and the arts.

BARBARA LOUNSBURY – VICE PRESIDENT

A native Californian, Barbara graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors’ Degree in Music. She then studied privately with David Schwartz (principal violist for the NBC Symphony) at the California Institute of the Arts. Shortly thereafter, she relocated to New York City to pursue a professional career as a violist, studying with Emanuel Vardi. She was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Tanglewood Center for Performing Arts, performed for two seasons at the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and played the first world tour of the Bolshoi Ballet which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City. Her musical experience spans a wide variety of styles. She was principal violist at Radio City Music Hall in NYC for 30 years, working with many artists including Tony Bennett, Elton John, Diana Ross, Liberace, Johnny Mathis and George Benson. Her experience also includes playing a number of Broadway shows.

Her symphonic experience has included performing with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Symphony in Carnegie Hall, Little Orchestra Society in Lincoln Center, Music for Westchester, New York Choral Society, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and most recently, The Fifth Ave Chamber Orchestra, Opera Naples and Gulfshore Opera. She also has performed operas with the NYC Opera in Lincoln Center, NY Grand Opera, NJ State Opera, NY Light Opera and the Canadian Opera.

MARY ANNE BEIRNE – TREASURER

Mary Anne Beirne is a 1971 graduate of Boston College with a BA in Education and Mathematics. In 1976, she earned an MBA from the Stern School at New York University. After serving as a financial analyst for a Fortune 500 company, she suspended her conventional career to raise five children, living in New York; London; Cincinnati, Ohio; North Andover, Massachusetts; Park City, Utah and Lake Forest, Illinois. 

During this time, she was very active in volunteer organizations. She served as Treasurer of the Park City, Utah, Trailside School PTA, utilizing Quick Books to record and report on the financial position of this organization. She is a member of the Women’s Board of the Lake County, Illinois Catholic Charities and served as Chair of their major fundraiser, increasing the proceeds despite a recession at that time. She also served as Treasurer of the Guild of Saint Mary, Lake Forest. Mary Anne used her organizational skills to assist the Lake Forest Recreation Dance program with their recital scheduling. She is a member of the Naples Emerald Ball committee, raising money for Catholic Charities in Collier County.​

NICKI HUBER

Noreen (Nicki) Nicol Huber is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a BBA in Marketing. She was President and CEO of Nicol Scales, Inc. for 23 years in Dallas, TX. Prior to that she lived in New York City where she was an Account Executive for Benton & Bowles advertising agency; first woman hired as a Consultant for Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and Site Location Analyst for Allied Stores. In Dallas, TX, she was Asst. to the President of Titche Geottinger department store and Research Analyst and Graduate of Executive Training Course at Sanger-Harris department store. 

Her theater experience has spanned many areas performing, technical, and producing. She started singing with the Dallas First United Methodist Church children’s choir and has been hooked on theater ever since, primarily as an avocation. In New York, she began studying voice and ballet/jazz. She was Papagena in the Magic Flute at the Amato Opera Company, supporting roles as Sister Berthe in Sound of Music and Mrs. Bedwin in Oliver. Other productions she has appeared in include On the Town, Brigadoon, Carousel, South Pacific, Music Man, Show Boat, Camelot, My Fair Lady and Oklahoma.

SHARYL LEIFELD

While a math major at the University of Texas at Austin, Sharyl was a soloist with Ballet Austin, a community based company directed by Stanley Hall from the Royal Ballet in London. He referred her to the renowned ballet pedagogue Madame Nora, a Russian immigrant based in Paris, where she continued her studies in ballet and French before being hired by Gise Furtwangler, the preeminent German choreographer, director of Cologne Ballet. A ten-year career followed with West German ballet companies in Cologne, Krefeld, Monchengladbach and Dusseldorf. As a principal, she performed leading roles in classical ballet productions as well as ballet roles in operas working with major European directors.

Sharyl taught classical ballet at the Krefelder Musikschule and served as a judge in youth ballet competitions in Germany and Belgium while completing a degree in Business Administration. Her lifelong passion is music and she loved the European tradition of community based chamber and orchestral music and support for the arts. She is honored to play violin with the Florida Southwestern State College Orchestra in Fort Myers and the Naples Orchestra and Chorus.​

ALEX VANCE

More information coming soon.

MAX RABINOVITSJ

Max Rabinovitsj attended the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music (Belgium) and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. He has been the concertmaster of the Ottawa (Ontario) Philharmonic, the New Orleans Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Nice (France) Orchestra and the Gulbenkian (Portugal) Orchestra. He was also Associate conductor of the Nice and Gulbenkian Orchestras. In Chamber Music, he participated at the Marlboro Music Festival for six years, found the St. Louis String Quartet, which was in residence at Washington University.​​ (read more here)

DAN SWEENEY

Dan has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and 45 years experience as a consulting engineer to major industrial clients, designing and building large manufacturing plants for food, chemicals, consumer products and automotive manufacturing. He is a s800elf-taught bass player, participating in the university band, community orchestras, church orchestras and musical groups since 1965. He began private lessons with Laurence Glazener in Naples about 7 years ago and is currently the accompanist to Voices of Naples Chorus.