KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is celebrating a prestigious national award. KSO Executive Director Jennifer Barlament has been given the Helen M. Thompson Award by the League of American Orchestras at the organization's 68th National Conference in St. Louis. The award acknowledges "exceptional leadership, dedication, and accomplishment as an executive director."
Barlament took the position in April 2009, and has since led the organization to new heights, seeing ticket sales increase by 56-percent, nearly doubling revenue, and seeing a significant increase in subscribers. There has also been a 73-percent increase in grant revenue and a 39-percent jump in total fundraising for the orchestra.
The award also makes the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra one of only two in the nation to receive the recognition twice since its founding. Former KSO Executive Director John Forsyte won the award in 1995.