‘World-class music’: InConcert Sierra honors outgoing board president
Special to The Union
InConcert Sierra, a Nevada County classical chamber music presenter, wants to give a well-deserved shout-out to Monroe Lovelady, who recently stepped down as president of its board after serving in that capacity for the past five years. Not only did Monroe effectively shepherd InConcert through the productive growth years of 2016 to early 2020, but he guided the organization’s successful maneuvers through tough times when COVID-19 suddenly canceled everything, including a concert featuring the internationally renowned co-directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center that was scheduled for the upcoming weekend.
Monroe was born in the tiny rural town of Marfa, West Texas, currently one of the arts and entertainment hotspots in that state, and raised with Spanish as his first language. Because he was around native speakers, he acquired unaccented pronunciation of both English and Spanish, which proved advantageous in his later business life.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, he then moved to Dallas to work for a utility company for four years. His next move was to San Francisco to work on the Alaska Pipeline as a project engineer for Standard Oil, traveling often to the 49th state over a four-year period. During the following sixteen years, Monroe established himself as an engineering consultant, working with clients worldwide. When he grew tired of traveling, he shifted his focus to information technology consulting, working as a computer software developer for Bank of America from 2001 through 2015. He contends that he then retired.
However, Monroe continues to actively manage his own company. For twenty-five years, he has been running Axiom, an exporter of American-made industrial equipment. Many of his clients are located in South America, so his fluent Spanish is a definite asset.
Monroe took piano lessons as a child, then started again in 2008 when he met Aileen James, the former executive director of the American Pianist Association, who was active with InConcert Sierra. He continues as a part of the Piano Workshop, a group of experienced pianists, formerly led by Aileen and now directed by Ken Hardin, InConcert’s Artistic Director. As a kid, Monroe loved all kinds of music, but wasn’t exposed to classical music; he developed his love for classical music as an older adult. He’s now been exposed to the full gamut in the Piano Workshop, from early Baroque to modern day (but has never developed an affinity for Mozart).
He moved to Nevada County in 1989, building a house in Penn Valley. He was introduced to InConcert by a friend who brought him to a concert; Monroe was impressed by the world class quality of the music and welcoming ambiance. He joined the board of InConcert in 2009, became president in 2016, then stepped down in June of 2021 to his present board position of “past president” and member of the executive committee. He says that the position of president was a lot of work, but very gratifying; “It’s a privilege to be involved with InConcert Sierra because of the world class music that the organization presents.” Monroe notes that his predecessors had shaped a solvent, successful non-profit, and he wanted to keep doing more of the same. He believes he has passed on a well-run organization to new board president.
As if being president of the board didn’t consume enough time, he has undertaken a number of other responsibilities, both in and outside of InConcert. Because he is a foodie and loves cooking and eating (as well as acquiring and consuming good wine), Monroe developed the Taste of Classics — a series of InConcert events featuring a gourmet dinner cooked by a well-known chef and accompanied by live classical music— and has also been the maestro behind many food needs at InConcert events. He also volunteers for Sierra Stages, a local theater company. And now that InConcert has moved into new offices in the Whispering Pines Industrial Park, Monroe has spent hours setting up all the technology for the office, including Wi-Fi, entry security and surveillance. In his “free time,” he likes to tinker with cars and gadgets as well as maintain his ranch and horses.
So, thank you very much, Monroe, from all those who love and appreciate InConcert Sierra. But be assured, we won’t let you get far away.
Hindi Greenberg is president of the Board of InConcert Sierra
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