Jessica Satava is a passionate advocate for the power of symphonic music to activate and unite communities. She serves as the Executive Director of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, now celebrating its 75 year of service to South Carolina’s upstate through music. The orchestra offers the public three varied concert series and an array of community engagement including onsite music education programming at all 52 elementary schools in Greenville County.
In 2019, she was appointed Executive Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, where under her leadership the orchestra has enjoyed its first year of fiscal balance in recent memory due to the aggressive pursuit and achievement of revenue goals, implementation of an innovative digital approach to fundraising and audience development, strategic board recruiting, and the initiation of key community partnerships to support inclusion and access for all. During her three-year tenure, revenue increased by more than 25%. In partnership with a local foundation and the board, Satava launched the JSO’s endowment and planned giving campaign. Through the recruitment of more than a dozen community leaders to the board, the orchestra’s governance strengthened and diversified. Satava’s relationship-based approach to collaborations with arts, human services, and education organizations expanded the orchestra’s service to the community and resulted in increased attendance.
Satava served previously in artistic and operations roles at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and in fundraising at Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library. While at the Peabody Institute, she produced Bernstein’s Mass conducted by Marin Alsop, in the composer’s centennial year. It was the largest production undertaken by the conservatory in its 161-year history.
Satava received a Master of Music in Voice from Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Bethel University. She received a Certificate in Business Management Development from Carey School of Business, Johns Hopkins University and is an alumna of the League of American Orchestra’s Essentials of Orchestra Management 2019.
She served on the Board of Directors of Beginnings, Inc.; the Business Sector Committee of the Cambria County Drug Coalition; led the Arts and Culture Sector for Johnstown’s Vision Together 2025; and currently teaches grant-writing for graduate students as a member of the Peabody Institute’s Professional Studies faculty.