Board Member Takes Helm at Ent Center

It’s been fun to watch the evolution of David Siegel’s career as he’s moved from a Colorado Springs Philharmonic intern to Executive Director of the Bee Vradenburg Foundation to now serving as Executive Director of the Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS. Forever the music and arts advocate, David also sits on the Philharmonic Board of Directors. He recently took time to answer a few questions about his new role and the function of performing arts in our community.

How has your musical background prepared you for your new leadership role?

Had you told me in high school that I would find myself in a leadership role at a university, I would have laughed out loud. I was a terrible student and hated just about everything having to do with school. Music is the reason I graduated from high school, and it is the reason I went on to attend college. It gave me a language to access and express emotions that I couldn’t capture in an essay or multiple-choice test and gave me something to work hard for and be proud of. It taught me how to listen, how to collaborate with others, and how to think creatively to solve complex problems. I didn’t know it at the time, but I lean on these skills in my role at the Ent Center.

The Philharmonic has been a partner with the Ent Center since its opening. Can you tell us about the importance of that partnership?

The Ent Center is a special place at UCCS where campus and community meet, and our longstanding partnership with the Philharmonic is but one example.  The intimate Shockley-Zalabak Theater is home to the Philharmonic’s Al and Leigh Buettner Signature Series, which features nuanced performances that might be lost in the cavernous Great Hall at the Pikes Peak Center. Our partnership with the Philharmonic creates opportunities for students to experience the magic of a live orchestra, many for the very first time. Symbiotic relationships like our partnership are a sure sign ofa healthy arts community and an important part of what we do.

There’s a unique juxtaposition between higher education and public art—how do those two support one another?

There is nothing quite like the joy of coming across an unexpected artistic experience while you go about your day. Whether it’s a new sculpture or mural, a musician busking on the sidewalk, or a flash mob dance performance, the data shows that public art creates a sense of community, inspires curiosity and supports emotional wellbeing. These are essential outcomes for any college or university.

Why is live music important to the growth of the cultural community?

Simply put, the Philharmonic is a cornerstone organization in our cultural community. I shudder to think about where we’d be without a professional orchestra. Of course, we in the audience get to enjoy incredible performances, but the Philharmonic’s value in the community goes well beyond the music we hear. Philharmonic musicians serve on the faculty at UCCS, Colorado College, and Pikes Peak State College. They are the private music teachers who will build the next generation of music lovers and you’ll find them in the pit for Fine Arts Center musicals and in jazz clubs across the state. These ‘secondary activities’ are critical to the growth and vitality of our arts community, but they are only possible because we have a thriving professional orchestra to attract elite musicians to here.

Visit ​​ to learn more about David.