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SSO Hires Two New Staff Members

Springfield—The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced it has hired a Development and Grants Associate, Heather Gawron, and an Audience Development Manager, Annie Celdran, adding to the SSO team. [Photos of Gawron and Celdran are attached. Please also see new photo attached of SSO Interim Director Paul Lambert.] 

Gawron has focused the past ten years of her career on fundraising for community nonprofits in Western Massachusetts. Most recently, she served as Senior Director of Development at New England Public Media (NEPM) where she focused on overseeing the nonprofit media organization’s fundraising efforts, including grants, on-air fundraising campaigns, and its planned and major giving programs, contributing to the organization’s overall budget of $10 million.

Prior to NEPM, Gawron spent years at American International College as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. During her tenure at AIC, Gawron was an engine for growth, strengthening and expanding the College’s alumni engagement program on a national scale. Her stewardship work with alumni yielded remarkable growth in engagement of the alumni base and landed one of the largest-ever single donations made to AIC. She also worked closely in supporting the grant director to secure Title III funding and developing scholarships funds to help support AIC students continue their education.

Before AIC, Gawron worked for Alstom University, headquartered in Paris, France, and helped launch five international corporate university campuses across Europe and Asia. Gawron resides in Wilbraham and has two daughters.

Gawron said, “I am thrilled to be able to support Interim Director Paul Lambert and the SSO Board to breathe new energy, commitment and excitement into the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Promoting an organization that brings vibrant arts and culture into the city is so important as we come back to life after a long two years of COVID. It is my hope that we can continue to impact the forever fans of the SSO as well as educate and inspire our next generation of musicians and music lovers.”

Prior to joining SSO, Celdran most recently worked for New England Public Media as the New Voices Campaign Manager. At NEPM, Celdran communicated regularly with donors, visitors and volunteers and worked closely with the President, Chief Operating Officer, and Marketing Department and Development Team on ambitious fundraising campaigns.

A Western Massachusetts native, Celdran spent some of her career in San Francisco, California before returning to the area, utilizing her client services skills at Hanson Bridgett, LLP, a Bay Area law firm with a reputation for community engagement. At the firm she managed the Client Concierge and Office Services departments, also bringing her creativity to various fundraising campaigns such as the firm’s annual Food From the Bar campaign in support of the SF-Marin Food Bank. Celdran lives in East Longmeadow with her husband, two children, and her dog.


According to Celdran, “I’m thrilled to be combining my passion for supporting local arts and community outreach and look forward to welcoming patrons and newcomers alike to the symphony.”


According to Paul Lambert, Interim Executive Director of the SSO, “We are excited to add these terrific and experienced professionals to our team as we get ready to again bring live SSO music to the stage with our spring concerts. Heather and Annie will also be instrumental in reengaging the community as the SSO reemerges from the pandemic and we begin planning for the 2022-23 season. Together, and with the rest of our growing team, they will help us secure resources and sustain and build audiences to enjoy live symphonic music.”


The SSO recently announced that it will produce a 2022-2023 season that will include at least six concerts at Symphony Hall. Tickets are also now on sale for the first two spring concerts, the first of which will be held on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.


Tickets for the “Of Heroes and Poets” April 22 concert, featuring Cuban American cellist Thomas Mesa and conducted by Mark Russell Smith, can be purchased on the Springfield Symphony Orchestra website,, or by calling the SSO box office at (413) 733-2291. The box office is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for the SSO’s May 13 concert, “Dances of Spring,” also to be conducted by Mark Russell Smith, are on sale as well.