Jennifer Patten Appointed Executive Director of The Diller-Quaile School of Music

By Afton Wooten

Jennifer Patten, an educator, administrator, cellist, and dancer based in New York City, has been appointed as the new Executive Director of The Diller-Quaile School of Music.

Patten begins her role on August 12. The appointment was announced by the School’s Board of Directors following an extensive search process conducted in partnership with the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. Kirsten Morgan, who has served as Executive Director since 1998, said in a press release, “I am thrilled that Jennifer Patten has been appointed Executive Director of Diller-Quaile. With Jennifer’s leadership, I am confident that the School will continue to grow and thrive.”

Patten has extensive experience in music education and administration, having most recently served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects at The New School’s College of Performing Arts. Here, she was a member of the Deans Council senior leadership team overseeing Mannes School of Music, School of Drama, and School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. She was the Head of the Martha Graham School, where she revitalized training and programming, implemented a strategic growth plan, expanded community outreach in the Tri-State area, and secured significant grants and philanthropic support. Her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic ensured continuity through a successful transition to online operations and strategic planning for the school’s return to hybrid and in-person instruction. Patten has been recognized with awards such as the Regional Representative for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching from Teach for America and District Teacher of the Year by the Rhode Island Department of Education. She holds a B.A. in English and Music from Boston College, an M.M. in Musicology from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.

“I am incredibly honored to join The Diller-Quaile School of Music as its new Executive Director,” said Jennifer Patten in an official press release. “The School’s commitment to nurturing artistic growth and excellence through music education resonates deeply with me. I am eager to collaborate with the talented Faculty, Staff, and Board Members to innovate and expand upon Diller-Quaile’s legacy of inspiring musicality and creativity.”

Guided by a 14-member Board of Directors, the Patten will lead a team of 70 faculty, 10 full-time staff, and several part-time staff, serving more than 900 students annually through in-person tuition-based programs, 1,200 individuals annually through in-person tuition-free community programs, and reaching over 3,300 individuals annually through online tuition-free community programs. She will also steer the organization’s strategic direction, drive program development and growth, and ensure continued excellence in everything Diller-Quaile does for its students, families, and the community at large.