Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Names New Leadership

By Francisco Salazar

West Virginia’s Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) has announced its new executive leadership team.

In an official press statement, the company said that after a lengthy search, the WSO has hired Sonja Thoms as the new Executive Director. Additionally, the WSO announced that it has renewed Music Director John Devlin’s contract for an additional four years.

Devlin has worked with the WSO since 2019 and steered the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, creating unconventional concert formats that allowed for live music despite COVID-19 precautions. The WSO was awarded the Governor’s Arts Award for Resiliency in the Arts in 2022.

Moreover, as music director, Devlin has consistently brought such stars as Sierra Boggess and Yo‑Yo Ma.

Devlin will work alongside the new Executive Director Thoms, who has worked with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Symphony, among others. She is the founder of the mentoring community called OrchestraCareers.com.

“The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra looks forward to seeing the progress the partnership between these two skilled leaders will produce,” said Mary Hanley, President of the WSO Board of Directors, per the press statement. “We have full confidence that the guidance of John Devlin and Sonja Thoms will allow the orchestra to continue to grow, succeed, and provide outstanding musical experiences to our community.”