Skip to main content

Staff

Kevin Irving

Kevin Irving

Executive Director

Following a dance career that included work with luminaries such as Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, and notables from classical and contemporary ballet, Kevin Irving retired from the stage when he was invited by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato to become rehearsal director, and later Associate Director, of Compañía Nacional de Danza, in Madrid. He then went on to direct The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden for five years and is credited with turning the company around during his tenure. Upon returning to the USA in 2007, Irving established I-DANCE, a non-profit that connected American choreographers and teachers with dance communities in South and Central America.

In 2013 he became the third Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland, OR. While at OBT, he launched a junior company (OBT2), doubled Education/Community Engagement initiatives, led a full re-branding effort, and won praise for multiple artistic and organizational collaborations that produced new audiences.

Kevin’s focus on inclusivity and breaking down the stereotypes of “elite” art forms, made him a natural fit for Portland Columbia Symphony, which he joined as Executive Director in July 2022. He brings his trademark energy for outreach and connection to his work of expanding the base of support for this wonderful organization.

Photo by Michael Slobodian

Jordan Hernandez

Jordan Hernandez

Operations Manager

Photo & Bio pending

Nicole Taylor de Pelzel

Nicole Taylor de Pelzel

Patron Services Manager-Marketing Associate

Nicole joined the PCSO staff in June 2023 as the Patron Services Manager-Marketing Associate. She completed her undergraduate degree in Marketing Management at the Polimoda Institute in Florence, Italy. Nicole’s passion for traditional and modern composers began at an early age when her family frequently played classical music in the household and took her to her first symphony orchestra performance at the age of two. Nicole’s love for music flourished as she pursued various dance styles throughout her life, including ballet, modern dance, and lyrical. When she’s not working, Nicole enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and their Great Dane, Valentine. She also enjoys cooking for her friends, writing poetry, and tending to her garden.

Emily Tucker

Emily Tucker

Development Associate

Emily grew up dancing in central California before moving up north to attend the University of Oregon, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. Her love of teaching and performing took her to New York City for a few years, where she continued to study dance, worked for an asset management company, and pursued an Arts Administration certificate at NYU. In 2007, she returned to the Pacific Northwest to take a job at Oregon Ballet Theatre, where she worked in Development for 13 years. She brought her skills and passion to the Portland Columbia Symphony in 2023 as the (part-time) Development Associate. Emily is married with two lovely children who keep her busy when she’s not in the office.

Genevieve Larson

Genevieve Larson

Stage Manager

Max Biggs

Max Biggs

Stage Manager

Betsy Hatton

Betsy Hatton

Violin

Executive Director Emerita

Betsy Hatton was instrumental in formulating the by-laws, articles of incorporation of Portland Columbia Symphony, and authored its first five-year business plan. She also served on the long range planning committee that developed the first Board of Directors in 1992, served on the Board of Directors for six years, and was President of the Board for two years.

Ms. Hatton graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Romance Languages and Education. In addition to teaching, she has served as a consultant of major event planning for the March of Dimes and Cor-Events.

Ms. Hatton began her musical studies at age twelve. She has been a violinist with PCSO since 1986, and has played with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Yaquina Orchestra, Vancouver (WA) Symphony, and Eugene Symphony.

“It has been my privilege to be a part of PCSO on every level and to be the first Executive Director. It is my fondest continuing wish that we keep our orchestra and organization vital and strong. We have always used our mission statement as our guiding principle: To make quality music affordable, accessible, and in a friendly spirit. We believe that it takes both the musician and audience to create the magic of that intangible collective experience of sharing live music with other living and breathing human beings. I am confident in the continuing enrichment that music provides in all of our lives – and the important role that PCSO plays in the vibrant arts community that defines our region.”

In addition to music, Betsy is an avid cook and gardener happily growing most of her own spices and vegetables in her spare time. Betsy enjoys time with her children and grandchildren and of course her husband, Greg. (Secret pleasure – U of O sports – all of them!)