Alex Swartsel, Board Chair

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Alex Swartsel (Board Chair) has been a member of the Capital City Symphony Board of Directors since 2012.  Adept at helping new and in-transition organizations define strategy and achieve goals, her career includes work in the U.S. Senate, national politics, and a global trade association; she currently serves as Chief of Development, Finance, and External Affairs of Teach For America's D.C. Region.  Her commitment to the transformative power of music and to strengthening D.C.’s arts community extends from CCS to the Choral Arts Society of Washington, where she is a member of the chorus and is serving as chorus President for the 2018-2019 season.  A native of Orlando, Florida, Alex holds a B.A. in Political Science and Music from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from Yale.    

Virginia Elgin, Vice Chair

Virginia Elgin (Vice Chair) joined the Board in 1997, attracted by the opportunity the orchestra afforded her daughter to continue playing cello after leaving university. She has served as Corresponding Secretary, Co-Chair from 2002 to 2005 and Chair from 2008 to 2013. Virginia worked in Singapore and London before moving to the DC area to work at the British Embassy. Now retired from managing her husband's medical practice she continues to enjoy choral singing, which she has done since the age of nine, and has recently celebrated her fiftieth year as a member of a local church choir.

Deborah Edge

Deborah Edge is a string bass player with Capital City Symphony and lives on Capitol Hill.  Sheretired from the practice of internal medicine in June, 2015. Prior to that she had founded and worked in a private internal medicine practice on Capitol Hill, Washington Primary Care Physicians, for over 30 years and, after leaving her practice, worked half time for four years in the medical clinic at SOME. She is now able to spend as much time as she can playing music. She is a member of the Capitol City Symphony (first chair), NIH Philharmonia, FMMC Chorale Orchestra. She plays regularly witha pianist, and they have regular coaching sessions. She has participated annually with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Side-by-Side summer program, playing orchestral and chamber music there for one week/year. She plays chamber music whenever given the chance. When not playing her string bass, Deborah can be found volunteering for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary ( where she is on the board), biking, swimming, or enjoying being a new grandma. She lives on Capital Hill with her husband, Neal Mann. They have two grown daughters, and one new grandson. 

Allison Beck

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Allison joined the CCS Board as an Orchestra Representative in 2018. A lifelong musician, Allison plays the violin and believes in the transformative power of the arts to change communities and increase cultural understanding.

Allison currently works for Americans for the Arts, a national arts advocacy organization that uses local tools to advance the arts in America. She ensures that the Executive Office runs efficiently and takes every opportunity to build relationships with Americans for the Arts’s internal and external communities.

A native Texan, Allison received her B.A. in Music from Southern Methodist University with minors in arts management and arts entrepreneurship. She lives in Washington, DC and loves to travel, practice yoga, and spend time outdoors.

Sharon Hannon

Sharon Hannon joined the board of the Capital City Symphony in 2011, attracted by the opportunity to work for an orchestra in the community where she has lived for 20 years. From 2013–2015, she served as the CCS board chair and now continues her work on the Resource Development Committee where she uses her writing and editing skills to prepare grant applications and sponsorship requests for the orchestra. Along with her life-long love of music, Sharon is an avid traveler and works as a freelance writer/editor and historical researcher. She has written several non-fiction books.

Nicholas McCoy

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Nicholas McCoy joined the CCS Board after our 2017-18 season. Hailing from Texas, Nick studied classical piano, played in brass bands, and has sung in jazz and classical choirs. Nick currently works as an associate attorney for Mayer Brown in the financial services, regulatory, and enforcement practice. Prior to practicing law, Nick was a consultant for small and growing business regarding financial and marketing growth strategies.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri, and MBA from the University of Arizona, and a J.D. from the University of Texas - Austin. 

Howard Spendelow

Howard Spendelow joined the CCS Board in the late 20th century and has served as Recording Secretary throughout the entire current millennium. As a History teacher (East Asia / “World”) at Georgetown University since 1979, he learned about the CCS back when it was the Georgetown Symphony Orchestra and performed in historic Gaston Hall on-campus.

Howard’s main artistic interest is in choral music. He’s been a member of the Oberlin Musical Union, the Memorial Church Choir at Harvard, and even a semester with Moscow State University’s Academic Choral Collective. Since 1980 he’s performed with the Choral Arts Society of Washington.

Charlton (Chuck) Templeton

Mr. Templeton comes to the Capital City Symphony after spending 14 years as principal tubist with the Georgia Philharmonic in Atlanta.  A Nebraska native, Chuck he began his musical career with the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra before attending the University of Nebraska on the Westbrook Memorial Scholarship for Music Performance.  During college, Chuck also was accepted to the 43rd Army National Guard Ceremonial Band based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and received military and musical training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. 

Mr. Templeton was a student of Craig Fuller, himself a student of the renowned Harvey Phillips, as well as Don Strand of the Atlanta Ballet.  He holds a BS in information systems and an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a diploma from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a Wharton Leadership Certificate.

As a Chief at the FDIC, Mr. Templeton leads a team responsible for implementing the statutory authorities of the Dodd-Frank legislation and ending too-big-to-fail.  Previously he held a variety of positions in mergers and acquisitions and portfolio management for Bank of America and Fist Data Corporation.  Chuck resides in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; when not counting rests in the back row, he is an avid BMW motorcycle enthusiast and can never seem to find enough books on U.S. history and politics.

Cheryl Williams

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Cheryl is a Financial Services and Real Estate professional who has worked in both public and private sectors, and has lived and worked abroad. She has worked and volunteered with a host of community-based nonprofit organizations whose mission is economic development and social enterprise. She is a current Board Member of the Collaborative Solutions for Communities in Washington, D.C. and donates her free time volunteering for causes near and dear to her. Cheryl has served as a mentor and is passionate about causes aimed towards teaching and uplifting our youth.

Cheryl is an international traveler and has travelled throughout Europe, Africa and Canada. She is a graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is pursuing her graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University.