David Bell (Board Chair) has been an Orchestra Representative to the CCS Board since 2010. A native of Washington, DC, he has been a player (bassoon and contra bassoon) with the Capital City Symphony since its Georgetown Symphony days for over 30 years. He is an active amateur musician, having been a charter member of the DC Youth Orchestra and having played in various ensembles, including the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Collegium Musicum (at the Freie Universitaet Berlin), Binghamton Symphony, Tri-Cities Opera, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and the NIH Philharmonia. David is a graduate of Knox College, Galesburg, IL (B.A. in History) and SUNY at Binghamton, NY (M.A. in Russian History). He has also been a singer in church choirs for over 50 years. Recently retired, he has enjoyed a career of over 40 years in the deathcare industry and 9 years as a parish administrator at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA. David lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife of 44 years, Marsha, dog, Travis, and parakeet Hobart. His two grown sons, Robin and Justin, live in Washington, DC.
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.
Virginia Elgin 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.
Liz Hartman joined the CCS Board as an Orchestra Representative in 2015. She has been a cellist in the Capital City Symphony since 2011, and also plays electric cello in the Go-Go Symphony. Liz also plays the flute and bass.
Liz currently works for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), managing all communications with the public, media, and Congress regarding wind power and water power. Liz went on detail to DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis as an electricity analyst in 2016, and previously completed a detail assignment at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Climate Change Division. Liz has also worked for the Public Interest Research Groups in Albany, NY, and Washington, DC, as well as the League of Conservation Voters and EPA’s National Center for Environmental Innovation.
Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Policy from Cornell University. At Cornell, she played in the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble, and was a leader of the student movement Kyoto Now!, which challenged universities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the standards of the Kyoto Protocol. At Cornell, Liz also joined Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, in which she remains active as part of DC’s alumni chapter.
Liz lives on Capitol Hill and enjoys biking, gardening, and cooking.
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.
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.
Alex Swartsel (Board Vice 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 Congress, national politics, and a global trade association; she currently serves as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Senate. 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 chairs the Choral Arts Young Patrons Steering Committee. 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.