Northern Neck Orchestra Corporation
P.O. Box 263
Kilmarnock VA 22482
Mission Statement
An orchestra that gives everyone in our community, including students, the opportunity to (1) perform orchestral music for the community and (2) enjoy music performed by a locally-supported high-quality symphonic orchestra with a roster comprised primarily of members from our community.
  •  To provide exposure to the orchestral repertoire through performances of high artistic quality.
  •  To educate the community regarding the preservation and development of musical arts.  
  •  To enable local musicians to rehearse and perform in an organized setting.
  •  To encourage the development of young musical talent through mentoring and performance opportunities. 
CEO/Executive Director Mr. carl Gerster
Board Chair Mr. Ammon Dunton Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Dunton, Simmons and Dunton, LLP
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 263
Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Telephone 804 529-5003
Fax 804 xxx-xxxx
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $44,000.00
Projected Expenses $38,827.00
An orchestra that gives everyone in our community, including students, the opportunity to (1) perform orchestral music for the community and (2) enjoy music performed by a locally-supported high-quality symphonic orchestra with a roster comprised primarily of members from our community.
  •  To provide exposure to the orchestral repertoire through performances of high artistic quality.
  •  To educate the community regarding the preservation and development of musical arts.  
  •  To enable local musicians to rehearse and perform in an organized setting.
  •  To encourage the development of young musical talent through mentoring and performance opportunities. 
The Northern Neck Orchestra prepared and presented three symphonic concerts during the past year. The most recent concert set an attendance record for us.  In the Fall Concert we accompanied a very talented sixteen year old violinist, Annika Jenkins,  in the performance of St Saens' Danse Macabre. In all concerts we had approximately 12  high school student players-thus we are an important element of musical education in our area.
In the coming year we hope to finance and present three concerts of equal quality.
During the past 2011/2012 fiscal year we had a budget deficit of about four thousand dollars. This was due in part to reduced revenues and in part to expanding the area that we serve by adding a third concert in an adjacent county.  No orchestra can support itself solely with admission fees and like all orchestras we need additional support in the form of advertising income, donations, and grants if we are to continue presenting three concerts per year to our community.  Our community has been generous to us in providing donations but the economic downturn has reduced these. We are also supported by grants from the Rappahannock Foundation for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Still we urgently need to increase our sources of revenue, especially until the economy recovers.
We also need to increase the availability of volunteer musicians in our area. Northern Neck Schools support successful bands but not orchestras, so we are particularly needful of local musicians who play strings and other instruments not found in bands.  It should be acknowledged that the Lancaster and Northumberland school systems allow us to perform and practice in their theaters and to use their percussion instruments.  This is a great help to us. 
The Northern Neck Orchestra (NNO) is a full-sized symphony orchestra based in Kilmarnock, Virginia. Operating without interruption since its inception in 1991, the NNO began as a group of volunteer local musicians who performed their first concert at the Kilmarnock Center for the Arts under the direction of William Young.
In the summer of 1993, the orchestra was reorganized under co-sponsorship of the Rappahannock Foundation for the Arts (RFA) and the Kilmarnock Center for the Arts. Celeste Gates was music director until 1998. In 2000, under the direction of Cres Saunders, the orchestra began hiring musicians from outside the local community to supplement sections under-represented by volunteers. Music performed ranged from a Mozart piano concerto to Christmas concerts. All the performances were at the new Lancaster Middle School theater in Kilmarnock. Many included a chorus of local singers.
The NNO experienced significant changes and challenges in 2004. Conductor Saunders resigned, and the orchestra became independent of the RFA and began its own fundraising.   The orchestra board carried out a search for a new conductor. Several candidates were interviewed, and Guy Hayden was chosen. 
Today, the Northern Neck Orchestra performs two to three concerts yearly featuring selections from the standard symphonic repertory but including selections from Broadway shows and other scores familiar to our audience. Under the baton of Maestro Hayden, the musicianship has risen to a high level, and the NNO has earned a reputation as a high quality orchestra with a loyal following of donors and concert goers. Works that feature guest soloists, as well as members of the orchestra in solo, are often presented.  The NNO has grown to include more than 50 talented amateur, professional and student musicians. Players are chosen to fill out the instrumentation as needed, and new musicians, including students, are invited to join the orchestra as vacancies occur. The NNO is managed by an all volunteer board of directors comprised of both musicians and non-musicians. 
CEO Statement
As a community orchestra the Northern Neck Orchestra seeks to provide a place where talented local musicials from all sectors of our community can either perform or enjoy orchestral music.  Of our approximately 60 orchestra members, about 12 are under the age of 21 and about 12 are over the age of 65, yet we play the standard orchestral repertoire under the direction of a very skilled Music Director and Conductor, Maestro Guy Hayden.  Kilmarnock, VA where the orchestra is incorporated and where it has played for over 20 years is a very small town of about 1200 people. Maestro has said that we are the smallest communty in America to host a full symphony orchestra.
The Northern Neck Orchestra attempts to give rising musicians a venue in which to play as soloists. Last season, as mentioned earlier, Annika Jenkins age 16, was the featured solo violinist at our Fall concert where she played "Danse Macabre" by Saint-Saens.  At the conclusion of our Spring concert, Alexander Zhou, age 13,  played a violin solo which brought  our audience to its feet and prompted the Northern Neck Record to publish a review of his performance.  At the conclusion of a rehearsal last year, Maestro Hayden borrowed a violin and played Happy Birthday to our principal cellist Daniel Williams who turned 18 years of age that day. At one rehearsal a 7 year old violinist had an opportunity to join the string section!!
The Northern Neck Orchestra also provides a place where senior musicians, several of whom have held positions with major orchestras and who live in our area, can continue to play while challenging and mentoring less experienced musicians, especially the youthful members of the orchestra.
It is events like these that make the Northern Neck Orchestra unique.
Board Chair Statement

From a governance perspective, the greatest challenges I face as President are:

  • Ensuring that we continue to serve the musical interests of our community.
  • Continuing to develop a strong and involved Board of Directors.
  • Increasing recognition by our town, county and school officials and administrators of our contributions to the communities we serve.
  • Reviewing and revising our strategic plan to meet changing needs.
In the last three years we have added to our board one member who is a managing partner in a local and well-respected law firm and two members with prior experienve as executives from Fortune 500 companies.  Our board has also embarked on refining and expanding our Strategic Plan in which we were aided by a technical grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. 
From a personal perspective, I am a passionate horn player and have been since college days where I played in my university's orchestra.  My career has not been in music but rather in management and this has taken me to several  different places.  In each of these places I have sought out a community or regional orchestra with which I can play my horn.  I have played with the Northern Neck Orchestra since it was incorporated in 1999 and have served on its board of directors and currently serve as President.  My passion is making sure that the orchestra succeeds so I and others like me, especially youthful players, can continue to develop our skills. I also am passionate about running and just recently completed my 92nd marathon in my quest to complete 100 marathons as part of an effort to attract funding to our local Animal Welfare League.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Northern Neck
Middlesex County
Mathews County
Gloucester County
Our orchestra is incorporated in the town of Kilmarnock, VA, a community of about 1200 residents situated on the Northern Neck of Virginia.  We perform in Lancaster and Northumberland Counties and serve portions of Richmond, Westmoreland, Middlesex, Mathews and Gloucester Counties.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Ammon Dunton Jr.
Company Affiliation Dunton, Simmons and Dunton, LLP
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. Charles J. Costello Community volunteer
Ms. Donna Doleman Vice President of Business Development
Mr. Ammon G. Dunton Dunton, Simmon & Dunton, Attorneys
Mr. Alex Eguiguren Northern Neck Planning District Commission
Mrs. Kathy Eskridge Community Volunteer
Mr. Roger Fortin Community Volunteer
Mr. Carl Gerster Community Volunteer
Mr. Terry Greene community Volunteer
Mr. Floyd H. Hollister US Navy; Texas Instruments- Retired
Dr. Eric S. Jacobson Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Dr. Paul Krop M.D.Good Luck Cellars
Ms. Michelle M. Lybarger Rappahannock General Hospital
Mrs. Adelaide B. McKelway Davidson College- retired
Mr. Richard Scott CPARetired
Mrs. Katherine Shrader Virginia State Parks
Mr. Brian Thacker Cardinal Waste Services
Mrs. Barbara Wheeler College of William and Mary
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 73
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. carl Gerster
While we do not have a CEO we have a President with the powers of a CEO:

Michelle Lybarger, President,  graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1976 with a degree in music education and a concentration in French Horn. While at IUP, she played in the symphonic band, the orchestra, the marching band (where she played the sousaphone as she had for three years in high school), the brass ensemble and Johnstown Community Orchestra. Upon returning to her home town of Meadville, PA, she performed with the Thiel College Symphony Orchestra. In 1979, Michelle relocated to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where she was a charter member of the Tar River Orchestra and performed with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, NC Wesleyan College wind ensemble and various chamber music groups. Now a resident of Irvington,Virginia, Michelle is a member of the Northern Neck Orchestra, the Chesapeake Wind Ensemble and the Steptoe Brass.
In addition to her musical background, Michelle also has a business background. She earned Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy degrees. She has held positions as: Vice President, Manufacturing, Stony Creek Knitting Mills; Director of Physical Therapy, Guardian Care (VENCOR); and is presently Director of Rehabilitation Services, Rappahannock General Hospital. 
Co-CEO Ms. Michelle Lybarger
Term Start Jan 2017
While we do not have a Co-CEO, we do have an Executive Vice President who assists and can act for the President in his absence:
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2012
The Northern Neck Orchestra conducts three concerts annually, two in Kilmarnock (Lancaster County) in the evening and one in the afternoon in Claraville (Northumberland County; repeated in Middlesex County). To prepare for these concerts approximately nine rehearsals are required as many of our musicians are amateurs.  The total of expenses to prepare for and perform these concerts is about 42000 dollars.  Of this amount, more than 40000 dollars is for direct expenses associated with the concert.  Only about 1500 dollars  is spent on administration and fundraising to support these three concerts as the work associated with these functions is provided by volunteers. 
Income to cover the expenses of each concert is derived from personal donations (25 percent), ticket sales (25 percent), advertising revenue (25 percent), grants (25 percent). 
We have expanded our offerings to include a chamber music program and sponsorship of opera performances by the Capitol Opera Company of Richmond.
Budget $42,000.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments    All performing orchestras require income over and above their ticket sales and the Northern Neck Orchestra is no exception.  It has been a financial strain for us to present three concerts per year in this depressed economy, and we are trying to find ways to increase our income and to control expenses.  In addition to our continuing campaign for private donations, we are attempting to increase sales of program advertisements and are seeking grants through institutions. We are also reducing music rental and mileage reimbursement expenses.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $44,000.00
Projected Expenses $38,827.00
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$47,862$30,792$31,728
Administration Expense$1,725$327$1,414
Fundraising Expense$949$7,222$1,961
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.371.22
Program Expense/Total Expenses95%80%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%24%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$42,027$40,015$25,881
Current Assets$42,027$40,015$25,881
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0--
Total Net Assets$42,027$40,015$25,881
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 1/2016View
Organization Comments
The Northern Neck Orchestra is very fortunate to operate in an area where orchestral music is appreciated and the community has supported us for over 20 years.  The challenges we face are those most community or regional orchestras face: obtaining a venue in which to play, selecting a repertoire that satisfies our audience and donors, locating musicians, preferably local ones, who can play the music we have chosen and obtaining funds to pay the bills through ticket sales, advertising, donations and grants.
Although we are located in a rural and sparsely populated part of Virginia we have been fortunate to attract many skilled musicians, many of whom are either under the age of 21 or over the age of 65.  We are particularly proud of this diversity within our orchestra that leads to mentoring by experienced musicians and which gives youthful players an opportunity to play with a full symphony orchestra.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from Form 990 with supplemental information provided from Profit & Loss statements
  • Form 990 and Profit & Loss statements prepared internally by the organization