Northeast ACE Award

Brandon Van Waeyenberghe

By Richard Robbins

Photo L-R: Brandon VanWaeyenberghe, Adam Giebner NE District Chair

It’s my great privilege to nominate Brandon VanWaeyenberghe, the Executive Director of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO), for the ACE Award. Brandon is an exceptional individual whose unwavering commitment and steadfast dedication have elevated the world of choral excellence in Northeastern Minnesota.

As the former chorus master of the DSSO, I have firsthand experience of Brandon’s remarkable support and efforts in nurturing and advancing choral music. Brandon came to us in 2019, and we were all excited about his potential to reinvigorate our organization. His reputation as an administrator and an analyst preceded him, and I was especially excited to learn that he was a singer with considerable choral experience. 

Little did we realize what surprises lay ahead in 2020. But he rose to the challenge with resilience and optimism. Under his executive leadership, our choir was able to navigate the considerable challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a hiatus for the 2020 season, the chorus was able to present abbreviated performances with mitigations starting in 2021, and presented two complete masterworks in the 2022-23 season. His initiatives in outreach to new audiences have resulted in remarkable ticket sales, and this past May, we were able to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to a full house. As a result of his leadership, the chorus stands poised to thrive in future seasons.

Thank you, Brandon, for your immeasurable contributions, for your support, and for your belief in the power of choral music to unite, uplift, and inspire us all.