South Shore Conservatory Names New President


SSC President Kathy Czerny steps down after 14 years at the helm

Karen Geer, South Shore Conservatory’s new president, courtesy image – South Shore Conservatory (SSC), New England’s largest community school of music and the arts, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Geer as SSC’s new president.  Geer succeeds Kathy Czerny, who has served as president since 2006 and is retiring after 14 years of distinguished service.  Geer was selected by SSC’s board following a national search, and takes office on June 1, 2020.

Geer comes to SSC from the Interschool Orchestras of New York (ISO), where she served as Executive Director.  At ISO, Geer strengthened that organization’s core programs while forging new partnerships with a host of other arts organizations in NYC, alliances which celebrated the city’s cultural heritage and its diversity.  Geer’s vision for the youth orchestra consisted of a new cross-genre, cross-cultural model which featured partnerships and new commissions with Daniel Felsenfeld, Huang Ruo, Earl McIntyre and Arturo O’Farrill.  Children participated in innovative partnerships with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Mingus Dynasty and Ballet Hispanico. 

Before ISO, Geer was Executive Director of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BCM), which serves over 15,000 individuals annually through music education, music therapy and performances in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Geer led BCM to success in each element of its mission – artistic, programmatic and financial, with Brooklyn Conservatory reaching new heights of philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, foundations and the government.  Before BCM, Geer spent five years at Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, where she worked as both a music teacher and an executive, finishing her time at Opus 118 as the school’s Interim Executive and Managing Director.

A native of Ohio, Geer is a graduate of Kent State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree, as well as the Manhattan School of Music, where she was awarded a Master of Music degree.  A practicing lawyer before concentrating on a career in music and the arts, Geer has her JD from Fordham University School of Law, and her LLM from Pace University School Law.

In her tenure as SSC’s president, Kathy Czerny led the school to continuing excellence in music instruction, with its renowned programs in both private and group lessons and its arts-based preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten, while expanding SSC’s vision of its role on the South Shore with vibrant programs in Creative Arts Therapies and Community Partnerships.  These latter initiatives have enabled SSC to bring the power of music and the arts to young people with developmental delays, autism and traumatic brain injuries, to seniors seeking to rekindle their love of music and learning, and to others living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions.

Founded in 1970, South Shore Conservatory is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is one of the nation’s top community schools of music and the arts.  Today’s SSC serves over 4500 students, ranging in age from zero to 102. Committed to access for all, SSC was chosen by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a founding member of MCC’s UP Inclusive Design Initiative. This UP designation reflects SSC’s commitment to make its programs and facilities accessible to all learners, regardless of physical or mental ability. SSC is the only arts organization on the South Shore, and the only community school for the arts in the state, to earn this distinction.

About South Shore Conservatory

Celebrating 50 years in 2020, South Shore Conservatory (SSC) is committed to providing access to music and the arts for South Shore residents. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, nonprofit community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving more than 4,500 students of all ages at two beautiful campuses in Duxbury and Hingham, and a new satellite location at Laura’s Center for the Arts in Hanover. Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers over 200 professionally produced concerts and performances annually. Through innovative partnerships with schools, social services and community agencies throughout the South Shore, SSC brings music and the arts out to the community to enrich the lives of residents. Through its Creative Arts Therapies, SSC offers the benefits of music and the arts to people with developmental and emotional challenges. For more information, visit

In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means.  Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

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