Tahoe Tallac Association’s new director is a music impresario | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Tallac Association’s new director is a music impresario

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily TribuneStephen Farnsley, the new executive director of the Tahoe Tallac Association, relaxes on the veranda at the Valhalla Estate.

The Tahoe Tallac Association has been under the guidance of a new executive director since Jan. 15, when Stephen H. Farnsley took over the reins of the organization.

The association strives to provide cultural arts to the Lake Tahoe community, visitors and surrounding areas. The theme is “Celebrating Artistic Creativity, Cultural Enrichment and Historic Preservation.”

Farnsley, who has been involved in music education since 1972 and has taught at the college level since 1976, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.

Farnsley received his doctor of arts degree in music history and musicology in 1985 from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. From 1981 to 1995, he was a music faculty member at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., and also served as director of the music business program, band director and professor of music.

In 1995, Farnsley became professor of music and director of the Cumberland University band in Lebanon, Tenn. In 1998, he was named chairman of the division of arts and humanities, and subsequently dean of the university’s School of Music and Arts.

Farnsley and his wife, Dorene, moved to Minden last December. In addition to his duties as executive director of TTA, he is choir director at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville. The Farnsleys have two adult children and five grandchildren.

They wanted to move to the area so they would be closer to their daughter and family. When they started looking for employment opportunities on the Internet, they found the Tahoe Tallac Association notice seeking an executive director.

“This is a subtle shift in emphasis, not a job change,” Farnsley said. “I’ll still be promoting arts and entertainment. We want people to engage with the arts to enrich their lives and to understand where their heritage is – and we want to entertain.”

Farnsley never had heard of the Tallac Historic Site or the Tahoe Tallac Association until he saw the ad on the Internet.

“What was exciting about it was the job description fit what I was already doing,” he said. “Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It’s not another state or another country – it’s another planet. And it’s a friendly planet.”

His vision for the Tahoe Tallac Association is to make the organization more of a household name and to become better-known in the area.

“I want us to become part of the community with family-friendly types of entertainment and enrichment,” he said. “I like that we feature small venues because it is more intimate. We can offer more interaction between the artists and the audience.

“We need to have at least one major fundraiser a year -and it’s important to come up with an event that is unique. We must also market for more members, and we need sponsors.”

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