“We’ve really come a long way since our beginnings, and now that we have a strategic plan, a solid new brand, a track record of performance and some grant support, I feel we are poised to take the next leap forward in the quality and breadth of our music programs. ”
Yolanda Cole, Board Member, Principal Flute, DCCO
SR. PRINCIPAL & OWNER, HICKOK COLE ARCHITECTS, WASHINGTON, DC
FROM WAVERY, OH
How did you become a member of DCCOS?
I’ve been involved in music in one way or another for most of my life. My father, who was a small-town attorney in Ohio, also owned a music store (for reasons no one can recall), so maybe that had some influence. I played the piano, followed by flute and piccolo, and was lucky to have been a beneficiary of strong public school music programs and teachers. I later pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a major in flute, but thereafter I switched gears and earned a Master’s degree in Architecture. I’ve been an architect and business owner for over 30 years. After a long hiatus, I picked up my flute again, now going on 10 years. I found this group on Meetup.com and became a founding board member of DCCOS. I’m really happy to have discovered a way to get back to playing music; it gives balance to my life.
Tell us more about your job as an architect.
I am Sr. Principal and Owner of Hickok Cole, a commercial architecture firm in DC that specializes in office buildings, multi-family housing and commercial and lifestyle interiors. We also have a boutique branding and marketing group, Hickok Cole Creative, which recently designed the new branding and website for DCCOS. My day job is about leading our firm to design for what’s next in the marketplace and for work that matters to the people who live, work and play in our buildings and interior spaces.
You are a founding member of the DCCOS board. Why do you do this on top of running a business?
Good question! In all seriousness, I think it’s important to be part of a something that gives back to the community while also tapping into a personal passion. I enjoy building and growing things, and my business expertise in strategic planning, marketing and branding, and general business management is valuable to the organization. I also have a lot of non-profit board experience.
“With the DC Chamber Musicians, I have the opportunity to form ensembles around pieces I’ve always wanted to play, or conversely, find new music for players with whom I want to play.”
What do you love about being a member of DCCOS?
I get to play the flute with a dedicated group of really interesting people whom I would otherwise never know. We have doctors, scientists, non-profit managers, teachers, librarians and all kinds of people with fascinating backgrounds. In the DC Concert Orchestra (DCCO) I get to play a variety of all-time classical favorites as well as contemporary works I’ve never heard. With the DC Chamber Musicians (DCCM), I have the opportunity to form ensembles around pieces I’ve always wanted to play, or conversely, find new music for players with whom I want to play. It takes a lot of work and a lot of practice, AND it is a lot of fun!
What do you see going forward for DCCOS?
We’ve really come a long way since our beginnings, and now that we have a strategic plan, a solid new brand, a track record of performance and some grant support, I feel we are poised to take the next leap forward in the quality and breadth of our music programs. That will help us build audiences around the region with our chamber music concerts and in our “home” performance space at Church of the Epiphany in DC.