Soundscapes Students Giving Free Concert at Ferguson Center

Soundscapes Co-founder and Executive Director Anne Henry will be moving into the new position of director of government initiatives beginning May 1. After leading the organization from a small start-up with just 40 students to a thriving nonprofit that has reached more than 1,400 students since 2009, she is ready for a new challenge. As the liaison to elected officials and key decision-makers, Henry will focus on proactively advocating for Soundscapes and its mission.

Soundscapes is a nonprofit youth development program in Southeastern Virginia that uses music instruction and performance to foster life skills in students from early childhood to early adulthood. The organization’s programming includes daily after-school music instruction, summer camps, and the Peninsula Youth Orchestra.

Henry was inspired to create Soundscapes after watching a 60 Minutes program on El Sistema, a program in Venezuela that uses music to bring about social change in a community. When Henry started Soundscapes with Co-founder and Program Director Reynaldo Ramirez, it was the first El Sistema-inspired program in Virginia and just the fourth in the United States. According to El Sistema USA, there are now more than 100 similar music programs across the nation.

“The way the community has embraced Soundscapes and helped us grow has been tremendous,” Henry shared. “As I shift my focus away from the day-to-day management, I am eager to inspire the same type of support from our local, state, and national leaders.”

Patrick McDermott, chairman of the Soundscapes board, sees this as an exciting next step for the organization. “It’s wonderful to be at a place where we will benefit from having someone on staff dedicated to working with city leaders, state legislators, and other government officials. Anne is the ideal person for the job and we are fortunate she has agreed to take this on as the next step in her career.” 

Carol Minter, who has been development director at Soundscapes for over four years, will step into the role of executive director on May 1. Minter has been working in fundraising and nonprofit management in Hampton Roads since 2004. While at Soundscapes, she helped increase the organization’s budget, which allowed the program to open a second location in early 2020.

“I can move into my new position with confidence, knowing the oversight of the organization is in very good hands,” Henry said.

Vice Chairman Nancy Petters agrees. “Carol is the perfect leader to guide Soundscapes into its next stage of growth. I really admire how thoughtful and strategic she is. With Carol as executive director and Anne building government connections, I’m excited to see what the future holds for Soundscapes.