Board & Staff

Photo of Ellen Pfeifer in front of a pyramid in Egypt

Ellen Pfeifer
Board Member

Ellen Pfeifer is a recent refugee from Boston, MA. She relocated to Bellingham in July 2015, driven from the Northeast by Boston’s epic winter of 2015, an administrative upheaval at her place of work, and an acute vertigo attack. If she was going to retire and enjoy it, she needed to seize the day.

Ellen’s professional life was devoted to writing about classical music. For almost 30 years, she wrote music (and theatre) criticism for one or the other of Boston’s daily newspapers. Among the highlights of her work were accompanying the Boston Symphony Orchestra on tour to China in 1979, scooping the Globe on the appointment of John Williams as Pops Conductor, and hearing many wonderful performances by some of the greatest soloists, orchestras and ensembles in the world.

In 2003, Ellen jumped to what she might previously have called “the dark side,” taking the position of Public Relations Manager (later Senior Communications Specialist) at New England Conservatory. It was the best career move of her life. At NEC, she handled media relations as well as internal and external communications. She wrote just about anything that needed to be couched in words—the Vision statement of the new Strategic Plan, press releases, letters from the President to admitted students, brochures for the Development office, concert listings/program notes for the web calendar, announcements from the Building Operations team (wonderfully competent but badly in need of a customer relations makeover), editing/fact-checking/photo scouting for the President’s blog, crisis communications plans, radio/TV spots, and postings to the Conservatory’s Facebook page and website. Among the many highlights were traveling with, photographing and blogging about the President’s study tour to Venezuela to check out the El Sistema program. Also, writing/editing the Strategic Plan; working with many outstanding musicians on the faculty; and getting to know the wonderful students.

Almost immediately upon moving to Bellingham, Ellen joined the Board of Directors of the Bellingham Festival of Music and has since led the PR and Marketing efforts as well as serving on the Artistic Director Search Committee. She was promised that working with the devoted and tireless Board would be a quick and gratifying way to make new friends. And so, wonderfully, it has turned out.