David Rhoderick, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, has announced the appointment of Jane Coakley as its new executive director. Ms. Coakley succeeds Rise Terney, who held the position from 2009 to April 2011.
Ms. Coakley comes to the Island’s classical music organization from a rich international financial and organizational background. Until her move to the Vineyard from Dubai in 2010, she was senior adviser at Al Tamimi and Company, the largest law firm in the United Arab Emirates. Previous to that she was managing director for Dubai Financial Services.
Raised in North Adams, Ms. Coakley attended Trinity College in Washington D.C., during which time she spent her sophomore year at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. After a decade working in banking, she completed the master’s program at the London School of Economics. Later she earned a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD (European Business Institute), the international business school at Fontainebleau, France, where she became fluent in French.
After a two-year stint as lecturer in history and teacher of English at Notre Dame Seishin Univerity in Okayama, Japan, Ms. Coakley joined the London branch of the Long Term Credit Bank of Japan, beginning a 30-year career in London’s financial world. During that time she worked for Shearson/American Express, Citicorp Investment Bank Limited, the Securities and Investments Board and Morgan Stanley, all in London. An offer from Dubai Financial Services transplanted her and her husband from London to Dubai.
During their five years in Dubai, Ms. Coakley and her husband, architect Max Skjoldebrand, were devoted supporters of chamber music there. Mr. Skjolde-brand served as a member of the Dubai Concert Committee, the mission of which was to bring chamber music to Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates.
Their move to the Island in July 2010 coincided with the 40th anniversary season of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, whose concerts they had attended regularly as seasonal residents. Responding to their experience and enthusiasm, the society invited them both to join its board of directors, which in September they did. In January, Ms. Coakley was elected treasurer of the Society.
Ms. Coakley, a serious piano student until she went to college, joined the Trinity College Choir, and immersed herself in the liberal arts path she chose for herself. A history major, she studied art and music as well, with almost as many credits in those courses as in her major. While at St. Anne’s, she traveled to Spain, Greece, France, Italy and Germany, reinforcing her education in the arts.
One of four sisters, she first came to Martha’s Vineyard when her parents, Phyllis and Edward Coakley, rented houses in Vineyard Haven during the summer. She and her husband rediscovered the Island when her sister, Martha, was married here.
“We both love to walk, and Mary took us walking,” she said recently.
Martha Coakley, now Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a resident of Medford, had spent many of her vacations here while a college student at Williams, and later in law school. Their sister, Mary Coakley-Welch, a Winchester clinical psychologist, rents on the Island every summer. The fourth sister, Anne Gentile of Ashland, attended last Thanksgiving’s MVCMS concert.
Since taking up full-time Island residence in July of 2010, Jane Coakley and her husband have been immersed in extensive renovations of the West Tisbury house they’ve owned since 1999. The plan and details of the new wing are the creative love child of Mr. Skjoldebrand, a career architect and amateur photographer.
Ms. Coakley’s first major project as executive director will be the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society spring concert on Sunday, May 29, at 4 p.m. at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. Visiting artists Yura Lee, violin, Lila Brown, viola, and Blaise Dejardin, cello, will join Music Society’s artistic director Delores Stevens, piano, in works by Haydn, Beethoven, Dvorak and Brahms.
The society’s 41st summer season opens July 11 with a concert at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, which will be repeated at the Chilmark Community Center July 12, both at 8 p.m. For more information phone 508-696-8055, or visit mvcms.org.