SLO Symphony communications director to join SLO Little Theatre

The San Luis Obispo Symphony's longtime communications director is leaving to take a new post with San Luis Obispo Little Theatre.

Patty Thayer, who oversaw marketing and communication efforts at the symphony for 15 years, will become the theater company’s development and communications director starting in mid-March.

Kevin Harris, managing artistic director at San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, described Thayer as a “particularly good fit” for the newly created post.

“Her experience in nonprofits arts administration, marketing and fundraising will be invaluable to the theatre as we move forward in our plans for a new space and in growing our educational programs,” Harris said in a news release Tuesday.

Thayer, who holds a bachelor of arts degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., first worked as an actress and administrator in the San Diego area.

She worked briefly for the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival — now Festival Mozaic — before joining the three-person administrative staff of the San Luis Obispo Symphony in 1997. Today, the symphony has seven full-time staff members and an annual budget of $1.2 million.

“It’s an awesome organization. It’s taught me so much,” Thayer said of the symphony, adding that she remains an avid fan.

“I am so looking forward to sitting in the audience for a change,” she said. “I haven’t had that experience. I’m usually running around at concerts taking care of people.”

Although Thayer didn’t know who will take over as symphony communications director or how long that process will last, she said Executive Director Jim Black is working the symphony’s board of directors to find a replacement.