Bruce Coppock returns to lead the SPCO

The former leader of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is returning to his old job. The SPCO has hired Bruce Coppock to re-assume his former position of president and general manager, beginning in June.

Coppock led the SPCO from 1999 to 2008. He left the orchestra after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which is now in complete remission.

Coppock says healing an ensemble that’s been through a bitter labor dispute will be a challenge, but he believes he can provide a steady hand as a manager and leader.

“For all the difficulties of the past year, and we all know this has been an extremely difficult year, the SPCO is a wonderful orchestra, and it’s a wonderful organization,” said Coppock. “I believe firmly that there’s a very bright future for the orchestra and that’s why I took the job.”

Coppock says the healing process will begin by returning to the music.

“Let’s get concerts going back on stage. Let’s get the audience back. Let’s get the audience, the staff, the board and the musicians all in the same room focused on music. I think that’s the place to start.”

Coppock says he also wants to instill a culture of kindness and civility at the SPCO.

Coppock’s appointment is expected to be formally ratified by the board on May 21. The SPCO cited Coppock’s managerial experience, fundraising expertise and knowledge of the organization in naming him to the post. Coppock will replace interim president Dobson West in June.

The announcement comes as the SPCO is preparing for its first official concert since the lockout ended. The chamber orchestra is scheduled to play a concert May 9 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.