The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra has elected Hanna Woicke and Bernice Michael to its Board of Directors. The orchestra’s mission is to inspire, enrich, educate, and entertain a diverse audience of all ages through live musical performances and to engage students in the world of music through its Outreach Programs. This mission is only possible with the support and guidance of a strong board of directors.
Hanna Woicke obtained her high school diploma in 1960 in Hamburg, Germany, and went on to pursue her MA in languages (English and Spanish) at the University of Saarbrücken, Germany. She later earned a high school teacher’s certificate for English, Spanish, and Social Studies in 1973.
Her international experiences began in 1973 when she moved to Beirut, Lebanon, to study linguistics at the American University. Unfortunately, her academic pursuits were disrupted by the civil war, preventing her from completing her studies. Undeterred, she moved to London, England, from 1976 to 1982, where she dedicated herself to teaching English to immigrant children.
In 1982, Hanna relocated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and became a Founding Member of the NGO Rio Health Collective. She worked alongside a Catholic Priest in the slums, advising mothers on establishing pre-schools and contributing to community development.
From 1987 to 1995, she resided in Summit, New Jersey, where she served as a Counselor for the Rape Crisis Center and co-curated at the New Jersey Center for the Arts. Her commitment to community service continued as she co-founded the Friends of the Singapore Symphony during her time in Singapore from 1995 to 1998.
In the following years, Hanna moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as a Counselor at the DC Rape Crisis Center and served as the President of the NGO Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund from 1998 to 2007.
Since 2007, Hanna has been based in St. Michaels, MD, where she has contributed as a past Board Member of Chesapeake Music and the Academy Art Museum. Currently, she remains actively involved as a CASA (Court Appointed Advocate).
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Hanna is married and has two children and five grandchildren. Her life’s work reflects a profound dedication to education, community service, and the well-being of individuals in various parts of the world.
Bernice Michael has worked in Washington, DC, and earlier in New York as a Senior Vice President for the International Human Resources consulting firms of Drake, Beam, Morin, and Manchester Associates, responsible internationally for consultant training. In New York, she spent 15 years in corporate retailing (Bloomingdale’s and Coach), finishing as a Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
Bernice’s earliest career experience was in curriculum development, teaching at a laboratory high school affiliated with Queens College, and on the faculty of the English Language Institute, also at Queens College, where she received her BA and MA in Medieval English, working with international students. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at New York University and Adelphi University.
In 1999, Bernice and her husband, Jerry, moved to St. Michaels, where she established her own consultancy, which included ten years of managing and facilitating Marriott’s senior executive development conference at Aspen Wye River. Also, a board member of Chesapeake Music, she chaired the Chamber Music Festival for five years, overseeing significant growth. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Aspen Wye Fellows, a series drawing distinguished speakers on world affairs to the Eastern Shore. She is currently a docent at the Academy Art Museum in Easton.
Board President Jeffrey Parker said, ‘The addition of both Hanna Woicke and Bernice Michaels will reinforce and strengthen an already motivated and ambitious board of directors. We welcome them and look forward to all that they will bring to our great organization.”