Blog | Apr 26

Executive Transition Announcement

Outstanding Music Lessons in Salt Lake City, UT

Dear Gifted Music School Community,


In December 2022, Heather Moore notified the board of her intent to leave the post of Executive Director at the end of the academic year. Preparations for this transition began immediately. 


Justin Morgan assumed the role of Interim Executive Director as of April 14, 2023. The board thanks Justin for taking on this critical responsibility while a board-directed Executive Search Committee completes a thorough search for a permanent chief executive. We express our full confidence in Justin’s leadership while this process goes forward.


We cannot overstate how grateful we are to Heather for her eight years of exemplary service. Heather has been the epitome of a servant-leader. Her dedication to collaborative leadership has become the hallmark of Gifted Music School’s culture.


During her tenure, Heather oversaw expansive growth at Gifted Music School. Student population doubled from 254 students (in 2015) to nearly 500 today. Project GRIT, Gifted Music School’s Title I school outreach program, grew from one pilot location to three (now serving 245 students in Title I schools). 


Notably, Heather led Gifted Music School through unprecedented difficulties during the pandemic of 2020-21. When more than a third of nonprofits closed their doors for good, Heather and her team transitioned the school to online classes within days of the shutdown, losing minimal student enrollments in the process. 


We emphasize that Heather will not leave GMS entirely. She will continue in a support role for at least the next six months, ensuring a smooth transition.


While it is difficult to see treasured members of our team go, we are excited for the potential growth we can accomplish with new leadership. We continue to believe in the power of music education to transform a child and their community.


The Board is ready and willing to discuss this announcement. Please email with any questions and a director will respond as soon as possible. 


Additionally, please be on the lookout for stakeholder surveys developed by the Executive Search Committee. Feedback is critical to helping find the right leader to be Gifted Music School’s new chief executive. 

We are proud to serve the community of Gifted Music School, and we are committed to helping it grow stronger into the future. Thank you for your part in this rewarding work.



The Board of Directors, Gifted Music School


Arthur Dummer, Chair

Sam Andersen, Vice Chair

Scott Epstein, DO

J.P. Hughes, MD

Deborah Moench

Diana Peterson

Karen F. Peterson

Joanne Rowland

Eugene Watanabe, Co-Founder

Michelle Wester, PhD

Jennifer Way Zemp, Secretary