In Conroe, Texas, “The Conroe Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors officially welcomed the orchestra’s first female conductor at a small reception Tuesday,” writes Sondra Hernandez in Wednesday’s (3/17) Houston Chronicle. “Anna-Maria Gkouni, from Athens, Greece, takes the reins as the Symphony’s new Conductor and Music Director. Gkouni is set to lead the all-volunteer symphony in its 24th season, which hopes to begin performing again this summer following a pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.… A native of Athens, she holds a piano performance and a music theory degree from Philippos Nakas Conservatory [and a] bachelor of arts from Ionian University in Corfu…. Gkouni … currently she is pursuing her doctorate of musical arts in orchestral conducting at the University of Houston. ‘To lead the Conroe Symphony Orchestra is a dream come true,’ said Gkouni…. ‘My greatest aspiration for the future is to create innovative shows that will combine multiple forms of art such as theater …’ Don Hutson, who led the search for the new conductor, and served as the music director for 13 years, said of Gkouni, ‘she’s precisely the fresh new talent that is needed to take the Conroe Symphony Orchestra in a bold new direction.’ ”