Sonja Thoms, newly named executive director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra in West Virginia.

West Virginia’s Wheeling Symphony Orchestra has appointed Sonja Thoms as executive director. In addition, the orchestra has extended Music Director John Devlin’s contract for four years; Devlin joined the orchestra in 2019. Thoms played oboe in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and earned a bachelor’s degree at Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in oboe performance at Rice University. She performed as an oboist with the Lucerne Academy Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Alarm Will Sound new music ensemble. Thoms moved into orchestra operations through an internship with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. In 2006, she started working in operations for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and in 2015 Thoms moved to the Nashville Symphony to lead the operations department. Some of her projects at the Nashville Symphony include the annual Summer Community Concert Series, the Violins of Hope Project, hosting the League of American Orchestras’ 2019 National Conference, and supporting the orchestra’s return to the stage after pandemic shutdowns. In 2019, Thoms created, an online mentoring service that provides a bridge for young people from college to careers at orchestras. She has been instrumental in creating the first-ever student content at League Conferences.