All Roads Lead Back to Credo - a post from new Operations Manager Michelle Pincombe

It’s strange to look up from my desk at the Credo office and see the same view I saw 8 years ago as a recent college graduate, starting my first “real-life” job. The view hasn’t changed, but Credo has, and so have I.

Credo has been a part of my and my husband’s lives for over a decade. Steuart joined the cello faculty at Credo in 2008, and the next year I joined the staff for my first job after graduating from Oberlin Conservatory. At the time, the Credo team was small: Peter and Vicky Slowik, myself and a part-time bookkeeper. This meant that I had the opportunity to do a bit of everything. It was a great time of learning and growth, both for me and the organization.

  photo: Kika Treep

photo: Kika Treep

After two years of working with Credo, Steuart had finished his graduate studies and we decided it was time to (finally) leave Oberlin. We packed up everything we had into four suitcases (plus Steuart’s cello) and moved to the Netherlands. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Somehow, by God’s grace and provision, we managed to survive and eventually we thrived. Steuart established a busy international career soloing with some of the best ensembles in Europe. I found myself working in a building called the “Peace Palace” (it was as grand as it sounds) as the Communication Manager at an international court. My position there was thanks in large part to a Credo-parent recommending me for the job!

Our four years of living abroad was incredible but eventually Steuart’s constant-travel and my increasingly-demanding work caught up with us. So we did what most couples do when they need a change: we moved into a 19-foot 1959 travel trailer (together with our larger-than-normal Labrador Lucy) and toured North America for a year.

We called our project Music in Familiar Spaces. We organized and presented concerts of the highest caliber in places where people were comfortable, in places where community already existed. And the project worked! Each concert attracted a huge number and diversity of people, some of whom had never experienced live classical music. All along the way, thanks to our partnership with Credo, we connected with dozens of Credites and parents.

  photo: Mathias Reed

photo: Mathias Reed

Steuart and I met as students at Oberlin and we started our married life there. We knew it would always be a special place for us, but we never imagined moving back. That is, not until this past spring when we received a call from Peter. He and the Board of Directors had been developing a long-term strategic vision for Credo that involved developing sustainable professional staff positions in a continued effort to execute Credo’s mission efficiently and effectively. It is an exciting time to (re)-join Credo, this time as their Operations Manager, working alongside Credo’s Board, our new Executive Director Henry Peyrebrune, our new Outreach Coordinator and Artist-in-Residence Rebecca Shasberger, our Office Manager Bethany Pereboom, and of course Peter and Vicky Slowik. I look forward to getting to know more of you throughout the coming year - please never hesitate to drop me an email (michelle.pincombe@credomusic.org), give me a call at the office (440-774-3658) or better yet, come by the office for a cup of coffee!