for the Musicians' Portrait Project at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary, AB.
Alana Gralen was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in the Chicago area. She began violin studies at the age of 9 and also studied voice during her teenage years.
Alana attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance as a member of the studio of Edgar Meunzer of the Chicago Symphony. At Northwestern she formed a string quartet that participated in the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, England.
Immediately following her graduation from Northwestern, Alana won a violin position in the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Chicago where she played for seven seasons.
In 1981 after her marriage, Alana joined the Regina Symphony where she played for one season. She joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra the following year and spent 25 seasons as a member of the orchestra's first violin section. With three of her colleagues, Alana appeared as a soloist with the orchestra in December 2003, performing Vivaldi's Concerto for Four Violins. Throughout her music career in Calgary, Alana taught violin privately; she was an avid chamber music performer and was a founding member of the Fra Amici String Trio.
In October 2002, the Calgary Philharmonic experienced a financial crisis that forced it into receivership. Alana with other musicians, staff and board members worked many hours to develop a Renewal Plan that would allow the Calgary Philharmonic to operate under a more sustainable business plan. Following the orchestra's successful return to the concert stage in February 2003, Alana served two terms as Chair of the Calgary Philharmonic Players Association (CPPA), two terms on the negotiating committee of the CPPA, and two years sitting on the Board of Directors of the orchestra. As Chair of the board’s Community Outreach and Education Committee, Alana worked with chorus, musicians, board, and staff members to develop new and innovative outreach and education programs.
She published two journal articles about the crisis with Donna Finley, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra's Interim Executive Director – find a PDF copy of the first article here ( http://www.framework-partners.com/pdfs/pub03.pdf ) and an abstract of the second here ( http://www.gestiondesarts.com/index.php?id=1908&L=0 ) . These articles paint a big picture view of the process the Calgary Philharmonic completed in order to emerge from receivership and become financially stable.
In 2008, Alana retired from the Calgary Philharmonic to pursue new career opportunities. She is currently completing a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies at the University of Calgary. Alana's research interests center on organizational communications -- hierarchies, control, identity, culture, and communities of practice. Her MA thesis is on organizational communications and teleworkers. While she has left her full-time contract position with the CPO, she performs occasionally as an extra musician with the orchestra, freelances, and performs chamber music.
Alana and her husband Don Schultz ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/versionsoftruth/4987254929/in/set-72157603751747885/ ) have two grown children who currently live in Montreal.