July 27, 2015

Meet the RPO staff: Director of Ticketing and Sales Ed Solorzano

You have seen our orchestra in action, but what goes on behind the scenes?

Our series continues with Syracuse native Ed Solorzano, the RPO’s Director of Ticketing and Sales.

Ed Solorzano
Could you go into description of what your work consists of at the RPO?
I am in charge of anything ticket-related at the venue. This goes for both the RPO and the Eastman School of Music. Anything from hiring and training box office employees to staffing concerts and managing box office/venue policies and the finances it encompasses.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
My first dream revolved around sports. I played almost every sport under the sun, and I continued sports through high school and into college doing rec. level stuff.

What did you study in college?
I was always intrigued by sports, and wanted to be involved on the business side of it. That is what led me to majoring in sports management at St. John Fisher College. When I started in 2004, it was a new field that wasn't fully tapped into just yet.

In what ways did your prior education prepare you for the RPO?
As a whole, my prior education helped me to get comfortable with speaking in front of people and speaking to people. With doing a lot of presentations and public speaking, interviews were a huge strength for me. Having to go through and talk to people one-on-one helped tremendously. In the sports world, or almost any organization you go to, you start in sales. That could contain a lot of cold calling and customer service, but you put yourself out there and talk to someone. Having this background proved very beneficial in my career.

How did you transition from Sports industry to the Music industry?
People don't think sports and music would be similar, but they are both entertainment and there are a lot of similarities.

After college, I pursued a job offer to sell tickets at CMAC, an outdoor amphitheater in Canandaigua. I was able to work the software system and pick up the operation as a whole really quickly. After that, I worked in customer service at the Auditorium Theatre. It was while working there that I noticed, and made the subsequent decision to not limit myself to just working for sports teams. Overall, my career goal has always been to keep my options open and go where I feel I can have a positive impact on the organization; working for a non-profit offers another level of satisfaction knowing that I am not only helping our patrons, but helping advocate for the arts.
Ed in Bobblehead form!

What has been your most memorable moment at the RPO, thus far?
I have been with the RPO since October 2014. My ultimate goal is making sure our customers and patrons can get into an event without any issues. We want to make sure that everyone is satisfied and it ultimately starts from the day they order a ticket, to when they walk out of the venue.

The coolest, most memorable thus far has been our season opener event, which took place last February. We did a season preview for our upcoming series. It was a way to market our upcoming series to our patrons and the community in a way that not very many orchestras do. It shows the audience what’s to come in the upcoming year.

This was the first time the RPO has ever done something like this. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and I felt that the turnout was both a huge undertaking and a huge success.

What is your favorite type of music?
My favorite type of music was (and still is) hip-hop. However, I have an appreciation for all genres of music - ranging from bluegrass to jazz, jam bands, and everything in between. Music is truly objective and I love being able to experience new genres. And as weird as this sounds, while I enjoy hip-hop, one of my favorite bands is O.A.R.

Which RPO concert(s) are you most looking forward to in 2015-16 and why?
Out of the entire series, I think Home Alone would be really cool. I grew up watching it, and I think it would be really cool to see the orchestral accompaniment to the movie. I grew up playing video games, but never got into Final Fantasy. Video Games Live last year was really cool, so I’m looking forward to seeing FF.

Any favorite summer activities?
I like to hang out at the beach and play sports, but I especially like running races. I like pushing myself, for the health side of it. I want to live to be 150. I just ran a 15k (9.3 miles) for the second year in a row. I will be running a 20k (12 miles) by the end of summer.

About the author: Elissa Murphy is the RPO's marketing/development summer intern. Anticipated for August 2015, Elissa will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in music business and flute performance, with a film studies minor from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

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