New Board Members: Aja Burrell Wood, Sue Wegleitner, Joseph Young

Written By

Megan Ihnen

New Music USA announces three new
additions to its Board of Directors

Ethnomusicologist Aja Burrell Wood, financial advisor Susan Wegleitner,
and conductor Joseph Young assume new roles on the New Music USA
Board of Directors, extending the organization’s national reach.

New York, NY (October 22, 2020) – New Music USA announces three new appointments to its Board of Directors: Aja Burrell Wood, Susan Wegleitner, and Joseph Young. This follows the recent appointment of Co-Chairs Reena Esmail and Joe Walker, as announced this June and highlights the ongoing development of this national organization under new leadership.

Aja Burrell Wood brings the New Music USA Board of Directors a strong academic and arts presenting perspective on jazz, ethnomusicology, and gender justice. Susan Wegleitner, who is the Board Treasurer for LA’s The Music Center, will enrich the board through her bi-coastal background in business and finance. Joseph Young’s experience as a conductor and music director will help New Music USA stay rooted in new music performance and programming.

Vanessa Reed, President and CEO, says,

“We are thrilled to welcome three new directors to our board, and to bring their strong ideas and perspectives into our conversation. In every decision we make at New Music USA, we strive to promote a thriving, equitable ecosystem for new music in all its compelling forms. Aja, Sue, and Joseph’s varied experiences – across different US states, music genres, and professions – broaden the expertise within our national organization, and support us as we plan exciting new programs under our new strategic plan.”

Aja Burrell Wood, incoming board member, says,

“In the US, we have yet to fully value, affirm, support, and celebrate all the richness and deep diversity there has long been in our music. To me, that means we have yet to hear, listen for, understand, and support all the brilliance, genius, and beauty our music has to offer. I am thrilled to join the New Music USA Board of Directors – so that I can contribute to meaningful, sustainable support of today and tomorrow’s music creators, representative and reflective of our many communities, facets of life, and ultimately ourselves.”

Incoming board member Sue Wegleitner says,

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to join a team of dedicated professionals with a passion for supporting the creation of new music. Now, more than ever we need to support musicians who inspire us to rise and overcome the many challenges we face today.”

Joseph Young, the third incoming board member, tells us,

“During this very significant time in our musical history, I hope to offer my diverse perspectives as an educator and music director while New Music USA continues to look at new areas for growth. I have always admired the organization for its innovative programming for all new music genres and I’m honored to join the board.”



Aja Burrell Wood is the Managing Director for Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Wood is an ethnomusicologist, educator, and curator with a background in development and violin performance. She has taught courses on music, history, and culture at the City University of New York (CUNY), City College, and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. Her work includes research on musical community among black classical musicians, jazz and gender, jazz in the digital era, music and civic engagement in Harlem, and other related genres of the African Diaspora such as blues, hip-hop, soul, and West African traditions. She has been a visiting fellow at the New School in addition to her role as guest lecturer at New York University and various institutions throughout New York City.

Wood was formerly the director of operations for Gate Pass Entertainment and has been the associate director of special projects and public engagement for Wynton Marsalis Enterprises. She has curated performances for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for their annual Women’s Jazz Festival. She has also served as an arts-presenting consultant for various leading local and national arts organizations throughout her career.

Susan Wegleitner is the former Managing Director and Group Head of Corporate Client Banking at JPMorgan Chase. She advises CEOs, CFOs and boards with expertise in building and expanding businesses in new and existing markets. Her extensive knowledge of corporate governance, public company reporting, capital markets and risk management is a valuable asset to board oversight. She excels at driving analysis and putting context to problems to achieve clarity in developing and implementing financing solutions, building company brand and managing reputational risk.

Known for authentic leadership and influential communication style, she is effective in addressing challenges and skillfully de-escalating potential crises by keeping focus on issues and rallying stakeholders to orchestrate creative solutions. Her past positions include Executive Vice President and Division Head, Large Corporate Banking, Western US at Wells Fargo and Managing Director, Team Leader, Healthcare Division at Bank of America. She is the Board Treasurer for LA’s The Music Center, and has fourteen years of board experience total.

Joseph Young is Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony, Artistic Director of Ensembles for the Peabody Conservatory, and Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra–USA at Carnegie Hall. Praised for his suavely adventurous programing, Joseph Young is increasingly recognized as “one of the most gifted conductors of his generation.” In recent years, he has made appearances with the Saint Louis Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Bamberger Symphoniker, New World Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, and the Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE (Madrid); among others in the U.S. and Europe.

In his most recent role, Joseph served as the Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony where he conducted more than 50 concerts per season. Mr. Young also served as the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he was the driving force behind the ensemble’s artistic growth. Previous appointments have included Resident Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow with Buffalo Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony. Joseph is a recipient of the 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award for young conductors, an award he also won in 2008, and 2014.


New Music USA supports the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music for adventurous listeners around the world. We empower and connect US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing funding through our Project Grants; fostering new connections through our programs; deepening knowledge through our online magazine, NewMusicBox; and working as an advocate for the field. New Music USA works in collaboration with its community in response to pressing needs and to amplify the diverse voices of music creators. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music throughout the United States.