A member of the Sarasota Music Festival faculty since 2015
Music Director Riccardo Muti appointed Justin Vibbard as principal librarian of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2023, thereby prompting his return to the city where his professional life began. As the first Library Fellow for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Vibbard enjoyed three formative years (2000-2003) under the mentorship of CSO librarians Peter Conover, Carole Keller and Mark Swanson.
Vibbard first explored music librarianship in high school and continued to pursue it as an undergraduate under Tim Howe, librarian for the Omaha Symphony. In 1999, Vibbard became librarian for the Lincoln Symphony (Nebraska), and after his time with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, his mentorship continued under Robert Sutherland at the Metropolitan Opera. In 2004, Vibbard began a 19-year tenure as principal librarian of the Florida West Coast Symphony (now Sarasota Orchestra). He also served as librarian for 10 seasons with the Mostly Mozart Music Festival at Lincoln Center, as well as with the Britt Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and the Santa Fe Opera.
As an active member of MOLA: An Association of Music Performance Librarians, Vibbard organized a subcommittee in 2020 to generate informational resources that addressed licensing concerns associated with live-streaming of concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also manages the printing of organizational publications and has been a presenter at MOLA conferences.
Crediting much of his success to the influence of strong mentors, Vibbard developed educational training programs for aspiring performance librarians and has coached and mentored many librarians who now hold positions in orchestras throughout North America.
Outside the music library, Vibbard is committed to acts of service. He currently serves as a board member for ensemble NEWSRQ, and in 2022, he voluntarily managed warehouse operations for a multi-agency relief effort after the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. To relax, Vibbard and his wife, Laura, enjoy outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking and camping.