She replaces William Van Blarcom, the orchestra's executive director since 2001, who died last September.
Engel has been managing all the orchestra's operations since last August, when she became deputy executive director. She joined the symphony in 1979 as a French horn player, and she continued to perform until she was appointed senior director in April 2004.
Engel intends to begin discussions about the musicians' contract, which expires in June 2006, later this month, and plans to strengthen the orchestra's connection to the University of Delaware and will continue to oversee the orchestra's operations and educational programs, she told the paper. An educational alliance with West Chester University in Pennsylvania, is in the works.
"It's kind of my baby," she said of the orchestra, "and I'd like to keep a close attachment to it."