Conductors Guild
Board of Directors


Marc-André Bougie

  • Associate Professor of Music - Texarkana College
  • Music Director & Conductor - Texarkana Regional Chorale
  • Music Director & Organist - Sacred Heart Catholic Church & St. Pius X Catholic Church  

Praised for his captivating performances, visionary musical leadership, and engaging personality, American conductor
MARC-ANDRÉ BOUGIE is rapidly establishing himself as a highly sought-after conductor in North America and abroad. Among a number of leadership accomplishments, he was the founding Music Director & Conductor of the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, which he directed for twelve seasons. He has also conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica de Falcón (Venezuela), Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), Orchestra Cantelli (Italy), Orchestre des Sources (Canada), Shreveport Symphony, Shreveport Opera, Shreveport Chorale, Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet, Texarkana Regional Chorale, Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra, Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Northwest Louisiana, St. Pius X Choir & Orchestra, the University of Missouri Philharmonic, Contemporary Chamber Players, and University Singers, the Columbia Youth Orchestra, and the Show-Me Opera Studio – a sum of experiences which speaks to the versatility and adaptability of his conducting style.

Maestro Bougie made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2010. He has collaborated with world-renowned performers such as Zuill Bailey, Jimmy Brière, Michael Brown, Tony DeSare, the Harlem String Quartet, Sharon Isbin, Scott Kirby, Jean-François Normand, Sandi Patty, Jane Redding, Tatiana Roitman Mann, Elena Urioste, Bradley Welch, and many more. In January 2016, he conducted the premiere of the new educational program Dvořáks’ New World, created by Michael Boudewyns and Sara Valentine – and for which Marc-André was the music collaborator. He has also been active working with contemporary American and Canadian composers, and he has commissioned and premiered many new works – most lately Southern Air and Flourish by award-winning composer Clint Needham.

Marc-André is married to soprano Candace Taylor with whom he collaborates as composer, pianist, & conductor. In 2015 they worked on an album featuring one of their new compositions, Ave Maria. He has won the 2001 MTNA National Composition Competition, and holds a Master's Degree in Orchestra Conducting from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition to his conducting engagements, Marc-André teaches at Texarkana College, and he was awarded the Texarkana College 2016 Endowed Chair of Teaching Excellence, and a NISOD Excellence Awards recipient in May 2017 on behalf of Texarkana College. In April of 2018, he conducted the New England Symphonic Ensemble and a number of choruses in F. J. Haydn’s Mariazeller Mass at Carnegie Hall as guest conductor for Mid-America Productions.

His involvement in the advancement of music in the areas of the conducting profession and education is reflected through his work with organizations dedicated to these disciplines. Among others, he is a board member for the Conductors’ Guild, an international organization dedicated to the advancement of the conducting profession. 


 Jonathan Caldwell

  • Assistant Director, Instrumental Ensembles University of North Carolina, Greensboro


JONATHAN CALDWELL is Assistant Director of Instrumental Ensembles and Assistant Professor of Conducting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he conducts the Symphonic Band, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, and is associate conductor of the UNCG Wind Ensemble. Prior to his appointment at UNCG, Caldwell held positions at Virginia Tech, the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, and Garner Magnet High School (Raleigh, NC), and conducted the Triangle Youth Brass Ensemble.    

Ensembles under Caldwell’s guidance have performed at the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference, the National Band Association–Wisconsin Chapter Convention, and in Carnegie Hall. His writings have been published in the Journal of Band Research and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. He has given presentations at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, national CBDNA conferences, and the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference.  

Caldwell received a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Music in performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

Caldwell’s conducting teachers include Michael Haithcock, Michael Votta, Jerry Schwiebert, James Ross, and Tonu Kalam. He has studied horn with Gregory Miller, Kimberly Van Pelt, Andrew McAfee, Pamela Halverson, and Alan Mattingly.  

Caldwell currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Conductors Guild. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Alpha Rho), Tau Beta Sigma (Beta Eta), Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi.


 Rubén Caprilesrubem

  • Music Director of the Falcón Symphony Orchestra , Coro, Venezuela

RUBÉN CAPRILES began his first season in 2013- 2014 as Music Director of the Falcón Symphony Orchestra in Coro, Venezuela, completing his tenure of two years as President and Music Director of the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland.

Since his arrival to the United States in 2006 in order to pursue his graduate orchestral conducting studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Capriles developed a close relationship with the Baltimore musical community, not only as graduate conducting assistant of the Peabody Opera, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and Peabody Concert Orchestra, but also as cover conductor for Maestra Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestras at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and conducting Teacher Associate at the Peabody Preparatory, where Capriles successfully co-conducted the Peabody Youth Orchestra during their first East Cost Tour. Other recent responsibilities have included being the founding Music Director of the Young Musicians Program Youth Orchestra at the University of California, Berkeley, where Capriles worked in close collaboration with internationally renowned artist Frederica von Stade, as well as with prestigious members of the San Francisco Conservatory faculty.

Awarded with the 2010 Bruno Walter Conducting Fellowship as Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Academy, Capriles has had his conducting described by Marin Alsop as “passionate” and “intelligent.” Capriles has been finalist of the First Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, and of the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition. Capriles has been nominated for the Thelma A. Robinson Award of the Conductors Guild as best participant at the 2007 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; has been recipient of the Mabelle Antionette Leonhardtsen del Mar Scholarship of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; and has been awarded with the José Félix Ribas National Order from the Venezuelan government for his contributions to the arts.

Capriles started to conduct professionally at 21 in his native Venezuela as the Music Director of the Zulia Boys Singer Orchestra, and later as the founding Music Director of the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra. After his five-year tenure there, the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra developed a strong and consistent artistic level, becoming a vital part of Venezuela’s now internationally renowned El Sistema. Dedicated to the distinguished members of the diplomatic body of the country, his debut concert with the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela was immediately broadcast in the Venezuelan national television, with the highest recognition by the critics in attendance. As laureate guest conductor of the Regional Orchestras of Venezuela, Capriles toured extensively around the country, also conducting the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra and the former National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela.  In 2005, Capriles was appointed as Music Director of the Ciudad Guayana Symphony Orchestra, where he developed intensive programming of more than sixty concerts during that season across the expansive Guayana region, obtaining the national recognition of the Federation of Regional Orchestras of Venezuela.

In his recent guest conducting appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Gazette praised Capriles’ conducting as the “most satisfying… His sweeping baton captured the romantic flavor of Berlioz’s composition. Ensemble remained tight and balanced, making for countless musical thrills.”

As a teacher, Capriles has been invited for the second time this year to be the principal instructor in the National Academy for Conductors that is organized by Venezuela’s El Sistema to enhance the preparation of the new generation of conductors from around the country. A strong advocate of young composers of his generation, Capriles has supported and recorded new award-winning orchestral and chamber works at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and at the “Simón Bolívar” Conservatory of Venezuela’s ‘El Sistema.’

Capriles graduated as the top conductor of his generation at the internationally renowned ‘El Sistema,’ where he received his pre-college and undergraduate training in Horn, Theory, Solfège, Composition and Conducting. Before pursuing his graduate studies in Conducting, Capriles performed professionally for two years in the horn sections of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in Caracas, and the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Capriles completed his MM studies in Conducting at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, and his DMA studies in Conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He holds MBA and MPP degrees from IESA in Caracas, and completed MA readings (Political Science) at Columbia University in New York. His primary conducting teachers have been José Antonio Abreu, Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, Marin Alsop and Helmuth Rilling.


 Peter Cokkinias

  • Conductor, Metrowest Symphony Orchestra 

A busy freelance clarinetist and saxophone player, Conductor PETER COKKINIAS has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, and in shows at all the major Boston-area theaters. He is a founding member of the Boston Saxophone Quartet and administers their Noteworthy Scholars program, featuring First Night Boston performances of new works by high-school-aged composers.

Maestro Peter Cokkinias conducts the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra, and is equally at home conducting symphony, opera, ballet, and theater orchestras. He has conducted in Massachusetts—including the Boston Pops and Boston Ballet Orchestra—as well as Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Kentucky, New York, Texas, and California. Peter Cokkinias is music director/conductor of the Franklin Performing Arts Center’s annual production of The Nutcracker and occasional musicals.


 Mark CrimCrim

  • Assistant Professor of Music, East Texas Baptist University 

MARK CRIM has conducted outstanding wind band, orchestral and choral ensembles for over twenty years. A product of the fine school music program in Van, Texas, Mr. Crim studied music education, trumpet and conducting at the University of Texas at Tyler, Stephen F. Austin State University and Boston University. His trumpet teachers were Dr. Max Morely, Dr. Kenneth Muckelroy and Dr. Gary Wurtz. His principal conducting teachers were Melvin Montomery, John Whitwell, Fred J. Allen and Diane Wittry.

As Assistant Professor of Music at East Texas Baptist University, Mr. Crim conducts the Symphonic Band as well as serving as music director and conductor of the University’s opera and musical theatre ensembles. He aslo teaches courses in music education, conducting, orchestration and chamber music. Mr. Crim’s position at ETBU follows a successful career in the Texas public schools.

Mr. Crim stepped down from the Longview Area Youth Orchestras in June, 2014 after four years as Music Director and another eight years in roles including Winds-Percussion Coordinator, Assistant Conductor and Co-Conductor. He held artistic and administrative responsibility for the Longview Area Preparatory Strings (LAPS) and the Longview Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (LAYSO). In addition to quality performances of core orchestral repertoire, the ensembles under his direction collaborated with regional arts organizations including the East Texas Symphonic Band, East Texas Youth Chorus and Artsview Children’s Theater to enrich the area with innovative programming for children’s youth and adult audiences.

A professional church musician since 1990, Mr. Crim has a repertoire of over five hundred choral anthems and masterworks. In his current position at First United Methodist Church in Marshall, Texas he has conducted Handel’s Messiah, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Faure’s Requiem and produced a fully staged Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Mark was a 2004 Toyota International Teaching Scholar, spending a summer in Tokyo and Kyoto conducting and teaching and studying Japanese culture and arts. In addition to his Japan residency, Mark has taught, performed and conducted across the United States and abroad in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany and Ukraine.

Mark lives in Hallsville, Texas with his wife Kaki, a flutist, singer, handbell ringer. Their daughter Katie, a flutist, singer and pianist, attends the Hallsville schools.

 John Gingrich

  • President, John Gingrich Management, Inc.

 JOHN GINGRICH has been active in the not-for-profit and for-profit performing arts world for almost 45 years and was   honored  by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters with the Fan Taylor Award for service to the field in 1992. He   founded John Gingrich Management in 1983 after many years of experience in management, booking and public relations   with S. Hurok, Sheldon Soffer and Harold Shaw.   

  Beginning as the first graduate assistant with Penn State’s Artists Series, John moved to New York where he’s served as   president of Concert Artists Guild (CAG), Opera Managers Association, the National Association of Performing Arts   Managers and Agents (NAPAMA), and the Association of American Dance Companies (AADC) – predecessor of Dance   USA. He was the first commercial agent to serve on a National Endowment for the Arts review panel (1983 with four more   to follow). He also was board secretary for Chamber Music America (CMA) and Dance Perspectives Foundation, while   remaining active in a wide range of civic, church and cultural activities. A career highlight was the production of the AIDS Quilt Songbook at Lincoln Center in June 1992.


 Silas Nathaniel Huff

  • Director of Orchestras, Washburn University, Topeka, KS
  • Music Director Emeritus, Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC)
  • Music Director, Colorado Pops Orchestra
  • Music Director, Boulder Concert Band (CO)
  • Director, Campus Orchestra,University of Colorado Boulder
  • Co-Director, International Conducting Institute
  • Staff Conductor, International Concerto Festival
  • Commander & Conductor, 44th Army Band (New Mexico National Guard Band)


 SILAS NATHANIEL HUFF is a conductor, composer, and U.S. Army Music Officer, currently acting as Music Director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC), Boulder Concert Band (CO), and Colorado Pops Orchestra, Director of the University of Colorado Boulder Campus Orchestra, Co-Director of the International Conducting Institute (dedicated to training the world's next generation of conductors), and Staff Conductor of the International Concerto Festival (a summer festival for emerging soloists). Maestro Huff has conducted outstanding orchestral, band, choral, opera, ballet, and new music performances for 15+ years across the United States and Europe. He has conducted youth, university, and professional ensembles in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia, and across Europe.  

As a U.S. Army Music Officer, Captain Huff has conducted concerts at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and at other important monuments and landmarks in Washington, D.C., for diplomats, heads of state, royalty, and audiences numbering in the thousands. His recordings of important works and broadcasts of live performances have been seen by millions of listeners and viewers. Abroad, he has conducted the L’Orchestre de L’Institut Musical de Provence-Aubagne (Aix-en-Provence, France), the Republic of Adegya National Philharmonic Orchestra (Maikop, Russia), the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Zlin, Czech Republic).

Maestro Huff's past positions include Music Director of Round Rock Symphony Orchestra (TX), Director of the U.S. Army Orchestra (D.C.), Associate Conductor of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra (CO), Assistant Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra (CO), Assistant Conductor of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (VA), Conductor of Moscow Ballet's USA east coast tours, and Associate Producer of Opera at the Manhattan School of Music. An avid dance conductor, Maestro Huff has conducted performances with the Fullerton College Ballet Theater (CA), Long Island City Ballet (NYC), Octavia Cup Dance Theatre (NYC), Moscow Ballet, and the Martha Graham Ensemble, with which he conducted Aaron Copland's completeAppalachian Spring with the original choreography, costumes, and set.  

In 1999, Maestro Huff won First Prize in the Los Angeles Valley Composition Competition for his homage to Charles Ives, Begging the Question. In 2001, he was named Conductor of the Year by the California State University system, and the Texas House of Representatives signed House Resolution No. 113 recognizing Maestro Huff's distinguished musical service in 2011, and in 2015, the U.S. Army conferred upon him a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding and exceptionally meritorious leadership of the U.S. Army Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In 2017, the U.S. Army recognized his leadership of the U.S. Army School of Music with an Army Commendation Medal.

As a composer and advocate of new music, Maestro Huff has organized and presented concerts of contemporary music in California, Colorado, Texas, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, and continues to compose, commission, conduct, and present new music. He has conducted dozens of world premieres, including his own. In 2007, he conducted the premiere of his Five Episodes for Cello and Orchestra, and 2008 saw the premiere of his opera for children The Ugly Duckling, a collaboration with his wife, writer Taylor Morris. In 2009, Maestro Huff composed and premiered his first ballet, Chun Zhi Ge (“Spring Song Festival”), which was performed again in November 2011 in China before a live audience of 50,000 and a television audience of 100 million. In the fall of 2010, Maestro Huff conducted the orchestral premiere of his Four Cowboy Songs, and 2014 he directed the premiere of his Texas Ranger Fantasy for euphonium and symphonic band on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. In 2015, Maestro Huff conducted the premiere of his Big Brass Swingin' Christmas (for orchestra) in Williamsburg, VA. In 2017, he conducted premiere recordings of the music of French composer Philippe Bodin, and in 2018, he composed Christmas Carol Big Band Extravaganza, which he premiered in Boulder alongside a new original piece, The Mouse's Gift, a second collaboration with his wife.

In 2011, Maestro Huff won a coveted conducting job with the U.S. Army Music Program. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended Basic Combat Training, Officer Candidate School, and the Basic Officer Leadership Course before taking his first post as Associate Conductor of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band (Fort Eustis, VA). Since then, Captain Huff has also served as Associate Conductor of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing's Own” Concert Band (Washington, D.C.), Director of The U.S. Army Orchestra (D.C.), U.S. Army Central Music Liaison Officer in the Middle East, where he provided musical support to American, NATO, and Coalition troops, and State Department personnel in six countries, and Company Commander of the U.S. Army School of Music in Virginia Beach. In October 2017, CPT Huff took command of the 44th Army Band (the New Mexico Army National Guard Band in Albuquerque, NM).

A native Texan, Maestro Huff studied classical guitar, music theory, and composition at Texas State University before moving to Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from UCLA. While there, he studied conducting with Maestro Donald Neuen, and upon graduation became a full-time student of orchestral conducting under Dr. Richard Rintoul at California State University Long Beach. Maestro Huff also spent one year in residence at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik (Germany), six months studying privately in Berlin, two summers at L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (France), and two years at the University of Colorado Boulder under the tutelage of Maestro Gary Lewis. He has attended dozens of workshops led by the world’s finest maestros, including Maestros Kirk Trevor, Neil Varon, Mark Gibson, Donald Schleicher, Markand Thakar, Gustav Meier, Joann Falletta, Jorge Mester, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St. Clair, Harold Farberman, and others.

Maestro/Captain Huff loves espresso, bicycling, and his novelist wife Taylor Morris.


David Itkin David Itkin

  • Music Director/Conductor, Abilene Philharmonic
  • Director of Orchestral Studies, University of North Texas College of Music
  • Author, “Conducting Concerti”
  • Artistic Director, McCall Summerfest
  • Conductor Laureate, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

 The 2015-2016 season marks Maestro DAVID ITKIN'S 8th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, his 11th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his and his 2nd season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho.  Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010, and he served as Music Director and Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic from 2007 to 2012. 

During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic.  Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras.  During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress.  

His book, Conducting Concerti, was released in August 2014 to considerable critical acclaim.  Leonard Slatkin called Conducting Concerti “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro” and “highly recommended”, and Samuel Adler wrote that it is “an invaluable addition to the world of conducting textbooks.”  Mr. Itkin is now the principal faculty member for the Conductors Guild/UNT International Conducting Workshop, and serves on the national board of directors of the Conductors Guild. 

Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release.  His most recent major work, “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating.   “Exodus” was released worldwide on CD in 2007. 

In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas. 

In addition to his professional schedule, Maestro Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, the Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, the Maine All-State Orchestra, the Las Vegas Senior Honors Orchestra, and several Texas all-region Honors Orchestras. 

Also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Itkin has been asked to lecture for a wide variety of organizations, including SilverSea cruise lines, two consecutive years as a featured lecturer for the Arkansas Governor’s School, the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras, and a keynote address at the National Federation of Music Clubs national conference. 

Maestro Itkin’s previous positions include serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for 17 seasons (1993-2010), Music Director/Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic (2007-2012), Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra in Chicago (1997-2000), Music Director/Conductor of the Kingsport Symphony (Tenn.) (1992-1995), Music Director of the Birmingham Opera Theatre (1992-1995), and Music Director for the Lucius Woods Festival Concerts in Solon Springs, Wisconsin (1993-2000).  From 1988 to 1993 he served as Associate Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, during which time he was made Honorary Lt. Governor of the State of Alabama for outstanding service to the Arts.



 John Koshak   

  • Professor and Conductor Emeritus, Chapman University
    College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

 JOHN KOSHAK is Conductor and Professor Emeritus, Chapman University, and Music Director and Conductor Emeritus and holder of the Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Argyros Music Director's Chair of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. His leadership of the OCYSO established the orchestra as one of the prominent youth orchestras in the United States and has brought national attention to the arts in Orange County. He recently completed his thirty-two year tenure at Chapman University where he served as Director of Orchestras and Instrumental Music. At the university Professor Koshak was responsible for building Chapman's nationally prominent orchestra program and one of the nation's leading undergraduate conductor training programs in orchestral conducting.

To honor his achievements and contributions, Chapman University recognized John Koshak as Conductor and Professor Emeritus and established the John Koshak Visiting Professorship. The university also established the John Koshak Practice Studio in Oliphant Hall, the newest music building on the Chapman University campus.

Critics both at home and abroad have enthusiastically reviewed Maestro Koshak. A Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: "Carefully regulating each crescendo, Koshak made every climax powerful, dramatic and exhilarating without exhausting his resources at the first fortissimo." In Germany, the Rhein Zeitung reviewer wrote: "both the overall harmonic picture and the artistic discipline can be attributed to the conductor, John Koshak." Of the Brahms Symphony No. 1, the critic described Koshak as a "true Salzburgian." While in Australia, the Sydney Herald music critic wrote: "John Koshak presided over first rate string sounds in the Barber Adagio, and in a Gabrielli Canzona made the brass ring out triumphantly, while Bernstein's Candide Overture hustled along with irresistible panache." About Maestro Koshak's Celebration/Finale Concert with the OCYSO, Timothy Mangan, from the Orange County Register, wrote, "A medley from West Side Story, followed, the orchestra showing a fine sense of its brash and sentimental style, and judging the instrumental balances well, Koshak led them in precise but expressive motions, giving them just what they needed for accuracy's sake without fuss, but also gently shaping the musical flow."

Koshak has conducted orchestras in Australia, China and Europe, and has conducted honor, festival and all-state orchestras in California, Nevada, Montana, Washington, and New York. He has served as artist-in-residence and guest conductor at the Sydney (Australia) Conservatorium of Music and was twice invited as guest conductor of the Pan Pacific Music Festival in Australia.

Maestro Koshak has toured extensively with his orchestras, including performances in Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and New York. He has conducted in some of the world's greatest concert halls, including the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria, the Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria, the Sydney Opera House, Australia, and New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall.

Prior to his appointment to the faculty of Chapman University, he was a public school music educator and conductor in New York, Germany, New Jersey, and California. In Orange County, California, Professor Koshak was recognized for his work in music education when he received the Irene Schoepfle Award for distinguished contributions to Orange County music and by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County which presented him with their Golden Lyre Award for his work with their music education programs and for his artistic leadership of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. Arts Orange County recognized him and the OCYSO with the Arts Educator of the Year Award. With the OCYSO Maestro Koshak has conducted youth concerts in Orange County for over a half million Orange County students.

While conducting and teaching in Europe, Professor Koshak received recognition by the United States Government, which granted him the Superior Performance Award for his work in Germany. He and his orchestras have twice received the ASCAP Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League for the performance of American music. At Chapman University, Professor Koshak received the Faculty of the Year Award from the Chapman Alumni Association for his outstanding teaching and conducting. Arts Orange County recognized his music and arts leadership by giving him their prestigious Artistic Visionary Award for lifetime achievement in the arts. He is the author of the conducting book, The Conductor's Role: Preparation for Individual Study, Rehearsal and Performance that is now in its 5th edition.

Professor Koshak received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Pennsylvania State University, his Master's degree from Columbia University, and his Conducting Diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He serves as Chair of the Mentoring Committee of the Conductors Guild.


 Paul Manz

  • Music Director – North Carolina Chamber Orchestra   
  • Director Emeritus & Founder – Prescott POPS Symphony 

 PAUL MANZ is a native of Phoenix, moving to Prescott, AZ in 1965. Paul received his Bachelor of Music Education and Masters in Orchestral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. He taught orchestra and band for 30 years. He taught music at Yavapai College, Prescott Public Schools and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. 

Paul has served as principal horn in the Flagstaff Symphony and as assistant principal horn in the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts Orchestra. He served as the principal horn in the Prescott Chamber Orchestra for over 20 years and has extensive experience in both woodwind and brass quintets. He has performed in the pit of numerous Prescott Fine Arts productions, as well as conducting “Mame” and “The Man of La Mancha”. He has also performed in the pit of a number of professional operas and musicals. Paul has shared the stage with Toni Tennille, David Cripps, James D’Leon, Mike Vax, Gary Grafman, Jerry Goldsmith, Roberta Peters, William Warfield, Isola Jones, Eric Ruske, Anastasia Kitruk, Harold Weller, Jeffrey Schindler and others. Additionally, he has served as the Arizona All State French Horn adjudicator. 

Paul is a member of the Conductor’s Guild and is a member of its board of directors. As an alumnus of Northern Arizona University, he has received the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Jeff Ferris Volunteer Award. Paul graduated with honors and was accepted into Phi Kappa Phi. 

In North Carolina, Paul has served as the guest conductor for the New Horizons Band Blast, working with Peter Perret and drawing participants from five eastern states. 

Paul is the founding conductor of the Prescott POPS Symphony and served as its music director from its beginning in 1992 until his retirement in 2015. During this time the ensemble grew from being a community orchestra to a semi-professional regional symphony. 

Paul is currently the Music Director of the North Carolina Chamber Orchestra.

 Jon C. Mitchell


  • Professor of Music, University of Massachusetts Boston, Retired
  • Conductor, Chamber Orchestra at University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Conductor, Boston Neo-politan Chamber Orchestra 

Chicago native JON CEANDER MITCHELL conducts the Chamber Orchestra at University of Massachusetts Boston, where he is Professor of Music.  He also conducts the Boston Neo-politan Chamber Orchestra. Prior to his 1992 arrival in Boston, he held full-time music faculty positions at University of Georgia, Carnegie Mellon University, and Hanover College.  He also served as music director of the North Pittsburgh Civic Symphony.  In recent years he has done a significant amount of guest conducting with professional and college orchestras throughout Europe and the United States.

His research covers many areas, but is centered mostly on Holst and Beethoven. He has over seventy publications, with five published books including The Braunschweig Scores: Felix Weingartner and Erich Leinsdorf on Beethoven’s First Four Symphonies, A Comprehensive Biography of Composer Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Wind Works, and From Kneller Hall to Hammersmith: The Band Works of Gustav Holst.  His latest “book” is a scholarly edition and realization of the orchestration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E Flat, WoO4.  He is also editor of the CODA (College orchestra Directors Association) Journal.

He has conducted six CDs with professional orchestras for Centaur Records and Vienna Music Masters and is in the latter stages of recording the cycle of Anton Rubinstein’s piano concertos with pianist Grigorios Zamparas for Centaur.


Ian Passmore

  • Omaha Symphony, Associate Conductor  

With adventurous musicality and an infectious stage presence, Dr. Ian Passmore leads a rich career as conductor and educator. Praised by Fanfare Magazine as “a rising young conductor” whose work “just glows,” his performances are recognized for their distinctive, often daring interpretations. 

Following two seasons as the Omaha Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, the orchestra named him their Associate Conductor in 2019, a position never before created in its nearly 100 year history. Passmore otherwise maintains an active guest conducting schedule: his previous engagements include a residency at the Vietnam National Academy of Music in Hanoi, where he worked with the conservatory’s musicians and led the Hanoi Philharmonic in concert, premiering Vĩnh Cát’s “An everlasting moment at the change of the millennium” in tandem with performances of Ives and Dvořák. In the 2015-16 season, he was honored as the Schmidt Conducting Fellow with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Having begun his own conducting studies at the age of ten, Dr. Passmore’s career also emphasizes conducting pedagogy and music education at large. In this vein, upcoming speaking engagements include his co-presentation at the 2019 Nebraska Music Educators Association conference, where he will lead a workshop on rehearsal techniques. He continues his extensive experience in working with young artists this year, once again serving as a recurring guest conductor of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Prior to his appointment in Omaha, he worked with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s high school Side-by-Side program; and served as Associate Instructor of Orchestral Conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he taught all levels of conducting and led many of the IU orchestras, often preparing them for guest artists such as Franz Welser-Möst and Joshua Bell. Dr. Passmore maintains an active private teaching schedule, and his students have gone on to attend conservatories and summer festivals such as the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Conservatoire de musique de Lyon, and the Aspen Music Festival & School. 

Passmore holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, writing a dissertation entitled “The Pedagogical Philosophies & Techniques of David Effron.” Additional education includes a Master of Music degree from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with further studies at the University of North Carolina. He is grateful to his conducting mentors, who include David Effron, Arthur Fagen, James Allen Anderson, Tonu Kalam, and the late Robert Gutter.  

Dr. Ian Passmore is a member of the League of American Orchestras, Conductors Guild, and the honors music society Pi Kappa Lambda. In 2019, he was elected to the Conductors Guild Board of Directors. He is now based in Omaha with his fiancée, the conductor Dianna Fiore, and their two miniature long-haired dachshunds: Beethoven and Charlie. Learn more at


 Lucas Richman   

  • Music Director, Bangor Symphony Orchestra

 LUCAS RICHMAN has served as Music Director for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and recently completed a 12-year tenure as Music Director for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra from  2003-2015. Mr. Richman received a GRAMMY Award (2011) in the category of Best Classical Crossover Album for having conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Christopher Tin’s classical/world  fusion album, Calling All Dawns. He has appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic,  Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the SWR Radio Orchestra of Kaiserslautern, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Zagreb Philharmonic. 

In recent years, he has led performances with notable soloists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Garrick Ohlsson, Lang Lang, Midori, Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Frank Peter Zimmerman, Mark O’Connor, Andre Watts, Frederica von Stade and Radu Lupu. Mr. Richman has also conducted for a panoply of commercial artists that includes James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Pat Boone, Michael Feinstein, Gloria Estefan, Megan Hilty, Matthew Morrison, George Benson, Anne Murray, the Smothers Brothers, Martin Short, Tony Randall and Victor Borge.

Mr. Richman’s numerous collaborations with film composers as their conductor has yielded recorded scores for such films as the Academy Award-nominated The Village (with violinist, Hilary Hahn), As Good As It GetsFace/OffSe7enBreakdownThe Manchurian Candidateand Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; in 2010, John Williams invited him to lead the three-month national summer tour of Star Wars in Concert. Recent recordings he has led from the podium include Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project (a project from within the film music community that has generated over $200K in donations), Noel Paul Stookey’s recent solo release One & Many, and Marvin Hamlisch’s final score, written for the Emmy Award-winning HBO movie, Behind the Candelabra. Mr. Richman served as Assistant and Resident Conductor for Mariss Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra between 1998-2004 and, from 1988-1991, he was the Assistant Conductor for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Also an accomplished composer, Mr. Richman has had his music performed by over two hundred orchestras across the United States including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops and the symphonies of Detroit, Atlanta, New Jersey and Houston. In November, 2009, as the result of an NEA commission, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra premiered his Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, a setting of poetry by Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky, which Jahja Ling and the SDSO recorded for release in December, 2011. He has fulfilled commissions for numerous organizations including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, the Debussy Trio, the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh. September, 2015, brought the now critically-acclaimed Albany Records release of a new CD, IN TRUTH Lucas Richman, which features the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: In Truth(Jeffrey Biegel, piano), in addition to his Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra: The Clearing (Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, oboe) and Three Pieces for Cello and Orchestra (Inbal Segev, cello).

Mr. Richman is a respected leader in the field of planning and conducting concerts for young people and his works written specifically for children have been featured in young people’s concerts presented by numerous orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Antonio Symphony. Recordings of Richman’s music include those featuring Giora Feidman (Variations for Clarinet and Cello), the Tiroler Kammerorchester InnStrumenti of Innsbruck (The Seven Circles of Life) and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony (Day is Done), the latter of which is an album of original and traditional lullabies composed and arranged by Mr. Richman as an aid for parents wishing to introduce their children to the joys of music.


 Dominique Røyem

  • Music Director, Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra

 DOMINIQUE RØYEM is the Music Director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Orchestra Director at the University of South Alabama.  An active guest conductor, she has worked with ensembles such as the Ukrainian State Orchestra, Plevin Philharmonic, Galveston Symphony, Moores Opera Center, Sugarland Opera, HBU Opera Theatre, and the Houston Civic Orchestra. She was the Resident Conductor for Bayou City Concert Musicals, and Music Director for Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to Go!  during the 12-13 and 13-14 seasons, and  the Conducting Fellow for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season.  She serves on the National Board of the Conductors Guild.

She has a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Her dissertation, entitled “Generic Integration and Its Expressive Potential in the Music of Kurt Weill and Richard Rodgers,” uses semiotic and genre theory to illuminate the similarities between opera and musical theatre in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Dominique currently lectures at the Women’s Institute of Houston.


 Jeffrey Schindler


  • Film Score Conductor 

Conductor JEFFREY SCHINDLER enjoys a dynamic international career that takes him from concert podiums around the world to the scoring stages of Hollywood, to the recording studios of London. Whether leading symphonic works of the Masters, multi-million dollar film scores, or cutting edge contemporary and commercial music, Mr. Schindler’s infectious energy and visionary musical storytelling are hallmarks of every performance. Mr. Schindler’s artistry melds imaginative and illuminating performances with expressive technique, impeccable scholarship, and vibrant energy.

Known as a versatile conductor, Mr. Schindler’s activities include such diverse projects as symphonic recordings, world-premier operas, and contemporary world-music concerts. Engagements include his most recent concert recording, leading the London Symphony Orchestra through the evocative music of celebrated Spanish composer Alfonso Romero, the world premiere of Red Azalea by American composer William Kraft, and a triumphant performance extravaganza Damian Live in Concert from Bucharest before a live audience of 70,000 on the largest outdoor stage ever constructed in Europe. This concert was featured as a PBS television special presentation, and has been nationally broadcast hundreds of times. Mr. Schindler has conducted orchestras and ensembles in the United States, Europe and Australia, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Session Orchestra, the AISOI Symphony Orchestra in Australia, the Czech Philharmonic, the Metro Voices of London, The Choristers of Reigate St. Mary’s (London), and the Bach Choir of London.
Mr. Schindler’s extensive podium experience, efficient rehearsals, and expressive baton technique place him in high demand among film composers who seek the passion and refined artistry he elicits from an orchestra. He leads one of the finest orchestral ensembles in the world: the recording musicians of the Los Angeles studios. International feature film and television projects include X-men: Days of Future Past, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Wolfman, Astroboy, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Temple Grandin, Four Christmases, Bernard and Doris, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Hollywood Homicide, and the most successful documentary of all time: the Academy-Award winning March of the Penguins.

Mr. Schindler is a sought-after orchestrator and arranger, highly regarded for his orchestral knowledge, expert musicianship, and impeccable taste. His more than 250 production credits include 22 Jump Street, Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, Gnomeo and Juliet, Superman Returns, The Invasion, Firewall, Next, as well as orchestrations for Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz. Orchestras and ensembles around the world have played Mr. Schindler’s orchestrations and arrangements, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic.

Mr. Schindler’s musical interests and expertise are both substantive and expansive. His extensive background in early music has imbued his approach to music and performance philosophy with a particular sensitivity to style: style of period, nationality, even to the level of the individual composer, as he seeks to feature what is unique in every creative voice. This philosophy has made him invaluable not just to contemporary film, commercial and concert composers, but also guides his insight into the music of previous epochs.

A virtuoso harpsichordist and organist, Mr. Schindler has performed concerts with ensembles nationally, in addition to extensive recitals throughout New England. An early music scholar, he is a consummate accompanist and has performed with the major symphonies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, improvising from the basso continuo. He has also performed with such early music luminaries as Jaap Schroder, Stanley Ritchie, and Fortunato Arico, as well as with members of Tafelmusik and Aston Magna.

Maestro Schindler approaches teaching and outreach with the same energy and passion that he brings to the podium. He has taught conducting at the world renowned Conductors’ Institutes in Hartford, Connecticut and Varna, Bulgaria, as well as at the Hartt School of Music, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Not only is he in demand as a gifted conducting teacher and coach among established and emerging composers in Hollywood, but also many of his other students have gone on to significant careers throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

In every aspect of his diverse career, Mr. Schindler demonstrates his commitment to profound musical communication, technical excellence, versatility, breadth of knowledge and his quest for imaginative and creative musical interaction.

 Toshiyuki Shimada

  • Music Director and Conductors, East Connecticut Symphony Orchestra
  • Music Director and Conductors, Yale Symphony Orchestra (on leave 2018-2019)
  • Music Director and Conductor, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes 

TOSHIYUKI SHIMADA is Music Director and Conductor of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London; Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes; and has been Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra of Yale University since 2005. He is also Music Director Laureate of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Portland, Maine, for which he served as Music Director from 1986 to 2006. Prior to his Portland engagement he was Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, under Sergiu Comissiona, for six years. Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria. 

Maestro Shimada continues close association with Turkish Orchestras, and this season he will be guest conducting for the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, his fifth Turkish Orchestra collaborations. He will also continue his association with the Lindenbaum Festival in South Korea, supporting its mission to bring peace in the world through great music, and to help promote the peace in the Korean Peninsula. 

This past summer, Maestro Shimada conducted a very special concert at the DMZ, South Korea, with the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra with all the Korean TV stations covering the concert. Recently, Maestro Shimada performed in the Carnegie Hall in New York with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, also has appeared in Austrian RadioKulturhaus, in Vienna, with the MUK Symphony Orchestra. He had also guest conducted for the Presidential Orchestra of Turkey in Ankara, and for the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, one of the best orchestras in Turkey with a distinguished Turkish pianist, Idil Biert, who is celebrating her 75th Birthday, and he made the return engagement with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey. In May and June, 2017, he led the Yale Symphony Orchestra on the highly successful Russian Tour, performing for the full houses in Saint Petersburg (White Hall), Moscow (The Great Hall of the Moscow "Tchaikovsky" State Conservatory), Veliky Novgorod and Yaroslavl, and received stunning reviews.  

Maestro Shimada has been a frequent guest conductor with a number of international orchestras, including the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra in Izmir, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in Vilnius; La Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico; the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; the Karlovy Vařy (Karlsbad) Symphony Orchestra; the Prague Chamber Orchestra; the Slovak Philharmonic; NÖ Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna; L’Orchestre National de Lille in France; and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival. He has also conducted the Houston Symphony, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the San José Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and many other US and Canadian orchestras. In May 2013, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Shimada made a highly successful tour in Brazil, performing in Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, and other cities.  In May and June, 2010, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Shimada made an equally successful tour to the Republic of Turkey, performing in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. The trip garnered extensive media coverage, including CNN and Turkish National Television.  In 2008 the YSO toured Italy, performing in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan. 

In addition to these activities he has held the position of Artistic Adviser of the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra in California, and served as Music Director of the Nassau Symphony Orchestra in New York; the Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston; the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra at Rice University; and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. 

He has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, André Watts, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Idil Biret, Peter Frankl, János Starker, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Sir James Galway, David Shifrin, Evelyn Glennie, and Barry Tuckwell.  In the Pops field he has performed with Doc Severinsen, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Marvin Hamlisch. 

Maestro Shimada has had the good fortune to study with many distinguished conductors of the past and the present, including Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Herbert Blomstedt, Hans Swarovsky, and Michael Tilson Thomas.  He was a finalist in the 1979 Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin, and a Fellow Conductor in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute in 1983. In addition, he was named Ariel Musician of the Year in 2003 by Ariel Records, and received the ASCAP award in 1989.  He graduated from California State University, Northridge, studying with David Whitwell and Lawrence Christianson, and attended the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna, Austria. 

Consistently recognized as an integral and beloved member of every community he joins, Maestro Shimada has received the Portland Fire Department's Merit Award, the Maine Publicity Bureau Cultural Award, and the Italian Heritage Society Cultural Award. He has had a number of state and city holidays named in his honor: Toshiyuki Shimada Day in Houston, TX; Toshiyuki Shimada Week in Portland, Maine; and Toshiyuki Shimada Day in the State of Maine. In May 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts by Maine College of Arts. At Yale University he has been selected as a Fellow of Davenport College and a member of the Elizabethan Club. 

He records with the Naxos and the Vienna Modern Masters. With the Vienna Modern Masters label, and with the Moravian Philharmonic, in Czech Republic, he has fifteen compact discs on the label. He also records for Capstone Records, Querstand-VKJK (Germany), and Albany Records. His Paul Hindemith CD of the complete piano concerti with pianist Idil Biret was released in 2013. His Music from the Vatican with the Prague Chamber Orchestra and Chorus is available through iTunes and Rhapsody. 

Maestro Shimada holds a teaching position at Yale University, as Associate Professor of Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music.  He has a strong commitment to music education, and has been a faculty member of Rice University, Houston, Texas; the University of Southern Maine; and served as Artist Faculty at the Houston Institute of Aesthetic Study.  His is a favorite guest conductor with the orchestras of Ithaca College, Purchase College, and the University of Connecticut. He has conducted All State Honor and Regional Honor Orchestras for Connecticut, California, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. He was one of the distinguish speakers at the Chopin Symposium 2010, at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. This past June, he has taught at the New York Conducting Workshop, guiding talented young conductors with his wide experience. 

 Julie Sorensen

  •    Music Director, Idaho State-Civic Symphony

        DR. JULIE SORENSEN comes to ISU from Lubbock, Texas, where she earned her Ph.D. in Fine Arts with a specialty in Orchestral   Conducting from Texas Tech University. While in Lubbock, Sorensen served as the assistant conductor for the Lubbock Symphony   Orchestra where she conducted for family, children's, and holiday concerts. She has also served as the assistant director for   symphonies at Texas Tech University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sorensen holds a B.A. in Music and Flute   Performance from the University of Wyoming and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln In the   fall of 2011, Sorensen joined the music faculty at Idaho State University as an Assistant Lecturer in Music Theory, Aural Skills,   Music  Appreciation and History. In the fall of 2015, Sorensen became the applied instructor of flute at ISU, where she teaches a   strong studio of flutists and is the artistic director of the ISU flute choir. Sorensen is also an adjudicator for both flute and orchestra   in and around southeast Idaho. She actively participates in the ISU marching band camps as well as the Summer Institute for Piano   and Strings. As a chamber and orchestral musician, Sorensen performs with the City Creek Winds faculty wind quintet and served   as the principal flute for the Idaho State-Civic Symphony. While at ISU, Sorensen has also been the conductor for the ISU productions of Into the Woods and Double Blind Sided. In 2012, she organized and directed the first full student chamber symphony orchestra at ISU.
In 2016, Sorensen was appointed as the artistic director and conductor for the Idaho State-Civic Symphony Youth Orchestra, a position which she still holds. For the 2017-18 season, she served as the interim conductor for the Idaho State-Civic Symphony. After a nationwide search, she was selected as the permanent artistic director and conductor of the Idaho State-Civic Symphony beginning with the 2018-19 season. 


 Markand Thakar

A former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Maestro MARKAND THAKAR'S appearances include concerts and a national radio broadcast with that orchestra; as well as concerts with the National, San Antonio, Columbus, Fort Worth, Alabama, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Amarillo, Charlotte, Wichita, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Richmond, Colorado Springs, Greensboro, Illinois, Kalamazoo, Windsor, Flint, Maryland, Ann Arbor, National Gallery, Waterbury, Annapolis, and Florida West Coast symphony orchestras; the Calgary, Louisiana, Long Island, and Ulsan (South Korea) philharmonics; and the Boston Pro Arte, National and Cleveland chamber orchestras; and opera productions with the Baltimore Opera Theater, the Teatro Lirico d’Europa, Opera on the James, and the Duluth Festival Opera. A frequent guest conductor at the Aspen Music Festival, Mr. Thakar has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and with Itzhak Perlman and the Boulder Philharmonic, and is a winner of the Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation Award. Familiar to national radio audiences as a frequent commentator for National Public Radio’s Performance Today, he has appeared on CBS This Morning and CNN conducting the Colorado Symphony.

With BCO Thakar has recorded three CDs for the Naxos label, including disks of concertos by Classical Era masters Stamitz, Hoffmeister and Pleyel, and music by Jonathan Leshnoff on the American Classics imprint, named to Naxos’ “Best of the Best” list. BCO traveled to China to perform a series of Viennese New Year’s concerts, and recent a performance in New York earned a warm review from the New York Times, which praised the group’s “warmth and substance.” During his 12-year tenure in Duluth, the DSSO saw dramatic growth in both audience and artistic prominence, to what Minnesota Public Radio called “Minnesota’s other great orchestra.” Noted internationally as a pedagogue, his two annual intensive conducting programs with BCO have drawn conductors from five continents. His students have won significant conducting positions across North America and internationally, including music directorships with the Aachen (Germany), Winnipeg, Hartford, Eugene, Charleston, Lubbock, Muncie, Williamsport, Amarillo, Young Musician’s Foundation, Lake Forest, Mid-Atlantic, Sioux City, Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Lake Charles, Washington-Idaho, and Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestras; staff conducting positions with the Metropolitan Opera and the orchestras of Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle, Saint Louis, Portland (OR), Richmond, Winnipeg, Portland (ME), Buffalo, Phoenix, Charlotte, Kansas City, Canton, Winston-Salem, and El Paso; as well as numerous collegiate positions.

Markand Thakar is the author of three seminal books. Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making (Yale University Press, 1990), also issued in Italian and Czech, uses species counterpoint to promote an understanding of how both composer and performer contribute to the experience of musical beauty. Looking for the “Harp” Quartet; An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University of Rochester Press, 2011) is a study of musical beauty from the standpoint of the composer, performer and listener. On the Principles and Practice of Conducting (University of Rochester Press, anticipated 2016) is a manual for conductors at all levels.

 Robert Whalen

  • Music Director, SoundLAB Contemporary Ensemble, guest ensemble at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Barnes/Stokowski FestivalConductor

ROBERT WHALEN is the Music Director of SoundLAB, a Philadelphia-based pioneering contemporary ensemble devoted to immersive, contextual programming of the works of living composers.  Prior to SoundLAB, Robert founded and was Music Director of the Barnes Ensemble at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.   

Robert was personally selected by Lorin Maazel to serve as his Conducting Fellow at the 2014 Castleton Festival.  He has also served as the Director of the Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago and as Assistant Conductor with the WDR Funkhausorchester.  As Conductor of the Contemporary Music Workshop at the University of Minnesota, Robert led numerous regional and world premieres and conducted contemporary masterworks including Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil and Helmut Lachenmann’s Zwei gefühle…Musik mit Leonardo.  

A passionate advocate for contemporary music, Whalen has collaborated with many leading composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky and Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas. A native of New York, Whalen earned a BA cum laude from Cornell University, a master’s degree from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.



Conductors Guild

Jan Wilson, Executive Director






[email protected]
(202) 643-4791