Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra and Oklahoma Youth Orchestras welcome internationally renowned conductor Jeffrey Grogan to their teams for the 2017-18 concert season.
Grogan takes over as artistic director and conductor of Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and assumes the role of conductor of Oklahoma City University (OCU) Symphony Orchestra.
OCU Symphony Orchestra has a history of excellence that Grogan will help continue. It has been honored with the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and represented the United States at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival.
Grogan will also be conducting Oklahoma Youth Orchestra (OYO), the flagship orchestra of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras organization. The group is comprised of advanced middle and high school musicians and performs standard pieces as well as pieces from contemporary composers.
“We’re beyond thrilled about what he has to bring to our program,” Oklahoma Youth Orchestras executive director Melody Garza said.
The organization celebrates its 40th year this season and teaches 350-400 students every week.
Grogan will be following Eric Garcia who has conducted the group for the past three years. Garcia was recently chosen in an international search to conduct the Boise Philharmonic.
“We were really happy for him but sad for us,” Garza said.
However, despite the sadness that comes with an established conductor leaving an ensemble, when Grogan applied for the job, the organization knew they had found another great match to help better their students and help the organization raise the bar.
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras was founded in 1977 and works to give Oklahoma students a quality instrumental music education by providing a challenging ensemble experience.
The season begins in August and runs through May, offering third- through 12th-graders performance opportunities in 11 ensembles while working at fostering a lifelong love of music in the students who participate.
He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him in his move from New Jersey to Oklahoma City.
Grogan most recently held the positions of education and community engagement conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) and artistic director and conductor of NJSO Youth Orchestras.
He also previously served as adjudicator, conductor and clinician for many prestigious national and international music festivals and has music education experience through teaching conducting at the University of Michigan, Ithaca College and Baylor University. He is also a former associate director of bands and marching band director at the University of Michigan and Baylor University.
“The knowledge he has just makes him such a perfect fit for our group,” Garza said.
Grogan joins a team of 11 talented conductors who have experience teaching, performing and conducting everything from operas to chamber music.
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras has a busy season planned with 11 performances already scheduled. They also travel to assisted living homes and perform at other events throughout the season.
“We’re excited about this opportunity for our students,” Garza said.
Print headline: New notes, Two local orchestras welcome internationally renowned conductor Jeffrey Grogan.