Jacobs Alum becomes new orchestra director of the University of Toledo Symphony

UT Symphony Orchestra moving in a new direction

By John Dorsey


The University of Toledo’s latest announcement may just be music to your ears. The UT Symphony is proud to welcome a fresh face to their musical family in the form of conductor John Pearse.

In addition to his duties as orchestra director, Pearse is also teaching a course in instrumental conducting.

“I’m so excited to be teaching, to be able to pass on the things that I’ve learned thus far in my career, to talk about collaboration and other aspects of conducting, like simply relating to people—which is so important. I want to make things more accessible to those outside of the symphony community. One is the things that has amazed me already is the number of non-music majors we have who want to get involved. You just have to be able to capture emotion and get them inspired,” Pearse said.

Pearse also currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Bowling Green State University, where he directs the New Music Ensemble and as the Music Director for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Maumee and as a Mentor with the Detroit Civic Youth Ensembles. He received his B.M. Degree in Percussion Performance, with a minor in Conducting from Indiana University in 2011. In 2013, he received his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Bowling Green State University. His academic awards include BGSU’s Key to the Sea Percussion Scholarship, and the Performers Certificate from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

He has performed with the La Cross Symphony Orchestra, Opera in the Ozarks, and with Bloomington, Indiana’s Camerata Orchestra and in the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians 2012 music festival.

“My whole process as a conductor is just being organized, being ready, and loving what I do. I’ve always loved music, but professionally I don’t think you ever really stop learning, it’s an ongoing process, and that’s what I want to teach my students and bring to my work as a conductor, just that openness to experiencing new things. When I was very young, I listened to Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and I didn’t get it, but music is always changing, and how it impacts us changes and now it is one of my favorite pieces of music and that’s a beautiful thing.”

For more information on the University of Toledo Symphony, visit http://www.utoledo.edu/comm-arts/music/ensembles/uso.html


© Toldeo Free Press 2014

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