The UMBC Symphony Orchestra
E. Michael Richards, Director
The UMBC Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble of 75-85 musicians, performs standard orchestral literature from the 18th to the 21st century.
Recent performances have included symphonies of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Berlioz and Dvorak, as well as concerto performances with visiting artist soloists. In addition, members of the Orchestra can choose to enter an annual competition to appear with the Orchestra as soloist. The Orchestra has also performed music commissioned from living composers. Membership is open to any student (music major or non-major) or other member of the community by audition. Please contact Dr. Richards for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Upon the retirement of Wayne Cameron after 20 years as conductor of the UMBC Symphony Orchestra, E. Michael Richards assumed the responsibilities of conductor beginning in the Fall of 2007. Dr. Richards has 30 years of conducting experience, including work as conductor of the Hamilton College Orchestra for 17 years, the Bowdoin College Orchestra, and as assistant conductor with the La Jolla Civic Orchestra (San Diego). He has also guest conducted the Syracuse Society for New Music, and served as woodwind/clarinet coach with the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra.
At Hamilton, Richards led the Orchestra on 6 tours, including one by invitation of the governments of Romania and Bulgaria to perform concerts in those countries for 14 days. The Orchestra performed with internationally renowned bassist Bertram Turetzky; virtuoso performer of the koto, Nanae Yoshimura; cello soloist Zuill Bailey; and commissioned and premiered works by 7 American and Japanese composers. The Orchestra and Richard Boulanger's work for orchestra, radio baton, Nintendo glove, and interactive computer was featured on Syracuse CBS TV, and in an article by the Associated Press. Masataka Matsuo's work was recorded by the Orchestra for an Opus One CD (released Feb. 1996). A review in Fanfare Magazine (international journal for reviews of CDs of classical art music) stated: "Hamilton College is a small liberal arts school of only 1650 students; for them to field a seventy-piece symphony orchestra that can handle such a complex modern work is a staggering achievement."
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