3rd Annual KSU Orchestra Invitational
Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017
First held in 2015, the Kennesaw State University Orchestra Invitational is a unique event offering high school and middle school orchestras the opportunity to experience performing in one of the finest acoustical concerts halls in Georgia – Morgan Concert Hall at Kennesaw State University – and receive assessment-based feedback from a nationally-recognized guest clinician and KSU faculty. This non-competitive format enhances the educational experience for students and directors. In addition, each ensemble receives a professional quality audio and video recordings of their performance.
Friday, September 29, 2017
How to Apply
The KSU Orchestra Invitational is open to high school and advancing middle school orchestras. Applications are submitted entirely online. For the application, you will need to provide your contact information and two recent performance recordings. These two selections should be live and unedited and vary in musical style.
All accepted ensembles are asked to pay a $300 ensemble participation fee, due one month prior to your performance. This fee covers the costs of our guest clinicians and the costs associated with performing in the Bailey Performance Center.
Please click on the link below to apply to perform at the 3rd Annual KSU Orchestra Invitational to be held on Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4, 2017. Applications will be reviewed upon submission and schools will be notified once accepted.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Your performance experience will include:
- Rehearsal and warm-up time in Scott Rehearsal Hall (in the Bailey Center adjacent to the performance stage)
- Performance on stage in Morgan Concert Hall in the Bailey Performance Center.
- Clinic with nationally-recognized guest clinician immediately following performance.
- Assessments of your ensemble by guest clinician and KSU faculty via audio caption and written feedback.
- "Conductor Cam" video recording.
- High-quality audio and video recordings of the performance.
In addition, your group can listen to live performances mid-day from the KSU Symphony Orchestra and have opportunities to hear other high school orchestras from around the region.
Clinicians and Faculty
Dr. Michael Alexander
Associate Professor of String Music Education, Baylor University
Dr. Michael Alexander is Associate Professor of String Music Education at Baylor University. He joined the faculty in 2006 after 22 years of teaching orchestra at Stratford HS in Houston, Texas. He holds degrees from Southwestern University (BME), Sam Houston State University (MM), and the University of Houston (DMA). His duties at Baylor include supervising string student teachers, instruction in classroom string pedagogy, directing the Baylor String Project, and conducting the Baylor Campus Orchestra. Alexander has served as clinician/conductor across the United States with several engagements in Europe. He has presented his research on string sight-reading, tuning, and improvisation at state, national, and international symposia. He has served as President of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and Orchestra Vice-President of the Texas Music Educators Association. Awards include: Houston Symphony School Bell Award for Excellence in Teaching, ASTA Elizabeth A.H. Green Award, University of Houston Outstanding Music Alumnus, TODA Orchestra Director of the Year, and Baylor Outstanding Professor Award. He has co-authored Orchestra Expressions (bks 1 and 2), Expressive Techniques for Orchestra, and Expressive Sight-Reading for Orchestra. His research is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education, the String Research Journal, Texas Music Education Research, the American String Teacher, and the Southwestern Musician. He and his wife, Suzanne, have three sons: Reed, William, and John.
Dr. Nathaniel Parker
Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music
A talented and dynamic musician, Nathaniel F. Parker joins the Kennesaw State University faculty as Interim Director of Orchestras and Assistant Professor of Music in the fall; he will also serve as Interim Conductor of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home working with professionals and training future generations of musicians, Dr. Parker has conducted orchestras in the United States, Peru, Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. His recent guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), the Connecticut Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 String Fest. Also an active scholar, Dr. Parker’s writings have been published by the Conductors Guild and the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). He has presented research at the College Orchestra Directors Association’s national and international conferences and currently serves as Editor of the Journal of the Conductors Guild. In 2015 he received a Citation of Excellence in Teaching from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
Prior to his appointment at Kennesaw State, Dr. Parker served as Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Marywood University (Pennsylvania) where he was Music Director and Conductor of the Marywood University Orchestra and taught courses in conducting, instrumental methods, musicology, and analytical techniques. Other previous positions include Assistant Conductor and Production Manager of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), Music Director and Conductor of the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Community Music School, Graduate Conducting Intern at Michigan State University, Music Director and Conductor of the Mason Orchestral Society’s Community Orchestra and Youth Symphony (Michigan), Assistant Director of Music at Xaverian High School (New York), Conductor of the New Music Festival of Sandusky Orchestra (Ohio), and Graduate Assistant Conductor and Teaching Assistant at Bowling Green State University (Ohio).
Parker earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Michigan State University, where his primary instructors were Leon Gregorian and Raphael Jiménez. He earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Emily Freeman Brown; his other conducting mentors include Stephen Osmond, Gary W. Hill, and Timothy Russell. In addition to his training in academia, Dr. Parker participated in numerous conducting master classes and workshops, conducting orchestras under the tutelage of nationally and internationally renowned conductors and conducting pedagogues including Christoph Eschenbach, George Hurst, Arthur Fagen, Markand Thakar, Mark Gibson, David Itkin, Jorge Mester, and Paul Vermel. Parker began his collegiate education at Arizona State University, where he studied bassoon with Jeffrey G. Lyman and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance.
Nat resides in Woodstock with his wife, Melody, their son, Jacob, and their dog, Sammy.
Dr. Nancy Conley
Assistant Professor of String Music Education
Nancy Conley joins the Kennesaw State University faculty as Assistant Professor of String Music Education in Fall 2017. Dr. Conley comes to KSU from Clayton State University, where she served as Director of Music Education, coordinated the music education program, supervised student teachers, and taught courses in music education, improvisation, music appreciation, and applied studio violin and viola. In addition to her teaching duties, she is the co-director of the Clayton County Honor Orchestra. Dr. Conley also served on faculty at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she taught string technique and pedagogy classes and developed the Lab Ensemble, a course that encourages preservice music teachers to use improvisation, arranging, and composition in the classroom. In addition, Dr. Conley developed the Musician Wellness course, and directed the National String Project at Crane.
Dr. Conley received the B.M. in music education and performance from Ithaca College, and the M.M. in music performance from Binghamton University, and the Ph.D. in music education with a viola performance cognate from Michigan State University. Before pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Conley was a public school music educator in upstate New York, where she taught elementary, middle, and high school instrumental music for seventeen years. An active performer while teaching, Dr. Conley played with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Tri-Cities Opera Company, and the Edgewood String Quartet. She has also performed with the Lansing Symphony (MI) and was a member of the Orchestra of Northern New York.
Dr. Conley has served as a clinician for school music festivals and summer music programs, and has presented her research at the both the state and national level. Her research interests include the use of improvisation as a tool for teaching and life-long learning, social justice in music education, teacher education, and musician wellness. Dr. Conley holds the certification for Music Learning Theory Elementary General Music Level One, and has completed teacher training for Suzuki Violin Level One and Two.
Dr. Conley is a member of the American String Teachers Association, College Music Society, NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, Suzuki Association of the Americas, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
ContactFor more information, contact:
Dr. Nathaniel Parker
Testimonial from a Director
"I wanted to send a quick thank you for accepting our group to play at KSU this past weekend. This past weekend is one that I will never forget and I know that my students feel the same. Being afforded the opportunity to come to visit the KSU campus, play in that wonderful hall and to receive the feedback we received is truly a blessing and will help our group as we prepare for the next event, whatever it may be. The professionalism of all that were involved from being met as we arrived until we left for the trip home was outstanding. The students did a great job of making sure we were well-taken care of and the facilities were outstanding."