(Editor's note: This story was produced by the Akron Symphony Orchestra.)
The Greater Akron Musical Association recently selected Douglas A. Bayda, the director of orchestras at Akron's Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, as the new director of the greater Akron Youth Philharmonic (AYP). He will begin as director of AYP at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
The Director oversees the Akron Youth Philharmonic and prepares members for performances during a 20-week season, which extends from November through March. The director plans, programs and conducts weekly rehearsals and three annual concerts, selects appropriate music for the season, organizes auditions and works with the director of the Akron Youth Symphony (AYS) to coordinate an annual side-by-side concert.
"I am very honored to be working with the Greater Akron Youth Philharmonic," Bayda said. "This ensemble has a long tradition of excellence. I'm excited to be part of the musical journey its members will take."
Bayda has extensive experience teaching orchestra in Akron Public Schools at Miller South and in the East Cluster, and he has provided string instruction for students in grades 4-8 since 2007. He previously taught orchestra and band for grades 4-12 in the Princeton City Schools system in Cincinnati, where he directed the high school chamber orchestra and freshman band, and prepared the orchestra wind and percussion section. He is active in the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He currently resides in Medina with his wife, Beth, and their children, Laura, Nicholas and Nathan.
"My main goal with AYP is to provide high achieving student musicians with an opportunity to perform in a full orchestra with likeminded peers," he said. "I enjoy challenging students at this age with a variety of musical repertoire, and helping them perform it at a very high level of musicianship."
Bayda received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, where he served as principal clarinet for three years with the Symphonic Band and principal clarinet in the orchestra. He received his Master of Music in Wind Instrument Performance from The University of Michigan, where he was awarded a fellowship to study clarinet with Fred Ormand and performed with the University's Symphonic Band and orchestra. Bayda continued studies in string pedagogy, string instrument repair, conducting, and teacher enrichment at The University of Wisconsin, Madison, The University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, and Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.
"I am thrilled that Douglas Bayda has accepted the position of conductor of the Akron Youth Philharmonic," said Maestro Christopher Wilkins, music director of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, also under the Greater Akron Musical Association umbrella. "Doug's skills as a trainer of young orchestral musicians and his passion for education are an inspiration to all who know him. We are very lucky to have him on our team."
The Greater Akron Youth Philharmonic (AYP) is dedicated to building the technical and musical skills needed to become successful members of the Akron Youth Symphony. AYP is open to middle and high school students in the Greater Akron area and is co-sponsored by the Akron Public Schools. Members are selected by audition. The Greater Akron Youth Philharmonic is operated by the Greater Akron Musical Association, Inc. (GAMA). GAMA's vision is to be embraced and sustained as a community treasure that provides a welcoming environment for all people to experience great music. This vision is realized by operating the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Orchestras, Akron Symphony Chorus, and numerous special outreach and educational programs. To learn more about the Greater Akron Youth Philharmonic or the Akron Youth Symphony, visit www.akronsymphony.org/youth-orchestras.