• The BCSO Presents The Music of John Williams

    The Butler County Symphony Orchestra presents the final regular concert of its landmark 75th anniversary season. Featuring the music of the incomparable John Williams on Saturday, April 13th at 7:30 pm in Butler’s Intermediate High School Auditorium. Experience iconic motion picture musical scores from Star Wars, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and many more. Re-live the unforgettable movie melodies that span generations and have become legendary in shaping cinematic history! Get your tickets now!

    The guest conductor is the Grammy Award-winning Lucas Richman, who has also appeared as a guest conductor for numerous orchestras. These include the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestras. John Williams invited Richman to lead a three-month national summer tour of Star Wars in Concert. Mr. Richman has collaborated with numerous film composers conducting scores for such productions as the Academy Award-nominated The Village, As Good as It Gets, The Manchurian Candidate, Kit Kittredge, An American Girl, and The House With a Clock In Its Walls. Conductor Lucas Richman’s music has been performed by over two hundred orchestras across the United States and has been recorded by numerous organizations.

    The Butler County Symphony Association will also honor three individuals that evening for their outstanding service. These include The Butler County Symphony Association Award given to James Cunningham, The Orchestra Musician Award given to Judy Deahl, and The Outstanding Music Educator Award given to Chessa Fernandez-Crum.

    Jim Cunningham, The Butler County Symphony Association Awardee has enjoyed a long and distinguished dual career as a fundraising consultant and a professional trumpet player. He has also served as a volunteer for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Jim’s personal and volunteer interests are significant. He has helped raise millions of dollars in charitable resources for numerous organizations throughout the United States. Cunningham has been a professional trumpet player for over 60 years and continues to play with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra. He joined the orchestra in 1971 upon his discharge from the Navy. While in the Navy he was the lead trumpet player in the Northwest Navy Band in Seattle and has also performed with the Seattle Philharmonic, the Frederick Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. Jim is also a current member of the Board of Directors of the Butler County Symphony Association and serves on the Resource Development Committee. Jim Cunningham lives in Butler with his wife Jeanette.

    Judy DeahlJudy Deahl, the recipient of The Butler County Symphony Association Orchestra Award, was a member of the orchestra as a violinist for over fifty years. She served in a variety of capacities from musician, and board member, to the orchestra’s music librarian. Judy is described as someone who would play the violin regularly in her home. This inspired her daughter Evie to also play the violin all her life. “It was refreshing,” says Evie, “to live in a home where my father also championed the talents and abilities of my mother”. Judy Deahl would bring her violin to every one of the Deahl Quartet performances for over 40 years around Butler and has recordings on each of their three CDs. She has performed solo for many of her own concerts in Butler, playing for churches, dance schools, and the theater. Judy Deahl continues to inspire with the joy of music in the personal care home where she now lives playing for the many residents who love hearing her. The violin and music are a vital part of a wonderful life that Judy, her family, and friends have enjoyed.

    Chessa CrumChessa Crum, the recipient of The Outstanding Music Educator Award is Choir Director at her alma mater, the Seneca Valley School District. There she is excited to work with the very educators who made her want to become a music teacher. In addition to teaching middle school choir at Ryan Gloyer Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District, she is also the Vocal Director for the middle school musical and the Junior Cast Director. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Education Degree from Point Park University. Crum is a vocalist, flautist, and pianist who has worked with numerous groups in the area including the Pittsburgh Creator’s Project and Circle of Friends Chorus where she served as Assistant Director for 5 years. She also teaches private students the love and joy of music. It is her goal to not only teach her students to love music but also be good humanitarians making the world a better place. Mrs. Crum enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and family time. She and her husband David have two children, Violet Laurel age 6, and Ivy Rose age 4.

  • Collegiate Concerto Winner Taylor Pastore

    The Butler County Symphony Association is pleased to announce that the Collegiate Concerto Competition winner for 2024 is flautist Taylor Pastore.

    Taylor is a native of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Canon-McMillan High School. She currently studies music education and psychology at Slippery Rock University, participating in many musical programs, including the orchestra and flute ensemble. Taylor is a member of the National Flute Association’s collegiate flute choir and performs with various musical organizations in Washington, Pennsylvania. Taylor is a recipient of the John Phillip Sousa award and a member of the Tri-M Honors Society. She has been playing the flute for over a decade and plans to pursue a career in music education upon graduation from Slippery Rock University.
    The Collegiate Concerto Competition is one of many community outreach initiatives conducted by the Butler County Symphony Association. The organization’s mission is to provide quality symphonic and classical music to the surrounding community, and function as an educational resource to local schools by providing a venue for community musicians to develop their talents and skills. To fulfill this mission, there are various educational initiatives throughout the season culminating with the annual concert in March.

    Concerto winner Taylor Pastore will be playing Ballade by Albert Perilhou during the Butler County Symphony Orchestra’s Mahler’s Titan concert, on Saturday, March 2nd, at Butler’s Intermediate High School Auditorium. Also, featured will be the Side-by-Side Honors Symphony.

    The Collegiate Concerto Competition was held in January at Swope Music Hall on the campus of Slippery Rock University.

  • BCSO 2024-25 Music Director Finalists

    The 2024-25 season is going to be very exciting with three very talented young conductors leading the orchestra.  Following an intense search of over 100 applicants, these 3 candidates will program and conduct next season’s concerts and you will be able to give your input!  Come to these concerts and fill out an evaluation form for each candidate and let us know who you think should be the next Music Director of the Butler County Symphony Orchestra!

    Austin ChanuA recipient of the 2023 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., Austin Chanu is currently the Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he assists Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as other guest conductors, and leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in select concerts. Austin made his subscription debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in April 2023 conducting Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Critics commended his interpretation saying, “the orchestra never sounded better as Chanu led with primal energy and shamanistic insight into the music… the orchestra matched Chanu’s confident leadership in a performance of searing energy and heart-thumping passion” (Broad Street Review). Previously, Austin has appeared as a guest conductor with the Baltimore Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He was also the Music Director for the Los Angeles Music and Art School. During his tenure at LAMusArt, Austin conducted the youth orchestra, choirs, and jazz band, while overseeing the development of curriculum and artistic direction of the ensembles. During this time he also served as a teaching artist and conductor for the LA Philharmonic Association’s Associate Composer Program, and was a high-call woodwind performer for musical pit orchestras in the greater Los Angeles area. Austin received a B.M. in Music Composition from the USC Thornton School of Music in 2015, graduating Magna cum Laude. While at USC, he received the Most Valuable Player Award as a conductor and proponent of new music. Austin graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2021 with an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting, in the studio of Neil Varon. Currently he serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra as he pursues his DMA in orchestral conducting.

    Moon DohA recipient of the Takaya Urakawa Foundation Grant awarded to promising young musicians, Moon Doh is associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, appointed by Music Director Manfred Honeck in 2021. In this role, he has conducted subscription, education, family, and movie concerts as well as sold-out performances with artists such as Sting. An active community builder, he has presented Beethoven’s string quartets in various libraries across Pittsburgh, held Discovery and Drinks talks in different breweries, and led children’s concerts in diverse venues including the MuseumLab in collaboration with Mo Willems. As the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Flora Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Germany prior to his Pittsburgh appointment, he initiated the orchestra’s first ever live stream concerts that reached an unprecedented number of audiences across the globe over three seasons. He not only led exciting subscription concerts but also worked closely with music pedagogues in order to give young people a chance to learn and experience orchestral music in a meaningful way. In recent years, Moon has worked with many orchestras across Europe: WDR Funkhausorchester, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, and Dortmunder Philharmoniker in Germany, Romanian Chamber Orchestra in Romania, Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain, Sinfonietta Cracovia in Poland, and Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria to name a few. Moon’s latest collaborations in the US include debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony, and Symphoria. Born in South Korea, Moon spent much of his childhood in the Philippines, Russia, and the United States. At the age of nine, he began cello and piano studies in Russia and has since performed with various youth and student orchestras across the globe. As a passionate advocate for young rising artists, he led concerts with the All-State Orchestra of Hessen in Germany. In addition, he was also the conductor of the Under-16 Orchestra of Tonhalle Düsseldorf and regularly coached the Youth Orchestra of Essen. A staunch believer in empowering others, Moon has actively worked with asylum seekers in Hungary, children in underserved areas of Bangladesh, and inmates in Baltimore as the president of a student organization while completing his B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He currently sits on the Board of Violence Prevention Network USA, an organization that helps people at risk of radicalization. Moon studied orchestral conducting at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf in Germany. Prior to his conducting studies, he received a B.A. in music composition from Sahmyook University in South Korea. Moon has participated in renowned music festivals such as Accademia Chigiana in Italy and Bartók Festival in Hungary. His mentors include Manfred Honeck, Rüdiger Bohn, Cristian Măcelaru, Peter Eötvös, and Jorma Panula. IG: @doh.moon

    Daniel WileyDaniel Wiley has quickly become a notable young conductor on the rise, having made guest appearances with the Cincinnati Ballet, Calgary Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Orchestra Iowa & Quad City Ballet, Salisbury Symphony, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Abridged Opera, London Symphonia, Boise Philharmonic, Abilene Philharmonic, Denali Chamber Orchestra, Meridian Symphony, Equilibrium Ensemble (Italy), and the University of North Florida Opera.

    In the fall of 2022, Daniel joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, and May Festival as their Assistant Conductor. With these respective organizations he is responsible for conducting and covering a wide variety of concerts as well as working with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestras. Prior to his tenure with the CSO, Daniel held numerous conducting posts, including Assistant Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony, Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras, Associate Conductor of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestras, Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Community Orchestra, Visiting Professor and Wind Ensemble Conductor at the School of Creative Arts at the University of Windsor, Education Conductor/Consultant for London Symphonia, Conductor for the Windsor Abridged Opera Company, Music Director of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Youth Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor for the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.

    During the pandemic, Daniel was instrumental in expanding the Windsor Symphony’s educational footprint by creating a digital education concert series that includes 12 hours of interactive music curriculum for schools. This program has been lauded as “an exemplar of impassioned and outstanding pedagogy” (Dr. Ken Montgomery, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) and recognized by the Ontario Provincial Parliament as an example of how an orchestra can change lives through music, even during a time of unprecedented uncertainty. To date, this program has served more than 200,000 students across the United States and Canada.

    In 2019, Daniel was the second prize recipient of both the Smoky Mountain International Conducting Institute and Competition and the Los Angeles International Conducting Competition. Daniel has also spent time conducting new music ensembles, including for the Musicbed Music and Film Corporation based in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as participating in the Composing in the Wilderness program as part of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Fairbanks, Alaska. Through this program, Daniel has conducted numerous world premieres in Denali National Park.

    As a former public-school music teacher, Daniel has a unique passion for music education, and frequently donates his time as a guest clinician to support students and teachers in music programs across North America.


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