Two Women Graduate Student Conductors Take the Reins of the Kent State University Orchestra March 8

Kent, OH — The Kent State University Orchestra presents a special student-led concert on March 8 at 3 p.m. It will feature the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music’s orchestral conducting graduate students Karen Ní Bhroin and Victoria Petrak leading the orchestra in several selections alongside their mentor, Dr. Jungho Kim. This performance will be in Cartwright Hall at 650 Hilltop Dr. with free parking available off of Terrace Drive in both the College of Business Administration and Cartwright Hall lots.

“This is a unique collaborative opportunity for all of the students of the orchestra,” said Dr. Jungho Kim, Director of Orchestra. “It is always such an exciting process, and I look forward to seeing how the students work with each other. I will only be conducting one work on the program, Puccini’s ‘Intermezzo’ from ‘Manon Lescaut’ before turning the remainder of the program over to Karen and Victoria to lead.”

Ireland-native Ní Bhroin is an award-winning, in-demand conductor throughout her home country and abroad. Before coming to Kent State in the fall 2018 semester, she was RTÉ Conductor-in-Training working with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir in Dublin. Since coming to Kent State as the KSU Orchestra’s graduate assistant conductor, Ní Bhroin spent last summer as the Assistant Conductor of the National Music Festival in Maryland. She also attended the Dartington (UK) International Summer School Advanced Conducting program on a full scholarship. Most recently, she began her tenure as the Akron Symphony Chorus’ Assistant Conductor and made her Akron Symphony Orchestra debut earlier this year. Ní Bhroin is a graduate of Dublin’s Trinity College.

For this concert, Ní Bhroin will lead the orchestra in performances of Ravel’s “Mother Goose” Suite and the first movement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

Before coming to Kent State, Petrak earned degrees in violin performance and music education from Baldwin Wallace University. In addition to her conducting studies at Kent State, she currently teaches orchestra in Shaker Heights and is on the faculty of Camp Coda/Encore in Sweden, Maine. She was recently chosen as the first guest conductor of the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra, directed by Liza Grossman, leading the United States premiere of Fay Wang's “The Play of Toys.” Petrak has also led numerous world premieres at Baldwin Wallace and Kent State, including KSU alumnus Scott Little’s opera “Story of an Hour” in 2018.

Petrak will conduct the Kent State Orchestra in performances of Liszt’s “Les Preludes” and The Prelude to Act 1 of “La Traviata” by Verdi on March 8.

This performance is not part of the Orchestra’s 2019-20 Subscription Series and tickets are required. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Box Office in the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Dr. on the Kent Campus. Prices range from $8 to $15, including free tickets for those 18 and under as well as full-time Kent Campus undergraduate students. Patrons can purchase tickets in-person Monday through Friday from 12 to 5 p.m., by calling 330-672-2787 or anytime by visiting www.kent.edu/music/buy-tickets. Student tickets can only be reserved in person or by phone.

POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 10:13am
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 4:07pm