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April 18, 2019 (Ann Arbor, MI) – Music Director and Conductor Arie Lipsky and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra announced the jury panel that will serve as adjudicators for the final round of the orchestra’s Young Artist Competition to be held on June 15, 2019. The six-member jury includes renowned music educators and artistic leaders from Southeast Michigan, including Andre Dowell of The Sphinx Organization, Courtney Snyder and Colleen Conway of the University of Michigan, William Hayes of the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra, and Jane Wilkinson of the A²SO’s Artistic and Education Committees. The panel will be joined by A²SO Music Director and Conductor Arie Lipsky.

Andre Dowell is a strategic arts administrator and thought leader who helps drive national programming and conversations around diversity in classical music. He currently serves as Senior Director for Education and Artist Engagement for the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading arts organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. In this role, he oversees all programmatic initiatives through which Sphinx expands access to classical music education, supports emerging talent, and curates performance opportunities around the country. Under Andre’s leadership, his team’s national partner network has grown to 40+ orchestras, including the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, enabling Sphinx to continue expanding its programming to new audiences nationwide. Beyond his role at Sphinx, Andre is committed to building a thriving national arts community through a growing roster of speaking engagements and external leadership roles. He has been invited to address audiences at training centers including Interlochen Center for the Arts, the University of Tennessee at Martin, Lindenwood University, the University of Toledo, and the University of Denver. He currently serves as a board member for the Classical Connections Committee within the Association for Performing Arts Professionals, Third Coast Percussion, River Raisin Ragtime Revue and as an Artistic Advisor for Intersection Music. A native of Trenton, Tennessee, Andre’s music career began in piano lessons at the urging of his mother. Despite his initial reluctance to embrace the craft, it was not long before Andre was transformed by an unshakable love of sound. Driven by a passion for music that crystallized in the Southern Black Baptist Church and school ensembles, he would complete Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Percussion Performance at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Courtney Snyder is associate director of bands and assistant professor of conducting at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Concert Band, teaches conducting, and directs the Michigan Youth Wind Band – a group of select, auditioned high school students from area high schools. Under her direction, the Concert Band was invited to perform at the College Band Directors Association North-Central Division Conference. Previously, Snyder served as the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska – Omaha where she directed the “Maverick” Marching Band, was the conductor of the Concert Band and associate conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and taught courses in conducting, music education, and brass methods. While in Omaha, Snyder served as Music Director for the Nebraska Wind Symphony, which, also under her direction, was invited to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Annual Conference. Prior to directing college ensembles, Snyder taught high school and middle school band and orchestra in the Michigan public schools. Snyder is published in Music Educators Journal, several volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, School Band & Orchestra Magazine, and Association of Concert Bands Journal. She earned 2nd Place of the 2017-2018 American Prize in Conducting, Band/Wind Ensemble Division Competition and was awarded the “Citation of Excellence” award by the National Band. She is a member of College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Women Band Directors International, National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Snyder earned a music education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BME) and conducting degrees from Baylor University (MM) and the University of Michigan (DMA).

Dr. Colleen Conway is a professor of music education at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horn performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Conway’s scholarly interests include instrumental music education, preservice music teacher education, qualitative research, professional development for the in-service music teacher, and the mentoring and induction of beginning music teachers. She has presented at national and international conferences (including NAfME, The Midwest Clinic, AERA, and ISME) and has published more than 90 articles on these topics in all of the major music education journals. Conway is currently editor-in-chief of Arts Education Policy Review and on the senior editorial board at Oxford University Press. Books in print include: Great Beginning for Music Teachers: A Guide to Mentoring and Induction (2003, Rowman & Littlefield); Handbook for the Beginning Music Teacher (2006, GIA); Teaching Music in Higher Education (2009, Oxford); Handbook for the Music Mentor (2010, GIA); Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education (2014, Oxford); and Curriculum and Assessment in Music Education (2015, GIA).

Co-founder, music director, and conductor of the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra, William Hayes has a passion for music. Whether it is composing, arranging, or adapting scores and parts for the YYO, arranging for and directing the crowd-pleasing Cadillac Area Symphony and the Traverse City Civic Players, re-creating classic rags for River Raisin Ragtime Revue, or playing his bass on Sunday mornings at church, this passion influences every aspect of his musical being. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Music degree from Western Illinois University. In 2011, he was recognized in a Special Tribute from Michigan Governor Snyder and members of the State Legislature for his personal commitment to the many young people who share his love and appreciation of music.

A native of England, Jane Wilkinson received two music degrees from Cambridge University. She came to the U.S. for graduate work at the University of California-Berkeley where she taught and received her Ph.D. in composition. She then taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent position as Director of the Arts Program at Bryn Mawr College included creating a professional performing arts series of music, dance and theater, and administering academic programs in the arts. As a composer, she has had performances of her works in Europe, South America, and in the U.S. at venues such as Alice Tully Hall and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. She also conducts performances of her works. Since relocating to the Ann Arbor area, she has been an active member of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors as Secretary, VP of Artistic Affairs, and assisting in the creation and writing of curricula for the orchestra’s education program.

A²SO Music Director and Conductor Arie Lipsky was just nine when he won the first of many prestigious musical competitions allowing him to solo with his town’s orchestra. After this impressive success, he began to appear in concerts throughout Israel and Europe. Lipsky subsequently began serious study of composition and conducting. His mentors include Semyon Bychkov, Yoel Levi and Kurt Masur in conducting and Pablo Casals and Leonard Rose on cello. He holds degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Music which he received before serving in the Israeli Army. After moving to the United States, Lipsky served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Ohio Opera. He moved to Buffalo in 1984 to become the Buffalo Philharmonic’s principal cellist and in 1990, he became the Resident Conductor. In early 1995, on short notice, Arie replaced the late Eduardo Mata conducting the Israel Chamber Orchestra, where his success resulted in return engagements with many of Israel’s orchestras. Lipsky is the Music Director of the Ashland Symphony (Ohio) and also conducts major orchestras in the US, Canada, and Europe. Education and outreach are key drivers of Lipsky’s musical vision. Last season he visited over 30,000 youngsters in classrooms and coached orchestral and band classes in Ann Arbor as well as the five-county area.

Finalists will be selected from the pool of applicants and will be invited to perform at a live juried audition on Saturday, June 15, 2019. All finalists will receive written feedback from the jurors. Top prize winners must be available to participate in the Music in the Middle concert on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at Hill Auditorium on the campus of The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. Apply online here. For more information, please visit www.a2so.com/youngartist. Applications must be postmarked by May 10, 2019. For additional information, please call the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra at 734‐994‐4801 or e‐mail Kira Woodfield Leeper at kira@a2so.com.


The A²SO is a premier regional orchestra offering live symphonic music to over 70,000 patrons of all ages in venues ranging from the historic Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium to schools, daycares, libraries, farmers markets, and various senior citizen centers in the five-county area of Southeast Michigan. For tickets, visit a2so.com, email tickets@a2so.com or call (734) 994-4801.