Maestro Wes Kenney Named Music Director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra

DENVER (April 26, 2013) – The Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association (DYAO), Colorado’s premier youth orchestra, announced today that Wes Kenney has been appointed as the organization’s new Music Director.

Kenney is a tenured professor of music at Colorado State University and also serves as Music Director for the Fort Collins Symphony and Opera Fort Collins.  Beginning in the 2013-2014 season, he will oversee all music programming at DYAO and serve as the rehearsal and performance conductor for its lead orchestra of young musicians.

“We’re delighted to be announcing Wes Kenney’s appointment,” said Paul Keebler, president of the DYAO board of directors. “For more than 35 years, DYAO has been providing young musicians in the Denver area and beyond the opportunity to experience the joys of orchestral classical music, with a focus on both learning and performance excellence. Wes has a tremendous record of achievement as a conductor of both adult and youth orchestras, and he is uniquely well qualified to take over this critically important role for our organization.”

Kenney is Director of Orchestras and teaches graduate conducting at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He has been Music Director of the Fort Collins Symphony for 10 years and in the same position with Opera Fort Collins since 2004. Previously, he was Associate Conductor for the Virginia Symphony in Norfolk, Virginia and Director of Orchestras at the College of William and Mary and San Francisco State University. He also spent seven years as Music Director for the Oakland Youth Symphony in Oakland, California taking that ensemble on tour to both Central Europe and China.

Kenney is also a past president of the Conductors Guild, a professional organization whose membership includes more than 1,600 conductors worldwide. Kenney holds degrees from the University of Southern California and San Francisco State University and has been the recipient of numerous professional and teaching awards. He also served as a guest conductor for DYAO during the 2012-2013 season.

“DYAO has established a strong position as one of the top youth orchestras in the country,” Kenney said. “As a DYAO guest conductor this year, I have experienced first-hand the extraordinary level of talent this orchestra enjoys, as well as an outstanding commitment to excellence amongst all its young musicians. I look forward to working with DYAO’s board and staff to deliver an outstanding educational experience for these wonderful young people.”

Kenney is the 11th music director in the 36-year history of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra. DYAO was founded by Music Director Carl Topilow in 1977.  Other music directors are Charles Ansbacher, Horst Buchholz, Thomas Cockrell, Jurgen de Lemos, David Lockington, Lawrence Loh, Adam Flatt, Scott O’Neil, and Matthew Switzer.

DYAO will present its final concert of the 2012-2013 season on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 2:30pm at Boettcher Concert Hall.  This concert will be lead by Music Director Wes Kenney and features violin soloist, Isaac Allen, DYAO’s 2013 Concerto Competition Winner.

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Peter Hellyer
Executive Director
Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association