WES KENNEY is now in his fourteenth year as professor of Music and director of Orchestras at Colorado State University. He conducts the CSU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra as well as CSU Opera productions, and teaches graduate conducting. Mr. Kenney has led the orchestra to many new milestones, including first ever at CSU performances of Mahler symphonies No. 1 and No. 5, two Strauss tone poems, the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, and the Bruckner Symphony No. 5. In 2014 he was named music director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra - the premiere youth orchestra in the state of Colo. - and has taken that orchestra on tour through Italy, France, and Spain. Last June Mr. Kenney took DYAO to New York City for that orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut.
Mr. Kenney is also currently in his fourteenth season as music director of the fully professional Fort Collins Symphony. In the summer of 2004 he was named to an additional post of music director of Opera Fort Collins, helping that organization establish a full season of three productions a year. Mr. Kenney was named the 2009 Outstanding Teacher by the Colorado American String Teachers Association. He was also awarded the Grand Prize in the summer 2007 Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition. He traveled back to Bulgaria in 2008 for concerts in Vidin and to conduct La Traviata in Stara Zagora.
Mr. Kenney is a frequent guest conductor of professional and educational ensembles. Recent appearances include the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Lafayette (Ind.) Symphony and the Acadiana Symphony (La.). He has conducted New Mexico All-State, Virginia All-State, Alabama All-State, and next spring travels to N.H. for their All-State Orchestra. He also has credits that include concerts with orchestras in Europe and Asia. In Jan. 2018, Mr. Kenney will travel to Vietnam to conduct the Hanoi Philharmonic. He has given orchestra clinics in all corners of Colo. and is sought after for sessions at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference. Mr. Kenney is a former president of the Conductors Guild and serves currently on their advisory board.
Mr. Kenney has also enjoyed success directing from the orchestra pit for opera, ballet, and musical theater, including conducting productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Patience, Cendrillon, and Turandot, Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sweeney Todd, Turn of the Screw, Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly, Cenerentola, Rigoletto, Tosca, Die Zauberflote, Die Fledermaus, La Traviata.Il Trovatore, Street Scene, La Boheme, Pagliacci, Cavelleria Rusticana, Falstaff, La Traviata, Turandot, Marriage of Figaro, The Merry Widow, Aida, Giovanni, and Tenderland.
Mr. Kenney is also in demand as a conducting pedagogue. He recently taught alongside Jorge Mester in a Conductors Guild sponsored workshop at CSU. In the summer of 2011 he was a guest lecturer at the Conductor’s Institute held at Bard College in upstate New York, teaching alongside founder Harold Farberman and American Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leon Botstein. He is also one of the founders of the CSU Summer Master’s Degree program in conducting, designed to allow music educators the opportunity to earn a graduate degree while furthering their conducting studies and remaining in their current position.
M.M. Conducting, San Francisco State University; B.A. Music, University of Southern California