By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma City University (OKCU) and the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras (OYO) announced that internationally renowned conductor Jeffrey Grogan has accepted a joint position with the two organizations.
Effective July 1, Grogan will serve as conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music. He will also be the artistic director of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, the flagship ensemble of the organization.
“By hiring one of the nation’s top orchestral conductors, Oklahoma City University shows its continued commitment to instrumental music in offering the very best musical training for our students,” said Music Dean Mark Parker. “Jeff Grogan will be a formidable addition to our outstanding faculty and will enhance our national reputation,” Parker added.
OYO Executive Director Melody Garza says Grogan has a lot to offer to OYO students and the entire musical community.
“Even in our earliest communications in the search process, it was obvious that Jeff’s passion and expertise are an excellent fit for the organization,” Garza stated. “Now celebrating 40 years of providing top quality music education to students in Oklahoma and with this truly exceptional new artistic director at the helm, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras is primed to elevate students, families and our community through music to previously unseen heights.”
Grogan’s background includes serving as adjudicator, conductor and clinician for many distinguished national and international festivals such as the Honor Orchestra of America sponsored by Music for All, the Association for Music in International Schools in Singapore, the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center and the Honors Performance Series Orchestra and Band at Carnegie Hall.
He most recently held positions as the education and community engagement conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conductor and was artistic director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the New Jersey Youth Symphony.
“I am thrilled to begin a new journey with two organizations that share such a wonderful tradition of excellence and nurturing talented students,” Grogan said.
“This is also a homecoming for us; my wife, Lee is from Texarkana and I grew up going between Dallas and OKC. We are so impressed with the rich arts scene and growth that OKC has fostered in recent years, and look forward to becoming a part of the community!”
Grogan’s prior experience also includes teaching at the University of Michigan, Ithaca College and Baylor University, where he taught conducting and trained future music educators. He is also the former associate director of bands and marching band director at the University of Michigan and Baylor University.
Former conductor Eric Garcia has accepted a new position as music director of the Boise Philharmonic. He served as OYO’s first artistic director when the partnership with Oklahoma City University was created in 2015.
For more information about OCU’s Bass School of Music visit okcu.edu/music and for more information about Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, visit oyomusic.org.