Record number of women to lead Interlochen Arts Camp’s 2020 ensembles

  • JoAnn Falletta leads the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in their fourth performance of Camp 2019.

  • Mary Land (center) rehearses with the Intermediate Wind Symphony during Arts Camp 2020.

This summer, Interlochen Arts Camp’s high school and intermediate musicians will rehearse and perform under a record-breaking number of female leaders. Women will comprise 33% of conductors for the high school ensembles, including three of nine orchestra conductors and three of nine band conductors.

“As educators, we have the ability to leave a lasting impact on our students,” said Eric Stomberg, Director of Music for Interlochen Arts Camp. “In these formative years, it is vital that we expose our students to diverse perspectives, especially the perspectives of those who have traditionally been under-represented in classical music. While we still have a long way to go, engaging these remarkable women as conductors, composers, and concertmasters is a step in the right direction. I’m proud that the young artists of Arts Camp 2020 will be able to see such role models on the podium, in the studio, and as the creators of art they will perform this summer.”

High school orchestra conductors include Carolyn Watson, who will work with the Interlochen Philharmonic; Gemma New, who will conduct the World Youth Symphony Orchestra; and JoAnn Falletta, who will lead World Youth Symphony Orchestra and was recently one of eight women included in Bachtrack’s top 100 conductors.

High school band conductors include Caroline Beatty, who will conduct the World Youth Wind Symphony; Sarah McKoin, who will conduct both the World Youth Wind Symphony and Interlochen Wind Ensemble; and Beth Peterson, who will lead the Interlochen Wind Ensemble. A fourth female conductor, Mary Land, will work with the Intermediate Wind Symphony throughout the summer.

In addition to the two female conductors, World Youth Symphony Orchestra students will have the opportunity to work with two of the nation’s finest female violinists, Celeste Golden-Boyer and Margaret Batjer, who will serve as Valade Concertmasters.

Works by female composers will also feature prominently in the 2020 repertoire. Selections for the high school ensembles include works by Jodie Blackshaw, Carolyn Bremer, Valerie Coleman, Shelley Hanson, Jennifer Higdon, Jennifer Jolley, Tanner Porter, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The intermediate ensembles will perform works by Judith Zaimont, Julie Giroux, Kimberly Archer, Jennifer Higdon, Cait Nishimura, and Carol Chambers, among others.

Read biographies of the conductors and concertmasters below:

Margaret Batjer

Margaret Batjer has served as concertmaster of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. Throughout her successful career as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and concertmaster, she has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide.

Margaret made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since appeared with a succession of leading American orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Seattle, and Dallas symphony orchestras. She has performed with such European ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Prague Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and Hallé Orchestra.

An esteemed chamber musician, Margaret was a longtime participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and often performed on tour with Music From Marlboro. She has appeared at the La Jolla Summerfest; the Sarasota and Vancouver Chamber music festivals; and the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy. As a member of the Quartetto Accardo from 1984–2000, Margaret performed with Maurizio Pollini at the Salzburg Festival, and at La Scala, Carnegie Hall and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Margaret Batjer is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. She joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2005 and also serves on the faculty at the Colburn Music Academy. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Joel McNeely, their two children, Joshua and Claire, and their dog, Bailey.

Caroline Beatty

Dr. Caroline Beatty is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Texas State University. Her responsibilities include providing administration and oversight of the university band program, conducting the Wind Symphony, and teaching conducting and band literature courses. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she also served as Interim Conductor of the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. Performances under her direction garner consistent accolades from audience members, composers, and fellow performers for their artistry, excitement, beauty, and craft. While honoring the standard repertoire, Dr. Beatty actively invests in the commissioning and performance of new works. Recent commissioning projects and premiere performances include compositions by Michael Ippolito, Robert Beaser, Carter Pann, Michael Daugherty, Margaret Brouwer, David Maslanka, Ryan Chase, and Alexandra Gardner. In 2017, Dr. Beatty was presented with the Texas State University Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching.

Dr. Beatty maintains a vibrant conducting and teaching schedule outside of the university. She recently served as Chief Adjudicator and Clinician for the Victoria School Music Festival in Melbourne, Australia and has been engaged as a conductor for composers’ recording projects and for various university wind ensembles and honor bands throughout the US. Her diverse teaching engagements have included serving as a conducting workshop clinician and providing presentations on a variety of educational and historical topics ranging from 19th century harmoniemusik, to music in American history, and conducting pedagogy. Additionally, she is a sought-after rehearsal clinician for secondary school bands.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Beatty held the position of Associate Director of Bands at Texas State University and Northwestern State University-Louisiana. Her secondary school teaching experience includes thirteen years as a high school band director in the Houston area. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan and holds both a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Beatty is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Beta Mu International Band Fraternity.

Celeste Golden Boyer

Celeste Golden Boyer joined the Saint Louis Symphony as Second Associate Concertmaster at the start of the 2011-2012 season. Past teachers include Arkady Fomin, David Cerone, Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, and Paul Kantor. Celeste received her Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2005, and her Master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2007. A laureate of several national and international competitions, Celeste was the Bronze Medalist at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in 2006. She has appeared as soloist with numerous symphony orchestras around the world, including the St. Louis Symphony, the Latvian Chamber Orchestra in Riga, Latvia, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has appeared in series and festivals such as the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, the Festival de San Miguel de Allende, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, the Innsbrook Institute Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Marlboro Music Festival.

JoAnn Falletta

JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center, and Music Advisor to the Hawaii Symphony. She has been acclaimed by The Washington Post as having "Toscanini's tight control over ensemble, Walter's affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski's gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein."

Falletta has guest conducted over 100 orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the National Symphony at Wolf Trap, the RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), the New Japan Philharmonic, the Mexico Symphony Philharmonic, the National Orchestras of Peru, Columbia and Iceland; debut performances in Belgrade, Gothenburg, Lima, Bogotá, Helsingborg, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's; a European tour with the Stuttgart Orchestra; return engagements with the Warsaw, Detroit, Phoenix, and Krakow Symphony Orchestras; and a 13-city United States tour with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with James Galway.

Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble. She has since been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. The orchestra has become one of the leading recording orchestras for Naxos and returned twice to Carnegie Hall, first in 2004 after a 20-year absence, and again in 2013 as part of the Spring for Music Festival. In 2018, the BPO made their first international tour in three decades, to perform at Warsaw's prestigious Beethoven Easter Festival where Falletta made history as the first American woman conductor to lead an orchestra at the Festival. Other accomplishments include the establishment of the orchestra's Beau Fleuve label, the founding of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in partnership with WNED, and the national and international broadcast of concerts on NPR's Performance Today and SymphonyCast and the European Broadcasting Union.

With a discography of 115 titles, Falletta is a leading recording artist for Naxos. Her discs have won two GRAMMY® Awards and received ten nominations. In 2018, Naxos released four recordings with Falletta: Wagner: Music from Der Ring del Nibelugen with the BPO; Franz Schreker: The Birthday of the Infanta—Suite with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kodaly: Concerto for Orchestra with the BPO; and her fifth world-premiere recording of music of Kenneth Fuchs with the London Symphony. Upcoming albums include Respighi's Rome Trilogy with the BPO to be released by Naxos in February 2019.

Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has served as a Member of the National Council on the Arts, and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards. She has introduced over 500 works by American composers, including well over 100 world premieres.

Falletta has held the positions of Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, Music Director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra and The Women's Philharmonic.

She received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School of Music, and her master's and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School. When not on the podium, Falletta enjoys writing, cycling, and yoga, and is an avid reader.

Mary Land

Mary Land is the Assistant Professor of Music Education at Western Michigan University. Previously, she was Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia. Before those positions, Land was a public school band director in Georgia. She received her Educational Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Land received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia and her Master of Music Education degree from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. She has served the Georgia Music Educators Association in various state and local offices. Land is currently the immediate past president of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the former CNAfME state chair. Land serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and is a member of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity She continues to make numerous appearances as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the United States and has recently joined the Conn Selmer Division of educational clinicians. Her professional affiliations include: MSBOA, NAfME, IAJE, CBDNA, and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Professional Teacher Association. Land is a member of the National Band Association and has served as a national representative on the NBA executive board of directors.

Land was recently presented with The Distinguished Alumni Award from the Vandercook College of Music. She has been featured in many issues of the Instrumentalist magazine, and was selected as one of School Band and Orchestra’s “50 Directors Who Make A Difference.” Her accolades include 12 National Band Association Citations of Excellence; five Women Band Directors International Scrolls of Excellence; GMEA Music Educator of the Year (2012); and the John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor Award (2012). Land and the Pickens County Middle School Band received a commendation from the Georgia Senate (Resolution 212) and won the Magna Cum Laude Award, a prestigious international award for middle school bands.

Land is published in the journals for the National Band Association, The Instrumentalist, Teaching Music (NAfME), School Band and Orchestra Journal, and the GIA series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Commissioning projects include works by Sam Hazo, Bill Locklear, Barry Kopetz, and Christopher Tucker.

Sarah McKoin

Dr. Sarah McKoin is the Director of Bands and Professor of Conducting at Texas Tech University. Her responsibilities include Conductor and Musical Director of the TTU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, administrating the graduate program in wind conducting, teaching conducting and wind literature, and overseeing all facets of the University band program, which includes five concert bands, the 400 member Goin' Band from Raiderland, and other athletic bands.

Under Dr. McKoin's direction, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform for the third time at the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Conference, and has been featured at the Southwest Regional Conference for the College Band Directors National Association in Las Cruces, NM. Dr. McKoin's ensemble has recorded world premiere recordings of the wind music of Chen Yi on the Naxos label released in 2015, as well as Narong Prangcharoen's work Chakra on his compilation CD entitled Phenomenon, released on the Albany label.

Dr. McKoin maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician and has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Recently, she served as a clinician for a band festival in Thailand, and has worked for the Asian Pacific American School Honor Band in Guangzhou, China, comprised of 100 students from Korea, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and other southeast Asian areas. She has guest conducted in Taipei, Taiwan and has traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to serve as producer for the world premiere recording of Roberto Sierra's Fantasia Correliana with the Castellani-Andriaccio guitar duo.

Prior to her appointment at Texas Tech, Professor McKoin was the Director of Bands at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and held appointments at the State University of New York at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia. Additionally, McKoin spent nine summers in residence on the conducting faculty at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina as the Director of the Transylvania Wind Ensemble, and has taught at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Dr. McKoin holds her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin as well as degrees from Wichita State University and Michigan State University. She has served as President of the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association as well as President of the Big 12 Band Directors Association. She is a member of TMEA, TBA, Phi Beta Mu, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.

Gemma New

Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, New Zealand-born Gemma New is a leader among the new generation of conductors. She is currently Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Hailed as “a rising star in the musical firmament” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), New was awarded Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards in 2017 and 2019.

New’s 2019/20 season features her inaugural concerts as Principal Guest Conductor in Dallas and debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra D.C., Milwaukee Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, and Ulster Orchestra. On the opera front, she makes her debut with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she will conduct a production of "Susannah" with Susanna Phillips in the title role. In the summer of 2019, New made five major conducting debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony.

Last season, New led the opening concerts of the St. Louis Symphony, made her debut with the New York Philharmonic on a Young People’s Concert program, and conducted the SLSO on a live broadcast performance of Live From Here with Chris Thile. New has conducted the Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Berkeley Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Her guest conducting has taken her internationally with orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Filharmonia Szczecin and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and back home to New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, Opus Orchestra and more.

Beth Peterson

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, clinical professor of music and associate director of bands, joined the University of Illinois faculty in the fall of 2015. She conducts the Illinois Wind Orchestra, serves as the placement coordinator for student teachers, and teaches courses in instrumental conducting. Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois, Dr. Peterson was a tenured professor of music education at the Ithaca College School of Music. During the 17 years she spent at Ithaca College, she conducted numerous ensembles including the Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, and All-Campus Band. She taught courses in conducting, undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, and supervised student teachers. Dr. Peterson was the co-conductor of the Ithaca Concert Band (community band) for 15 years. Her current research focuses on the experiences of first-year teachers.

Dr. Peterson is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and school music consultant in the United States and Canada. She presents clinics at the local, state, and national levels in the field of music education. Dr. Peterson’s two books, “The Music Teacher’s First Year: Tales of Challenge, Joy, and Triumph,” and “The Music Teacher’s Later Years: Reflection with Wisdom”—both published by Meredith Music.

Dr. Peterson received a Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Literature, Science and Arts degree from the University of Michigan where she studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla. She received a Master of Music in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz, and performed in the North Shore Community Band under the direction of John P. Paynter. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory.

Prior to her appointment at Ithaca College, Dr. Peterson was an arts administrator and director of bands in the public schools of Ohio and Illinois. She holds a number of professional memberships including the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors.

Carolyn Watson

A major prizewinner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest, Carolyn Watson was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, where she studied with David Zinman. She has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, including the Brandenburg Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kodály Philharmonic, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Operetta Theatre, Bulgarian State Opera Bourgas, and, in Russia, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.

Watson currently serves as Director of Orchestral Studies at The University of Kansas whilst continuing to enjoy an active freelance career throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Since moving to the U.S. in 2013, she has conducted the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Austin Symphony, Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra, and World Youth Symphony Orchestra. From 2013 to 2015 she held the prestigious position of Music Director of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, with whom she was awarded the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance.

In 2017, Watson was one of six conductors selected for the elite Dallas Opera Institute for Women Conductors and has participated in master classes with Marin Alsop, Peter Eötvös, Yoel Levi, Martyn Brabbins, and Alex Polishchuk. Watson conducted musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic in Interaktion and was Musical Assistant at the Staatsoper Berlin for Infektion!, a festival of modern theatre celebrating the works of John Cage. She was resident at the Israeli National Opera and assisted Sir Charles Mackerras on his final two productions at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Glyndebourne.

Watson is the recipient of a number of prestigious national and international awards for young conductors including the Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors; Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize awarded via the Australian Music Foundation in London; Opera Foundation Australia's Bayreuth Opera Award; the Berlin New Music Opera Award; and the Nelly Apt Conducting Scholarship. A Churchill Fellow, she is the beneficiary of support from the American Australian Association's Dame Joan Sutherland Fund and a Sheila Pryor Study Grant from the Australian Opera Auditions Committee.

Watson holds a Ph.D in Performance (Conducting) from the University of Sydney where she studied under Imre Palló. The subject of her doctoral thesis was "Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiber."

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