Sixth Annual: PLU Honor Orchestra for Strings

Open to High School String Players from throughout the Northwest

High School Orchestra

Following the success of another annual event here at PLU, the Northwest Honor Band, we have created a similar opportunity just for string players with the PLU Honor Orchestra for Strings. It is a two-day festival held annually over a weekend in January, offering individual high school string players from throughout the region the opportunity to perform excellent literature for string orchestra with a nationally recognized guest conductor.

The Guest Conductor for 2018 is Wes Kenney.

The 2007 Grand Prize Winner of the Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition and now a winner of the Ernst Bacon Memorial Prize for excellence in performance of American Music, Wes Kenney is celebrating his 15th season as Music Director of the Fort Collins (Colorado) Symphony and Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University. Named in 2004 to an additional post as Music Director of Opera Fort Collins, he currently conducts three professional operatic productions as well as numerous orchestra concerts and dance performances each season throughout Northern Colorado. Wes Kenney is also in his fifth season with Denver Young Artist Orchestra—the premier youth orchestra in the state of Colorado—an orchestra recognized by the city of Denver for outreach as well as recently awarded the Ernst Bacon Memorial Prize for the performance of contemporary music.

Mr. Kenney’s guest conducting activities include the New Hampshire All-State, Acadiana Symphony (LA), New Mexico All-State, Lafayette (IN) Symphony, Alabama All-State Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Alabama Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, and Richmond Symphony. International guest conducting includes performances with the Vidin State Philharmonic and Stara Zagora Opera Company in Bulgaria as well as the Edinburgh (Scotland) Music Festival. He has also appeared with the Savannah Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Dubuque Symphony. In January he will make his debut with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi.

Mr. Kenney has also enjoyed success directing opera, ballet and musical theater. Previous positions include Music Director of the Virginia Ballet Theater, Co-Principal Conductor of the Oakland Lyric Opera, and Guest Conductor with Universal Ballet Korea. Since 2004 he has conducted productions of Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sweeney Todd, Turn of the Screw, Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly, Cenerentola, Rigoletto, Tosca, Otello, Die Zauberflote, Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Street Scene, La Boheme, Pagliacci, Cavelleria Rusticana, Falstaff, Turandot, Marriage of Figaro, The Merry Widow, Aida, Don Giovanni, and Tenderland. In addition he has conducted over one hundred performances of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Firebird, and many other dance works.

Named Educator of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 2008, Mr. Kenney enjoys working with talented young people. Awarded the prestigious Carmen Dragon Conducting Prize in 1992, Wes Kenney is a founder of the CSU Summer Master of Music Education with an emphasis in conducting program, now in its 11th year.

Nominate your Students before November 1, 2017!

Visit the PLU Honor Orchestra for Strings page.

The 2018 PLU Honor Orchestra for Strings will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 27 & 28.

(Nominate your students here.)