Symphony conductor

ASHLAND -- The Ashland Symphony Orchestra Search Committee has announced that five finalists have been selected to audition for the position as Music Director/Conductor of the orchestra.

Each candidate will program and conduct one of five concerts during the 2020-2021 season, beginning this September and ending next April, after which one will be chosen as the new Symphony maestro.

The five finalists include two from Ohio and one each from Michigan, New York and Missouri.

They were among 128 applicants from throughout the United States as well as from Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Russia and Taiwan. The finalists, in alphabetical order, are as follows.

Darwin Aquino, from St. Louis, is Music Director of the Gateway Festival Orchestra, Resident Conductor of Washington University Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at the University of Missouri. He obtained his Masters of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Florida International University.

Raphael Jiménez from Oberlin, is Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at Oberlin University. He is serving as regular guest conductor for the Ashland Symphony Orchestra during the 2019-2020 season. His Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree is from Michigan State University.

Michael Repper from New York, New York, is Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall and Music Director of the Northern Neck Orchestra in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He is completing his DMA degree in Orchestral Conducting from Peabody Conservatory.

Yaniv Segal from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is Assistant/Cover Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Cover Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His DMA degree in Orchestral Conducting is from the University of Michigan.

Isaac Selya, from Cincinnati, OH, is the Founder/Director of Queen City Opera, Resident Conductor of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Conductor of MY Cincinnati Youth Orchestra. He obtained his DMA degree from the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music.

During the week each finalist is in Ashland for rehearsals and the concert, there will be receptions, tours around town, and other opportunities for the community to meet and greet each one. The audience at each concert will be asked to evaluate the candidates through a questionnaire as part of the final selection process.

Once programming is complete for the 2020-2021 concert season, additional announcements will be forthcoming.

The Search Committee followed a process which included each applicant’s submitting a resume, a repertoire list, samples of programs, videos of conducting, and personal references.

After reviewing all materials, the Committee narrowed the candidates to 10 semifinalists whose references were then interviewed. Seven were subsequently interviewed themselves through Zoom video conferencing, resulting in the five finalists.

The search process began last October with Committee members representing the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Board of Directors and the community at large. Members are Allan Anderson, Jan Archer, chair; Ron Blackley, Lindsay Brown, John Byron, Betsy Chapman, Susan Gregg, Ann Guthrie, Melanie Miller, Jane Reed, Tom Reed, and Sam Rotberg.

Martha Buckner, ASO Executive Director, and Rev. Tom Snyder, ASO Board President, serve ex officio and Brittany Kohut serves as secretary. The Committee will conclude its work in the spring of 2021.

For more information about the ASO, visit or call 419-289-5115.

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