CSO Announces Retirement Of Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor Gary Wilkes

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Gary Wilkes
Gary Wilkes

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Association announced the retirement of long-time conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Gary Wilkes, as of May 15. Mr. Wilkes is also retiring from his position as orchestra teacher at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS).

 

Mr. Wilkes joined the CSOYO in 1993. At that time, the YO consisted of just one orchestra.

Under his direction, the group grew tremendously, and a second full orchestra was added in 1998 under the direction of Ms. Sandy Morris. Two training string orchestras were added in the years following. Today, in large part due to his leadership, the CSOYO consists of four youth orchestras and several chamber ensembles that serve 200 of Chattanooga’s finest young musicians each season.

 

A native Chattanoogan, Mr. Wilkes is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education. After graduation, he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and was awarded a Master of Music Diploma in Bassoon Performance. There he studied conducting with James Rives-Jones, Associate Conductor with the Dallas Symphony and Colorado Symphony. Over the past 38 years, he has taught bands and orchestras in Texas and Tennessee. He holds membership in the Phi Beta Mu Honorary Band Director’s Fraternity and was recently honored as one of Tennessee’s outstanding teachers by the Board of the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts.

 

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Wilkes is the director of Music at First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, and is a proud husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife, Lisa, plan to relocate to the Nashville area this summer.

 

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is proud of its 27-year partnership with Mr. Wilkes and the contributions he has made to the youth orchestra program. In his honor, a new orchestral work was commissioned and will be performed and dedicated at the first CSOYO concert to be presented next season.

 


Friday Festival In Cleveland Begin June 5

Rodney Van Valkenburg Is New Chattanooga Theatre Centre Executive Director

Country Music Artist Tyler Farr To Perform For U.S. Xpress Drivers


MainStreet Cleveland and the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department are teaming up again to give the residents of Cleveland and Bradley County, and visitors to the area, live ... (click for more)

Rodney Van Valkenburg, who began his career at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, has come full circle after a 19-year tenure at ArtsBuild and will be the new executive director of CTC. An arts ... (click for more)

Artists across the world are performing intimate living room concerts to help keep people connected and spread joy during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re also reaching out to thank those on the ... (click for more)



Entertainment

Friday Festival In Cleveland Begin June 5

MainStreet Cleveland and the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department are teaming up again to give the residents of Cleveland and Bradley County, and visitors to the area, live music at the Friday Festivals. This year the summer concert series will be held every Friday in June in downtown Cleveland on the Courthouse Square. The festival series begins on June 5 ... (click for more)

Rodney Van Valkenburg Is New Chattanooga Theatre Centre Executive Director

Rodney Van Valkenburg, who began his career at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, has come full circle after a 19-year tenure at ArtsBuild and will be the new executive director of CTC. An arts leader and enthusiastic cheerleader for the local arts community, Mr. Van Valkenburg is currently vice president of ArtsBuild, where he has focused his work on arts advocacy, expanded arts ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Friends Of The Festival Cancels Riverbend 2020

Friends of the Festival, the nonprofit organization behind Chattanooga’s premier music festival Riverbend, has made the decision to cancel this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Friends of the Festival is unveiling new plans to continue to deliver music to the city’s riverfront in light of the new realities brought on by the pandemic. In what would have ... (click for more)

Demetrus Coonrod, Other Council Members Call For End To Black On Black Crime; Advocate Peaceful Protest, Not Violence

City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod on Tuesday night made an impassioned plea for an end to black on black crime. She did so after a recent Chattanooga murder left her granddaughter without a father. Councilwoman Coonrod spoke strongly in favor of protests against police brutality, but said there was no place for violence or destruction as part of that movement. Other black ... (click for more)

Opinion

Kudos Again To Demetrus Coonrod

In the aftermath of the tragic death of the young man in Minneapolis, Democrats and their sycophants in the media are carrying on the biggest scam perpetrated on the American people since LBJ with his Great Society and Tonkin Gulf incident in 1965. Thanks to Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod for publicly standing up to black on black crime, especially homicide, yesterday. Once again ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Inches From Hell

By ordinary standards it might be best described as one of life’s worst 1-2 punches, a pair of hard, personal blows that drop you to your knees. True, each devastating blow was uncommonly back to back. But, no, when I learned Wednesday morning that college football icon Johnny Majors had died just some 48 hours after another legend, Auburn’s Pat Dye, it was as though I’d been hit ... (click for more)