Stow Symphony Orchestra
P.O. Box 1495
Stow, Ohio 44224
Darrell Lee Music, conductor & director
The Stow Symphony Orchestra has performed under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Darrell Lee Music since 1998. Recognized as one of the area’s finest conductors, Mr. Music’s commitment to fresh musical interpretations and innovative programming have become hallmarks of SSO performances.
Active as a conductor, composer, and performer for many years, Mr. Music has a broad range of musical endeavors to his credit. As a conductor, prior to his tenure with the SSO, he served as Assistant Conductor for two years under Music Director Eric Benjamin with the Akron Youth Symphony; and during the same period served as Assistant Choral Director under several Directors of the Akron Symphony Chorus including James Mismas and Betsy Burleigh.
As a performer he has been s a vocal soloist with the Akron Symphony Chorus Performances with that group include a performance of the music of Gershwin at the historic Civic Theatre. He has also appeared as a vocal soloist with the Akron University’s Vocal Jazz Ensembl- most notably with the ensemble when it opened for Mel Tormé at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. In 1996 Music served as Artistic Director and Pianist of the University of Akron chamber ensemble ‘Portrait’ which premiered his chamber work, Sonnets- a chamber work for tenor, oboe, bassoon, and piano- in February of that year. More recently, Music has been a vocal soloist with the Stow Symphony in performances of popular vocal works including his own orchestrations of O Holy Night and, from the musical Les Miserables, Bring Him Home; and in vocal duet performances again of his own orchestrations, including Nella Fantasia and The Prayer where he shared the stage with rising local talent Lucía Gunther. He has also performed music of his own composition, including No Matter Where with Colombian vocal star, Lina Maria Castaņo.
Other performances of Mr. Music’s own compositions include Poem for Kathleen Ferrier for unaccompanied voices which he performed along with members of a local vocal quartet, his Piano Trio No. I, performed by members of Daedelus, the University of Akron’s New Music Ensemble. The world premier performance of Declaration for Speaker and Orchestra, was given by the Stow Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Music and narrated by Cleveland weatherman, Dick Goddard, in the summer of 2001. The Stow Symphony reprised the piece in the summer of 2009 under the direction of guest conductor Frank Wiley, in a performance that featured Mr. Music as Speaker.
His list of collaborators including musicians, composers and orchestras continues to grow. He has collaborated as a composer/arranger with both the Tuscarawas Philharmonic and with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. His commissioning of composer Jamie Wilding resulted in the piece, The Continents. The World Premier performance of that commission was given by the SSO under Music's baton in the Fall of 2005. He has enjoyed collaborations with musicians including renowned area bass/baritone, Brian Johnson; violinists Alicia Koelz, Linda Nagy Johnston, Andrew Sords, and more recently with Roger Waters with whom Music and the SSO collaborated in a performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto; Violists Art Klima, and Eliesha Nelson, both of the Cleveland orchestra; Cleveland Orchestra cellist Brian Dumm; pianists, Matthew Loudermilk, Daniel Barber, and Paolo Tatafiore; and composers Eric Ewazen, Roger Zahab, Jamie Wilding and Joan Tower, whose ground-breaking work Made in America won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition and enjoyed its Ohio Premier and second ever performance by the Stow Symphony Orchestra- only a week after the world premier performance- under the baton of Maestro Music in the fall of 2005.
Music’s commitment to education has been demonstrated through collaborations as guest conductor/clinician with area high school orchestras including the Stow-Munroe Falls High School and Firestone High School string orchestras, and as rehearsal conductor with the University of Akron Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Music holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Akron. While there, he also studied both choral and orchestral conducting. His coaches have included Elmer Isler of the Elmer Isler Singers, and Kellie Curtis Malone. He lists as his teachers Kerry Woodward, Albert George Schram, Joel Ethan Fried and Eric Benjamin.