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 its inception 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 John MacDonald, Kellie Curtis-Malone, James Mismas and Betsy Burleigh.
As a performer he has been a vocal soloist with the Akron Symphony Chorus, the University of Akron Vocal Jazz ensemble, the new music vocal quartet ‘Poem’, the eclectic rock band ‘Layercake’, and the vocal group ‘Four-part Trio’. Mr. Music has been a keyboardist (for ‘Layercake’) and pianist (for ‘Four-part Trio). He was also pianist of ‘Portrait’; a new music chamber ensemble for which he also served as Artistic Director.
With the Stow Symphony Orchestra Mr. Music has appeared on a number of occasions as a vocal soloist, in duet, and as a speaker. His most notable duet collaborations include performances with rising local talent Lucía Veon and Colombian vocal star, Lina Maria Castaño . He was the speaker in a performance of his orchestral composition ‘Declaration for Speaker and Orchestra’ with Frank Wiley conducting.
His compositions include ‘Poem for Kathleen Ferrier’ for unaccompanied voices, Trio No. I for violin, cello, and piano, ‘Estrella Helicoidal’, for string orchestra, and ‘444’ for woodwind quartet, to name a few. He has also written for orchestra, including; ‘Solstice’, ‘Reflections on America’, ‘No Matter Where’, for vocal duet and orchestra, ‘Wedding Music’, and ‘Declaration for Speaker and Orchestra’.
He has many orchestral arrangements to his credit including ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Bring Him Home’ from the musical Les Miserable, ‘Nella Fantasia’, ‘The Prayer’, ‘Geistliches Lied’ [Brahms], ‘Intermezzo from the Op. 118, No. 2’ [Brahms], ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ [Mozart], ‘Fugue in d minor’ [Bach], and ‘Prelude No. 4’ [Chopin] among others.
His list of collaborators including musicians, composers and orchestras continues to grow. Along with his many collaborations with SSO, he has collaborated as a composer/arranger with both the Tuscarawas Philharmonic and with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. His commissioning of composer James Wilding resulted in the piece, ‘The Continents’. The World Premiere 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 Bass/Baritone, Brian Johnson; violinists Alicia Koelz, Linda Nagy Johnston, Andrew Sords, and Roger Waters; violists Art Klima, and Eliesha Nelson, and cellist Brian Dumm; pianists, Daniel Barber, Matthew Loudermilk, Caroline Oltmanns, Paolo Tatafiore, and Jerry Wong; and composers Eric Ewazen, Roger Zahab, James Wilding, Keith Lay, and Joan Tower, whose ground-breaking work ‘Made in America’ won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition and enjoyed its Ohio Premiere and second ever performance by the Stow Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Music in the fall of 2005- coming only a week after the World Premiere performance in Glens Falls, New York.
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. More recently he has worked with several instrumental and choral groups at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, and in the summer of 2014 lead a summer workshop on vocal technique and choral singing for grade school students at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Macedonia.
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.