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MI 130 Phone: 765-285-5607
School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Conductor Douglas Droste is recognized as possessing "obvious joy" for making music and a "sure sense of timing" when on the podium. Those under his baton routinely acknowledge his in-depth musical interpretations, keen sense of communication, and personable ability to empower musicians. Droste is the Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at Ball State University.
Droste has led dynamic performances with the MSO and has been praised for his innovative programming. He has conducted performances of Scott Routenberg’s Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra featuring Christian Howes, Michael Torke’s Ash, Michael Shapiro and Victor Cheng’s Identity: Zhongshang Zhuang, Concerto for Guzheng and Orchestra featuring Su Chang, pieces by Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, and recently commissioned Joe Deninzon's Concerto for Rock Violin and Orchestra. Droste has also led passionate performances of traditional repertoire such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Debussy's La Mer, Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Respighi’s Pines of Rome, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35.
Believing that community engagement is critical for orchestras, Droste has helped establish new concerts such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Family Concert, a Sensory Friendly concert for children with special needs, and a Toddler Pops concert. He helped initiate the development of the new MSO Family Series including co-creating/producing the popular Young People’s Concert, "Music is Science!". Droste continues to program accessible pops concerts with artists such as the groundbreaking string trio, Time for Three, the Ball State University "Pride of Mid-America" Marching Band, and local blues/gospel singer-songwriter, Jennie DeVoe. Droste resides in Muncie and regularly speaks to area civic organizations.
At Ball State, Droste conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra (BSSO) and oversees the orchestral conducting program. Recent performances with the BSSO have included Franck’s Symphony in D Minor, Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”), and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Droste also leads the opera orchestra. He recently conducted Puccini’s La Bohème and Massenet’s Werther. Always seeking unique collaborations, the BSSO has combined with the BSU Jazz Ensemble on two occasions: a dual performance of the Nutcracker Suites by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington; and the first live performance of Oliver Nelson’s The Kennedy Dream since the original recording release in 1967.
In 2014, Droste and jazz violinist Christian Howes were invited by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to perform and teach as part of an ongoing cultural exchange and engagement. Droste guest conducted the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill concert entitled "Music from the New World" and gave a conducting master class to young Ukrainian conductors. Other recent guest conducting includes the Columbus Symphony and BalletMet Columbus’s production of The Nutcracker, the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa; and the Amarillo Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra on an all-Bach concert, performing as violin/leader on Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. Demonstrating his versatility, Droste has conducted pops concerts with artists such as Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, John Pizzarelli, and Emily Drennan.
A dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth orchestras and presents in-service conference sessions throughout the country. He is active as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals, and is affiliated with organizations such as Yamaha, Music For All, American String Teachers Association, Festival Disney, and Perform International.
A talented violinist, Droste has performed with the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival (OH). He is a former student of John Gilbert and the late Michael Davis. Droste is also skilled on viola and trumpet, and has sung with a variety of choral ensembles.
Droste has held positions at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Youth Symphony, Austin Peay State University, and Liberty Union-Thurston School District (OH). Droste studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, as well as at other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Larry Rachleff, and Michael Jinbo. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.
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