2024 National Orchestra Honors Adjudicators

Gary Lewis

Gary Lewis is the Director of Orchestral Studies and the Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the entire orchestra program. He is also Music Director and Conductor of the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra.

At CU-Boulder Mr. Lewis also leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting including both the masters and doctoral level. His former students are currently enjoying success as conductors with professional orchestras and opera companies, university and public school ensembles, and youth orchestras.

Prior to his appointment at Colorado, Lewis served on the faculties of Texas Tech University, The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, and Abilene Christian University. He is equally at home with professional, university, and youth ensembles. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic and has appeared with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Ballet, Midland Ballet Theater, Ballet Lubbock, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Western Plains Opera Theater. His work with summer music festivals has also been noteworthy including the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Pine Mountain Music Festival (opera and symphonic) and Rocky Ridge Music Center.

As a strong advocate of music education, Mr. Lewis has presented many in-service workshops for public school educators, as well as numerous presentations at state and regional music education association conferences. In addition, he has conducted All-State Orchestras and Bands in many states along with the ASTA National Honor Orchestra and the Honor Orchestra of America. In 2010 Mr. Lewis became the founding Artistic Director of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and also served as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra until 2016.

Mr. Lewis is also a strong proponent of new music. He has been instrumental in the development and production of contemporary music festivals and his interest in new music has led him to collaborations with composers such as Dan Kellogg, Carter Pann, George Crumb, William Bolcom, John Harbison, Chen Yi, Michael Daugherty, Stephen Paulus, and many others.

Gary Lewis is a Yamaha Master Educator.

Donald Schleicher

Donald Schleicher ’77 MMus is Artist-in-Residence and Director of Orchestras at the Bienen School of Music, where he conducts the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.

He previously served for 26 years as Director of Orchestras at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded the title of Daniel J. Perrino Professor Emeritus, School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts. Other previous positions include Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director and Principal Opera Conductor for the Pine Mountain Music Festival. At the outset of his career, he spent seven years as a high school band director in Williamsville, New York, and two years as Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In addition, he served as both Associate Director of Bands and Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan.

Schleicher has conducted the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, the Daegu (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra, the Incheon (South Korea) Philharmonic, the Gwangju Symphony (South Korea), the Guiyang (China) Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM of Mexico City, the South Dakota Symphony, and the orchestras of Bridgeport, Tallahassee, and Lansing. He has appeared as a guest conductor at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and served as a cover conductor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

He is frequently invited to lead performances or provide conducting master classes at many of the country’s major music schools such as the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Baylor University, University of Minnesota, Ithaca College, Ohio State University, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. As an enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Mr. Schleicher has conducted All-State orchestras, festivals, and youth orchestras in nearly every state of the United States.

As a conducting teacher, Mr. Schleicher regularly appears as conducting clinician and is currently engaged as a lead teacher for the International Conducting Workshop and Festival as well as the Conducting Master Class and Workshop Series. Many of his former conducting students have gone on to hold prestigious conducting positions with orchestras and opera companies across the globe.