Senior Conductor and Assistant Director, Ralph Jean-Paul with Assistant Senior Conductor Keenan Ellis, continue the decades-old tradition of providing advancing students of all ages opportunity to hone their skills while performing alongside both graduate students, and university professors, the most diverse and technically challenging orchestral repertoire in the region. Baroque, classical, and exciting new works by contemporary composers are among the normal palate of repertoire for the orchestra members. The Orchestra’s annual seasons feature collaborations with professionals like pianist Joanna Sobkowska, trumpeter Longineu Parsons, “The Mad Violinist”, tenor Darryl Tookes, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, baritone Marcus Rhodes, soprano Althea Kilgore, Lililita Forbes, and Mark Butler, to name a few.
The orchestra is known as an important training institute for future professionals. During summer months young student members train at Cadenza International (England), Luzerne Music Center (New York), Sphinx Performance Academy (Chicago, Ohio) Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan) Aspen Arts Festival (Colorado), Four Strings Academy (Boston), and others. Students also audition and perform with the Super Strings Orchestra in Sarasota, Florida under the direction of violinist Itzhak Perlman.