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 interpretations, keen sense of communication, and personable ability to empower musicians. Droste is the Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestras at Ball State University, and Conductor of the Music For All Summer Symposium Youth Orchestra.
In Muncie, Droste has been called “The People’s Maestro” because of his rapport with MSO musicians, audience members, and presence in the community. He has been praised for dynamic performances and innovative programming. Droste has helped develop the MSO’s Family Series within the organization’s ever-expanding lineup of community engagement offerings. Droste programs accessible pops concerts, including the annual Festival on the Green, Holiday Pops, and Picnic and Pops with the Ball State University “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band.
At Ball State, Droste conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra, opera productions, and oversees the orchestral conducting program. In addition to performing traditional and contemporary repertoire, the BSSO has enjoyed unique collaborations with the BSU Jazz Ensemble, Ron McCurdy and his Langston Hughes Project, Sensory Friendly concerts for children with special needs, and a recording with Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, “Take Me to the World,” released in June 2018. The BSSO was selected to perform at the 2019 College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as the Indiana Music Education Association Conference (2016, 2019), and as the featured orchestra at the Music For All National Choral Festival (2018, 2019).
Recent guest conducting includes the orchestras of Kansas City, Indianapolis, Columbus, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa, Chappaqua, Fox Valley (IL), and Amarillo Virtuosi. In 2014, Droste and jazz violinist Christian Howes were invited on a goodwill cultural exchange by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, where he guest conducted the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra and led a conducting masterclass. Demonstrating his versatility, Droste has conducted pops concerts with artists such as Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, Time for Three, Under the Streetlamp, John Pizzarelli, and Disney’s All-American College Orchestra Alumni, among others.
A dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth and all-state orchestras, serves as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals, and has guest conducted at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. As conductor of the Music For All Summer Symposium Youth Orchestra, he has overseen unprecedented growth in the program, including collaborations with Black Violin, Quattrosound, and Project Trio. Droste is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Master Educator, and is also affiliated with the American String Teachers Association and Festival Disney.
A talented violinist, Droste has soloed with the MSO and Amarillo Virtuosi, and has performed with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival. He is a former student of John Gilbert and the late Michael Davis. Droste is also skilled on viola, trumpet, and as a tenor.
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). He studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, as well as other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Michael Jinbo, and Larry Rachleff. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.
Laurie Scott is Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project, named “String Project of the Year” in 2008 by the American String Teacher’s Association and the National String Project Consortium. Previous to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin and viola and director of music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Dr. Scott was co-director of the Armadillo Suzuki Organization, the Austin Metropolitan Suzuki School, and the Texas Suzuki Tour Group. She holds a master’s degree in applied violin from the University of Nebraska, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Texas. Before moving to Texas in 1981, Dr. Scott taught in rural string programs in Nebraska and performed with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association, taught for eight years for the Austin ISD at Lamar Middle School and Travis and McCallum High Schools, was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony, and served as Region XVIII College Division Chair for the Texas Music Educator’s Association. Professor Scott was co-editor of the public school column in the American Suzuki Journal and was named chairman of the Suzuki in the Schools division of the 1998 International Teacher’s Conference. She has performed with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin Orchestras. Dr. Scott has been the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Music as well as the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. She is one of only two registered “Suzuki in the Schools” teacher trainers for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is on the editorial board for the American String Teacher. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, inclusive school music programs, and character development through the arts. Her articles have appeared in The American String Teacher, The American Suzuki Journal, and The Journal of Research in Music Education.
She is co-author with William Dick of the textbooks, Mastery for Strings, Level One and Two, and Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock. Her latest publication, From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Performers become Great Teachers, is co-authored with Cornelia Watkins and was published by Oxford University Press in April of 2012.