For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2019
Memphis Youth Symphony Program
Musical Leaders since 1966
With great enthusiasm the Memphis Youth Symphony Program (MYSP) today announces a triple appointment of new conductors for its three ensembles, a sweep that provides terrific musical leadership for all students in the program. The new roster includes Chelsea Subick for Prelude Strings; Long Long Kang for String Orchestra; and Kalena Bovell for Youth Symphony. The conductors will officially take their respective podiums in September when the MYSP 2019-20 concert season begins.
“We cannot be more pleased with the direction the program is taking,” says Rhonda Causie, MYSP Board Chair. “All of these professionals have the right mix of talent, experience and presence on the podium to truly engage and inspire our young musicians.”
Causie, who will complete her term as chair at the end of June, is equally enthusiastic about new board leadership. “2019-20 will be a pivotal year for MYSP in so many ways. Brittany Cooper-d'Orsay, our incoming chair, led our conductor recruitment process and is largely responsible for these appointments. She is creating so much positive momentum for the program and has already engaged several excellent new board members to support our work.”
Ms. Chelsea Subick will lead Prelude Strings, a training group for String Orchestra that includes violin, viola, cello and bass. Ms. Subick was an MYSP member in her youth and attended Memphis City Schools. She earned her bachelor’s in music education, magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis in May 2012. Ms. Subick has had the privilege of leading professional development sessions within Shelby County Schools and with the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association. She has coached chamber ensembles at the University of Memphis Summer Music Camp and the PRIZM International Music Festival. Ms. Subick has taught orchestra classes in Memphis City/Shelby County Schools for seven years and currently teaches at Cordova Middle School and Cordova High School. She lives in east Memphis with her husband, Joseph, and their pets, Bo and Clara.
Dr. Long Long Kang will lead the String Orchestra, a training group for Youth Symphony that includes violin, viola, cello and bass. Dr. Kang holds a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University, where he majored in violin performance and music education, with a minor in piano performance. He also earned a master’s degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York City, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Memphis. Currently a member of the first violin section of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Kang is a past member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in Europe, Asia, and the United States, including performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Dr. Kang is a registered Suzuki instructor and has been actively teaching since 1996. He was an orchestra director in Shelby County Schools from 2008 to 2014 and is currently Director of Orchestras for the Germantown Municipal School District.
Ms. Kalena Bovell will lead the Youth Symphony, an advanced ensemble of strings, winds, brass, percussion and harp, that performs standard orchestral repertoire. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ms. Bovell is a graduate of Chapman University’s Conservatory of Music where she received a BM degree in Music Education. She received a MM degree and Graduate Professional Diploma in Instrumental Conducting from University of Hartford’s The Hartt School. As Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven during 2018-19, Ms. Bovell helped expand visibility in the community while continuing a tradition of accessibility and innovation. Ms. Bovell has held conducting fellowships with the Allentown Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta. She is equally experienced with youth orchestra leadership that includes four years as Orchestra Director at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. Described as a confident and charismatic conductor, and an educator with dedication and passion, Ms. Bovell has the ideal skill set to lead MYSP’s most advanced musicians. In addition to her appointment with MYSP, Ms. Bovell will also be Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
All three conductors will debut with their respective ensembles during MYSP’s 54th season kick-off weekend, September 14-15, 2019, and go on to present four additional concerts during the year. Each will be responsible for creating an accessible, engaging and high-quality learning / performing experience for students. They will actively recruit from the wider Memphis community and embody the values of MYSP. These positions are partially funded with an Arts Project Support grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Since its founding in 1966, MYSP has enabled young musicians to realize their individual potential while contributing to the success of the entire ensemble. Final student auditions will be conducted in August 2019 to fill any chairs remaining after spring auditions. Student scholarships are available. For more information, contact Debbie Heath, MYSP Orchestra Manager, at (901) 722-4004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.