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Modesto Symphony, Youth Orchestra Welcome Conductor
MSYO Symphony Orchestra Conductor Wayland Whitney. Photo Contributed

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO) welcome Wayland Whitney as the MSYO’s Symphony Orchestra Conductor. Ryan Murray continues his role as Associate Conductor with the MSO and will continue lead the MSYO team.

“I’m thrilled that Wayland Whitney is joining the MSYO team. Wayland is a fantastic educator and a great musician, and I know that the students in our Symphony Orchestra will get a lot out of working with him,” said Murray, Associate Conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association. “I have seen first-hand his ability to build youth programs and inspire students and I know our orchestra and students are going to thrive this year under his leadership.”

A native of Northern California, Whitney co-founded the Placer County Youth Orchestra and is currently the director of the Music in the Mountains Youth Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor of the MIM Orchestra. Whitney holds a Bachelors degree in Viola from UC Davis and a Masters degree in conducting from SUNY Fredonia.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wayland to the MSOA family and see him infuse his energy into the MSYO program,” said Caroline Nickel, President and CEO of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association. “He’ll be working closely with our Associate Conductor Ryan Murray and we’re confident that Wayland’s passion for music education will fit in well with the rest of the MSYO team.”

Whitney has taught publicly and privately since 2008. In 2009, he co-founded the Placer County Youth Orchestra (PCYO) in Roseville, CA, which he administered and conducted while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Viola at UC Davis. From 2016-18, he directed the Music in the Mountains Youth Orchestra (MIMYO) in Nevada County, CA. In 2018, he was appointed assistant conductor for Symphony D’Oro, a community orchestra in Rancho Cordova, CA. He also conceived and arranged music for a series of school outreach concerts for the Auburn Civic Symphony in Auburn, CA.

Founded in 1976, the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO) serves over 100 young musicians and their families from more than 40 public and private schools in the Central Valley annually. The youth orchestra attracts a diverse group of outstanding musicians. Members are presented with the opportunity to share their gift of music in an inspiring and challenging orchestral setting alongside their peers from all social, economic, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. As a program within the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association, members also have the invaluable experience of interacting with professional musicians, conductors, and visiting guest artists through workshops, side-by-side performances, and clinics.

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra is a Resident Company of the Gallo Center for the Arts.