After three years of service, Benjamin Klemme will step down as the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s (QCSO) Associate Conductor and Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYEs) Music Director at the end of May, to serve as the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association’s (VYOA) Music Director in Clochester, VT. The VYOA provides instrumental and choral experiences to over 300 students in grades 1-12 from across Vermont and neighboring states through three orchestras, two choruses, a beginning string ensemble, community engagement programs, and summer camps.
“It has been an indescribable honor to serve the QCSO as Associate Conductor and QCSYEs as Music Director these last three seasons,” said Klemme. “I have been consistently awestruck by the musical achievements of my students, and inspired by the collaborations I have enjoyed with the world-class musicians of the QCSO. It will be my pleasure to promote the artistic ideals for which the Symphony has stood for more than a century in my work at the VYOA, where I will apply skills and ideas I have learned working alongside the incredibly talented and dedicated individuals who comprise the QCSO community. The QCSO is a cultural treasure that will continue to provide inspired musical performances and engaging artistic leadership for many generations to come—the privilege of having had the opportunity to support the mission of this unique organization is beyond measure.”
A Davenport native and Pleasant Valley High School alum, Klemme joined the QCSO in June 2014. As QCSO associate Conductor and QCSYEs Music Director, Klemme lead and designed programs for the Youth Symphony (YSO) and Youth Philharmonic (YPO), the QCSO’s traditional Holiday Pops Concerts, and was the inaugural music director of the QCSO’s annual Family Pops Concert. “The Quad City Symphony is indeed fortunate to have enjoyed the passion, artistry and commitment to music and to young musicians that Benjamin Klemme demonstrated day in and day out,” says QCSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith. “He is the best of colleagues and could not have served our organization better. While it is certainly gratifying to see him take the next natural step in his conducting career, we will sorely miss him. He is a gifted, hard working young musician with an incredibly bright future.”
“Benjamin has been an integral part of our education program expansion not only through his direct involvement with the QCSYEs program, but also as part of a vital and creative team that has developed exciting initiatives for the entire community. We are grateful for his energy and passion for the QCSYEs, the QCSO, and the Quad Cities community and know he will bring that same enthusiasm and vision to VYOA,” said QCSO Executive Director Benjamin Loeb.
A transition plan has been developed and the QCSO will be releasing the details about an interim conductor and a time line for a national search to seek a new associate conductor/QCSYE music director as soon as they are finalized.