DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PATRON SERVICES
Mary Grace Reed
COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE
BOWLING GREEN YOUTH ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
Dr. Brian St. John
ORCHESTRA KENTUCKY CHORALE CHORUS MASTER
Nancy Hill Cron
Lee K. Blakeman
“A melody, a lyric, or a certain harmony can trigger memories,” says conductor Jeffrey Reed.
Reed has been bringing back the memories as music director of Orchestra Kentucky since he founded it in 2000. Sometimes combining classical and popular music, his concert presentations are singularly authentic, recreating the soundtracks of music’s greatest decades. From the 17th century to our time, his concerts celebrate anniversaries and music milestones, from Beethoven, Mahler and Stravinsky, to Elvis, The Beatles and The Carpenters, drawing on some of the nation’s brightest musical talent.
Reed has worked with BJ Thomas, Larry Gatlin, Paul Williams, Peter Tork, Glen Campbell, Keith Emerson, Neil Sedaka, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Mary Wilson, Melissa Manchester, Chris Young, and many others in appearances with his own orchestra and orchestras in Milan (Italy), St. Petersburg (Russia), and South Korea. Reed has twice appeared with the Royal Philharmonic at London’s Royal Albert Hall at the specific request of Neil Sedaka.
In the United States, Jeffrey Reed has conducted the orchestras of Alabama, Augusta, Charleston, Detroit, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland (ME), Quad Cities (IA), Sacramento, South Bend and Winston-Salem. This season he will return to the Quad Cities and will appear for the first time with the Greensboro (NC) Symphony Orchestra.
Reed has been involved in commissioning world premieres of classical works by legendary pop artists Neil Sedaka, Keith Emerson, Peter Tork, Jimmy Webb, and Italian pops sensation, Giovanni Allevi.
His programming has been nationally recognized. Bestselling author and marketer Seth Godin singled out Jeffrey Reed in his best-selling study of new creativity, “Small is the New Big.” Godin praised his “clever” concerts and praised the “totally different way” Reed approaches programming. Reed is the only musician featured in the book.
In 2015, the University of Louisville named Reed its Alumni Fellow for the School of Music in recognition of his distinguished work in his chosen field. In 2008, he received the Jefferson Award for public service in South Central Kentucky.
In addition to his work with Orchestra Kentucky, Reed served as principal guest conductor of Symphony Orchestra Augusta and has also served as music director of the North Charleston Pops and the Murfreesboro Symphony.
He is represented by agent Rachel Bowron.
For booking information, please contact artist representative Rachel Bowron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Brian St. John is the Baker Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Western Kentucky University. Out of his 23 years of professional conducting he has 16 years of experience with student and youth orchestras. Dr. St. John has written and premiered eight ballets designed for young musicians and dancers.
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SCOTT WATKINS | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Scott Watkins moved to Bowling Green from El Dorado, Arkansas where he was the Executive Director of the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. While there he helped to transform the orchestra and influence community lives through inspirational programming and fundraising efforts.
Through encouragement of friends and professionals, Watkins started his orchestra management career at the Dallas Symphony and thereafter served in leadership positions at Symphony Arlington, Corpus Christi Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony, and the South Arkansas Symphony. He’s studied music and received degrees from Northern Arizona University, University of Phoenix, and University of North Texas. Watkins has been awarded the Priddy Fellowship in Arts Leadership and was a finalist for the League of American Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship Program.
In his free time, he enjoys keeping up his clarinet performance skills, cycling and hiking thousands of miles through the year, reading books, and spending valuable time with his family.
He is married to Karen Watkins, who is a talented vocalist/pianist and teaches music at Hugh Goodwin Elementary School and the South Arkansas Arts Center. She holds her bachelor’s degree in music education from Arizona State University along with numerous singing credits to her name. They have five children (two in college) who are also involved in music, two cats, and a dog.
NANCY HILL CRON | CHORUS MASTER | ORCHESTRA KENTUCKY CHORALE
Nancy Hill Cron, chorus master of the Orchestra Kentucky Chorale, has been teaching at Western Kentucky University since 1994. While at Western she has taught courses in voice, aural skills, group piano, and music education. Ms. Cron has taught public school music (K-12) in Russellville, Hardin County and Bowling Green and has over 35 years experience as a church choir director. Ms. Cron has appeared as soprano soloist for many performances with the Western Choral Society and she continues to perform as a recital soloist. She is a participating member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).