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Conducting Staff

Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor

The 2018–2019 season is Neal Gittleman’s 24th year as Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic. Neal has led the Orchestra to new levels of artistic achievement and increasing national recognition. During his tenure, the DPO has received nine ASCAP Awards for adventurous programming, and the DPAA has joined four other U.S. orchestras as a recipient of a prestigious Music Alive grant from New Music USA, supporting Stella Sung’s three-year term as the Alliance’s Music Alive Composer-in-Residence.

Before coming to Dayton, Neal was Assistant Conductor of the Oregon Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony, and Music Director of the Marion (IN) Philharmonic. He also served ten seasons with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, first as Associate Conductor and then as Resident Conductor.

Neal has guest conducted many of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Chicago, San Francisco, Minnesota, Phoenix, Indianapolis, San Antonio, and Omaha symphony orchestras; and the Buffalo Philharmonic. He has also conducted in Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Son of an English professor and a public school music teacher, Neal is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Yale University in 1975 and then studied with Nadia Boulanger and Annette Dieudonné in Paris, with Hugh Ross at the Manhattan School of Music, and with Charles Bruck at both the Pierre Monteux School and the Hartt School of Music, where he was a Karl Böhm Fellow. He was a prize winner at the 1984 Ernest Ansermet International Conducting Competition in Geneva and the 1986 Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York. He was honored to receive the 2014 Governor’s Award for the Arts for Community Development and Participation.

At home in the pit as well as on stage, Neal has led productions for Dayton Opera, the Human Race Theatre Company, Syracuse Opera, and Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre. He has also conducted for performances of Dayton Ballet, DCDC, Rhythm in Shoes, Milwaukee Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Chicago City Ballet, Ballet Arizona, and Theatre Ballet of Canada.

Neal is nationally known for his Classical Connections programs, which provide a “behind the scenes” look at great works of the orchestra repertoire. These innovative programs, which began in Milwaukee 25 years ago, have become a vital part of Dayton’s arts scene.

Neal’s discography includes a CD of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F with Norman Krieger and the Czech National Symphony. In addition, he and the DPO have released recordings of the Piano Concertos of Tomás Svoboda and of works commissioned for the 2003 centennial of the Wright Brothers’ powered flight. More recent CDs taken from live performances include works of Wagner, Franck, Elgar, Strauss, Respighi, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, William Grant Still, and Steve Winteregg. These, and recordings of other DPO performance, are available for download from the DPAA’s web site.

When not on the podium, Neal is an avid player of golf and t’ai chi ch’uan but has given up squash for the sake of his surgically repaired shoulder. He and his wife, Lisa Fry, have been Dayton residents since 1997.

Patrick Reynolds, Associate Conductor and Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Conductor

Now in his 21st season with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Patrick Reynolds is a frequent presence on the DPO podium, conducting SuperPops, Rock, Educational and Family concerts. An enthusiastic proponent of educational programming for orchestras, each season he leads the DPO in Magic Carpet, SPARK (School Partners with Artists Reaching Kids) and Young People’s concerts, reaching thousands of students across the Dayton metropolitan area. In recent seasons he has conducted Dayton Opera productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Gian-Carlo Menotti’s The Consul, and in March 2019 will conduct the production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. 

In addition, he is in his 19th season as conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra,  an organization selected from the region’s finest high school musicians. Founded in 1937, the DPYO is one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished youth orchestra programs, recently celebrating its 80th anniversary.

As a guest conductor Reynolds has appeared with the Modesto (CA), Annapolis (MD), Arlington (VA), Queens (NY), and High Mountain (NJ) symphony orchestras, the Starling Project at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and at the Colorado Music Festival. In addition, he has conducted the Southwest, Northwest and East Central Regional Honors Orchestras of the Ohio Music Education Association, and the Middle Level Honors Orchestra of the Wisconsin School Music Association.

Reynolds is an Associate Professor of Music on the faculty of the University of Dayton. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music.

He is married to Sonya Szabo-Reynolds, a pianist, Czech music specialist and longtime member of the piano faculty at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Hank Dahlman, Chorus Director

Hank Dahlman is Director of CELIA, the Ohio Center of Excellence for Collaborative Education, Leadership & Innovation in the Arts, a unit of the College of Liberal Arts, based at Wright State University. He is also Director of Choral Studies at Wright State, where he serves as the conductor of the WSU Collegiate Chorale. In 2015, Dr. Dahlman was appointed to the rank of University Professor, the university's highest rank, held by only three faculty members at any one time.

As the founding Director of CELIA, Dr. Dahlman oversees an extensive statewide center of excellence that promotes multidisciplinary studies and community engagement in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. CELIA acts in three major ways to improve the quality of life at Wright State and in our region. First, CELIA encourages ongoing programs and special projects by sponsoring innovative collaborations between WSU arts programs and external partners. Additionally, CELIA fosters a vibrant community of leadership and scholarship in the arts and humanities on the WSU campus through its innovative CELIA Fellows program. Finally, CELIA’s Distinguished Visiting Artist Series brings nationally and internationally renowned artists on campus for guest lectures, exhibits and performances.

Wright State choirs under Dr. Dahlman's direction tour regularly in the U.S. and abroad, have been invited to sing for conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and other professional organizations, and competed at the Champions Level of the 2012 World Choir Games. Choirs directed by Dr. Dahlman have also appeared on stage with such notable and varied performers as Anonymous 4, Leon Bates, Simon Carrington, Marvin Hamlisch, Keith Lockhart, and Kenny Rogers. He has prepared world or regional premieres of new works by such composers as William Bolcom, Robert Xavier Rodriquez, Steven Winteregg, James McCray, and Robert Yeager. Dr. Dahlman’s ensembles have also prepared demonstration recordings of new choral works for nationally known music publishers and have frequently appeared with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, including performances of the Britten War Requiem, the Brahms Requiem, the Bernstein MASS, the Stravinsky Mass, and numerous Bach motets and cantatas. WSU choirs under his direction have sung in some of the world's most prestigious venues, including St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna, the Salzburg Cathedral, the National Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center.

Director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus, Dr. Dahlman has served as a guest conductor with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and founded the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 2000. Dr. Dahlman conducted the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus in performance with professional orchestras such as the Czech Chamber Philharmonic in Prague and at the Salzburg Cathedral celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday in 2006. He conducted in his Carnegie Hall debut in 2008 and in June 2010 conducted the DPOC and other choirs in performance at Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. Recent professional conducting engagements have included the Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Dahlman will return in December to conduct Handel's Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Choir.

Dr. Dahlman appears as a guest conductor, presenter, or adjudicator at festivals and conferences at the international, national, and regional levels.  His Choral Pronunciation Guide to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana has been called an industry standard and is used by universities, professional orchestras, and choruses on five continents.

Most importantly, Hank is the fortunate husband of Cindy, and the proud father of two wonderful children, James and Amanda, and their great spouses.

Betsey Hofeldt, Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings Conductor

The strongest assets Dr. Betsey Hofeldt brings to her job as Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings are her artistic abilities.

Dr. Betsey Hofeldt received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota in 1978 and her Master of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1980 under the tutelage of Paul Rolland and Sergiu Luca. She earned her doctoral degree in violin performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2000, where her principal teachers were Naoko Tanaka and Won Bin Yim. Shirley Givens at the Aspen Music Festival is also one of her principal teachers.

Her chamber music teachers include the LaSalle Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, James Tocco, Sandra Rivers at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Gabriel Magyar and Anne Epperson at the University of Illinois, Bernhard Goldschmidt and Richard Weiss (Cleveland Orchestra) at the Blossom Festival, and the Audubon String Quartet and Mark Johnson at the Audubon Seminar.

Since 1988, Dr. Hofeldt has been a member of the first violin section of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to coming to the Dayton Philharmonic, Dr. Hofeldt performed with the Virginia Symphony (1987-1988), the Ohio Chamber Orchestra (1985-1987), the Toledo Symphony (1982-1985), and the Omaha Symphony (1981-1982).

She is a member of the Hofeldt Phillips Piano Trio, which formed in 1991. She performs with her husband, Mark, who is a cellist in the DPO, and Stephen Phillips, a pianist colleague whom she met in grad school at the Cincinnati Conservatory. The group plays much of the major piano trio repertoire and has given yearly recitals throughout the Miami Valley at the Dayton Art Institute; the University of Dayton; Miami University; Earlham College; the Music on the Avenue series in Covington, KY; Wright State University; and at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Chamber Palooza.

Dr. Hofeldt has performed at the Aspen Music Festival (1980, 1991), the Ash Lawn Opera (1988), the Audubon Chamber Music Seminar (1986), the Blossom Chamber Music Festival (1985), the Cleveland Lyric Opera (1986-1987), and the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder (1983).

She is an active chamber musician throughout the Miami Valley, having performed at Earlham College, Miami University, the University of Dayton, and the Dayton Art Institute.

Dr. Hofeldt has always had an abiding interest in teaching violin and coaching chamber music. Her doctoral dissertation dissected the first of Suzuki's Violin Method Books and analyzed its technical elements. It was a labor of love, since Dr. Hofeldt loves analyzing musical and technical problems, finding a way to explain them to children, and then unlocking a door to help them express themselves better musically.

Her teaching, chamber coaching, and conducting experience includes Oakwood Schools, 5th through 12th grades (2001 to present), Stivers School for the Arts (2002-2005), Miami Valley Academy (1994-1996), Earlham College (1994-1996), Cincinnati Conservatory as teaching assistant to Dr. Yim (1991-1993), Omaha Public Schools (1981-1982), and Northfield, MN Public Schools summer string programs (1978-1979).

Dr. Hofeldt is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the American String Teachers Association.

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