Sarah Hedlund, concertmaster
Joanna Steinhauser, principal second
Katharina von Kennel
Sheri Simah, principal
Jack Brooks, principal
David Reilly, principal
Chris Griffith, principal
Kaethe Durham, principal
Mike Petkus, principal
Connie Kamerling, principal
Jan Solberg, principal
Bonni Beebe, principal
Marty Obed, principal
Andrew Koehler, music director
Andrew Koehler is currently the music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, which he leads as part of his position as an associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College. He holds a concurrent post as music director of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, and is the cover conductor of the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, frequently leading rehearsals for music director Scott Speck. More recently, he organized and conducted concerts with the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, made up of musicians from the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Symphonies. The group’s premiere performance was hailed as “…exceptional under his baton” by the Kalamazoo Gazette.
He is active as a guest conductor at home and throughout the world. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Orchestra; the Lyatoshynsky Chamber Orchestra in Kyiv, Ukraine; the Ruse Philharmonic in Bulgaria; the St. Cloud Symphony in Minnesota; the Festival South Chamber Orchestra in Mississippi; and, with only a weekend’s notice, the American Opera Group Orchestra in Chicago. 2013 will mark his debut at the Penderecki Center in Poland. He has additionally led ensembles under the auspices of the Aspen Music Festival, the 2006 Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (where he advanced to the final round and won the audience favorite prize), and the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conductor’s Competition in Katowice, Poland (where he won First Distinction and the Youth Jury Prize). Always eager to work with young musicians, he has also led the Vermont All-State Youth Orchestra and was previously music director of the Chamber Orchestra of the University of Chicago as well as the Akademisches Sinfonie-Orchester of Vienna, Austria.
Born in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents, Andrew began his musical studies on the violin at the age of five. He is a graduate of Yale College, where he completed a B.A. in Music and German Studies (graduating with honors and distinction in both majors). During his time there, he served as assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and won the Seldin Memorial Prize in Music. He holds a certificate in conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he studied for two years as a Fulbright scholar, as well as a Masters degree from Northwestern University. His principal teachers have been Victor Yampolsky and Leopold Hager; he has additionally worked with David Zinman, Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, and Mariss Jansons, among others.
The Kalamazoo College Light Fine Arts Building was completed in 1964 and is named
for the Richard U. Light family. Of special interest is the large stained glass
work in the lobby of the Fine Arts Building. It was designed and created by Fritz
Bultmann, an internationally recognized artist who died shortly after the completion
of the work in 1985. It was his last and most major work. Dalton Theater is the
largest theater in the Light Fine Arts Building; the entrance is located in the
Founded in 1994 by Dr. Barry Ross as the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra,
the group brings together students, faculty, amateur and professional musicians
of all ages to perform great music. Having grown enormously since its inception,
the ensemble is now of full symphonic proportions, and has been recognized as
an arts organization of major importance in the greater Kalamazoo area. The orchestra
generally plays three concerts per season, the programs of which are introduced
by Andrew Koehler and Cara Lieurance on WMUK the week preceding the performance.
It also boasts an active chamber music program that plays outreach concerts throughout
the community. It has produced several CDs, appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, and
worked with such renowned artists as Orli Shaham, Anthony Ross, Orion Weiss,
Adam Neimann, Makoto Nakura, Todd Palmer, John Bruce Yeh and Richard Stoltzman.
Dr. Ross, who also served as assistant conductor and concertmaster of the Kalamazoo
Symphony Orchestra, retired from his position with the orchestra at the end of
the 2005-2006 season. After a national search, Andrew Koehler was appointed to
succeed him as the new music director of the group, which subsequently renamed
itself the Kalamazoo Philharmonia.
Listen to the Orchestra
- An excerpt from Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, recorded live from our June 5th, 2010 concert:
- An excerpt from Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, recorded live from our June 5th, 2010 concert:
- An excerpt from Mahler's Symphony No. 2, recorded live from our March 14, 2009 concert:
- An excerpt from Steven Holochwost's Symphony in Three Movements, recorded live from our world premiere performance on March 14, 2009:
- An excerpt from Hovhaness's Mysterious Mountain, recorded live from our November 22, 2008 concert:
How to Join
An organization such as ours has constantly changing instrumentational needs.
Any experienced player in the area who is interested in playing with us is
encouraged to contact Andrew Koehler to schedule an audition. Auditions generally
last no more than 10 minutes, and include a performance of your choosing
and sightreading. For more information, or to schedule such an audition,
please email the music director, Andrew Koehler at Andrew.Koehler@kzoo.edu.