Daniel Hege, Music Director and Conductor
Jean and Willard Garvey Endowed Chair
The 2013-2014 season marks Daniel Hege’s fourth as Music Director and Conductor of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Hege is just the seventh music director in the Orchestra’s 70-year history. He is widely recognized as one of America’s finest conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming. He served for eleven seasons as the Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony.
Following a nationwide search, Mr. Hege was named Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in April, 1999. In June 2001, he completed a five year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony where he held the titles of Assistant, Associate and Resident Conductor and led the orchestra in subscription, family and run-out concerts. Mr. Hege also served as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony, Music Director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony where he was twice honored by the American Symphony Orchestra League for innovative programming.
Daniel Hege has guest conducted the Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego, Columbus and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester, Buffalo and Calgary Philharmonics; and led the orchestras at the Grand Teton and Aspen Music Festivals. International engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony at the Winter Nights Festival. In addition, Mr. Hege has worked with the Syracuse Opera with which he conducted productions of Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Tosca and Don Pasquale.
Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Houston, Louisiana, Naples and Orlando Philharmonics; the Louisville and Florida Orchestras; the Pacific, Puerto Rico, Omaha, Grand Rapids, Virginia, Sarasota, Charleston, Tulsa, Boise and Memphis symphonies; and at the Music Academy of the West.
Mr. Hege has also made numerous recordings, including a disc with the Baltimore Symphony and the Morgan State University Choir featuring works by Adolphus Hailstork and three CD’s with the Syracuse Symphony, one featuring works by Verdi, Barber, Debussy, Respighi and James Johnson; a second CD of Holiday Pops works arranged by Calvin Custer; and a third of Big Band favorites, also arranged by Custer. He also made a recording with the Cedille label in Chicago titled Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries with Rachel Barton Pine and the Encore Chamber Orchestra,
Daniel Hege received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1987 from Bethel College, Kansas where he majored in music and history. He continued his studies at the University of Utah, receiving a Master of Music degree in orchestra conducting and also founding the University Chamber Orchestra and serving as Assistant Conductor of the University Orchestra and Music Director of the Utah Singers. He subsequently studied with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival and in Los Angeles with noted conductor and pedagogue Daniel Lewis.
In May 2004, Mr. Hege was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in Syracuse for his contributions to the cultural life in central New York State. Born in Colorado, Mr. Hege currently resides in Syracuse with his wife and their three daughters.
Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus Director and Conductor
Dr. Michael Hanawalt is the newly appointed Chorus Director for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Dr. Hanawalt is Director of Choral Activities at Wichita State University, where he conducts the Concert Chorale, the Women’s Glee Club, and teaches courses in conducting and choral literature. Prior to his appointment at Wichita State, Dr. Hanawalt served as Visiting Instructor in Music at St. Olaf College, where he conducted the Chapel Choir and the Viking Chorus.
Dr. Hanawalt is a founding member of the professional male vocal ensemble Cantus, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During his eleven-year tenure with Cantus, he performed over 500 concerts throughout North America and Europe, participated in over 200 educational outreach events, and recorded eleven CDs. He also served for six years as Cantus’ Executive Director, overseeing its growth through organizational management, fundraising, and board development.
An active performer, Dr. Hanawalt is the recipient of several awards, including first place at the Schubert Club Vocal Competition in Minneapolis, MN, first place at the Thursday Musical Vocal Competition in St. Paul, MN, and first place at Minnesota’s division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Vocal Competition in Collegeville, MN. In 2011, Mr. Hanawalt sang the role of the Evangelist in J. S. Bach’s Weinachts-Oratorium with the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir.
Dr. Hanawalt’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace” was premiered by the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble at the National Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association in 2009. His arrangement of “Auld Lang Syne,” co-arranged with his wife, Justine Sasanfar, was premiered by the Michigan State University Women’s Glee Club in November of 2008. Both arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes. His arrangement of “Loch Lomond” is featured on Cantus’ CD Let Your Voice Be Heard and is published by the Niel A. Kjos Music Company.
Dr. Hanawalt holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College, an M.M. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education from The Florida State University.