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. Cecil J. Riney, chorus director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus, is a past chairman of the Fine Arts division and director of the Singing Quakers at Friends University, a position he held from 1960 until his retirement in 2006. He has been director of the Wichita Symphony Chorus since 1993.
His academic background includes a Bachelor of Music degree from Friends University, a
Master of Music degree from the University of Kansas and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California. Dr. Riney also is involved in state-wide adjudicating music festivals and serving as guest conductor for festival and community choruses.
He conducted the Symphony Chorus in a performance of Handel’s Messiah during the 1994 Christmas season in Carnegie Hall. The Singing Quakers have toured Europe seven times and toured New Zealand and Australia in the summer of 2000.
Dr. Riney was selected as “Kansas Musician of the Year” in 1973 by Kansas Musical Clubs. He is past Chairman of the Committee of Choral Standards and Repertoire for the American Choral Directors Association and past president of the Kansas Choral Directors Association.
Dr. Riney was presented the Harry Robert Wilson Award by the Kansas Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association for his outstanding contribution to choral music in Kansas and in 1993 he received the Governor’s Arts Award from the Kansas Arts Commission. He recently was inducted into the Kansas Music Educators Hall of Fame. Dr. Riney is a member of the Boards of the Wichita Symphony Society, Music Theatre of Wichita and the Salvation Army.