Eugene Dowdy - Senior Clinician
Eugene Dowdy is professor and director of orchestral studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a position he has held for twenty years. He conducts the UTSA Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Lyric Theatre Orchestra, teaches courses in conducting, and is the founding director of the UTSA String Project, a nationally recognized teacher-training program.
For six years he served as the music department chair. He is the conductor and artistic director for the Symphony of the Hills in Kerrville, Texas, and was assistant conductor of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Dowdy has led the UTSA Orchestra in diverse genres and venues including collaborations with the Brubecks, the progressive rock band KANSAS, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, and in world premieres of numerous orchestral and operatic works. He has conducted the UTSA Orchestra on numerous tours in Texas, Mexico, and most recently in Italy.
Dowdy received the doctoral degree in orchestral conducting with James Dixon at the University of Iowa, a master’s degree from UTSA studying with Don Hodges, and the bachelor’s degree from UT Austin, where he was awarded a Performance Certificate in Violin and taught in the UT String Project under the direction of Phyllis Young. He taught award-winning public school orchestras for nine years in San Antonio’s NEISD, conducted orchestras for nine summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and has served the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio in various capacities for over thirty years including a current honorary appointment as Resident Conductor.
A strong advocate for orchestra director training, Dowdy was the Executive Director of the National String Project Consortium, a group of 40 universities who offer this outstanding university and community collaboration in string education. Dowdy is past president of both the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and the Texas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. He is an active guest conductor, having appeared with orchestras and festivals around the United States (Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Georgia), Mexico (Monterrey, Saltillo, and Torreon), and Europe (Austria, France, and Italy), and is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies including Who’s Who listings, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Gene and Stacy celebrated 30 years of marriage in 2013, and have two daughters, Jessica (a piano-playing pastry chef) and Rachel (an orchestra director, cellist and private teacher).
Jonathan Handman - Junior Clinician
Jonathan Handman, conductor, teacher, and cellist, is co-founder and Artistic Director of Stringendo Inc., a music school that is committed to furthering the growth and talents of string players in the Hudson Valley. Under Jonathan’s direction, Vivace, Stringendo’s most advanced ensemble has garnered numerous awards including the Grand Champion Orchestra at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival in 2016, 2014 and 2009; and The American Prize winner in Orchestra Performance – Youth Orchestra Division in 2013.
Jonathan is also in his fourteenth year at Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, NY, where he is the conductor of two symphony orchestras and directs an extensive chamber music program. In addition to Arlington’s Philharmonia Orchestra winning the 2017 and 2012 Public School Grand Champion Prize at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival, chamber ensembles from this program have performed at Lincoln Center (2015) and made it into the live quarterfinal round of the 2012 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
Jonathan is also the conductor of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra and based on his work conducting the ensemble, the review by Leslie Gerber in the Woodstock Times said, “I have never heard the WCO sounding better than it did under Handman.”In 2013, Jonathan was the winner of the American Prize in Conducting/Youth Orchestra Division.
In addition, he received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education from the Oberlin Conservatory and in 2002 was Oberlin’s invited guest speaker representing the decade of the 1990’s at its 100th year anniversary celebration of music education. He is in frequent demand as a guest conductor for honor orchestras throughout the northeast, most recently working with groups from Long Island, Albany and Virginia.
One of his treasured experiences was spending a six month residence in La Paz, Bolivia as a cellist in the Arka-Ira String Quartet, The Bolivian National Symphony, and Professor of Cello at the Bolivian National Conservatory. As a freelance musician, His studies include The Eastman School of Music (Trombone performance), The Oberlin Conservatory (B.A. in Music Education, Cello) and an M.A in orchestral conducting from SUNY Fredonia.
Jonathan currently resides in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. with his wife Kim and two sons, Jack and T.J..