2021-22 Artistic Director Search

To conclude our search for a new Artistic Director following the departure of Dr. Brian Dowdy, four exciting candidates will each take to podium this season to present a concert during our shortened season. 

HyeYoun Jang

South Korea-born conductor Dr. HyeYoun Jang is the winner of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic International Workshop in 2019 and led the “Winner Conducts Mozart” concert in their 2020 season. She has served as Visiting Orchestra Director at the University of Minnesota Duluth, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, and as Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra. Dr. Jang had the privilege to work with the North Texas Symphony Orchestra, the NOVA Contemporary Ensemble, the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, the UI Opera Production, and the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. Furthermore, she participated in festivals and workshops worldwide, including the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Gyeong-Gi Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), the Chun-Cheon City Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Dr. Jang achieved her doctoral in Orchestral Conducting from the University of North Texas (UNT) and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Jang has studied with famous conductors, including tutorials with Larry Rachleff, Kenneth Kiesler, Andrew Constantine, Gerard Schwarz, Octavio Más-Arocas, and Cristian Macelaru. Her principal conducting teachers are David Itkin, Ki-sun Sung, and William LaRue Jones.

Ernesto Estigarribia

Hailed for his “expert direction” by the Fanfare magazine, Paraguayan conductor Ernesto Estigarribia is highly regarded for his versatility and passionate energy on and off the podium. He is Assistant Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles. Previous posts include Music Director of the Buffalo Community Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras. With a passion for working with young musicians, he is a member of the conducting staff of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and frequently appears as conductor and clinician for high school orchestra festivals.  

Ernesto has guest conducted the Mankato Symphony, Rochester (MN) Symphony, Oskaloosa Music Festival Orchestra, Orquesta de Cámara del Centro del Conocimiento (Argentina), and Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional (Paraguay) and has also served as cover conductor for the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2016, Ernesto conducted the recording of muby Brazilian composer João Ripper with violist Korey Konkol and the University of Minnesota Camerata. In addition to symphonic performances, Ernesto has led numerous opera productions including Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Zimmermann’s Weisse Rose.

An accomplished violist, he has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician. Ernesto holds degrees from Pittsburg State University and the University of Minnesota where he studied conducting with Mark Russell Smith. In his free time, he enjoys cooking vegan recipes with his wife Sabrina. 

Grant Harville

Winner of the London Conducting Masterclass Competition and the Agatha C. Church Conducting Award, Grant Harville is Music Director and Conductor for the Great Falls Symphony Association and, for the 2019-20 season, Artistic Director of the Bozeman Symphony.

Harville has served as Associate Conductor of the Georgia Symphony, Orchestra Director at Ripon College, and Music Director for multiple Madison Savoyards productions. His guest conducting appearances include the Fraser Lyric Opera, Bozeman Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Georgia Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Oistrach Symphony, and the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City.

Harville’s diverse musical background includes experience as a tubist, vocalist, violist, and composer. He has a number of tuba competition victories to his credit, including First Prize in the Leonard Falcone International Solo Tuba competition and winner of the University of Michigan Concerto Competition, performing a concerto of his own composition. As tenor with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, he was selected to perform as soloist with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. His compositions have been performed by numerous ensembles and soloists throughout the US: his Sonata for tuba and piano was a finalist for the Harvey G. Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition, and he was awarded a grant to conduct his “Steampunk” Partita at the National Association of Music Educators Northwest Division Conference.

Harville pursued his music studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Michigan.  His principal teachers and mentors include James Smith, Markand Thakar, Victor Yampolsky, Kenneth Kiesler, Michael Haithcock, David Becker, John Stevens, and Fritz Kaenzig.

Hisham Groover

Hisham Bravo Groover currently serves as Assistant Conductor of the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre, and as Music Director and Conductor of the Buffalo Community Orchestra (Minnesota). Concurrently, Hisham is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Minnesota where he studies under Mark Russell Smith.

Prior to moving to Minneapolis, Hisham lived in Denver, CO, where he held positions as Associate Conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Arapahoe Philharmonic, and Assistant Conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre. Before Colorado, he lived in Iowa where he served as co-conductor for the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, the All-University String Orchestra, as well as the Center for New Music.

As an educator, Hisham currently serves as co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Orchestras. Previously, he has served as Adjunct Instructor and Conductor at Ripon College (Wisconsin), Conductor at Arapahoe Community College (Colorado) and Conductor of the 2018 Colorado State University-Pueblo Honors Orchestra.

Aside from conducting, Hisham is also a violinist and has studied with several pedagogues, including Mark Rush, Michel Boris Zaitzeff, and Ching-Yi Lin. Additional violin studies have taken him to the New Zealand School of Music and to the summer orchestra festivals at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Hisham’s principal conducting mentors are Mark Russell Smith, Leonid Grin, and William LaRue Jones.