The Auburn Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has renewed a five-year contract with Music Director Wesley Schulz through the 2027-28 season. Maestro Schulz was first appointed in 2018 and is only the second music director in the 26-year history of the orchestra.
“Wesley has so much to offer our community through his innovative and collaborative approach to music-making and I am excited to see what the next five seasons bring,” said Rachel Perry, ASO executive director. “His commitment to engaging people of all ages in the thrill of live orchestral music is unmatched.”
Schulz has led the ASO to present its largest season yet in 2022-23 with 11 symphony and chamber concerts and Carnegie Hall’s reputable Link Up education program. The additional offerings allow for a wide variety of programming including a popular film music concert.
During the height of the pandemic in the 2020-21 season, Schulz programmed smaller, unique groups of musicians to deliver 15 free online programs to the community, ensuring that ASO remains one of the most active orchestras in the region.
Special projects during his tenure so far have included collaborations with other arts groups such as one with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Guild Dance Company to co-commission new choreography for Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Another was to present the visual accompaniment by Adrian Wyard to Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Schulz and ASO were invited in July 2022 to perform for the closing concert of the American Guild of Organists National Convention with soloist Renée Anne Louprette at Benaroya Hall. With New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program and New Music for America, ASO has been a proud partner in co-commissions of new music, often as the smallest budget orchestra in these nationwide projects.
Schulz was also instrumental in bringing Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program to Auburn. This program engages all 1,200 Auburn School District and Muckleshoot Tribal School fourth graders in their classrooms through a curriculum that covers singing, recorder, and music theory and history. Their learning culminates in an interactive program in the concert hall where students play along with the orchestra from their seats.
Now in its third year, this program has already touched thousands of students’ lives.
“It is with immense gratitude and excitement that I continue my relationship with the staff, board of directors, and musicians of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra,” Schulz said. “Over the last five years, we have not only survived and thrived through the pandemic, but we’ve welcomed acclaimed guest artists to the stage such as Randall Goosby and Bella Hristova as well as presented great music by Anna Clyne, Adam Schoenberg, Florence Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky and many, many more. I can’t wait for our community to hear and engage with all of the wonderful performances to come in the near future.”