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University of Dayton music professor elected regional vice president of College Orchestra Directors Association

By Dave Larsen

University of Dayton music educator and conductor Patrick Reynolds is taking a leadership role among his professional colleagues as the newly elected Northeast division vice president of the College Orchestra Directors Association.

Reynolds, recently promoted to professor, starts his 25th year at the University this fall. On campus, he leads the University of Dayton Orchestra and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, Reynolds serves as associate conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he is in his 21th season as conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Founded in 2003, the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) champions the art of conducting, teaching and performing orchestral music, and strives to encourage and support the artistic, professional and personal growth of college orchestra directors and their students. Currently, CODA has 340 members from 43 states.

In his new role, Reynolds represents college and university orchestra programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and the province of Quebec, Canada. He will serve one year as vice president, one year as president-elect and then become CODA’s Northeast division president in 2022. Thereafter, he will be eligible for a national leadership role in the organization.

“I am at a point in my career in which there are aspects of the profession I would like to take a larger role in shaping,” Reynolds said. “I’d like to be sure that smaller orchestral programs have a bigger voice. In some ways, that’s what drew me to CODA in the first place. In my position I have certain responsibilities with regard to membership, and I really want to focus on involving those conductors who think perhaps their schools are not big enough or active enough to be a part of the organization. Recruiting membership will be a focus, particularly with regard to liberal arts universities.”

Julia Randel, associate professor and Department of Music chair, said Reynolds’ recognition by his CODA colleagues helps elevate awareness of the University and its music department among collegiate orchestra directors nationwide.

“It's giving him the opportunity to get to know his counterparts at a whole range of institutions, including top conservatories, and it gives them the opportunity to learn about music at UD,” Randel said. “Our band and vocal programs have tended to get the most exposure and recognition, but this raises the profile of our orchestra and shows what a well-rounded department we are.”

This summer, Reynolds has been meeting weekly with regional and national CODA members via Zoom to discuss topics such as programming a more diverse representation of composers, including women and composers of color. They also discuss community interactions, recruiting, scholarship and research. Despite the drawbacks of virtual meetings, the format has allowed him to befriend colleagues whom he might not otherwise meet, apart from the organization’s annual conferences.

Reynolds presented at CODA’s 2019 conference in Boston and 2018 conference in Los Angeles. He was unable to attend this year’s conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, because he was conducting in California at the time. The 2021 conference is scheduled for Feb. 11-14 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Recent CODA conversations have focused on how to address orchestra rehearsals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Reynolds said he will strive to have a live, in-person music experience this fall for his University and off-campus ensembles. He envisions rehearsing students in smaller groups, with different groups of players rehearsing together each week.

“My plan is, even if I’m getting together 10 people for one rehearsal and 10 people for another rehearsal and then mixing them up, I’ll do that so that these students have a chance to, one, make music, and two, make friends,” he said.

Reynolds holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan School of Music.

For more information, visit the Department of Music website.

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