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About the Faculty 

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Markand Thakar

Master Teacher

 Internationally renowned pedagogue Markand Thakar is music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. For 20 years co-director of Graduate Conducting (with Gustav Meier) at the Peabody Conservatory, Thakar has appeared as guest conductor with some 40 orchestras across North America. Maestro Thakar, a student of the legendary Sergiu Celibidache and former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, is the author of On the Principles and Practice of Conducting (University of Rochester Press, 2016) Looking for the "Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University of Rochester Press, 2011), as well as Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making (Yale University Press, 1990).


     Students of Maestro Thakar have won significant conducting positions across North America and internationally, including music directorships with the Aachen (Germany), Winnipeg, Hartford, Charleston, Eugene, Lubbock, Muncie, Williamsport, Amarillo, Young Musician's Foundation, Mid-Atlantic, Sioux City, Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Washington-Idaho, and Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestras; staff conducting positions with the Metropolitan Opera and the orchestras of Philadelphia, New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Portland (OR), Richmond, Winnipeg, Buffalo, Phoenix, Charlotte, Kansas City, Canton, Portland (ME), Winston-Salem, and El Paso; as well as numerous collegiate positions.

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Michael Avagliano 


     Co-Director Michael Avagliano is Music Director of the Central Jersey Symphony and the Summit Symphony, and is on the faculty of Drew University as Director of the University Orchestra. Michael is a long-time colleague of Maestro Thakar and a much appreciated conducting pedagogue. Recent conducting appearances include the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Light Opera of New Jersey, the Newburgh Symphony, the University of Oregon Symphony, the YPHIL International Youth Philharmonic, the Scuola Popolare di Testaccio in Rome, the Plainfield Symphony, and the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra.

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