|Flourish Online Magazine||Fall 2012|
Michael Alexander: Expanding musical horizons
By Alyssa Sellors
Michael Alexander conducting the KSU Symphony Orchestra
Photo by Robert Pack
Michael Alexander, director of orchestras at Kennesaw State University and music director of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestras, has expanded the KSU Symphony Orchestra in more ways than one. While an active guest conductor in Europe and around the United States, Alexander has managed to find time to devote his efforts and passions to the KSU orchestra students, and the outcome is a source of pride for both Alexander and KSU.
Since his arrival at KSU, Alexander has successfully grown the orchestra program from a handful of string players into two orchestras, started a summer music clinic which has flourished into the KSU Summer Arts Clinic, helped build the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and even made time to take KSU students overseas to perform. “I am continually inspired by my colleagues and it is a joy to work in such a collaborative environment where the school is continually growing,” says Alexander. “I love teaching at KSU because the students are so eager to learn and are passionate about improving their art.”
Out of all his accomplishments, the growth and success of the KSU orchestra program are at the top of Alexander’s list. “The orchestra is one of the most collaborative ensembles in the School of Music and I am pleased with how it has been integrated into the school.” The orchestra has hosted and performed at the 2010 College Orchestra Director’s Association National Conference, performed in Beijing and Xi’an, China, played at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre with Kansas in 2011 and more. The performance in Beijing and Xi’an in particular was a life-changing experience for Alexander and his students.
Alexander looks forward to the concert series this year with the KSU Orchestra. “We have great repertoire, amazing soloists and some really unique things planned, including the Kennesaw Festival of New Music, Peter Gabriel’s ‘New Blood,’ and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra to close our year,”
In his spare time, Alexander enjoys spending time with family, hiking and playing soccer. His future goals include writing a book and expanding the collaboration between the School of Music and the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program at KSU. If the past is any indication, then Alexander will accomplish his goals and much more.