Dr. Rebecca MacLeod, Guest Clinician October 27-28, 2022

First held in 2015, the Kennesaw State University Orchestra Invitational is a unique event offering high school and middle school orchestras the opportunity to perform in one of the finest acoustical concerts halls in Georgia – Morgan Concert Hall at the Kennesaw State University Bailey School of Music – and receive assessment-based feedback from a nationally-recognized guest clinician and KSU faculty. This non-competitive format enhances the educational experience for students and directors. In addition, each ensemble receives professional quality audio and video recordings of their performance.

Here's what one director had to say: 
"I wanted to send a quick thank you for accepting our group to play at KSU this past weekend. This past weekend is one that I will never forget and I know that my students feel the same. Being afforded the opportunity to come to visit the KSU campus, play in that wonderful hall and to receive the feedback we received is truly a blessing and will help our group as we prepare for the next event, whatever it may be. The professionalism of all that were involved from being met as we arrived until we left for the trip home was outstanding. The students did a great job of making sure we were well-taken care of and the facilities were outstanding."

2022 Application



  • The KSU Orchestra Invitational is open to high school and advancing middle school orchestras. Applications will be accepted on a "first come, first served" basis, and the number of orchestras that can be accepted is limited. (Performance recordings are no longer required as part of the application.)

    Accepted ensembles will receive an acceptance letter – which will include confirmation of warm-up and performance times – and an invoice for the total participation fee. The fee is $350.00 for each participating orchestra and total fee is due by Monday, October 3, 2022. Payment details will be included in the invoice.

    Please click on the link below to apply to perform at the KSU Orchestra Invitational. Please allow 10 business days for the processing of your application.

    2022 Application
  • Your performance experience will include:  

    • Rehearsal and warm-up time in Scott Rehearsal Hall (in the Bailey Center adjacent to the performance stage)
    • Performance on stage in Morgan Concert Hall in the Bailey Performance Center.
    • Clinic with nationally-recognized guest clinician immediately following performance.
    • Assessments of your ensemble by guest clinician and KSU faculty via audio caption and written feedback.
    • "Conductor Cam" video recording.
    • High-quality audio and video recordings of the performance.

    In addition, your group can listen to live performances mid-day from the KSU Symphony Orchestra and have opportunities to hear other high school orchestras from around the region.

  • rebecca macleod
    Dr. Rebecca MacLeod
    Professor, Music Education
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Dr. Rebecca MacLeod is Professor of Music Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she directs the string education program and conducts the UNCG Sinfonia. Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, she was the assistant artistic director and conductor of the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra in Tallahassee, Florida. A native of Pennsylvania, she taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestra in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and was orchestra director and chair of music activities in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

    Dr. MacLeod is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Journal of String Research, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Psychology of Music, and the American String Teachers Journal. Her research on at-risk string programs, effective instrumental rehearsals, vibrato technique, and music perception has been presented at the National Association for Music Education Conference, American String Teacher's National Conference, International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition, Society for Music Teacher Educators and various state conferences.

    Dr. MacLeod received a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University and MME and PhD degrees from Florida State University. She serves on faculty at the Florida State University summer music camps and is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States.  

    nathaniel parker
    Dr. Nathaniel Parker
    Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music

    A talented and versatile musician, Nathaniel F. Parker has conducted orchestras in the United States, Peru, Russia, Poland, England, and the Czech Republic. Equally at home working with professionals and training future generations of musicians, Dr. Parker is Director of Orchestral Studies at the Kennesaw State University School of Music—serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra and Conductor of the Kennesaw State University Opera Program—Associate Conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director and Conductor of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO). His recent guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) All-State Orchestra, the Fulton County High School Honor Orchestra (Georgia), and the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) District 9 High School Honor Orchestra. Dr. Parker is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and scholarships. He was named a finalist for a Conducting Fellowship with the New World Symphony, a semi-finalist for a Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood, and a Candidate for the Respighi Prize in Conducting; he also received a Citation of Excellence in Teaching from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. An active scholar, Dr. Parker’s writings have been published by the Conductors Guild and the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). He has presented research at the College Orchestra Directors Association’s national and international conferences and is Editor of the Journal of the Conductors Guild.

    Dr. Parker has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Concert Orchestra and faculty at New England Music Camp (Maine), and Interim Music Director and Conductor of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Camerata. Before relocating to Georgia, he was Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Marywood University (Pennsylvania) where he was Music Director and Conductor of the Marywood University Orchestra and taught courses in conducting, instrumental methods, musicology, and analytical techniques. Other previous positions include Associate Conductor and Production Manager of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), Music Director and Conductor of the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Community Music School, Graduate Conducting Intern at Michigan State University, Music Director and Conductor of the Mason Orchestral Society’s Community Orchestra and Youth Symphony (Michigan), Assistant Director of Music at Xaverian High School (New York), Conductor of the New Music Festival of Sandusky Orchestra (Ohio), and Graduate Assistant Conductor and Teaching Assistant at Bowling Green State University (Ohio).

    Parker earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Michigan State University, where his primary instructors were Leon Gregorian and Raphael Jiménez. During his time at MSU he regularly appeared with all the university orchestras and focused his doctoral research on Leonard Bernstein, specifically the composer’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety.” He earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Emily Freeman Brown. His other conducting mentors include Stephen Osmond, Gary W. Hill, and Timothy Russell. In addition to his training in academia, Dr. Parker participated in numerous conducting master classes and workshops, conducting orchestras under the tutelage of nationally and internationally renowned conductors and conducting pedagogues including Christoph Eschenbach, George Hurst, Arthur Fagen, Markand Thakar, Mark Gibson, David Itkin, and Paul Vermel. Parker began his collegiate education at Arizona State University, where he studied bassoon with Jeffrey G. Lyman and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance.

    Nat resides in Kennesaw with his wife, Melody, and their son, Jacob.

    For more information, please visit www.nathanielfparker.com.

    nancy conley
    Dr. Nancy Conley
    Assistant Professor of String Music Education

    Nancy Conley is the Assistant Professor of String Music Education at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches coursework in string techniques, pedagogy, and literature. In addition, Dr. Conley supervises student teachers, leads the KSU String Project, and conducts the KSU Philharmonic. She also serves as the faculty advisor to the KSU collegiate chapter of ASTA.

    Dr. Conley received the Ph.D. in music education with a viola performance cognate from Michigan State University, the M.M. in performance from Binghamton University, and the B.M. in music education and performance from Ithaca College. Before pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Conley was a public school music educator in central New York, where she taught elementary, middle, and high school instrumental music for seventeen years. An active performer while teaching, Dr. Conley played with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Tri-Cities Opera Company, and the Edgewood String Quartet. As a doctoral student, she performed with the Lansing (MI) Symphony, and was a member of the Orchestra of Northern New York in Potsdam while teaching at the Crane School of Music. She currently plays with string quartets in the Atlanta area.

    Prior to joining the faculty at KSU, Dr. Conley was the Director of Music Education at Clayton State University, where she coordinated the music education program, taught courses in music and music education, supervised student teachers, and was an instructor of applied violin and viola. Dr. Conley also served as faculty advisor for the collegiate NAfME chapter and co-directed the Clayton County Honor Orchestra.

    Before moving to Georgia, Dr. Conley taught at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she taught string technique and pedagogy classes and directed the National String Project. While at Crane, Dr. Conley developed a Musician Wellness course and the Lab Ensemble, a course that encouraged pre-service music teachers to use improvisation, arranging, and composition in the classroom.

    Dr. Conley has taught in various summer music programs, including several years at the New York ASTA String Institute at Ithaca College. She has conducted Senior High Area All-State festivals in New York State, and served as a clinician at other school music festivals. Dr. Conley is a frequent clinician in Atlanta-area schools.

    Dr. Conley has presented at state, regional, and national conferences. Her research interests include the use of improvisation as a tool for teaching and life-long learning, music teacher education, and musician wellness. She holds the certification for Music Learning Theory Elementary General Music Level One, and has completed teacher training for Suzuki Violin Level One and Two.

  • For more information, contact:
    Dr. Nathaniel Parker



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