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Dr. Kenneth Thompson
Artistic Director & Conductor
Kenneth Thompson currently serves as associate professor and assistant dean in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. His responsibilities include conducting ensembles in the band area, teaching graduate conducting and repertoire and undergraduate instrumental methods. Additionally, he serves on the conducting staff of both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra where he directs the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Wind Symphony and the DSO Civic Philharmonic Orchestra,and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, where he serves as Artistic Director of the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras and Conductor of the TYO Philharmonic Orchestra. A graduate of Limestone College (SC) with a double major in music education and trumpet, Thompson received a master's degree in music education and doctorate in band conducting from The University of Iowa. Prior to his BGSU appointment, he held the position of associate conductor with the St. Louis Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, and now serves as Principal Guest Conductor. He has conducted performances for numerous regional conventions, live radio broadcasts and multiple CD recordings.
Maintaining a reputation as both a scholar and performer, Dr. Thompson's research is published in journals and research publications throughout the world. He has also appeared as a guest conductor, lecturer or clinician for numerous state, regional, national and international conferences. In high demand as a guest conductor and lecturer, Thompson maintains an active schedule with engagements throughout the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and China.
Mr Wasim Hawary, a lifelong resident of the Toledo area, graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1998 with a degree in music education.While at BGSU, Wasim held the position of Principal Bassist in the Philharmonia.He has continued his education at the Vandercook School of Music inChicago, Illinois. Wasim has been teaching music in the Toledo Public Schoolssince 1998 and is currently the orchestra director at Start High School. Heserved as the Assistant Director of the TYO from 1999-2005 and also taughtboth guitar and piano at Owens Community College. Wasim returned to theTYO in 2009 as the director of the Toledo String Sinfonietta and, in just oneyear, has had the pleasure of watching the group size double and expand intothe Toledo Youth Symphonic Orchestra.
Wasim actively performs in the region with various ensembles on his maininstrument, the bass. When not on stage or in classroom, Wasim also spends agreat deal of time in various recording studios writing, performing and producingall genres of music. His music has been used in Feature Films and on theUSA network.
Concert Orchestra Conductor
Robert Mirakian, Concert Orchestra Director, is also Music Director of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Toledo Opera, director of the University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and director ofthe Toledo Symphony School of Music’s Vivace! Strings Program. He has previously served as Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra and Director of Orchestral Studies at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, and has appeared as a guest conductor with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Toledo Symphony Concert Band, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Florida, and the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra.
Youth Orchestra Coordinator
Joan Weiler has been associate principal/second bassoonist of the Toledo Symphony since 1989. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and has performed with the Columbus Symphony and the Columbus Opera Orchestra.
Ms. Weiler received her master’s degree in performance from Temple University where she studied bassoon with Bernard Garfield, principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Ohio State University where she also has completed coursework for a doctorate and was the winner of the DMA Concerto Competition.
In 1987, Ms. Weiler performed under the direction of Leonard Bernstein for the inaugural season of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany. She was a finalist in the Fernand Gillet Double Reed Young Artist Competition in Graz, Austria and toured Japan for three weeks with the Ohio State University Concert Band. She has taught on the faculties of the University of Toledo, Heidelberg College, Ohio Wesleyan University and Wright State University, and is currently the bassoon instructor Ohio Northern University.
Youth Orchestra Assistant
Following graduation from Michigan State University, Mrs. Coats taught in several Michigan school systems; among them the then newly consolidated Pennfield Rural Agricultural Schools, where she initiated the band program. In the early 1960s she revitalized the string program in the Okemos Public Schools. During those Michigan years she played double bass with the Battle Creek and Lansing Symphony Orchestras.
After coming to Toledo in 1969, Mrs. Coats lead the orchestra at Central Catholic High School from 1970 to 1974. From 1974 until her retirement in 1992, she taught strings in the Bowsher/Byrnedale district of the Toledo Public Schools.
One of five founding conductors of the Toledo Junior Youth Orchestra, she was named its first permanent conductor in 1979. Mrs. Coats is a long-time supporter of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, a member of the TSO League, and she supports a wide variety of music and arts activities in the Toledo area. Her two granddaughters are double bassists and alumni of the TYO. She was inducted into the Toledo Central Catholic High School Music Hall of Fame in October 2010.