Meet the Conductors

Alain Trudel

Music Director

Music Director of the Toledo Symphony (USA), conductor Alain Trudel has been praised for his “immense talent as conductor, musician and performer” (La Presse). He is also Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Trudel was also the conductor of the CBC Radio Orchestra, taking the orchestra to new heights of artistic quality, as well as public and critical acclaim.

Trudel has conducted every major orchestra in Canada as well as orchestras in the UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Latin America. Trudel made his Opera de Montréal debut in 2009 in Mozart’s Magic Flute and conducted the live recording of their 30th anniversary gala. He has been a regular guest since and in March 2017 he conducted to great acclaim (“The entire audience was on its feet for another standing ovation, with concertgoers shouting “wow” and “bravo.” Rolling Stone Magazine, “The Wall Triumphs in Montréal,”  Le Figaro, Paris) the world premiere operatic version of “The Wall”. Trudel will also lead the American premiere at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2018.

Always committed to upcoming generations of musicians, Trudel was Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2012 to 2014 and has regularly been invited to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. From 2011 to 2015 Trudel was Professor and conductor of the orchestra and opera orchestra at the University of Western Ontario and is now guest professor for orchestra and opera at the University of Ottawa.

First known to the public as “the Jascha Heifetz of the trombone” (Le monde de la musique), Alain Trudel has been a guest soloist with orchestras worldwide including Philharmonique de Radio-France, Hong-Kong Philharmonic, Austrian Radio Orchestra, Festival Musica Strasbourg (France), Klangbogen Festival (Vienna), Akiyoshidai and Hamamatsu festival (Japan). Alain is also a respected composer with performances across America and in Asia.

Alain Trudel was the first Canadian to be a Yamaha international artist, and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Virginia Parker, Charles Cros (France), Opus prize and Heinz Unger prizes. He has been named an Ambassador of Canadian Music by the Canadian Music Centre and received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Wasim Hawary

Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Artistic Director & Conductor

Mr. Wasim Hawary, a lifelong resident of the Toledo area, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Bowling Green State University.  While at BGSU, Wasim held the position of Principal Bassist in the Philharmonia. Wasim has been teaching music in the public school system since 1998 and is currently the orchestra director at Maumee High School. He served as the Assistant Director of the TSYO from 1999-2005 and has also taught both guitar and piano at Owens Community College. Wasim returned to the TSYO in 2009 as the director of the Toledo String Sinfonietta and, just one year after his return, had the pleasure of watching the group size double and expand into the Toledo Youth Symphonic Orchestra. It is with great pleasure that Wasim has assumed the role of Artistic Director of the, now three, Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras and conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wasim actively performs in the region with various ensembles on his main instrument, the bass. When not on stage or in classroom, Wasim also spends a great deal of time in various recording studios writing, performing, and producing all genres of music. His music has been used in Feature Films and on the USA network.  Wasim lives in Perrysburg with his wife Kristin and his three children Norah, Juni, and Gordon.

Chad Hutchinson

Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Conductor

Chad Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Orchestral Activities at Eastern Michigan University where in addition to conducting the Symphony Orchestra, he teaches courses in conducting, music education and supervises student teachers in the field.  Before his appointment in Michigan, Dr. Hutchinson was the Interim Director of Orchestras at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he led the Symphony Orchestra, University Opera productions and taught undergraduate and graduate conducting courses.

For two seasons, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras.  During his tenure, he led the SDSO in numerous pops concerts including artists Ben Folds, Michael Cavanaugh, Jeans N’ Classics, and Steve Lippia, implemented the orchestra’s inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program in a partnership with the Sioux Falls Public School District, conducted Family Concerts and led the annual “Christmas on the Prairie” concert in Hoven, SD.  Working with students ages 8-18 and conducting three of the four ensembles within the organization, he helped the SDSYO grow to the largest enrollment in the program’s history, gaining over 75 students in two seasons. Committed to new music, each SDSYO ensemble featured a living composer on every concert in the 2016-2017 season.  In addition, the Youth Orchestra performed works by and had residencies with John Luther Adams and Theodore Wiprud while also being one of only three youth ensembles in the country to premiere “Dreamtime Ancestors” by Christopher Theofanidis. 

As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, Dr. Hutchinson was recently named the 2017-2018 winner of The American Prize in Opera Conducting for his performance of Suor Angelica with University Opera Theatre at the University of Minnesota.  He has led productions of La Bohème, Le Nozze di FigaroInto the Woods, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Susannah, Suor Angelica, Lady in the Dark, A Kurt Weill Revue and The Mikado with University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University Opera Theatre at the University of Minnesota, and Morningside College.  Into the Woods and L’incoronazione di Poppea with University Opera at UW-Madison both were awarded 1st place in the National Opera Association’s 2018-2019 Production Competition.  Other recent honors have included being awarded 2nd place in The American Prize in Orchestral Conducting for his work with the University Symphony Orchestra at The University of Minnesota, 2nd place in The American Prize’s Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming for his work with the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra as well as being named a finalist for the 2017 Pierre Monteux Prize in conducting.

With a long-standing commitment to education, Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Williamsville, NY and Sioux Falls, SD with both programs more than doubling in size during his tenure.  In South Dakota, the Roosevelt High School Chamber Orchestra was selected to play for the South Dakota Music Educators Convention and in New York, he created a biennial “Night at the Opera” concert where his ensembles performed portions of Don Giovanni and Tosca. He later taught collegiately at Iowa’s Northwestern College and was the coordinator and music director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa.  He has served as a guest conductor for numerous orchestras and festivals throughout the Midwest, Montana and New York and has been on the conducting faculty of the International Music Camp for several years.  As a conducting fellow, he has been selected to participate in conducting workshops at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Richmond Symphony and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra.

An Iowa native, Dr. Hutchinson holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Morningside College.  Away from the university, he lives in Sylvania and enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, training for triathlons as well as rooting for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kansas City Royals.

Betsy Cranston 

Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Conductor

Betsy Cranston is in her twelfth year as a teacher in Perrysburg Schools, where she began her career. Betsy is an orchestra director for students in grades 5-8. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she also serves as the Perrysburg Junior High Music Department Head and chair of the OMEA District 1 Junior High Honors Orchestra. She earned her undergraduate degree in music education from The Ohio State University and received her graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Toledo. A cellist, Betsy is a founding member of The Asteria String Quartet and performs regularly around Toledo and the surrounding area. Ms. Cranston is excited to return to the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras in the role of Concert Strings conductor. She resides in Toledo with her daughters Layla and Lydia.

Kathleen Schnerer

Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Conductor

Kathleen Schnerer is in her fifth year as an Orchestra teacher at Perrysburg Schools, where she began her career. Kathleen is currently teaching 7-8th grade orchestra at Perrysburg Junior High School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she teaches private Suzuki lessons and group classes at the Toledo Symphony School of Music. A violinist since age three, Kathleen has studied with Vasile Beluska and Merwin Siu and performs regularly in the Northwest Ohio region. Actively involved as a member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) and American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Kathleen currently serves as a chair of the OMEA District 1 Junior High Honors Orchestra, an ASTA mentor to new orchestra teachers, OMEA NW Region Secretary/Treasurer, and member of the ASTA K-12 Orchestra Committee. Kathleen graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, specializing in Instrumental String and General Classroom Music Education and was a recipient of the Dr. Paul Makara Violin Scholarship. Kathleen is currently completing coursework for a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan. Ms. Schnerer is looking forward to her second year with the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra Concert Strings in the role of Concert Strings conductor. 


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