JSYO Principal Conductor & Assistant Conductor, Winston Family Endowed Chair
Deanna Tham is the Principal Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras and is Assistant Conductor to the Jacksonville Symphony. Additionally, Tham is the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta. She was previously the Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Tham additionally regularly performs with the Boise Philharmonic and Ballet Idaho.
Tham most recently received a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Orchestral Conducting studying with Maestro Carl Topilow. While there, she produced, programmed, and directed a revolutionary cross-sensual concert experience with the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute combining taste and sound. Tham was been invited as a scholarship participant to the 2015 Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she worked with renown conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2015 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy Conductor’s Guild Scholarship where she worked with Master Teacher Victor Yampolsky. In 2013, Tham made her debut with the National Music Festival. There she was one of two assistant conductors who appeared with Maestro Richard Rosenberg working with some of the top professional musicians and teachers in the United States as well as musicians from around the world. Her work with the festival has been featured on National Public Radio as well as American Public Media. Additionally, she was recently invited to compete in the Cadaques Orchestra International Conducting Competition.
Previously, Tham was the Music Director of the American Chamber Orchestra. Her work with the company includes a groundbreaking semi-staged version of Mendelssoh’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, staged in English. During her time with the company, she worked with many talented musicians, including those who sing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made great strides making the company a strong presence in the Chicago area and has sold recordings of her work with the company on iTunes.
Tham has served as the assistant conductor of the Carnegie Mellon All-University Orchestra. While at Carnegie Mellon, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in horn performance studying with Dennis Abelson, Zachary Smith, Bob Lauver, and Steven Kostyniak. Tham received her Master of Music degree in conducting with conducting program honors from Northwestern University studying with Dr. Mallory Thompson. There, she additionally worked with Dr. Robert Harris, Victor Yampolsky, and Dr. Robert Hasty, making her equally at home in wind, orchestral, and vocal settings. While at Northwestern, Tham was integral in the production of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s recent CD, rising, released in December of 2011 on the Summit label under the direction of Dr. Mallory Thompson. She also completed community outreach projects in the form of concerts in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall Kid’s Fare series, participating in a movie music-themed concert as well as conducting, managing, and producing a multicultural-themed interactive concert.
Tham has been a conducting fellow at the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival working with Dr. Susan Deaver and the musicians of the Pierrot Consort, as well as with the talented youth of the festival orchestra. There she was the recipient of the festival conducting award. She has also attended workshops at the Atlantic Music Festival, Waterville Valley Music Center, the Medomak Conductor’s Retreat, and the Conductor’s Institute at Bard where she worked with esteemed artists and conductors such as David Amado, Kenneth Kiesler, Apo Hsu, David Rudge, Lawrence Golan, and Giora Schmidt.