April 13, 2016
The Board of Directors of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the appointment of Charles Latshaw as Music Director, effective for the 2016-17 season. Latshaw received impeccable reviews from audiences and from orchestra members, after guest conducting “Latshaw Conducts Tchaikovsky” in February of 2016. Latshaw succeeds Maestro Kirk Gustafson who is retiring after 28 years as Music Director.
Latshaw was one of four finalists in a nearly two-year long search that began with over 160 applicants.
Charles Latshaw is currently the director of Orchestral Studies and the Kent/Blossom Music Festival at Kent State University. He previously served as artistic director and conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. Latshaw has also held conducting positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Washington Sinfonietta, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. In 2007, he was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as the Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow in residence at the Salzburg Festival. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in instrumental conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Latshaw’s performances are not limited to the podium. He has held the position of principal trumpet in orchestras in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. He has performed with jazz bands as a trumpet player, vocalist, and band leader. He has appeared in acting and singing roles with the Palace Professional Theater of Manchester and the New Hampshire State Opera. Performance tours have brought him to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, as well as across the United States.
Latshaw was recently reached via email to share his thoughts on his new appointment and his hopes for the future.
“I am so grateful for the way the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra has welcomed me to their family. Grand Junction is clearly a very special place, populated by great people who have a strong sense of community and pride in their work. It’s my goal to make sure that every person in Mesa County knows what a wonderful organization the GJSO is!
“Kirk has clearly been a major fixture of the arts in Grand Junction for his 28 years with the orchestra, and has built such a great musical organization and community around the GJSO that it feels like being welcomed into a loving family of friends and musicians. My mind is brimming with ideas of exciting programs, collaborations, projects, and artistic endeavors with the GJSO, and it’s going to take a hundred more years to get to them all.”
“The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra is a shining jewel of the Arts in Western Colorado. I feel so blessed to be starting the next chapter in the ensemble’s life.
Maestro Latshaw officially begins his position on July 1st but has already been working feverishly to schedule the concerts for next season. Kirk Gustafson, the Artistic Committee, and staff have already finalized many details for next season including dates and guest artists but it is up to Latshaw to fill in the season, tenatively titled a “Season of Firsts”, with his chosen repertoire.
Please join us in welcoming Charles and his wife Kelley to the Grand Valley this summer.