The Idaho State Civic Symphony has named Julie Sorensen as its new interim conductor. Sorensen is one of only a few female orchestra conductors in the United States; however, she doesn’t let that hold her back.
“When it comes to being a conductor, I’m a conductor first and a female second,” Sorensen said. “But it’s nice to see that women are more than ever going into whatever field they want.”
Sorensen has always had a love of music. Her parents were both musicians, and Sorensen said her mother is the best musician she knows. Her father was a trumpet player and her mother both sang and played piano. One of her older siblings also played the trumpet, and Sorensen was anticipating learning the trumpet. However, when her mom came home from the music store with a flute, Sorensen decided to learn that.
Sorensen is a self taught flute player.
“I would sit at the piano and pitch match,” she said. “I’d play a note on the piano and then try different flute fingerings until the sounds matched.”
Sorensen never intended on becoming an orchestra conductor. While working toward a bachelor’s degree in music and flute performance at the University of Wyoming, her conducting teacher asked her what she wanted to do with her conducting. He was so impressed by her conducting that he asked her to conduct the symphony in concert there.
She received her master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and studied for her doctorate in fine arts from Texas Tech University.
The symphony season opener concert will be held in Jensen Hall at the Stephen’s Performing Arts Center on Friday, September, 23. They will be performing three works.
The symphony will be playing Saint Saens’ Symphony No. 3, also known as the organ symphony. They will also be playing Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, which features soloists from throughout the orchestra.
The Idaho State Civic Symphony is a mixed group of students, faculty, community members and professional musicians.
“It’s a really great opportunity to have such a talented orchestra so close to us,” Sorensen said.