QCSO names two new staff members

Quad City Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the appointment of Benjamin Klemme as its new Assistant Conductor, Community Engagement Coordinator and Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Music Director. This newly created position will serve as the QCSYEs' artistic liaison with community groups and educational institutions and will work to further the mission of the QCSO and QCSYEs. "The QCSO Board of Trustees Education Committee is very pleased to welcome Benjamin Klemme as our Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Music Director and Community Engagement Coordinator. Ben is uniquely qualified to fulfill these duties. He is a native of the Quad Cities, a graduate of the Quad Cities Youth Orchestra, and, in addition to his excellent conducting skills, he has very valuable experience collaborating with educational systems to provide students with the best musical experience possible," said Education Committee Chair Jacqueline O'Donnell. "We know Ben will move our education programs up to a new level and we look forward to working with him."

Benjamin Klemme has his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Minnesota where he conducts the University's Campus Orchestras and is an Assistant Conductor of the Opera Theatre. He also serves the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies as Concert Orchestra Conductor and MacPhail Center for Music as Chamber Orchestra Conductor. Klemme's previous conducting posts include Assistant Conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and Music Director of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association. He has guest conducted the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music New Music Ensemble, Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, Oskaloosa Chamber Music Festival, and the University of Minnesota Summer Orchestra. Klemme received his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. His principal conducting teachers include Mark Russell Smith, Carl Topilow, Louis Lane, Rebecca Burkhardt and Ronald Johnson.

Dedicated to finding innovative ways to employ his commitment to music education, Benjamin Klemme actively works to develop partnerships with schools and performers in his community to go beyond his work on the podium. In New Mexico, he helped bring classical music to life for young people through his work with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's "Music In Our Schools" program, and was the founding music department chair at New Mexico School for the Arts; in Ohio he conducted the Scordatura Chamber Orchestra-a Cleveland-based ensemble designed to achieve classroom learning objectives in language arts, math, science, and social studies through the creative presentation of parallel classical music principles; in Iowa he served as the associate conductor of the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra. Klemme is a former Quad City resident and was himself a member of the Quad City Symphony Youth Orchestra. Klemme returns to the Quad Cities from the Twin Cities with his wife, violinist Deborah Coltvet Klemme, and two sons.

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is also proud to announce Stephen D. Mohr as its new Director of Development. Mr. Mohr most recently served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Figge Art Museum. He is also on the Board of the Association of Professional Fundraisers where he holds the office of Treasurer and also writes regularly for their quarterly newsletter. Mr. Mohr is taking the place of Paul Plagenz who recently accepted a position as Director of Development for the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities campus.