Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras director Daniel Chetel will step down from the post at the end of the current season to join the faculty at Augustana College in Rock Isalnd, Ill., where he will also lead the Augustana Symphony Orchestra.
In a news release from CKYO, Chetel said, ““It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of the musical community of Central Kentucky over the last seven years. I am very proud of the work that we’ve done at CKYO to create dynamic and meaningful artistic opportunities for our students. In addition, we have worked towards providing equitable access to those opportunities through expanded financial aid capacity and community programs like North Limestone MusicWorks and Friends in Music. I would like to thank our marvelous staff and board who have contributed so much of themselves to make CKYO what it is, and I know that the future of CKYO is bright.”
Chetel first came to Lexington as a candidate for the CKYO post in 2009. Kayoko Dan was named director, but Chetel remained as assistant director and was a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. Two years later, when Dan left to become director of the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Symphony and Opera, Chetel was quickly named as her successor.
During his tenure, Chetel made opera scenes and performances of full symphonies by the upper level orchestras — the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra — a regular part of their repertoire. He also established programs such as the North Limestone MusicWorks that increased the organization’s outreach.
“CKYO will certainly miss the enthusiasm, professionalism and musical excellence that Dr. Chetel embodied during his five years as Music Director and Conductor,” CKYO board president Kirsten Kegley said in the release.
The orchestras said that details of a transition plan will be announced soon and a national search will be conducted for Chetel’s successor. His last concert conducting the orchestras will be May 15 at the Singletary Center for the Arts.
Editor’s note: Rich Copley has a child in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras.