Music News & Reviews

Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras names Marcello Cormio music director

Newly appointed Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras music director Marcello Cormio at the end of the CKYO Symphony Orchestra's performance March 12, 2017 in the Singletary Center for the Arts concert hall at the University of Kentucky.
Newly appointed Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras music director Marcello Cormio at the end of the CKYO Symphony Orchestra's performance March 12, 2017 in the Singletary Center for the Arts concert hall at the University of Kentucky. rcopley@herald-leader.com

Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras announced Monday that Marcello Cormio will be the organization’s new music director, leading the group that serves more than 300 area students into its 70th season.

Cormio succeeds Daniel Chetel, who departed after last season to join the faculty of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. Cormio was named interim conductor of the CKYO symphony and concert orchestras shortly after the announcement of Chetel’s departure, and was one of three finalists for the music director post.

“I am confident that his artistic vision, passion for education, and desire to widen CKYO’s reach in our community are the perfect fit for our organization,” CKYO Board President Kirsten Kegley said in a statement.

Cormio said, “I plan on building new and exciting programs and expand our presence in the cultural and artistic life of Central Kentucky through outreach and collaboration. I hope CKYO’s work can have an even bigger impact on the lives of the young people we serve, their families and friends, and the Lexington community at-large, of which I have been a proud member for six years now.”

Cormio’s numerous degrees include a doctor of musical arts from the University of Kentucky, where he has been active conducting performances by the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and is music director of the UK Philharmonia.

The Italian-born musician is a well-traveled opera conductor with critically acclaimed turns with the Sarasota Opera and other ensembles, and he has conducted at the collegiate level at Michigan State University, Indiana University, West Virginia University and others. He served as the cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during the 2014-15 season.

In his role with CKYO, Cormio conducts the organization’s Symphony and Concert orchestras and oversees all six of its ensembles and community outreach programs including North Limestone MusicWorks and Friends in Music.

His appointment was announced via email to CKYO families Friday, but the email said Cormio requested it not be announced at Sunday’s Teen Arts Festival so the focus would remain on the student musicians. There are two more concerts left in the orchestras’ current season, May 7 and May 21. Cormio will officially take the music director post July 1.

Editor’s note: Rich Copley has a child in CKYO.

Follow Rich Copley on Facebook and Twitter, @copiousnotes.

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