Bruce Walker, YYSO Conductor
St. Louis, Missouri native, Bruce Walker, currently is Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. Duties include teaching courses in Western Music History, second year Music Theory, Advance Aural Skills, and Director of the Columbia Basin College Orchestra. He is also Music Director for the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor and Conductor of A# Players Orchestras for the Oregon East Symphony. He has previously served as Cover Conductor for the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestral Activities for the Sunnyside School District in Sunnyside, Washington, Conductor for the Kittitas Valley Youth Orchestra, Co-conductor of the Ellensburg Campus-Community Orchestra, Director of the Central Washington University Music Preparatory Strings Program, and cello/conducting intern for the Marrowstone Music Festival.
Mr. Walker has participated in some of the finest conducting workshops and music festivals across the United States such as the Marrowstone Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, various workshops sponsored by the Conductor’s Guild, Astoria Music Festival, Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop, and the University of Oregon Orchestral Conducting Institute. During the summer months since 2010, Mr. Walker works as a faculty member with the Youth Excellence on Stage/YES Academy in collaboration with American Voices, a US non-government, non-profit, cultural exchange organization. Through this organization, he has conducted, traveled, and taught in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan and has been interviewed by PRI’s The World to talk about his experiences teaching in these countries.
As an instrumentalist, Mr. Walker remains very active as a solo performer, educator, adjudicator, and orchestral cellist. He has appeared as soloist with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the Oregon East Symphony in April 2016. He has previously held principal cello positions with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, Central Washington University Symphony, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, and the Pierre Monteux School Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Walker won numerous competitions with Trio Giocoso and the DeKalb and Byron String Quartets. Currently, he is an on-call cellist to the Oregon East Symphony (Pendelton, Oregon), Walla Walla Symphony (Walla Walla, Washington), Mid-Columbia Symphony (Richland, Washington), Yakima Symphony (Yakima, Washington), and Whatcom Symphony (Bellingham, Washington).
Mr. Walker holds baccalaureate degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a master degree in Performance studying Orchestral Conducting and Cello Performance from Central Washington University. His primary teachers have been Kangho Lee and John Michel (cello) and Dr. Jeffery Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Kenneth Woods, and Lawrence Golan (conducting). When not on the podium, he can be found enjoying time outside around his BBQ pit and smoker and having people sample his new creations and admiring his large argyle sock collection.