Lincoln Center, New York, NY highlights ICG Conference with guest speaker Jamie Bernstein and new Board Members. 

The International Conductors Guild, the largest nonprofit membership and service group solely organized to provide the highest-standards of professional development, education, mentoring, and training for conductors, recently approved the election of its 2024-2025 slate of five officersthree new directors, and announced plans for its 50th Anniversary Conference celebration in London, January 2025, at the Annual Membership meeting held during its annual Conference at Lincoln Center’s new Sidewalk Studio, January 3-6, 2024.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The International Conductors Guild Officers who serve as the Executive Committee will include, Dr. Claire Fox HillardPresidentMr. Christopher Blair, Vice President, Dr. Julie Sorensen, Secretary, Dr. Robert Whalen, Treasurer, Dr. Julius P. Williams, Immediate Past President and Dr. John Farrer, Past President Emeritus. 

In addition to the slate of officers, the 128 International Conductors Guild members present at the Annual Meeting on January 6, elected three new Directors to the Board; Maestra Jessica Bejarano, Founder and Music Director of the San Francisco Philharmonic, Dr. Daniel Perttu,Composer, andProfessor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster College, PA, and Mr. Peter Stafford Wilson, Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (OH). 

Maestra Jessica Bejarano is the Founder and Music Director of the San Francisco Philharmonic, Cover Conductor with San Francisco Symphony, Curator and Scholar in Residence with San Francisco Opera and serves as board member of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO).

In 2019 Jessica was featured on NBC’s The Today Show with Natalie Morales as the “Woman Breaking Barriers as a Trailblazing Symphony Conductor.” PBS News Hour Weekend also featured Jessica as an emerging female conductor and KQED named Jessica 1 of 10 artists to watch in KQED Arts’ Bay Brilliant Top 10 Artists of 2018. In 2022, Jessica was featured on ABC’s hit show, To Tell the Truth. Lil’ Libros (book company) is excited to announce that they will publish Jessica’s first bilingual children’s book and recently, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) named Jessica 1 of 100 Honorees for 2023 for her contribution to the Arts in the Bay Area, San Francisco.

Jessica has guest conducted the Classical Symphony in St. Petersburg Russia; Urbino Summer Orchestra in Urbino, Italy: Philharmonie Orchestra “Mihail Jora” Bacau, Romania; Ruse National Philharmonic, Ruse, Bulgaria;  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Republic; Antonio Soler Orquestra, San Lorenzo de Escorial, Spain; Falcon Symphony Orchestra, Falcon, Venezuela and various orchestras throughout the United States. She has also held many conducting positions with various Bay Area orchestras, choirs and youth orchestras. Jessica is a motivational speaker for numerous arts organizations, companies and schools.   

In 2022 Jessica and the San Francisco Philharmonic had the extreme honor of partnering up with Remezcla and Tecate unique and ground breaking performance of Urban Latino sounds meets the symphonic orchestral arena for the creation of Tecate Alta performance! That same year, San Francisco Philharmonic and Jessica were invited to perform with American legendary rock band Journey at the Chase Center Plaza in San Francisco for the Winter Wonderland Spectacular and recently a cross over performance with the San Francisco Philharmonic and legendary rapper, Andre Nickatina. Jessica is equally comfortable as a symphonic and opera conductor, pre-concert lecturer and crossing over performances with rock bands and rappers with the orchestral sounds.

In 2019 Jessica was the first woman in history to guest conduct the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles. She was also the featured guest conductor and clinician at the San Diego State University’s Women in Music, Diversity and Leadership Conference. In January 2018, she was one of twelve female conductors selected from around the world to attend and conduct at the International Women’s Conference in New York City. During that same time Jessica was the resident conductor of the University of California Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, Jessica was the guest conductor of the Kansas All State Orchestra, leading a 200-piece student orchestra through rehearsals and performance.

Jessica received her Master of Arts in Choral and Orchestral Conducting from the University of California Davis; Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and Associates of Fine Arts in Music Education from Casper College.


 Dr. Dan Perttu is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster College, PA and a prolific composer of   orchestral and other ensemble works.  

 Daniel Perttu’s music has been performed on four continents and in more than 40 of the United States.  His concert   opener Phoenix was released on a recording by the London Symphony Orchestra in October, 2022, and his “Spring”   overture was recently recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic).  Both recordings are on the GRAMMY-   winning Navona Records label, an imprint of PARMA Recordings.​

 His other international credits include performances by the Subotica Philharmonic and the Niš Symphony Orchestra (Serbia), and the Falcón Symphony Orchestra (Venezuela). In the states, his orchestral credits include the Flagstaff Symphony (Arizona), Wheeling Symphony (WV), Ohio Valley Symphony, Butler Philharmonic (Ohio), Sierra Vista Symphony (Arizona), Canton Symphony (Ohio), Muscatine Symphony (Iowa), Perrysburg Symphony (Ohio), Space Coast Symphony (Florida), Firelands Symphony (Ohio), Fox Valley Symphony (Wisconsin), Acadiana Symphony (Louisiana), Oklahoma Composers' Orchestra, Greenville Symphony (Pennsylvania), Orchestra Omaha, and Lakeland Civic Orchestra (Ohio).  

Upcoming performances slated for the 2023-2024 season include the world premieres of pieces with the Grand Junction Symphony (Colorado), Butler County Symphony (Pennsylvania), and Western Piedmont Symphony (North Carolina). Additional performances will include Dan's "Planets Odyssey" Piano Concerto with the Springfield Symphony (Ohio), his “Spring” overture with the Rapides Symphony (Louisiana), Perrysburg Symphony, and Butler Philharmonic, and his concert opener Phoenix with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony.​

Although Dan always loved to compose, he was resistant to pursue composition as a career when he was young. As an undergraduate student, he hedged his bets by studying music and English. He also took numerous courses in psychology and neuroscience and even considered a career in law. When he was awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship to study music in graduate school, he threw caution to the wind and decided to go “all in.”  It worked. Upon graduating with his doctorate in composition, he took a position as a music professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and now teaches at Westminster College, where he also took his turn as the chair of the School of Music for two terms from 2014 through 2022.  He lives with his wife and two amazing daughters in Neshannock, Pennsylvania. 

 Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Peter Stafford   Wilson, has been a longtime member of the ICG and will begin his tenure in 2024 with the   Board of Directors where he will serve as Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee. 

  Peter Stafford Wilson became the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s eighth music director in   2002 following a national search, and in the ensuing years, he has brought new excitement   and energy to the ensemble, which currently is enjoying renewed critical and audience   acclaim. 

Internationally renowned artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Hilary Hahn, Andre Watts, Sarah Chang, Twyla Robinson, Pepe Romero, and Misha Dichter have shared the stage with Wilson and the SSO, and leaders from the Orchestra have also had their turn in the soloist’s spotlight. Adventuresome programming, such as a complete cycle of the Brandenburg Concerti of J.S. Bach performed in the course of one evening, a dramatic pairing of tone poems by Respighi played consecutively, and the juxtaposition of style such as Bach and Piazzola, back to back, have marked Wilson’s style, as has the occasional warhorse encore. Emerging talent has also been the hallmark of Wilson’s taste in soloists including the electrifying appearance of 2007 Cleveland Piano Competition winner Alexander Ghindin, Yehudi Menuhin Competition medalist Chad Hoopes, and regional phenom Gavin George. The celebrated Cirque de la Symphonie has made two visits to collaborate with the SSO, both resulting in capacity crowds at the Kuss, and the regular multi-media presentations of The Now Device have drawn wide interest. 

International attention has focused on the SSO for events such as Agriculture & The Arts Growing Together, a photo-choreographed collage of images of local farmers at work set to the timeless music of Aaron Copland, and the American Made: A Celebration of Manufacturing, a multi-media program conveying the story of American manufacturing through video images set to the music of contemporary American composers. In 2011, Wilson enlisted the aid of Wittenberg University’s Dan Fleisch and Steve Reynolds to produce a new multi-media, multi-discipline production of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, which resulted in a sellout house. His ongoing collaborations with Seattle based The Now Device, have resulted in cutting edge, stunning multi-media productions. Springfield’s Choice, an on-line audience poll has wrapped the Springfield audience into the programming process, and Wilson’s passion for the Springfield community is well evidenced by his collaborations with local artists and institutions such as Wittenberg University, Choral Arts Springfield, The Westcott House Foundation, and the Clark State College Theater Department. In 2009, the Orchestra took on the bold initiative of presenting a living composer on every concert of the season. The composers were on hand to engage the community as well as consult on performance, and the project resulted in an ASCAP/League of American Orchestras Award for Creative Programming. The SSO has participated in commissioning consortia of composers such as David Amram, Lowell Liebermann, and Daron Hagen. 

A native of North Carolina, Peter Stafford Wilson studied at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where his primary mentor was the late Thomas Schippers. During his years at CCM, he became a leading exponent of contemporary music, often collaborating with faculty and student composers, including the Conservatory’s Visiting Professor of Composition, Lukas Foss. Mr. Wilson also studied at the Aspen Music School where his teacher was Dennis Russell Davies, Eastern Music Festival (on whose faculty he subsequently served), Pierre Monteux School, Boris Goldovsky Summer Opera Institute and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia where he was associated with Franco Ferrara. After his advanced studies, he was appointed Assistant, and later Associate, Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. While in Canton, Wilson established the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts’ Mary and Louise Timken Young Artists Competition. 

Wilson recently completed a most successful ten-year tenure as Principal Conductor for the Tulsa Ballet. The Tulsa World recently commented, “Conductor Peter Stafford Wilson led the Tulsa Symphony in a performance of the Tchaikovsky score that was bright and sparkling. The tempo was brisk, the articulations crisp and the orchestra’s sound was remarkably rich.” During his tenure with BalletMet Columbus, Wilson led over 100 performances, and traveled with the Company annually to appear at the Detroit Opera House. He also has enjoyed recent invitations from the Philadelphia Ballet, the Oregon Ballet, the Orlando Ballet and the Oklahoma City Ballet. 

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra appointed him Regional Pops Conductor for the 1995 summer season, during which he led the orchestra in a series of widely acclaimed performances in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Wilson also serves the Westerville Symphony as Music Director and has recently concluded a 28-year tenure with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Wilson also has enjoyed a multi-year artistic relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra, often serving as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center events. In 1996, the League of American Orchestras featured Wilson in its Conductor Preview event, a program encouraging emerging conducting talent in the U.S.

Peter Stafford Wilson’s schedule has taken him around the world! He has guest conducted the orchestras of Bozeman, Chautauqua, Dallas, Detroit, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, North Carolina, Phoenix, Roanoke, Seattle, Syracuse, Tucson, Tulsa, West Virginia, and Youngstown. He also led the Independence Day Concert with Peter Nero’s Philly Pops Orchestra and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s highly popular “Awesome Classics” series, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra.  He maintains an ongoing relationship with Cedarville University, which began in 2008, and in 2012-2013, he served the University as Interim Conductor of the Cedarville Orchestra. In 2023, Wilson made an unscheduled emergency substitution for the ailing music director of the Lancaster (OH) Festival. 

No stranger to the lyric theater, Mr. Wilson has held the positions of Principal Conductor of South Carolina’s Opera Charleston and Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera and conducted performances at Spoleto Festival USA, Young Artists Opera Theater, College Light Opera, Canton Lyric Opera and Otterbein College Opera Theatre.

Wilson enjoyed a long tenure with the Columbus Symphony where he appeared regularly on all of the Orchestra’s mainstage subscription series. His regular tours with the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra took him to Europe and on a highly acclaimed tour of China, where he conducted a performance on the Great Wall of China! He has appeared at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall on two occasions with CSYO. 

When not conducting, Wilson actively enjoys golf, reading, is an avid gourmet cook, and wine enthusiast, and surrounds himself with music of all kinds. His wife Barbara Karam Wilson is Director of Corporate Tax at White Castle System, and together they serve as staff for their two cats, Murphy, who has shown an uncanny affinity for the works of Mozart, and a rescue-kitty, Smidgen who seems to prefer The Black-Eyed Peas. 

ICG President, Claire Fox Hillard, is music director and conductor of the Albany Symphony Orchestra (GA) and has been noted for his blending of major symphony, choral and operatic repertoire of American compositions, and premieres of new works.  He has received seven ASCAP awards for his innovative programming and has worked directly with composers Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomason, Ulysses Kay, Alvin Singleton, Steven Paulus, Ellen Taffee Zwilich, Samuel Jones, and Aldolphus Hailstork.  

Hillard received training from many notable conductors of our time including James Dixon, Leonard Slatkin, Pierre Boulez, Maurice Abravanel, Jorge Mester and John Barnett. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hillard began piano and violin studies at an early age and made his conducting debut at the age of 18. At age 25, after earning his master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Iowa, he became one of the youngest conductors ever to be appointed the Music Directorship of a professional orchestra.  

 When Maestro Hillard is not conducting his orchestra in Georgia, his job as President of the ICG   provides the opportunity to award prizes to outstanding conductors. This photo, taken in April 2023 at   a break in the LA Phil’s rehearsal at Disney Hall, shows Maestro Hillard presenting the prestigious   Theodore Thomas Award to Maestro Zubin Mehta. The Theodore Thomas Award is presented   biennially to a conductor in recognition of outstanding achievement as a conductor and extraordinary   service to one’s colleagues in advancing the art and science of conducting, reflecting honor upon our   profession. 

 The International Conductors Guild is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization based outside of Washington,   DC in Leesburg, Virginia and serves a membership of conductors from across the globe. The Guild   holds professional development workshops, conductor chats, one-on-one mentoring, conductor workshops, Podium Talks, and  publishes the Journal of the International Conductors Guild, the premiere academic   publication for conductors, as well as Conductor Symposia with the leading conductors of today’s top   orchestras. 

  The International Conductors Guild is a welcoming and open membership and service organization        for conductors of all experience levels and genres, from student to senior.