By Samantha Garza | Staff Writer
Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya made his debut as the third Baylor Symphony Orchestra conductor in university history with a performance in a special orchestra concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Jones Concert Hall of the Glennis McCrary Music Building.
The orchestra concert was free and open to the public, and it introduced Harth-Bedoya as the incoming Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies at Baylor.
Harth-Bedoya is the successor of Stephen Heyde, who led the orchestral program since 1987 and retired this past spring. Harth-Bedoya brings 30 years of experience working across the U.S. and internationally in this field.
Dr. Gary Mortenson, dean of the School of Music, said Harth-Bedoya’s lifelong commitment to study and orchestral repertoire has allowed him to bring wisdom and experience to the podium.
According to Mortenson, Harth-Bedoya has created an undergraduate program on orchestral conducting and is expanding the master’s of music program.
Harth-Bedoya said he decided to come to Baylor so he could share the passion he has pursued for over three decades with younger musicians. He said the university’s values aligned with his own, making it a perfect match.
Inheriting the title of Baylor’s third conductor in all of history was no small achievement, according to Harth-Bedoya.
“It’s an amazing fact, because it only shows how much dedication and commitment my predecessors had, and that speaks volumes of the institution,” Harth-Bedoya said.
At his first performance in front of the Baylor community, the newly hired conductor said his only focus was the success of his students.
“I’m not here for me to be the center of the event tonight,” Harth-Bedoya said. “I’m here just to connect with the music, through the musicians, for the audience — and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Harth-Bedoya said there is something special about teaching undergraduate students; he said that they show excitement and investment and that he is aware of how crucial the four years of undergrad are. He added that his job as a professor is to give his students his best and that one of his favorite things is seeing his students excel and produce music.
“It’s a big responsibility, and it keeps me on my toes so to say — to excel and give them the best I can,” Harth-Bedoya said.
Harth-Bedoya conducted a goosebump-ridden performance that resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd.