DR. LOIS FERRARI- Institute Director and Clinician

Italian-American conductor Lois Ferrari is Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and has been a member of the faculty since 1993. In addition to serving as host and clinician for the SU Conductor’s Institute, Dr. Ferrari conducts the SU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and teaches conducting. Many of Dr. Ferrari’s students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in conducting at prestigious institutions such as the Peabody Institute, the University of Houston, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas at Arlington.

An active guest conductor, Maestra Ferrari recently conducted the New York State (NYSSMA) All-County Band, Washington State (WMEA) All-State Concert Band in February 2016. Past highlights include directing the WMEA All-State Wind Ensemble, the Houston All-Region Concert Band, and the Austin All-City Wind Symphony.

As Music Director of the Austin Civic Orchestra, Dr. Ferrari was named 1st Runner-Up in 2016 and 2012, and Finalist in 2014 for American Prize in Community Orchestra Conducting. Judge David Katz remarked that “…she reminds me of the eminent Margaret Hillis.”  In 2010, Maestra Ferrari was also honored as the first woman to conduct an orchestral performance at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.

An enthusiastic champion of new music, Dr. Ferrari founded the bi-annual ACO Composition Contest and is proud to have premiered more than twenty works during the course of her career. One such work was nominated by the Austin Critics Table for Best Symphonic Performance of 2009. In 2012, Ferrari and the ACO were commissioned by composer David Amram to present the Texas premiere of his Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting, Maestra Ferrari received a full doctoral fellowship and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble. She also earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree with a double major in Performance and Music Education from the Ithaca College School of Music. Her principal teachers were Donald Hunsberger, Rodney Winther, David Effron, and Pamela Gearhart.

Originally from Long Island, NY, Dr. Ferrari now resides in Georgetown, TX with her husband, Dr. Paul Gaffney, and their two cats, Buddha and Gandhi. She spends her free time working out, golfing, and riding her motorcycle, Khaleesi.

CAROLYN WATSON- Guest Clinician

Winner of the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Performance and Runner-up for The American Prize in Conducting, Australian conductor Carolyn Watson is Director of Orchestral Studies at Texas State University. From 2013-2015 Carolyn held the position of Conductor of the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and from 2011-2013 she was the inaugural Conductor-in-Residence at the Conservatorium High School in Sydney, Australia. Since moving to the US in 2013, Carolyn has been engaged as a conductor by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conducted the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with David Zinman, Carolyn was a major prizewinner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest. With Opera Foundation Australia’s 2012 Berlin New Music Opera Award Carolyn was Musical Assistant at the Staatsoper Berlin for Infektion!, a festival of modern theatre celebrating the works of John Cage. In 2016 Carolyn has been selected to participate in the elite Dallas Opera Institute for Women Conductors. 

Carolyn is the recipient of a number of prestigious national and international awards for young conductors. She is the recipient of the 2013 Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors and was awarded the coveted Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize via the Australian Music Foundation in London. In 2013-14 Carolyn held a Dome Centenary Fellowship from the State Library of Victoria and was in 2012 a Churchill Fellow. Carolyn has also been awarded Opera Foundation Australia’s Bayreuth Opera Award and Berlin New Music Opera Award and the Nelly Apt Conducting Scholarship. She is the beneficiary of support from the American Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund and a Sheila Pryor Study Grant from the Australian Opera Auditions Committee.

The 2015-16 season saw Carolyn return to Europe to conduct the Kodály Filharmónia in Hungary. In 2010 she successfully debuted with the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and was one of four conductors selected for Interaktion with musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, also working with Sir Charles Mackerras on his final two productions in this year. In 2009, Carolyn spent a period at the Israeli National Opera, where she assisted on a production of Carmen.

Carolyn has been an active participant in master classes with Peter Eötvös, Yoel Levi and Alex Polishchuk. In 2008 Carolyn conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra during the Orkney Conducting Course before returning home to conduct the World Youth Day Orchestra on the occasion of the Pope’s arrival in Australia.

Featured in a national conductor preview with the Sydney Symphony, Carolyn in 2011, was also Assistant Conductor for the inaugural Australian World Orchestra concert season in Sydney working with Simone Young. During 2011 she was Associate Conductor of the Tasmania Discovery Orchestra and Assistant Chorus Master of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

Carolyn holds a PhD in Performance (Conducting) from the University of Sydney where the subject of her doctoral thesis was Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiber.

For further information, write or call:

Dr. Lois Ferrari
Southwestern University
PO Box 770
Georgetown, TX 78627-0770