Douglas Droste

Douglas Droste's Biography

Conductor Douglas Droste is recognized as possessing "obvious joy" for making music and a "sure sense of timing" when on the podium. Droste is the Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at Ball State University.

Droste has led dynamic performances with the MSO and has been praised for his innovative programming. He has conducted performances of Scott Routenberg's Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra featuring Christian Howes, Michael Shapiro and Victor Cheng's Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang, Concerto for Guzheng and Orchestra featuring Su Chang, and commissioned Joe Deninzon's Dream Diary: Concerto for Seven-String Electric Violin and Orchestra. Droste has also led passionate performances of traditional repertoire such as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Debussy's La Mer, and Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

Believing that community engagement is critical for orchestras, Droste has helped establish new concerts such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Family Concert; a Sensory Friendly concert for children with special needs; a Toddler Pops concert; and co-created and produced the popular Young People's Concert "Music is Science!" Droste continues to program accessible pops concerts with artists such as Time for Three, the Ball State University "Pride of Mid-America" Marching Band, and local blues and gospel singer-songwriter, Jennie DeVoe.

At Ball State, Droste conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and oversees the orchestral conducting program. Always seeking unique collaborations, the BSSO has combined with the BSU Jazz Ensemble on two occasions: a dual performance of the Nutcracker Suites by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington; and the first live performance of Oliver Nelson's The Kennedy Dream since the original recording release in 1967.

In 2014, Droste and jazz violinist Christian Howes were invited by the United States Embassy in Ukraine to perform and teach as part of an ongoing cultural exchange and engagement. Droste guest conducted the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill concert entitled "Music from the New World" and gave a conducting master class to young Ukrainian conductors. Other guest conducting includes the orchestras of Columbus, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa, and the Amarillo Virtuosi, performing as violinist and leader on Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. Demonstrating his versatility, Droste has conducted pops concerts with artists such as Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, John Pizzarelli, and Emily Drennan.

A dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth orchestras and presents at in-service conference sessions throughout the country. He is active as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals, and is affiliated with organizations such as The Yamaha Corporation of America, Music For All, American String Teachers Association, and Festival Disney.

A talented violinist, Droste has performed with the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival (Ohio). Droste is also skilled on viola and trumpet, and has sung with a variety of choral ensembles. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.

Douglas Droste's Gear
Douglas Droste