NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Daniel Hege will speak at Bethel College's 111th commencement, set for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, May 23 in Memorial Hall on the North Newton campus. Hege is currently in his fifth season as music director of the Syracuse (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra. He was music director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra for 13 years. After graduating from Bethel College in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in music and history, Hege earned a master of music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Utah. While at Utah, Hege founded the University Chamber Orchestra and served as assistant conductor of the university orchestra and as music director of the Utah Singers. In addition, Hege has studied with conductor and teacher Daniel Lewis at the University of Southern California and was a conducting student of Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival.
In 1990 Hege won a national conducting competition to become music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. Hege also served as principal conductor of Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, where he had the opportunity to work with such artists as Henry Mancini, John Williams, Branford Marsalis, Doc Severinsen and Dudley Moore. Hege led concerts that were nationally broadcast by the Disney Channel to more than 50 million viewers.
Hege's previous positions have taken him across the country and include a variety of placements. He has held the post of music director with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Encore Chamber Orchestra of Chicago and the Haddonfield (N.J.) Symphony. Hege was also the associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. In 2001 he concluded a six-year tenure as resident conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Hege has worked both nationally and internationally as a guest conductor. His engagements with national orchestras include work with the Houston, Detroit, Oregon, Phoenix and Seattle symphonies. Hege has also worked with international orchestras in Auckland, Calgary, Lima, Singapore and St. Petersburg.
Under Hege's direction, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra has released its first recordings in more than 20 years. Hege's previous recording work earned him a nomination for the National Public Radio (NPR) Heritage Award in 1998. In addition to his recording work, Hege conducted the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in a concert held at Carnegie Hall that featured the 2001 Gold Medallist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Stanislaw Loudenitch.
Born in Colorado, Hege resides in Jamesville, N.Y., with his wife Katarina and their two daughters.