Dr. Kevin P. Bartram has been director of the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002. He was previously assistant professor and orchestra director at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and orchestra director at the high school level in Maryland. Bartram received his doctor of musical arts in music education from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Va., and he has degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia in orchestral conducting and Northwestern University in music education.
With more than 25 years of experience at the college and public school levels, Bartram has a track record of producing extraordinary orchestras. Under his direction, his high school ensembles won several national competitions performing professional level (Grade VI) literature. He has received two superintendents’ awards for outstanding teaching, and he was awarded Exemplary Music Program in Maryland by the Maryland Music Educators Association. In 2000, the Grammy Foundation named Bartram’s music program to be among the top 100 in the nation. His primary conducting teachers have included John P. Paynter of Northwestern University, Edward Dolbashian from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Daniel Hege of the Syracuse Symphony.
Bartram is in demand as a guest conductor and adjudicator. Recently, he has conducted the Nebraska High School Honors Orchestra and several All-County or All-Region orchestras in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He judges national music competitions throughout the country each year. Bartram founded and directed the Maryland Wind Symphony and was assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony.
As conductor of the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra, Bartram has enjoyed rapid success and resounding accolades. The orchestra, whose 85 members come from the university and the community, is one of the most successful organizations on campus. The orchestra is highly respected for its musicianship and its mission to support students and the region.
The Philharmonic performs at least six concerts annually, including two December holiday POPS concerts, the October Masterworks, the March Musical Mix of contemporary works, the Celebrity Series, and the Independence Day Spectacular. Recent performances have included the President’s Inaugural Concert, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Respighi’s The Pines of Rome.
The UMW Philharmonic enjoys remarkable community support. The “Friends of the Philharmonic” subscribers have provided an incredible $1.3 million to finance student scholarships and sponsor symphony events. This year, Friends will donate more than $45,000 in scholarships to worthy UMW orchestra students. The ensemble’s outreach organization, “Fiddlestix,” sponsors several children’s programs each year including a Young Peoples Concert, an “Instrument Petting Zoo,” and other children’s concerts.
The Celebrity Series, also established by Bartram, is an annual event that features world-class artists performing with the UMW Philharmonic. Celebrity Series artists have included Broadway maestro Marvin Hamlisch, the Canadian Brass, singer Judy Collins, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, the Kingston Trio, Boston Pops Maestro Keith Lockhart, actress/singer Lynda Carter, Miss America Caressa Cameron, Kenny Rogers, and Sir James Galway. Bartram has performed or worked with such greats as Wynton Marsalis, Aaron Copland, Count Basie, Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others.
In 2009, Bartram founded the UMW Faculty Brass Quintet, where he plays trombone. The group now performs regularly for university functions and throughout the community.
In May 2006, the UMW Philharmonic kicked off its new touring program with a trip to Europe. The group traveled to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany on a “Mozart Tour,” which mirrored the travels of the young Mozart as a child prodigy. In May 2008, the orchestra toured England and France, and featured performances of Faure’s Requiem with a French choir in Paris. In 2011, the group toured Italy, with performances in Florence, Venice, and Rome.
At UMW, Bartram also directs the Concert Band, teaches courses in music education and conducting. He is the author of the textbook Introduction to Music Technology, and has authored several articles that have appeared in publications such as the Music Educators Journal and The Instrumentalist Magazine.
Bartram is national development chair for the College Orchestra Directors Association and is past-chairman of the Fredericksburg Arts Commission. Bartram serves on the Economic Development Authority’s Advisory Council and co-founded Via Colori, Fredericksburg’s premiere arts festival. He has also served on the Strategic Planning Commission for the Spotsylvania County Public Schools, and was for many years the Research Chair for the Virginia Music Educators Association. He and his wife Connie have two sons, Nicholas, age eight, and William, age six.