Robert Frelly is recognized throughout the country as an accomplished conductor and music educator. Dr. Frelly has taught instrumental music at all levels and for the past 26 years has served as Professor of Music and Director of Music Education within the Conservatory of Music. He also serves as the Music Director and Conductor of the University Wind Symphony and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory of Music, a music program with over 200 students in 6 ensembles. His previous conducting posts include Music Director and Conductor of the La Mirada Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director and Conductor of the Southern California Philharmonic.
Noted for his artistic and visionary leadership, Dr. Frelly's appointments extend beyond the United States, having served as Artistic Director and Festival Conductor of music festivals in London (for the 2012 Olympic Games and Queen’s Jubilee), Vienna and Prague (2009), China (for the 2008 Olympic Games), and Sydney, Australia (2006 and 2007). As music director, he has led performances in 16 countries across 3 continents, including return visits to the famed Salzburg Music Festival and the renowned Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Equally at home in the classical, jazz and pop genres, Dr. Frelly has worked with a number of prominent artists, has conducted for film and opera, and is a frequent guest conductor for all-state and regional honor bands and orchestras.
A strong advocate for the arts, Dr. Frelly is a frequent clinician, presenter and leader with many notable arts organizations and has served as Mentor for NAfME (National Association for Music Education), President of the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras, and President of the California Association for Music Education —Southern Section. A leader in the field of music education, for the past 10 years Dr. Frelly has served in a variety of capacities for both the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which has included working as a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and as the lead assessor and trainer in music for the California Teacher Performance Assessment. In the Fall of 2019, Dr. Frelly was re-elected to a second term as Chairman of the Committee on Accreditation for the State of California. Dr. Frelly has authored numerous articles on music and has been a contributing writer for the Orange County Register.
Dr. Frelly is the recipient of the Arts Orange County as Artist and Arts Educator of the Year (2011), Chapman University Faculty Member of the Year (2008), a Chapman University Faculty Achievement Award, recognizing excellence in teaching and scholarly/creative activity, three Chapman University Scholarly/Creative Grants, and a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum. A champion of new music, Dr. Frelly has received national recognition on three occasions with the “First Place ASCAP Award for Programming of Music”.
Dr. Frelly holds a Doctor of Musical Arts — Music Education from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from California State University, Long Beach, where he was inducted as a member of the Graduates Dean's List of University Scholars and Artists. He also holds dual Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Music Composition from Chapman University and is a member of “Who’s Who Among America's Teachers".