Robert Frelly is recognized throughout the country as an accomplished conductor and music educator. Dr. Frelly has taught instrumental music at all levels and at present is an Associate Professor within the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, serving as the Director of Music Education. Additionally, he is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory of Music, now in it’s 26th season. Dr. Frelly’s present conducting engagements include serving as Artistic Director and Conductor of ReSound, a regional orchestra of professional musicians, and Music Director and Conductor of the Yorba Linda Symphony Orchestra. His previous posts include 14 years as the Music Director and Conductor of the Chapman University Wind Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Southern California Pops Orchestra, and Music Director of the University of Southern California Community Orchestra.
Noted for his artistic and visionary leadership, Dr. Frelly’s appointments extend beyond the United States, having recently served as Artistic Director and Festival Conductor of An American Orchestral Salute to the Olympics, an international orchestra festival for ‘Beijing Perform In Harmony - With Olympic Spirit’, the countdown program for the summer games held in China in 2008; and, Artistic Director of Orchestrating Sydney, an international music festival that brought together the best youth and college musicians from around the world for musical and cultural interactions at the famed Sydney Opera House in 2007. Additional international appointments include Artistic Director and Festival Conductor of Follow in Holst’s Footsteps in London in January of 2009; and, Artistic Director and Festival Conductor of Tale of Two Cities, a 2-city event to take place in Vienna and Prague during the summer of 2009.
As a music director, Dr. Frelly has established a reputation for developing high quality programs with a breadth of musicality. Orchestras and bands under his direction have been featured in numerous international venues, including return visits to the famed Salzburg Music Festival and the renowned Sydney Opera House. His ensembles have also been featured in national and state conferences, including MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and CMEA: The California Association for Music Education.
Equally at home in the classical, jazz and pop genres, Dr. Frelly has worked with a number of prominent artists, including Doc Severinsen, Bill Conti, Skitch Henderson, and the Empire Brass. He has conducted for film and opera, and is a frequent guest conductor for all-state and regional honor bands and orchestras, with recent appearances in Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, and Nevada. On the international stage he has led performances in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland.
An accomplished conductor and educator, Dr. Frelly is the author of a music instructional video series, An Introduction to the Orchestra and is currently preparing a manuscript devoted to conducting and musical interpretation. Dr. Frelly has also authored numerous articles on music, he has served as Editor of Upbeat, a national publication devoted to the promotion and development of music educational programs for youth, and has been a contributing writer for the Orange County Register. A champion of new music, Dr. Frelly has received national recognition on three occasions with the “First Place ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music in the category of Youth Orchestras”. He is also the recipient of 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. Recently, he was acknowledged as the 2008 Chapman University Faculty Member of the Year by the university’s alumni association.
A strong advocate of the arts, Dr. Frelly has presented clinics and workshops for numerous local, regional, and national arts organizations, including the MENC, the League of American Orchestras (LAO), the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, CMEA, and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. At present, Dr. Frelly is a member of the Directors Council of the LAO, and has served as a Mentor for MENC, offering advice for its membership of 130,000 music teachers, university faculty and researchers, and college students preparing for the teaching profession. His past leadership roles include President of CMEA/Southern Section, Chairman of the Youth Orchestra Division of the LAO, and a member of the Board of Directors for both CMEA and the Association for California Symphony Orchestras.
Dr. Frelly holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from 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”.