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Youth Performing Arts School Philharmonia

  • Founded in 1977 as a magnet arts school within the Jefferson County Public School District, the Youth Performing Arts School is one of five magnet programs offered at DuPont Manual High School and is one of only 100 U.S. schools of its type. YPAS has a diverse, auditioned student population from throughout Jefferson County who exhibit talent, interest, and a commitment to the study of the performing arts. At YPAS, students may immerse themselves in both the rich academic curriculum offered at DuPont Manual while also taking advantage of a performing arts curriculum offering classes in multiple levels of Tap, Ballet, Modern Jazz, Advanced Dance Techniques, Dance Ensemble, American Musical Theatre, Musical Theatre Lab, four levels of Theatre, three levels of Stage Production and Playwriting, Vocal Development, Vocal Pedagogy, Opera Workshop, Ladies and Men’s Ensembles, Chamber and Concert Choirs, Body Conditioning in the Arts, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Ensembles, two levels of Music Theory, four levels of Applied Piano, Two String Orchestras, Full Orchestra, Chamber Strings, String Techniques, Conducting, four levels of Classical Guitar, and four levels of courses in Technical Theatre Design and Production with Stagecraft laboratories after school. As an example of the end result of this training in the arts, the YPAS graduating class of 2015 included 97 students from 8 performing arts disciplines and included 20 Class Valedictorians, 6 National Merit Finalists, 4 Governors Scholars, 23 Alumni of the Kentucky Governors School for the Arts, 25 AP Scholars, 33 All-State musicians, 45 students that attended summer camp intensives, and were offered 474 scholarships valued at $16.3 million dollars. The 99 members of the YPAS class of 2018 were offered scholarships totaling over $18.2 million. Annually, about 85% of student graduates attend major, music-based colleges. The YPAS Orchestra Department consists of four major performing groups. Also, selected students in the department participate in the Pit Orchestra for school musicals. Students who are selected to be in the YPAS Philharmonia have the opportunity to grow and perform in one of the finest high school orchestras in the nation, as recognized by leaders in the field. In recent years, the Philharmonia has auditioned for and been invited to perform on numerous occasions at state, regional, and national music educator conferences. This stellar organization also has appeared on the nationally syndicated National Public Radio program From the Top, at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, in the MidAmerica series in New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall, and at the Music for All Orchestra America National Festival in 2009, 2013, and 2015. As another indication of success, the Philharmonia was selected as a finalist for the American Prize in Orchestral Performance in 2015, alongside the Interlochen and Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestras. The 30 to 45 string members of the Philharmonia usually perform at least seven times during the school year. The repertoire selected for this group includes some of the finest orchestral masterpieces written. During their years at YPAS, students can expect to be challenged to develop themselves musically to their highest potential.
  • 12/20/2019 08:30 AM - 09:30 AM
  • Youth Performing Arts School Philharmonia
  • Dan Whisler
  • Dan Whisler is currently Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, and the Conductor of the New World Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to moving to Kentucky, he was the Director of Orchestras at Center Grove Community School Corporation in Greenwood, Indiana, Founding and Principal Conductor with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, and served on the faculty of the String Quartet Program of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Mr. Whisler has conducted over 475 works with over 70 ensembles, including professional orchestras in the USA, England, Spain, Lithuania, Hungary, and Romania. His awards as a conductor include the Downbeat Award in 2011 for Best U.S. College Classical Ensemble (conducting Hallfter’s Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial), the Bel Canto Award for Excellence in Conducting, and winner of the 2015 American Prize in Conducting. An active supporter of new music, Mr. Whisler has premiered 30 works, both as a conductor and as a performer, including conducting the world premiere of the Celtic ballet, Diedre of the Sorrows. He is comfortable with opera and musical theatre literature as well, having been on the conducting staff with Mozart's Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, and numerous opera scenes concerts for the University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd for Theater Workshop of Owensboro (Kentucky), Holst's Savitri and Handel's Giulio Cesare with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, and Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with the YPAS music department. An experienced educator, Mr. Whisler has worked with youth orchestras in Kansas, Colorado, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky (USA). At Center Grove, he increased orchestra student enrollment by over 37 percent and won 17 ISSMA Gold awards in just three years. Under his direction, the YPAS Philharmonia was selected to perform in the 2015 Music for All National Orchestra Festival, the 2016 and 2019 Kentucky Music Educators Association Conferences, The Midwest Clinic (2019), and Heritage Festivals in Chicago (2017) and New York City (2018). He graduated summa cum laude with a BME from Wichita State University (Kansas) and earned an MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. His primary conducting teachers include Russell Guyver and Mark Laycock, with additional studies at 13 conducting institutes in Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Canada, and Europe with internationally-renowned mentors, including Jorma Panula, Craig Kirchhoff, Markand Thakar, Colin Metters, Victor Yampolsky, and Larry Livingston.