Dr. James O. Welsch

Music Director
Tacoma Youth Symphony

Dr. Welsch has most recently served as Music Director & Symphonic Orchestra Conductor of Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras, Visiting Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra at The University of Central Florida and held the dual positions of Associate Conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and General Manager of the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras. In El Paso, he conducted the professional musicians in a variety of Live to Film, Pops and educational concerts, including Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program.

Dr. Welsch is the founding Music Director/Principal Conductor of Orquesta Filarmónica Juvenil México-USA “The Bridge.” This binational youth program validates his belief in the universal power of symphonic music to create bonds among people in diverse communities. The initiative, which brings together talented musicians from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso for orchestral performances on both sides of the border, has been widely hailed by public media in Mexico and the United States and by professional musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma.

Dr. Welsch is an experienced educator who is dedicated to the development of the whole student through the nurturing of each musician’s unique talent. Immediately after earning a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Music there, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses; conducted orchestras and ensembles; was Music Director/Conductor for fully staged operas, and performed all faculty responsibilities, including student recruitment and committee work. He was honored as the Outstanding Music Faculty Member in 2008.

With a commitment to broadening the experience of symphonic music for performing artists and audiences, Dr. Welsch has developed an extensive, eclectic conducting repertoire that includes not only the established canon, but also extraordinary works by under-represented composers. His focus on literature analysis, developed during his post-baccalaureate education, continues as he studies and shares with his orchestras and ensembles the works of the masters as well as those by new and overlooked composers.

Dr. Welsch is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, master class teacher, and festival conductor. He has considerable experience composing and arranging music.

Delighting in the collaborative experiences that his art affords, Dr. Welsch welcomes opportunities to work with others, whether for a session of score study, an impromptu ensemble where he plays French Horn, his principal instrument, or a public performance. He especially values the creative experience of working with and hosting guest artists and working with talented young musicians.


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