We are pleased to announce that Michael Giel has joined the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra as Conductor of the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra. Michael was selected after an extensive posting and interview process and is personally and professionally impressive. He will bring much energy, creativity and enthusiasm, a love for young people and their development, along with his extensive technical and musical skills to this role. Read more about our LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra program here. Our 2021-22 season is looking bright. Welcome to the LSYO, Michael! We look forward to working with you.
Celeste Myall Retired July 1
LSYO Conductor Celeste Myall retired on July 1 after working with our youth program for over 10 years. She was instrumental in the growth and continued development of our Youth Orchestra, String Ensemble, String Project lesson program and Youth Camps. She also led the LSO leadership in working with the Troup County School Superintendent and School Board to bring orchestras into the middle schools and expand the Strings Attached program to all 11 elementary schools. We will certainly miss “Miss Celeste” and her constant energy and enthusiasm for the LSO Youth Programs. But we are grateful that she remains in LaGrange and know that she will continue to watch the ongoing development of our many programs with pride.
A brief biography to help you “get to know” Michael as he comes on board
Michael Giel, Director of Orchestras at Dunwoody High School, has been a high school orchestra director for 16 years and received his Bachelor of Music Performance and Bachelor of Music Education from Valdosta State University, where he was a student of Karin Addis and Matson Topper. In 2008, he completed a Master in Music Education from the University of Georgia. In addition to his extensive classroom experience, Michael is on the faculty of the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, which provides a comprehensive chamber music-focused experience to pre-college students. Michael also served as the Orchestra Director for the Georgia Governors Honors Program at Valdosta State University from 2008 to 2014 and has been a clinician for the Dekalb, Fulton, and Cherokee county and Atlanta Public Schools orchestra festivals.
Outside of conducting in the classroom, Michael has also served as the Principal Conductor of Capitol City Opera in Atlanta, GA since 2010 and recently joined the faculty of the California Piano Concerto Festival in 2014 as the Associate Conductor.
As a violist and violinist, he has performed with several orchestras in Georgia and Florida including the Savannah Philharmonic, Gwinnett Philharmonic, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Ocmulgee Symphony, Gainesville (GA) Symphony, Albany (GA) Symphony, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Rome (GA) Symphony, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, Da Salo Solisti Chamber Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony, and the Central Florida Symphony. In the modern music arena, Michael has performed with and for artists such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Il Volo, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, Evanescence, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Sarah Brightman, Lindsay Stirling, and Il Divo.
Michael is a native of Atlanta and lives in Brookhaven with his wife Catherine who is a concert pianist and the Music Director of Capitol City Opera. In his spare time, Michael is an avid tennis player and outdoor enthusiast.
For LSYO participants:
Please plan to attend the first session of the LSYO on Monday, August 23 at 6:00 pm. This will be an introductory session and will include registration and collection of semester fees, along with a chance for student musicians and parents to meet Michael Giel, hear from him briefly about his vision and plans for the program in general and this semester in particular. This meeting will be held at the Westside Music Department on the campus of LaGrange College. An email will be sent to all of you before the end of the week with the exact location of the meeting, along with any COVID-related requirements of the college, as well as a new registration form for all students that must be completed before a student can participate in the orchestra. This is necessary for us to have required permissions as well as emergency contact information.
We sincerely hope all LSYO participants will join us for this important first meeting (Aug. 23rd 6PM). Even if you are unsure of your participation this year, we urge you to come meet Michael Giel and see the plans for the semester.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the LSO office.