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Director

Information on the Symphony's Music Director.


 
Christiana Fortune-Reader is a multi-faceted musician, passionate about the intersection of teaching, performing, community building, and arts advocacy. She is starting in the Music Department at New Paltz to teach violin, viola, and conduct the orchestra. She is coming from a teaching position at Illinois State University, where she also served as the Assistant Principal Viola of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Her research interests broadly look at music as a tool for social change, both in the early childhood, among college-aged students, and within larger communities of professional ensembles.

Among her academic teaching responsibilities at ISU, she was most excited about mentoring music education majors for ISUís String Project (an after-school string orchestra program) and MusicScores at Heartland Head Start, a local preschool program using the violin to help students from under-served populations develop skills in kindergarten readiness and literacy.

She performs regularly with the Minnesota and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras and the Innigkeit Quartet based in Illinois. She recently joined a new contemporary music ensemble, "Music in the American Wild," a septet dedicated to commissioning new works by American composers to be performed outdoors at National Parks sites around the United States.

She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Donald McInnes, Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Karen Ritscher, and Carol Rodland.

Outside of music, Christiana enjoys photography and drawing; visiting libraries, art museums and Shakespeare plays; and exploring the outdoors (especially State and National Parks) and cooking. She also leads an active lifestyle with yoga, running, and biking with her husband.