Rebecca Nederhiser, a conductor and oboist, will lead the Wartburg Community Orchestra for the 2021-22 season.
Nederhiser comes to Wartburg from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, where she was an associate conductor for three years.
“I have been incredibly impressed by the Wartburg Community Symphony board, college staff and strong support of the Waverly community,” she said.
A move to a new school in eighth grade and some encouragement from her mother prompted Nederhiser to join the band at her middle school.
“The band director said I could play the tuba or the oboe,” she said. “I liked the oboe because it was unique and challenging.”
Her senior year she was accepted into the Portland Youth Philharmonic, the oldest and one of the most prestigious youth orchestras in the nation. This was her first foray into playing with an orchestra, and being led by a female conductor sparked a passion she didn’t know existed.
Nederhiser earned a bachelor’s degree from Warner Pacific University in music teacher education and then served as the director of music at Hood River Middle School in Oregon for six years before returning to school herself.
She earned two master’s degrees: one in oboe performance from Washington State University and one in orchestral conducting from Central Washington University. Her doctorate in orchestral conducting comes from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Throughout my life, I have been mentored by outstanding musicians, professors and community members. I want to continue that rich lineage here at Wartburg and within the Waverly community.”
In addition to leading the symphony, Nederhiser will conduct Kammerstreicher, Wartburg’s chamber orchestra, and teach theory and conducting courses.
Known for her collaborative spirit, Nederhiser has created unique orchestral experiences for performers and audiences alike. In 2017, she partnered with the Central Washington Dance Academy and Central Washington Dance Ensemble, conducting performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Pulcinella Suite.” She’s also led performances of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire,” which led to the formation of the Trace Chamber Society. Funded by a Hixson-Lied grant, Nederhiser received special permission from the Aaron Copland estate to pursue original choreography for the “Appalachian Spring” suite with the UNL dance program.
In October, she was also selected to co-present “Viewing the Score Through the Eyes of the Composer” at the national College Music Society convention held in New York and the international convention held in Colombia.
The Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra season begins Saturday, Oct. 30, with a “Pillars of Faith” concert celebrating a return to togetherness while welcoming faithful change in preparation for Reformation Day. Featured soloists will be Jordan Redd, a Lindenwood University professor, on horn, and Karen Black, Wartburg professor and organist, on organ. Ticket information is available at www.wartburg.edu/symphony.