Welcome to Daniel W. Boothe

A Season-Long “Quest for the Best” Culminates with a New Music Director

Daniel W. Boothe, an award-winning musician and composer, will take the baton to lead Symphonicity, starting with the 2017-2018 season.

After Symphonicity’s first and founding music director David Kunkel announced his plans to retire, the orchestra began a “Quest for the Best” search for a new music director. They received 74 applicants from four continents. Over the course of two full years, five finalists were selected (based on education, experience, references, conducting videos and multiple interviews) and each conducted one of Symphonicity’s masterworks concerts this past season. Audience members were invited to give feedback after each concert, and early-bird subscription ticket-holders were also invited to rank the finalists after the last concert.

As one of the five finalists, Boothe conducted the first concert of the 2016-2017 season on October 16th, presenting Kenneth Fuchs’s United Artists, Korngold’s Violin Concerto with acclaimed virtuoso violinist Janet Sung, and Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9. Grammy-nominated composer Kenneth Fuchs attended this exceptional opening season concert.

Maestro Boothe is a native of Salisbury, Maryland with over 20 years of award-winning credits as a producer, commissioned composer, sought-after performer, and internationally recognized conductor. Described as “an extraordinary musician” by Artistic Director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra, Anthony Maiello, Boothe has been recognized as a finalist for the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting and has emerged as one of America’s most sensational and eclectic music directors. His live and recorded performances for television, radio, and Internet broadcasts have reached over 50 million people in 175 countries and his expertise has garnered multiple invitations as a juror for various national and international music competitions. In 2007 he was the sole recipient of the prestigious David Effron Conducting Fellowship from the Chautauqua Institution, where he led symphonic, ballet, and opera performances to critical acclaim. He also served as music conductor for the 2016 National Christmas Tree Lighting broadcast on the Hallmark Channel and hosted by former U.S. President and First Lady Obama.

USA-TODAY News profiled Boothe in a special feature highlighting 20 of the nation’s top scholars and artists, citing that “He uses music to make connections in the soul.” Grammy-nominated composer Kenneth Fuchs praised him for having “a passion for music-making that is absolutely infectious for musicians and audiences alike!”

“We are thrilled,” says Rebecca Brown, Symphonicity Board of Directors President, “that this spectacular season has culminated in someone the caliber of Daniel accepting the position of Music Director. He is a great match for our musicians, audience and greater community. We are so grateful for the amazing support of our donors and sponsors who made this process possible.”

At home or abroad, Maestro Boothe has built a reputation for great versatility, having shared the stage with many celebrity and Grammy-winning artists, including singer and songwriter Art Garfunkel, country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, gospel artist Yolanda Adams, pop superstar Marc Anthony, and legendary Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Famer James Taylor.

Lynette Andrews, Symphonicity’s Executive Director, says of the process, “Symphonicity is comprised of many musicians and audience members who are long-time residents of Hampton Roads and have a particularly strong sense of patriotism and respect for the military. Although not part of the criteria in the selection process, Daniel’s military service combined with his public relations and communications expertise are wonderful assets for our organization.”

Boothe served in the military as an officer, conductor and public affairs strategist for the United States Air Force and can relate to the Hampton Roads military community. During his military career he served in seven assignments, including a deployment to Afghanistan, and earned numerous awards for achievement and organizational excellence. His work garnered an Air Force “Best Integrated Communications Award” for innovative media outreach, and as a band commander he was recognized with the highest international award for military music, the “Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence” from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. While serving in the Pentagon in 2014, Boothe was recognized among his peers as the “Outstanding Communicator of the Year” across all Air Force personnel worldwide. This led to his selection as a conductor and public relations strategist for the premier United States Air Force Band and Orchestra. In that capacity, ensembles under his leadership were featured on the NBC TODAY Show, the Macy’s July 4th NBC Fireworks broadcast, the PBS National Memorial Day Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, and in performances at the White House under his direction.

Thrilled with this new opportunity, Boothe wants to use his experiences to help make a real difference throughout the Virginia Beach community.

“I am thankful and honored to earn this invitation from Symphonicity,” Boothe said. “They are a wonderful musical family—a sound and healthy organization that serves this community with genuine dedication. Among orchestras across America, Symphonicity is truly a unique success. I look forward to our long and bright future together!”

Maestro Boothe’s belief in the power of music extends beyond the stage. As an advocate of music therapy, he created a unique partnership among the U.S. Air Force, the American Music Therapy Association and the National Endowment for the Arts to provide military music and music therapy support to wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence. As the new Music Director and Conductor of Symphonicity, he plans to nurture continued collaboration with the Sentara Music and Medicine Center through Sentara Healthcare, and to create new initiatives that enhance community well-being through the healing power of music.

“In every performance, whether it is Beethoven or Beach Boys, it is music that can speak to someone,” Boothe professes. “A dedicated and passionate performance can create a life-impacting experience.”

Symphonicity is thrilled to welcome Daniel W. Boothe, his wife and three children to the orchestra and to Hampton Roads.