Conductor, CSYO Concert Orchestra
Felipe Morales-Torres is an award-winning conductor and educator with a passion for empowering the next generation of musicians and teachers. He has conducted the CSYO Concert Orchestra since 2015 and has worked with staff and students to develop a unique ensemble experience that explores a diverse range of repertoire and its social contexts. Under his direction, the Concert Orchestra was named a national finalist for the 2019 American Prize in Orchestral Programming and was selected to open the 2020 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Professional Development Conference in a featured ensemble performance. Mr. Morales also coaches for the CSO Nouveau Chamber Music Program, working with string ensembles at the apprentice level.
In addition to his roles with the CSO, Mr. Morales serves as Assistant Director of the Bornoff Foundation for the Advancement of String Education (FASE), which is an organization dedicated to furthering equity in orchestral music education. He is the creator and coordinator of the FASE Diverse String Teachers Fellowship, which is a professional development program aiming to improve the inclusion, retention, and overall success of orchestra teachers from underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds. The program brings together teachers from across the country and provides opportunities for training, funding, resources, leadership, and mentorship. In addition, Mr. Morales helps FASE to lead teacher workshops and student music programs throughout the United States and Latin America.
As a Latin American teaching artist, Mr. Morales is driven to engage diverse student musicians and to make quality opportunities accessible to them. He previously served as the orchestra director for Anderson High School and Winton Woods City Schools and has played a part in several community music programs, including the Louisville Youth Orchestra and the Dayton Philharmonic's Q The Music. The Anderson orchestras were known for their focus on symphonic orchestra literature, but Mr. Morales also helped students engage in a variety of new musical outlets, such as feature-length film concerts, staged ballets, and the Anderson Contemporary Ensemble (ACE). During his tenure at Winton Woods, the orchestra program doubled in size and offerings expanded to include electric ensembles, summer camps, frequent guest artists, and multicultural performance tours. He was recognized with the district's Most Influential Teacher Award twice, in 2015 and 2017.
Although he started his musical life as a violist, Mr. Morales later pursued bassoon performance and music education at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. In 2019, he completed a Master's degree in Music Education and Orchestral Conducting, earning UC's Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with undergraduate music education majors. He has participated in a number of professional conducting fellowships since 2015, working with Diane Wittry (Allentown Symphony), Gzegorz Nowak (London Philharmonic), and Leonid Grin (National Symphony of Chile). In 2022, he received CCM's Young Alumni Award for his contributions to music education in Cincinnati and beyond.