Associate Professor of Music
Director of Orchestras
Conductor Douglas Droste is recognized as possessing "obvious joy" for making music and a "sure sense of timing" when on the podium. Those under his baton routinely acknowledge his in-depth interpretations, keen sense of communication, and personable ability to empower musicians.
Droste’s guest conducting appearances include the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), and the orchestras of Kansas City, Indianapolis, Columbus, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa, Fox Valley (IL), Chappaqua (NY), and the Amarillo Virtuosi. Equally at home in the pit, he has conducted over 30 productions of opera, ballet, and musical theatre, including La Bohéme, Il Trittico, Werther, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Candide. Droste has also led eclectic shows with artists such as Black Violin, Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, Time for Three, Christian Howes, and Disney’s All-American College Orchestra Alumni, among others. He previously served as artistic director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, where he was praised for dynamic performances, innovative programming, and his rapport with musicians and community.
A dedicated teacher, Droste is director of orchestras at Ball State University, where he conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra, opera productions, and teaches conducting. The BSSO has performed at the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference, the Indiana Music Education Association Conference, and as the featured orchestra of the Music for All National Choral Festival. In addition to traditional repertoire, the BSSO regularly programs works by diverse composers, including Jessie Montgomery, Adolphus Hailstork, Kevin Day, and Libby Larsen. They have enjoyed unique collaborations with Ron McCurdy and his Langston Hughes Project, Sensory Friendly concerts for children with special needs with Ball State’s United Sound chapter, and a recording with Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, Take Me to the World, on the Ghostlight label.
As an advocate of music education, Droste serves as conductor of the Music for All Summer Symposium Youth Orchestra and is active as a clinician and adjudicator, including Festival Disney, ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival, and the Music for All National Festival. He has conducted numerous all-state orchestras, as well as the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, and an upcoming engagement with the Music for All Honor Orchestra of America. Droste is a Yamaha Artist and Master Educator.
A talented violinist, Droste has soloed with the Muncie Symphony, and performed with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival. He is also skilled on viola, trumpet, and as a tenor. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.
Visit his personal website at douglasdroste.com