At Wilfrid Laurier University, I am an Associate Professor of Music and the Conductor of the Laurier Symphony Orchestra. My past positions include the Director of the Orchestra and String Studies at Florida Southern College and the Director of Orchestra and Strings at The University of Tampa (United States). As a passionate educator, I have received the 2018 Miller Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes excellence in Teaching and Advising. As a conductor, I was the winner of the 2016 International Conductors Workshop and Competition and the 2014 recipient of the National American Prize in Music (Prize Winner in Opera Conducting). In addition, I have served as the Interim Artistic Director of the St. Augustine Youth Orchestra as well as the assistant conductor for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra Opera Productions.
As the 2017 winner of the International Institute for Conductors in Bulgaria, I conducted the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra in a Concerto Festival and was invited back to guest conduct in their 2017-18 season. In the summers of 2019 and 2018, I served as artist in residence and guest conductor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal), where I mentored graduate conducting students and conducted the University Orchestra. In July 2019, I also served as the String Director at the International Opera Performing Experience Festival in Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy.
Additional guest conducting engagements include concerts with the Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Symphony (GA), the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (FL), the Seasons Music Festival Orchestra in Yakima (WA), and with the Bulgarian State Opera. In 2015, I was selected to participate in a conducting festival in St. Petersburg, Russia where I conducted the orchestra in the historic Mariinsky Theatre. In addition, I have held international conducting fellowships and have studied in Vienna, Rotterdam and Amsterdam conservatories in the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
As a recipient of the Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, I have presented research at national and state conferences such as NSEE, NAfME, ASTA, and FMEA. As a highly sought-after and innovative lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator, I have been invited to be the 2021 Florida All-State Orchestra conductor, and have conducted several All-County Orchestra Festivals. I have worked with Middle School and High School students in Summer Orchestra Music Camps at Florida Southern College, The University of Tampa, and the University of Iowa. I have also served as the director of the Florida Southern College String Camp, and as a clinician and adjudicator for Florida Orchestra Association, OrlandoFest, Music USA Festival at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, and Brightparks Travel Festivals. An advocator of community engagement, I have served on faculty senate at my previous institute and on the Board of Directors for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
Recognized for my research and contribution to the field, I was awarded numerous grants including American String Teachers Association Grants, Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Development Grants, FSC Faculty Summer Stipend and Professional Grants, FSC Faculty and Student Collaboration Grant, as well as the University of Tampa Alumni, Dana, and the David Delo Research Professor Grants. My research on health and music has been published in Health Education Journal (SAGE publications, UK). I am a native of Kansas, and hold a doctoral degree in music from the University of Iowa and degrees from the University of New Mexico and Knox College.
Research interests include orchestral conducting, opera conducting, development of conducting gestures and conducting pedagogy, and violin performance and pedagogy. Ongoing interests include dance and movement techniques, innovative collaborative projects, and creating new works with indigenous composers and music-makers and the Symphony Orchestra.
I have mentored advanced conducting students in individual lessons. I have also directed and guided unique travel and professional performance opportunities. Recent opportunities include travels and faculty-student collaborative performances in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Other unique experiences include leading a group of students on a trip to Russia as part of a culture and fine arts course. I have also presented research with students in state and national conferences in the United States. Additional faculty-student collaborations have included conducting student soloists in concerto/aria concerts. I truly enjoy guiding and mentoring students in these unique opportunities to perform as a soloist with a symphony orchestra.
"I speak strongly for myself and other students who have been under the direction of Dr. Omelchenko that the ensemble continues to improve because of her guidance. Each individual player experiences a growth that contributes to the growth of the section, and ultimately to the growth of the ensemble. The amount of effort that Dr. Omelchenko applies to ensure this happens is highly reflected in the sound of the ensemble and the blissful feeling that comes over all of us when we perform well after weeks of learning from our mistakes. It takes a patient and willing person to nurture each person the way that Dr. Omelchenko does to strengthen the confidence and ability of the player and the ensemble, and the University was highly fortunate to have her as the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra."
– former student
"During the years I have known Dr. Omelchenko I have nothing less than high praises for her. Her characteristics and leadership qualities made her standout from many of the others. Dr. Omelchenko is a firm believer in professionalism, executing and delivering quality work to her students. She was a great team player and was one who we could always depend on to assist us with any problems or challenges."
– former student
"Dr. Omelchenko has had a huge impact on me and my view on music education. She has allowed me to explore and form my own thoughts on education in a safe environment. Dr. Omelchenko has given me many opportunities that no one else was able to give me and gave me the tools to use in my future to be a great educator. Dr. Omelchenko has been an incredible blessing in my life, and I know that she will continue to be part of my life as an educator and colleague."
– former student
"Dr. O wonderfully teaches the class and keeps the students engaged. Dr. O has songs and videos prepared before our class time. She provides a variety of learning options for the students as well. It is very easy to follow Dr. O’s lessons during classtime. Dr. O is an excellent teacher and makes the class very enjoyable."
– former student
"During my time in conducting lessons Dr. Omelchenko gave positive constructive criticism and challenged me to think outside the box. Dr. Omelchenko also allowed me to focus upon my personal capabilities and helped me achieve the next level of confidence and success needed to achieve my personal goals as a conductor. The experiences she provided were real life and true to the individualized learning approach."
– former student
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