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Centenary names new director for youth orchestra

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College of Louisiana’s Hurley School of Music has named Dan Santelices as the new director of the Centenary Youth Orchestra. Santelices is a veteran Shreveport Symphony Orchestra violinist who is a lifelong advocate of music education and its impact on the personal development of young people.

“Dan is a musical treasure of this region,” says Dr. Gale Odom, Dean of the Hurley School of Music. “We are thrilled to have him lead the Youth Orchestra and continue the great quality of this group established by founder and former conductor, Todd Gabriel.” 

Santelices has served as conductor of the Caddo Parish Elementary, Middle and High School Honor Orchestras and as the Director/Founder of the Shreveport Chamber Music Program, which will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in the summer of 2018. His Shreveport Symphony duties include providing musical and string instrument exposure to area elementary school children with his Community Service In-School Ensemble. He is currently on the faculty of Centenary College as a teacher in the Centenary Suzuki School, where he also conducts the Suzuki Chamber Orchestra.

Formerly professor of violin at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Asbury College, and Teacher-Mentor for the University of Kentucky’s String Project, Santelices also performs with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in Little Rock, is Assistant Concertmaster of the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Baroque Artists of Shreveport. His music degrees are from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University and Northern Illinois University.

“I’m grateful and excited to be given this opportunity to work with the finest young musicians in Shreveport and the surrounding area,” says Santelices. “Many quality Centenary College musicians have chosen to be a part of the orchestra due to the commitment and leadership of Dr. Todd Gabriel. It is my goal to take advantage of this and choose repertoire for the season that will challenge the entire group and showcase the talent that it embodies.”

The Centenary Youth Orchestra will perform its fall concert on Sunday, November 5 at 2:30 p.m. Auditions for the 2017-2018 season will be held Sunday, August 20 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 25 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, August 27 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. All auditions will be held in Anderson Auditorium on the campus of Centenary College. The first rehearsal for the fall will be Monday, September 11 at 7:15 p.m.

To schedule an audition time, email the Music Office at or contact Dan Santelices directly at or 318.773.8673.

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