All About Richland

Youth Orchestra Names New Conductor

3 Sep , 2020  

The Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra is pleased to announce Stephen Domka as its new conductor beginning in the 2020-21 Season.

After 10 years, Randy Heidelbaugh is retiring from leading the group in order to pursue other opportunities. Heidelbaugh remarked, “I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire staff at the Renaissance Theatre for all the great work they do for the performing arts in north-central Ohio. It has been my pleasure to work with them over the last decade! I also very much enjoyed putting on the side-by-side concerts with MSO conductor Octavio Mas-Arocas. It has been an honor and a privilege to conduct the fine young musicians of the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra. I am always amazed at their wonderful performances for our concerts and their willingness to work hard during rehearsal in preparation for each performance. I will miss the students greatly and look forward to their future concerts. I’m very happy to be handing the Orchestra over to a wonderful teacher and fine conductor Mr. Steve Domka!”

Stephen Domka is the orchestra director at Lexington Local Schools where he is responsible for the entire string program. Born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, he has 20 years of experience teaching orchestra in the public schools. Prior to Lexington, he taught at Marion City Schools, Olentangy Local Schools, Mansfield City Schools, and Ashland City Schools.

Domka began his musical career at an early age studying piano. He began the violin with Cheryl Markley in 4th grade and studied privately with Elva Newdome for eight years. His primary piano teacher was Deborah Stewart. He was a member of the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra for seven years. and was a 1995 Concerto Competition Winner and a recipient of the Lichtenstein Award.

The conductor also holds a Bachelors of Violin Performance and Bachelors of Music Education from The Ohio State University, where his primary teachers were Michael Davis (Violin), Robert Gillespie (String Pedagogy), and Marshall Haddock (Orchestra). He also has done graduate work at Ashland University and Kent State University.

Domka was awarded “New String Teacher of the Year” by the Ohio String Teachers Association in 2002, and his family was also awarded “Music Family of the Year” by the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs in 2003. Domka has guest conducted at Wooster College Music Camp, and the Charleston, West Virginia All County Orchestra, and been the East Central Region Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association for fifteen years.

He  performs full time in the first violin section of the Mansfield Symphony and is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Ashland Symphony, and he also has performed with the Blossom Festival Orchestra sponsored by the Cleveland Orchestra.  In addition to his orchestra gigs, he performs as an active chamber musician with his family.

Domka has maintained an active private studio since 2003 where he teaches around 30 violin/viola students. Many of his past students are currently majoring in music at universities throughout Ohio and New York. He currently lives in Mansfield, Ohio with his wife and four children.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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