Keast Joins Queens Symphony Orchestra
Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) welcomes conductor G. Garret Keast as its new director of education and community relations.
Keast is charged with developing and organizing the QSO education and outreach programs and returns to conduct and host the popular QSO Young People’s Concerts. These concerts are attended by over 8,000 local registered schoolchildren in the two-part series that he helmed last season. Additionally, he is the editor of QSO’s official newsletter, Symphony Sound-Off.
Keast has among his current goals the building of the QSO Volunteer Club, an organization being formed to help support the functions of the QSO with active volunteers who will receive perks in exchange for their time and efforts.
Born in Houston, Texas, Keast moved to New York in 2000. He brings a strong musical background and wealth of experience to the QSO. This year marks his fourth season on the staff of the Metropolitan Opera and his third season on faculty at the Music at Port Milford Chamber Music Festival in Ontario, Canada. This season he also conducted a program with the Massapequa Philharmonic and will conduct a concert performance of La Boheme with the Manhattan-based PRISM Opera. He has conducted several of America’s top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
Keast graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 with a Bachelor of Music degree. He grew up singing, playing the trombone, piano and viola. During the late 1990s, he enjoyed a close association with the Houston Symphony where he studied under the guidance of world-renowned conductor Christoph Eschenbach.
"I am very happy to be here with the QSO. Queens is a rich and amazing community and I know all of us here at the QSO want to reach even further into the hearts of its people." Keast said. "Our Young People’s Concerts are a blast. At each concert we have 2,000 kids packed into Colden Center [at Queens College] and they give us their complete attention. We have a great professional orchestra playing for them, sing-a-longs for the kids, students get invited on the stage, and we teach them as much as we can about instruments and great music. It’s great exposure for the kids and the orchestra and I have a great time too." he added.
For more information contact Keast at www.garrettkeast.com.