Special to 1808Delaware

Warren W. Hyer, the Executive Director of the Central Ohio Symphony, is retiring effective July 31 after 33 years in that role.

“Now is the time to begin my retirement process with the Symphony,” Hyer said. “I have taken great pride and joy in my work with the Symphony and look forward to it having a shining future.”

Hyer’s accomplishments over the decades are significant. From a small town-gown ensemble when it first began, Hyer has overseen its transformation into a separate non-profit and recognized regional orchestra of professional musicians.

During Hyer’s tenure, he worked to take the Symphony to newer and higher levels of community engagement. Some of those initiatives include Carnegie Hall’s Link Up educational program, the Ford Made in America project, Benefit in the Barn concerts, and, most notably, the groundbreaking Reconnecting therapeutic drumming program with the Delaware County Courts. Hyer contributed a chapter about the Symphony’s drumming program to the book Not Far From Me, as one response to the opioid crisis in Ohio.

Over the years, Hyer made numerous presentations before the League of American Orchestras, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and the Ohio Supreme Court. He wrote and received numerous grants to help underwrite Symphony initiatives, including several each from the National Endowment of the Arts, both the League of American Orchestra’s Getty Fund and Futures Fund, PNC Arts Alive, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Hyer has especially enjoyed the opportunity to be creative with programming. During his tenure, the Symphony has performed numerous world and Ohio premieres. It has hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, internationally renowned guest artists, and produced the Play It Again program supporting emerging composers, the only one of its kind in this country.

“I take pride in feeling that I have played a key part in bringing the Symphony outside of the performance hall to all parts of our community, not only those with a ticket to a formal concert.”

In a statement from the Symphony Board, it said Hyer’s “tenure as the Executive Director has been nothing short of excellent, marked by unwavering dedication, visionary leadership, and an unbridled passion for the arts. His impact on the Delaware community has been profound, fostering an environment of creativity, inclusivity, and excellence. The Symphony has flourished under his guidance…[and his] commitment to engaging the community has…elevated the Symphony’s artistic achievements.”

The Board has undertaken the task of finding the Symphony’s future Executive Director, indicating it is “we will find a leader who will keep building on the foundation that Warren has set.” A job announcement will be released soon, as well as being placed on the Symphony website: www.centralohiosymphony.org

Reflecting upon that search, Hyer said the opening is an opportunity for someone  “to guide and grow this wonderful orchestra, bringing great music experiences and serving central Ohio for the next 45 years.”

Hyer will continue to be the orchestra’s timpanist, proudly sharing the stage with the other members of the ensemble. He is the last remaining original musician in the orchestra.

Even in his retirement announcement, Hyer’s focus continues to be where it always has been: on the community.

“I greatly appreciate this community’s support for the many projects and concerts through the years. I look forward to the Symphony’s future.”

Source, Photo: Central Ohio Symphony

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