Whitman music alumnus awarded prestigious conducting fellowship

To the delight of his former music professors, including Lee Thompson and Susan Pickett, Lee Mills ’09 has been awarded the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Peabody Conducting Fellowship. He is the third recipient in the history of the fellowship, which begins in September.

“Lee’s passion, enthusiasm and organizational skills make him a wonderful candidate for this position. I am looking forward to watching his progress over the coming year,” said Jeffrey Sharkey, director of the Peabody Institute.

The fellowship includes a full scholarship to the one-year artist diploma program at the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University. “This one-year program is designed to support the musical and leadership development of today’s young conductors,” according to the BSO press release.

“I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to work with Marin Alsop (BSO Music Director) and the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” Mills said. “Marin is an incredibly inspiring mentor, and the BSO is known as one of the world’s most innovative and musically exceptional orchestras. The opportunity to learn from Marin and study at the Peabody Institute is an unparalleled experience.”

Mills, the winner of the 2011 International Conducting Workshop and Competition, recently completed a graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Institute. During that time, he served as the assistant conductor of the Peabody Concert Orchestra, the Peabody Singers and the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus. He will conduct a public concert of the BSO’s annual Artscape concert on July 16.

“I am not surprised that Lee Mills has won such a prestigious honor so early in his career. His talent and dedication were very obvious during his Whitman years,” said Susan Pickett, Catharine Gould Chism Chair of Music. “I am delighted that our music department was able to provide him with the skills necessary for moving forward so quickly.”

While at Whitman, Mills founded the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra and served as the director for two years.  To read more about his Whitman experience in the March 2009 Whitman Magazine, click here.

“We are all so pleased for this well-deserved recognition of Lee's talents and skills as a conductor and musician,” said Lee Thompson, Whitman professor of music.  “It is indeed a prestigious appointment. We will look forward to hearing and seeing much more of his success.”