Whether conducting symphonic works in the concert hall or opera in the pit, conductor and arts advocate Jeffrey Specht is fully dedicated to fostering the love of music and uplifting others through live performance. Enthralling audiences throughout the United States, his performances have been hailed as “inspiring, profound, and exciting,” and his ensembles have been described as having “a rich and vibrant sound.” Dr. Specht is currently the Director of Orchestra and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Prior to his current assignments, Jeff has served as the Conductor and Primary Instructor of the Campus Orchestra and Campus String Orchestra at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the Music Director of the Crow Area Youth Orchestra (CRAYO) in Minnesota, the Interim Conductor for the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, the Conductor of the Metroplex Opera Co. in Dallas, TX, and the Music Director of the Eau Claire Children’s Theater in Wisconsin. Jeff has also served as Cover Conductor for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra; and the Assistant Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theater at the University of Minnesota, and the Meadows Orchestra in Dallas, TX. In addition, Jeff has worked with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Bulgaria.
In addition to being a performer, Dr. Specht’s background also includes doctoral scholarship and pedagogy. Jeff wrote a dissertation titled A Guide for the Study of Orchestral Bowing and String Technique for Conductors. This work was written to be used as a textbook for a graduate course on the title subject and as a reference source for wind and string players alike. In addition to conducting all types of ensembles from professional to amateur levels, Dr. Specht has also taught everything from conducting, music theory, and chamber music to string and wind technique at the university and high school levels. As a strong proponent of arts education and community engagement, he recently gave a pre-concert talk for the Minnesota Orchestra’s concert series “Nordic Landscapes” where he spoke to the audience about the development of Scandinavian symphonic-folk styles. As a part of the education outreach program of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Davenport, IA, Jeff was also a recent guest clinician who worked with student musicians in the community.