Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra Chamber Orchestra

Jonathan Dexter, Music Director and Conductor


Jonathan Dexter, conductor and cellist, received music degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and the University of Texas at Austin.  Performance highlights include the Jimmy Fallon Show, The View, Fox and Friends, Rachel Ray, and live on Sirius XM satellite radio.  Recently, Jonathan was part of the recording “Irving Berlin: This is the Life” with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.  Jonathan has been featured in many recordings including SONY Masterworks & Columbia Records recordings with singer Megan Hilty and at two sold out CD release shows in 2013.  Other highlights include the Kerrville Folk Festival with David Amram (2011), the Trans Siberian Orchestra (2008-2012), and Mannheim Steamroller (2015-2016)   He has been heard on film soundtracks for Bernie (2013) and A Scanner Darkly (2006).  He produced strings for the 2011-2013 seasons of NBC’s TV series Smash and composed the original score to the short film Recess, an official selection at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  With the Allegria Ensemble, Jonathan has been a part of a musical outreach show “How to Listen to Classical Music” with Debbie Trudeau funded by the PA Council on the Arts (2014-2016).  Jonathan performs with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, Music at Penn’s Woods Festival, principal cello with Altoona Symphony, and with his own original music trio, THE UNBANNED, seen at Arts Fest and monthly at the Happy Valley Brewing Company. 

Mr. Dexter is a much sought-after cello teacher, highly esteemed by his students.  He is delighted to take the podium in front of the Chamber Orchestra, and looks forward to a terrific 2017-18 season.


Tim Farrand, Music Director

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Conductor and pianist Timothy Farrand is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra(CPYO) and serves as Director of its Chamber Music Program. He is also the Conductor of the Penn State Campus Orchestra, an ensemble for students who enjoy performing but are not majoring in music.

Timothy serves as the Assistant Conductor of thePennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, working alongside Music Director Yaniv Attar. In addition to these appointments, he assists and is mentored by conductor and Music Director Teresa Cheung of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra.

Both as a conductor and a pianist, Timothy is passionate about performing student compositions through Penn State’s Musica Nova concert series. As a collaborative pianist, Timothy has worked extensively with both vocalists and instrumentalists on a wide variety of solo and chamber repertoire. He also regularly performs as an ensemble pianist with the Penn State Orchestras and Symphonic Bands. From 2015-2017, Timothy served as the Piano Coordinator for the Honors Music Instituteat Penn State University, a summer program that gives “intensive immersion in the art of music making for talented high school students”.

Starting his conducting studies at an early age, Timothy has participated in several conducting workshops and festivals in the United States and abroad. While at these workshops, he has had the privilege of working with conductors Harold Farberman, Mark Gibson, Apo Hsu, Donald Portnoy, Maurice Peress, Paul Vermel and many others.

Recently, he completed his second summer of study with Larry Rachleff and Donald Schleicher at the highly selective International Conducting Workshop and Festivalin Sofia, Bulgaria. At this workshop, Timothy was able to work with the New Symphony Orchestraof Sofia on a wide variety of repertoire.

Timothy received his Bachelor of Music degree from Penn State University in Piano Performance, studying with Dr. Timothy Shafer. He is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Penn State where he will receive a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting under the mentorship of Gerardo Edelstein.