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Brian Coatney to lead the FWYO Philharmonic Orchestra

August 8, 2022 - For immediate release

The Fort Worth Youth Orchestra is proud to announce that Brian Coatney has joined us as the new conductor of the FWYO Philharmonic for the 2022-2023 Season! "Brian brings to the FWYO an incredible background as a conductor, educator, and music education advocate," said FWYO Music Director and Youth Orchestra conductor Dr. Germán Gutiérrez. "He has inspired thousands of school orchestra students to create incredible music beyond their years. Our Philharmonic students are in great hands!"

A native of Arlington, Mr. Coatney comes to the FWYO with nearly two decades of experience leading top public school orchestra programs across Texas. "Our conductors and faculty are critical to impacting the lives of our young musicians," said FWYO Board President Peggy Rixie. "Mr. Coatney is a proven inspiration for musical students and we are delighted to welcome him. My thank you to the search committee for finding an excellent addition to our faculty."

Brian will take the baton from Nick Nixon, who announced his retirement in June after serving as conductor of the FWYO Philharmonic for eight seasons. "We thank Mr. Nixon for his many years of outstanding service - he will be missed by us all," said FWYO Executive Director Andrew Reynolds. "Mr. Nixon's tenure was a period of tremendous growth and prominence for the FWYO's second full orchestra and I am confident that with Mr. Coatney's experience, we will continue this trajectory to meet the needs of a growing and musically vibrant Fort Worth."

Mr. Coatney currently serves as Director of Orchestras at Wiley Independent School District's new orchestra program. He is also a Past-President of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), an organization representing 13,000 Texas music teachers that annually host the world's largest music education conference featuring all-state groups competitively selected from over 70,000 high school musicians. While leading the Plano Senior High School Orchestra program from 2007 to 2020, Mr. Coatney's groups won high marks in numerous competitions and were selected three times to perform at TMEA conferences as an invited Honor Full Orchestra. They also had the unique honor to be named the Full Orchestra division winner of the American String Teacher Association's National Orchestra Festival and were selected to perform at the prestigious Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Mr. Coatney has also led orchestras at Klein I.S.D. and for the Houston Youth Symphony.

"I am beyond thrilled and honored to be joining the FWYO team and I look forward to contributing to the FWYO's mission of promoting and inspiring the musical talent of area musicians," said Mr. Coatney on his appointment. "Most importantly, I am excited to make new connections with faculty, students, and families as we travel on this musical journey together."

Mr. Coatney earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern State University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from James Madison University where he studied under conductor and composer Dr. Robert McCashin. He was also the recipient of the Texas American String Teachers Association's Marjorie Keller Young Teacher of the Year award in 2008. He is active as an adjudicator and consultant for programs around the country and is a member of TMEA, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Mu Omicron, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Brian will begin rehearsals with the FWYO Philharmonic on August 21 and will make his debut performance with The Philharmonic on October 16 at Fort Worth ISD's I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. Tickets will be available in late September. The Philharmonic still has openings for percussionists for this season and auditions for next season will open in February 2023. For information, please visit or call 817-923-3121.

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