Julio Reyes, newly named conductor of the Aspirante Youth Orchestra at California’s Santa Rosa Symphony

Julio Reyes has been named conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Aspirante Youth Orchestra. Reyes began as the youth orchestra’s interim conductor on September 9, 2023, and was offered the position soon thereafter. He succeeds Luis Zuniga, who has accepted a tenure-track position as director of bands at Skyline College in San Francisco. Reyes currently works in the “Simply Strings” program of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s education department. The Aspirante Youth Orchestra provides intermediate to advanced students, ages 9 to 18, the opportunity to learn orchestral repertoire, and perform public and school concerts. Reyes started musical training on the classical guitar at age five; by age 18, he had learned to play the cello and electric bass and was appointed assistant conductor to Kent Nagano at the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has conducted youth and adult orchestras in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Cuba. Reyes made his Carnegie Hall debut in the “Progressive Musicians” competition in February of 2022 and will conduct a 20-piece guitar orchestra in 2024 at Carnegie Hall. He has been an educator for many years and has given lectures and masterclasses at conservatories, colleges, and guitar societies.