Dingwall Fleary conducts Virginia’s McLean Symphony. Photo courtesy of McLean Symphony.

“The McLean Symphony’s founder Dingwall Fleary Jr., a conductor described by friends and colleagues as ‘larger than life,’ has died,” writes Vernon Miles in Thursday’s (1/5) FFXNow (Fairfax County, VA).  “Fleary, 82, had been the conductor of The McLean Symphony since 1972 and the Reston Community Orchestra since 1996. He died after experiencing a heart attack on Friday, Dec. 30, according to a message from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, where he served as a music director…. On the McLean Symphony’s Facebook page, tributes to Fleary poured in from current and former orchestra members remembering his kindness and encouragement, with many noting his energetic personality and patience with the musicians in the symphony…. Several commenters credited Dingwall with instilling a love for music in themselves or their family…. Dingwall’s passion was for music education….The McLean Symphony, which celebrated its 50th season last year, is expected to begin searching for a new conductor in the coming weeks. Its next concert isn’t until March, giving the group some time for the search.”