Conductor Daniel Sommerville is music director of the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra at the Conservatory of Music and is an active guest conductor in the Chicago area. Under his leadership the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra has received many accolades, including being awarded third place in the American Prize (college and university orchestra division), performing at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Association annual conference in Peoria, being named one of the “twenty most impressive college orchestras in America” by the Online Schools Centers, and performing at the national College Orchestra Directors Association annual conference at Northwestern University.
During Dr. Sommerville’s tenure, the college orchestra has also appeared on Wheaton College’s professional Artist Series, collaborating with artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Joel Grey, Sylvia McNair, Hubbard Street Dance Company (Chicago), Lawrence Brownlee, and singers from Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center. He has also prepared the orchestra for large choral-orchestral works conducted by the eminent conductor, John Nelson, including Berlioz’ Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem, among many others. Under Sommerville’s directon, the orchestra also performs children’s concerts to over 4,000 students annually, and performs at the Wheaton College Christmas Festival, which is broadcast nationwide over PBS stations.
As a guest conductor, Sommerville has conducted the Sarajevo Philharmonic, Chicago Camerata (rebroadcast on WFMT), and several community orchestras throughout the Midwest, including Fox Valley Orchestra, DuPage Symphony Orchestra, and Marquette (MI) Symphony Orchestra. He has been music director of the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra (IN), the Westminster Chamber Orchestra (IL), and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony of Chicago. His conducting teachers include Sir Georg Solti, Herbert Blomstedt, Franz Allers, and John P. Paynter. At Wheaton College, Dr. Sommerville is Professor of Music and teaches conducting, orchestration and score reading, in addition to his work with the orchestra as well as interim director of bands.