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Professor of Music David Becker works his baton for the last time as conductor of the 102-member Lawrence Symphony Orchestra at its concert Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.

Becker, who has served as director of orchestral studies at Lawrence since 2005, is retiring at the end of the current academic year.

“The time has arrived in my life for my personal and professional journeys to head in a new direction,” said Becker, who is in his second stint at conductor of the orchestra, having spent four years at Lawrence early in his career in the mid-1970s. “The distinguished faculty, administration, cherished friends and exceptional students have all made my tenure at Lawrence a most cherished highlight in my professional career.”

Becker says each time he’s taken the stage with the orchestra over the past seven years has been a career highlight for him.

“Whatever repertoire we’re doing at the moment, to me is the pinnacle and the high point, so this next concert is the pinnacle and the high point. I don’t live very much in the past. They are all very important memories, but I’m totally absorbed right now in this group and this repertoire and what we can share together. So the pinnacle for me is to share this concert with these students. It’s going to be a tremendously emotional time. I have a suspicion that I’m going to see a number of these students in the future in various places.”

Becker, recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the college’s 2010 commencement, plans to dedicate his post-Lawrence time to guest conducting, workshops and clinics around the country, including leading the NAfME All-International Honors Orchestra in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in June.

Saturday evening’s concert program will feature works by Debussy, Paulus and Tchaikovsky. Senior Daniel O’Connor, organ, the co-winner of the LSO 2011-12 Student Concerto Competition, will be the concert’s guest artist.


Conservatory of Music