Leslie W. Hicken, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra

leslie-hickenLeslie W. Hicken, Director of Bands and the Charles E. Daniel Professor of Music, joined the faculty of Furman University in the fall of 1993. Within the music department, his responsibilities include the directorship of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Chamber Winds; professor of music education and instrumental conducting; and Assistant Director with the Marching Band.  In addition to his duties at Furman, he is the Artistic Director of the Carolina Youth Symphony, Co-Director of the Poinsett Wind Symphony, Director of the Lakeside Concert Band, and Director for the Furman Music by the Lake Summer Concert Series.

Prior to his appointment at Furman, Dr. Hicken was the Director of Bands at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. Under his direction, bands from both institutions have performed at state and regional professional conventions.

In addition to his duties at Youngstown State, Dr. Hicken was the Director of the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra and was a clarinetist in the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Dr. Hicken was employed as an instrumental music teacher in the Durham, NC County School system for five years. He began his musical career serving as a clarinetist in the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, NY.

Dr. Hicken is very active in the public school system, appearing as a guest conductor and adjudicator throughout Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Dr. Hicken is a member of the South Carolina Music Educators National Conference, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the International Clarinet Association and the South Carolina Band Directors Association.  In 2002, he was elected into the American Bandmasters Association.  In the spring of 2010, he was inducted into the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame.  He is Past-President of the South Carolina Band Directors Association and the Southern Division of the College Band Directors National Association.  In 2015, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities organization.

He belongs to Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He received his Bachelor of Performance degree from the Eastman School of Music, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Music Education from Indiana University.

He has studied clarinet with D. Stanley Hasty, Leon Russianoff, and Bernard Portnoy and conducting with Dr. J. Marion Magill, Dr. Robert Klotman, and Ray Cramer.


James F. Kilgus, Conductor of the Concert Orchestra

kilgusMr. Kilgus received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Furman University. He received a dual degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Conducting and Music Education.

A teacher in the Greenville County School District for 25 years, Mr. Kilgus currently serves as Co-Director of Bands at Mauldin Middle School, one of the largest and most successful band programs in the state of South Carolina. His program is comprised of five individual bands, a drumline, and various chamber ensembles.

Mr. Kilgus has worked with the Carolina Youth Symphony as conductor of the Repertory Orchestra since 1991, and conductor of the newly formed Concert Orchestra since 2007. He is involved as a judge in numerous festivals throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

His professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, the National Bandmaster’s Fraternity, Music Educator’s National Convention (MENC), and the South Carolina Band Director’s Association (SCBDA).  Mr. Kilgus is also a recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence.

Mr. Kilgus resides in Mauldin, SC with his wife Tammie and daughter Rebekah. His son, Taylor Massey, a graduate of Cincinnati and Northwestern University, is principal clarinet of the Augusta Symphony.


Ginger Greer, Conductor of Repertory Orchestra

gingergreerMrs. Greer is a violinist and conductor from Greenville, South Carolina. A National Board Certified Instrumental Music teacher, Mrs. Greer teaches at Byrnes Freshman Academy in Spartanburg School District 5.

Mrs. Greer is a graduate of Boston University, where she earned a Masters of Music Education Degree, and the University of South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education. During her studies at USC, she performed with the University Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and was trained in string pedagogy through the nationally acclaimed String Project, a training program for rising string educators.  She is the recipient of the Yale Distinguished Musician Award and attended the Symposium on Music in Schools at Yale University.  She has served on the board of the South Carolina Music Educators Association, Orchestra Division for most of her 17 years of teaching.  Most recently, she has overseen the development of a Composition Project for sight reading music for the State Performance Assessment (formerly known as Concert Festival).

As a violinist, Mrs. Greer has performed with the Asheville Symphony, Brevard Chamber Orchestra, Hendersonville Symphony, Charlotte Philharmonic, and the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium. She has served as guest conductor and clinician for All Region Orchestras in Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg.  She is wife to Todd Greer and mother to three children: Rich, Andrew and Anna Beth.