Director of Orchestral Studies
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music at George Mason University
Dr. Soo Han is the newly appointed Director of Orchestral Studies at the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music at George Mason University. He is also the Music Director of the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In addition, he is a contributing editor for Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements for Strings, a D’Addario Orchestral Strings Artist, a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician, and a program coordinator/faculty member with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s summer Youth Orchestra program.
Prior to his appointment at George Mason University, Dr. Han served as the Director of Orchestral Studies at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio. He conducted the Baldwin Wallace (BW) Symphony Orchestra, the BW Opera Theatre, and led a successful performance tour with the BW Symphony Orchestra in addition to maintaining an active conducting studio.
An active conductor, Dr. Soo Han has appeared with professional orchestras throughout the country in addition to directing university orchestras. He is a frequent conductor for All-State, Regional, and Honor Orchestras throughout the U.S., appearing in over 30 states. He has also conducted internationally with orchestras in Austria, China, Thailand, and Australia. Dr. Han has collaborated with numerous artists, groups, and conductors such as Lynn Harrell, David Kim, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has produced multiple recordings of complete symphonies and has premiered several commissioned works for strings and full orchestras. He has presented workshops and clinics internationally and for national and state music conferences including the Australian String Teachers Conference, Maryborough National Australia Conference, Midwest Clinic, American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference, NAfME National Conference, and the Ohio University Summer String Teacher Workshop.
Dr. Soo Han is a co-author, contributor, and managing editor for Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra, Vol. 4, one of the leading orchestra pedagogical resources published by GIA. He is the past president of the Indiana chapter of the American String Teachers Association; the Indiana chapter was awarded the ‘Most Improved Chapter’ during his time as president. Having taught music in public schools for fifteen years, he is a passionate supporter of public school music programs and continues to remain active in instrumental classrooms throughout the country.
Dr. Soo Han received his Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and studied piano with Edward Auer. He received his Master of Science in Education from Indiana University School of Education, and his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the Michigan State University – College of Music where he studied with Kevin Noe.
There are so many issues specifically related to the bass that teachers often feel insecure about their abilities to successfully set up the beginning bass student. This session will aim to help teachers be more effective in teaching and setting up the beginning bassists. Topics discussed will include setting up the bass to the body, setting up the left hand, French & German bow, and sitting VS standing. Videos demonstrating these concepts will be featured at this session.
One of the greatest challenges in orchestra setting is to teach student to master and perform demanding technical passages. This session will present ideas on incorporating different rehearsal and practice strategies to become successful playing technical passage. Some of the concepts that the session will present & demonstrate include; addressing the fundamentals, breaking down passages, practicing in rhythms, and ‘chunking’.
Running an active orchestra program is truly a community effort that requires support, cooperation, and participation from not just the students, but from parents and community members. This session will explore how parent groups can support your organization through volunteering as event managers, project coordinators, and political advocates.
Addressing intonation issues for string players is a lifelong commitment for all and a difficult concept to teach in an orchestra class setting. This session will provide strategies on addressing intonation problems in an orchestra class with such topics as; teaching students to independently tune their instruments, exercises to build stronger sense of pitch, and fixing intonation problems in orchestra repertoire.
After having taught the fundamental skills during the early years of string playing, moving the students onto the ‘next level’ and teaching advance string techniques in the orchestra class setting can be extremely challenging. This session will present strategies on teaching three-octaves scales, shifting into upper positions, advanced vibrato, and bow techniques.