David Lockington, Music Director
Over the past twenty-five years, David Lockington has developed an impressive conducting career in the United States. A native of Great Britain, he has served as the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra since January 1999 and was appointed to the position of Music Director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra in May 2007. He is also the former Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony and the Long Island Philharmonic.
Since his arrival to the United States in 1978, Mr. Lockington's conducting activities have included serving as Music Director of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Young Artist's Orchestra and the Boulder Bach Festival. In addition, he was founder and conductor of the Academy in the Wilderness Chamber Orchestra and for three years held the post of Assistant Conductor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Opera Colorado. Following an extensive nationwide search, Mr. Lockington was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in September 1992 and one year later was promoted to the position of Associate Conductor. In May 1993, he accepted the position of Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, assumed the title of Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in September 1995 and was Music Director of the Long Island Philharmonic for the 1996/97 through 1999/2000 seasons.
David Lockington began his career as a cellist and was the Principal with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge, Mr. Lockington came to the United States on a scholarship to Yale University where he received his Master's degree in cello performance and studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller. Mr. Lockington was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant principal cellist for three years with the Denver Symphony Orchestra before turning to conducting.
Mr. Lockington is married to violinist Dylana Jenson and they currently reside with their four children in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ming Luke, Associate Conductor & MSYO Music Director
In constant demand as a conductor, pianist and educator, Ming Luke is known for his energetic performances. He is the Associate Conductor for both the Berkeley and Modesto Symphonies, and has an active career as a guest conductor; recent engagements include: San Francisco Ballet, Opera San José, Sacramento Opera, Napa Regional Dance Company, Sacramento Philharmonic, and Napa Valley Symphony.
Luke also serves as the Chorus Master for the Sacramento Opera. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir at Westminster Choir College, Luke performed with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony. He was also a staff conductor for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and helped prepare the choir for such conductors as Charles Dutoit, André Previn, Mariss Jansons, and Lucas Richman.
A passionate educator, Luke has been involved with numerous youth ensembles throughout his career. He writes, conducts, and arranges music for over 20 concerts a year with the Berkeley Symphony as their Director and Conductor of the Education Programs in various School and Family Concerts. He is the Music Director for both the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra and is a frequent guest for student ensembles. He has served on grant panels for the National Endowment of the Arts and the Grants and Cultural Committee of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
Ming Luke holds a Master of Fine Arts in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Piano Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Dr. Daniel R. Afonso, Jr. , Chorus Director
Dr. Daniel R. Afonso, Jr. has served as conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus since its foundation in 2001 and has prepared several choral works with the ensemble. He is also Director of Vocal and Choral Studies at California State University, Stanislaus.
Dr. Afonso received a B.M.E. degree from the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNI -Rio),a M.M. degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a D.M.A. degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Dr. Afonso is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has studied conducting with Carlos Alberto Figueiredo, Cees Rotteveel, Eph Ehly, and William Hatcher.
Dr. Afonso has performed with choral groups in Brazil, the U.S., and Europe, and has previously taught music at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música and Doane College, Nebraska. In 1988, he won the first prize and a special award for the best performance of Villa-Lobos work at the Concurso Villa-Lobos de Canto Coral, a national choral competition sponsored by the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Afonso is strongly committed to the performance of new music and has premiered several choral works in the last few years, including Michael Mitchell’s I Will Praise the Name of God with a Song (1997), Deborah Kavasch’s Amor (2001) and Feather on God’s Breath (2003), John Marvin’s Ophélie (2003), John Hillebrandt’s A Clear Midnight (2004), and several of his own compositions.
He is also a composer, arranger, and editor of choral music and has works published by earthsongs, Colla Voce Music, and Alliance Music Publications. He has been recognized for his research and performance of Brazilian choral music and continues to present workshops and lectures about the Latin American choral repertoire. Dr. Afonso remains active as a voice instructor, clinician, and guest conductor. His professional affiliations include the Ordem dos Músicos do Brasil, the International Federation for Choral Music, and the American Choral Directors Association.