TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse Symphony Orchestra has named Kedrik Merwin executive director, filling a position that has been vacant for more than a year.
Merwin has been director of music at the Interlochen Center for the Arts since 2009. He has been conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy’s Brass Ensemble and House Band for the last decade.
He also performs with the Bay Area Big Band. He has played trombone with the TSO for seven years.
“I’ve been in orchestras my whole life as a musician, and the job that I’m in now really had been really an administrative and education job,” said Merwin. “I think when you combine those two things, the administrative skills that I’ve developed in my tenure at Interlochen with the orchestral background and training that I have, it’s really kind of a perfect marriage to bring to the Traverse Symphony.”
Former TSO Executive Director Krista Cooper left in May 2018 after five years at the organization’s helm. The TSO since then has been searching for a new executive director.
“We talked to a lot of really talented, really good people,” TSO Board member Amy Radford said. “(Merwin) definitely stands out because he is from our community, he is a huge part of the music scene in our community.”
“His extensive work at Interlochen as their music director, and his reputation, is just outstanding,” said Radford. “He’s a Traverse City guy, with his family centered here. He’s so committed to the arts.”
Merwin previously performed with several orchestras, including the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Georgia Symphony Orchestra. He was band director and jazz band director at The Galloway School from 2001 to 2009.
Merwin and his wife of 30 years have three children.
He will begin his new job on Sept. 1.
“I’ll be completing my tenure here on Aug. 4th, completing the oversight of the music camp,” he said.
“I would really like to build closer relationships between the TSO and the region, and in specific, the Traverse City community. I’d really like for the orchestra to (be) recognized as an integral part of the cultural life of Traverse City.”
Merwin holds degrees in Trombone Performance from the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University and St. Olaf College.
He recently was a featured presenter at the “International Conference on Thinking” and “Ireland International Conference on Education,” and was invited to participate in Harvard University’s “Think Tank on Global Education.”