Sheldon Bair is the Founder and Music Director of the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra (Maryland), a community orchestra of over 90 members currently in its 36th season. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania) where he studied conducting with Otis Kitchen and composition with James McVoy and Darrell Douglas, and a Master’s degree from Towson University (Maryland). In addition, his post-graduate studies include classes at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Sheldon Bair has studied conducting with Witold Rowicki in Vienna, and Marc Mostovoy, William Hudson, and Leonid Grin.
Bair teaches orchestra for the Harford County Public Schools (Maryland), is adjunct faculty for Harford Community College, is on the conducting staff for the Elizabethtown College Music Camp, and is often invited to conduct and adjudicate youth orchestras and soloists. In November 2000, Bair was bestowed the Paderewski Award for Contributions to Society and Culture at the Polish Embassy in Washington D.C. In the fall of 2007, Bair was the guest conductor for the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra in Dallas, Texas, in February 2011 he conducted the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra in Norman, Oklahoma, and in October 2012 he conducted the Scarborough Philharmonic in Toronto, Canada. In the fall of 2007, 93 members Susquehanna Symphony appeared at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, performing a program of Polish music with several choirs in front of an appreciative, standing-room-only audience. In the fall of 2009, 100 members of the Susquehanna Symphony performed on the main stage at Carnegie Hall for the same Polish impresario, performing a program of Polish works under three different conductors. Bair participated in the Sixth Malcolm Arnold Festival in Northampton, UK, in the fall of 2011 by introducing Arnold’s 9th Symphony at the final Gala Concert.
Bair, a member of ASCAP, has written a number of works for student string orchestra, three works for the Susquehanna Symphony, and three works for church choir. Ensembles in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas have performed his music. Bair’s student string orchestra music is published by Howard Publications. He lives in Bel Air, Maryland, with his wife Barbara (also a musician) and two of his three children (the eldest is married and lives in Virginia).