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About Brian Buterbaugh

Based in Central Pennsylvania, Brian Buterbaugh is the two-time Grammy Music Educator of the Year nominated orchestra director at Hershey High School in the Derry Township School District (Hershey, PA) and the Music Director/Conductor of the York Youth Symphony Orchestra (York, PA).  In 2023, he was named the Orchestra Director of the Year by the Pennsylvania-Deleware American String Teachers Association. Mr. Buterbaugh will also serve as Orchestra Director and conducting instructor at Lebanon Valley College for the Fall 2023 semester during a professor sabbatical. 

As the Music Director & Conductor of the York Youth Symphony Orchestra, Brian conducted the YYSO with the internationally recognized Black Violin in Fall 2017. Highlights of the past three YYSO years include complete performances of Dvorak's Eighth and Ninth Symphonies, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, among many other works for the standard repertoire. Under Mr. Buterbaugh's leadership, the YYSO is committed to learning and performing works by underrepresented composers, including George Walker's Lyric for Strings and Florence Price's Symphony No. 3, a York County premiere. Mr. Buterbaugh also teaches graduate-level low string pedagogy at Messiah College (Grantham, PA).

At Derry Township SD, Brian directs award-winning high school orchestras, middle school orchestras and the all-student pit orchestra for the Hershey Drama Dept. musical productions. In recent years, Hershey HS orchestras have performed works such as Glinka's Ruslan & Ludmilla Overture, Serenades by Dvorak, Elgar and Wiren, Vaughan Williams' Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus', Rossini's L'italia in Alegeri,  and movements from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9. 

Previous posts include orchestra director at Cedar Cliff High School and choral/orchestra director at Spring Grove Area High School. With the WSSD, he was an 2018 ACCLAIM award recipient and received an Innovation Grant for his approach to building independent practicing habits. In 2020 and 2021, he was named a quarterfinalist for the 2021 Grammy Music Educator Award. He has presented sessions on orchestral performance and culture-building at PMEA professional development seminars.


Beyond his work with the YYSO and the DTSD, Brian is a frequent guest conductor and performer throughout the Capital Region and beyond.  Recent guest conducting engagements include the Cecil County All-County Orchestra (MD), Keystone String Fest, Dauphin County Honors Orchestra Festival, PMEA District 10 6th Grade String Fest, Berks County Senior County Orchestra, Carroll County (MD) Middle School All-County Orchestra, Harford County (MD) High School All-County Orchestra and the Berks County 6th Grade String Fest. An avid fan of theatre in addition to classical music, he has previously held the music director post with the Acts of Kindness Theatre Company and has studied conducting and musical theatre score study with Broadway conductor Will Curry (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof).

Under Mr. Buterbaugh’s direction, students are regularly accepted into All-State, All-Eastern and All-National ensembles. He is fortunate to work in schools and communities that are regularly awarded as "Best Communities for Music Education". His schools have performed in venues in Chicago, Florida, and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and have hosted multiple orchestra festivals and masterclasses with faculty from prestigious US institutions.


Brian appears locally and regionally as a cellist and maintains a private cello studio. His private students are members of PMEA festivals, the York and Harrisburg Youth Symphony Orchestras, and many other local and regional orchestras. Along with frequent freelance work, Brian has performed with the Cherrywood String Ensembles, Berks Opera Company, Hershey Symphony Orchestra, Central Pennsylvania Symphony, Genesius Theatre, Berks Sinfonietta, and many other local and regional organizations. Performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.


Originally from Berks County, PA, Brian holds a BME from Penn State University, a Master's Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Messiah College, and a Master's in Music Education from the University of Nebraska.  Additional course work includes courses at University of Nevada -  Las Vegas, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Brian lives in Elizabethtown with his wife, Julie, and their two boys, Evan and Liam. 

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