Hong Kong-American conductor and violinist Kin (Desmond) Siu holds the position of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor with the organization Orchestra Northern Arizona. He also works as acting Music Director and Music Coordinator for Arizona Pro Arte.
A Master of Music graduate of Northern Arizona University, Desmond served as Assistant Director of the NAU Orchestras while working as guest Music Director with the Lyric Opera and acting Music Director with the Chamber Orchestra. Desmond’s past positions include Assistant Conductor positions with Orchestra Northern Arizona, the Skidmore Orchestra, as well as Music Director and founder of the Skidmore Chamber Orchestra.
His attendance of numerous conducting workshops and masterclasses all around the world led Desmond to study with well-known conducting pedagogues such as Jin Wang, Michael Jinbo, Victor Yampolsky, Neil Varon, Mark Gibson, and Kenneth Kiesler. His private conducting teachers include Daniel O’Bryant, Chris Younghoon Kim, and Anthony Holland. Desmond competed in the 2018 edition of the Bucharest Music Institute Conducting Competition which showcased talents from competitors all over the globe.
As a violinist, Desmond currently plays with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Philharmonic, and Verde Valley Sinfonietta. He attended festivals and summer programs such as Kinhaven Music School, InterHarmony Festival, and the Decoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute. Through these festivals, Desmond performed in various halls around the world including Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse of Lincoln Center and Smetana Hall in Prague. During his violin studies, Desmond had the opportunity to learn, work, play, and perform with many Grammy winning string quartets such as the Ying Quartet and the American String Quartet. He has also performed in a masterclass for BBC New Generation Artist, Elena Urioste. His private violin teachers include Shelley Rich, Michael Emery, and former Vienna Philharmonic violinist Eugeniy Chevkenov.
An advocate of contemporary music, Desmond has given many performances (both as a violinist and conductor) of new works by student and established living composers. In pursuit of his passion for new music, Desmond attended a contemporary music program, the Cortona Sessions, as a Conducting Fellow the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019, Desmond attended the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival as a violinist and conductor.
Joseph Karam is currently the band and orchestra director at Coconino High School and the assistant director of the Orchestra of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona. Prior to these appointments, Karam spent five years teaching instrumental music at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, Arizona. He currently holds a master of music in instrumental conducting from Northern Arizona University where he studied with Dr. Stephen Meyer, Dr. William Kinne, and Dr. Patricia Hoy. Karam received his bachelor’s degree in secondary music education from Ottawa University in conjunction with Glendale Community College and Mesa Community College.
Additionally, Joseph Karam has taught percussion in a number of areas, including private drum set lessons and rudimental percussion at the Arizona Leadership Summer Camps. He continues to teach students of all ages across Arizona and has strong passion for music education and being an advocate for his students.