Dr. Eugene Dowdy, Conductor & Artistic Director
Eugene Dowdy is in his third year as conductor and artistic director of the Symphony of the Hills, Kerrville, Texas, and for two years was their associate conductor under Jay Dunnahoo. Dowdy has served for 20 years as professor and director of orchestral studies and instrumental conducting at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He conducts the UTSA Orchestra and the Lyric Theatre Orchestra and is the founding director of the UTSA String Project, a nationally recognized teacher-training program. For six years he served as the music department chair at UTSA, and is currently the interim chair. Dowdy was the assistant conductor of the Mid-Texas Symphony from 2009-2013 under David Mairs, and also guest conducted the Camerata de Coahuila, the state orchestra of Coahuila, Mexico.
Dowdy has led the UTSA orchestras in diverse venues and genres including collaborations and appearances with the Brubecks, internationally-acclaimed Baroque violinist Rachel Podger, the progressive rock band KANSAS, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, and in world premieres of numerous orchestral and operatic works. The UTSA Orchestra performed as the featured university orchestra at the 2017 TMEA Convention, and has performed by invitation and on tour in Texas, Mexico, and Italy.
Dowdy grew up as the youngest of four children in a musical family, and he studied violin with Achille DiRusso in Corpus Christi, Texas. His parents both completed college degrees as they raised children. Dowdy received the doctoral degree in orchestral conducting with James Dixon at the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in music education from UTSA with Donald Hodges, and the bachelor’s degree from UT Austin, where he was awarded a Performance Certificate in Violin and taught in the University of Texas String Project under the direction of Phyllis Young. He taught award winning public school orchestras for nine years in San Antonio’s NEISD, conducted orchestras for nine summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and continues to serves as an honorary Resident Conductor of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Dowdy is past president of both the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and the Texas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and former executive director of the National String Project Consortium.
Dowdy is an active guest conductor, having appeared with orchestras and festivals around the United States (Texas, Alaska, Wyoming, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Iowa), and in Mexico, Austria, France, and Italy. He has been invited to conduct one of the Florida All-State Orchestras in 2019. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies including the American Federation of Musicians (Local 23), Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota (Friend of the Arts), and Mu Omicron. Gene and his wife Stacy have two daughters; Jessica, a piano-playing pastry chef, and Rachel, an orchestra director and cellist in the symphony. His late father, Warren, and his sister Margo both played in the Symphony of the Hills under Dr. Jay Dunnahoo.