“Jeff Reed is a fine musician and a fine conductor. I’ve played a wide range of music under his baton, from pops to classical. In every case, he brings a unique understanding of each style, with musical commitment and professionalism. In my 20-year career playing with major orchestras around the country, I have rarely found a conductor with all these qualities rolled into one package. It’s been a privilege working with him.”
—J. PATRICK RAFFERTY
Former Concertmaster, Milwaukee Symphony; Associate Concertmaster, Dallas Symphony; Member, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Cincinnati symphonies
“I wanted to tell you how pleased I was with your performance of my piano concerto Manhattan Intermezzo. Your love of the piece and your musicianship came through. Orchestra Kentucky was totally into it and played it with heart and professionalism.
“I could tell that you were an admirer of mine and wanted to show the audience the other side of Neil Sedaka; the classical side, that people don’t realize. Hope we can do more together in the future. I have nothing but praise about the orchestra when talking to friends and colleagues.”
“It is a joy to work with a live orchestra but I can honestly say it can be a bit scary. One never knows if the players are going to be…well…musical. But I have to say without a shadow of a doubt, that from the first note of our rehearsal until the last note of the performance it was nothing but a pleasure to work with Orchestra Kentucky. The musicians were professional, musical and quite kind to work with. Our conductor, Maestro Jeff Reed, was one of the most poetic conductors we have had the privilege to work with.
There is nothing quite like 60+ musicians on stage at one time creating music together. And there is nothing like an orchestra, staff, conductor, volunteers, to make the whole experience a once in a lifetime. Thank you Orchestra Kentucky for an unforgettable evening.”
Grammy and Dove Award-winning member of the Gospel Hall of Fame
“Jeff is a rare combination of efficiency and musical passion. He is able to quickly communicate his ideas to the orchestra and then inspire the players to reach new heights of interpretation.”
Dove Award-winning Christian artist
”After being well rehearsed the downbeat was given. The stage was set for something very special to happen. I could not have been more assured of creating great music than with the superb musicians of the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jeff Reed.”
Grammy and Dove-Award winning member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
“Jeff…has figured out a totally different way to look at the [orchestra] situation…By taking advantage of clever programming…Jeff is putting on a show—a show that people want to experience…Nice work, Jeff.”
—SETH GODIN | author of seven international marketing bestsellers; quotation from his book, Small is the New Big
“Having had the distinct pleasure of working with Maestro Jeffrey Reed, what I find most admirable about him is his innate ability to take a new score, understand it as though it were a standard repertoire selection, and draw the finest sound from his orchestra to create an audience favorite. He brings a breadth of knowledge to the podium which is very inviting for me as a guest artist, and surely for his orchestra and audiences. He provides a much needed aesthetic for his community which was visible during my visit. It is my hope that Orchestra Kentucky will continue to have the city support and community spirit to keep the orchestra a vital part of their lives.”
—JEFFREY BIEGEL | concert pianist
“After more than 35 years of working as an Executive Director/Consultant of all size orchestras, Jeffrey Reed is the most creative programmer I have ever had the pleasure of working with, the most learned in business acumen (especially marketing, fundraising and fiscal oversight), and finally the most knowledgeable when it comes to what composers intended to be conveyed, be it classical or popular, and how to extract these intentions from his most respected colleagues, the musicians. He systematically assesses what audiences want to hear and creatively programs concerts that are blockbusters that more than fulfill their expectations! A true “out of the box” musician/conductor who totally understands the cutting edge trends that the orchestra industry is currently going through.”
—DARRELL G. EDWARDS
Former Executive Director, Buffalo, Charleston, Columbus, Dallas, and Hudson Valley symphonies and the Philharmonia Virtuosi
“Under the direction of Jeffrey Reed, Orchestra Kentucky and The Rewinders put on a splendid sampling of The Beatles’ rich catalog — one that had the audience buzzing.”
—THE GLEANER | March 16, 2010
“Jeff brings a vibrant energy to the podium. The combination of his progressive approach to programming and his commitment to excellence yield an experience that is engaging for the audience and the musicians alike!”
—MARK CLODFELTER | Professor of Trumpet, University of Kentucky School of Music; Principal Trumpet, Asheville Symphony Orchestra
“Jeff Reed is exactly the cure for what ails the American Symphony Orchestras. He knows his audience. His engaging programming and concert persona uplift the art-form of traditional symphonic music to energize that audience.
The result is plain to see. Subscriptions are growing. Audiences are on their feet. Smiles are everywhere on the after-concert faces that trek back to the parking lot.
On a percentage-of-population basis, the Bowling Green KY chamber orchestra turns out 10 times the audience size of the Nashville Symphony just down the road – on 1/50th of the budget. That’s simply phenomenal.
Working with Jeff is a treat – as rehearsals and performance are always focused on efficiently architecting the best performances for our audience. Unlike some bigger name maestros I’ve worked with, Jeff does not bother to stroke his own ego at the expense of his musicians. His clear beat and phrasing make it easy, comfortable, and downright pleasurable to be on stage. His strong vision of ensemble (meter, articulation, and intonation) yields only helpful remarks. As musicians, we all grow under his leadership. Jeff is receptive to our ideas, and always approachable for discussion.”
CHRIS MOTH, Ph.D
Principal Horn, Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra; Substitute Horn, Nashville Symphony Orchestra
“I was fortunate enough to begin working with Jeff Reed in the fall of 2002 when he was beginning the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra. Having been the Executive Director of The Louisville Orchestra for many years and soloing with orchestras as well, I was curious about this venture. I can tell you that, over the past 6 years, he has built the BGCO into a top flight chamber orchestra that has quickly gained solid financial support in South Central Kentucky as well as the respect of the arts administrators and patrons across the Commonwealth. He has very fine musical skills and possesses the ability to program music that attracts and interests audiences of all ages; thus the reason the BGCO has had double digit percent increases in subscriptions every year. Jeff has personality, perseverance, and most of all, a great love for music and it shows!”
Tenor and Former Executive Director, The Louisville Orchestra
“It has been my pleasure to perform under Maestro Reed as a bassist in the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra. His rehearsal technique shows excellent preparation. His standards for performance are high, and he has developed an excellent rapport with his musicians through a very positive rehearsal atmosphere.
Maestro Reed is an excellent musician, with clear ideas about his musical choices and how he will communicate them. His stick technique is clear and easy to follow.
I have always had very enjoyable experiences performing under Maestro Reed, as have his audiences listening to them, judging by their excellent reaction!”
Principal Bass, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra
“Reed is a very exact conductor….you know where the downbeat is and what he wants, which makes for crisp and precise rhythms and a great deal of shading in the volume ratio. This makes music you have heard many times take on a new meaning. I think he is bringing in bigger audiences because of his programming, and that is great for the community.”
The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal
“Maestro Reed brought out the best in [the orchestra] by demanding crisp, authoritative and exacting musicianship.”
The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal
“I have truly enjoyed working with Jeff Reed over the past five years. Under his direction, the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra has grown in number and quality of musicians, and has continuously drawn in larger and larger audiences each season. His passion for music can be felt through his conducting, and through the quality and variety of music he programs for each concert. He has definitely made the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra one of the best orchestras in the region.”
Bass Trombonist, United States Coast Guard Band
“When Jeffrey Reed was forming the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra in 2000, he asked me to serve on the orchestra board and to be principal flutist. I had played under his baton several times before, so I was anxious to comply. Retiring from the orchestra in 2006, I have continued as composer-in-residence for him, very much appreciating the attention he gives my works. Maestro Reed is an excellent conductor who is perfectly grounded in all genre. He is an exceptionally strong musician, a considerate human being, and an advocate of music that appeals to all audiences.”
—CHARLES W. SMITH
ASAP award-winning composer, flutist, retired college professor
“I’ve played for many conductors in Canada and the USA. Jeff’s rapport with the audience, his exciting and innovative programming and his ability to mold the orchestra into a cohesive, music-making group has been inspiring. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him and have been impressed with the growth of the orchestra and the reach of the programs. Having served as Education Director of a regional orchestra I am pleased with the quality and breadth of programming for children. The orchestra, under Jeff’s direction, treats the musicians well, and the camaraderie in the ensemble makes rehearsing and performing a pleasure. I’m glad to be a member of Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra!”
Principal Horn, Owensboro Symphony; Horn Instructor, Western Kentucky University
“Jeff Reed has taken an idea and turned it into reality through the creation and growth of the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra. Jeff realized a market existed for a new orchestra in Bowling Green and has developed an ensemble to perform at a professional level to meet and exceed its patrons’ demands. From the podium, his desire to achieve a high level of performance results in the satisfaction of the BGCO’s audience and its musicians.”
Principal Trombone, Evansville Philharmonic and Bowling Green Chamber Orchestras
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working under the baton of Maestro Jeff Reed. While many conductors try to suppress the musician’s creative flair, Jeff allows his musicians to be expressive and natural, which makes for dynamic emotional performances. He is quite clear with his beat and gives concise comments to make the ensemble one cohesive unit yet allows the individual solos throughout the orchestra to come from the heart of the musician.
The quality of musician that Jeff attracts is extremely high because we each enjoy playing in this creative environment as we can soar artistically. Jeff establishes an atmosphere of high expectation with kindness wrapped around us, which makes us want to do well for our colleagues and for him to create a beautiful tapestry of music.
Jeff Reed’s programming is geared to the audiences of today, who wish to be entertained, not bored. He has moved away from the belief that orchestras have to “educate” audiences to eventually enjoy works that are hard to grasp. His programs are audience friendly. He plays not to imaginary audiences of musically elite listeners, but rather to the real audiences of today who like to hear all types of music. Each program contains a variety of genres of music so that every member of the audience hears at least one work that is thoroughly enjoyable.
Because of this, his concerts bring in healthy income, both from concert goers and from donors and sponsors. Multiple standing ovations during concerts are common as people are emotionally touched. Jeff always includes fine soloists, mostly singers, to embrace the listener with memories, nostalgia and favorite familiar music, whether it be classical or popular.
His innovative retro-series of “era” music highlights works of the Beatles, Motown, Country, the Seventies and One-Hit Wonders. These specialized programs bring people to the concert hall in droves. And, he does it all on a modest budget by finding very talented local and regional artists.
When it comes down to the final product, simply put it is just plain old fun for all – performers and audience alike. The chemistry between the two is magical. Jeff is a genius in programming, a gentleman and musician on the podium and a highly regarded humble person in the community. He is generous in spirit and is open to new ideas. He implements the good ones quickly and is not afraid to let go of the old ways to embrace the new. He is so refreshing in the orchestra business where too many fear change.”
piccolo, Charleston Symphony Orchestra; principal flute, Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra
“The evening at London’s Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was nothing short of magical. Neil was very pleased with the orchestra and the magnificent conducting by Jeff Reed from Orchestra Kentucky, who graciously stepped in at the last minute. Neil’s piano concerto Manhattan Intermezzo had its London premiere at The Royal Albert Hall to a massive standing ovation.”
—NEIL SEDAKA’S WEBSITE