Nolan N Dresden

conductor, baritone or bass voice, piano

     Growing up in a small town outside of Chicago, I never imagined that I would be invited by the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic to audition for The Juilliard School, but this past February Maestro Alan Gilbert did just that.

     At an early age I took an interest in classical music.  When other kids were out buying Madonna on cassette tape, I was purchasing Mozart on sheet music.  First picking up piano at age eight and French horn at age nine, my love affair began to grow rapidly.

     In 1999 I traveled the country playing Mellophone with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, where I had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the field… pun intended.  However, in the final performance of the season, I suffered an injury that ended my brass-playing career indefinitely.  Though my obsession with brass and percussion lives on.

     Since earning my BFA from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where I studied Opera and Theater performance, I have been acting, music directing, and conducting in Chicago and New York, and spent six months outside of Hong Kong developing a new opera company, as well as leading the Team Band Symphonic Band in Cologne, Germany during the 2010 Gay Games VIII.

     After a successful first official season with QUO: The Queer Urban Orchestra entitled "Date Night", I recently rounded off the 2013/2014 QUO season, "Voyages", a season that started at the corner of Sixth and Houston with Michael Torke's Corner in Manhattan, and brought everything back home with Aaron Copland's third Symphony.  We visited India, China, Mexico and even delved into the hobbit world of Middle Earth…and what a trip it was.

     I have also had the privilege to work with the InterSchool Orchestra's Symphonic Band, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Litha Chamber Orchestra, and the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band (Associate Conductor). As well as with Dr. Mallory Thompson, the head of Northwestern University's Masters of Conducting program, in a symposium that changed my life.  In addition I was given the extreme honor of being invited to audition for the MM program in Orchestral Conducting at Juilliard with Maestro Alan Gilbert.

     I am now in the process of creating my very own brass and percussion ensemble here in NYC as well as keeping my conducting career progressing forward.

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    Trimming Stravinsky in Purple and Red
    2013-05-17 New York Times, New York City
    "And the Queer Urban Orchestra, conducted with verve by Nolan Dresden, performs Stravinsky's score live. Have you ever heard "Firebird" in a church? It's glorious.
      (Gia Kourlas)
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