Dr. Demkee Retires from Allentown Symphony Orchestra

Followers of The Allentown Band likely are very aware that Ron Demkee, a very long-tenured conductor of the band, also has been the Associate/Pops Conductor and Principal Tuba Ronald Demkee of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Ron is retiring from these positions at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season, which will be his 45th season as a member of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

(FEAR NOT! Ron is continuing in his position at the band's helm.)

“Live music in the Lehigh Valley and Ron Demkee are synonymous,” said ASO Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry. “We are honored at the Allentown Symphony to have had such a long association with Ron both as Principal Tuba and as Associate/Pops Conductor. "

Ron's tenure with the Allentown Symphony started in the 1979-80 season when he became principal tuba, and first performed in that role in January 1980. He became Associate Conductor in 1983, assisting founding Music Director Donald Voorhees, and occasionally leading classical rehearsals and concerts for Voorhees and his successor William Smith. 

Ron also conducted young peoples concerts, holiday concerts and most pops concert programs, eventually being promoted to associate/pops conductor. He also served as orchestra personnel manager for 30 years.

Of course, The Allentown Band is privileged to continue the tradition of community outreach and education with the annual youth and family concerts, as well as the annual "Side-by-Side" concert, when the band is joined by up to 50 talented area high school musicians, usually with acclaimed guest conductors and guest soloists.

Ron's career in music started in 1965 with 32 years in public schools, 30 of which were as Band and Orchestra Director at Freedom High School in Bethlehem. That was followed by another 18 years as adjunct instructor in the music departments of Muhlenberg and Moravian Colleges. 

For more about Ron, consider this article by Steve Siegel, The Morning Call:

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