Dr. Selmer Spitzer (Conductor)
Dr. Selmer Spitzer, conductor of the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra, is a native of North Dakota. He has been active in music since age 6 playing piano, and active in a country church choir since age 12, played tuba in high school. He switched to clarinet as a music education major at Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI, attended Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, IL, and received his M.M.Ed, and then continued at the University of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL, where he earned his Ph.D. in Administration and Music Education.
Dr. Spitzer studied under such well known musicians as arranger Forest Bucktel, percussionist, Haskel Harr, and clarinet from clarinetist and composer Edgar P. Thiessen.
He started teaching in high schools in Williston, ND, Spearfish, SD, Hanford, CA; accepted a position of Instrumental Music Director at Victor Valley College, Victorville, CA, as department chairman, conductor of bands and the High Desert Symphony Orchestra. After retiring he returned to North Dakota as Director of Instrumental Music at the University of Jamestown, Jamestown, ND, retired a second time and accepted an interim position as an associate professor, directing the Dickinson State University Wind Ensemble and Marching Band. Dr. Spitzer has organized string ensembles, and full orchestras in high schools and universities. He is credited for organizing high school honor groups in North Dakota, South Dakota and California including the North Dakota Intercolliate Honor Band. His passion continues to be conducting instrumental ensembles.
Dr. Spitzer is proud of the fact that the students at the University of Jamestown honored him with the Professor of the Year Award in 2005; and the state of North Dakota honored him with the North Dakota Band Directors Association Distinguished Service Award for the year of 2008.
Other interests are: he and his wife, Phyllis, owned and operated a 5000 acre ranch and operated their own herd of a 500 cow-calf operation in Dawson, ND. He was a major General Contractor building hundreds of homes and commercial buildings in Apple Valley, CA; and also has a private pilot’s license.
He claims to have been extremely blessed by his God and thankful for what influence it has had on his life.
Dr. Spitzer has been married to his lovely wife, Phyllis, for 53 years. They have 3 wonderful children, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.
He is extremely excited about the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra and the support received from so many; and without a question, the newly organized symphony will be a successful musical ensemble in southern Nevada.
Walter White (Concertmaster)
Walter White graduated from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas with a Bachelor of Music Education. This was followed shortly by my graduation from Boston University with a Master of Music in Music Education. My violin teachers include Jack Bradley at Texas Southern University, Max Winder at Boston University, Oscar Iotti at the University of Arizona and Eugene Gratovich at the University of Texas. My orchestra experience includes numerous community orchestras in various parts of the country, and professional symphony orchestras as well. Professional experiences include serving as a violinist in the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham, AL during the
1970s, the Laredo Symphony Orchestra, Laredo, TX during the 1980s, and then during The 1990s and early 2000s, several orchestras in Central Texas including the Waco Symphony Orchestra, the Temple Symphony Orchestra, the East Texas Symphony Orchestra in Tyler, TX and the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra in San Angelo, TX. In addition to symphonic work, I have had opportunities to play in "pit" orchestras for various dramatic works and productions of entertainers. Small ensemble work includes
performance as a member of a string quartet for a period of about 8, and I performed for several years in a Country-Western group called "The Streets of Laredo."
My professional teaching experience include positions in Boston, MA, Montgomery, AL, several locations in Texas and most recently, currently serving as a music faculty member of the Clark County School District, Nevada. Parallel to my teaching career, I served as a member of the United States Army Reserve and retired as a Master Sergeant.
I view this opportunity to serve as a violinist with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra and as a member of its Board of Directors a great honor.