The Chicago Tribune has praised conductor Kedrick Armstrong for his ability to “simply let the score speak for itself.” He enjoys a wide range of repertoire, spanning early music to premiering new works, using his joy and curiosity for all music to cultivate understanding and collaboration within diverse communities. Kedrick is the Creative Partner and Principal Conductor of the Galesburg Symphony Society/Knox-Galesburg Symphony.
This season offers several exciting engagements. Kedrick returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to assist/cover Terrence Blanchard’s Champion. He will also make his subscription debut with the Oakland Symphony and Chorus, premiering a new oratorio by Carlos Simon. Future engagements include returning as assistant/cover conductor at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, the Portland
Opera, the Atlanta Opera, and further performances with the Oakland Symphony.
Kedrick’s recent highlights include debuting at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to premiere a new opera, The Factotum, by Will Liverman and K Rico. He also appeared at the Opera Theater of St. Louis as one of the festival’s assistant/ cover conductors (Tosca, Susannah). Guest conducting engagements have included a Summer Stage and family concert with the Oakland Symphony, DePaul Opera Theater (Candide), and Chicago Opera Theater (Matthew Recio’s The Puppy Episode). He has also served as assistant conductor for Dan Shore’s
Freedom Ride at Chicago Opera Theater and music director for Monteverdi’s L’Orfero with Wheaton College’s Opera Mainstage.
Named by the Washington Post as one of “22 for ’22: Composers and performers to watch,” Kedrick uses his voice and platform as a Black conductor to advocate for classical music’s performance, publication, and preservation of minority voices. This advocacy has led to various speaking engagements and a research fellowship with the American Music Research Center (University of Colorado- Boulder) studying black female composers within the Helen Walker-Hill archives.
Kedrick spent several seasons as the music mentor/supervisor for “EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts,” a unique collaboration with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League. He also enjoyed working with Ravinia Festival’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, and Chicago Sinfonietta’s Audience Matters. Kedrick is an alum of Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Freeman Conducting Fellow program, where he served as Assistant Conductor during the 2018-2019 season. He holds a B.M. in History and Literature from Wheaton
College and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Colorado- Boulder. He’s studied with and assisted/covered conductors John Nelson, Mei- Ann Chen, Michael Morgan, Lidiya Yankovskaya, Daniela Candillari, and Gemma New, to name a few.