Conducting Conference

Home»Conducting Conference

Conference for String and Full Orchestra Directors

October 15, 2021

3:00pm – 9:00pm

Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium
401 S. Fourth St., Las Vegas, NV 89101

  • 3:00-6:00p Conducting Rehab: Twelve Steps to Better Communication, presented by Dr. Mark Laycock
  • 6:00-7:00p Dinner Break – Meal will be provided
  • 7:00-9:00p Intonation: The Elephant on the Stage, presented by Karl Reinarz


This conference is designed for directors of secondary level string and full orchestras, youth orchestras and beyond. It will culminate with  participants applying the methods and guidelines of both presentations with a string and full orchestra demo ensemble.

5 Hours Professional Development Continuing Education

Conducting Rehab:
Twelve Steps to Better Communication

Dr. Mark Laycock, presenter

This hands-on, interactive session will enable attendees to review both fundamental conducting practice as well as a variety of advanced techniques. The reappraisal of basic techniques will encompass the upbeat eye contact, and clarity in the ictus. Advanced practices include customizing the gesture; eliminating extraneous motion; isolating muscle groups; manipulating the conducting plane; maximizing the effectiveness of left-hand gestures; and determining situations where minimizing gesture may actually help the ensemble.

the Elephant on the Stage!

Karl Reinarz, presenter

Our goal as teachers is to make tuning as logical, reliable, and efficient as possible so that players will know the solutions and be enabled to apply them. Because we sustain beatless notes with bows, we have the advantage of enriched sonority and warmth of tone. The challenge in ‘Just’ tuning is that there are different sized half steps and whole steps as we strive to be in tune with our open strings and the passing tones. Thankfully, there are simple rules that everyone may learn to apply to most all measures, phrases and circumstances.

What to bring to the conference:

-Baton (if you customarily use one)
-Materials for taking notes
-Eagerness to learn

Coming from Out of Town?

If you are coming from out of town, consider arriving Thursday to observe Dr. Laycock as he clinics the four Las Vegas Academy (LVA) orchestras on Friday, Oct. 15. If you take notes, you will be granted 1 hour/class observed additional Certificate hours.

Current COVID Protocols

Masks required. Vaccination nor negative test result required at this time. Please do not attend if you have been recently exposed to someone that has symptoms or if you are starting to have symptoms. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray will be on hand.

If observing the LVA classes Friday, current CCSD current guidelines are that you must be vaccinated.

Dr. Mark Laycock

Dr. Mark Laycock is a Professor of Music at Wichita State University, where he holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship. He has been recognized with the WSU Excellence in Creative Activity Award and the College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. He serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings. WSU Symphony Orchestra appearances under his direction include international tours to Spain and Canada, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and multiple invited performances at Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshops. Dr. Laycock is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; he serves as Chair of Orchestra Activities. He is Conductor of the Wichita Youth Symphony and Director of the Wichita Youth Orchestras Program.

His work as guest conductor, clinician, or adjudicator spans 34 states. Recent and upcoming appearances include the Bangkok International String Festival, the all-state orchestras of Florida, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming, educational sessions at the Conn-Selmer Institute and The Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop, and adjudication in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Oregon. Dr. Laycock served the National Orchestra Festival as adjudicator, clinician, and, in 2018 and 2019, chair of the event. His appearances with professional ensembles include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, and Opera Kansas, as well as orchestras in Slovakia and Canada. Dr. Laycock has presented clinic sessions for numerous state education conventions, as well as the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the Northwest and Northeast Division Conventions of the National Association for Music Education, and the Midwest Clinic. A frequent visitor to Australia, he gave professional development sessions for instrumental music educators in Brisbane, was a conductor for the Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program, was a Chief Adjudicator for the Victorian School Music Festival in Melbourne, served as a Keynote Presenter for the Australian Strings Association 2018 National Conference in Perth, and will be a Keynote Speaker for the 2021 Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference. Dr. Laycock is a four-time invited music education panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, evaluating grant applications from institutions throughout the country. He is a chapter author for the fourth volume of Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra and a frequent contributor to the American String Teacher journal.

Dr. Laycock served as Director of Orchestras and Instrumental Music at Chapman University in Orange, California, where he led invited performances for the California Music Educators Association and at Disneyland. He was also Principal Conductor of the Irvine (CA) Classical Players, leading the youth orchestra on concert tours to Italy (2006) and France (2008). Previously, Dr. Laycock was Director of Orchestral Activities at Iowa State University and Music Director of the Central Iowa Symphony. Under his leadership, the ISU Symphony Orchestra performed at the North Central Division Convention of the Music Educators National Association and collaborated with such artists as bass-baritone Simon Estes and pianist-composer Marvin Hamlisch. He began his career as an instructor of strings and orchestra at the middle and high school levels in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. He earned a Doctor of Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Laycock holds a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music history and literature from the University of Southern California.

Karl Reinarz

Karl Reinarz retired in 2017 after 37 years of teaching with the last fourteen years as co orchestra director at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and was privileged to be a part of its music department, a Recipient School of Twelve GRAMMY Signature Awards since 1999. The Las Vegas Academy Strings performed at the 2003 Midwest Clinic, the 2005 ASTA, the 2006 MENC and the current Philharmonic performed at the Orchestra America Festival in 2007, the ASTA 2008, the New York Philharmonic’s Avery Fisher Hall in 2009, the 2009 Midwest Clinic with 12 members also performing as a chamber music ensemble, as winner of the 2012 Heritage Gold Festival, the 2014 Midwest Clinic and in Barcelona and the Sala Mozart in Zaragoza, Spain in 2016.  He was a 2016 clinician and a 2017 S.H.O.P. Talk presenter at the Midwest Clinic and a 2015 co clinician and a 2018 judge at the ASTA national convention. Karl was selected Nevada ASTA Orchestra Teacher of the Year 2006 and in 2011, received the Nevada ASTA Steve Maytan ‘Service to Music Education Award’.

Karl is a graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in music education, violin, and a double masters in viola and strings with High Distinction. His violin and viola teachers during these years included former Concertmasters and Principal players of many great orchestras:  Daniel Guilet, NBC Symphony and Beaux Arts Trio, Tadeusz Wronski, Warsaw Philharmonic, Victor Aitay, Chicago Symphony, Jerry Horner, Fine Arts Quartet, Abraham Skernick, Cleveland Symphony and later, Kalman Banyak, Baltimore Symphony.  College and fellow musicians have had great impact on his musical development, as well as, string quartet programs at the Banff  School of Music and in Santander, Spain, with members of the Yale faculty. He has taught in the South Bend, Indiana schools, the Punahou School in Hawaii, the Clark  County School District in Las Vegas for 33 of these 37 years, and led the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic from 1989-2006.  Of several commissioned works dedicated to the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras in its partnership with the City of Las Vegas, the Thomas Kennedy arrangement of “Rite of Spring”, published in 2000 by Southern Music, was a particularly exciting collaboration. Karl is a violist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and from 1975-2008  was on the string faculty of the Indiana University High School Summer Music Clinic. He is a member of ASTA and the AFM 369.

This is his second year serving as the Director of Traditional Strings at the Nevada School of the Arts and as Conductor of Intermezzo, their middle school string ensemble. He is a chapter author for the fourth volume of Teaching through Performance in Orchestra.