Herschel Kreloff, Former Music Director

"Celebration of Life" to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Herschel Kreloff was held on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Click for details.

Dr. Herschel Kreloff (1931-2018) was the Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of Tucson, leading the orchestra for 38 years until his death on April 25, 2018. He brought years of experience, as both educator and performer, to his position as conductor. Using his masterful conducting skills, Dr. Kreloff steadily advanced COT's level of performance.

He is succeeded on the podium by Charles Bontrager.

Dr. Kreloff earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Arizona State University, and his Doctorate from the University of Arizona. He taught band and orchestra at every grade level in public schools in Phoenix and Tucson.

As a performer, he played trumpet in both the Phoenix and Tucson Symphony Orchestras, as well as numerous pit orchestras, stage bands, and dance bands that were active in those communities. Dr. Kreloff also played in stage bands backing such artists as Vickie Carr, Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Jones, Robert Goulet, and Rafael Mendez. He conducted a Phoenix chamber orchestra and was assistant conductor of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra under Gregory Millar. Dr. Kreloff conducted his own composition, "Evocation," with the University of Arizona in 1966 and authored the article "Style in Music," published in Arizona Music News in 1971.

During his many years of public and private teaching and of professional playing (one former student is now Professor of Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music), Dr. Kreloff achieved several honorary and elective positions and a variety of other awards: Outstanding Graduating Senior, Sun Devil Band; President of Kappa Kappa Psi, ASU; Member of Blue Key, ASU; Certificate of Appreciation, Arizona Symphonic Winds; Certificate of Appreciation, Civic Orchestra of Tucson; and The Four Way Test Award in recognition of "Service Above Self," given on June 15, 2011 by The Rotary Club of Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Kreloff also retired from the position of Music Director of the Tucson Concert Band for 15 years.

In 2015, Dr. Kreloff was inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum.

Read more about the event and see pictures.


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