Virtual Tree Lighting

Virtual Tree Lighting and Orchestra Clinic
Posted on 12/10/2020
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  Shining Strings Plays for the Tree Lighting Ceremony Gets Feedback from a College Professor


On December 5, 2020 at 4:00 p.m., while the Shining Strings performed traditional Holiday music at the Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony for the City of West Allis, Dr. Thomas Dickey, the Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University was watching. 

“Mayor Dan Devine lit the city’s Christmas Tree at 4:45 p.m. right after Shining Strings performed Silent Night,” said Director, Teacher and Music Lead Mrs. Michels.  “The whole time, we were excited that a college professor was watching from across the country, so that he could give us a clinic after our performance!”


Dr. Dickey currently serves as the Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University, where he conducts the OSU Symphony Orchestra and guides all aspects of the orchestra and graduate orchestral conducting programs.  He is also the Music Director & Conductor of the OSU Youth & Community Orchestras.  Prior to his appointments in Oklahoma, he was the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Music Director & Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (IA).


Dr. Dickey holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Georgia.  He has worked with conductors such as Jin Wang, Jorma Panula, Carl Topilow, Christopher Zimmerman, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Diane Wittry, and further studied conducting in numerous workshops and master classes at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, among others.


Dr. Dickey has conducted many professional orchestras throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  He has also worked with numerous all-state, honors, and university orchestras, which is how he and Michels met last summer. “Thomas and I worked together last summer with the WSMA State Honors Orchestra - the only all-state in the country to hold their honors programming.  We have stayed in contact after learning together how to offer a virtual honors camp, and now a unique clinic experience for our students.” said Michels.


On December 15,2020, he will Zoom with Shining Strings musicians during their normal evening rehearsal time.  “Students are thrilled to have Dr. Dickey visit and give them feedback,” said Michels. “He will also talk to them about careers, colleges, and future personal goals and how music fits into your life not only as a musician but as a lifelong consumer and supporter of the arts.  Our goal is to ensure they are college and career ready, as well as responsible, caring, and contributing members of their community - this is an experience that prepares them for all aspects of their futures.”  


“It was a pleasure to watch these students perform online with such holiday spirit.  I am greatly looking forward to working with them next week in our online orchestra clinic,” said Dr. Dickey.


To watch the Shining Strings performance, go to