Music Director


Deanna Tham currently holds positions as Assistant Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony and Music Director of the Union Symphony Orchestra.

Tham is additionally the Principal Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. During the summer of 2019, she was appointed Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO-USA and NYO2) working with Maestros James Ross, Joseph Young, and Sir Antonio Pappano, as well as renowned artists such as Isobel Leonard and Joyce DiDonato. She was previously Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfoneitta with Maestro Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra and Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and has regularly guest conducted with the Boise Philharmonic and Ballet Idaho.

Tham most recently received a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Orchestral Conducting studying with Maestro Carl Topilow. Tham was been invited as a  scholarship participant to the 2015 Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she worked with renown conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2015 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy Conductor’s Guild Scholarship where she worked with Master Teacher Victor Yampolsky. In 2013, Tham made her debut with the National Music Festival. There she was one of two assistant conductors who appeared with Maestro Richard Rosenberg working with some of the top professional musicians and teachers in the United States as well as musicians from around the world. Her work with the festival has been featured on National Public Radio as well as American Public Media. She has also made appearances at the Cadaques Orchestra International Conducting Competition.

Previously, Tham was the Music Director of the American Chamber Orchestra. Her work with the company includes a groundbreaking semi-staged version of Mendelssoh’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, staged in English. During her time with the company, she worked with many talented musicians, including those who sing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made great strides making the company a strong presence in the Chicago area and has sold recordings of her work with the company on iTunes.

Tham has committed to community engagement and collaboration through her career. While at the Cleveland Institute of music, she produced, programmed, and directed a revolutionary cross-sensual concert experience with the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute combining taste and sound. She has initiated live-music performance opportunities for young artists by combining the forces of the Louisville Youth Orchestra and the Louisville Ballet Academy, and written and programmed numerous educational concerts and pre-concert talks for school students of all ages. She enjoys combining STEM curriculum with relevant music on stage. Tham has furthermore led seminars and talks for local leadership and young professional groups.

Tham received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in horn performance studying with Dennis Abelson, Zachary Smith, Bob Lauver, and Steven Kostyniak at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her Master of Music degree in conducting with conducting program honors from Northwestern University studying with Dr. Mallory Thompson. There, she additionally worked with Dr. Robert Harris, Victor Yampolsky, and Dr. Robert Hasty, making her equally at home in wind, orchestral, and vocal settings. While at Northwestern, Tham was integral in the production of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s recent CD, rising, released in December of 2011 on the Summit label under the direction of Dr. Mallory Thompson.

Tham is the second place winner in the Youth Orchestra Conductor division of the American Prize. She has been the recipient of the festival conducting award at the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival. Her further study includes workshops with the Bohuslav Martinu Orchestra, Atlantic Music Festival, Waterville Valley Music Center, the Medomak Conductor’s Retreat, and the Conductor’s Institute at Bard where she worked with esteemed artists and conductors such as Atso Almila, Luke Dollman, David Amado, Kenneth Kiesler, Apo Hsu, David Rudge, Lawrence Golan, and Giora Schmidt.