Wisconsin Conservatory of Music names new president

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:44 am

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has appointed Gregory Ruffer president and chief executive officer.


Ruffer will take the place of Interim Director John Turner, who took over for Karen Deschere after she stepped down from the position last June.

As a performing arts leader, conductor and voice instructor, Ruffer brings more than 25 years of music experience to his new role as president and CEO. He previously worked in the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Fla., as the music department chair at the Patel Conservatory and as chorus master for Opera Tampa.

During his career in Tampa, Ruffer oversaw administrative duties of a music department that included children’s music, Suzuki, youth orchestra, rock school, guitar, jazz and more. He also led a department of about 50 music teachers and administrators, managed a professional opera chorus comprised of 50 vocalists and handled the department budget.

Ruffer’s additional music experience includes founding and directing the Classical voice Intensive and Vocal Arts Academies, serving as artistic director of the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra program, directing musical theatre productions and coaching vocal students. In 2011, he developed the curriculum for every music course at the conservatory, helping the institution to achieve accreditation with the South Association of Colleges and Schools.

Just last year, Ruffer organized a band and orchestra program along with a music curriculum for Most Holy Redeemer School in Tampa.

The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is a nonprofit independent music school in Wisconsin that offers music education and performances for students ranging from beginning musicians to professionals. The conservatory has locations in Milwaukee, Brookfield and Bayside.

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