Described as "clear, musical" and achieving "tight ensemble [with] good energy and pacing [and] excellent preparation," Alexandra Dee is the Director of Orchestral Activities in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University, Music Director of the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Conductor of the Appalachian Community Orchestra. Her previous positions include Director of Orchestral Activities at both Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Outside of academia, she has been music director and conductor of Chicago’s South Loop Symphony Orchestra, a cover conductor for the Joffrey Ballet (with whom she debuted in 2017, leading an opening week of performances with the Chicago Philharmonic on one day’s notice), and assistant conductor for the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra. In summer 2017 she was invited to conduct at the Peninsula Music Festival (Door County, Wisconsin) as an Emerging Conductor. Internationally, she has conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Orkney Conductors Course in Scotland and the Dulwich International Music Academy’s Festival Orchestra in Beijing, China.
Also at home in the opera pit, Dee has conducted productions with the IUP Music Department's Main Stage Productions (Don Giovanni, Carousel) and has had return engagements as guest conductor for Northwestern University Opera Theater (Later the Same Evening, Le Nozze di Figaro, Ruddigore) and Manitoba Underground Opera (Don Giovanni, Dido and Aeneas, Aeneas and Dido). She currently conducts performances with Appalachian Opera Theater.
Dee completed her doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she studied with Victor Yampolsky and led performances with the University Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theater, and Baroque Music Ensemble. She is also an alumna of the Florida State University College of Music, where she completed both a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at FSU, Dee studied conducting with Alexander Jiménez and choral conducting with André Thomas. Her conducting positions at FSU included founding music director and conductor of the Campus Orchestra, a string orchestra geared toward non-music majors from across the university community.
In addition to her formal studies, Dee has attended conducting workshops and festivals at such institutions as the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. A consistent advocate for contemporary music, Dee has performed and premiered numerous works by living composers. In particular, she is a vigorous champion of the works of her husband, composer Roger Zare.