About the ETSO
The East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra serves, educates and connects the community through exceptional outdoor concerts performed by skilled volunteer musicians.
ETSO Board of Directors
- Dr. Jack McClarty, President
- Mathew Miller, Vice President
- Franklin Farrow, Board Chairman
- Richard Hickam, Director of Music
- Lisa Kuhlman, Secretary
- Chip Liles, Treasurer
- Rhonda Burnham
- Jim Coltrin
- Dolly Fillman
- Dana Milholm
- Dallas Scott III
Honorary Board Members
- Dr. Gordon Bietz
- Brian Benton, Marketing Committee
ConductorPhoto: Garrett Nudd
In addition to being the founding conductor of the ETSO, Richard is the Minister of Music at the Florida Hospital Church in Orlando, FL. Richard previously was the band and orchestra director at Collegedale Academy from 2000–2011. During Richard's tenure the orchestra only received superior ratings at every festival they attended and in 2008 received the gold rating at the New York International music festival held in Carnegie Hall. Hickam, a native of San Diego, graduated from Southern Adventist University (SAU) in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in music education. He completed an M.Mus. in music education at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago in 2005, graduating as president of the class.
During his last two years at SAU, Hickam served as the assistant conductor of the university orchestra under Orlo Gilbert, and also served as music director of classical WSMC-FM 90.5. He recently contributed to “Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra Vol. 3” with his analysis of the Tomaso Albinoni “Adagio.” In 2008, he was presented the "Excellence in Teaching" award by the Alumni Awards Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Richard’s principal conducting instructors have included Robert Bolton, Orlo Gilbert, Robert Bernhardt, and Charles Menghini.