Hyer to retire from Central Ohio Symphony


Warren W. Hyer, the executive director of the Central Ohio Symphony, is retiring effective July 31 after 33 years in that role.

“I decided in the fall that I would retire at the end of the season in July,” Hyer said. “I have taken great pride and joy in my work with the Symphony and look forward to it having a shining future.”

Hyer’s accomplishments over the decades are significant. From a small town-gown ensemble when it first began, Hyer has overseen its transformation into a separate nonprofit and recognized regional orchestra of professional musicians.

During Hyer’s tenure, his goal was to take the Symphony to newer and higher levels of community engagement. Some of those initiatives include Carnegie Hall’s Link Up educational program, the Ford Made in America project, Benefit in the Barn concerts, and, most notably, the groundbreaking Reconnecting therapeutic drumming program with the Delaware County Courts. Hyer contributed a chapter about the Symphony’s drumming program to the book “Not Far From Me” as one response to the opioid crisis in Ohio.

Over the years, Hyer made numerous presentations before the League of American Orchestras, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and the Ohio Supreme Court. He wrote and received numerous grants to help underwrite Symphony initiatives, including several each from the National Endowment of the Arts, both the League of American Orchestra’s Getty Fund and Futures Fund, PNC Arts Alive, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Hyer has especially enjoyed the opportunity to be creative with programming. During his tenure, the Symphony has performed numerous world and Ohio premieres. It has hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, internationally renowned guest artists, and produced the Play It Again program supporting emerging composers, the only one of its kind in this country.

“I take pride in feeling that I have played a key part in bringing the Symphony outside of the performance hall to all parts of our community, not only to those with a ticket to a formal concert.”

In a statement from the Symphony Board, it said Hyer’s “tenure as the Executive Director has been nothing short of excellent, marked by unwavering dedication, visionary leadership, and an unbridled passion for the arts. His impact on the Delaware community has been profound, fostering an environment of creativity, inclusivity, and excellence. The Symphony has flourished under his guidance … (and his) commitment to engaging the community has … elevated the Symphony’s artistic achievements.”

“The task of finding an new executive director with the enthusiasm, dedication and community sprit of Warren Hyer is daunting at best,” said Symphony Board member Pam Beery.

Hyer said the opening is an opportunity for someone “to guide and grow this wonderful orchestra, to bring great music experiences, and to serve central Ohio into the next era.”

Hyer will continue to be the orchestra’s timpanist, proudly sharing the stage with the other members of the ensemble. He is the last remaining original musician in the orchestra.

“I greatly appreciate this community’s support for the many projects and concerts through the years,” Hyer said. “I look forward to the Symphony’s future.”

Submitted by the Central Ohio Symphony.

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