Sharon Lavery’s extensive career has led her to conduct in distinguished concert halls across the United States, including Carnegie Hall on several occasions. Since 2007 she has been music director of the Downey Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble hailed as one of the best metropolitan orchestras in Southern California. Lavery has appeared as guest conductor with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, the La Jolla Symphony, the La Brea Sinfonietta of Los Angeles, and the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition Orchestra in Palm Springs, CA. Since 2004 she has held the post of cover conductor for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and has also served as cover conductor for the San Diego Symphony. She has been the assistant conductor of the Pasadena Symphony, the associate conductor of the Herbert Zipper Orchestra of Los Angeles, and music director of the MUSE International Music Day Festival in Chiba, Japan. In addition, she has made recordings with Delos Records, Inc., and at Warner Bros studio in Burbank, CA.
In conjunction with her professional duties, Lavery is resident conductor of the University of Southern California Thornton Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. She has led the Thornton ensembles in concert numerous times, and was music director of the Thornton Concert Orchestra for seven years. In addition to these duties at USC, Lavery teaches instrumental conducting.
Lavery is also known as an advocate for music education. She has conducted the International Honors Performance Series Orchestra and Band at Carnegie Hall, the Missouri All-State Orchestra, the California All-State High School Concert Band, and the Texas 4A All-State Band. Lavery has also guest conducted several district honor bands throughout California.
Originally from Ossining, New York, Lavery received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She also earned a master’s in orchestral conducting from USC Thornton, and was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Scholarship two consecutive years.