Conductors

KCB Conductors - Chris Mack, Donna Deaven, John Hope

From left to right: Chris Mack, Donna Deaven, John Hope

Donna Deaven, Principal Conductor

Donna J. Deaven has more than 28 years of experience in conducting bands, orchestras, and small ensembles, and 31 years of experience as a private teacher and professional musician.

Ms. Deaven graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Music degree in saxophone performance from West Chester University, where she studied with Ted Hegvik.

Ms. Deaven's previous affiliations include the New Singer Band of Mechanicsburg, the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, Harrisburg Area Community College, the Harrisburg Community Theater, York Little Theater, the Assistant Conductor of the New Cumberland Town Band, Keystone Saxophone Quartet, Flutes of Fancy Flute Ensemble, Wednesday Club, Harrisburg Chamber Ensemble, and "Donna and the Daytimers.".

In addition to conducting, Ms. Deaven's education and experience include studying and performing on the saxophone, flute, clarinet and percussion. She also maintains a private woodwind teaching studio in Mechanicsburg.

Chris Mack, Assistant Conductor

Christopher Mack began studying piano at age 5 and percussion at age 10. He currently holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education from James Madison University and a Masters of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from Messiah College. He attended Cumberland Valley High School and was an active musician in the marching band, indoor drumline, wind band, concert band, symphony orchestra, choir, and musical theater. Outside of high school, Chris participated in the Studio One Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dan Delong and the Harrisburg Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gregory Woodbridge. He also had the opportunity to tour with American Music Abroad as a percussionist in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. As a high school senior, Chris received the John Philip Sousa Award for Outstanding Musicianship.

As an undergraduate music major, Chris joined the Keystone Concert Band as a percussionist in 2012 and began practicing conducting with the band in preparation for student teaching in Virginia. During his time at James Madison University, Chris conducted the JMU Percussion Ensemble and met professional percussionists Tommy Igo, Leigh Howard Stevens, Gordon Stout, and Kevin Bobo, the later of whom he performed with. During his graduate studies, Chris would lead through the first movement of Gordon Jacob's An Original Suite with the Greater Harrisburg Concert Band as part of a Conductor's Symposium at Messiah College in the summer of 2019.

Chris continues to lead the Keystone Concert Band as the third conductor alongside Donna and John.

John Hope, Assistant Conductor

John Hope has always regretted not learning to play the piano when his mother was teaching other children in their Philadelphia home. He did, however, take drum lessons in elementary school and played in the elementary and junior high school orchestras.

Later, he played in the Ursinus College band for two years. More of his time was spent, however, as a member of the Meistersingers, the college touring concert choir, for which John was the student conductor in his last three years in school.

He joined the Keystone Concert Band percussion section more than 15 years ago. A few years later, conductor Donna Deaven asked him to lead a march at rehearsal while she dealt with another issue. He is now the band's assistant conductor, leading one or two numbers at each concert and taking over for Donna when she is unable to be at a rehearsal or concert.