Meet Our Conductors

Dr. Patricia C. Sparti

Conductor and Music Director

Patricia Sparti March 1, 2013

Patricia Carmelina Sparti started as Music Director of The Symphony of Rutherford County in 2013. She served as Chair of the Music Department at Gardner-Webb for 13 years, and is currently Professor of Music at GWU’s School of Performing and Visual Arts where she is Director of Orchestral Activities, and teaches music theory, ear training, sight singing, and conducting. She also conducts musical theater and opera productions at GWU, and is the advisor to the Music Business degree program.

For ten seasons, Dr. Sparti was in Washington DC as Music Director of the Georgetown University Orchestra, the Concert Choir, and the Chamber Music program. She received Georgetown’s 1997-98 Distinguished Service Award, her groups won awards for “Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts at GU,” and they performed for President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore. Dr Sparti was Music Director of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution’s Choral Society and Orchestra for seventeen seasons. Under her direction, the JHMI ensembles performed on NBC television four times, won national awards for quality of performance, and played for President HW Bush and Robert Shaw. She has collaborated with many soloists, including the Principal Chairs of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Peabody Trio, the London Chamber Orchestra and The Dave Brubeck Quartet. For eight seasons, Maestra Sparti also served as Music Director of the Westminster Choral Arts Society.

Dr. Sparti received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Miami (Florida) and her MM and DMA degrees, both in conducting, from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and a professional member of the College Orchestra Director’s Association (CODA), for which she was the National Secretary and President of the Southeastern Division. Maestra Sparti is also a member of the League of American Orchestras, the Conductors Guild, ASTA, and the College Music Society. She has been a clinician with orchestras and an adjudicator at contests. For over 20 years, Dr. Sparti has served as a Minister of Music, and is currently with Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Mooresboro, NC.

Mr. Matthew D. Guffey

Assistant Conductor

Matt Guffey is the only person in the symphony who has been affiliated with the organization since its inception in 1988. In recent years he has also served as principal clarinetist and interim Director. He is a graduate of R-S Central High School and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He recently completed his Master’s Degree in Music Education from East Carolina University. He is employed as a music teacher at Polk County Middle School and Polk County High School, and serves as Music Director for Fellowship Baptist Church in Rutherfordton.

Our Board of Directors

The Symphony of Rutherford County is run by a volunteer board of directors:

  • Nancy Womack, President
  • Seth Carson, Vice President
  • Susan Westbrook, Secretary
  • Dorothy Henson, Treasurer
  • Briana Cavin, Librarian
  • Jon Cavin, Librarian
  • Becky Carson
  • Karen Johnson
  • Thad Harrill
  • Bob Nelson
  • John Sinderman

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