Barry E. Kopetz is the Conductor of the Starkville Symphony Orchestra, appointed to the position in 2016. He serves as the Head of the Department of Music at Mississippi State University. Previously, he was Professor of Music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he conducted the Symphonic Winds, Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, and taught courses in conducting and wind literature.
Prior to his appointment at Capital University, Kopetz was Professor of Music at the University of Utah for ten years, previously holding positions at the University of Minnesota, and at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). He has taught in the public schools of South Carolina and Ohio. He founded the Salt Lake Symphonic Winds in 1993 and served as their conductor for eight years, and founded the Columbus Youth Symphonic Band at Capital University and served as conductor for ten years.
Kopetz received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State University and he holds a doctorate with distinction from the School of Music at Indiana University. He studied conducting with Frederick Fennell in Tokyo in 1988, and his previous conducting teachers include the late Frederick Ebbs, Ray Cramer, and the late Donald McGinnis.
Kopetz is active as a composer and arranger, with one hundred-fifteen published works to his credit. He has written numerous commissioned works, composed music for both chamber and large ensembles, and orchestrated music for television and film. He is in demand as a guest conductor/ composer and frequently engages each year with All-State and Honor Ensembles. He is a published author, having written interpretive articles for The Instrumentalist Magazine discussing the standard repertoire. Kopetz has received an award from the Educational Press Association of America for these interpretive analyses.
In 1997, Kopetz was selected as “Utah Music Educator of the Year” by the Utah Music Education Association for his work contributing to the growth and quality of the instrumental music programs in the state of Utah. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He was elected to membership into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 1998. In 2010-2011, Kopetz was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and received administrative and leadership training at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Kopetz resides in Starkville, Mississippi, with his wife, Gail. He has two grown daughters, and his hobbies include exercising, reading, Civil War History, Presidential History, and restoring classic Mustangs.