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Named by Forum Magazine as one of the top ten faces to watch, Centaur recording artist Kermit Poling is Music Director of both the South Arkansas Symphony and the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet as well as General Manager of the Red River Radio Network. He has been the Associate/Resident Conductor and Concertmaster of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra for over 26 years. He performs extensively throughout the United States and around the world both as a violinist and conductor.
Also a composer, Poling's first ballet, Snow White, was commissioned and premiered by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet in the spring of 2003 and was repeated in 2004 and 2009 to rave reviews. Other compositions include the ballet The Wizard of Oz, a string quartet Within the Orb of Glories Wearing, and the score to the film Silent Treatment. His most recent ballets include Phantom of the Opera, premiered by Ballet Oklahoma in 2010, and Aladdin, premiered by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet in 2011. His newest work, No Sound of Trumpet nor Roll of Drum, was premiered in 2011, honoring the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. He has created orchestral arrangements for a wide range of artists, including Grammy winning guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and blues singer Irma Thomas. He is also currently working on a new score to the original silent feature Tarzan.
Poling received the Outstanding Artist in Music Fellowship in 2000 from the State of Louisiana and twice received a Music Fellowship from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. His awards include scholarships to the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier and Seiji Ozawa. In 2005, Maestro Poling served as one of three international judges for China’s National Young Artists Competition with the China National Symphony in Beijing. He has received numerous commissions to create new scores for theatrical works, including The Glass Menagerie, Memoirs, Elektra and others. In 1998 he was chosen by Emmy award winning artist William Joyce to compose the music for his stage adaptation of The Leafmen and the Brave Good Bugs.
Maestro Poling has been a featured conductor on NPR's Performance Today, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Red River Radio Network, WGBH Boston and has appeared as violinist on Louisiana Public Television and PBS in addition to numerous television and radio stations throughout the country. Last season, Centaur Records released a CD of his newest Christmas arrangements performed by the West Edge String Quartet. Away from the podium, Poling also serves as the general manager of Red River Radio, the public radio network of Northwest and Central Louisiana, South Arkansas and East Texas.