Pickett
Pickett

The York Symphony Orchestra will ask audience members to help select their new music director/conductor.

The YSO has four finalists out of more than 100 applicants, and each will get the chance to "pass the baton" during a special audition performance in the upcoming season.

The audience will get the chance to cast a vote on their favorite to help influence the YSO's final decision.

Ken Wesler, executive director, said the audience participation idea is common for symphonies searching for a conductor.

"You're giving the audience a voice," Wesler said.

In addition to the audience, the musicians and the board will get a vote on the final selection, with a decision expected soon after the last candidate's performance in March 2014.

Golan
Golan

The finalists include:

* Kyle Wiley Pickett, who will perform Saturday, Oct. 5. He received doctoral training from Peabody Conservatory and is the current music director of the North State Symphony in California and the Juneau Symphony Orchestra in Alaska. Music selections for his showcase include Rimsky-Korsakov (Procession of the Nobles from Mlada), Mozart (Clarinet Concerto) and Shostakovich (Symphony No. 5).

* Lawrence Golan, who will perform Saturday, Nov. 23. Golan has won numerous awards as a conductor, including nine from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Awards. He's had engagements around the country and in the Czech Republic, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, and China, and has worked with the likes of Leonard Berstein, Kenny G. and Frank Sinatra. Music selections for his showcase include Beethoven (Fidelio Overture, Op. 72c), Barber (Violin Concerto, Op. 14) and Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64).

* David Itkin, who will perform Saturday, Feb. 15. Itkin is the conductor and music director of the Abilene Philharmonic in Texas, and also teaches at the University of North Texas College of Music. He's worked across the U.S. and in 15 countries.

Itkin
Itkin
He's also composed music, including the film score for the independent 2007 film "Sugar Creek" and an oratio, "Exodus," in 2007 that featured narration by William Shatner. Music selections for his showcase include Mozart (Overture to The Magic Flute); Shostakovich (Cello Concerto) and Dvorak (Symphony No. 8)

* Diane Wittry, who will perform Saturday, March 29. Wittry is the music director of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, and helps develop education programs for underprivileged youth. She has won numerous awards, including the American Symphony Orchestra League's Helen M. Thompson Award for outstanding artistic leadership of a regional orchestra. Music selections for her showcase include Mozart (Overture to The Marriage of Figaro), Saint-Saens (Piano Concerto No.

Wittry
Wittry
2 in G. Minor), Copland (Appalachian Spring Suite) and Bernstein (Three Dance Episodes from On The Town).

The new conductor and music director will replace Robert Hart Baker, who has served with YSO for 30 years and is transitioning to the role of music director laureate.

Wesler said York's proximity to major markets and the competitive pay - the salary range is $45,000-$65,000 for what is essentially a part-time job - helped attract quality applicants.

"It's a pretty good gig," Wesler said.

Tickets for these performances will be available this summer, with additional information on the conductors and their performances at www.YorkSymphony.org.