CINCINNATI -- Carmon DeLeone thought he would someday play French horn for a professional symphony or, perhaps, drum his way into a touring jazz combo. Instead, from his earliest days as a student at the College Conservatory of Music, he kept saying yes to offers to conduct.
The native of Ravenna, Ohio, has spent the past 50 years holding the conductor's baton somewhere in and around Cincinnati—chiefly as music director for 45 years with the Cincinnati Ballet and 32 years with the Middletown Symphony Orchestra. In addition to an overlapping 28-year run helming the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, DeLeone also spent 16 years hosting WRRM's "Sunday Morning Music Hall."
On May 22, DeLeone conducts the Middletown Symphony through a variety of showtunes at The Carnegie in Covington in a program celebrating DeLeone's 50 years as a local conductor.
Now in his early 70s, DeLeone sees no sunset to his career. In this video, from rehearsals and performances with the Cincinnati Ballet orchestra, DeLeone talks about his career and the innate "ears" and sense of rhythm he brings to the podium.