At Spring Commencement, Wright State University awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Neal Gittleman, the music director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO) for 17 years. Gittleman’s award recognized him as one of the driving forces behind Dayton’s thriving arts scene.
Gittleman is credited with being a primary catalyst behind the building of the Schuster Performing Arts Center, a nationally recognized youth education program including several Young Peoples’ Concerts each year, and hundreds of hours spent in Dayton-area elementary school classrooms. He is also regarded as the driving force behind the recently announced merger of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gittleman has worked with the Wright State community a number of times. Most recently, he served as the music director for Bernstein’s MASS, a production that featured more than 100 Wright State students, faculty, and staff members.