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Whitworth Musician Ryan Dresen Wins a Position with the Spokane Symphony

October 2, 2019
Whitworth University is pleased to announce that Ryan Dresen ’20, a music major on the horn performance track, has won the assistant principal horn position with the Spokane Symphony.

The auditions were held Monday, Sept. 30, and attracted horn players from around the country. Dresen had to compete in three rounds of auditions before being selected.

Dresen is principal horn in the Whitworth Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Winds. He won the Presser Scholarship this year, which honors an outstanding music major.

“Having played in the Spokane Symphony Orchestra for 18 seasons, I cannot remember a current college undergraduate ever winning a seat in the orchestra,” says Richard Strauch, professor of music and director of the Whitworth Wind Symphony. “In fact, it’s pretty unusual for a student to win an audition like this one in a professional orchestra. But, it underscores what a truly unique place Whitworth is and what treasures we have in our highly talented music students and the faculty who teach them.”

Dresen’s first performances with the symphony will be in the Masterworks 3 programs Oct. 19-20.

The Spokane Symphony, now in its 74th season, is a 70-piece professional orchestra based in Spokane that performs more than 65 concerts per year for more than 150,000 listeners. It was originally incorporated in 1945 as the Spokane Philharmonic before being renamed the Spokane Symphony in 1962.

The orchestra is led by newly appointed Music Director James Lowe. He is assisted by Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara and Assistant Conductor Jorge Luis Uzcátegui.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Richard Strauch, professor of music and director of the Whitworth Wind Symphony, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4587 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or