Maestro Simeone Tartaglione, director of the CUA Symphony Orchestra, will always remember the thrill of conducting at the papal Mass last September. In addition to seeing Pope Francis, Tartaglione was performing before his largest audience yet.

“I never had a noisier, stormier applause after a piece than when we finished Beethoven’s 5th and all 30,000 people cheered,” he said. “Now I can understand how football players feel in a stadium. It was shocking, like I had a stormy wind tornado at my back.”

Since joining the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music faculty in 2014, Tartaglione has enjoyed his share of teaching and conducting opportunities. Last spring, he conducted during the school’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“I came to the University right at an amazing time,” Tartaglione said. “I really thank God for that gift.”   

"It's a joy to see a vision realized and it's a multiplication of energy: You move your hand, but in reality you open your heart."
–Simeone Tartaglione

Conducting orchestras has been a passion for Tartaglione since he attended his first performance of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” as a child in Italy. To him, conducting is a connection to something greater than himself, and a way he expresses his Catholic Mind.

“It’s a joy to see a vision realized and it’s a multiplication of energy: You move your hand, but in reality you open your heart,” he said. “All of a sudden, you feel that 70 people are completely connected with you and that you are connected with them. When we can really play in an inspired way, we can connect with the absolute truth or feel closer to God.”

As a professor, Tartaglione loves passing on his knowledge  of the craft. His goal is to give students strong academic training as well as practical knowledge in planning programs and budgets for all varieties of orchestras.

Tartaglione has helped establish a lab orchestra meant specifically for training conductors. He also offers students the opportunity to conduct during every performance he participates in — whether  it’s one piece at a CUA Symphony Orchestra concert or one night of the spring opera.

“What we’re trying to build here is a program where the students are really ready to take jobs because they have experience with all these different aspects,” he said. “The more opportunities we can give students, the better.”