Marietta Cheng - Music Faculty - Colgate University

Colgate Directory

Marietta Cheng

Marietta Cheng

Professor of Music; Conductor of the Colgate University Orchestra; Chair of Music
Music, 206 Charles Dana Arts Center
p 315-228-7637
Praised as a vibrant and compelling conductor who is a born communicator, Marietta Cheng is Professor of Music and Conductor of the Colgate University Orchestra. She has been a Colgate Presidential Scholar, AAUP Professor of the Year, and recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award given by the Colgate Alumni Board.

Cheng is Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, a widely acclaimed professional orchestra in the southern tier of New York State. She is credited with bringing the OSFL to new artistic heights and exceptional organizational growth from 1995-2008.

She was the Music Director and Conductor of the Corning Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus from 1986-95, a leader with “a ton of charisma”. She has guest conducted the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra of the Chautauqua Institution.

She was on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival for three summers, teaching choral conducting. Since 2000, she has conducted an exceptional and model children's concert series in upstate New York with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. She served as a music panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, twice as its chair, judging music grant applications for all music organizations in the state of New York.

In 2003, she was chosen as one of 50 great women conductors worldwide, profiled in a book on women conductors by Elka Mascha Blankenburg, Europaische Alt Verlag. As one of a unique group of 100 women leaders from across the United States, she added her voice to Lifetime Television's National Summit on Women in the 21st Century.


AB, Smith College, 1974; MM, New England Conservatory of Music, 1976

Teaching Experience

Haverford College; Bryn Mawr College; Aspen Music Festival; Binghamton University; New England Conservatory of Music




Conducting, women in music, Beethoven

Professional Experience

  • Music director and conductor, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, 1995- 
  • Conductor of the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, 1980-83
  • Music director and conductor, Corning Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, 1986-96
  • Taught summer workshops at the New England Conservatory of Music, 1982, 1983
  • Conductor, Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra, 1983-86
  • Founder, conductor, Colgate University Chorus, 1976-94


  • Lectured at Carnegie Hall on Tchaikovsky, 1998
  • Guest conductor of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, 1998
  • Interviewed for CNN as noted woman conductor, 1997
  • Lifetime Women's Summit in Washington, D.C., 1997
  • Articles, op-eds, and radio interviews across the country on women in music, including an op-ed in the New York Times, 1997