Karen Deal, the 34-year-old associate conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the past six seasons, has resigned.
Although her resignation takes effect at the end of the 1991-1992 season, this weekend's concerts at Maryland Hall will mark her final appearances on the ASO podium.
She does not have a new position lined up, Deal said, but she felt it was time to pursue other options that may be open to her as a young conductor.
Deal has played an increasingly significant role with the orchestra in recent years. During former ASO conductor Peter Bay's final season, she spent more time preparing the orchestra and conducting its annual pops and Labor Day concerts.
When Bay resignedto become associate conductor of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in April 1990, Deal was designated the ASO's resident conductor and musical adviser. She added many players to the orchestra's ranks and handled her artistic and administrative tasks with a diligence that made her one of six final candidates for the ASO's permanent conductorship.
Although Gisele Ben-Dor was chosen as conductor last spring, Dealwas retained as associate conductor, and her position was upgraded. But with last week's Children's Concert and this weekend's program ofRossini, Mozart and Beethoven, she concludes her tenure with the orchestra.
Trained as a flutist, Deal's conducting career has grown considerably during her years in Annapolis. She recently served two seasons as assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra at Keystone, Colo. And this past summer, she became an alumna of the renowned Tanglewood Conducting Program.
A doctoral candidate at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, Deal will maintain a high profile in the region as director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony and as conductor of the Sinfonia Concertante Chamber Orchestra in residence at Loyola College.
"We certainly wish her well," said ASO manager Patricia Edwards. "She's done a great deal for the orchestra in her years here."