Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra since 2013, Franz is a leader in a vibrant arts community. The partnerships he has developed and fostered throughout the community as well as his versatility in programming led to being recognized by The Windsor Endowment for the Arts with its Arts Leadership Award. Faced with the challenge of maintaining an active and successful arts organization in the face of a pandemic, the past two seasons have included two curated digital concert series that he led and hosted. Both series include his trademark music introductions, interviews with guest artists and composers, and a celebration of multiple works by composers of under-represented populations. Recent collaborations include the Windsor International Film Festival, Art Windsor Essex, Canadian Historical Aviation Association, Windsor Public Library, St, Clair College and the University of Windsor. In 2017 he led the first bi-annual Conductor’s Guild Workshop with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra to train conductors in the art of creating and presenting effective student concerts. Through his work the WSO has become a catalyst for a wide variety of artists in multiple genres and disciplines.

Acclaimed conductor, Robert Franz, recognized as “an outstanding musician with profound intelligence,” has held to three principles throughout his career: a commitment to the highest artistic standards, to creating alliances and building bridges in each community he serves, and a dedication to being a strong force in music education. As Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, and Artistic Director of the Boise Baroque Orchestra, he has achieved success through his focus on each of these principles.

His appeal as a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator is acclaimed by critics, composers and audiences of all ages. Composer Bright Sheng praised Franz for his “extremely musical and passionate approach towards music making.” Franz is in increasing demand as a guest conductor, having collaborated with the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and Italy’s Orchestra da Camera Fiorentinas. 2021 marks his debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His versatility has led to performances with a wide array of artists, including James Galway, Joshua Bell, Rachel Barton Pine, Chris Botti, Idina Menzel and Judy Collins as well as his work with composers such as John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon and Jordan Pal. An eloquent speaker, Franz recently presented a TEDx Talk entitled Active Listening and Our Perception of Time.

Music Director the Windsor Symphony Orchestra since 2013, Franz was recognized by The Windsor Endowment for the Arts with its Arts Leadership Award. Faced with the challenge of maintaining an active and successful arts organization in the face of a pandemic, the past two seasons have included two curated digital concert series that he led and hosted. Recent collaborations include the Windsor International Film Festival, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor Public Library, Canadian Historical Aviation Association, and the University of Windsor.

Franz’ serves as Artistic Director of the Boise Baroque Orchestra where he successfully launched an outdoor summer concert series at the Chateau des Fleurs in Eagle, Idaho. Curated digital concert series, partnerships with Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale as well as with various educational institutions have been a hallmark of his time at BBO.

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Franz just concluded his fourteen-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony where he was recently honored with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership, celebrating his immense success in advancing the organization’s education and community engagement activities. The 2020-2021 season featured Franz leading the North American premiere of Author Dan Brown’s musical children’s book, Wild Symphony.

As Co-founder and Conductor of the Idaho Orchestra Institute, now in its sixth year, Franz takes young musicians on an exploration of major orchestral repertoire that explores the complete musician.

In addition to his current posts, Franz served as Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic from 2008-2016, and the Mansfield Symphony (OH) from 2003-2010. When not on the podium he can be found on the slopes, skiing slowly and carefully, stretching in a yoga class, and non-competitively trying his hardest to win at a game of cards with his family.

Robert Franz, Music Director

Francisco Hernández Bolaños: Assistant Conductor

Mexican conductor and pianist Francisco Hernández Bolaños is the new Assistant Conductor of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO). His role with the WSO includes leading the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Windsor Symphony Community Orchestra, as well as musical lead for the WSO’s Education and Outreach programs. Francisco was previously the Artistic Director of the State of Veracruz Youth Symphony Orchestra (OSJEV in Spanish). He was also Assistant Conductor with orchestras at Arizona State University, the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras, and the School of Music of the University of Veracruz Symphony Orchestra.

With a rapidly ascending career, Francisco appeared frequently as a guest conductor for orchestras all across Mexico. Francisco graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and Master of Music in conducting from the School of Music at the University of Veracruz and has recently earned his Doctorate in Musical Arts in Orchestra and Opera Conducting from Arizona State University (ASU). Passionate about sharing music with new audiences, Francisco offered community outreach concerts with OSJEV and music appreciation workshops in various states of Mexico.

In addition to conducting, Francisco is passionate about Mexican traditional music such as Son Huasteco, drinking good coffee in the company of wonderful people, and reading a great book! Francisco enjoys food from different cultures, which keeps him on the lookout for new culinary experiences!

Bruce J.G. Kotowich: Chorus Master

Bruce J. G. Kotowich is an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at the University of Windsor where he directs the University of Windsor Chamber Choir and University Singers. In addition to directing these choral ensembles, he teaches conducting. Dr. Kotowich is also the Chorus Master for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale.

He has conducted the Manitoba Provincial Senior High Honour Choir, Manitoba Provincial Jazz Choir, the South Dakota North Region All-State Choir, and the Illinois Music Educators Association District 8 Honor Choir. He has conducted and judged numerous other festival and conference choirs and has toured throughout North America, Europe and China with his choirs.

Dr. Kotowich has presented at the Iowa Choral Directors Association Summer Conference, the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association, North Central ACDA Regional Conferences, and the NDSU Symposium: Music of the Americas. Dr. Kotowich has published in the Choral Research Memorandum Series through Chorus America, is the editor of a choral music series for Alliance Publishing, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of Anacrusis, Canada’s Choral Journal.

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Bruce J.G. Kotowich

John Morris Russell

John Morris Russell: Conductor Laureate

Conductor Laureate, John Morris Russell continues to devote himself to redefining the North American orchestral experience. Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra between 2001-2012, Maestro Russell is currently his eleventh year as conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, one of the world’s most iconic pops orchestras. Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina since 2012, Mr. Russell leads the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition; he also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Russell has worked with many of North America’s most distinguished orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra as well as the orchestras of Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. He regularly leads the National Orchestral Institute and Festival in College Park, Maryland. Mr. Russell’s recent collaborations around the world include Aretha Franklin, Emanuel Ax, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Garrick Ohlsson, Rhiannon Giddens, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jon Kimura Parker, Michael McDonald, Cynthia Erivo, Sutton Foster, George Takei, Steve Martin, Brian Wilson, and Leslie Odom, Jr.

As Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, he conducted over forty world premieres many of which were presented on seventeen national broadcasts for CBC Radio 2, and the orchestra’s first nationally televised production for the CBC series “Opening Night”. His recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra earned Mr. Russell and the WSO its first Juno nomination for “Best Children’s Album” in 2008. Maestro Russell has contributed six albums to the recorded legacy of The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, including recent releases Voyage (2019) and American Originals 1918 (2018) for which he was awarded a GRAMMY Nomination for “Best Classical Compendium”. His world premiere recording of Blind Injustice, with Cincinnati Opera was released in February of 2021.

Welcome to Windsor High School and Sixth Form

I hope that our website gives a little flavour of life at our school and introduces you to our ethos, values and beliefs.

We are a leading secondary school committed to delivering the very best education for all of our students. Our school motto of ‘Excellence for All’ represents this commitment and applies to our goals of maximising both academic and personal potential.

Unlocking academic and personal potential

Our moral purpose is to unlock students academic and personal potential.

We strive for our students to have a love of learning, be successful learners and gain the knowledge, skills and attributes to be successful in the world of work. Equally, we endeavour for our students to be good human beings, with a sense of purpose and character, enabling them to flourish in life.

Our school has a strong record of success, and students make outstanding progress during their time with us. In fact, students at Windsor High School make the best progress in comparison to all secondary schools in Dudley (school performance tables).

Crucial to our success is a core set of values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that our whole school community understand, support and practice.

These beliefs are part of our school culture and a natural part of what we do and how we do it and are on display through daily interaction among our school community.

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Promoting respect and responsibility through The Windsor Way

Our school has traditional values, and our ethos and beliefs are visible in ‘The Windsor Way’.

The Windsor Way is a charter committed to by our whole school community. It celebrates the principles of respect and responsibility and promotes our commitment to British Values (as set out in our Promoting Life in Modern Britain policy). Our active house system emphasises these characteristics every day. We aim to nurture a culture of respect and responsibility for oneself and for others and we value and practice respect and responsibility.

We are proud of our track record in achieving academic success for our students. This success is the result of a close collaborative relationship between staff, students and parents.

In our school learners ASPIRE!

ASPIRE and Learner Rucksack Model 1200x720

Our students have taken on the responsibility of developing a set of core characteristics, attributes and behaviours fundamental to their success as learners.

These skills and traits are known as our ASPIRE framework and in our school learners ASPIRE! Our ASPIRE framework develops students character virtues and learning strategies. We ensure our six character virtues of respect, responsibility, resilience, compassion, collaboration and creativity are ‘taught’, ‘caught’ and ‘sought’ in learning and in life. At our school students aspire in every lesson, every day to be the best learners and best people that they can be.

To engage, enthuse and inspire every lesson, every day

Teaching and Learning Cycle

Our vision for teaching and learning is to engage, enthuse and inspire every lesson, every day. We have a clear teaching and learning framework that is underpinned by academic research and promotes the tone for high expectations and high aspirations. Our teaching and learning model provides us with clarity, consistency and a common language when we talk about great teaching.

I hope you enjoy browsing our website to find out more about our school. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Mr S R Lanckham

Windsor High School and Sixth Form, Richmond Street, Halesowen, B63 4BB

Phone: 0121 550 1452

Is windsor high school orchestra traveling to europe in 2019

121 University Avenue West, Windsor, Ontario

519-973-1238 ext. 2

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WSYO Fall Concert 2022

Featuring Maestro Francisco Hernández Bolaños and the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestras. Windsor Symphony Junior Youth Orchestra • Cielito Lindo – Mexican traditional • William Owens…

A “Grinchy” Holiday Pops

A “Grinchy” Holiday Pops starring Reggie Smith Jr. You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch… Reginald Smith, Jr. comes back to the Capitol and joins the…

A “Grinchy” Holiday Pops

A “Grinchy” Holiday Pops starring Reggie Smith Jr. You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch… Reginald Smith, Jr. comes back to the Capitol and joins the…


Learn about all of WSOs community programs.

Orchestras across the globe thrive because of community support, and the WSO is no different!

Generously supported by

Funding provided by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council.

The Capitol Theatre is both an Ontario Heritage Site and home of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. Windsor is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada and it is a great privilege to share music with our community on this beautiful territory.
We acknowledge we are on land originally inhabited by Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge and honour the presence of the Three Fires Confederacy, which includes the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomie. We respect the longstanding relationships with the First Nations people in this place in the Windsor Essex peninsula and the straits of Detroit.




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