M. Devereaux, Ph.D.
MM, Peabody Conservatory, PhD, Felton University
Ms. Devereaux earned a Doctorate of Philosophy at the Felton University and a Master’s degree in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music (John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD) after completing her Bachelor's degree from Chapman University. She was the first African-American woman to be accepted into the conducting programs at both Chapman University and the Peabody Conservatory. Her principal Conducting Instructors were Frederik Prausnitz and John Koshak. In addition, she received her violin training from Earl Carlyss (Juilliard String Quartet), Anne Thatcher, and John Sambuco, among others.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Yvette Devereaux is a professional conductor, violinist, composer, arranger and music educator. She is the founder and artistic director of The Progressive Symphony and its educational component, The Progressive Arts Academy, based in Compton, California. In 1997, Maestro Devereaux competed in the “Mario Gusello” 4th International Conductor's Competition, Pescara, Italy and was one of three Americans chosen as, a Semi-Finalist. In 1995 she appeared as guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with the F.A.M.E. Choirs of Los Angeles. She was a finalist for the position of Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Minnesota Symphony and Director/Conductor of the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. She was the first woman to hold the position of Music Director/Conductor of the Southeast Community Symphony in Los Angeles.
In 1993 Ms. Devereaux was chosen to compete in the Antonio Pedrotti 3rd International Competition for Orchestra Conductors in Trento, Italy. She has conducted the Chapman University Chamber Orchestra and University Symphony on tour in Hong Kong, The People’s Republic of China, Spain, Hawaii and various American cities. She was a participant in the Carnegie Hall Corporation program for conductors with Pierre Boulez and spent two summers at the Conductors Guild Institute, held on the campus of the University of South Carolina. She has had the opportunity to work with such prominent conductors/composers as Jacob Druckman, Harold Farberman, Daniel Lewis, Dennis De Coteau, Lukas Foss, Samuel Adler and William Kraft.
In addition as Violinist, Ms. Devereaux has performed and/or recorded with many Jazz and Pop Greats such as: Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, T.I, Billy Higgins, Ernie Andrews, Herbie Hancock, Art Hillery, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Teddy Edwards, Natalie Cole, Dianna Krall, and others. In addition, she has also performed with great artists like: Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah, Paul Anka, John Legend, James Brown, Donna Summers, Alicia Keys, Andre Boccelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Allan Holdsworth, Alan Jackson, Isley Brothers, Smokey Robinson, John Williams, James Horner, Johnny Mandel, Celine Dion, John Clayton, Jeremy Lubbock, Frank Sinatra, Vanessa L. Williams, Whitney Houston, George Duke, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin and many others.
In addition to conducting, composing and performing, Ms. Devereaux is an advocate for education and the attention to young artists and is a frequent lecturer, adjudicator, educator and coach for many organizations, schools and institutions throughout the United States. She continues to Adopt Schools throughout Southern California by which she provides ’from scratch’ Instrumental Music Programs, particularly Strings, to allow children particularly in the Inner-City to have the ultimate universal experience and exposure.
Achievements & Awards
Ms. Devereaux has received numerous honors and awards for her achievements such as the Community Leadership Award (Sponsored by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Los Angeles) Lifetime Honoree for Artists (Sponsored by the National Negro Woman Coalition) The Sing-a-Rama Honoree of the Year (Sponsored by the Churches of Christ, Los Angeles) Upward Bound Honoree of the Year; Who’s Who in Music; The International Achievers of Tomorrow; Bank of America Scholars; Junior Achievement, USA; and several commendations from the City and County of Los Angeles, including the Mayor’s Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Tom Bradley.
Recent/Current Career Events
Recently, she worked on Alicia Keys upcoming CD as Concertmaster in New York. In addition, she made a special Solo Appearance with the “Disco Diva” Donna Summers at the Hilton and MGM Hotel in Vegas and appeared with the Jazz Great Gerald Wilson and his Orchestra at the Thousand Oaks Performing Center and the Central Ave Jazz Festival. In addition, she was Principal Violinist, for Luciano Pavarotti’s Orchestra in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace and toured with Andre Bocelli. Lastly, she Conducted the orchestra and recorded the music as Solo Violinist for the Soundtrack and Score for the Tyler Perry films, “Madea’s Family Reunion” (2006) and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”(2005).