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He is also serving his 16th season as the artistic director of the Waterbury Symphony in Waterbury, Connecticut. After receiving a master's degree in music from the University of Michigan, he began his career at Yale University, directing the Yale Symphony Orchestra through many successful programs, including a tour of Europe in 1985.
Maestro Bjaland has conducted and/or directed many illustrious orchestras throughout the world, including the Pacific Music Festival in Japan (for which he was selected by Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas), the New World Symphony in Miami, and the Chicago Symphony as part of the American Conductors Program. His various guest appearances include the Kalamazoo Symphony, the World Youth Symphony at Interlochen, the National Symphony, and the New Zealand Symphony.
In addition to his orchestral endeavors, Maestro Bjaland has operatic conducting experience. He has directed many different operas at the Glimmerglass Opera and the Philippines Opera Company, amongst others.
- Huisking, Charlie (18 March 1997). "Bjaland named as new director". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 1. Retrieved 23 May 2010.