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The Californian

Maestro John Farrer leads the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in a concert in 2012. This is the final year Farrer will lead the symphony, and the search is on for his replacement.

Cal State Bakersfield will present the university's most esteemed honor -- the honorary doctorate of fine arts -- to John Farrer, music director for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, later this year, the school announced Monday.

CSUB President Horace Mitchell called Farrer's contribution to the arts and education "undeniable and far-reaching," in a statement.

Farrer, a world-renowned guest conductor, has served as the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra's music director for 38 years and conducted more than 400 works.

"His outstanding body of work, coupled with the mark he has made on our community, makes him a clear choice for this esteemed honor," Mitchell added.

Farrer will receive only the second honorary doctorate of fine arts at CSUB.

Country music legend Merle Haggard received the first honorary fine arts doctorate last year.

CSUB will award the 2014 doctorate during the spring commencement ceremony 7 a.m. June 13 at the CSUB Amphitheater.