Artistic Staff

    Conductors are listed alphabetically by group name

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    Raúl Gómez, Music Director

    Bio
    Raúl’s passion is to inspire musicians to use their art as a vehicle to pursue excellence and spread joy. Guided by this idea, he enjoys a busy schedule as an orchestral conductor, violinist/violist, clinician and public speaker.Raúl is a regular guest with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, where he receives the unqualified support of Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. Other conducting highlights include appearances with YOA Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and multiple engagements in Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica. As a public speaker, Raúl’s TED talk “El Concierto Inolvidable” was an audience favorite at TEDxPuraVida 2014.In addition to his work with MYS, he serves as Assistant Conductor and Artistic Producer for YOA Orchestra of the Americas and conductor with the Premier Orchestral Institute. Previous posts include Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of Kids’ Orchestra in Baton Rouge, LA.Raúl holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Kevork Mardirossian (violin) and Carlos Riazuelo (conducting). He served as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in 2011.
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    Adam LaMotte, Conductor

    Baroque Orchestra
    Bio
    Adam LaMotte is becoming well known to audiences throughout the country as a leader of both period and modern ensembles. He has appeared as soloist, concertmaster, and conductor of numerous orchestras, including the Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle, String Orchestra of the Rockies, Astoria Festival Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Maggini String Orchestra in Houston. As violinist and violist, Adam has been hailed by critics as an "especially compelling" and "superb violinist" with "exceptional talent," whose performances are "energetic and exquisite." As Artistic Director of the Montana Baroque Festival, he brings first-class period instrument performances to the rural Montana community. He has co-founded two critically-acclaimed ensembles, in Portland and in Houston, and continues to produce many chamber music and chamber orchestra performances. In collaboration with ensembles such as American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica, and Chanticleer, Mr. LaMotte performs on period instruments, using a fine Italian instrument made in 1730 by Bernardo Calcagni, for which he is indebted to his generous patrons who made the purchase possible.
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    Cynthia Plank, Conductor

    Concert Band
    Bio
    Cynthia Plank lives in Portland Oregon, and has been teaching band at Beaumont Middle School for 16 years. Upon completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Teacher Certification at the University of Oregon, Ms. Plank went on to earn a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting at the American Band College, through Sam Houston State University. She received the the Mary V. Dodge Award for Outstanding School Music Teacher for 2011-2012 and was also a quarter-finalist for the Music Educator Grammy Award in 2015. She is the founder of the Portland Community Wind Band (2005), and conducted the ensemble for six years. Cynthia performs regularly in the Portland area- on timpani with the PCWB, as a vocalist, bassist and flutist with the Second Wind Jazz group and is excited to play with the Oregon Symphonic Band for two concert series this year. Ms. Plank was published last year in the series Teaching Music Through Performance- in Jazz, Vol II, and was recently selected as one of School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. When she is not in the classroom, at the gym or on stage, Ms. Plank enjoys gardening, traveling with her husband Corey, and posting cat videos on Facebook.
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    Jeffrey Peyton, Conductor

    Concert Orchestra
    Bio
    Hailed as a performer of “brilliant artistry and dazzling virtuosity,” Jeffrey Peyton possesses extensive experience in diverse roles as a percussionist, conductor, composer, and educator. Mr. Peyton attending the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City on full scholarship, receiving a Masters degree in percussion performance. Additional studies include doctoral studies in instrumental conducting and percussion performance at the University of Oregon, and the Aspen and Waterloo Music Festivals. Formerly Music Director and conductor of the Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Mr. Peyton conducted performances at the Oregon Bach Festival, Cascade Music Festival, in collaboration with the Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet, Oregon Festival of American Music, PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art), and throughout the Pacific Northwest, including numerous commercial recordings. The regular guest conductor of the Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra since 1996, Mr. Peyton has also guest conducted the Eugene Symphony, Anchorage Symphony, Eugene Youth Symphony, and at the Peter Britt Festival. Recently appointed as Guest Director of Orchestra Studies at Portland State University and the PSU Orchestra and New Music Ensemble, Mr. Peyton has held academic and conducting posts at Lewis and Clark College, University of Oregon, Pacific University and George Fox University. Mr. Peyton currently serves as principal timpanist of the Oregon Ballet Theatre orchestra, section percussionist with the Portland Opera, and is a regular guest percussionist and timpanist with the Oregon Symphony. An active chamber musician, he has performed regularly with Chamber Music Northwest and the Third Angle Ensemble. Mr Peyton’s performances as percussionist and conductor can be heard on fifteen commercial recordings for the New World, New Albion, Koch International, Gagliano, Hannsler, and Delos labels. A published award-winning composer, Mr. Peyton’s concert works have been performed extensively throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, and have been featured on three commercial recordings.
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    Nita Van Pelt, Conductor

    Interlude Orchestra
    Bio
    Nita Van Pelt is retired after a 35 year teaching career in public schools. She taught orchestra and band for five years in Elyria, Ohio and for 30 years in Lake Oswego, Oregon. While in Ohio she held the position of Assistant Conductor of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra. In Oregon she has been Conductor of the Interlude Orchestra at Metropolitan Youth Symphony since 1998. Nita has the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education Degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. In 2015 the Oberlin Conservatory of Music awarded Nita the Distinguished Music Education Alumna Award. In 2016 she received the Mary V. Dodge Award from the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Nita is Principal Clarinet in the Tilikum Chamber Orchestra and plays in the Oregon Symphonic Band.
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    Greg McKelvey, Conductor

    Jazz Band
    Bio
    Greg McKelvey has taught music in the public schools for 25 years. From 1982 through 1994 while teaching at Wilson High School, his bands won over 150 trophies and attracted students from all over Portland. His Advanced Jazz Band (A.K.A.) The “Green Machine,” won numerous awards including first place in the nation at the 1990 Musicfest U. S.A. National Championships held in Oakland, California. That same year, this band performed for then President George Bush and former President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, Greg McKelvey along with Thara Memory and Ronnye Harrison founded the Cultural Recreation Band. Within three years, that band qualified for the State High School Band contest with mostly Elementary and Middle School inner city student musicians. Greg has taught at Jackson High School, Rieke Elementary School, Sabin Elementary School, Marshall High School and Portland Community College. Currently, Greg is the Director of Bands at Battle Ground High School, in Battle Ground, Washington, teaches at the Northwest Academy and, runs the instrumental music program at Self Enhancement Inc.At Battle Ground High School, his bands have won many awards including first place in their division in the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade the last three years. The Battle Ground Advanced Jazz Band has won sweepstakes twice at the Clackamas Community College Jazz Festival, first place at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, first place at the Portland Rose Festival Jazz Band Classic, and in 2002 recorded a CD entitled ‘How Sweet It Is’ featuring nine jazz classics.Greg gives private saxophone lessons and, serves as Board President for the Renaissance Academy which, is an after school music program affiliated with the Irvington Covenant Church.Read about Jazz Band
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    Ryan Meagher, Conductor

    Jazz Ensemble
    Bio
    Ryan Meagher is a critically acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer with five albums as lead guitar released on internationally distributed record labels. He teaches at Mt. Hood Community College, Lower Columbia College, Portland Community College and various community music schools. His latest album “Tango in the City of Roses” received high praise from Downbeat and other leading jazz publications. He combines a wealth of experience from his time in the New York jazz scene with fresh energy and ideas. He is extremely knowledgeable in the history and tradition of jazz, and his unique voice is a result of his work with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and pedagogues.
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    Erica Boland, Conductor

    Overture Strings
    Bio
    Erica Boland, nêe Mehlhorn began studying violin through the Suzuki Method at the age of 3 under the tutelage of Susan Kempter in Albuquerque, NM. Erica decided to pursue a degree is music at the University of Texas at Austin where studied with Dr. Eugene Gratovich, and began teaching with the UT String Project Program. Erica graduated with a Bachelors of Music Studies with High Honors and received her K-12 teaching certification.Erica continued her musical studies at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, AZ. Erica studied violin with Dr. Louise Scott and worked as a graduate assistant to the Suzuki training program and the NAU conductor, Victor Liva. She performed with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and served as Principal Second Violin for a portion of the 2001-2002 season. Erica also directed the Flagstaff Junior Orchestra for 2 years during her studies. Erica graduated with a Masters in Music with Distinction and completed her long-term teacher training in the Suzuki Method Books 1-4.After her graduate degree, Erica moved back to Albuquerque, NM where she opened her own violin studio, taught Orchestra in the Albuquerque Public Schools, and taught sectionals with the Albuquerque Junior Symphony. Erica enjoyed performing at weddings and other functions with the Empire String Quartet.In 2014 Erica moved with her family to Portland, Oregon where she continues to teach and perform violin. Erica is a member of the American String Teachers Association, Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the Oregon Suzuki Association.
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    Michael Roberts, Director of Percussion

    MYSticks/Percussion Ensembles
    Bio
    Michael Roberts joined the Oregon Symphony during the 2012-2013 season. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Detroit Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Portland Symphony (ME), New World Symphony, and Hyogo PAC Orchestra. Michael’s summer engagements include fellowships with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where the Boston Globe hailed him as a “fearlessly accomplished performer.” A native of Fairfax County, VA, Michael began his musical studies on piano at the age of eight, and percussion at age ten. After high school, he moved to Boston, where he earned a B.M. from the New England Conservatory, and his M.M. from Boston University. Michael’s principal teachers were J. William Hudgins and Timothy Genis. In his free time, Michael enjoys publishing and promoting the piano and chamber works of his grandfather, composer Arnold Mysior. He is also a strong advocate for new music, and enjoys performing with Portland-based ensembles Third Angle and fEARnoMUSIC. (from the Oregon Symphony website)(Bio courtesy of OSO)
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    Kevin A. Lefohn, Conductor

    Hillsboro Strings
    Bio
    Violinist Kevin A. Lefohn maintains an international career as recital soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. His performances have earned considerable acclaim, with performances, workshops, and masterclasses presented throughout Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and South East Asia.He studied with Dorothy DeLay, Piotr Milewski, and Kurt Sassmannshaus at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Kathryn Lucktenberg at the University of Oregon, and with members of both the Emerson and the Tokyo String Quartets.He has held faculty teaching positions at the University of Oregon and the University of Otago where he was Professor of Violin and founding Director of the renowned Marama Strings Project from 1998-2007. He was the founder and Artistic Director of New Zealand’s Queenstown Violin Summer School and Festival of Chamber Music. As an executive arts administrator, he has served as Manager of Artistic Planning for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and as Executive Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.He performs with the Bodhi Trio and currently holds faculty teaching positions at the University of Portland and Pacific University. He maintains a Portland-based private studio, an international studio via online video lessons, and frequently travels overseas for performances, masterclasses and teaching residencies.
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    Paloma Griffin Hébert, Conductor

    Vivaldi Strings
    Bio
    The multifaceted career of violinist Paloma Griffin Hébert includes solo appearances and collaborations with leading musicians throughout North America and Europe, as well as orchestral, pedagogical, and popular music activities. Formerly the Assistant Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony, Paloma is currently a member of the modern classical ensemble fEARnoMUSIC, which she led as Artistic Director from 2011-2014. She has also served as a Guest Concertmaster for the Eugene Symphony and a tutti violinist with Norway’s Kristiansand Symfonieorkester. Paloma's solo appearances include concerts with the Oregon Symphony, the Fresno Philharmonic, and the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra. As a touring member of the band Pink Martini from 1999-2008, she performed in Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and with such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Orchestre de Paris. Paloma can be heard on Pink Martini’s 2004 album "Hang On, Little Tomato", and 2007’s "Hey Eugene", among others. She appeared with the band on "The Late Show With David Letterman" and "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." A frequent guest artist at music festivals around the US, she has also taught and coached chamber music workshops at Oregon State University, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, and beginning in 2017, the Northwest Orchestra Institute in central Washington. Paloma was a graduate fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Prior to that, she studied at the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Charles Castleman, Ian Swensen and Claudia Shuih.
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    Patrick Murphy, Conductor

    Symphonic Band
    Bio
    Patrick Murphy serves as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Portland, where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, and Pep Band, and coordinating wind chamber music activities. He is also the conductor of the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony and the Portland Community Wind Band. Dr. Murphy is a recipient of a national Graves Award in the Humanities for his research into Soviet military band music, and he was recently a guest lecturer at the Russian Academy of Music. He has presented his professional research and music education sessions in both the United States and Europe. Dr. Murphy holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, and a B.M. in Music Education from Washington State University. He has nine years of public school teaching experience at the high school and middle school levels in California, Ohio and Nebraska, has conducted numerous honor ensembles and clinics as well as dozens of musical theatre productions, and is an active adjudicator. Dr. Murphy and his wife, Susan, live in Vancouver with their three children.Read about Symphonic Band
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    Lance Inouye, Conductor

    SInfonietta
    Bio
    Lance Inouye is Director of Orchestral Activities at Lewis & Clark College and Music Director/Conductor of the Lewis & Clark Orchestra, and Artistic Director of Portland Concert Opera. Inouye previously served on the conducting/music staff of Florida Grand Opera in Miami and Sarasota Opera. He was Music Director of The Opera Intimi Project, Tel Aviv, Conducting Assistant with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Cover Conductor for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra. In the U.S., guest conducting credits include the Walla Walla Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Temple University Opera Theatre (Magic Flute), Old Dominion University Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, and in Russia, St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra “Klassika,” Karelia Philharmonic, Sochi Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic of which he served as Associate Conductor for three seasons. Inouye has been awarded conducting fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival as well as the Brevard Music Festival. Inouye has been a prizewinner at recent competitions including the International Conducting Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, the Dittrich International Conducting Competition with the Duna Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, Hungary, and the Kammerphilharmonie Graz Conducting Competition in Austria. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and received his post-graduate certificate in Russia from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory “Rimsky-Korsakov.”