Staff and Board

MYS Staff

Raúl Gómez-Rojas, Music Director

rgomez@playmys.org

Conductor, violinist, and violist Dr. Raúl Gómez-Rojas begins his seventh season this fall as Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. Lauded as a “visionary conductor” (Oregon ArtsWatch), Dr. Gómez-Rojas inspires audiences and artists of all ages and backgrounds to use music as a vehicle to connect, pursue excellence, and spread joy. Guided by this idea, he offers his time not only as an orchestral conductor, but as a performing violinist/violist, clinician, public speaker, and the host for All Classical Portland’s “On Deck with Young Musicians.” Recent conducting highlights include performances with the Oregon Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and collaborating with guest artists as diverse as Regina Carter, Boyz 2 Men, Lyle Lovett, The Tenors, Kermit Ruffins, the 610 Stompers, and Rick Springfield.
A Costa Rica native, Dr. Gómez-Rojas was selected as one of six conductors to be featured in the League of American Orchestra’s 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview after competing for the honor with nearly 150 applicants from around the world. He regularly conducts with orchestras and workshops around the globe, garnering a conducting fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival along the way. Previous conducting posts include the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, Premier Orchestral Institute, Louisiana Sinfonietta and Kids’ Orchestra, and more. Fully scholarshipped throughout his graduate studies, Dr. Gómez-Rojas received masters and doctoral degrees from Louisiana State University where he studied with Carlos Riazuelo (conducting), Kevork Mardirossian, and Espen Lilleslåtten (violin/viola).
Since coming on board with MYS, Dr. Gómez-Rojas has augmented programming to include a partnership with The Authentic Voice, a collaboration with FearNoMusic’s Young Composers Project, through which MYS commissions, performs, and records full orchestra works by promising young composers. His vision has brought about masterclasses with a veritable Who’s Who of current symphonic fame and YouTube conversations called “Virtual Hangouts” with artists from Portland and across the globe like Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, MacArthur Genius Award recipient Regina Carter, and leading artists such as Monica Huggett, Johannes Moser, Gabriela Lena Frank, Colin Currie and more. Additionally, Dr. Gómez-Rojas served as the co-host of “SoundPost,” a podcast by the Orchestra of the Americas, along with Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto, which brought airtime with luminaries Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Gil Shaham.
Forever committed to music education, access, and outreach, Dr. Gómez-Rojas has led the growth of MYS’s free Beginning Strings program as well as a conservatory-like stepped music theory curriculum available to students in all 13 MYS ensembles. This season Dr. Gómez-Rojas conducts MYS’ signature large ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and is Co-Director of MYSfits, MYS’ advanced string ensemble.


Diana Scoggins, Executive Director

dscoggins@playmys.org

Diana has served as the Executive Director for MYS since 2010.  Most recently prior to joining MYS, Diana was a business analyst with the Bonneville Power Administration, and has been involved with MYS as a parent for nine years (thus far!).  Having played the violin with the California Youth Symphony growing up, she is passionate about music and the impact it can have in the lives of young people and the people they touch.  When not hanging out at rehearsal or in concert halls, Diana loves to run, cook, read, drink coffee, and travel.


Tyler Bragg, Artistic Operations Manager

production@playmys.org

Tyler Bragg started his musical journey at the age of 8 by learning to play the guitar. After gravitating toward drums and percussion, he moved from California to Portland in 2006 and earned his Bachelor’s of Music degree in percussion from Portland State University, studying under Dr. Joel Bluestone. He then earned his Master’s of Music degree in percussion as a Graduate Teaching Assistant from Central Michigan University, studying under Dr. Andrew Spencer. Upon graduating from CMU, Tyler moved back to the PNW and began teaching award winning concert and marching percussion ensembles at Lincoln High School (Portland, OR), Skyview High School (Vancouver, WA), Beaverton High School (Beaverton, OR), and Evergreen High School (Vancouver, WA). In 2017, Tyler joined the music publishing team at Tapspace Publications in Portland, OR working under Jim Casella and Murray Gusseck. Outside of music, Tyler can be found reading about Anglo Saxon poetry, perfecting his swing on the golf course, or in his kitchen trying to refine his recipe for bucatini carbonara.


Sarah McLain, Program & Development Coordinator

programs@playmys.org

Sarah McLain received a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught and directed preschool programs in California for many years before moving to Oregon in 2002. Sarah volunteered in various roles including board positions at her children’s cooperative preschool and elementary school. Sarah spent 8 years as an MYS parent, an MYS Group Manager, Librarian, and Volunteer Coordinator for the annual CRESCENDO Gala. Sarah played the piano growing up and appreciates the value of a high-quality musical education. Sarah enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, cooking and baking. 

If you have questions about registration, tuition, concert tickets or any other general questions about our program, please contact Sarah.


Kyra Hanson, Communications & Community Engagement Manager

khanson@playmys.org

Kyra Hanson is a huge fan of all things storytelling. With a teacher for a mom and a librarian for a dad, she always had a book in her hands throughout childhood. When faced with declaring a major as a freshman at the University of Oregon, she gravitated towards one that was driven by storytelling – public relations.

Right out of college, she dove into the world of technology PR, spearheading media relations and social media programs for semiconductor, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity companies. Yet at the end of the day, she knew tech wasn’t her true passion, and therefore looked for a way to utilize her storytelling skills in an industry she cares deeply about – music. She now works behind the scenes at MYS, assisting with press releases, email campaigns, social media posts, you name it.

When she’s not at work, you will likely find her reading books, buying books, frequenting concerts, baking, crocheting, and going on walks with her dog Juni.


Board of Directors

Brian Johnson – President
Broker, Keller Williams Realty
Former Media Strategist, The Oregonian

Thomas Gewecke – Vice President
Former Chief Digital Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Holly H. McHugh – Secretary
Deputy General Counsel, VP, First Tech Federal Credit Union

Peter Northrup – Treasurer
President, Northrup Corporation

Jim Brunberg
Founder Independent Venue Coalition, Venue Maker, Composer, Producer

Susan Franklin
Former Executive Director, Portland Summer Ensembles

Jessica Gowans
Owner & Head of School, Busy Hands Montessori

Mark Hartrim-Lowe
Strategic Finance, Foundry Benchmarking, Intel Corporation

Akos Kondor
Project Manager, J.E. Dunn Construction

Hsin-Cheng Kuo
Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual

David R. Ludwig
Partner, Farleigh Wada Witt

Tomoko Oikawa-Metzenberg
Financial Analyst, NuScale Power

Douglas A. Stearns
2nd VP ASD Strategic Partner Management, Standard Insurance Company

Aimee Virnig
Principal Broker, Windermere Real Estate