Chuck West, Youth Symphony Conductor
Charles West is an orchestral, chamber and solo clarinetist and a conductor, performing throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. His recorded repertoire ranges from standard sonatas to avant-garde, on labels which include Klavier, Wilson Audiophile, Centaur, CRI, Crystal and he is heard on a Grammy Award-winning 1993 Telarc CD. Dr. West holds the Doctorate and three other university degrees, has been a Fulbright Scholar, and he has been President of the International Clarinet Association. His career has included nearly thirty years as Principal Clarinetist in six different professional orchestras and opera companies on two continents, and he has held teaching positions in three North American universities, with guest professorships in South America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, The People’s Republic of China and Australia. He has been Conductor of Orchestras and opera conductor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has served as conductor or adjudicator throughout the U.S. During his seven-year tenure as Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, the orchestra became recognized regionally for its standard of excellence. Dr. West is in his final year as Professor of Music at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he remains an Artist-Clinician for the Buffet Crampon Corporation and for the Hal Leonard company. In 2011, the VCU School of the Arts awarded him its highest faculty honor, the Award of Excellence. Meredith Music Publications has published three of his books, in 2008, 2015 and 2016, all of which deal in some way with woodwind instruments.
Debra Lyle, Youth Symphony Strings Coach
Debra Lyle is the Director of Instrumental Music at St. Anne’s-Belfield School where she conducts the Upper School orchestras. She is also the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of String Education. Lyle also served as chair of the Fine Arts Department as well as Orchestra Director at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota. Lyle was the principal conductor for the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra and the Cannon Valley Youth Orchestras, Newsletter Editor for the American String Teachers Minnesota Chapter’s quarterly magazine, and co-founder of the Minnesota Youth Orchestra Festivals. While living in Minnesota and since her move to Charlottesville, VA, Lyle has been a clinician and presented student ensembles in performance for many colleges and string education conferences and workshops, most notably: National American String Teachers Association’s yearly conferences since 2012, ASTA state conferences, NAfME bi-annual and state conferences, the Institute for Innovation in String Education, the International String Workshop, the International Association of Jazz Educators conference, Texas Orchestra Directors conference, and more. In addition, she’s presented at colleges and universities nationwide.
Don Brubaker, Rita M. Evans Orchestra Conductor
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Brubaker began musical studies on the violin at the age of six and on the piano and trumpet at the age of twelve. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois. In addition to his music education studies, Mr. Brubaker holds a Master of Divinity degree from Regent University. While teaching elementary, middle, and high school level orchestra in the public schools of Northern Virginia, Mr. Brubaker conducted the Northern Virginia Junior Youth Symphony for eight seasons. In addition, he has taught band at the elementary level, directed a private music teaching studio, and directed a successful exploratory violin program at both Clark and Jackson-Via Elementary Schools. Mr. Brubaker has been the Director of Orchestras at Buford Middle School since 1999 and has served as a guest conductor and adjudicator throughout Virginia. He is a published composer of school orchestra music and was the 2006 recipient of the “Arts Award for Education” from the Piedmont Council of the Arts. In his eighteenth season as Evans Orchestra conductor, Don Brubaker resides in Albemarle County with his wife Gayle who teaches piano and voice.
Bob Dunnenberger, Rita M. Evans Orchestra Wind Coach
Mr. Dunnenberger was raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania and began studying piano at age seven and percussion at age ten. He received his undergraduate degree in music education from the Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree in music education from Florida International University in Miami, where he taught music in the public schools. He has been teaching instrumental music at Walker Upper Elementary School since moving to Charlottesville in 1988. He directs two award winning ensembles: the Walker Sixth Grade Concert Band and the Walker Jazz Band, the latter of which he founded in 2001. Mr. Dunnenberger also maintains a studio of private piano students. He was the recipient of the Piedmont Council of the Arts Outstanding Educator Award in 2002.
Angela Kelly, Flute Ensemble and Choir Director
Angela Kelly is a graduate of Indiana University where she studied with Peter Lloyd and James Pellerite. She won second prize in the Louise D. McMahan International Instrumental Competition and has been invited to perform in several National Flute Association Conventions including a Samuel Baron Bach Area Masterclass at the NFA Convention in New York City. Ms. Kelly served on faculty at UVA and was interim principal flute for the CUSO Orchestra at UVA for two years. Other orchestral credits include performances with the Hartford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony and Greenwich Choral Society, and she has soloed with the Lawton (OK) Philharmonic, Bach Aria Festival Orchestra, and Musica Antiqua. She created and directed four acclaimed youth flute choirs in Connecticut before coming to Charlottesville. She directed the YOCA Senior Flute Choir at the National Flute Convention in Washington, DC in 2002 and San Diego,in 2006. She now directs the YOCVA Flute Ensemble. Ms. Kelly has her first CD recording, "Conversations" with Gary Schocker, available on the Azica label.
Alicia Tobin, Junior Strings Conductor
Alicia Tobin has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Northern Illinois University. She studied cello with Linc Smelser of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with the late Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet. Ms. Tobin taught elementary and middle school orchestra in the Chicago area public schools for two years before moving to Charlottesville in 2005.She is currently the music teacher at Johnson Elementary and assistant director of the Charlottesville High School Orchestra, and she has recently been hired as the orchestra director for Walker Upper Elementary. Ms. Tobin is a member of the American String Teachers Association and the National Association for Music Education.
James Tobin, Clarinet Ensemble Director
A Charlottesville native, James Tobin has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Quad Cities Symphony, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera on the James, The Oratorio Society of Virginia, the Virginia Consort, and the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra. He has performed frequently with the Albemarle Ensemble and Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia. James has been featured as soloist many times in the Concerts at Cove summer chamber series. Mr. Tobin is the founding director of the Youth Orchestra of Charlottesville-Albemarle Clarinet Ensemble, and the Charlottesville Clarinet Workshop. He appears as clinician throughout Central Virginia and was the featured clarinetist at UVA-Wise Clarinet Day. James frequently collaborates with the Charlottesville Symphony Preludes program: performing and teaching in schools throughout central Virginia. Mr. Tobin performed with the Evans and Youth Orchestras from 1990-1994.