Beyond the Baton Conducting Workshop

Participants - Baton Basics 2016

AAron Beaver


Aaron Beaver is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln. A native Texan, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from West Texas A&M University. Aaron is a strong new music advocate, always looking for opportunities to program and shine light on living composers. While being an assistant conductor with the University of Nebraska Symphony, Aaron is also a co-director of the University of Nebraska Campus Orchestra, the music director of the Lincoln Homeschool Orchestra, and the resident conductor with the Equinox New Music Collective; a group of performers, composers, and educators focused on welcoming new audiences into the world of contemporary music. 

Renee gilliand

Renee Gilliland recently served as Director of Orchestras at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. Her orchestras received superior ratings in the UIL Symphonic and String divisions and at various music festivals. She guest conducts and clinics for All-Region and local orchestras, and judges at the region and state levels. Renee has participated in conducting workshops in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Chicago, and New York. She graduated as a Dean's Scholar with a M.M. in performance and minor in conducting from Indiana University. She received her B.M. in Music Education and Performance Certificate with High Honors from The University of Texas at Austin. Renee has performed with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra in Washington, D.C., the Richmond and Columbus Indiana Orchestras and Las Cruces New Mexico, Brazos Valley, and El Paso Texas Symphony Orchestras. She was selected to perform with the first International YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and has performed with the El Paso Symphony as a Young Artist Competition Winner.

Angela Holt


Dr. Angela Holt began her music studies in East Texas as a pianist.  She was awarded her BME degree from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Illinois and her MM and DMA degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio.  Dr. Holt served as the Associate Director of Bands in the Texas public school system and was the founder of the jazz ensemble “The Dissonance.”  She later was appointed the Director of Bands at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and the Music Director of the University of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  Dr. Holt is currently on faculty at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where she is the Associate Director of Bands.  Her position involves teaching music-related courses and serving as the Conductor and Music Director of the CCM Wind Ensemble and Commencement Bands. Her most recent research is in that of chamber wind literature focusing on music during the twentieth century.  She has an interest in reviving music of the past and commissioning quality music for the future.  Dr. Holt was also recognized as “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” and has continued to be an advocate for music education in our schools.

Nadezda Potemkina

Lindsey Jones is a native of Newtown, Connecticut and an alumna of the Norwalk Youth Symphony. She has an undergraduate degree in violin performance from Western Connecticut State University and has completed two years of a Master’s program in violin performance at the University of South Florida, adding a concentration in orchestral conducting before expected graduation in Spring 2017. She studies conducting with Dr. William Wiedrich at USF and is the director of the Honors College Orchestra. She has participated in master classes with the Florida Orchestra’s Michael Francis. Lindsey also serves as the Vice-President of the New Music Consortium at USF.

Jongbin Kim


JongBin Kim began to play cello at age five and gave his first public performance at six. Winning many national competitions, Mr. Kim quickly became renowned as a powerful soloist. Being accepted as a Full Scholarship fellow at Tanglewood Music Festival in 2009, he performed Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger,' under the baton of James Levine as a principal cellist and performed Mozart’s Sextet with Joseph Silverstein. Mr. Kim received scholarships for his Masters Degree and Graduate Performance Diploma at Peabody. For the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Kim was appointed to the Peabody Honors Ensemble. Mr. Kim is continuing his studies as a DMA at the Catholic University as a full scholarship recipient. Mr. Kim used to study conducting with Murry Sidlin at the Catholic University. Mr. Kim had a number of experience for conducting workshop such as Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, International Conducting Institute, and International Institute for conductors.

Ingrid Lestrud


Dr. Ingrid Lestrud enjoys an active career as a conductor and educator. Equally at home with orchestras and choirs, she is currently the Interim Director of Choirs for the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Ma, and she just finished her first season as assistant conductor with Symphony Nova, an orchestra made up of recent music school graduates. Dr. Lestrud has recently served as the Director of Orchestras at Hope College in Holland, MI and as the Director of Choirs and Voice Department Chair at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. She spent several years in Chicago working with underserved children and youth, and now in Boston, she has become very involved in the El Sistema community, working under the philosophy that social change is possible through music. Prior to her conducting studies, Dr. Lestrud earned a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Lawrence University. She holds her formal conducting degrees from Southern Methodist University where she studied with Paul Phillips, and Northwestern University where she studied with Victor Yampolsky.

Chad Levitt

M. Chad Levitt is a conductor and organist based in New York City. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he studied under Maestro David Gilbert, formerly of the New York Philharmonic. Chad holds over twenty years of leadership experience in the liturgical music field, most recently serving as the Interim Director of Music at the landmark St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights. In fall of 2015, he joined the faculty of Saint Ann’s School as co-director, conductor, and coach for their Bach Ensemble.

Lorenzo Marasso

Lorenzo Marasso was born in Torino, Italy, in 1973.  In 1994, he enrolled in the Postgraduate program at the Royal Academy of Music of London in the class of Prof. Frank Wibaut. At the RAM he had a chance to also study conducting with Prof. Colin Metters and Prof. Denise Ham as well come into contact with Flute Prof. William Bennett, Violin Prof. Lydia Mordkovitch.  Lorenzo's dedication to performing modern and contemporary works led him to participate to the Valentino Bucchi Piano Competition in Rome in 1997 where he was a prize winner. Further commitments included performing, with Violinist Ken Aiso, the UK premiere of Keith Jarrett's Violin and Piano Sonata at the Hatherleigh Festival. In 1994 he moved to Los Angeles, and founded a music group named "String Orchestra Project", devoted to performing the chamber repertoire for strings and for soloists and strings. Lorenzo serves as the group's main conductor and music director. Since 2012 the group has performed four concerts per year presenting a wide range of repertoire that includes works by Bach, Bloch, Britten, Elgar, Philip Glass, Haydn, Hindemith, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Arvo Part, Steve Reich, Purcell, Respighi and Schubert. In October 2015 SOP was chosen to accompany the winners of the 2015 Derek Jones Piano Competition in a gala concert at Colburn School in Los Angeles. Future projects include the recording of Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias for the UK Label ICMS Records.

Christy Muncey


Christy Muncey has enjoyed a career conducting a variety of ensembles, comfortable in front of a wind band or an orchestra. Currently serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Lt Muncey is the Flight Commander for the US Air Force Band of the West based at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio Texas. As Flight Commander, Lt Muncey assists in the organization, training, and equipping of a 60-member, nine-ensemble musical team to communicate with, honor, and inspire the American people over a seven state area of responsibility. Lt Muncey’s previous appointments include Director of Bands at The Johns Hopkins University, the director of the Colorado State University Concert Orchestra, and Instrumental Music Director at Wheat Ridge High School. In May 2016 Lt Muncey was awarded her Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she studied with Harlan Parker. Lt Muncey has a Masters of Music in Conducting and Bachelors of Music in Music Education from Colorado State University and received her commission from the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery Alabama. Lt Muncey’s other conducting teachers include Wes Kenney and Steven Moore.

John Murton


John Murton a graduate of Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. John began conducting whilst an undergraduate, leading six operatic productions and many orchestral concerts. In November 2010 John guest conducted the Telford Orchestra and was subsequently invited to become the orchestra’s conductor, going on to lead the orchestra in events marking its 150th anniversary year. He has lead productions of Viktor Ullmann’s 1943 opera The Emperor of Atlantis at The Cello Factory and Arcola Theatre in London to critical acclaim, and was musical director for Llywelyn Ap Myrddin’s opera The Crocodile as part of the Tête à Tête opera festival at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Alongside orchestral performances at CCM, John served as Assistant Conductor on the 2016 production of The Cunning Little Vixen. An accomplished singer, John enjoyed a busy freelance career as a singer in London, and more recently sang roles in CCM’s concert performance of Strauss’ Salome. John has studied with Mark Gibson, Paul Brough, and Charles Peebles, and currently resides in the Washington D.C. area.

Benjamin Nillles

Benjamin Nilles raised in North Dakota and educated in music schools of the Great Lakes and Great Plains, at age 28 he was appointed as conductor of the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, becoming one of the youngest conductors and artistic directors to lead a major university ensemble. He had previously held Assistant Conductor and Associate Conductor posts with the same orchestra. During his tenure with the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra reached new heights of ability and became an important fixture in the community and region. The orchestra, routinely asked to be the centerpiece of important historical galas and events, garnered high praise with each performance under Nilles. He has also been a mainstay in the recording studio setting. He has led studio orchestras for commercial recordings, including the title track for singer Bryan White\'s album Dustbowl Dreams, and full orchestras for soundtracks and premieres. He has also led orchestras for live-concert releases on CD and DVD.  Nilles earned his bachelor’s in music from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and his graduate degree from Oklahoma City University. He has studied conducting with Bruce Houglum, Mark Parker and Mark Belcik, and has worked with conductors Sergiu Comissiona and Bernard Rubenstein.

David Sartor


David P. Sartor is Music Director of the Parthenon Chamber Orchestra, Guest Conductor of the Trevecca Symphony Orchestra and Adjunct Professor of Composition at Trevecca Nazarene University. A popular guest composer, conductor and lecturer, Sartor’s engagements include the Washington National Cathedral, the Knoxville and Chattanooga Symphony Orchestras, Illinois State University, Middle Tennessee State University, the Nexus Chamber Orchestra, and a conducting “mini-residency” at California State University.  Sartor’s compositions have received the prestigious Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association, the National Fine Arts Award, and more than three dozen awards from New Music for Young Ensembles, Meet The Composer, Delta Omicron, and ASCAP, among others.  In 2009, he was inducted as a National Patron of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity in recognition of his accomplishments as a conductor and composer.  A seven-time winner in the American Prizes, he is one of only five composers nationwide named as an "Honored Artist of the American Prize”, in recognition of "sustained excellence" in the national competitions.  

Toru Tagawa

Toru Tagawa has been the Music Director and Conductor of the the Tucson Repertory Orchestra since 2011. His conducting teachers include Thomas Cockrell, Charles Bontrager, Jung-Ho Pak, Maurice Peress and Sandra Dackow.Toru has conducted the Interlochen Repertory Orchestra, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and Wieck Chamber Orchestra among others. He has participated in conducting workshops at the Juilliard School of Music, and the Queens College, Symposiums in Boston and Chicago and is a member of the Conductors Guild. He was one of the finalists in the American Prize 2014 as a conductor in community orchestra division. Toru is the new Artistic Director of the Sierra Vista Symphony from 2016-2017 season.



Claudio Gonzales began his music education in his native Venezuela. In 1975, he co-founded with a group of Venezuela young musicians the National Youth Symphony Orchestra.  In 1992 sponsored by a Fulbright Scholarship he came to the United States to study at Michigan State University where he was awarded a master degree in violin performance in 1994 and a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting in 2003 under Leon Gregorian.  From 1985 to 2003, he was part of the Rios Reyna String Quartet. In 2004, he accepted the position as music faculty and director of orchestral studies at Andrews University, Michigan where he received the CAS Award for excellence at Andrews University for his devoted work for the orchestra program at Andrews. In 2009 he was recipient of the “University Award of Excellence” by the Adventist University of the Philippines for his leadership and direction of the International Adventist Youth Music Festival celebrated during the Andrews University Orchestra Tour in May 2009. In addition to his conducting responsibilities at Andrews, he teaches violin and viola in the Department of Music.


    Photography by Rick Peckham
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