Board & Staff

GTCYS’ skilled Board Members, conductors and administrative staff are dedicated to providing the best experience for young musicians.

Board of Directors


  • Maurice Holloman, Holloman Consulting Group, LLC.
  • Matthew Harris, Xcel Energy
    Vice President
  • Laura Newinski, KPMG
  • Adele Suttle, Medtronic


  • JC Beckstrand, Willis Towers Watson (retired)
  • Katie Berg, Carleton College*
  • Matt L. Crowley, Ontra
  • Michele DeCoux, Boston Scientific
  • Andrew Eklund, Ciceron*
  • Allison Elder, General Mills
  • Lisa Dixon French, RightMove Health*
  • Patrick Hyatte, Colorado Symphony*
  • Julia Jenson, Western National Insurance*
  • Melissa Meinke Krueger, MCC
  • Rich May, Jr., May Advertising and Design, Inc.*
  • Dave Michela, Horizontal*
  • Sara Kleinsasser Tan, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
  • Zina Scheuerman, Community Volunteer
  • Jeff Tuttle, Bellisio Foods
  • Ernest van Panhuys, Cargill Inc.
  • Lawrence Wang, Cargill Inc.*
  • Kjirsten Zellmer, Cetera Financial Group
  • David Zoll, Lockridge Grindal Nauen

*GTCYS alumni

Artistic Staff

Mark Russell Smith, Artistic Director & Symphony Conductor

Whether conducting contemporary masterpieces or bringing fresh insights to the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms, Mr. Smith demonstrates consummate musicianship and enthusiastic commitment to the art of music-making – qualities that have endeared him to audiences and musicians alike. Read More »

Mary Sorlie, Philharmonia East & West Conductor

Mary serves as the Harmony Artistic Director and Lead violin Teaching Artist. She has been with Harmony since it launched in 2016.  She conducts the GTCYS Philharmonia East and West orchestras. As a studio violin and viola teacher, Mary enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. Read More »

Brian Larson, Sinfonia East Conductor

Brian Larson has taught orchestra at all levels in Mounds View Public Schools since 2006, and is currently director of orchestras at Chippewa Middle School. He has served as the GTCYS Sinfonia East conductor since 2022. Read More »

Laura Hebert, Sinfonia West Conductor

Laura Hebert brings excitement and energy to any arena of teaching. From conducting large groups of students to teaching private lessons, her desire is to bring a love of music to young musicians through a positive learning environment. She strives to equip all students with the tools they need to succeed no matter their age, background, or experience. Read More »

Tamara Gonzalez, Concertino East Conductor

Tamara Gonzalez fell in love with orchestral music as a first grader in the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program. Continually seeking out orchestral experiences, she began score study and conducting lessons at age 14. Tamara made her conducting debut at age 16 directing her colleagues in the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Die Meistersinger in Sala Sanromá, in San Juan. Read More »

Dan Mollick, Concertino West Conductor

Mr. Mollick has brought an energetic, positive and student-centered teaching philosophy to students of all backgrounds, ages, and skill levels during his twenty-year career as a music educator. He has taught in a variety of school districts including Minneapolis, Bloomington, Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles), Minnetonka and currently teaches orchestra at Valley View Middle School in Edina. Read More »

Diane stands in Rice Park

Diane Hallberg, Camerata Conductor

Diane Hallberg teaches band and orchestra at Minnehaha Academy and is passionate about providing engaging and collaborative experiences for young musicians.Her work with students has included directing jazz band, pit orchestra, pep band, string orchestra, symphony orchestra, and chamber ensembles and leading multiple national and international music tours with an emphasis on service learning. Read More »

Jack Reynertson, Concert Orchestra Conductor

Jack Reynertson is a music educator who brings an abiding love for young people and the arts to every aspect of his teaching. Jack currently leads the Repertory and Chamber Orchestras at Edina High School, and teaches 5th Grade Orchestra at Highlands Elementary School. Read More »

Hisham Bravo Groover, Philharmonic Conductor

With a combined background as an educator and professional conductor, Hisham Bravo Groover brings thoughtful leadership and confidence to inspire students’ continued artistry in Philharmonic. Hisham also holds positions as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, and as Music Director and Conductor of the Buffalo Community Orchestra. Read More »

Jason Tanksley, Brass Specialist

Tubist Jason Tanksley is a performer and educator based in Fridley, Minnesota, and is currently the Instructor of Tuba at St. Olaf College. In addition to his work in higher education, Tanksley leads an active career as a performer. He has performed with orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Jacksonville Symphony. Read More »

Adam Rappel, Percussion Specialist & Operations Manager


Dr. Adam Rappel is the Operations Manager for GTCYS, and in addition to that, he enjoys a versatile free-lance career as a percussionist. As Operations Manager, Adam oversees the logistics of rehearsals, concerts, and the general operations of GTCYS. Read More »


Administrative Staff

Megen Balda, Executive Director


As GTCYS’ Executive Director, Megen is responsible for the administrative leadership of the organization. Megen works closely with the artistic staff and Board of Directors to ensure that GTCYS’ programs remain vibrant for students, successful, and sustainable. Read More »

Miranda Bryan, Program Director


Miranda is responsible for the overall coordination of GTCYS’ orchestral activities, including rehearsals, concerts, auditions, retreats, and special events. She also manages student leadership and mentoring activities. Read More »

Mackenzie stands in Rice Park

Mackenzie Catton, Development Director


As Development Director, Mackenzie is responsible for connecting donors and supporters with GTCYS’ mission and work. Read More »

Katie Heilman, Program Associate


Katie assists the Program Director through student registration, scheduling auditions, tracking enrollment details, and other administrative duties. She is a composer and oboist who graduated from St. Olaf College with a degree in Music Theory and Composition. Read More »

Andrea stands in Rice Park

Andrea Paulet, Communications Manager


Andrea Paulet is the Communications Manager for GTCYS, sharing exciting news and updates while also spreading the word about GTCYS to new audiences. Read more »

Adam Rappel, Operations Manager & Percussion Specialist


Dr. Adam Rappel is the Operations Manager for GTCYS, and in addition to that, he enjoys a versatile free-lance career as a percussionist. As Operations Manager, Adam oversees the logistics of rehearsals, concerts, and the general operations of GTCYS. Read More »

Ben stands in Rice Park

Ben Van Wienen, Music Librarian & Artistic Coordinator


Ben was promoted to Music Librarian & Artistic Coordinator in 2023 after previously serving as a Rehearsal Assistant for Symphony and Sinfonia West. Read More »

Jacob stands in Rice Park

Jacob West, Development & Operations Associate


Jacob graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.M. in trumpet performance, followed by a master’s degree in trumpet performance and a graduate certificate in arts administration from the University of Colorado Boulder. Read More »

Harmony Staff

Mary Sorlie, Harmony Artistic Director & Lead Violin Instructor


Mary serves as the Harmony Artistic Director and Lead violin Teaching Artist.  She has been with Harmony since it launched in 2016. She conducts the GTCYS Philharmonia East and West orchestras. As a studio violin and viola teacher, Mary enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. Read More »

Naomi smiles at the camera with a green background and a violin in her hand.Naomi Schroeter, Harmony Manager & Lead Violin Instructor


As Harmony Manager and Lead Violin Teaching Artist, Naomi is responsible for all program logistics, student details and family communications in addition to teaching three days a week. Before joining GTCYS in 2018, Naomi was a student at the University of Puget Sound where she studied Music, Latin American Studies, and International Political Economy. Read More »

Olivia smiles with a cello beneath her chin

Olivia Quintanilla, Lead Cello Instructor

Olivia Quintanilla is a Twin Cities-based cellist, composer and teacher. Olivia’s musical activity as a modern cellist allows her to explore her own musicianship and virtuosity by going outside the box of the traditional concepts of acoustic cello playing. Read More »

Emily Doyle, Violin Instructor

Emily has worked with violin and viola students ranging in age from young children to retired seniors in California, London, and the Twin Cities. She enjoys working with students of all ages and levels but especially loves opening doors to music for Harmony’s young beginners.  Read More »

Jesús Andres Guzman, Violin Instructor

Born in Vargas, Venezuela, Jesus began to study violin at the age of 7 years old. He was trained at the Latin American Violin Academy in Caracas, Venezuela with the Master Francisco Del Castillo. Jesus holds a degree in violin performance from the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music, as well as an associate degree in Soloist Violin performance. Read More »

Laurie McFaul, Violin Instructor

Laurie McFaul maintains a studio of private violin students of all ages in the St. Paul area.  In addition to this, Laurie teaches early childhood music classes, is a free-lance violinist, and a mother of 3 children. She is passionate about awakening people to the power of musical experiences through music education at all ages. Read More »

Joe smiles at the camera with a black background.

Joe Kaiser, Cello Instructor

Joe Kaiser is an active cello teacher who loves teaching students of all ages and abilities. In addition to a full studio of individual students at MacPhail Center for Music, Joe also teaches group classes, coaches chamber ensembles and directs two cello choirs. Read More »


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