Board & Staff

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

Board of Directors


  • David Zoll, Lockridge Grindal Nauen
  • Maurice Holloman, Holloman Consulting Group, LLC.
    Vice President
  • Laura Newinski, KPMG
  • Matthew Harris, Xcel Energy


  • Heidi Becken, Community Volunteer
  • JC Beckstrand, Retired Willis Towers Watson
  • Michele Belisle, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Matt L. Crowley, Ontra
  • Michele DeCoux, Boston Scientific
  • Colin Dougherty, JCPenney
  • Andrew Eklund, Ciceron*
  • Allison Elder, General Mills
  • Lisa Dixon French, Arts Executive*
  • Camille Chang Gilmore, Boston Scientific
  • Patrick Hyatte, Violinist*
  • Julia Jenson, Western National Insurance*
  • Abha Karnick, Avenues for Youth*
  • Melissa Meinke Krueger, Ecolab
  • Rich May, Jr., May Advertising and Design, Inc*
  • Dave Michela, Horizontal*
  • Adele Suttle, Medtronic
  • Sara Kleinsasser Tan, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
  • Jeff Tuttle, Bellisio Foods
  • Ernest van Panhuys, Cargill Inc.
  • Kjirsten Zellmer, Securian Financial

*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

As a studio teacher, Ms. Sorlie enjoys teaching violin to students of all ages and abilities. A GTCYS alumna, Ms. Sorlie was awarded the 2011 MNSOTA Master Teacher: Studio Award. She received a Bachelor and Master of Music in violin performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional study at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at the Oberlin and Brussels Conservatories. 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. Mr. Larson’s ensembles are award-winning and have consistently attracted new musicians because of his ability to help students achieve their best and his strong rapport with students. 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 the orchestra experience at an early age. As an advanced violin student, she began playing in orchestras in first grade at the D.C Youth Orchestra Program, and has enjoyed the camaraderie and teamwork of ensemble playing ever since. 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 »

Kent Musser, Camerata Conductor

Mr. Musser has taught orchestra at Stillwater Area Public Schools since 2001, currently directing four of the eight orchestras at Stillwater High School. He has been an active leader with the district’s renowned music program. His orchestras continue to win numerous awards for their quality and musicianship. 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 teaches the Repertory Orchestras at Edina High School, and is also a middle school band, orchestra, and general music teacher at Eagle Ridge Academy. 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 »


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 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 »

Adam Rappel, 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 »

Paul Schimming, Orchestra Librarian


Paul assumed the role of the GTCYS librarian in the fall of 2017, bringing a wealth of experience and enthusiasm from a freelance career as a performer, educator, and pedagogue. Read More »

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 »


Harmony Staff

Mary Sorlie, Harmony Artistic Director & Lead Violin Instructor


As a studio teacher, Ms. Sorlie enjoys teaching violin to students of all ages and abilities. A GTCYS alumna, Ms. Sorlie was awarded the 2011 MNSOTA Master Teacher: Studio Award. She received a Bachelor and Master of Music in violin performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional study at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at the Oberlin and Brussels Conservatories. Read More »

Naomi Schroeter, Harmony Manager & Lead Violin Instructor


Naomi manages GTCYS’ Harmony program, a violin and cello program for 2nd-5th graders at Riverview in the West Side of St. Paul. As Manager, Naomi is responsible for all program logistics, student details, family communications, and community partnerships. Read More »

Olivia Quintanilla, Lead Cello Instructor

Olivia Quintanilla is a Twin Cities based cellist, composer and teacher. Quintanilla’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 »

Rosa Thompson-Vieira, Cello Instructor

Rosa Thompson-Vieira, a native of Minneapolis, enjoys a dynamic and ever evolving career as a professional cellist and teacher in the Twin Cities. She serves as the Assistant Principal cellist – often filling in as principal cellist – of the Rochester Symphony and is on call as a substitute cellist for the Minnesota Opera and South Dakota Symphony. Read More »


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