Executive Director, Division I Conductor: Mrs. Hagen began her work with Metropolitan Youth Symphony in 2006 and has over 25 years of teaching experience. With degrees from Kansas State University (BM) and West Texas A&M University (MM), she has held teaching and leadership positions with the AZ Bass Players, NAU Summer Music Camp, ABODA, and is currently Past President of the Arizona Music Educators Association.
Division II Conductor: Mr. Bitter is in his 40th year of teaching in the Gilbert Public Schools where he is department chair and director of orchestras at Highland High School. He has been active in ABODA, AMEA, ASTA, and was a staff member with the National High School Honors Orchestra. Arizona Music Educators Association named Mr. Bitter the Arizona Music Educator of the Year, and in 2015, he received the Elizabeth A. H. Green Educator Award from American String Teachers Assoc.
Division III Conductor: Mrs. Bennett has been teaching in Gilbert since 1999 and is currently the director of orchestras at Highland Junior HS and assistant director at Highland HS. With degrees from Northern Arizona University (BM) and Arizona State University (MM), Mrs. Bennett has consistently received superior ratings at ABODA festivals as well as conducting performing ensembles at the Arizona Music Educators Association Convention and was the 2009 recipient of the O.M. Hartsell Award.
Homeschool Strings & Debut Mrs. Roesch has 16 years of Elementary Orchestra teaching and over 25 years of private violin teaching experience. With undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Violin Performance as well as long-term Suzuki violin training from Northern Arizona University, she has held teaching and leadership positions with Arizona Suzuki Association and with Valley of the Sun Suzuki Association. She is also Music Director of the Mesa Orchestra Chapter of New Horizons.
Division IV Conductor: Cicely Brazier began teaching in the public school system in 2007. After graduating from ASU, Summa Cum Laude, she taught Elem Strings in the Gilbert Schools. Mrs. Brazier continued her studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the American College of Ed in 2012 with a Masters in Educational Leadership and accepted a position with Mesa Schools, currently she is director of orchestras at Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies.
Winds Coach, Division I; Wind Ensemble Conductor: Brian Murphy is the Director of Orchestras and Assistant Director of Bands at Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ. In his seventeen years at MCC, the orchestra program has grown both in size and musical maturity. In addition to his years at MCC, Mr. Murphy has 30+ years teaching experience in public schools, grades 5-12. He is an active clinician in the southwest and owner of Conceptual Band and Orchestra Clinics, LLC.
Ensemble Coach Bryson Merkley was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. He has been performing music from a very young age, and has taught violin, viola, and piano privately over the past several years. He recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Music Learning and Teaching. Mr. Merkley firmly believes in the power music has to bring joy and connection to others, and he appreciates the opportunities he has to share this with those he teaches.
Mr. Pierce began his classical guitar studies with Chuck Hulihan at Glendale Community College before transferring to ASU where he received his BM and MM degrees while studying with guitar pedagogue Frank Koonce. During his studies he had the privilege of performing in many masterclasses given by some of the greatest guitarists in the world: Pepe Romero, David Russell, and Roland Dyens, among others. Currently, Mr. Pierce teaches at AZ School for the Arts.
Honors Quartets Coach Naomi Goldstick has been involved with MYS since 2011 as a board member for five years and String Quartet Coach for four seasons. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory where she majored in Bassoon Performance. Mrs. Goldstick attended the Sarasota Music Festival for two consecutive summers where her interest in string literature blossomed under the guidance of violinist James Buswell.
Musical Director Laureate: Mr. Roederer was the principal force in the founding of MYS in 1982. He retired from Mesa Public Schools in 2003 after holding the District String Coordinator position for 29 years. Mr. Roederer has conducted numerous ensembles and provided clinics throughout the western part of the US. He has received awards from the city of Mesa, Arizona ASTA chapter, and was the national ASTA Educator of the Year in 1996.
Board of Directors
President - Chris Wodarcyk
Vice President - Chris Rice
Secretary - Steven Wibe
Treasurer - James Myers