Who We Are

Our Leadership Team

Fouad Fakhouri, Music Director, Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra

Fouad Fakhouri

Fouad Fakhouri

With over two decades of international credits as a conductor and composer, Fouad Fakhouri is committed to actively engaging with audiences through powerful artistic experiences. Known for his musical accuracy and emotional intensity, his performances have been celebrated for their broad, dynamic and powerful interpretations, which go beyond the score to capture both the essence and spirit of the music.

In June 2016, Fakhouri was named Music Director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra (Michigan). From 2004 – 2016 Fakhouri served as Music Director and Conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (North Carolina). Previous appointments include Principal Guest Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (North Carolina) as well as Music Director and Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra where he led the orchestra on its first international tour to Austria and Germany. He continues to be in high demand as a guest conductor. Among his many recent appearances are the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra (Lebanon), Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York), Cairo Symphony Orchestra (Egypt) and the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra (Sophia, Bulgaria).

In addition to conducting, Fakhouri is an active composer of a multitude of symphonic, chamber, choral and solo music. His works have been premiered and performed by the English Chamber Orchestra (UK), the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, the Mediterranean Orchestra (Italy) and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra to name a few.

Fakhouri hails from a musical family whose roots go back four generations. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting, as well as a Master of Music in Composition/Theory from the Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from West Texas A & M University.

In December 2014 in recognition of “his impressive career achievements, phenomenal leadership of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (FSO), and dedication to music and the community” Methodist University (NC) bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In March 2016 he was inducted into the Fayetteville (NC) Music Hall of Fame and in April 2016, upon the completion of a highly successful 11-season tenure with the FSO, individual symphony donors honored him with establishing “The Fouad K. Fakhouri Endowment for Artistic Excellence” – a $1.1 million fund that will “continue his legacy of excellence forever”.

Fakhouri resides in New York City with his wife Diane Lavelle, an advertising executive, and their daughter Isabella.

Violin I

Kristin Van Cleve

Kristin Van Cleve

Violin I
Concert Master

Kristin Van Cleve is the Director of the Music Department at the University of Dallas where she also directs the UD Chamber Ensembles and teaches violin. She is Principal Second Violin with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and is Artistic Director and Principal Violinist of the historical performance ensemble, Texas Camerata.

Kristin began violin studies in her hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska and later moved to Texas, receiving both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the University of North Texas. As a baroque violinist, she has performed in Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C., France, Mexico, Bolivia, southeast Asia and throughout the southwest United States. In the fall of 2017, Kristin performed and taught in Taiwan, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She travels to Paris, France each summer in to perform as part of the Festival St. Louis en Ile at the Eglise St. Louis in the heart of the city. She also performed in Guangzhou, China in Sept. 2016 with colleagues from the University of North Texas and the Julliard School. In addition to performing with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Kristin is a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and has returned to Alaska as a faculty member of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. She is a member of the University of Dallas Crowley Trio, performing on a chamber music concert series at the Museum of Biblical Arts in Dallas. A dedicated educator, Kristin founded the University of Dallas Summer Music Academy for middle school and high school age students and is also a founding teacher at the DISD-Orchestra of New Spain Summer String camp. Kristin is concertmaster of numerous church orchestras in Dallas, performs with the Fort Worth Symphony and is concertmaster of the Wichita Falls Symphony. She has been a featured soloist in Wichita Falls a number of times, performing such works as the iconic Chinese Butterfly Lovers concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade.

Victor Rupert

Victor Rupert

Violin I
Barbara Allen

Barbara Allen

Violin I

Barbara is the Personnel Manager for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, as well as a violinist with the symphony. She began playing violin with WFSO in 1988. Barbara is also a violinist and core musician with the Dallas Opera Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and received her Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University. Barbara has been a faculty member and violinist with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She was also a member of the Innsbruck Symphony and Opera Orchestra in Innsbruck, Austria as well as performing frequently with the Muenchner Chamber Orchestra in Munich, Germany. She has played many professional studio recording sessions in Dallas, and numerous performances and tours with many professional entertainers including filming a TNN television special with Floyd Cramer in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Barbara is listed in the Marquis “Who’s Who in Entertainment” as well as numerous other “Who’s Who” publications. She also performs frequently as a professional free-lance violinist and violist in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex. “The Classic Strings” Ensembles was founded by Barbara in which she hires musical ensembles, from solo violinist to symphony orchestra, to play for many types of functions such as weddings, parties, and corporate events. Barbara also has a Private Music Studio in Irving, Texas, where she teaches violin and viola lessons to students of all ages from the beginning level to advanced.

Michelle Finklea

Michelle Finklea

Violin I
Christine Rewolinski

Christine Rewolinski

Violin I

Dr. Christine Rewolinski is the youngest of 11 children, born to a Catholic family in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She began her musical training at the age of 12 years on both the violin and the piano. Dr. Rewolinski began formal music studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in music education, a Bachelor of Music-violin performance cum laud, and a Master of Music-violin performance degree. She has extensive experience as an orchestral violinist and has performed as a section violinist with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Milwaukee Opera Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra, and Shreveport Symphony. Christine currently is a substitute violinist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and freelances with numerous Dallas and Fort Worth area ensembles. Over the past 30 years Dr. Rewolinski has taught a wide array of classroom music instruction ranging from high school and middle school orchestra to elementary school group violin (Suzuki) and general music. Dr. Rewolinski began teaching the Suzuki method in 1990 and is certified in violin through book 4 and also in Suzuki early childhood music instruction for infants and toddlers through level 2. She has directed university sponsored Suzuki programs at Stephen F. Austin University and the University of Texas at Arlington (1996-1999 and 2005-2010). Dr. Rewolinski is currently the director of the Rewolinski Suzuki Studio and teaches more than 30 violin students ranging in age from 18 months through 16 years of age in addition to adult students. She also offers Suzuki early childhood classes for children from birth to 3 years of age. Dr. Rewolinski earned her PhD from the University of North Texas in 2014. Her specialty is in the field of music education and research methods and statistics. Dr. Rewolinski’s research interests include Suzuki teacher-parent partnerships, early childhood musical instruction methods, toddler violin instruction and the development of occupational identity among undergraduate music education majors. Christine is married to Itrel Monroe, a software engineer and avid car enthusiast. They live on 1.5 acres in Garland, Texas. In their spare time they both enjoy vegetable gardening, knitting (Christine), puttering in the garage (Itrel) and reading.

Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson

Violin I

Kathy Johnson began her violin studies with her mother at the age of four. After studying with various other teachers including Michael Davis at Ohio State, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College, near Cleveland, Ohio. Receiving a full scholarship, she then attended Northwestern University to receive a Master in Music, studying with Blair Milton of the Chicago Symphony. During her two years in Chicago, she played with the Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony. She worked with many well know conductors including Daniel Barenboim and Sir George Solti. Kathy has been in the Dallas area for over 20 years, and currently plays with the Wichita Falls Symphony (20th season!), is an associate musician with the Dallas Opera, and subs in the East Texas and Lewisville Symphonies. She also coaches the Young Performers Orchestra and Dallas String Ensemble of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. Having been teaching since high school, Kathy teaches violin lessons out of her home in McKinney, Texas. Her teaching experience comes from teaching in her mother’s studio, teaching in the Preparatory Department at BW College, her teaching assistantship at Northwestern, and teaching at the Dallas Suzuki Academy from 1997-2017. Because both of her daughters play violin plus a wind instrument and her husband is a band director, she is surrounded by music all of the time!

Lisa Shields

Lisa Shields

Violin I

Lisa Shields has been a violinist with the Wichita Falls Symphony for 9 seasons. She lives in Highland Village, TX, a suburb of Dallas, where she has also been a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and the Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra since 1992. After growing up in Atlanta, Ga., Lisa received a Bachelor of Music degree from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Before moving to Dallas, she was a member of the Cleveland Opera and Ballet Orchestras, as well as the Ohio Chamber Orchestra.

Lisa has enjoyed bringing music to the Dallas retirement community through Texas Winds Musical Outreach for 17 years, as a member of a string quartet. She is also a Suzuki violin instructor, and has a studio of students at all levels of advancement. Since raising two wonderful grown daughters, Lisa now shares her home with husband Kirk, and their two demanding but loveable kitties.

Ludmilla Duston

Ludmilla Duston

Violin I

Ludmilla has been performing with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and hopes to be part of this delightful group of fine musicians for many years to come. She is very appreciative of the Wichita Falls community for its unwavering support for the WFSO! Ludmilla was introduced to the violin at the age of 9, in her native country of Moldova. After earning two music performance & pedagogy degrees at home, she moved to the USA in 1999, to continue her graduate violin studies. Ludmilla’s musical journey includes learning from amazing teachers and mentors, developing successful studios as well as performing with various symphony & chamber orchestras and other concert groups across the former Soviet Union, Europe and the United States. She cherishes every opportunity that she has been given to step onto a stage alongside so many talented musicians, along the years. Ludmilla considers it a privilege to have performed for many international dignitaries, including a President of the United States of America. While in Texas, Ludmilla has enjoyed steering many young musicians in her studio along with her high school orchestra students towards success and outstanding musicianship. She has been serving as the Director of Orchestras at the Wakeland High School since 2008. When away from school and performance engagements, Ludmilla likes to read, cook, spend time outdoors, attend concerts and other fun events, travel and just spend time at home with her family. Additionally, she enjoys serving in the Music Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church as member of the Orchestra.

Tonda Sykes

Tonda Sykes

Violin I

In addition to being a violinist with the WFSO, Tonda Sykes holds the position of concertmaster for the Lewisville Lake Symphony and is a sub violinist for the Waco Symphony. She is a graduate of UNT with a Bachelor’s in Music Education, where she was under the instruction of Ed Bratone, Janet Bond, and Phil Lewis. Tonda has taught orchestra for both public and private schools for 18 years and is currently an orchestra teacher in the Arlington ISD as well as a freelance violinist/private teacher.

Chuong Vu

Chuong Vu

Violin I
Diana Galimova

Diana Galimova

Violin I

Violin II

Becky Rathbun

Becky Rathbun

Violin II
Associate Concert Master
Susan Younghans

Susan Younghans

Violin II
Associate Principal
Mary Nesvadba

Mary Nesvadba

Violin II
Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett

Violin 2

Along with playing violin in the symphony, Wayne Bennett serves as the current Music Librarian for the WFSO. Born and raised right here in Wichita Falls, Wayne graduated from Hirschi High School and Midwestern State University. After college, Wayne taught in various schools around the area including Central Jr. High in Lawton, Oklahoma, Hirschi High School, and Rider High School. He also taught Music Appreciation at Vernon college and was a University Supervisor for student teachers at MSU. Wayne first started playing with the WFSO while he was a student in college as a substitute trumpet player and was once able to play chimes on the 1812 Overture. After that, Wayne joined the US Army and Army Reserves as a trumpet player, where he later advanced to Bandmaster/Commander for 38 years. Around 1985, he decided to switch from the trumpet section to the violin section for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra and has played every season since.

Doreida Aleksi Anastasiadi

Doreida Aleksi Anastasiadi

Violin II
Anca Lorincz

Anca Lorincz

Violin II

Anca Lorincz has been a part of the WFSO’s Violin section for 17 years now. She has also been an Orchestra Director for the past 20 years. Anca was finally introduced to the Violin in 6th grade when she barely spoke English. Her birthplace was in Romania and the change to America connected her to the music field with a big impact. She won the Marini String Quartet Scholarship for her Bachelor’s in Music – Violin Performance at University of Akron. After that, she pursued the Master’s in Music Education at the same university receiving the Graduate Assistant spot with the Akron Youth Symphony. Her love for both the music performance and education field have been strong from the very beginning. As she likes to say, “It doesn’t matter what language you speak alongside the music language, just know that the musical connection runs even deeper and is a powerful tool.”

Elizabeth Pritchard

Elizabeth Pritchard

Violin II
Theresa Anderson

Theresa Anderson

Violin II
Jennifer Parkhurst

Jennifer Parkhurst

Violin II
Zenobia Leyva-Martinez

Zenobia Leyva-Martinez

Violin II
Brian Rafferty

Brian Rafferty

Violin II

Viola

Jennifer Sweetman

Jennifer Sweetman

Viola
Principal

Jennifer Sweetman earned Masters degrees in both violin and viola performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, where she studied with Jan Mark Sloman and Barbara Sudweeks and served as principal violist of the Meadows Symphony. Jennifer is currently principal violist of the Lewisville Lake Symphony and Wichita Falls Symphony and also performs with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, East Texas Symphony, Plano Symphony and Utah Festival Opera. In addition, she is a member of Texas Winds, a musical outreach program in the Dallas area that enriches the lives of isolated seniors, hospital patients, veterans and at-risk children through live professional music programs. She has participated in numerous international music festivals, including the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria and the Heifetz International Music Institute. An avid chamber musician and teacher, Jennifer enjoys performing with the Gyros String Quartet and maintains a busy private studio of violin and viola students in Dallas and Highland Park.

Gina Menden

Gina Menden

Viola
Eniko Walter-Howard

Eniko Walter-Howard

Viola
Heather Blanco

Heather Blanco

Viola
Alexis Langten

Alexis Langten

Viola
Paul Palmer

Paul Palmer

Viola
Rachel Daniels

Rachel Daniels

Viola
Ethan Rouse

Ethan Rouse

Viola
Emily Townsend

Emily Townsend

Viola
Amanda Hamilton

Amanda Hamilton

Viola

Cello

Dwight Anderson

Dwight Anderson

Cello
Principal
Dan Lewis

Dan Lewis

Cello
Philip Chisum

Philip Chisum

Cello
Kirsten Underwood

Kirsten Underwood

Cello
Kimberly Greene

Kimberly Greene

Cello
Shawna Hamilton

Shawna Hamilton

Cello
Barbara Kavanaugh

Barbara Kavanaugh

Cello

Barbara Kavanaugh’s life career has been performing professionally and maintaining a cello studio. She received a degree in cello performance from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Catholic University, in Washington D.C. where she continued as a free-lancer for 30 years. During her time in Washington D.C, Barbara had the opportunity of playing in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, Wolf Trap and the National Theater. Her work as a principle cellist with the Asaph Ensemble and the MasterWorks Festival led her to perform in London and Winchester, England, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and at the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. In 1997, Barbara became Director of Chamber Music for the MasterWorks Festival, where she coordinated and coached dozens of string quartets and ensembles. In her last 5 years with MasterWorks, from 2010-2015, Barbara traveled to China seven times for performances and teaching. In 2018, after the sudden passing of her beloved husband, Patrick Kavanaugh, who was a composer and conductor, Barbara moved to Wichita Falls to be closer to one of four of her sons. Today, Barbara is a performer with the WFSO as well as a Director of Café Jubalatte, a ministry to encourage and support Christian classical musicians.

Bass

Mike Lelevich

Mike Lelevich

Bass
Principal
Nancy Cook

Nancy Cook

Bass

Nancy Cook began her music career as a youngster in the WFISD strings program, playing cello and double bass, and in the band program playing trombone. She made All-State Orchestra on double bass her junior and senior years. As a sophomore at SH Rider High School Nancy began performing with the WFSO and has been performing with them off and on for approximately 45 years.

After graduating from high school, Nancy attended the University of Tennessee at Martin where she studied classical guitar for one year. She then went to Midwestern State University where she graduated in 1981 earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a concentration in music. She attended graduate school at MSU, studying curriculum and instruction. After graduating from College, she worked in school districts including Midway, Dallas, and Wichita Falls. While in Dallas Nancy attended Dallas Theological Seminary. She also performed with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, Garland Symphony, and various church orchestras in the area.

Nancy worked in the public education system for 35 years. She was a classroom teacher for 25 years for grades 1 through 6. After leaving the classroom, for 10 years she had the privilege of serving teachers in Wichita Falls Independent School District as the Math and Science Curriculum Specialist for grades 3 through 6. She also taught various workshops at Region 9 Educational Service Center. Nancy retired from public education at the end of July 2017.

During her years in Wichita Falls, she has also performed with Backdoor Theatre, The Wichita Theatre, The Performing Arts Alliance, Red River Lyric Theater, MSU Opera and Musical productions, the Wichita Falls Chamber Orchestra, the Wichita Falls Community Orchestra, and has been in choral performances, such as the Messiah, and many church cantatas. Nancy also served as the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra Music Librarian from 1999 to 2015.

Nancy currently serves on the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and is the Musicians Representative on the WFSO Board. She has private double bass students and continues to learn as well through studying double bass from various teachers. Nancy also enjoys being a volunteer with Hospice of Wichita Falls.

Will Coppoc

Will Coppoc

Bass

Will Coppoc is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has played with the WFSO since 2018. Will completed his Master of Music degree in performance and pedagogy at Oklahoma State University, and his Bachelor of Music in performance at the University of North Texas, where he graduated summa cum laude. Currently a member of the 77th U.S. Army Band, Will is stationed at Fort Sill, in Lawton, OK. His primary duties with the band include performing with various ensembles and acting as head music librarian. Will has also performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Tulsa Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and others. When not playing the bass, you can usually find Will reading science fiction and posting book reviews to Amazon and Goodreads.

Joel MacMillan

Joel MacMillan

Bass

Joel MacMillan, double bassist, has played with the Wichita Falls Symphony since the 2014-15 season. He studied Double Bass Performance at Wichita State University with David Neubert, and at Northwestern University with Jeff Bradetich. He has played in the Wichita, (KS) Symphony, The Chicago Sinfonietta, The Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theatre, Elgin and Lake Forest Symphonies, New Mexico and Santa Fe Symphonies, Opera Southwest, (Albuquerque), Amarillo Symphony, Richardson Symphony, East Texas Symphony, and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. Joel works as a luthier on staff in the College of Music at the University of North Texas. He lives in Krum with his wife Liane, their two teenage daughters, and an abundance of animals.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Bass
Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

Bass

Flute

Flute / Piccolo

Pam Youngblood

Pam Youngblood

Flute
Principal

Principal flutist Dr. Pamela Youngblood has performed with the WFSO since 1976 and was a featured soloist in 1984, 1999, 2004, and 2012. She also has a long and distinguished career as a solo artist and chamber musician. She was named the Phi Kappa Phi Artist for 2016-18 by the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.

An active recitalist, Pam has been a featured performer at conventions of the National Flute Association in Minneapolis, San Diego, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Charlotte; the Texas Music Educators Association in San Antonio; and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors in Lawrence, Kansas and Vancouver, Canada. She has also performed concerts in Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, England, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the United States (Boston) with the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, a professional group based at the New England Conservatory, and the International Flute Orchestra.

Pam is dedicated to the discovery of contemporary works and seeks to expand the flute repertoire by highlighting significant works by new composers. Her widely acclaimed CD recordings Wind Song: New American Classics for Flute and Piano and Sparkle and Wit: International Treasures for Flute and Piano were released on the Azica label in 2010 and 2012. A third CD featuring works by California composer Peter Senchuk written specifically for her will be released later this year.

While she is most often a performer of classical music, Pam also enjoys other genres, including jazz. At age 16, she performed Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five” on one of the last Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour broadcasts from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.

Recognized as a national leader in the area of flute choir, Pam is the founder and conductor of the TWU and Brookhaven (Dallas) Flute Choirs; both ensembles have commissioned new works by American composers whose premieres she has conducted at national conventions, including performances in New York City and Washington, D.C. She has also served as guest flute choir conductor for the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention and the Florida Flute Association Convention. She was thrilled to conduct 250 flutists in the 10,000 Lakes Flute Orchestra to begin the 2017 NFA convention in Minneapolis.

Pam is a professor of music and chair of the Department of Music and Theatre at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. She is also an accomplished organist and choir director who has been the music director at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Denton since 1976. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Music, honoris causa) from Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin.

Pam’s husband, the late Jesse Youngblood, was a native of Wichita Falls and served as principal clarinetist of the WFSO from 1965 until his death in 1997. Pam is the proud mother of their two children Mark and Amanda, and the equally-proud grandmother of Max, Loretta, and Riley.

Janelle Olson

Janelle Olson

Flute/Piccolo
Amy Thiemann

Amy Thiemann

Flute/Piccolo

Oboe

Oboe / English Horn

Kelly Diaz Seitz

Kelly Diaz Seitz

Oboe
Stewart Williams

Stewart Williams

Oboe/English Horn

Clarinet

Sharon Deuby

Sharon Deuby

Clarinet
Co-Principal

Sharon Knox Deuby enjoys a rich and varied career as an orchestral, band and chamber musician, as well as an educator. Sharon performs as Principal Clarinet for the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, as well as Associate Principal Clarinet for the Dallas Winds, and Co-Principal for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. Sharon has recorded 23 compact discs with the Dallas Winds that have received international acclaim and Grammy Awards nominations. As a member of Texas Winds Musical Outreach, she presents educational concerts for Head Start schools throughout Dallas County. Sharon has performed as a soloist with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and Richland String Orchestra and as a soloist or clinician for the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, University of Texas at Tyler Single Reed Day, OU Clarinet Symposium, Texas Clarinet Colloquium and Clarinet Solutions. Sharon is Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet at University of Texas at Tyler and Richland College, where she also directs the Chamber Woodwinds. Sharon is a member of the clarinet faculty for the Dallas Winds Band Camp and Honor Bands. Sharon received her Master of Music in Performance from Michigan State University and Bachelor of Music Education from Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam. Her primary teachers include Fred Ormand, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Stephen Girko, Allen Sigel and Alan Woy, as well as special training with Donald Montanaro. Sharon is a Selmer artist and performs on Selmer Paris Privilege clarinets.

Kenneth Krause

Kenneth Krause

Clarinet
Co-Principal

Kenneth is Principal clarinet of the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He is also Principal clarinet of the Lewisville Lake Symphony, has performed with the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, and has performed with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 2006. He has recorded with Anshel Brusilow while Principal of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra from 1990 - 2010, and with Howard Dunn and Frederick Fennel while Principal of the Dallas Wind Symphony. Krause holds degrees from Northwestern University, where he studied with Larry Combs, and North Texas State University, having studied with Dr. James Gillespie. Also studied with Andrew Crisanti, retired Principal clarinet of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

David Belcher

David Belcher

Clarinet

Bassoon

Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall

Bassoon
Principal
Marty Spake

Marty Spake

Bassoon

Originally from Butler, Indiana, Marty Spake received a Bachelor of Arts degree in instrumental music education from Arizona State University and a Master of Music in bassoon performance from Southern Methodist University. Marty has been a member of the East Texas Symphony (Tyler) and the Dallas Winds since 1994. He has appeared on 13 CD releases of the Dallas Winds. In 2011, he joined the Wichita Falls Symphony. Marty currently serves as principal bassoon of the Richardson Symphony. He has played with many ensembles in the DFW area over the years including the Dallas Symphony, six seasons with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, and Texas Winds Musical Outreach where he has performed hundreds of concerts in schools and nursing homes. Marty is a certified Texas music educator, a member of TMEA, and has been a full-time elementary string orchestra teacher in the Dallas Independent School district since 2002. Marty loves Texas and the rich opportunity it offers musicians and artists to perform and thrive. He especially loves coming to Wichita Falls to enjoy the beautiful parks and outdoor activities!

Luke Varland

Luke Varland

Bassoon

Horn

William Scharnberg

William Scharnberg

Horn
Principal

William Scharnberg (Bill) has been principal horn of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 2007. He graduated from the University of Iowa with the BM, MA, MFA, and DMA degrees. He has performed as principal horn of the Tri-City (now Quad-City) Orchestra, Tacoma Symphony, Flathead Festival Orchestra, Royal Opera Orchestra (Stockholm), Dallas Symphony, Dallas Ballet, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Big Sky Orchestra, Intermountain Opera, and Dallas Opera (for 32 years). He taught horn and various subjects at Central Missouri State University (1973-74), Pacific Lutheran University (1975-77), the University of Oklahoma (1977-83), the Royal Academy of Music (Stockholm – fall of 1987), and the University of North Texas (1983-2018), where he retired as a Regents Professor with a horn class of fifty students. Fourteen students were mentored through the DMA degree, all of whom are either teaching at a university and/or performing in an orchestra, with two recently retired from universities. Since the fall of 2003 he has been the Editor of The Horn Call, journal of the International Horn Society. He served the IHS as President (1990-92), Advisory Council member (1986-92 and 1999-2003), music review editor, and hosted two International Horn Symposia (1991 and 2012). He has performed at international and regional horn conventions, in recital at several universities, concerti with regional ensembles, as a chamber musician at several festivals, and recorded on Crystal, EcoClassics, Centaur, and Klavier labels. He commissioned and premiered works by Paul Chihara, David Maslanka, Cindy McTee, Anthony Plog, Kim Scharnberg, and Yehudi Wyner. His editions of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century horn works were published by McCoy’s Horn Library. He has also been a frequent finalist in the Reader’s Digest and Publisher’s Clearinghouse sweepstakes.

Karen Houghton

Karen Houghton

Horn

Dennis and Karen both grew up in Orange County, California and attended Los Alamitos High School. They married in 1979 and received music degrees in Horn Performance at California State University Long Beach in 1980. After graduation, they traveled to South America to play in the Orquesta Sinfonica de Valle in Cali, Colombia. In 1981, Dennis was awarded a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to study music in Germany. He and Karen both continued their studies at the Northwest Academy of Music in Detmold, Germany. Upon returning to the US, the Houghton family settled in Wichita Falls. They both taught lessons at Sam Kreutz music store and played in the WFSO under the direction of Bill Boyer. Receiving more playing and teaching opportunities in the DFW area, Dennis and Karen moved to Denton, where they continued post-graduate studies at UNT, studying with Dr. Bill Scharnberg. In 1985 Dennis began a brass repair business in Watauga. In 1990 the family relocated to Keller and established Houghton Horns, a brass pro shop. Houghton Horns is known throughout the world, providing new and used quality brass instruments, accessories and repair services. Karen continues to have a successful private horn studio in Keller. Both Dennis and Karen are freelance musicians in the DFW metroplex and thoroughly enjoy playing with the WFSO.

Dennis Houghton

Dennis Houghton

Horn

Dennis and Karen both grew up in Orange County, California and attended Los Alamitos High School. They married in 1979 and received music degrees in Horn Performance at California State University Long Beach in 1980. After graduation, they traveled to South America to play in the Orquesta Sinfonica de Valle in Cali, Colombia. In 1981, Dennis was awarded a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to study music in Germany. He and Karen both continued their studies at the Northwest Academy of Music in Detmold, Germany. Upon returning to the US, the Houghton family settled in Wichita Falls. They both taught lessons at Sam Kreutz music store and played in the WFSO under the direction of Bill Boyer. Receiving more playing and teaching opportunities in the DFW area, Dennis and Karen moved to Denton, where they continued post-graduate studies at UNT, studying with Dr. Bill Scharnberg. In 1985 Dennis began a brass repair business in Watauga. In 1990 the family relocated to Keller and established Houghton Horns, a brass pro shop. Houghton Horns is known throughout the world, providing new and used quality brass instruments, accessories and repair services. Karen continues to have a successful private horn studio in Keller. Both Dennis and Karen are freelance musicians in the DFW metroplex and thoroughly enjoy playing with the WFSO.

Heather Suchodolski

Heather Suchodolski

Horn
Co-Principal

Dr. Heather Suchodolski is the Principal Horn of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with DFW Brass, the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Lewisville Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles throughout North Texas. Heather regularly presents performances and master classes throughout the United States and abroad. She has served as an invited Guest Artist at the Universidade de Brasília, the 25th International Festival of Brazilian Colonial and Early Music, and the 2nd International Festival of Classical Music of Piracicaba. She also helped coordinate the 44th Annual International Horn Symposium in Denton, TX. Heather describes music as her team sport. High School Band and Youth Orchestra had a huge influence on Heather‘s adolescence, and she’s passionate about passing that love on through her teaching. Heather’s students have successfully auditioned for highly competitive All-Region Bands for Texas Music Educators Association Regions 2 and 31, as well as the All-State Bands and Orchestras. Her middle and high school students regularly compete on national and international stages, taking 3rd place at the 2019 Bands of America Grand Nationals with an invitation to march in the 2021 Rose Bowl Parade, and at the 2016, 2017, and 2019 Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Convention. Heather earned degrees from the University of Arizona (BM) and University of North Texas (MM, DMA) and enjoys painting, cooking, traveling, and damn good coffee. Her last name is pronounced "such-a-doll-skee" if you were curious.

Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis

Horn
Jung Hsuan Chu

Jung Hsuan Chu

Horn
Co-Principal

Dr. Heather Suchodolski is the Principal Horn of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with DFW Brass, the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Lewisville Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles throughout North Texas. Heather regularly presents performances and master classes throughout the United States and abroad. She has served as an invited Guest Artist at the Universidade de Brasília, the 25th International Festival of Brazilian Colonial and Early Music, and the 2nd International Festival of Classical Music of Piracicaba. She also helped coordinate the 44th Annual International Horn Symposium in Denton, TX. Heather describes music as her team sport. High School Band and Youth Orchestra had a huge influence on Heather‘s adolescence, and she’s passionate about passing that love on through her teaching. Heather’s students have successfully auditioned for highly competitive All-Region Bands for Texas Music Educators Association Regions 2 and 31, as well as the All-State Bands and Orchestras. Her middle and high school students regularly compete on national and international stages, taking 3rd place at the 2019 Bands of America Grand Nationals with an invitation to march in the 2021 Rose Bowl Parade, and at the 2016, 2017, and 2019 Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Convention. Heather earned degrees from the University of Arizona (BM) and University of North Texas (MM, DMA) and enjoys painting, cooking, traveling, and damn good coffee. Her last name is pronounced "such-a-doll-skee" if you were curious.

Trumpet

James Sims

James Sims

Trumpet
Principal

James Sims earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Ray Crisara. His Bachelor’s degree is from Baylor University. He is currently Principal Trumpet of the East Texas Symphony and the Wichita Falls Symphony and has played with numerous other orchestras. He is also Assistant Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Winds. Dr. Sims performs regularly with Casa Manana Musicals and has performed with the Dallas Summer Musicals. Dr. Sims has taught at all levels including positions at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tarleton State University, and the University of Texas at Tyler. As a soloist, he has appeared with the East Texas Symphony, the Wichita Falls Symphony, and the Dallas Winds (formerly the Dallas Wind Symphony). He was soloist for the world premier performance of Kenji Bunch’s Double Talk: A Concerto for Marimba and Trumpet and Orchestra.

Benjamin Fairfield

Benjamin Fairfield

Trumpet

James Sims earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Ray Crisara. His Bachelor’s degree is from Baylor University. He is currently Principal Trumpet of the East Texas Symphony and the Wichita Falls Symphony and has played with numerous other orchestras. He is also Assistant Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Winds. Dr. Sims performs regularly with Casa Manana Musicals and has performed with the Dallas Summer Musicals. Dr. Sims has taught at all levels including positions at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tarleton State University, and the University of Texas at Tyler. As a soloist, he has appeared with the East Texas Symphony, the Wichita Falls Symphony, and the Dallas Winds (formerly the Dallas Wind Symphony). He was soloist for the world premier performance of Kenji Bunch’s Double Talk: A Concerto for Marimba and Trumpet and Orchestra.

John Moots

John Moots

Trumpet
Larry Spencer

Larry Spencer

Trumpet

Trombone

Jonathan Gill

Jonathan Gill

Trombone
Principal

Dr. Jonathan Gill maintains an active studio of 50–60 middle and high school low brass students in the Lewisville, Carroll, and Plano ISD’s. As an active freelancer in the DFW area, Dr. Gill routinely performs with groups such as the Dallas Wind Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Irving Symphony, Plano Symphony, and is currently acting Principal Trombone of the Wichita Falls Symphony. He can be heard playing Principal Trombone on the new Dallas Wind Symphony CD “Asphalt Cocktail: The music of John Mackey”. Dr. Gill has also held the position of Adjunct Professor of Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba at Tarleton State University and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. In addition to his professional playing career and local teaching, Dr. Gill has also has had the privilege to participate in, teach, and work with some of the finest marching bands and drum corps in the United States. Dr. Gill holds degrees from the University of Georgia (BM of Ed.), the University of South Florida (MM), and the University of North Texas (DMA Perf.). Dr. Jonathan Gill resides in McKinney, TX with his fiancé Dr. Emily Gale and their two dogs Francine and Mr. Noodle.

Matt Luttrell

Matt Luttrell

Trombone
Justin Lewis

Justin Lewis

Trombone

Justin Lewis was raised in Seminole, Oklahoma where he began to learn to play trombone and was a two-time member of the Oklahoma All-State Band. He received a full scholarship to East Central University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education and later, a Master of Music in Trombone Performance with a musicology emphasis from the University of North Texas. In 1994, Justin began his teaching career in Madill, Oklahoma earning the band many honors including a proclamation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives, within the same year, Justin joined the WFSO as bass trombone. He relocated permanently to Wichita Falls in 1997 as band director for Zundy Junior High, then in 2007, became band director of Wichita Falls High School “Old High”, a position in which he holds today. In 2012, Justin was named as the Texas representative in the School Band and Orchestra magazine as one of the “Top 50 Teachers Who Made A Difference” and was also inducted into the Seminole High School Hall of Fame. Justin has been performing bass trombone with the WFSO for 26 years, as well as lead trombone in the Ken Nelson Big Band and is one of the founding members of an “eclectic tongue-in-cheek" ukulele duet called Ukelicious.

Tuba

Mark Finley

Mark Finley

Tuba
Principal

Mark has been the principal tubist with the WFSO since 1995. Today, he and his wife, Teresa, who is a trumpet player, will have both been with the WFSO for 25 years! Mark attended the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Music with an education certification. In his career, he has played with professional groups such as, Bluebonnet Brass, Crimson Brass, and has appeared on TNN playing at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. Although his career revolves around music, Mark is also an enthusiast for muscle cars, robotic combat, monster trucks, traveling, and visiting the best museums, zoos and aquariums in the country.

Timpani

Corey Robinson

Corey Robinson

Timpani
Principal

Corey Robinson is a Wichita Falls, Texas based percussionist, educator, and composer. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion and Associate Director of Bands at Midwestern State University. Previous appointments at the University of Texas at Tyler, Texas Woman’s University, the University of North Texas, Abilene Christian University (TX) Flower Mound High School (TX), Argyle High School (TX), and Coppell High School (TX) allowed Dr. Robinson the opportunity to work with hundreds of percussionists of all ages and ability levels. Many of Dr. Robinson’s recent performances have been as half of a percussion/saxophone duo with his wife, Amy. They have premiered numerous commissions and a number of his own works at saxophone conferences around the world including the World Saxophone Conference and six North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. Dr. Robinson has also performed at three Percussive Arts Society International Conventions including a concert with the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble at PASIC 2016. This performance included the world premiere of his large percussion ensemble work, Twisted Metal. Dr. Robinson received his Bachelor of Music Education from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, his Master of Music in Percussion Performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his DMA at the University of North Texas. His percussion teachers include Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Ed Soph, Poovalur Sriji, Stockton Helbing, José Aponte, Ed Smith, John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, Michael Spiro, and Dr. David Glover. Dr. Robinson currently endorses Marimba One and Innovative Percussion and his compositions are available through Innovative Percussion Publications and Musicon Publishing. He currently resides in Wichita Falls, Texas with his wife Amy and their two cats, Beesly and Halpert.

Harp

Jaymee Haefner

Jaymee Haefner

Harp
Principal

Jaymee Haefner’s performances have been described by Daniel Buckley as possessing “an air of dreamy lyricism… interlocking melody lines with the deftness of a dancer’s footwork.” Jaymee joined the University of North Texas College of Music faculty in 2006 and serves as Assistant Professor of Harp and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her performances include a feature at the 50th Anniversary American Harp Society (AHS) National Conference in New York City, the 2014 AHS National Conference in New Orleans, and performances throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth area, in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. She published The Legend of Henriette Renié and One Stone to the Building: Henriette Renié’s Life Through Her Works for Harp and has presented lectures for the World Harp Congress (WHC) in Sydney and Amsterdam. Jaymee was Chairman of the 2011 AHS Institute and serves as the Treasurer for the WHC. Dr. Haefner obtained her BM and MM degrees from the University of Arizona and her DM degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. When she isn’t on stage, Dr. Haefner trains in American Karate with her son, and recently obtained her first-degree black belt.

Piano

Ruth Morrow

Ruth Morrow

Piano
Principal

Jaymee Haefner’s performances have been described by Daniel Buckley as possessing “an air of dreamy lyricism… interlocking melody lines with the deftness of a dancer’s footwork.” Jaymee joined the University of North Texas College of Music faculty in 2006 and serves as Assistant Professor of Harp and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her performances include a feature at the 50th Anniversary American Harp Society (AHS) National Conference in New York City, the 2014 AHS National Conference in New Orleans, and performances throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth area, in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. She published The Legend of Henriette Renié and One Stone to the Building: Henriette Renié’s Life Through Her Works for Harp and has presented lectures for the World Harp Congress (WHC) in Sydney and Amsterdam. Jaymee was Chairman of the 2011 AHS Institute and serves as the Treasurer for the WHC. Dr. Haefner obtained her BM and MM degrees from the University of Arizona and her DM degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. When she isn’t on stage, Dr. Haefner trains in American Karate with her son, and recently obtained her first-degree black belt.

Percussion

Denny Jones

Denny Jones

Percussion

Denny Jones was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended East Texas State University where he studied music performance. During four consecutive summer seasons, he marched with two drum & bugle corps: SkyRyders and Sun Coast Sound. He arranged and taught for four years with the Lone Star drum & bugle corp. In addition to percussion, Denny is an accomplished pianist and vocalist. Denny has been with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra for over 26 years. He regularly plays in several ensembles spanning a variety of genres, including big bands, church bands, jazz quartets and rock/funk bands, among others. He is as comfortable in tux and bowtie with the symphony as he is at an outdoor concert in the park playing rock or jazz on a drum set. One of his most enjoyable activities is arranging, conducting and teaching the percussion students at Wichita Falls High School. As a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Denny stays current on the best tools, advice and teaching methods in the world of percussion today. Denny owns and operates a number of businesses, including LHWebTek, LLC (providing software development solutions for handheld devices, enterprise/desktop and web enabled applications) and G2 Ad Group (a full-service advertising agency). However, music has always been his first love and he enjoys being able to share this passion with younger generations through performance and teaching.

Josh Powell

Josh Powell

Percussion

Our Admnistrative Staff

Alicia Deges

Alicia Deges

Executive Director

Alicia Deges has been with the WFSO since 2014 as Assistant Executive Director, assuming her position as Executive Director in 2019. Alicia brings an enthusiastic, insightful and community-focused presence to the organization. Alicia attended Texas Woman’s University where she received her B.S. in Music Therapy with a minor in Special Education. Prior to coming to Wichita Falls, Alicia worked in private practice as a Registered Music Therapist, with a special interest in Alzheimer’s disease. She moved to Wichita Falls in 1995 to assume her position as a staff music therapist, and then received the title of Director of Music Therapy at the North Texas State Hospital. Alicia has a passion for engaging with the community through exceptional music experiences and for providing educational opportunities for aspiring musicians in order to help them grow into future symphony lovers. Alicia is honored to have a position in Wichita Falls where she can make a difference in people’s lives through music. She is committed to furthering the mission of the WFSO to enrich lives, educate minds and entertain a diverse audience in the Texoma community.

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson

Operations Manager

Amy Robinson started at the WFSO in 2021. She is also active as an educator and saxophone performer. She completed two master’s degrees at Illinois State University (ISU) in Conducting and Saxophone Performance. She also holds a Bachelor in Music Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (SRU). Prior to coming to the WFSO, Amy taught middle and high school band, jazz band, and color guard in Iowa Park, Arlington, and Krum, TX.

As a saxophonist Amy has performed on national and international stages. She has performed at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France, and at several national and regional North American Saxophone Alliance conferences since 2014. Amy has also performed with her saxophone quartet at the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium and was a semi-finalist in the 2014 NASA Saxophone Quartet Competition. She has also performed in the WFSO’s Jazz Ensemble, and with the Carrollton Wind Symphony, who performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2018.

Amy is excited to be working for the WFSO, where she can have an impact on the entire Wichita Falls community, including students through the education programs. Amy and her husband, Corey, enjoy playing board games, swimming, and spending time with their cats, Beesly, Lucy, and Buster.

Abby Riggs

Administrative Coordinator &
Box Office Manager

Hannah started with the WFSO in fall of 2019 as Administrative Assistant. She assumed her current position, Administrative Coordinator and Box Office Manager in June of 2021. Hannah attended Brazosport College earning a background in music and business administration. Prior to coming to Wichita Falls, Hannah lived in the Houston area where she performed with the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra since 2007. With experience in customer service, Hannah provides friendly, caring attention to our patrons with a goal to help spread the power of music to the Texoma community. Outside of work, Hannah and her husband, Ryan enjoy live music, good wine, and camping with their dog, Fry.

Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett

Librarian

Wayne Bennett has been a part of the WFSO for over 35 years. He is a Wichita Falls native and graduate of Hirschi H. S. and Midwestern State University. Wayne earned his BA and MA in trumpet performance and Music Education. He was Commander & Bandmaster of the 95th Division Army Band, retiring after serving 38 years. He was also employed by the WFISD as orchestra director at Hirschi HS and then as assistant band director at Rider HS. Wayne has served as the WFSO librarian and musician representive, as well as being an instrumental member of the Education Committee and the Search Committee & the Artistic Committee.

Our Board of Directors

The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra is governed by a board of community-minded individuals who volunteer their time to make our city a better place to live.

Officers

President

Elizabeth Yeager

Vice-President

Dr. Clara Latham

Secretary

Linda Waters

Treasurer

John Buckley

Directors

Jessica Boyer

Amanda Case

Jeannette Showalter

David Farabee

Leigh Kidwell

Tim Lockhart

Laura Ramsey

Curt Knobloch

Sarah Cobb

Advisory Council

Ann Funston

Tim Justus

Rachel Kapelski

Janis Linville

Katie Parkey

Judy Pipes

Dale Prothro

Gary Shores

Mary Jane Smith

John Stephenson

John Vitek

Honorary Board

Dorothy Denman

Carolyn Sanders