Administrative Staff and Contractors

Jean Hall, Executive Director

Donna Janecka, Music Librarian

Artistic Staff and Contractors

Dr. Susan Harvey, Music Director/YSO Conductor

Dr. Susan Harvey earned a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, a Master of Arts in Education from Virginia Tech, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Shenandoah University. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Music at Midwestern State University (MSU) in Wichita Falls, Texas. At MSU Dr. Harvey is Chair of the Music Department and Director of the MSU Summer Kodály Teacher Institute, which offers graduate music education courses. dr. Harvey also teaches music education courses to general education students and music majors.

Dr. Harvey  taught music in Virginia public schools fir twenty years. She taught elementary music and instrumental and choral music at the secondary level. Her ensembles consistently earned superior ratings at festivals. Additionally, her students performed at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference in Norfolk, Virginia and at the Organization of American Kodály Educators National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Harvey regularly presents at local, state and national conferences. Presentation topics have included assessment in music education, intonation in band, practice strategies for instrumentalists, and implementation of Kodály in the instrumental and elementary classroom. She is an active clinician, guest conductor, judge, and freelance trumpet performer. As a performer, Dr. Harvey was a member of the 2007 National Champion Massanutten Brass Band from Harrisonburg, Virginia and has performed as a member of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra in North Manchester, Indiana.

Gina Menden, Philharmonic Conductor

Gina Menden is a versatile ensemble musician; performing in ballet, musical theatre, and opera orchestras, as well as professional, collegiate, and community orchestras and chamber groups.  She has recorded for TV commercials, served as a soloist for official military functions, and plays in back-up string sections for visiting artists who require live accompaniment.  Ms. Menden has held the position of section/alternating principal violist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 2010.

Ms. Menden is very passionate about the education of young musicians.  With nearly 20 years of studio teaching experience, she continues to help students succeed at private and public sponsored solo and orchestral competitions.  She has guided students to earn music scholarships, gain acceptance to a variety of competitive camps and university music programs, and become professional musicians. Ms. Menden is a conductor for the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra, where she formed the YSO “Philharmonic”, the YSO String Ensemble, and the YSO Strolling Strings.   She also works as a string instructor at Christ Academy and as Adjunct Professor of Music for Strings at Midwestern State University.

Originally from Wisconsin, Ms. Menden graduated from the University of Arizona with a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance and Drake University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance.  Notable teachers include: Hong-Mei Xiao, Misha Rosenker, Liesel Soley, and Stanley F. Nosal.  She lives in Wichita Falls with her two children, Arianna and Andrew.


Amanda Hernandez, Gail Key Academy of Music Instructor

Jan Gardin, Violin Coach

Anita Marquardt, Cello/Bass Coach

Max Salazar, Percussion Coach

Tammy Sparks, Violin Coach and Gail Key Academy of Music Instructor

Brooke Whyrick, Philharmonic Coach