Administrative Staff and Contractors

Jean Hall, Executive Director

Donna Janecka, Music Librarian

Artistic 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, originally from Wisconsin, 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.

With more than 15 years of studio teaching experience, Ms. Menden has helped students to win and place at concerto competitions, symphony apprenticeships, and TX State UIL Solo and Ensemble.  She has guided students, successfully, to earn music scholarships to a variety of different universities and become professional musicians.  Beyond these accomplishments, Ms. Menden encourages her students to be good citizens and to love what they do.

Ms. Menden began working for the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) in February 2010, where she established and continues to direct the Philharmonic (a developmental string orchestra), a very robust public-outreach string ensemble program, and the YSO Strolling Strings.   She joined Christ Academy as a string teacher in October 2014 and later assumed a position as Adjunct Professor of Music for Strings at Midwestern State University in August 2015.  In addition to her teaching commitments, Ms. Menden performs as a violist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra and is an avid musical freelancer.

Tyler Lasseter, Woodwinds Coach

Andrew Checki, Brass Coach

Jan Gardin, Violin Coach

Anita Marquardt, Cello/Bass Coach

Max Salazar, Percussion Coach

Tammy Sparks, Violin Coach

Christelle Billan, Philharmonic Coach

Brooke Whyrick, Philharmonic Coach