Artistic Staff

Dr. David Jacobs, Youth Symphony Conductor

ESYO is fortunate to have such an excellent conductor to lead the Eugene-Springfield Youth Symphony. Dr. David Jacobs is currently an Associate Professor of Conducting and the Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Oregon where he conducts the UO Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Camerata and leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting.  He also serves as  the President for the Western Region of the College Orchestra Director’s Association.

Dr. Jacobs began his career as an orchestral musician and has performed with many widely respected orchestras. He earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music. There, he was the recipient of several conducting prizes, including the prestigious Frederick Fennell Fellowship for Advanced Conducting Study and the Walter Hagen prize for excellence in conducting. He taught at Palm Beach Atlantic University prior to moving to Oregon, and is a frequent guest conductor with fine university orchestras throughout North America. He also has many years of experience working with young musicians. Dr. Jacobs has authored many articles on conducting and interpretation and given lectures and masterclasses to worldwide audiences. His areas of expertise are music semiology, Russian symphonic music, and musical hermeneutics. He has conducted performances with professional orchestras on three continents and is credited on three commercially available albums. 

During his seven years performing as an orchestral musician, Jacobs developed an appetite for conducting, and in 2007, with very little formal training, he was accepted into the conducting studio at the Eastman School of Music. There he worked with virtually every student ensemble and was the recipient of several student prizes, including the Frederick Fennell Fellowship and the Walter Hagen prize for excellence in conducting. David is married and has two children.  His family enjoys living on small acreage in the Mohawk Valley where they dabble in homesteading – raising chickens and organic gardening. We are are very glad to have David and his family at ESYO!

Christopher Noel, Junior Orchestra Conductor

Christopher Noel joined ESYO’s conducting staff in 2017. He an enthusiastic and passionate conductor and musician.  He has conducted orchestras in Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, and Oregon.  Christopher is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a Bachelor’s Degree in violin performance, and University of Illinois with a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting. Mr. Noel founded and reinvigorated the Salem Orchestra, and serves as Artistic Director and Conductor. Originally from Eugene, Chris grew up with ESYO and came back to help other young musicians enjoy the same wonderful experience! He has been a part of organizations such as the Oregon Bach Festival, Oregon All State Orchestra, and All Northwest Orchestra. He also teaches orchestra at Sheldon HS and choir at NEHS. It is with great pleasure that he has the opportunity to work with students who share his passion for music!

Dale Bradley, Little Symphony and String Academy 2 Conductor, String Academy 1 Instructor.

Dale Bradley, cellist, composer and guitarist, is a Springfield native, ESYO alumnus, and longtime member of the Eugene Symphony and the Oregon Mozart Players. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Music, he studied cello with Robert Hladky and composition with Hal Owen. He started playing cello in the 4th grade and also began composing at this time, filling up small notebooks purchased from the local music store with musical ideas. Dale’s compositions & arrangements have been played live in various venues on the west coast, from local retirement centers to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Dale’s teaching activities include beginning String Academy classes in local elementary schools, various summer camps, and a private studio where he teaches cello, bass & guitar. Dale has played live and recorded with a wide variety of musicians. He continues to assist others in their recording projects, often arranging & producing in his home studio. Dale’s own CDs include “Solo,” “The Christmas Cello,” and “Generations.”

Lauralie Kallinen, String Academy 2 Conductor, String Academy 1 Instructor


Lauralie Kallinen earned her Bachelor’s of Music in cello performance at Lawrence University and her Master of Music in cello performance and music education at the University of Oregon. Lauralie grew up in Eugene and is an alumna of ESYO. She has taught string classes in Eugene public schools and the Waldorf School for several years, as well as cello teacher for the Suzuki Strings Program. Lauralie also has a large private studio of cello students.

Emily Pfeifer, String Academy 1 Instructor

Emily Pfeifer is a native of Rochester, Minnesota.  She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Music degree cum laude.  She then went on to receive a Masters degree in Viola Performance with an emphasis in string pedagogy from the University of Oregon.  While at the UO, Emily was the Graduate Teaching Fellow for the School of Music’s Community Music Institute for the two years that she was working towards her degree.  While serving as a GTF, she maintained a studio of violinists and violists, and also taught weekly Suzuki group classes at the university. In addition, Emily served as director of the Northwest Suzuki Institute from 2002-2008, and also serves as a faculty member at NSI.  She is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the Eugene Suzuki Strings Association.  She currently teaches violin and viola in Eugene, Oregon to a studio of 35 students, ranging in age from 3-18 years old, and teaches strings at the Eugene Waldorf School. Besides musical activities, Emily and her husband are avid mountain-bike riders and love hiking and backpacking with their two dogs.

Alwyn Wright, String Academy 1 Instructor

Yvonne Hseuh, String Academy 1 Instructor

Lisa McWhorter, String Academy 1 Instructor

Ben Gardner,
Ambassador Musician Coordinator, Music Librarian
Ben Gardner is a violinist and teacher based in Eugene. He is a member of the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra, and serves as music librarian there as well. Ben holds a Master’s degree in violin performance from the University of Oregon. Ben has a true passion for strings education. His goal in teaching is to show students the beauty in music and get them excited and eager to learn more.