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 and leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting. He took over as Youth Symphony conductor in the spring of 2016, and has since brought the orchestra to a new level of outstanding artistry and musicianship.
Dr. Jacobs began his career as an orchestral musician and performed widely with many respected orchestras. After seven years as a professional orchestra musician, Dr. Jacobs attended the Eastman School of Music for conducting. He developed a great affinity for working with ambitious music students, and now his passion for university students is nationally recognized, having been invited to guest conduct orchestras at Baylor, Florida State, Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach, Northern Arizona, as well as two invitations as a guest artist in residence at the Eastman School of Music, where he gave multiple concerts and taught graduate level courses. Dr. Jacobs has also earned an impressive reputation as a conducting teacher, attracting students internationally. His students have gone onto prestigious programs such as Peabody, Eastman, Michigan State, Bard College, and the Aspen Academy of Conducting, as well as gaining employment as youth symphony directors, professional orchestra assistant conductors, and college professors. In addition to his academic output, David has guest conducted professional orchestras on three continents, including the Palm Beach Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Pazardjik (Bulgaria) Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfònica EAFIT in Colombia, and twice with the St. Petersburg (Russia) State Symphony.
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 I have the opportunity to work with students who share his passion for music!”
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.” Dale has been teaching for ESYO since 2009!
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 for the Suzuki Strings Program. She also has a large private studio of cello students. Lauralie has been teaching strings at ESYO for 19 years!
Christopher Holt, Winds Coach
“As a former JO/YS player, I consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to give back to an organization that meant so much to me in middle and high school.”
Chris Holt is and ESYO alum and has been a music educator in Oregon for more than 25 years. He was the the band director at Springfield High for many years, and has directed band and orchestra at Thurston Middle School since 2017. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree and teacher certificate in music education from UO, and his Master of Arts Education at American Band College in southern Oregon.
Ben Gardner, String Academy 1 Instructor, Ambassador Musician Coordinator, Music Librarian
“My goal in teaching is to show students the beauty in music and get them excited and eager to learn more.”
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. He has a true passion for strings education.
Tiffany Holliday-Wagner, String Academy 1 Instructor
“With mirth and laughter, I find the light in every child.”
Tiffany is a registered Suzuki strings teacher and has been teaching privately since 2011. She currently works as a reading specialist at an elementary school in a Spanish immersion elementary school in Eugene. She also teaches ESYO’s after-school String Academy classes both there and at another school.
Toni Hansen, String Academy 1 Instructor
“Creating an inclusive environment full of positive energy is a priority of mine in the classroom.”
Toni is a teacher at heart and a musician of 25 years with experience in strings as well as band, choir, and general music. She maintains a private studio teaching piano and violin since 2011, and recently received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with a strings emphasis. She currently teaches general elementary music at two elementary schools, where she also teaches ESYO’s after-school String Academy classes.
Sofie Yang, String Academy 1 Instructor
“The ESYO String Academy program inspires me with a way to reach underserved communities – that is the greatest motivation and appreciation for teaching!”
Sofie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance and has twenty-two years of musical experience in a variety of professional and recreational settings, along with over three years of instructional experience on violin, viola, piano, and group strings. Her goal is to make music accessible to everyone.