Robert Loughran, YOBC Music Director
Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
Robert Loughran,YOBC Music Director, and Conductor of Symphony Orchestra, is currently a member of the Arts Faculty of Princeton High School, where he serves as Music Director of the orchestra program. He is an adjunct assistant professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and a former member of the Bucks County Community College faculty. Holding a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, Mr. Loughran has studied conducting with Dr. Joseph Barone, founder of l’École Monteux, and Herbert Blomstedt, Honorary Conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. He has conducted the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, Temple University’s Gifted Young Musicians Baroque Orchestra, the Main Line Symphony, and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia.
Steve Sweetsir, Assistant Music Director
Conductor, Fanfare Winds
Steve Sweetsir, Assistant Music Director and Conductor of Fanfare Winds, graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and Ithaca College and holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in French Horn performance. He has played with many professional organizations, including the United States Coast Guard Band, the Portland Symphony and the Corning Philharmonic. Mr. Sweetsir currently performs with several chamber groups, bands and orchestras in the Bucks County area. He is a partner in Bucks County Piano.
Conductor, Fanfare Woodwind Quintet
Erica Cherry is a clarinetist and teaching artist active in the Philadelphia area. Passionate about both performance and education, she maintains a vibrant and creative studio of over 50 clarinet and piano students. Erica also acts as a woodwind director and coach for the Young Musicians Community Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, where she leads rehearsals and sectionals and coaches chamber ensembles. She is an advocate for accessible music education and outreach, and has worked as a lead teacher for the Whiz Kids Music Program, bringing music to underserved schools, and COR Music Project, a growing El-Sistema inspired program in Cincinnati. Erica has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center; recent performances include concerts with the CCM Philharmonia, Pierre Monteux School Orchestra, and the Bucks County Symphony. She has also developed a series of interactive children’s concerts that are currently being presented in local non-traditional spaces. Erica completed her Master’s Degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and previously studied at Carnegie Mellon University. MORE
Conductor, Flute Choir & Chamber Flute Ensemble
Margaret Claudin, flutist, began her musical studies with piano lessons from her father. Her flute teachers include the late New York Philharmonic principal Julius Baker, English flute soloist William Bennett, David Shostac of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and David Cramer of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition, Ms. Claudin also studied the baroque flute with Sandra Miller, and has participated in numerous master classes, including those of Stephen Preston, celebrated English baroque flutist.
Thomas Cunningham is artistic director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. He recently made his New York City debut conducting a performance of Tchaikovsky’s final opera, Iolanta, for Opera Slavica. Mr. Cunningham is conductor of the Ripieno Ensemble in Bucks County, PA, and works regularly with The Princeton Festival, Opera Slavica and the CoOPERAtive Program. Previously, he has assisted on productions ranging from Jenůfa and Eugene Onegin, to Alcina, Così fan tutte and Der fliegende Holländer. Mr. Cunningham’s previous engagements include Bard SummerScape, the Berkshire Choral Festival, and Westminster Opera Theater. MORE
Sebastian Grand is a Director of the Grand School of Music in Pennsylvania and active as a conductor, pianist and educator both throughout Europe and in the United States. Raised in Guernsey, UK, he is a First-class graduate of the Joint Course between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and has received a Masters with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London.
As founder and principal conductor of the Guernsey Sinfonietta, Seb is in high demand as conductor of a wide variety of both professional, non-professional and student ensembles. He was a participant on the 2012 Orkney Conductor’s Course, where he worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists and the St Magnus Festival Chorus and he received a full bursary to conduct the Orchestra of the Swan in a public master class with Kenneth Woods. Sebastian co-founded the Odyssey Symphony Orchestra, who performed their debut concert in St James’s Piccadilly in 2011, and worked with the Kew Sinfonia and Julian Jacobsen in a performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in 2014.
Sebastian has taken rehearsals for Ealing Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the City, Lord Williams Festival Chorus and St Alban’s Chamber Choir. He also conducted the University of Manchester String Orchestra’s 09/10 Season and Royal Academy of Music Opera Scenes in 2012. In Pennsylvania, Seb works as conductor of YOBC’s Ripieno Ensemble and as string tutor to GSM ensembles. Highlights with the Guernsey Sinfonietta include a performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto cycle with Tom Hicks.
Always interested in developing new and exciting projects, Seb co-founded Guernsey-based new music group Terra Nova, has led a performance of In C for the Victor Hugo International Music Festival and conducted ‘Serenade for Shelter’ – a performance raising awareness for homeless charity Shelter UK. Seb studied conducting with Martyn Brabbins, Charles Peebles and Mark Heron and has participated in master classes with Mark Shanahan, Clark Rundell and Richard Boynage. MORE
Conductor, Wind Ensemble & Clarinet Ensemble
Karl Krelove is a life-long resident of the Philadelphia area. After graduating from Hatboro-Horsham High School he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Temple University. In 1969 he joined the US Army Field Band with which he performed for three years as first clarinetist and clarinet soloist. On leaving the army he spent the next 35 years teaching and performing as a freelance clarinetist in the Philadelphia area. Retired in 2007 after 30 years of teaching music in the Neshaminy School District, Mr. Krelove, who still performs with several area orchestras, has continued teaching and coaching clarinetists in Lower Bucks County and is proud to have begun building a presence in the YOBC program.
Director, Saxophone EnsembleKathleen Mitchell, coach of YOBC’s Saxophone Ensemble, is Adjunct Instructor of Music (Saxophone) at The College of New Jersey. Ms. Mitchell is respected as an outstanding saxophonist, Ms. Mitchell has been the Principal Second Saxophone with Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia since 1994. Her orchestral experience includes saxophone performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performances on both saxophone and clarinet with Reading Symphony, Allentown Symphony, and Haddonfield Symphony among others. She has also given solo and chamber music concerts throughout the United States and Canada. Ms. Mitchell has recorded with Karel Husa and has performed with KlezMs, the Ocean City Pops, and is a member of the saxophone quartet “3XY,” whose music consists of their own original works with each member of the group contributing to the compositions. They also play original arrangements of jazz tunes by Grover Washington, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and others. Ms. Mitchell has performed with theater companies throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the Walnut Street Theater, Media Theater, and the Arden Theater.
Ms. Mitchell has an M.M., Music Performance degree in Saxophone, from Northwestern University School of Music and a B.M. in Music Education and Music Performance in Saxophone from Ester Boyer College of Music, Temple University. She studied with Dr. Frederick L. Hemke at Northwestern University and with Marshall Taylor at Temple University. In addition, she studied jazz with Ron Kerber, clarinet with Beth Vilsmeir, and flute with Anthony Salicondro at the University of the Arts.
Ms. Mitchell is also on the music faculty of Rowan University, The Governor’s School of Music, and the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield, NJ. She has also given Master Classes at Temple University and University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Conductor, Prima Strings and Concertino
Coach, Honors String Quartet
Colin Oettle is a New Jersey-based conductor and violinist who recently received his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Rutgers University, where he wasthe assistant conductor of the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra and the Rutgers Sinfonia. Mr. Oettle completed his undergraduate studies in violin and music education at Ithaca College in 2009, and he draws upon his diverse musical and educational background to work with young musicians around the tri-state area. Mr. Oettle has served as assistant conductor of the Northern New Jersey Youth Orchestra and has guest conducted the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra. Mr. Oettle is also an experienced writer; he has published many articles about classical music, and in 2009 he won the Ithaca College writing competition in creative nonfiction. Mr Oettle graduated with a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in May 2013. MORE
Conductor, Wind Symphony
Erin Sweetsir-Mills is a graduate of Temple University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education. She taught general music, choral music, and handbell choir at Haverford Middle School and St. Michael the Archangel Elementary School. For the past five years Erin has conducted the children’s choir and orchestra at Neshaminy Valley Baptist Church. She has been a frequent guest conductor with the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County and is an active French hornist playing in ensembles including Bucks County Symphony, Delaware Valley Wind Symphony, and Warminster Symphony.