Robert Loughran, YOBC Music Director
Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
ROBERT LOUGHRAN is currently a member of the Arts Faculty of Princeton High School, where he serves as Music Director of the orchestra program. He is a former member of the music faculties of Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Bucks County Community College. 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
STEVEN B. SWEETSIR has a distinguished career as a conductor and performer. Mr. Sweetsir received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from New England Conservatory of Music and earned a Master of Music degree from Ithaca College. As a French horn player, he has performed with the US Coast Guard Band, the Portland Symphony, the Elmira Symphony, the Corning Philharmonic, and many other performing organizations. He is currently active in the area as a performer and conductor. He is a member of the Delaware Valley Philharmonic and Bucks County Symphony, performs frequently with chamber ensembles, and is an active soloist. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony. Mr. Sweetsir was the founding conductor of the YOBC Wind Ensemble.
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 studio of over sixty clarinet and piano students. Ms. Cherry also acts as a woodwind coach and operations manager for the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County. She is an advocate for accessible music education and outreach, and has worked as a lead teacher for the Whiz Kids Music Program, traveled as a teaching artist with MUSaid, and worked with COR Music Project, a growing El Sistema–inspired program in Cincinnati. Ms. Cherry has studied and trained at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. MORE
Conductor, Flute Choir & Chamber Flute Ensemble
MARGARET CLAUDIN received degrees in Flute Performance from the University of Colorado (BM) and Wichita State University (MM). She also received an Artist’s Diploma from Temple University. Her teachers include Julius Baker, William Bennett, David Cramer, and Sandra Miller (baroque flute).
She is an active performer, church musician, educator, adjudicator, and flute choir conductor in the Philadelphia area. Mrs. Claudin maintains a private studio in Philadelphia. In 2000, she joined the faculty at Cairn University where she teaches flute and coaches chamber music.
SEBASTIAN GRAND is a Director of the Grand School of Music in Pennsylvania and active as a conductor and educator both throughout Europe and in the United States. He is a First-class graduate of the Joint Course between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music and has received a Masters with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Mr. Grand is Assistant Conductor of the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra, Conductor of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County’s Philharmonia, a faculty member at Lafayette College and a coach and accompanist for the Philadelphia International Music Festival. Mr. Grand studied on the Orkney International Conductors Course and received a full scholarship to conduct the Orchestra of the Swan in a public masterclass. He was Principal Conductor of the Guernsey Sinfonietta for seven years, co-founded the Odyssey Symphony Orchestra and has worked with numerous professional orchestras including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Trondheim Soloists and Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Grand is a prizewinning pianist and has performed at major venues throughout Europe, including several appearances as concerto soloist. He has also worked as an adjudicator for several competitions, including the Bart Pitman Memorial Scholarship and the Caprio Competition. MORE
Noelle Casella Grand
NOELLE CASELLA GRAND, an American born cellist and conductor, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she received a Master of Arts and accompanying LRAM Diploma with Distinction. Prior to her years at the Academy, Noelle studied in New York at Sarah Lawrence College and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Regularly in demand as soloist and orchestral musician, Noelle’s recent performances include Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Old York Road Symphony, Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with the Bach Festival Orchestra, and the Korngold Cello Concerto with the Guernsey Sinfonietta. Noelle has performed with such ensembles as the Philadelphia International Music Festival (PIMF) Piano Trio, Bach Festival Orchestra (Principal), Riverside Symphonia, La Fiocco (soloist), Pennsylvania Sinfonia (Asst. Principal), L’Offerta Musicale Venezia and the New York Consort of Viols. Upcoming engagements include a series of concerti with Amici Strings. As an internationally active pedagogue, Noelle is currently a Director of the Grand School of Music (New Hope, PA) and a member of the string faculty at George School (Newtown, PA). Noelle also recently participated as an orchestral coach at ECSOC (Elizabeth College Summer Orchestral Course) in Guernsey, U.K.
Conductor, Wind Ensemble & Clarinet Trio
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 the opportunity to work with students in the YOBC program.
Coach, Saxophone Quartet
KATHLEEN MITCHELL is Adjunct Instructor of Music (Saxophone) at The College of New Jersey. Ms. Mitchell is respected as an outstanding saxophonist, and 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 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 and 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 Esther Boyer College of Music, Temple University. She is also on the music faculty of Rowan University, The Governor’s School of Music, and the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield, NJ.
Conductor, Prima Strings and Concertino
Coach, Honors String Quartet
COLIN OETTLE is a New Jersey–based conductor who draws upon a diverse musical background to create evocative instrumental and operatic performances. Mr. Oettle earned his Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Rutgers University, where he served as assistant conductor of the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra and the Rutgers Sinfonia. He is currently music director of Vari Musicisti—a New York City–based collaborative music organization—and has recently appeared with Opera Theater of Montclair.
Mr. Oettle completed his undergraduate studies in violin performance and music education at Ithaca College and now combines his expertise into a performance-oriented approach toward music education. Mr. Oettle is also an experienced writer, having won the Ithaca College writing competition in 2009 for creative nonfiction. MORE
Director of Percussion Ensemble
Dave Stockton is currently an Associate Percussionist at the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra who also regularly performs with the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, the Steve Weiss Percussion Group and the Stockton-Willet Project. He has made his mark within the tuned percussion community having performed with the Capital Philharmonic, the Keystone Wind Ensemble and the Butler Symphony. Additionally, he is the Director of Percussion for Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.
Conductor, Wind Symphony
ERIN SWEETSIR-MILLS, a YOBC alumna, is a graduate of Temple University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education. She is an adjunct music faculty member at the Kimberton Waldorf School, where she teaches the French horn studio, and a faculty member of the Community School of Music in Collegeville. She taught general music, choral music, and handbell choir at Haverford Middle School and St. Michael the Archangel Elementary School. 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, Pottsgrove Community Band, and Warminster Symphony.