YOBC Artistic Staff

robertloughranRobert 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


stevesweetsirSteve 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.


erica-new-webErica Cherry
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


margaretsmallMargaret Claudin
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.
Bill Connors
Coach, Trombone Ensemble

BILL CONNORS is an aspiring orchestral tubist based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and an alumnus of YOBC. He holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, a Master of Music degree in tuba performance from the University of Denver, and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Ithaca College. His primary teachers have included Norm Pearson, Warren Deck, and Dr. Aaron Tindall. In October of 2015, Mr. Connors was the recipient of 2nd place in the Brass Division of the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Solo Competition, held in Los Angeles. Mr. Connors has also been a semi- and finalist in several international tuba competitions. These include the Arnold Jacobs Mock Orchestral, Mock Military Band, and Artist Solo competitions at recent international and regional conferences held by the International Tuba/Euphonium Association. Mr. Connors can be heard on Aaron Tindall’s solo album This is My House playing both tuba and bass trombone.

thomascunninghamThomas Cunningham
Conductor, Philharmonia

THOMAS CUNNINGHAM is artistic director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 2014, this orchestra for the 21st century is malleable in size, genre, and venue and collaborates anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Mr. Cunningham made his New York debut conducting Iolanta for Opera Slavica in 2012. He is on the conducting staff of Voices of Ascension in New York, NY.
A conductor of distinctly broad repertory, recent engagements have included the concertos of Bach, Dvorak, and Berg, orchestrating Addi & Jacq’s award-winning songs, and commissioning numerous young composers. Passionate about the American repertory, Mr. Cunningham believes deeply in the underperformed compositions of African American composers, especially William Grant Still and George Walker. His symphonic suite of William Grant Still’s grand opera Troubled Island is published by William Grant Still Music.
Mr. Cunningham counts Tito Muñoz, Kynan Johns, Kenneth Kiesler, and Dennis Keene among his teachers and mentors. He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College.


sebastiangrandSebastian Grand
Conductor, Ripieno
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, Mr. Grand is in demand as conductor of a wide variety of professional, nonprofessional, and student ensembles. Mr. Grand co-founded the Odyssey Symphony Orchestra, which performed its 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.
Always interested in developing new and exciting projects, Mr. Grand co-founded the 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 the homeless charity Shelter UK. MORE


Karl Krelove
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.


kathleenmitchellKathleen Mitchell
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.


colinoettleColin Oettle
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


erinsweetsir-millsErin Sweetsir-Mills
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.


williamtriggWilliam Trigg
WILLIAM TRIGG is well known as a specialist in 20th and 21st century music. He has premiered over 100 solo, chamber, and orchestral works and was solo marimbist in the New York City Ballet’s premiere production of Michael Torke’s “Echo.” He is a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Car Music Project, Ensemble Pi, and the Glass Farm Ensemble. He has performed and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Manhattan Marimba Quartet, Steve Reich & Musicians, the Philip Glass Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music, the New Music Consort, Musicians’ Accord, Parnassus, Abandon, Newband, the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Composers Orchestra, and numerous others. He is currently the conductor and music director for The College of New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.