YOBC Artistic Staff

Sebastian Grand, YOBC Music Director
Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
SEBASTIAN GRAND is Music Director of the Delaware County Symphony, PA and the McLean Symphony, VA. He holds Assistant Conductor positions with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey and the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra, and frequently appears as Guest Conductor for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Mr. Grand was the founding Music Director of the Guernsey Sinfonietta, which he conducted for eight years, and he has participated in numerous international conducting competitions, most notably as a finalist in the first Erich Bergel Conducting Competition in 2022. Passionate about music education, he was appointed Music Director of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County in 2024, and directs the Grand School of Music in New Hope, PA, overseeing instrumental tuition for over 200 students. Mr. Grand has worked as a coach and accompanist for the Philadelphia International Music Festival, and held adjunct faculty positions at Lafayette College and George School.

Raised in Guernsey, UK, Mr. Grand is a first-class graduate of the Joint Course between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). He received a Master’s with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Notable awards include three Hargreaves Prizes and the Procter- Gregg Prize at Manchester University, the Clifton Helliwell Memorial Prize at the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Dorothy Bryant Award at the Royal Academy of Music. Sebastian also works as a concert pianist, and has performed as concerto soloist in both North America and Europe.

Steven B. 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 Music Director of the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony. Mr. Sweetsir was the founding conductor of the YOBC Wind Ensemble.

Noelle Casella Grand
Conductor, Ripieno
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.

Karl Krelove
Conductor, Wind Ensembles & 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.

David Pimentel
Conductor, Concertino
HECTOR DAVID PIMENTEL-CEDRE, or Dahveed as he is known, currently serves as strings teacher in the North Penn School District, where he has directed the grades 7-9 string orchestras at Pennbrook Middle School since 2008.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Dahveed began his violin studies at the age of 5 at the Conservatory of Music’s “Programa de Cuerdas”. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin performance at Penn State University, and two Master’s Degrees: one in Viola Performance at Temple University and the second in School Administration at Touro College (New York City).

As a performer and music educator, Dahveed has had the privilege to study with many outstanding instrumental and orchestral directors. In NY and PA – Karen Dreyfus, Sidney Curtiss, James Lyon, Donald Hopkins, Raymond Page, Luis Biava, Douglas Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Joseph Primavera, Becky Brown, abd Nancy and Jerry Bidlack. His lifetime of orchestral and quartet performances include performances and international tours, participating with Lower Merion, Bucks County, Symphony in C, Bridgeton, Lansdowne, Lower Merion, Altoona, Johnstown, Puerto Rico Chamber, Operaworks, Blue Hill Troupe, Liederkranz Chamber, Hunter College, North Carolina School of the Arts, Long Island Youth Symphony, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and the Young People’s Philharmonic.

Dahveed looks forward to a wonderful year of working with the amazing string students of the Concertino string ensemble, as well as the amazing professional staff at YOBC!

Joe Shonis
Conductor, Wind Symphony
JOE SHONIS has had the privilege of working with several music programs from across the country. With over 35 years of experience, his background includes being a conductor, director, performer, adjudicator, visual designer or consultant for concert bands, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, marching bands, percussion ensembles, indoor programs, college bands and drum corps. His groups have consistently received superior ratings at the high school, middle school and elementary level. Individual students he as instructed have also been successful at the county, district, regional and all-state level.

Caleb Thompson
Conductor, Philharmonia
Caleb Thompson is a dynamic performer on the podium, communicating energy and depth in his music. His resume includes concerts with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the University of North Texas Opera Theater, the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra, and the New Jersey Chamber Orchestra. He served on faculty at the Philadelphia International Music Festival from 2020–2022, where he conducted multiple performances with the festival orchestras. During the 2023–2024 academic year, Mr. Thompson acted as Assistant Conductor for the University of North Texas productions of Cendrillon by Jules Massenet and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini. Additionally, he directed the world premiere of Canticles from the Ends of the Earth by Dr. Kirsten Soriano. As an alumnus of Cairn University in Bucks County, Mr. Thompson is excited to be making music in the Bucks County community. In addition to performing with Philharmonia, Mr. Thompson is on faculty at Cairn University, where he directs the Cairn University Symphony Orchestra.