Board & Staff

GTCYS’ skilled Board Members, conductors and administrative staff are dedicated to providing the best experience for young musicians.

Board of Directors


  • Tami Schwerin, MoneyGram International*
  • Cathy Schmidt, Surfacequest*
    Past President
  • J. C. Beckstrand, Willis Towers Watson
    Vice President
  • Douglas Parish, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
  • Julia Jenson, Catholic Charities*


  • Jeff Benjamin, Schwan’s
  • Sally Consolati, U.S. Bank
  • Carolyn Egeberg, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
  • Andrew Eklund, Ciceron*
  • Hyun Mee Graves, General Mills
  • Jennifer Hellman, Goff Public Relations*
  • Maurice Holloman, IMRIS
  • Carl Crosby Lehmann, St. Olaf College
  • Rich May, Jr., May Advertising*
  • Laura Newinski, KPMG
  • Ernest van Panhuys, Cargill Inc.
  • Karin Wentz, Attorney
  • David Zoll, Lockridge Grindal Nauen

*GTCYS alumni

Artistic Staff

Mark Russell Smith

Mark Russell Smith, Artistic Director & Symphony Conductor

Whether conducting contemporary masterpieces or bringing fresh insights to the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms, Mr. Smith demonstrates consummate musicianship and enthusiastic commitment to the art of music-making – qualities that have endeared him to audiences and musicians alike. Read More »

Mary Sorlie

Mary Sorlie, Philharmonia East & West Conductor

As a studio teacher, Ms. Sorlie enjoys teaching violin to students of all ages and abilities. A GTCYS alumna, Ms. Sorlie was awarded the 2011 MNSOTA Master Teacher: Studio Award. She received a Bachelor and Master of Music in violin performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional study at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at the Oberlin and Brussels Conservatories. Read More »

Kent Musser

Kent Musser, Sinfonia Conductor

Mr. Musser has taught orchestra at Stillwater Junior High School since 2001 and has been an active leader with the district’s renowned music program. His orchestras continue to win numerous awards for their quality and musicianship. Read More »

sm-_0001_Dan Mollick1

Dan Mollick, Concertino Conductor

Mr. Mollick has taught a wide range of ages from elementary to high school including Minneapolis Schools, Bloomington Schools, Manhattan Beach Schools, and Minnetonka Schools. He currently teaches orchestra at Valley View Middle School in Edina and frequently performs in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra cello section. Read More »

Barb Flooding

Barbara Flooding, Camerata Conductor

Ms. Flooding recently retired as orchestra teacher at Valley View Middle School in Edina. Her teaching career began at St. Cloud Apollo High School and North Junior High School, where she directed the Apollo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia, as well as two junior high orchestras. Read More »

Ben Klemme

Dr. Benjamin Klemme, Concert Orchestra Conductor (through 2016-17 season)

Dedicated to engaging audiences and performers of all ages with the transforming power of orchestral music, Dr. Klemme leads an active career as a conductor and educator. In addition, to his work with GTCYS, he directs the orchestra at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and is Associate Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Read More »

Mark Gitch, Concert Orchestra Conductor (starting 2017-18 season)


The Director of Orchestras at Wayzata High School since 2005, Mark Gitch traces his love for orchestral music back to the Mounds View orchestra program and teachers Doug Overland and John Madura. Further encouraged through violin lessons with Mary Horozaniecki, and energized by his time in GTCYS’ Symphony Orchestra under Dr. William LaRue Jones, Mr. Gitch went on to earn degrees in music education from St. Olaf College and the University of St. Thomas. Read More »

Gary Wolfman

Gary Wolfman, Philharmonic Conductor

Before joining GTCYS in 2012, Mr. Wolfman was the Music Director for the youth symphony program of the Fox Valley Symphony located in Appleton, WI. For many years, Mr. Wolfman taught hundreds of students in the orchestra programs at Appleton North and West High Schools, where he was the recipient of the High School Educator of the Year for the school district. Read More »


Administrative Staff

Megen Headshot

Megen Balda, Executive Director

As GTCYS’ Executive Director, Megen is responsible for the administrative leadership of the organization. Megen works closely with the artistic staff and Board of Directors to ensure that GTCYS’ programs remain vibrant for students, successful, and sustainable. Read More »

Miranda Bryan

Miranda Bryan, Program Manager

Miranda is responsible for the overall coordination of GTCYS’ orchestral activities, including rehearsals, concerts, auditions, retreats, and special events. She also manages student leadership and mentoring activities. Read More »

Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke, Program Assistant & Social Media Specialist

Sarah’s role focuses on assisting the Program Manager through student registration details, including tracking tuition and enrollment, scheduling auditions, managing database details, and additional administrative duties in GTCYS’ office. She also maintains GTCYS social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Read More »

Jeni Gregory

Jeni Gregory, Development & Communications Manager

Jeni is responsible for the coordination of annual fund activities and special events to support GTCYS’ fundraising goals. She also coordinates communications materials and promotional activities to convey GTCYS’ mission and increase the organization’s visibility. Read More »

gracie-millerGracie Miller, Community Engagement Coordinator

Gracie coordinates GTCYS’ newest initiative, a violin instruction program for 3rd graders at Riverview Elementary School in St. Paul. She handles community engagement for GTCYS on the West Side such as concert promotion and family events. Read More »

Steve Savre

Steve Savre, Librarian

Steve’s extensive knowledge of orchestral music and strong interest in music education serve him well as GTCYS’ Librarian, a post he has held since 1991. Read More »


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