We are delighted at the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association to welcome these three excellent musicians and conductors to our team. We look forward to the freshness and enthusiasm each of them will bring to working with their students and ensembles!
Ryan Finn - Youth Philharmonic Conductor
Elizabeth Young - Intermezzo String Orchestra Conductor
Carla Kountoupes - Prelude String Orchestra Conductor (formerly Elementary String Orchestra)
ABOUT RYAN FINN
Ryan Finn is a New Mexico native and alumni of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony. He is currently the Band Director at Los Alamos Middle School where he has directed concert bands and jazz bands for the past five years. Ryan performs locally with a number of jazz and blues bands on trombone and leads a jazz group that performs many of his original compositions, most of which are in Caribbean and Latin American styles.
Ryan received a Bachelors of Music Education in 2004 from Loyola University - New Orleans and a Masters of Educational Leadership in 2017 from New Mexico Highlands University. He regularly clinics middle school and high school bands from around the state and his own groups regularly receive Superior ratings at district festivals and the NM State Contest.
Before returning to New Mexico in 2012, Ryan taught band, orchestra, and music theory for seven years at the St. Lucia of Music on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. He also performed with many well known Caribbean musicians such as Luther Francois, Barbara Cadet, Alison Marquis, Ronald 'Boo' Hinkson, and Rob 'Zi' Taylor. While in St. Lucia, Ryan arranged and composed in a variety of local folk styles and has a portfolio of over 30 compositions. Some of these pieces include full symphonic works, musicals, jazz band charts, concert band arrangements, and more.
In his free time, Ryan can be found hiking and skiing around Northern New Mexico with his wife, 3 children, and their dog.
Fun facts about Ryan:
ABOUT ELIZABETH YOUNG
Violinist and conductor Elizabeth Young has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, St. John the Divine Cathedral, Trinity Church at Wall Street, and The United Nations, among other notable venues in NYC, as well as the National Gallery of Art and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC. She has appeared on the BBC, CBS, and CNN, and as an orchestral and chamber musician, she has performed numerous concerts with orchestras throughout the North America and Europe. In New Mexico, she is a regular performer with the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Santa Fe Opera, and with pianist Doug Montgomery at Vanessie’s, where she performs and improvises all styles and genres of music. As a conductor, she has led performances in North Carolina, New York, California, and Washington, DC. In a world-premiere opera performance with The New York Opera Society, her talents were highlighted in The Washington Post: “The singing and playing, under the baton of Elizabeth Young, were notably strong.” Additionally, Elizabeth is a dedicated and experienced teacher. Currently on the faculty of the New Mexico School for the Arts, her past students have attended music schools and conservatories around the world. Elizabeth looks forward to working with the students of the Intermezzo String Orchestra and bringing her passion, joy, and enthusiasm for music-making to the SFYSA!
Fun facts about Elizabeth:
ABOUT CARLA KOUNTOUPES
Carla Kountoupes is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College (Violin Performance/English Literature). She is a member of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and the Piazzolla da Camera Piano Trio. An active freelance musician, she has toured and performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles in Central America, Taiwan, Germany, and all over the United States. She has previously been a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra and the Costa Rican National Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she frequently performs with the UP Quartet as part of the Chatter Chamber Music Series in Albuquerque, NM. She just recorded a CD for Centaur Records with the Piazzolla da Camera Piano Trio in July 2016 (due for release in 2017) and will be touring this year. Carla also enjoys performing and recording Latin, alt-rock, and jazz. A dedicated music educator, Carla holds a Master of Music degree in Music Teaching. She has taught private violin lessons to children and adults for more than 20 years and directs a thriving orchestra program in the Santa Fe Public Schools. In the summers she teaches and performs at the renowned Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska. She is honored to be joining the staff of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association as the conductor of the Elementary String Orchestra in the fall of 2017.
Fun Facts about Carla:
For the first time in its more than 20 year history, Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association (SFYSA) students came together and performed in a collaborative spring musical showcase on Tuesday, April 25th at The Lensic Performing Arts Center! This 90-minute concert featured students from the Jazz, Mariachi, and Orchestra programs, highlighted the excellence of students and staff, and was a wonderful opportunity to introduce ourselves to the Santa Fe Community.
The “Music for Everyone” showcase served to inaugurate the inclusive phrase as SFYSA’s new tagline. For almost 23 years, SFYSA has made a place for all young musicians ages 7 to 18 by expanding performance and instruction opportunities beyond orchestra to include jazz and mariachi.
The jazz ensemble kicked off the momentous night which featured various cross-ensemble and professional collaborations.
Part of the magic of the night was witnessing SFYSA students share their personal stories about their inspiration to start playing an instrument and how SFYSA has created a community for them as young musicians.
Youth Philharmonia and Youth Symphony Orchestras performed "Pavane" by Gabriel Faure with jazz quartet Andy Kingston, piano; Dave Anderson, soprano saxophone; Jon Gagan, bass and John Trentacosta, drums.
The Santa Fe Youth Symphony said goodbye to two wonderful conductors, Richard Snider and Karles McQuade, who dedicated many years to the success of the SFYSA.
The Mariachi Estrella ensemble collaborated with the Youth Symphony Orchestra in an homage to the late Juan Gabriel, world class pop and Spanish music master who donated to the SFYSA Mariachi program just before his untimely death in August 2016.
Intermezzo String Orchestra students celebrated their final performance with conductor Karles McQuade with a world premier of "Zozobra" a commissioned piece by local composer Monica Demarco.
For El Sueno de la Munequita, the Intermezzo String Orchestra collaborated with young dancers Grace Alexander, Flynn-Bella Ericson, Gigi Kalangis and the Ortiz Middle School Guitar Orchestra, directed by SFYSA Mariachi Director, Jesus Gachupin.
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Our Mission is to inspire and engage the youth of Northern New Mexico's multicultural communities through excellent music education, the guidance of music professionals, and performance opportunities from small ensemble to full orchestra in Jazz, Mariachi and Orchestra.