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Youth Inspired Music

Hear the future of music today and watch the next generation of leaders take shape.

The Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra program serves more than 170 of the very best young musicians in the greater Asheville area. The program consists of four orchestras, in addition to woodwind, brass, percussion, and chamber music ensembles. ASYO musicians participate in masterclasses, retreats, workshops, tours and social events. They also receive superb music instruction from many of the region’s most respected professional conductors and musicians and have the opportunity to perform throughout the community.

Most importantly, whether or not students continue their music studies, they leave with a strong sense of discipline, increased confidence, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.

The Youth Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which supported in part by the Buncombe County and Asheville City School Systems but also depends on private and corporate donations.

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2019/2020 CONCERTS
November 4th, 2019 at 7:00 PM –  UNCA

December 10th, 2019 at 6:30 PM – Asheville High School

March 28th, 2020 at 3:00 PM – Asheville High School

May 12th, 2020 at 6:30 PM – Location TBA 

ASYO ORCHESTRAS

Youth Orchestra

Sam Lyons, conductor
The Youth Orchestra offers high-quality, artistic string playing coupled with advanced, full symphonic repertoire for string, brass, woodwind and percussion students. The most advanced ensemble of the ASYO program, this orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:00 in addition to a few yearly activities including the fall retreat, spring tour, and three concerts.

Philharmonia

Sam Lyons, conductor
The Philharmonia is an intermediate-advanced string ensemble that, in addition to working on string repertoire, performs select symphonic works with the brass and woodwind chamber ensembles. Members must be solid in rhythm training and comfortable with shifting. Students should have experience using vibrato. Students selected for the Philharmonia rehearse Tuesday afternoons from 4:30-6:00 in addition to participating in a fall weekend workshop and sectionals throughout the year. Students will also perform in three concerts per year.

Chamber Orchestra

Andrea Dennis, conductor
The Chamber Orchestra offers an environment for students who have a few years of orchestra experience to sharpen their ensemble skills while learning fun, new music. Open to string students who have a good set-up including posture and basic technique plus studies in note-reading and rhythm training. Students selected for the Chamber Orchestra rehearse Tuesday afternoons from 4:30-6:00 in addition to participating in a fall weekend workshop and sectionals throughout the year. Students will also perform in two concerts per year.

Prelude Orchestra

Elizabeth Terry, conductor

Elizabeth Terry is an Asheville native and the Orchestra Director for CT Koontz Intermediate School, Valley Springs Middle School and TC Roberson High School. She has worked with middle and high school students in a variety of settings from small chamber groups to all-county orchestras since 2006. Prior to working with student ensembles, Elizabeth maintained a large private violin and viola studio in Asheville through which she developed her passion for string pedagogy and research-based teaching practices. Under her direction, The TC Roberson Orchestra as well as the East Henderson High School Orchestra have performed at NCMEA Music Performance Adjudication events, earning consistent Superior ratings.

Percussion Ensemble

Brian Tinkel, director
The Asheville Symphony Youth Percussion Ensemble is an active ensemble composed of intermediate to advanced percussionists. This ensemble performs a variety of literature thus providing the students with a comprehensive performing experience. Percussion Ensemble is the “laboratory” in which skills and techniques learned are “applied.”  The director encourages performance in percussion ensemble since participation in the ensemble brings one into contact with the most strenuous of demands ever placed upon the percussionist. Outstanding performance and comfort in percussion ensemble guarantees outstanding performance and comfort in any musical ensemble. It is without question the most important activity for percussionists.

Students that audition and are accepted as a member of the ASYO percussion section will first and foremost be placed into the percussion ensemble. Members of the percussion section are evaluated and selected by both the conductor and the percussion director for participation in both the Youth Orchestra and Philharmonia depending upon repertoire. Percussion Ensemble meets on Tuesdays from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Orchestra assignments will affect each individual student’s start and end time.

ASYO STAFF

Sam Lyons
Conductor of the Youth Orchestra & Philharmonia
Sam Lyons
Conductor of the Youth Orchestra & Philharmonia

Sam Lyons is a music educator, violinist, and conductor hailing from the sunny state of Maine. He received a B.M. in Music Education from The University of Southern Maine. After graduating he was appointed Director of Orchestras for grades 4-12 at the Waterville Public Schools. During his time in Maine he founded the Waterville Acoustic Ensemble, and conducted at several District music festivals. Following two years of directing in Maine, Sam and his wife relocated to London, England where he taught secondary school music at The Compton School and worked as an ensemble conductor for The Bird College Music Service.

On top of his love for classical music, Sam has a passion for playing and teaching other styles such as old-time, celtic, and jazz. He has attended the Mike Block String Camp and has coached many groups including the Franklin County Fiddlers. During the summer of 2015 Sam traveled to Chennai, India, where he studied traditional Carnatic music and had the opportunity to work with the Sunshine String Orchestra at A.R. Rahman’s KM Conservatory. Sam and his wife Callie live in Asheville, North Carolina, where he works as a grade 6-12 orchestra director for the Buncombe County Schools. He also works as a freelance violinist, performing regularly in the Asheville area. Most recently Sam has performed with the Brevard Philharmonic, Hendersonville Symphony, and the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra.

Mandy Guilfoyle
Interim Youth Orchestra Manager
Mandy Guilfoyle
Interim Youth Orchestra Manager

Mandy Guilfoyle is an arts administrator, musician, and educator based in Asheville, NC. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, with a B.A. in Music with a focus on cello performance (2016) and a M.M. in Music Education (2018) with Summa Cum Laude distinction.

She has extensive experience with all facets of the classical music industry, as a performer, teacher, and administrator. While completing her bachelor’s degree, Mrs. Guilfoyle focused much of her attention on arts administration and entrepreneurship. In 2016, Mandy created, produced, and managed a chamber music concert series in Dallas, TX, “Classic Blend.”

In addition to arts administration, Mandy has an extensive background in performance as well. Mandy has performed in multiple countries, including France, Italy, and Europe, as both a string quartet member, and the principal cellist of an orchestra. In 2016, Mandy attended the Global Musician Workshop with Yo Yo Ma and performed and worked with musicians such as Mike Block, Sarah Jarosz, and Hanneke Cassel. Her time with these three musicians specifically, inspired her interest in American folk music. With a newfound passion, Mandy learned everything she could about American folk music, and returned to the Global Musician Workshop the following year, and performed and worked with old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky.

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Andrea Dennis
Chamber Orchestra Conductor
Andrea Dennis
Chamber Orchestra Conductor

The Chamber Orchestra offers an environment for students who have a few years of orchestra experience to sharpen their ensemble skills while learning fun, new music. Open to string students who have a good set-up including posture and basic technique plus studies in note-reading and rhythm training. Students selected for the Chamber Orchestra rehearse Tuesday afternoons from 4:30-6:00 in addition to participating in a fall weekend workshop and sectionals throughout the year. Students will also perform in two concerts per year.

Elizabeth Terry
Prelude Orchestra Conductor
Elizabeth Terry
Prelude Orchestra Conductor

Elizabeth is an active performer, and has performed on violin with the Hendersonville Symphony, Brevard Philharmonic, Asheville Lyric Opera, Spartanburg Philharmonic, Asheville Choral Society, as well as other orchestras and chamber groups in the WNC area. Elizabeth also plays violin with the Cafe Strings Quartet and enjoys playing swing and jazz fiddle.

Elizabeth studied music and violin at UNC Greensboro and jazz studies at UNC Asheville and holds a BA in music from UNCA. She also holds National Board certification in Early Adolescence Through Young Adulthood Music and is currently pursuing a Master of Music Education through UNCG. Elizabeth lives in South Asheville with her husband and daughter.

Brian Tinkel
Percussion Director
Brian Tinkel
Percussion Director

Percussionist Brian Tinkel enjoys a career that draws on his background both in teaching and in performance as chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Music at Mars Hill University in Mars Hill, North Carolina. As Director of Percussion Studies, he oversees all aspects of percussion education. He advises all percussion majors and manages two additional adjunct percussion faculty. He directs University Percussion Ensembles and co-directs the Mountain Lion Marching Band. During his tenure, Dr. Tinkel started additional percussion ensembles to include Marimba Band, West African Ensemble, and Brazilian Percussion Ensemble.

Dr. Tinkel performs with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Lyrics Opera, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater, Asheville Community Theater, Brevard Philharmonic, and the Johnson City Orchestra. He is currently on faculty with the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra serving as Director of Percussion. He was Principal Timpanist with the Enid Symphony and has performed with the Oklahoma Philharmonic. He is co-founder of the Brio Chamber Series, a chamber music series in Western North Carolina, and is a member of Mosaic Flute and Percussion Duo with his wife, Cynthia Roop. Dr. Tinkel earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Oklahoma. His dissertation, “Rebonds: A Pedagogical Analysis” is published by UMI. He received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His past teachers include Thom Hannum, Eduardo Leandro, Dr. Peter Tanner, and Dr. Lance Drege.

While being involved in the drum corps activity for two decades, Dr. Tinkel’s performance opportunities led him to being a member of the Boston Crusaders and Star of Indiana. He went on to perform with Star of Indiana’s Brass Theater production where he toured extensively with The Canadian Brass and Nexus. Since devoting his time to teaching, Brian has been on faculty with the Crossmen, Glassmen, and has coordinated percussion activities for Magic of Orlando and the Madison Scouts. In addition he has served as Percussion Caption Director and Arranger for Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps and served as a percussion consultant for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps in 2008 and 2009. Dr. Tinkel served as Percussion Caption Head for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from 2010 to 2013. In 2011, Tinkel led The Cavaliers Percussion Program to the Fred Sanford Award for Best Percussion Performance. In 2014, Dr. Tinkel began a position as percussion consultant with The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps.

Dr. Tinkel has been a featured clinician and adjudicator at numerous events across the United States and at the 25th National Cultural Festival and International Exchange in Okayama, Japan. Additionally, he arranges for percussion ensembles across the country.

Dr. Tinkel is an artist and clinician for Avedis Zildjian Co., Pearl-Adams Corporation, REMO Inc., Innovative Percussion, and StickTape.com. Brian resides near Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Cynthia, and his two children Lydia and Asher.

Jason Posnock
Advisor
Jason Posnock
Advisor

iolinist Jason Posnock enjoys a versatile musical career both in the United States and internationally. He has performed regularly in such prominent American ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and has accompanied them on tours to Europe, South America, the Far East and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Mr. Posnock is also an active chamber musician and recitalist, having appeared in venues throughout the United States, England, Puerto Rico, and India. Concertmaster of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Posnock has previously held the positions of Concertmaster of the Clarksburg (WV) Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of the McKeesport (PA) Symphony Orchestra. He has often been invited to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as serve as Guest Concertmaster of ensembles such as the Bangor, Roanoke, Erie, Westmoreland, and Altoona Symphony Orchestras.

In addition to his performance schedule, Mr. Posnock has devoted much of his time to teaching and working with young musicians, serving on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center, as Artist Lecturer in Violin at Carnegie Mellon University, conductor of the Intrada Strings preparatory orchestra, and maintaining a busy teaching studio. Presently, Mr. Posnock resides with his family in Brevard, NC, serves on the faculty of Brevard College, and is the Director of Artistic Planning & Educational Programs at the Brevard Music Center.