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Youth Inspired Music

 

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 two string orchestras, two symphony orchestras, and one percussion ensemble. Students participate in masterclasses, retreats, workshops, tours and social events. They also receive high quality music instruction from the region’s most respected professional conductors and musicians, and have the opportunity to perform throughout the community. Most importantly, students involved in ASYO gain a strong sense of discipline, increased confidence, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.

Upcoming Events

ASYO Winter Concert
Monday, December 5, 2022, 6:30 p.m.

Tickets & Event Details

WANT TO JOIN THE ASYO?

If interested in auditioning for the ASYO, please fill out the ASYO Interest Form and Audition Requirements. ASYO auditions will be held in December for Spring Semester and in June for 23-24 Season. Click here for audition details.

ASYO Interest Form

ASYO STAFF

Cynthia M. Roop
General Manager
Cynthia M. Roop
General Manager

Cynthia Roop has an extensive career in music education, performance, and arts management. Her music education career spans twenty-six years and includes successful teaching positions from kindergarten through college where she taught and managed K-4 general music, conducted several middle and high school bands, and instructed music education classes and applied flute studies at Mars Hill University. Cynthia graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) from Murray State University, a Masters of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Masters of Music (M.M) in flute performance from the University of Oklahoma. Cynthia holds a teaching licensure in Music K-12 in North Carolina, Orff Level 1 and 2 certifications, and is a member of NCMEA and NAfME. In 2017, Ms. Roop was recognized as Teacher of the Year for Weaverville Elementary and District Teacher of the Year for the North Buncombe District.

Cynthia has performed flute as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral player. She began her studies with internationally known soloist and teacher, Jim Walker. Other teachers include Mr. Paul Thompson, Mr. Christopher Krueger, Dr. Valerie Watts, and Christina Jennings. In 2003, Ms. Roop was invited to attend the International Summer Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany where she participated in an intense course of study with Carol Wincenc and the other members of the Juilliard Faculty. Ms. Roop has presented at music education conferences, various flute day events, and the National Flute Convention.

Ms. Roop’s arts management experience began as assistant tour manager for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps/Youth Education in the Arts from 1995-1999. She worked in Public Radio as the Assistant for Morning Classics at WKMS while attending Murray State University, and founded the Brio Chamber Series in 2004 when she arrived in Western, NC. Cynthia has facilitated numerous committees within the Buncombe County Schools district and currently serves on the Buncombe County Schools Arts Advisory Board.

Cynthia has maintained a private music studio and created summer music and arts camps for children. She has secured numerous grants for her students and worked to raise money for other institutions that impact the lives of children. She and her team participated in the Trail Blaze Challenge where they hiked 28 miles in one day to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Furthermore, Cynthia and her team raised money for Food Connection running a 76-mile relay race from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC. She is driven by her advocacy for music education and her passion to positively impact her community. Cynthia resides in Weaverville with her husband Brian and two children, Lydia and Asher.

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Alexandra Dee
Symphony Conductor
Alexandra Dee
Symphony Conductor

Alexandra Dee is the newly appointed Director of Orchestral Activities in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. Her previous positions include Director of Orchestral Studies and assistant professor of violin and viola at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Outside of academia, she was music director and conductor of Chicago’s South Loop Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor for the Joffrey Ballet, with whom she debuted in 2017, leading an opening week of performances with the Chicago Philharmonic on one day’s notice. In summer 2017 she was invited to conduct at the Peninsula Music Festival (Door County, Wisconsin) as an Emerging Conductor. Also at home in the opera pit, Dee has had multiple engagements with Manitoba Underground Opera (Winnipeg), Northwestern University Opera Theater, and the IUP Music Department’s Main Stage Productions.

Dee completed her doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she studied with Victor Yampolsky. She is also an alumna of the Florida State University College of Music, where she completed both a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at FSU, Dee studied conducting with Alexander Jiménez, choral conducting with André Thomas, and violin with Corinne Stillwell. Her conducting positions at FSU included founding music director and conductor of the Campus Orchestra, a string orchestra geared toward non-music majors from across the university community.

In addition to her formal studies, Dee has attended conducting workshops and festivals at such institutions as the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Orkney Conductors’ Course, where she conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. A consistent advocate for contemporary music, Dee has performed and premiered numerous works by living composers. In particular, she is a vigorous champion of the works of her husband, composer Roger Zare.

Amanda Tant
Chamber Conductor
Amanda Tant
Chamber Conductor

Amanda Tant is the orchestra director at Hendersonville Middle and Hendersonville High Schools. Ms. Tant’s students receive consistent excellent and superior ratings at state and local competitions. Students also regularly audition for and participate in Junior and Senior Western Regional Orchestra and NC All State Orchestra.

Her high school ensembles have performed at the North Carolina Music Education Association Conference, Festival Disney and the Worldstrides Nashville Heritage Festival. Ms. Tant also serves as the musical director in the long-standing Hendersonville High School Senior Play, coaching vocals and conducting the pit orchestra of a full-length Broadway musical every spring.

Outside of her school ensembles, Ms. Tant is very excited to return to Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestras as the Chamber Orchestra conductor this season. She currently conducts the WNC Music Academy Sonata String Orchestra. From 2016-2019, she conducted the inaugural Prelude Orchestra of the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestras. She has also had the pleasure of serving as a festival clinician for Buncombe All-County Middle School and Berrian All-County Orchestras. 

Ms. Tant holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Appalachian State University. Before she began teaching in Hendersonville, Ms. Tant completed a year of graduate courses in Viola Performance, studying with Eric Koontz, DMA and performing in an endowed graduate chamber ensemble, the Hayes Quartet. 

She performs on viola with the Café String Quartet, Brevard Philharmonic, and Hendersonville Symphony. She is currently on the board of the HSO serving on the Education Committee.

Ms. Tant is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow alumna and an active member of the National Association for Music Education serving as the Auditions Chairperson for Western Regional Orchestra. She is also a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and a 2018 recipient of the Foundation for the Advancement of String Education’s George Bornoff Memorial Scholarship. Ms. Tant is especially honored to be recognized as Hendersonville High School’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

She resides in Asheville with her husband, Nathaniel Habel. They have one dog, Khyber, and three cats: Zeke, Blue, and Tempest.

Ashlee Booth
Prelude Conductor
Ashlee Booth
Prelude Conductor

Ashlee Booth enjoys a career that combines her love for performance and string pedagogy. Currently based in Asheville, NC, Ashlee frequently performs as a chamber/orchestral musician in the greater WNC region. Ashlee also performs with her cello/percussion duo Two-Way Street, who’s recent album has received critical attention in the New York Times, Pitchfork, and The Wire. 

Ashlee is currently an Orchestra Teacher in Buncombe County Schools where she strives to give her students a culturally responsible education. Her orchestra students are not only taught the fundamentals of musicality, but a wide range of musical styles, perspectives, and with an emphasis on relating music to the world around them.

Ashlee received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Florida State University where she studied with Greg Sauer. In 2018 Ashlee completed her MM and her work as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Wesley Baldwin at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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

Violinist 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.

Dilshad Posnock
Woodwind Coach
Dilshad Posnock
Woodwind Coach

Originally from Mumbai, India, flutist Dilshad Posnock has appeared in concerts and festivals across the United States, England, Puerto Rico and India, and has been featured on BBC TV and BBC World Service Radio.

Ms. Posnock’s performance experience is wide and varied. She has been featured as a concerto and recital soloist, as well as a chamber musician, collaborating with musicians from the New York Chamber Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as her hometown ensemble – the Bombay Chamber Orchestra. She has also participated in such international music festivals as the Brevard Music Center, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Cape May Music Festival, Musica Viva, and was a founding member of the Sangat Music Festival in Mumbai, India.

Ms. Posnock completed her undergraduate studies with Honors at the Royal College of Music, London, and her Master’s Degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she studied with renowned flutist and pedagogue Jeanne Baxtresser, former Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic. While in Pittsburgh, she performed regularly with ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Ballet, and Pittsburgh Opera, and was Director of the Artist Diploma Program at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music.

Ms. Posnock has a deep passion for teaching. She has served as Artist Lecturer in Flute at CMU, is currently Artist Faculty at the Brevard Music Center and Brevard College, and woodwind coach for the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra. She lives in Brevard, NC with her husband Jason, and two children. She is a member of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, and travels back to India to perform as Principal Flute with the South Asian Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Jason Slaughter
Brass Coach
Dr. Jason Slaughter
Brass Coach

Dr. Slaughter has a background in both classical and jazz music, and has had the privilege of performing with many of the greats in the jazz, hip hop, and funk worlds, including George Clinton, Joe Lovano, Lenny Pickett, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Village People, Wayne Bergeron, Joe LaBarbera, Dave Loeb, Bobby Shew, and Gerald Wilson. He also performed extensively in musicals and lounge shows in Las Vegas, was a member of the Wayne Newton Orchestra, and has performed in several famous venues in New York, including the Lincoln Center and Blue Note jazz club. Dr. Slaughter studied composition with several Pulitzer Prize winners, and his compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, and South Korea.

He currently teaches at Mars Hill University, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble, teaches Music History and Music Theory, and offers private lessons in jazz. He taught previously at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, as well as spending a year as an elementary music teacher at P.S. 158 in New York City.

His current regular performing duties include playing bass trombone and tuba for the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, Greenville Jazz Collective, and Ol’ 74 Jazz Band, as well as playing tuba for the MHU Faculty Brass Quintet.

Rodney Workman
Site Coordinator
Rodney Workman
Site Coordinator

Rodney K. Workman is the Director of Bands at Asheville High School where he conducts the Wind Symphony and Marching Band and also assists the high school Symphonic Band, high school jazz bands, and the middle school bands in Asheville City Schools. He received degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from Appalachian State University. His concert bands regularly perform at the NC Bandmasters MPA events where they have received Superior Ratings in Grades II through Grade VI/ Masterworks. His bands have performed at local and regional concert band festivals including the Dixie Classic Festival, the Charleston Music Festival, the US Army Band President’s Cup in Washington DC, and the Grand National Adjudicator’s Invitational at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

In addition to his school work has also served as a conductor at UNCG Summer Music Camp, Cannon Music Camp, and most recently was selected to be on the staff of the “All American Band” which will be representing the United States in Normandy in the summer of 2023 for the D-Day Commemoration. He is a regular guest clinician for All County and All District Bands having conducted more than 50 clinics in recent years in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama as well as the Symphonic Band at the University of South Carolina Band Clinic.

Mr. Workman is also a Past President of the North Carolina Bandmasters, and the current state chair for the National Band Association in North Carolina.