Philharmonic Association Artistic Director and Triangle Youth Philharmonic Conductor
Hugh Partridge brings a unique combination of experience and talents to the Philharmonic Association and the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. Upon graduation from Indiana University, he won the position of Principal Violist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and joined the faculty of Butler University. His appointment as Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Wichita State University brought new opportunities to work closely with aspiring young musicians in the Wichita Symphony’s highly successful youth orchestra program. Coming to North Carolina to fill the position of Principal Violist with the North Carolina Symphony, Hugh brought his professional experience and love of working with young people to the Symphony’s already acclaimed educational program. His teaching on the college level has continued as a faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For over 30 years he has conducted Youth Orchestras in this area and has served as Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Association and conductor of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic since its inception in 1988. In 2003, Hugh Partridge was the recipient of the Raleigh Medal of Arts in recognition of his “extraordinary achievement in the Arts”. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Maxine Swalin Outstanding Music Educator Award, presented by the North Carolina Symphony. In 2018 he received the Business Support of the Arts award in the Arts Education category.
Triangle Youth Philharmonic Associate Conductor
Rashad Denzell Hayward is a Raleigh native, and Triangle Youth Symphony and Triangle Youth Philharmonic alumnus, who began playing the clarinet at East Millbrook Middle. He distinguished himself by being selected first chair for four consecutive years in county, district, and state level auditions. His honors include the “Semper Fidelis” award from the Marine Band Youth Association and selection by the Durham Symphony Young Artist Competition and the Omega Psi Phi Talent hunt. Rashad received a Bachelor’s in Clarinet Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After serving as a conducting intern in 2013, he joined the Philharmonic Association staff in 2014. Mr. Hayward has studied with William Henry Curry, the former Associate Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, and he has had experience working with young string players as the Beethoven Ensemble Conductor for Kidznotes since 2013. He also serves as the Kidznotes Artistic Coordinator.
Triangle Youth Symphony Conductor
McCrae Hardy was the founding Music Director of the North Carolina Theatre, conducting ninety productions from 1984 to 2005. He also was the Music Director of the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills” for three decades, and more than three million patrons heard his orchestration of the music score. A graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Mr. Hardy has been in great demand as collaborator and conductor of musical productions around the country, among them: “Patsy,” touring nationally in a tribute to the legendary Patsy Cline; the Duke Children’s Classic, with such stars as Perry Como and Norm Lewis; and seventeen seasons as Music Director of the Pittsburgh’s Civic Light Opera company in productions of “A Musical Christmas Carol”. He has led productions in Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Branson. Mr. Hardy is a frequent contributor of special orchestrations for the North Carolina Symphony and has appeared as Guest Conductor on several occasions. This past summer was his second as Music Director at the nation’s longest-running outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. In 1994, McCrae was awarded the Raleigh Medal of Arts for his “extraordinary achievement in the arts.”
Triangle Youth Orchestra Conductor
Tim Kohring is looking forward to another fantastic year as the Triangle Youth Orchestra conductor. He was excited to return back to his musical roots in the Philharmonic Association, having played in TYP and TYS during his years at Leesville High School. Mr. Kohring received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he also studied conducting with Mr. Tonu Kalam and Dr. Michael Votta. He then completed a Master’s in Arts in Teaching from the UNC-CH School of Education. Mr. Kohring has been on the faculty of Wakefield Middle School and North Garner Middle School. Since 2013, he has been the band director at Rolesville Middle School where he teaches concert band classes and jazz band ensembles, and enjoys the benefits and challenges to teaching in a year-round school. He can be seen from time to time playing with various community ensembles as a tuba player. Mr. Kohring is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, and the North Carolina Music Educators Association.
Triangle Youth Orchestra Assistant Conductor
Cellist Jacob Wenger is a native of Raleigh and a former Principal in the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Wenger currently holds positions in the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Tar River Philharmonic, and the North Carolina Theatre pit orchestra. He performs regularly with touring Broadway productions at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Mr. Wenger has also performed with the “Requiem for Darfur” Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, an orchestra which included some of the best orchestral and chamber musicians in the United States. He maintains a studio at North Raleigh School of Music. He is also on the faculty of UNC-Wilmington, and Ravenscroft School. Mr. Wenger studied privately with Margo Drakos, Zvi Plesser, Marcy Rosen, and Jonathan Kramer. He has also studied chamber music with Robert Mann, the founding first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, as well as Sylvia Rosenberg and Jeffrey Cohen.
Triangle Youth String Sinfonia Conductor
From 1977 to 1983, Luanne Roth was an orchestra director in Wake County Public Schools. She started the string orchestra program at a number of schools and grew the program to include the high school level in Garner. She is currently the youth string ensemble director at White Memorial Presbyterian Church and has been conducting and coaching for the Triangle Youth String Orchestra for the past six years. Mrs. Roth has been a violist with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Raleigh Civic Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Kokomo Symphony, UNC Orchestra, and Louisville Youth Orchestra. She currently plays violin with the Triangle Community Orchestra and also as a fiddle player.
Triangle Youth String Orchestra Conductor
Myriah Luke graduated from Meredith College in 2017 and is enjoying her first year as an orchestra teacher at East Millbrook Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts. She has appeared as guest conductor for the Triangle Community Orchestra and the Meredith College Sinfonietta. During her tenure as a cellist in the Philharmonic Association from 2009 – 13, she performed in the Triangle Youth Orchestra, Triangle Youth Symphony and Triangle Youth Philharmonic.
Triangle Youth String Orchestra Assistant Conductor and Triangle Youth Symphony Strings Coach
A native of North Carolina, Gina Ali started playing violin at a very young age. Her love for music grew throughout her youth as she participated in many of the local youth orchestras, including our own Triangle Youth Philharmonic. Gina went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from Meredith College, with an emphasis in Music Education. She spent ten years teaching strings in the San Francisco Bay Area, starting the Mission Attendance Area String Program in Fremont, California and was the Lower School Director of Music and Strings at Redwood Day School in Oakland, California. Ms. Ali formerly served as the orchestra director at Hunter Elementary, in Raleigh, and currently teaches strings at Powell Elementary. Over the years Gina has enjoying playing with several chamber groups, as well as the Appalachian Symphony, the Raleigh Civic Symphony, the Oakland Civic Orchestra and the San Francisco Sinfonietta.
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble Conductor
Dr. Gregg Gelb is a saxophonist and clarinetist and he leads many different jazz groups: his Jazz Quartet, La Fiesta Latin Jazz Band, Second Line Stompers, and Swing Band. He is founder and director of the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Society and co-founder and player with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. His groups have recorded over a dozen CD’s. Gregg often performs on saxophone with the North Carolina Symphony. He is a recipient of a Jazz Composers Award from the North Carolina Arts Council and four Regional Artist grants from the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. He has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Music degree from the UNC School of the Arts, and a DMA from UNC Greensboro. In addition to a busy performing schedule Gregg loves teaching, especially the fine young students in TYJE!
Triangle Youth Jazz Orchestra Conductor
Lisa Burn is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Trumpet Performance. Upon graduation, she joined the Winnipeg Symphony in Canada. As a jazz educator, Ms. Burn has participated in the International Association of Jazz Educators workshop and the Band Directors Academy sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. While Director of Bands at Franklin Academy, the Franklin Academy Jazz Band was recognized as the Most Outstanding Band of the High School Essentially Ellington Regional Competition in 2009. Lisa currently maintains an active schedule as a freelance trumpeter, serving as Principal Cornet of the Triangle Brass Band as well as a private instructor and music education consultant for the Triangle area. In addition, Ms. Burn is an Artist in Residence at Ravenscroft School as both a brass instructor and jazz director.
Triangle Youth Jazz Band Conductor
Kobie Watkins has a well establish international career as a jazz drummer having played with some of the top artists in the field including Branford Marsalis, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, and Jim Hall, as well as extensive touring with Kurt Elling (2005 – 2014) and Sonny Rollins (2006 – 2012).He is a graduate of the VanderCook College of Music and Northwestern University School of Music. Mr. Watkins is also highly sought as both an instrumental and ensemble teacher. He has worked for the Ravinia Festival School Jazz Scholar Program, Chicago State University, ArtsWest Performing and Visual Arts School, Brigham Young University – Idaho and Hall International Academy among others. He has also given jazz clinics and master classes locally at Sharp Nine, University of North Carolina Jazz Camp, St. Mary Magdalene School, Cary Academy, and Broughton High.
Triangle Youth Jazz Lab Conductor
Genevieve Palmer is an alumna of the Philharmonic Association having played in the Triangle Youth Symphony and Triangle Youth Philharmonic, and attaining the position of Principal Viola in TYP during her senior year. She received her early musical training at Ligon Middle and Enloe High Schools, the Community Music School of Raleigh, and through the North Carolina Symphony’s Young Strings of the Triangle program. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Ms. Palmer concentrated on jazz studies and the double bass, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2017. This fall she will be pursuing a Masters degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in Musicology as an Irene Dillard Elliot NC Excellence Fellowship recipient. Ms. Palmer has taught private lessons at the Community Music School of Raleigh and Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Greensboro and coached jazz ensembles for the NC School of Math and Science, Durham School of the Arts, and for Broughton, Grimsley, and Enloe High School programs.
Philharmonic Association Executive Intern
Krista Wiese is currently a student at Meredith College pursuing a double major in Arts Administration and English. She started interning with the Philharmonic Association the summer of her senior year of high school. Krista is an alumna of the Philharmonic Association having played in the Triangle Youth String Orchestra, the Triangle Youth Orchestra, the Triangle Youth Symphony and the Triangle Youth Philharmonic, and attaining the position of Concert Master of TYS in 2016 and Principal Second Violin of TYP in 2017. In 2016, she formed a string quartet of TYS players that continued to perform together until 2018. From that experience, Krista discovered her passion for management. As the Executive Intern, Krista shares in the administrative and managerial tasks of Executive Director Margaret Partridge.
Philharmonic Association Executive Director
Margaret Partridge’s love of orchestral music began with membership in the Louisville and Jefferson County Youth Orchestras. From 1987 – 1990, she was a full-time member of the managing staff of the Arkansas Symphony, in Little Rock, and played in the first violin section. Since becoming the Executive Director in 2005, the Philharmonic Association has doubled the number of participants served each year by adding jazz, chamber, string orchestra and summer programming. She has also quadrupled the budget to sustain this larger program. Margaret is an active freelance violinist and performs in the North Carolina Opera and Carolina Ballet orchestras, among others.