Artistic Staff

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Andrew Koehler
Music Director and Conductor, Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Koehler is currently the music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, which he leads as part of his position as an associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College. His innovative and thoughtful programming there was honored with the 2014 American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming. He also holds concurrent posts as music director of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, and as the cover conductor of the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, frequently leading the group in rehearsal and in concert. More recently, he organized and conducted concerts with the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, made up of musicians from the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Symphonies. The group’s premiere performance was hailed as “…exceptional under his baton” by the Kalamazoo Gazette.

He is active as a guest conductor at home and throughout the world. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Orchestra; the Lyatoshynsky Chamber Orchestra in Kyiv, Ukraine; the Ruse Philharmonic in Bulgaria; the St. Cloud Symphony in Minnesota; the Festival South Chamber Orchestra in Mississippi; and, with only a weekend’s notice, the American Opera Group Orchestra in Chicago. He has additionally led ensembles under the auspices of the Aspen Music Festival, the 2006 Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (where he advanced to the final round and won the audience favorite prize), and the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conductor’s Competition in Katowice, Poland (where he won First Distinction and the Youth Jury Prize). Always eager to work with young musicians, he has also led the Vermont All-State Youth Orchestra and was previously music director of the Chamber Orchestra of the University of Chicago as well as the Akademisches Sinfonie-Orchester of Vienna, Austria.

Born in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents, Andrew began his musical studies on the violin at the age of five. He is a graduate of Yale College, where he completed a B.A. in Music and German Studies (graduating with honors and distinction in both majors). During his time there, he served as assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and won the Seldin Memorial Prize in Music. He holds a certificate in conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he studied for two years as a Fulbright scholar, as well as a Masters degree from Northwestern University. His principal teachers have been Victor Yampolsky and Leopold Hager; he has additionally worked with David Zinman, Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, and Mariss Jansons, among others.

 

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Audrey Lipsey
Conductor, Prep and Training String Orchestras

Audrey Lipsey has been teaching violin for 39 years and has been the Executive Director of Crescendo since 2000. She was Associate Concertmaster for the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Audrey performs widely in the community with the following groups: Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (Assistant Concertmaster), Opus IV String Quartet and the Renaissance String Quartet.

She taught in early childhood settings for 18 years after teaching strings in the public schools for eight years. For her significant contributions to music education, Ms. Lipsey was awarded the Community Medal of Arts from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo in 2002; the Mary McLeod Bethune Communication, Arts, & Letters Award from the Kalamazoo Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 2003; and the Prism Award for Excellence in Music Education from the Kalamazoo Alumni Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Women’s Music Fraternity, Inc. in 2006. In 2012 she was presented with a Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA of Kalamazoo for her years of dedication to the education of area youngsters.She holds a B.A. from Western Michigan University and undertook graduate work at the University of Michigan; she also holds a Child Development Associate Certification.

 

Noah on a Boat
Noah Krzan
Assistant Conductor, Prep String Orchestras

Native Michigander Noah Krzan is on the faculty of the Crescendo Academy of Music, teaching string bass. While completing dual degrees at WMU, he was a member of several orchestras and ensembles. He has been a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony since the age of 19. He is also a math instructor for Kalamazoo Public Schools.

 

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Keith Geiman
Co-Director, Prep Winds

Keith Geiman is an active performer, private instructor, and clinician in the Southwest Michigan area. Originally from Sykesville, Maryland, Keith’s musical career began when he started playing the trumpet in the 4th grade. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Towson University and his master’s in music performance from Western Michigan University.

As a performer, Keith holds the position of 2nd trumpet with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, 3rd trumpet with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and, from 2009–2011 served as principal trumpet of the Northwest Indiana Symphony. Keith maintains an active freelance career; he performs regularly with the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and West Michigan Symphony Orchestras, as well as many other Southwest Michigan arts organizations. Keith has also been a featured soloist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and the Bay View Music Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Keith is a passionate and highly committed music educator and has been teaching privately since his senior year of high school. Over the last 10 years, Keith’s studio has grown to over 50 students of all skill levels. Keith has worked closely with band directors from the Parchment, Gull Lake, Plainwell, and Mattawan School Districts as a private instructor and clinician, and is currently the adjunct trumpet instructor at Kalamazoo College.

 

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Beth Jonker
Co-Director,  Prep Winds

Beth Jonker has been a trumpet performer and instrumental educator in the southwest Michigan area for nearly thirty years.

She attended the University of Michigan for two years as a trumpet music education major and performer in various university ensembles.  Beth graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.M. in Music Education and an M.M.E. in Music Education with a cognate in trumpet performance where she performed with the WMU Symphonic Band, University Symphony Orchestra, and several brass chamber ensembles. Beth has performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Philharmonia, Kalamazoo Concert Band, the Kalamazoo Brass, and as a part of many area brass ensembles at local events.

Beth’s primary trumpet teachers included Armando Ghitalla, the University of Michigan; Ramon Parcells and Kevin Good, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and Scott Thornburg, Western Michigan University. Her primary instrumental and conducting mentors were H. Robert Reynolds, Donald Schleicher, and Eric Becher, the University of Michigan; and Richard Suddendorf, Robert Spradling, John Lychner, and David Montgomery, Western Michigan University.

Ms. Jonker has been a Co-Director with the Mattawan Consolidated Schools teaching 6th -12th grade band since 2014. Previous to her current role, she spent fourteen years as the Director of Bands in Parchment, Michigan; and two years in Mendon, Michigan.

Beth is currently in her third year as the summer Band Director at Camp Wakeshma in Three Rivers, Michigan. In the summer of 2015, she traveled as a staff member with the Michigan Ambassadors of Music European Tour. Beth recently joined the staff of instructors for the Kalamazoo Trumpet Workshop in the summer of 2017.

In her free time she enjoys playing trumpet; camping, fishing and kayaking on her family farm; and spending time with her family.