conductors, mentors, board



Artistic Staff

The artistic staff of GBYO work as a collaborative team, assisting with many different aspects and ensembles within the broader organization. Emily Bowman, Artistic Director, oversees all aspects of the artistic effort.  


Outstanding professional musicians and graduate students at the CU College of Music, GBYO Mentors work with the students on a regular basis. For the student musicians of GBYO, working with Mentors has many benefits, as the Mentors provide strong examples of musicianship in every way:

  • Elements of music - rhythm, pitch, dynamics, etc
  • Rehearsal etiquette
  • Performance practice
  • Technique

The Mentors not only lead sectionals and provide direction for rehearsals, they teach by example.

Team GBYO in action

GBYO conductors

Andres Lopera
Symphony Conductor

Andres Lopera is a leading Latin American orchestral artist in the United States with nearly a decade of work in both North and South America.

Lopera is currently serving as Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Symphony. He also has conducted in the United States orchestras such as Oregon Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Academy and festival orchestras such as National Repertory Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

Outside the states he has conducted orchestras in his home country Colombia, such as EAFIT University Orchestra, and the Colombian National Symphony Orchestra. He also worked with professional and youth orchestras throughout Central and South America, including orchestral groups in Brazil, Uruguay, and Honduras. He has done workshops and collaborations in countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Honduras.

Before joining the Colorado Symphony, Andres was music director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland, OR, where he oversaw more than 460 students. In recognition of his contributions to Portland, Andres received the Portland Monthly Award, Rising Star Award, and the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber Bravo Award.

Lopera has worked with and learned from some of the most outstanding professional artist including Hugh Wolff, Andrew Litton, David Loebel, Carlos Kalmar, Ludovic Morlot and Marin Alsop.

He earned a master’s of music in orchestral conducting from New England Conservatory, and a master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Erik Johnson
Wind Ensemble Conductor

Dr. Erik Johnson is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Colorado State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, conducts the 130 member CSU Concert Band, and is the Director of the CSU Middle School Outreach Ensemble program. Erik is a 2017 Distinction in Community Outreach Award winner at Colorado State University and a 2016 GRAMMY Research Award winner -- an award that is accompanied by a grant that supports research into how peer-assisted learning in music can help to improve social responsiveness for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He holds a master’s degree in Wind Conducting and a Ph.D in Music Education from the University of Colorado.

As a teacher, Erik has received three school board commendations, two 9-News Teacher Who Cares Awards and a Colorado Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. In 2009, Erik received first prize in the Hugh McMillan conducting competition. As a conductor, clinician, and educational consultant, Erik has worked extensively throughout Colorado, the United States, Japan, India, Lithuania, Spain, and China. In 2018 he will be featured as an Artist in Residence at the National Conservatory of Music in the Dominican Republic. He is a frequent music festival adjudicator and presenter at state, national and international music conferences including recent presentations in India, Spain, Scotland, and Lithuania, and Ireland. His scholarly writings and research have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Contributions to Music Education, Journal of Education and Training Studies, and The Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education. Erik’s goals are to cultivate a sincere passion for artistry and music learning for students at all levels.

Emily Bowman
Artistic Director, Philharmonic Conductor

Emily Anne Bowman is an active educator and performer who enjoys developing the skill and joy of music making with young players! Ms. Bowman teaches strings grades 3-12 at Shining Mountain Waldorf School and teaches viola, violin and fiddle with Boulder Suzuki Strings.

In addition to her active teaching schedule, Ms. Bowman performs regularly with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Ms. Bowman also performs with the Seicento Baroque Ensemble, the Free Range String Quartet and joins folk americana group The Bowmans whenever she can.

Ms. Bowman received her formal classical training from the New World School of the Arts and the University of Colorado College of Music. Ms. Bowman graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Viola Performance and was the recipient of the Gabor Ormai Viola Award. Ms. Bowman has twice been awarded the Exemplary Private Teacher Award by the American Strings Teachers Colorado chapter. Ms. Bowman has presented at state and national music education conferences. In addition to making music Ms. Bowman delights in eating and spending time outdoors.

Paul Rowinski
Sinfonia Conductor

Paul Rowinski has been teaching violin using the Suzuki Method in Boulder, Colorado since 1983. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in music, studying violin performance and pedagogy with William Starr. He is the director of the Woodsong Suzuki Violin Instruction program in Boulder, and performs locally in various community orchestras.

Some of our Supporters

GBYO is a non-profit organization and relies on the support of donors.

Student tuition and ticket sales cover less than half of the costs
of this organization; the rest comes from donations and grants.

GBYO has supported dozens of students with financial assistance,
some of whom have gone to study music in college.

GBYO Mentors

Joshua Ulrich Violin

Joshua Ulrich joined the award-winning Altius Quartet in the spring of 2014. Joshua has performed internationally as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He is quickly establishing a reputation as recitalist and chamber musician having collaborated with such artists as James Tocco, Awadagin Pratt, and Sandra Rivers. He is currently a candidate for the degree of Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Joshua completed his studies with renowned pedagogues: Won-Bin Yim, Dorothy Delay, Hyo Kang, Joel Smirnoff, and Cho-Liang Lin and has performed in master classes taught by Midori, Pinchas Zuckerman, Cheeyun Kim, and Igor Ozim. He has been awarded fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and Bowdoin International Music Festival and was a Shouse Artist at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. As an orchestral musician, Joshua is a regular substitute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, an associate musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Associate Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Indiana.

Joshua is currently a student at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he and the Altius Quartet are the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence working with the Takács Quartet. He is studying privately with Ed Dusinberre, Károly Schranz, and Lina Bahn.

Joshua plays on a violin made by Franz Kinberg in 1966.

Yenlik Weiss Violin

Dr. Yenlik Weiss has performed in the US, Europe, and Asia and has over fifteen years of experience teaching strings in individual, group, ensemble, and orchestral settings. After graduating with honors from the National Conservatory in her native Kazakhstan, she came to the US to study on a full scholarship in 1997. She completed her Master of Music in Violin Performance in Cleveland in 1999. In 2005 she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was a graduate assistant in the studio of Professor Oswald Lehnert and was coached by the members of Takacs Quartet. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, CA where she worked as a freelance violinist and teacher for 7 years before returning to Boulder.

In addition to maintaining contracts with the Boulder Philharmonic and Redlands Symphony, Yenlik has performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Opera, Opera Colorado, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Pops, Riverside Symphony Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Marina del Rey Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Aspen Choral Society, and served as Associate Concertmaster of the Colorado Mahler Festival and Boulder Chamber Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Symphony, on Colorado Public Radio. As a member of the Boulder Philharmonic Education String Quartet she has visited and performed at dozens of schools and performed in a sensory-friendly performance for families with autism at Boulder Public Library.

Yenlik is a passionate teacher dedicated to helping her students succeed and achieve their best. In Los Angeles, she taught string classes and orchestras at the Education Through Music-Los Angeles, a non-profit organization with the mission to provide and promote music in disadvantaged schools. She also taught at Renaissance Arts Academy, an award winning public charter school for the Performing Arts in partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Currently she is Artistic Director, teaches strings, and conducts orchestras at the Golden Music Center and teaches strings at Mountain Phoenix Waldorf Community School. Her students have entered the Denver School for the Performing Arts, won auditions at the Colorado All State Symphony Orchestra Competition, and participated in the Colorado Honor Orchestras at the Denver Performing Center for the Arts.

Dragana Loncar Viola

Dragana Loncar, viola, is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a Teaching Assistant to Erika Eckert. She has participated in master classes with numerous artists, including Roberto Diaz, Yizhak Schotten, and James Dunham. Ms. Loncar has worked with conductors Matthias Bamert, Keith Lockhart, and JoAnn Falletta. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University-Schwob School of Music where she was a recipient of the prestigious Robert. W. Woodruff Award. Ms. Loncar is a passionate pedagogue, and she has served as staff violist for the Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division. In addition to performances in the USA, Ms. Loncar has appeared as a chamber musician and a soloist in Serbia, Hungary, and France. Ms. Loncar was born in Novi Sad, Serbia, in 1992 and started playing violin at the age of seven with Karina Skyrian. She has received numerous prizes including first place at the National Competition (2008) in Belgrade, Serbia and has attended festivals such as Aspen Music Festival, International Festival of Slavic Music (Moscow, Russia), Brevard Music Festival, and Zodiac Music Festival (South of France).

Ms. Loncar plays on a modern viola made by a Colombian luthier Alessandro Alberi.

Zack Reaves Cello

Zachary Reaves is a highly sought after cellist and chamber musician. He is a founding member of the award-winning Altius Quartet and has performed in prestigious venues across the globe. He holds degrees in cello and chamber music performance from Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts and the University of Colorado - Boulder. His principal teachers include Andres Diaz, Christopher Adkins, Andras Fejer, David Requiro, Thomas Heinrich, Jim Shelley, and Greg Sauer.

As a member of the Altius Quartet, Reaves has received many awards, including the Silver Medal in the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Zachary and the Altius Quartet served as the Fellowship Ensemble in Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder where they were assistants to the world-renowned Takåcs Quartet. He and the Altius have collaborated with some of the top names in music, including Geraldine Walther, Anton Nel, Michelle DeYoung, Andres Diaz, Peter Nágy, Håkan Rosengren, and Oliver Treindl.

Zachary has appeared in chamber music festivals around the world, such as the Banff Centre, Intimacy of Creativity - Hong Kong, Aspen Music Festival, Music in the Mountains, Innsbrook Institute Emerging Artist Program, Orvieto Musica, Colorado Music Festival, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. From 2011-2014, he served as the founding artistic director for Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, a Dallas-based chamber music series aimed at building new audiences for classical music.

Dedicated to promoting works by living composers, Reaves has premiered over 20 new works, including pieces by Michael Ippolito, Loren Loiacono, JP Merz, Michael van der Sloot, Nathan Courtright and YoungWoo Yoo. He has also worked closely with composers such as Kevin Puts, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, and Joel Puckett.

Zachary’s discography includes recordings on the Centaur and Navona labels. In 2014, he performed on the debut album for the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble. He also released two albums with the Altius Quartet in 2017: Dress Code and Shostakovich String Quartets Nos. 7, 8, & 9.

When away from his cello, Zachary enjoys hiking, snowboarding, waterskiing, and good food. He is currently based in Westminster, Colorado with his wife, Parisa, and his two dogs, Cassie and Blue.

Reaves plays on a cello made in 1969 by W.E. Hill & Sons and a bow made in 2007 by David Forbes.

Jason Thompson Bass

Danny Pliskow GBYO Bass Mentor

Jason Thompson moved to Colorado in the summer of 2015 and since has played in orchestras across the Denver Metro Area. He completed a Bachelor of Music at the George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a Master of Music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD where he had the opportunity to work with musical greats such as Leon Fleisher, Harold Robinson, and Eugene Levinson.

Jason has participated in the Chautauqua Music Festival (NY), Sewanee Summer Music Festival, National Music Festival, Miami Music Festival and most recently Colorado Music Festival. Currently residing in Boulder, Jason plays with the Fort Collins Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic and makes regular substitute appearances with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Jason’s mentorship is sponsored by Arthur Lieb, in memory of Detroit jazz bassist Danny Pliskow.

Jennifer Stucki Oboe

Jennifer Stucki maintains a diverse career that includes soloing, orchestra and chamber ensemble work, organizing various collaborative arts projects, and teaching. A recent migrant from Chicago to Denver, she performed as principal oboist with the Skokie Valley Symphony, second oboe and english horn with the Racine Symphony and was a member of the Sapphire Woodwind Quintet. Recent performances include performing with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Collins Symphony and as a guest soloist with North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble performing the Marcello Oboe Concerto. Additionally she has performed with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Marriott Hotel Theater pit orchestras, Fifth House Ensemble, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago as well as many others. From 2005-2009 she was the principal oboist for the Navy Band and part of the Fair Winds Woodwind Quintet. She has been a featured soloist multiple times with the Skokie Valley Symphony, the Navy Band, and multiple chorale organizations in the Chicago area. She is inspired by vocal music, stories, nature, the culinary arts, and enjoys seeing how life can be expressed through music.

A native of Colorado Springs, Jennifer moved to Chicago in 2000 to attend the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Since then she has earned her Bachelor’s degree from CCPA and her Master’s degree from DePaul University. She has studied with Jelena Dirks, Eugene Izotov, Grover Schiltz and Scott Hostetler. In addition, she has performed in masterclasses given by Alex Klein, Robert Walters and Carolyn Hove.

Jennifer is the oboe professor at the University of Wyoming, Colorado Christian University and is a teaching assistant at the Birch Creek Music Festival in Wisconsin. Her students have been accepted into Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music and Northwestern School of music. Additionally, they have also won positions with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Schaumburg Youth Symphony, ILMEA Honors Orchestra and Young Artist Summerfest at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Derek McDonald Trumpet

Derek McDonald resides in Boulder, Colorado and is principal trumpet of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and a member of the trumpet section of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Before moving to Colorado, Mr. McDonald earned his Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the Pennsylvania State University, where he studied under John Daniel and Dr. Langston J. Fitzgerald, III. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, Mr. McDonald moved to Colorado and earned a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied with and was a graduate teaching assistant for Professor Terry Sawchuk.

While attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mr. McDonald performed extensively with The Flatirons Brass Quintet with whom he was a prize winner and finalist at the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2009. Mr. McDonald also served as a guest artist in residence at Renmin University in Beijing with the Flatirons Brass Quintet in 2011, where he gave master classes and performed a concert for their students and faculty.

As an active performer in the Denver/Boulder area, Derek has performed numerous times with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, notably on Mahler Symphony no. 9 under the direction of Marin Alsop, and Verdi’s Requiem and Mahler Symphony no. 6 under artistic director Andrew Litton. Other organizations that Mr. McDonald frequently performs with include the Boulder Philharmonic, Boulder Brass, and the Steamboat Springs Symphony, among others. Mr. McDonald also performs annually at the International Ballet Festival held in Vail, Colorado. Before moving to Colorado, Derek served as associate principal trumpet of the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, and second trumpet of the Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra.

Aside from performing, Mr. McDonald was a graduate teaching assistant for five years at the University of Colorado while earning his Master’s and working toward his Doctorate in trumpet performance and pedagogy. While serving as a teaching assistant, Derek taught undergraduate trumpet students, coached brass quintets, conducted trumpet ensembles, and gave presentations to the trumpet studio. Mr. McDonald continues to teach with his own trumpet studio and does educational outreach for many of the middle and high schools in the Denver/Boulder area.

GBYO Board

GBYO admin

Brian Jack Executive Director

Dr. Jack’s affinity for education and community involvement has played a large role in his life.

After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and Education at Ithaca College, he earned both his Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado. As one of only thirty invited participants, he completed the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestral Management in New York City in January 2010.

A bassoonist, he currently teaches and performs in the Denver-Boulder area, having played with ensembles such as the Colorado Ballet, Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Symphony, MahlerFest Symphony Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He is an avid chamber musician, having formed the Boulder Bassoon Quartet.

He and his wife Kaori Uno, a bassoonist in the award-winning Antero Wind Quintet, are proud parents of two boys!