HISTORY OF THE CYSO
The CYSO was founded in 1984 to provide orchestral experience for school-age musicians. The University of Denver contributed rehearsal and performance space and gave the new organization a $10,000 startup grant. Two CYSO orchestras began rehearsing in September 1984.
CYSO's concerts were held at the university's Lamont School of Music. Concerts are now presented at numerous sites around the city of Denver. The CYSO rehearses at Colorado's Finest High School of Choice.
Michelle Orman is in her fourteenth full season with CYSO. Her primary responsibilities are fundraising, managing the budget and finances, managing staff, and overseeing administrative and orchestra operations.
In addition to managing the CYSO, Michelle is Principal Clarinet with Opera Colorado, the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, 2nd Clarinet with the Central City Opera, and the Boulder Philharmonic. She frequently performs with the Colorado Symphony. She is Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at the University of Northern Colorado, and has been working with youth orchestras since 1980. Michelle is also a D'Addario woodwind artist.
Symphony conductor Angie Dombrowski is an avid performer and educator in the Denver area. She performs regularly with the Central City Opera, Colorado Ballet, and Opera Colorado, and as a frequent substitute with the Colorado Symphony. She maintains a large private violin studio and enjoys working as a string specialist at schools in Jefferson County.
Angie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University, where she studied with Bayla Keyes, and her Master of Music degree from Rice University, where she studied with Kathleen Winkler. While at Rice, she took additional weekly private lessons with former Houston Symphony concertmaster Raphael Fliegel for the study of the orchestral repertoire.
Philharmonia Conductor Brandon Matthews serves as Director of Orchestras at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Besides teaching conducting and leading the University’s two orchestral ensembles, Dr. Matthews also serves as music director for MSU Denver's Opera Ensemble. Dr. Matthews is also an active adjudicator and clinician for competitions and honor orchestras, and regularly collaborates with orchestras and arts organizations in Colorado including the Arapahoe Philharmonic, Longmont Dance Theatre, the Boulder Symphony, and the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. Raised in Spokane, Washington, he began his musical studies as a pianist at age five and later began the viola in the public school system. His musical training continued during summers spent at the Brevard Music Center and the Marrowstone Summer Festival. He received a bachelor of music degree in piano performance at BYU, and continues to perform on piano, viola as well as the violin. Dr. Matthews resides in Denver with his wife, Meghan, and their four children.
DR. GRANT LARSON
Wind Ensemble Conductor
Dr. Grant Larson is the soprano saxophonist with the Colorado-based Chautauqua Saxophone Quartet and has performed with the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Fargo/Moorhead Symphony. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. An active recitalist and proponent of new music, he has premiered works for saxophone by Philip Wharton, Chiayu Hsu, Steven Makala, and John Drumheller at regional and national conventions. His album Terrane features nine of his original jazz compositions.
Grant served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Concordia College, and the Boulder Arts Academy. He studied saxophone with Tom Myer, Peter Sommer, Russell Peterson, and Ron Wray and oboe with Jennifer Peterson. He has performed onstage with Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling, Mulgrew Miller, Art Lande, Peter Erskin, Ray Charles, Ignacio Berroa, and “Slammin” Sammy K.