"Success lies in the strength of the teachers, their students, the parents who support their musical development and the conductors who together celebrate the power of music"

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Conductor Bios

2018-2019 FESTIVAL CONDUCTORS

LISFA GRADES 11 & 12 CONDUCTOR - SOON HEE NEWBOLD

Soon Hee Newbold was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted as an infant by the Newbold family.  She spent her childhood, along with two sisters, in Frederick, Maryland.

Soon Hee began playing piano at age five and violin at age seven.  She won many prestigious competitions and performed as a concert artist at an early age.  As a soloist and in professional orchestras throughout the world, Ms. Newbold has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Disney World, Aspen, and Tanglewood and in countries like Scotland, England, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

In high school, Soon Hee’s interests included science, languages, and drama.  She studied German, French, and Russian and completed an internship in AIDS and Cancer research at the National Institute of Health in Ft. Detrick, Maryland.  Ms. Newbold received her Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University where she concentrated on film scoring, orchestration, and audio production.

Upon graduation, Soon Hee worked in entertainment for Walt Disney World as a contractor, stage manager, and professional musician as well as performing in the various symphonies in Florida.  She also produced albums and wrote for many recording projects and ensembles.  As an actress, Soon Hee expanded her experiences to film and television.  She got her first break in the film, “The Waterboy,” starring Adam Sandler, and first television role in the family comedy, “Camp Tanglefoot.” 

Sadly, Ms. Newbold’s mother was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a terminal, devastating genetic neurological illness for which there is little treatment and no cure.  Soon Hee wrote the popular song “Endless Dreams,” and dedicated it to those affected by Huntington’s to spread awareness and hope.

Soon Hee Newbold currently works in Southern California with her husband.  She is involved in many film, television, and commercial projects as a producer, actress, composer, and musician.  Published through the FJH Music Company, Soon Hee’s compositions can be heard around the world in film, orchestras, and other performing groups.  Outside of work, Ms. Newbold enjoys martial arts and weapons training and has black belts in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Kigumdo.

LISFA GRADES 9 & 10 CONDUCTOR - DR. YVETTE DEVEREAUX

From The Dorothy Chandler Music Center to New York’s Hottest Jazz Spot, the ‘Blue Note’

Born in Los Angeles, California, Yvette Devereaux is a professional conductor, violinist, composer, arranger and music educator. She is the founder and artistic director of The Progressive Symphony and its educational component, The Progressive Arts Academy, based in Compton, California (where her mission was to bring quality training in the arts in communities of which may be underserved and underexposed). In 1997, Maestro Devereaux competed in the "Mario Gusello" 4th International Conductor Competition, Pescara, Italy and was one of three Americans chosen as, a Semi-Finalist. In 1995/1998 Dr. Devereaux appeared as guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Dorothy Chandler Pavillion . She was a finalist for the position of Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Minnesota Symphony and Director/ Conductor of the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. She was the first woman to hold the position of Music Director/Conductor of the Southeast Community Symphony in Los Angeles.

Ms. Devereaux earned a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) at the Felton University, a Masters degree (MM) in Music (Orchestral Conducting) from the Peabody Conservatory of Music (John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD) and a Bachelor of Music degree (BM) in Music (Orchestral Conducting and Education) from Chapman University in Orange, California. Dr. Devereaux, was the first African-American woman to be accepted and graduated into the conducting programs at both Chapman University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her principal Conducting Instructors were Fredrik Prausnitz and John Koshak. In addition, she received her violin training from Earl Carlyss (Juilliard String Quartet), Anne Thatcher, John Sambuco and many others.

In 1993 Ms. Devereaux was chosen to compete in the Antonio Pedrotti 3rd International Competition for Orchestra Conductors in Trento, Italy. She has conducted the Chapman University Chamber Orchestra and University Symphony on tour in Hong Kong, The People's Republic of China, Spain, Hawaii and various American cities. She was a participant in the Carnegie Hall Corporation program for conductors with Pierre Boulez and spent two summers at the Conductors Guild Institute, held on the campus of the University of South Carolina. She has had the opportunity to work with such prominent conductors/ composers as Jacob Druckman, Harold Farberman, Daniel Lewis, Dennis De Coteau, Lukas Foss, Samuel Adler and William Kraft.

When not playing the Violin, Ms. Devereaux is usually composing music for various genres. She scored her 1st two short film documentaries as, Composer for the production company; ‘Films that Matters’ Entertainment. The shorts were titled; ‘Take a Stand” and “Spiritual Divide.” In addition, Ms. Devereaux Conducted the Orchestra for Recording Artist, Jill Scott for the 2010 NAACPs’ Image Award (aired on Fox Network). Breaking more history, in 2008 she was one of the Violinist for the recording for Aretha Franklins’ performance for President Obamas’ Inauguration 2008.

As Conductor/Violinist, Dr. Devereaux conducted the studio orchestras for the Soundtrack: Tyler Perry’s film(s); Madea’s Family Reunion’ and ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman.’ Her Television and Film credits as Musical Director, Conductor, Arranger and Violinist include: The Voice, American Idol; Grammy, American and Emmy Awards; ’ Madea’s Family Reunion’, ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman; The ‘Cookout‘ (starring Danny Glover) , ‘Biker Boyz,’ (starring Lawrence Fishburne) ‘Eraser,’ (starring Vanessa Williams); Fantasia 2000; Felicity, Chicago Hope, Not Our Son and more.

Finally, Ms. Devereaux as her own self-produced CD entitled ‘Here’s To You’ Christmas Favorites on Violin and Piano of which is always available either on her website: www.yvettedevereaux.com or CD Baby. In addition to her professional life, Dr. Devereaux continues to teach privately (all string instruments, violin, piano, conducting, composition, theory and more) to youths and adults weekly.

Ms. Devereaux has received numerous honors and awards for her achievements such as the Community Leadership Award (Sponsored by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Los Angeles) Lifetime Honoree for Artists (Sponsored by the National Negro Woman Coalition) The Sing-a-Rama Honoree of the Year (Sponsored by the Churches of Christ, Los Angeles) Upward Bound Honoree of the Year; Who's Who in Music; The International Achievers of Tomorrow; Bank of America Scholars; Junior Achievement, USA; and several commendations from the City and County of Los Angeles, including the Mayor's Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Tom Bradley.

In addition to conducting, composing and performing, Ms. Devereaux is an advocate for mentorship, empowerment, productivity and the betterment for all people (particularly, youth) through quality music coupled with ethics and morals; of which has led her (along with other business partners) to start Stockwell Entertainment, LLC and Stockwell Music; both provide services in: performance and production along with teaching, training and consulting.

LISFA GRADES 7 & 8 CONDUCTOR - SUSAN DEAVER

Susan Deaver has conducted orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. As an orchestral fellowship student at Tanglewood, she worked with both Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa and was selected to participate in Tanglewood's Conducting Seminar Classes with Gustav Meier. Among her conducting credits are the Washington Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Thüringen Philharmonie in Gotha, Germany, the Island Chamber Symphony, the Bronx Opera Chamber Orchestra, the Seoul Symphony of New York at Lincoln Center, the C.W. Post Orchestra at Tilles Center, the University Orchestra at Stony Brook University and contemporary music at both Manhattan School of Music and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She collaborated with the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Bergen (Norway) on their concert tour to New York City in April 2007. In Korea she was a guest conductor at the New International Music Festival at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, the Pusan Festival Orchestra and the Masan City Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Deaver was the conducting instructor for actor Freddie Highmore for Warner Brothers’ movie August Rush. Dr. Deaver has assisted Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in coordinating numerous educational residencies with the New York Philharmonic, and visiting artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, James Galway and the Shanghai Quartet.

As the Conductor of the University Orchestra at Stony Brook University since 2000, she conducts the University Orchestra in a series of orchestral concerts at Staller Center each season. Over the past two years she has conducted the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra in Composer Reading Recording Sessions. In addition to her conducting at Stony Brook University, Susan Deaver was the Music Director and Conductor of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra for 25 seasons and served as Principal Guest Conductor of Long Island Youth Orchestra. Dr. Deaver is currently on the music faculty at Stony Brook University, Manhattan School of Music's Precollege and LIU Post. At LIU Post, she is the director of the LIU Post Chamber Music Festival, which is held each July. At the LIU Post Chamber Music Festival, she has collaborated with members of the Emerson String Quartet, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Imani Winds. In January 2017 she conducted the Division IV Orchestra at the Nassau All County Festival and in February 2017 guest conducted the All-North New Jersey Regional High School Symphonic Orchestra. She has guest conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra at Manhattan School of Music Precollege as well as taught conducting classes. In January 2018 she was a conducting mentor at the International Women’s Conducting Institute and will conduct at the 2018-2019 LISFA Festivals.

As a flutist and avid chamber musician, she has performed extensively and has been praised by critics for her “superb playing” and “atmospheric virtuosity”. On numerous occasions she performed as a flute soloist at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Chamber Symphony of which she was Principal Flutist from l981 to 2002. Her performance degrees are from the Manhattan School of Music where she completed a DMA in 1994. Her doctoral thesis, entitled "The Group for Contemporary Music, 1962-1992," deals with both the historical and performance aspect of one of America's foremost contemporary music ensembles. 

LISFA GRADE 6 CONDUCTOR - EILEEN MURPHY


Eileen Murphy is an experienced conductor and music educator. During her 35 years as a professional educator, she taught all levels of strings for the Manhasset Public School district, served as Leader Teacher for the Fine and Performing Arts department for several years and attained National Board Certification. Her orchestras participated in regional music festivals and NYSSMA Majors Festivals many times, always receiving high praise from adjudicators.

A violinist, Ms. Murphy graduated as a Presidential Scholar from SUNY College at Fredonia with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and received her Masters in Music Education from CUNY Queens College. While an undergraduate, she also studied violin and piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. She is a principal player and guest conductor with the South Shore Symphony of the Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts. She has been an “artist-in-residence” for Nassau and Western Suffolk BOCES and an adjunct professor at CUNY Queens College and Hofstra University. Ms. Murphy has conducted both string and symphony orchestras throughout her career. As a music director with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, she currently conducts the Suffolk Concert Orchestra in performances on Long Island and in New York City. In addition, she has conducted numerous pit orchestras for high school musical productions, coached small ensembles, and directed Mariachi and Irish fiddling groups. She is an adjudicator for NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble Festivals, NYSSMA Majors Festivals, the Long Island Music Festival and is a frequent guest conductor at area festivals.



SUFFOLK LISFA GRADE 5 CONDUCTOR - ALISON PEARL

Alison Pearl received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY. Mrs. Pearl is in her 25th year of teaching elementary orchestra, and is presently in her 23rd year with the Massapequa Public Schools where she enjoys composing and arranging music for her students. She is an active member and adjudicator for NYSSMA, is a past Chairperson and Vice President of NMEA, and has held several positions on the LISFA board, currently holding the position of Wesbite Editor. Alison has previously guest conducted for SCMEA and LISFA ensembles and was honored to be named in the 2004 edition of “Who’s Who of American Women.”


NASSAU LISFA GRADE 5 CONDUCTOR - JAMES UZZI

James Uzzi has been teaching in the South Country School District for 31 years. During his tenure, he has served as director of the Bellport Middle School Orchestras and Bellport High School Orchestras. Mr. Uzzi currently serves as the District Music Chairman of the South Country Central School District. Jim received his Bachelors in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, specializing in violin and viola pedagogy and his Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies from SUNY Stony Brook. Active in Long Island music education, he has held the positions of Treasurer and Suffolk Secondary Vice-President for LISFA, Membership Chairman of the Suffolk County Music Educators Association and is a Past-President of the Suffolk Chapter of the NYS Council of Administrators of Music Education. Mr. Uzzi, a frequent guest conductor, is honored to have been asked to conduct for LISFA.