Artistic Staff

 

 

Symphony Orchestra Director
Ken Marrs – ken.marrs@vailyouthsymphony.org

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Ken Marrs began studying the double bass with Derek Weller and Stuart Sankey.  He received a bachelor’s of music education in choral and instrumental music from Indiana University where he studied bass with Bruce Bransby and Lawrence Hurst.  Ken has performed with the Ann Arbor, Flint, Saginaw Bay, Toledo, and Tucson Symphony Orchestras, the Arizona Opera Company as well as with True Concord, formerly the Tucson Chamber Artists.  He received his master’s in choral conducting under Maurice Skones at the University of Arizona.  Ken has taught music and performed with orchestras on four continents, and currently teaches orchestra and guitar at Sahuaro High School in Tucson.

Orchestra Director
Whitney Olson, whitney.olson@vailyouthsymphony.org

Whitney Olson grew up in Chandler, Arizona playing the violin and piano.  She attended Northern Arizona University, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education- Instrumental.  While at NAU, Mrs. Olson also earned Suzuki Teacher Training Certification for violin books 1-5.  She was taught under the direction of Dr. Louise Scott, Dr. Susan Baer, Dr. Jacquelyn Schwandt, and Karin Hallberg.  Mrs. Olson has lived in Tucson since 2010 and has taught general music and orchestra in the Amphitheater and Vail school districts.  She is a founding director and board member of the Vail Youth Symphony.  She also runs a private studio of violin, viola, and piano students.  Mrs. Olson has been a violinist for NAU Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, U of A Philharmonic, and currently performs with the Sierra Vista Symphony.  She loves working with children and sharing her passion for orchestral playing.  At home, Mrs. Olson enjoys spending quality time with her husband and three children.




String Orchestra Director
Lisa Brown, lisa.brown@vailyouthsymphony.org

Lisa Brown, originally from Troy, MI, has been living and working in Tucson, AZ since 2008. She earned a Masters in Music in Double Bass performance at Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelors of Music in Bass Performance from Butler University. Her bass teachers include David Murray, Gary Karr, Rob Nairn, and Stephen Molina. She is currently the general music and orchestra teacher at Agua Caliente Elementary in the Tanque Verde School District.  Lisa plays regularly with Sierra Vista Symphony. Lisa is the International Society of Bassists Social Media Manager as well as Bi-Annual Convention Volunteer Organizer. Outside of music, Lisa enjoys running, cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband, Daniel, and their two dogs, Cookie and Peanut.

 

Assistant Director–Amy Osmun, amy.osmun@vailyouthsymphony.org