Maestro Gregory Woodbridge
Youth Symphony Music Director and Conductor
Maestro Gregory Woodbridge began studying piano at the age of 7 and violin at the age of 9. He holds degrees from Penn State University where he was assistant conductor for the Penn State Philharmonic, the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra. Additional conducting studies include the Pierre Monteux Conducting Institute in Maine with Michael Jinbo; Leonid Korchmar (Kirov Opera and St. Petersburg Conservatory); Ennio Nicotra (founder of the Musin Society); and most recently Gustav Meier and JoAnn Falletta at the Conductor’s Institute Richmond Symphony Masterclass.
Woodbridge was recently honored by the Penn State School of Music with their Distinguished Alumni award for his work with youth orchestras, including the Hershey High School Symphony Orchestra, a 110-member orchestra that won a performance spot at the PMEA All-State Conference in April 2010. He was also the Music Director and Conductor of the Wednesday Club Youth Orchestra (Harrisburg, PA) from 2000-2007, a highly selective string orchestra that had the distinct honor of performing with fiddler Mark O’Connor on two separate tours to the Harrisburg area. In 2010, Mr. Woodbridge was named a Conducting Fellow with the Allentown Symphony by their Music Director, Diane Wittry.
Previous guest conducting engagements include the York Symphony (PA), the PMEA Region IV-V State Orchestra Festival, the Lebanon Valley College-Community Orchestra, and the Messiah College Orchestra. Mr. Woodbridge lives in Harrisburg, PA with his wife Heather and their two children Delaney and Liam.
Harrisburg Junior Youth String Orchestra Conductor
Krista Kriel is a 1992 graduate of Messiah College, holding a Bachelor of Science in Music Education with an emphasis on violin. She has been instructed on violin by Dr. Norman Nunamaker and Kathy Ferguson. Krista has taught for 17 years, starting her career as an Elementary Band and General Music teacher in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Her last 13 years have been spent teaching and conducting string and symphonic orchestras for the Carlisle School District and the Gettysburg Area School District. She conducted the District 7 String Fest in 2008 and the Dauphin County High School Orchestra Festival in 2010. Along with teaching in Gettysburg, Krista is an Adjunct Assistant at Sunderman Conservatory, teaching a collaborative Instrumental Methods class.
Recently Krista and her auditioned high school string ensemble spent time in Germany and Austria where they performed at the Neuschwanstein Castle in the Alps, Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg and at the Haus der Musik in Vienna. Her High School Orchestras have competed throughout North America and in 2000 were ranked in the top 10 of all competing orchestras within North American Music Festivals.
Along with conducting Krista plays violin for the Carlisle String Quartet, and the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra. Krista has also played for the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra , Theatre Harrisburg, the Cumberland Valley Symphonic Orchestra, the Gettysburg College Orchestra, the Hanover String Quartet, the Grosse String Quartet and the Latimore String Quartet.
Elementary String Orchestra Conductor
Nelson Rodriguez-Parada is a music educator from Tampa, Florida and a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN and The Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT in music education. Nelson began his career in 2010 as the orchestra, chorus and modern band director at Spoto High School in Riverview, FL. Before moving to Central Pennsylvania, he was the General Manager for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Youth Ensembles, serving over 1,000 students in Detroit and directed the DSO’s community symphony orchestra, dedicated to giving adults lifelong music playing opportunities, regardless of prior experience.
Nelson currently serves as the band director for Danville Middle School in Danville, PA. In addition to his role in Danville, Nelson teaches double bass, guitar and string teaching methods at Susquehanna University and teaches the Susquehanna String Orchestra, a community-based orchestra that gives Susquehanna University music education majors practical conducting and teaching experience as well as an ensemble experience for string students of all ages in the Susquehanna Valley. Nelson also conducts the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra’s Elementary String Orchestra giving many students their first experience in an ensemble setting.
Nelson’s mission as a music educator is to give students learning experiences they can use through the rest of their lives whether or not they decide to pursue music professionally, and to use music as a social and developmental outlet for everyone in both the ensemble and the audience. Nelson lives in Selinsgrove, PA with his wife Adrienne, daughter Lucy, and a dog named Phoebe.
Director of Education and Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra Administrator
Mark Hunsberger serves as the Director of Education and Youth Symphony Administrator for the Harrisburg Symphony. He previously served as the Performing Arts Coordinator for Messiah College as well as the HSO’s teaching artist for the Link Up program created by Carnegie Hall. In addition to his work with the HSO, Mark maintains an active performance schedule and serves as a faculty member at Central Penn College and Messiah University.
Mark completed his undergraduate studies at Messiah College, where he earned degrees in both Classical Percussion Performance and Music Education. He recently received his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University where he studied and performed with jazz masters Rodney Whitaker, Randy Gilespie, Reggie Thomas, Michael Dease, Diego Rivera, and Etienne Charles.