2020 MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP FACULTY

 

​ALISON MAYES
CAMP DIRECTOR

 

Colorado native Alison Mayes discovered her passion for string teaching through a high school internship program that she co-founded with her high school orchestra director and mentor, Amber Campbell, in Grand Junction. She has been teaching in Colorado schools for 13 years, most recently as Founding Orchestra Director at Parker Performing Arts (PPA, a K-8 school) in Douglas County School District. Since its opening, she has built the PPA string program to include 179 students (grades 3-8) from 49 students in its first year. Alison was chosen as the 2017-2018 DCSD Apple Award nominee from all of the staff at PPA.

 

Alison has been on the staff of Camp Con Brio, String Camp of the Rockies since 2001. She has also been on the teaching staff at summer music programs in New Mexico and Michigan. Alison has previously served as Chair for the Colorado High School All State Orchestra and as Music Director for the Longmont Youth Symphony String Ensemble. She earned the degree Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alison is the Immediate Past-President of the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association and was recently named Youth Orchestra Director at Avanti Music Academy in Highlands Ranch.

 

Previously, Alison was Orchestra Director at Grandview High School in Cherry Creek School District, where the enrollment of string students more than tripled during her six-year tenure. Under her baton, the Grandview High School String Orchestra performed at the American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival in 2015. In December of that year, the Grandview Chamber Orchestra had the honor of performing at the Colorado Association of School Boards Conference. Alison received the 2015 Outstanding String Teacher of the Year award from Colorado ASTA, and was named the 2020 recipient of the Elizabeth A. H. Green School Educator Award from National ASTA.

 

Alison considers herself fortunate to have been a part of some very special and memorable performance opportunities. Among these, she was a member of the “Ghost Orchestra” in 2016 (playing alongside violinist Tom Hagerman of Devotchka) at Red Rocks Amphitheater for the Grammy-nominated South African-American singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov. Additionally, she has performed in New York City under the baton of Marin Alsop at Times Square during the 2017 Carnegie Hall Music Educators Summer Workshop.

 

Alison is a frequent guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for honor ensembles and festivals throughout the state of Colorado. Aside from school teaching and performing, Alison enjoys teaching private lessons, cooking, Colorado Symphony concerts, traveling with her husband Jason, and playing with their beloved dogs.

KATHERINE GARRAMONE
MIDDLE SCHOOL ASSISTANT CAMP DIRECTOR

 

Katherine Garramone has played cello for 18 years. She is a teacher of general music at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Denver. Katie discovered her love for music through her own public school orchestra experience in Mapleton Public Schools, having Kelly Benson as her Orchestra Director. While Katie played the cello in her school program, and participated in the Front Range Youth Symphony; it soon became not enough for her. She found Camp Con Brio as an Intern during her high school, and has never left. Katie has now been with the camp for 10 years, working as a counselor.

During her time in college, Katherine had to leave the music school and have surgery on her left arm due to nerve damage. The nerves become too tight in her elbow from long hours of practicing and overworking the nerves. The damage made it impossible to be a Music Major or a cello player. This would have been the end of her dream of teaching, but she knew her love of music and her love of teaching could not be stifled. 

 

Katherine earned a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in the Performing Arts, from the University of Northern Colorado. She also minored in Special Education and Music Education. Katie teaches approximately 500 students ranging from pre-K through the eighth grade. She plans to continue to share her passion for music with her students.

 

JOY SALISBURY-JANITELL, PA
CAMP CLINIC

 

While not a Colorado native, Joy likes to think that she arrived here as soon as she could! Growing up in Northern California, Joy was an active member of her middle school orchestra, and high school band, jazz band, and orchestra. She also played cello in the San Joaquin Junior Symphony. 
 

Joy received her undergraduate education at University of Colorado in Boulder, then made the move southeast to attend Duke University. At Duke, she completed her education and training in the Physician Assistant Program. Returning to Colorado, she began her career as a Physician Assistant, specializing in Trauma Care, Minor Surgery and Orthopedics.
 

Currently, Joy is self- employed as a Senior Care Specialist, providing in-home care in the Denver Metro area. She and her husband Ralph are proud parents of two public school educators: a K-8 music teacher, and a middle school special education teacher.
 

When not relaxing at the “family farm” (1 horse, 3 dogs and 2 cats), they enjoy traveling, especially on their motorcycles.

 

CAMERON LAW
MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC DIRECTOR

 

J. Cameron Law is an award winning educator, cellist, conductor, and composer. He recently retired after a 29 year career as Director of Orchestras at Grand Junction High School and West Middle School.

 

Mr. Law is in his 29th season as the Co-Principal Cellist of the Grand Junction Symphony. He was the cellist with Trio de las Americas, formerly the Mesa State College Faculty Piano Trio, performed for six seasons with the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival, and was cello instructor at Colorado Mesa University. His private cello students have completed music degrees at such prestigious institutions as the Hart School of Music, Indiana University, and the Berklee College of Music. 

Mr. Law has conducted the Grand Junction Symphony, the Colorado All-State Orchestra, the New Mexico All-State Orchestra, the University of Wyoming’s Festival of Strings, the Fort Lewis College Honors Orchestra, the Mesa State College Orchestra, the High Desert Light Opera Orchestra, the Colorado State University Rocky Mountain Summer Music Camp Orchestra, and the University of Colorado Summer Musicworks Orchestra.  His orchestras at Grand Junction High School performed six times at the Colorado Music Educators’ Association Annual Clinic and Conference, and they performed in 2009 at Alice Tully Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. 

 

Additionally, Mr. Law served for 20 years as the Camp Director for the CASTA Middle School String Camp and is a Past President of the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association. In 1999 he was presented with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator Award, and in 2002 he was named the ASTA Colorado String Teacher of the Year and received the Sylvan Excellence in Education Award. He has worked as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Colorado, as well as in Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, New York, Hawaii, and North Dakota. Mr. Law has served on the Colorado All-State Orchestra Advisory Board and the Colorado High School Activities Association State Music Advisory Board, and he was the founding advisor for the Grand Junction High School Tri-M Chapter. 

 

Mr. Law is currently the String Editor for Grand Mesa Music Company. His compositions and arrangements appear on several state lists, as Editor’s Choices in the Pepper Music Catalog, and have been performed at the Midwest Conference in Chicago. His work Sinapu was premiered by the Grandview High School Orchestra at the 2015 National ASTA Conference in Salt Lake City. 

 

Mr. Law spends his summers as the Program Director for the Road Scholar Program at the Aspen Music Festival. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance with University Honors and Academic Distinction from Colorado State University, and a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance and Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Jeffrey Solow and Robert Culver. He has two grown children (Lindsye and Eric), and a grandchild ( Marky D the Mini Maestro). He and his wife Kathy and their dogs Cooper and Patsy Cline enjoy all of the outdoor activities Western Colorado has to offer.

TOM NUGENT
MIDDLE SCHOOL VIOLIN INSTRUCTOR

 

Tom Nugent is a musician, educator, conductor, and clinician from Greeley. He received his Bachelors in Music Education from The University of Northern Colorado with a Spanish Teaching Endorsement in 2010, followed by a Masters in Music Education from The University of Northern Colorado in 2017.  Tom has studied with and participated in masterclasses with incredible teachers, including Richard Fuchs, Russell Guyver, Juliet White-Smith, Allison Sherman, Heroutune Bedelian, and Peter Marsh.
   
Tom currently is in his 7th year as the Orchestra Director at Greeley West High School and Chappelow Arts Magnet, a program that has grown to nearly 200 string musicians performing in traditional orchestras, fiddle groups, chamber ensembles, and guitar ensembles.   The Spartan Strings Chamber Orchestra has performed at Disney, the University of Colorado Orchestra Invitational, received numerous Large Group Superior Ratings, and was named “Outstanding 5A String Orchestra” at the Colorado West Music Invitational in 2016. Tom has had numerous students selected to regional and All-State honor groups during his time as Orchestra Director.   Recently, Tom was awarded a grant from "The Success Foundation" to commission a work for the Spartan Strings as well as help students compose their own music.  There will be an Original Composition Concert in February of 2019 featuring original compositions from students and local composer works.

 

Mr. Nugent is currently serving the string community in roles on the Colorado All-State Orchestra Board of Governors, as well as the Southwest Representative and Equity Chair for the NafME Council for Orchestral Education. Tom has been a presenter at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference ("Chopped", 2018) and has been a guest teacher and performer at the Alaska City Folk Arts Camp, Poudre School District Summer Orchestra Camp, Proyecto Luis de Leon, Guatemala), and the String Quartet Program of Northern Colorado.

 

Tom maintains an active and diverse performance schedule, though highlights have included performances with the UNC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Spain, Greeley Chorale, Girdwood Bluegrass Festival in Alaska, Picker’s Retreat Festival in Alaska, Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards, National Western Stock Show, Greeley Chamber Orchestra, Loveland Symphony Orchestra, and many more.  Tom has been fortunate to share the stage with bluegrass greats Frank Solivan, Vince Herman, and Barefoot Bluegrass.  

 Tom resides in Greeley, CO with his wife, Megan, 4-year-old son, David,  and 2-year-old daughter, Adalynn. Tom and Megan have a private music studio that they run from home, and are both actively involved with Union Colony Children’s Music Academy where they are the founding members of the Special Needs Community Orchestra.  

MIKE SCHAEFER
MIDDLE SCHOOL VIOLIN INSTRUCTOR

 

Michael Schaefer is a Colorado native and a 1969 graduate of Poudre High School in Fort Collins. He studied undergraduate and graduate conducting with Wilfred Schwartz and earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education in 1974 and a Master’s in Instruction in 1984 from Colorado State University. Michael retired after teaching for thirty-five years, twenty years as director of orchestras and assistant director of bands at Webber Junior High. During this time he has supervised six student teachers five having stellar careers. Three of Michael’s orchestras have appeared at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) clinic/conference in Colorado Springs. He is currently team teaching orchestra at Blevins and Walt Clark middle schools. In 2009, Michael received the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael has been an adjudicator at state and local festivals in Colorado and Wyoming. He has presented his music education sessions, “Large Group Tuning Procedure” and “Teaching Technique Through Performing Literature” (Life after method books), at Clinic/Conferences for Colorado Summer ASTA, CMEA, WMEA, NMMEA, the 2014 National ASTA in Louisville Kentucky and various colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming.

 

His arrangement of the Rossini String Sonata No. 3 was performed by the string orchestra at the 1992 Colorado All State Orchestra concert conducted by James McNeal. Concluding the 2011 performance series at the “Rocky Ridge Music Center” in Estes Park, Michael conducted the premier performance of his arrangement of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen for “String Orchestra and Tenor”. He is currently Board President of “Chamberre of the Rockies” (a summer music camp for adults) at RRMC. Michael’s conducting responsibilities includes the classroom challenge as a substitute, guest conductor at junior and senior high honor groups, all state high school clinics, student and adult music camps, and an occasional university rehearsal. Last summer was his eleventh year as a member of the Colorado-ASTA String Camp faculty.

He spent 13 seasons as music director and conductor of the Loveland Chamber Orchestra (1981-1994). He was the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra (FCSO) assistant conductor for 13 years and conducted the summer series for several seasons as well as many special events such as the “Mozart on the Roof” and “Opera Galleria” concerts.

As a violinist, Michael played with the FCSO for thirty-five consecutive seasons, eight years as assistant concertmaster. He is the founder and co-principal violin with the Quartet Con Brio performing since 1980 and has just recently retired from that position. He also performs with many of the orchestras and chamber music groups along the Front Range including the “Health and Wellness Orchestra” conducted by Leslie Stuart of the CSU music faculty.

ELLEN RAVNAN
MIDDLE SCHOOL VIOLA INSTRUCTOR
 
Ellen Ravnan has been privileged to enjoy a career that combines her love of performing and her joy in teaching. She retired from the Cherry Creek School District (Englewood, CO) where she taught orchestra and guitar at Thunder Ridge Middle School.

 

In the year 2000, she created STRINGATHON, a group solo festival for the Cherry Creek District Middle School Orchestras. Beginning originally with 150 students and 3 middle schools, in 2010 it had grown to nearly 725 students from all nine Cherry Creek middle schools necessitating two Stringathon sites in 2011.

 

 Her orchestras have been selected three times to perform at the Colorado Music Educators Association Clinic-Convention. She has presented clinics at National ASTA, CMEA, Colorado ASTA, and WMEA numerous times, speaking about Stringathon, alternative approaches to performances, and mostly recently on “It’s All About the Bow” with Margaret Miller, viola professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

 

After receiving her high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts, Ms. Ravnan studied with Lillian Fuchs at Manhattan School of Music in New York City, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance in 1975. She was awarded a Master of Music degree in 1977 from the University of Illinois, studying viola with Guillermo Perich, chamber music with Gabriel Magyar, and string pedagogy with Paul Rolland. Additional advanced work was done in viola performance with Richard Blum and string pedagogy with Marvin Rabin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her teacher’s certificate in 1984.

 

She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska as the eldest of three daughters of two professional musicians.  She studied piano and violin until attending Rocky Ridge Music Camp in Estes Park after her sophomore year of high school where she discovered the viola. A little-known event in her life in Nebraska was at age six, her selection as Little Miss Rodeo Attendant at the University of Nebraska Rodeo. Go Huskers!

KELLY BENSON
MIDDLE SCHOOL CELLO INSTRUCTOR

 

Kelly is a Colorado native who grew up in Grand Junction where she began playing cello under the direction of Cameron Law.  For high school, she attended Interlochen Arts Academy and then continued on to Indiana University where she studied with Helga Winold and received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. Upon graduating in 2009, she returned to Colorado where she was an Orchestra Director at Mapleton Public Schools for four years.  

 

Kelly now teaches and runs her own private studio, Colorado School of Strings. She has had a passion for teaching music from a very young age and enjoys sharing that love of music with her students.  She believes that every student has great potential and that music can enrich their lives in many ways. She inspires her students to high levels of achievement while keeping a fun, positive and encouraging classroom atmosphere. She also enjoys performing with the Aurora Symphony.

 

Kelly and her husband have three sons - ages seven years, three years, and one month old.

She enjoys playing with them, being active outside, and reading.

LINDA TASHMA
MIDDLE SCHOOL BASS INSTRUCTOR

 

Linda has been performing and teaching music for over 50 years. She proudly considers herself to be continuously studying. Her father described her as the “perennial student.” Music and History comprised Linda's studies during college and have held her heart ever since. Music intermingles every aspect of life!

 

Having lived for many decades, Linda has been involved in a lot of activities. Some of her notable gigs include: mentoring string bass students, playing in pit orchestras, performing in the Littleton Symphony, stitching weighted blankets for the Autism Community Store, and seeing her students participate in Honor Orchestras and summer music camps. Linda has had countless hours of joy playing bass and piano (inspired by her Mom), and she has a wonderful husband and nifty daughter.

 

In addition to music and teaching, Linda's overall well-being requires that she bake cookies frequently, ride her bicycle often, go on walks, read, garden, play cards and board games, attend worship, and watch professional football!

Camp Location:

Golden Bell Camp and Conference Center

380 CR 512

Divide, Colorado 80814

Camp Mailing Address:

Camp Con Brio

P.O. Box 460234

Aurora, Colorado 80046