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Katherine Garramone has been a cellist for twenty years. She has been the Orchestra Director at Parker Performing Arts school in Parker, Colorado since 2020. Katherine discovered her love for music through her own public school orchestra experience in Mapleton Public Schools, with Kelly Benson as her Orchestra Director. While Katherine played the cello in her school orchestra program, and participated in the Front Range Youth Symphony; it soon became not enough for her. She found Camp Con Brio as an Intern, and has never left. Katherine has been with the camp for 10 years, in various roles.

Katherine earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in the Performing Arts from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned a Minor in Special Education and Music Education. During her time in college, Katherine had to leave the music school to have surgery on her left arm due to nerve damage. The nerves become too tight in her elbow from over-utilization and long hours of practicing. This made it impossible to play cello and major in music. 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 has been teaching for five years and continues to impart her love for music onto her students.


Richard Meyer is a highly sought after music educator and maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician. For 35 years he taught string students at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in the public schools. For 22 of those years, he directed the orchestras at Oak Avenue Intermediate School in Temple City, California, growing the program from 29 string students to 200 and was in charge of the city’s elementary string program. In 2009, Mr. Meyer implemented the “Giving Bach” program at his school which has garnered national attention for its innovative ways of using interactive concerts to bring music into the lives of special needs and inner-city school students throughout Southern California.

He was the music director of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra for 16 years, conducting them in performances in New York, Washington D.C., Vienna, Australia, and Canada. He has been a featured clinician at the A.S.T.A. National Conference, Texas Orchestra Directors’ Association Conference and String Teachers’ Workshops at Ohio State University and Birch Bay, Washington. He has also guest-conducted All-State and Honor Orchestras in several states.

In addition to his teaching and conducting assignments, Mr. Meyer is a nationally-recognized, best-selling composer with over 190 compositions and arrangements in print, and for 16 years served as string editor for Alfred Publishing Company. He is the co-author of several string method books, including the popular String Explorer Series and Sight-read It for Strings. He and his wife, Rose, live in Sierra Madre, California and have three daughters and two grandsons.

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Shawn Murphy is currently in his third year directing orchestras at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. In January of 2023, Rocky’s full symphony will perform for a clinic with string pedagogue, Scott Laird, at the Colorado Music Educator’s Association Conference (CMEA). The same group was chosen to play in Orlando as part of the American String Teacher’s Association’s National Orchestra Festival in March of 2023. For six years previous, Shawn directed orchestras at Thompson Valley High School and Walt Clark Middle School in Loveland, Colorado, where he was awarded an Inspiring Students Award in his first year and was nominated as Thompson School District teacher of the year. His teaching career began with high school and middle school orchestras in Afton, Wyoming, then moved to Fort Collins where his middle school orchestra program increased from 85 players to over 230 in three years.

Mr. Murphy serves frequently as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah honor ensembles and performance festivals. He has previously been the High School Orchestra Director and Violin Teacher for Camp Con Brio, is the Northern Colorado Representative for CO-ASTA, has been honored to serve as a member of the Colorado All-State Orchestra board of governors since 2015, and will serve as All-State Orchestra Chair starting in 2023. Along with his Thompson Valley music colleagues, he presented a clinic at the 2018 CMEA Conference. 

Shawn holds a BME in Instrumental Music and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He was first violin in the Graduate String Quartet at UNC and served as concertmaster of The Loveland Orchestra.

Mr. Murphy spent a year in Germany with his wife, Amy, where they studied German at the Goethe Institute and the Universität Leipzig, and music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig. In August, 2017, they began their parental journey with the birth of Baby Ben, whose supernatural cuteness made the baby sleeplessness more tolerable, and whose little boy insights and observations enrich our days (and sometimes the nights, still)!



Biographical information forthcoming!

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Kyle Rupley is a Colorado-based musician and educator. He has taught in the Cherry Creek Schools at Cherokee Trail High School for nine years and managed his own private teaching studio since age 17. Under his direction, CTHS ensembles regularly earn excellent and superior ratings, and he works to enable all his students to continue and develop life-long engagement and success with music. 

Kyle holds undergraduate degrees in viola performance and music education (BM, BME) from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a graduate degree in performance (MM) from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. He also completed post-graduate work in conducting and performance at the University of Maryland Baltimore County as a fellowship recipient in the Baltimore Symphony Academy Program. 

He performs regularly all along the Front Range with orchestras including the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Stratus Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.


A Colorado Native, Courtney Dowling grew up in the North Denver suburbs.  She began playing cello in the public school systems in Adams 12 School District. While in high school Courtney performed with Front Range Youth Symphony, Colorado Youth Symphony, Colorado Young Sinfonia, and Denver Young Artists Orchestra. During her summers, Courtney went to Rocky Ridge Music Center to combine her love of the mountains with her love of music. In addition to a busy performance schedule, Courtney began teaching cello lessons at the age of 15 and continued to do so until she became a full time school orchestra teacher.


Courtney earned a Bachelors of Music in Cello Performance at Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music in New York City and her Suzuki Certification at the University of Denver. As a cellist, she studied with DU’s Richard Slavich, UNC’s Gal Faganel, Colorado Symphony’s Fred Hoeppner, Jacksonville University’s Shannon Lockwood, and Aaron Copland School of Music’s Marcy Rosen. While living in New York City, Courtney performed as principal cello in the Spectrum Symphony. She also performed with the Nova Philharmonic and the Manhattan Symphonie in both Carnegie Hall and the Barge Music Festival.  


In addition to orchestral performing, Courtney played in an eclectic folk-rock band, several chamber music groups, and sat in with various artists around the city.  She continued to develop her teaching style at Cadenza Music School in Flushing, Queens and at the Harbor School for Boys and Girls Conservatory Program in New York City.  It was at this time that Courtney decided her love for teaching music outweighed her love for performing. She decided to return home to her beloved state of Colorado to pursue a teaching degree.


After completing her Masters in Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Courtney was Orchestra Director at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado and will now enter her second year as Director at Silver Creek High School in Longmont. Her groups consistently receive superior ratings at festivals.  Courtney is currently Chair of the Colorado All-State Orchestra Governing Board.



Jay McGuffin is currently the Director of Orchestras at Castle View High School and Castle Rock Middle School. He has taught instrumental music in DCSD since 2002. His primary instrument is String Bass. Mr. McGuffin grew up in Colorado Springs and played his first Castle Rock Middle School. He has taught instrumental music in DCSD since 2002. His primary instrument is String Bass. Mr. McGuffin grew up in Colorado Springs and played his first professional gig at age 13. Performing with the Colorado All-State Jazz Band and becoming the principal bassist of the Colorado All-State Symphony in 1995 officially boosted him as a career bassist. Mr. McGuffin was a member of the Boulder Philharmonic from 1995-1997. He also competed and won first place in the Rocky Mountain International Double Bass Solo Competition in 1999.


Having studied for five years with Paul Erhard and Edward Krolick, he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with Bachelors degrees in both Music Education (B.M.E) and Music Performance (B.M.). Mr. McGuffin has performed with such musicians as William “Bug” Barbie, Frank Fanelli, Itzhak Perlman, and Dave Grusin. His musical influences are primarily Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro and Victor Wooten. He has been a member of the Double McGuffin Jazz Quartet on Bass and Vocals since 2002, performing regularly with his father since 2005 and has been the leader of the group since 2008. Mr. McGuffin has always believed: “Those who can, perform. Those who can do more, teach!”

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Alison Mayes discovered her passion for string teaching through an internship program that she co-founded with her high school orchestra director and mentor in Grand Junction, Colorado. She earned her BME (2006) and MME (2016) from the University of Colorado (Boulder), and taught in Colorado schools from 2007-2021. After relocating to eastern Kansas, she now teaches Strings in Blue Valley School District at Timber Creek Elementary, Aubry Bend Middle School, and Blue Valley Southwest High School.


Priding herself on serving the music teaching profession, Alison has been a leader at local, state, and national levels. She was recently named Chair-Elect of the Kansas High School All State Full Orchestra, and she is also on the Board for the Kansas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association; having also served in both of these roles previously, in Colorado. Alison received the 2015 Outstanding String Teacher Award from Colorado ASTA, and was the 2020 recipient of the Elizabeth A.H. Green School Educator Award from National ASTA.


Alison has held Music Director positions with the Longmont Youth Symphony and the Northern Colorado Youth Symphony. She is a frequent guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for honor ensembles and performance festivals. Alison has been on the teaching faculty of summer programs in Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, and Kansas. In August 2023, she had the honor of serving on the faculty for the Heartland Chamber Music Junior Festival; and was appointed Junior Festival Director to start in 2024. She has been on staff with Camp Con Brio, String Camp of the Rockies, since 2001; having became Director in 2015.


Alison is known for growing and nurturing string programs, having as much as tripled the enrollment during her tenure. She prides herself on building positive relationships with students and fostering a classroom culture of mutual respect and inclusivity. Two of Alison’s ensembles have been selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association annual conference: the Aubry Bend Eighth Grade Orchestra (2023) and the Blue Valley Southwest Orchestra (2024). Additionally, the Blue Valley Southwest Orchestra was invited to perform as part of ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival in March 2024. This is Alison’s second ensemble to receive this honor.


As a performer, Alison’s most memorable opportunities include being a member of the Ghost Orchestra in 2016, alongside violinist Tom Hagerman of Devotchka, at the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater for the Grammy-nominated South African-American singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov. Additionally, she performed in New York City under the direction of Marin Alsop at Times Square, during the 2017 Carnegie Hall Music Educators Summer Workshop.


Aside from school teaching, Alison enjoys instructing viola lessons, playing in the Lawrence Community Orchestra, throwing chamber music parties, trying new recipes, playing video games, going to concerts of all genres, listening to Led Zeppelin, spoiling her nephews, traveling with her husband Jason, and spending time with their beloved dogs.

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