Alison Mayes discovered her passion for string teaching through a high school internship program that she co-founded with her orchestra director and mentor, Amber Campbell, in Grand Junction, Colorado. She taught in Colorado schools for 15 years, having held positions in Boulder Valley, Cherry Creek, and Douglas County. Alison currently teaches 5th through 12th grade strings in Blue Valley School District, located in Overland Park, Kansas.


Alison has been on the staff of Camp Con Brio, String Camp of the Rockies, since 2001; and became Camp Director in 2015. She has also been part of the teaching faculty at summer programs in New Mexico (Hummingbird Music Camp) and Michigan (Interlochen Arts Camp). Alison served as Chair for the Colorado High School All State Orchestra, String Ensemble Director for the Longmont Youth Symphony, and Co-Music Director of the Northern Colorado Youth Symphony. She earned the degree Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alison is Past-President of Colorado ASTA, and serves as Webmaster and Newsletter Editor for Kansas ASTA.


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. Under her baton in 2015, the Grandview High School Orchestra auditioned and was invited to perform at the American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival. 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.


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 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.


Alison is a frequent guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for honor ensembles and performance festivals. Aside from school teaching and performing, Alison enjoys teaching private lessons, cooking, crafting, going to concerts, traveling and watching horror movies with her husband Jason, and playing with their six beloved dogs.

Soon Hee 5 by 7.JPG

Soon Hee Newbold began studying piano at age five and violin at age seven. She has won many prestigious competitions and has performed throughout the world in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Aspen, and Tanglewood.


Ms. Newbold received her Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University, where she studied film scoring, orchestration, and audio production. Upon graduation, she began working as a professional musician, contractor, and stage manager. She has written and arranged works for albums, recording projects, and various performing ensembles.

Sandra Sundstrom.jpg


Sandy grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado in a family of musicians. She was involved in orchestras, choirs, and bands all throughout her public school education there. After high school, she moved to Arizona, where she attended ASU and earned her Bachelor of Music in Education with an Instrumental Major and Choral Minor. Sandy has taught Band, Choir, and Orchestra in all levels of Education, Elementary through College. Her last position was in a school district that was growing their programs. While under her direction, the program enrollment went from 10 to 180 during her eight years there. In Arizona, she was active in AMEA, ASTA, and ABODA.

The highlight of her teaching career was bringing Mark Wood and his Electrify Your Strings program to her students. They were involved in a two-day clinic and a performance. The students all memorized the music; ten tunes and were ready to Rock n Roll when Mark arrived. It was the most energetic, exciting, and extensive concert that Sandy had ever had the privilege to perform in.

In the summer of 2010, she and her family moved to Grand Junction, after her husband retired from a municipality. Sandy is a violinist and performs with the Grand Junction Symphony, High Desert Opera, and Rockestra. Occasionally she is asked to play in local and surrounding community gigs and performs regularly in Aspen for weddings in the summers. She is also one of the recurring violin coaches for Camp Con Brio (formerly known as CASTA Camp). Sandy often adjudicates for the local GJMTA Festivals, District 51 Solo/Ensemble, and judged the Colorado West Invitational Music Festival in 2013. She is a member of NAfME, and of ASTA, previously serving as Western Slope Representative for the Colorado Chapter.


In the fall of 2013, she started as a Paraprofessional in Mesa County School District. Sandy assists the orchestras at two middle schools, and is a certified substitute for District 51. In the fall of 2014, she was a long-term sub for choirs at a local high school. She is an active member on the GJ Symphony Board, having served on the Music Director Search committee.

Sandy and her husband have three children; two daughters and a son. They have also fallen in love again, this time with their granddaughter, Aurora. They absolutely Grand Junction - the people, the surrounding scenery, and the opportunities that have come their way since their move. Colorful Colorado sure lives up to its name! 



Chaeli Fischer is a musician and educator in the Northern Colorado area.  She received her Master of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 2017 where she studied viola with Dr. Christopher Luther.  In 2015, she graduated from UNC with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree where she studied violin with Margaret Soper Gutierrez, Shawn Murphy, and Richard Fuchs.  Chaeli also explored other passions in her undergraduate degree, including Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Spanish.  She served as an officer of the UNC chapter of the American String Teachers Association for five years, and assisted in recruiting for the UNC String Project.  She enjoyed performing and studying with professors at UNC, including the University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Russell Guyver.  


In addition to teaching elementary music and middle school orchestra in Greeley-Evans School District 6, Chaeli currently plays viola in both the Loveland Orchestra and the Longmont Symphony, and maintains a private string studio serving students in the Northern Colorado area.  During the summer, Miss Ferguson enjoys teaching and performing at various music camps in Colorado and other states.

Screen Shot 2021-06-30 at 6_edited.jpg

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.

Joshua G.jpeg

Joshua Greiner is from Fort Collins, Colorado where he learned a love for the outdoors through mountain biking, hiking, camping, skiing, and disc golf. Joshua Started learning the Cello in seventh grade and has been in love with all things Orchestra ever since. 


Joshua received his Undergraduate degree from Colorado State University in Music Education, Cello Performance, and Cello Pedagogy in December 2019. He has experience teaching students across Northern Colorado from beginners to advanced, state recognized ensembles. In addition to teaching, Joshua has performed with the CSU Symphony and CSU Sinfonia during his time at CSU and has since performed with his quartet throughout Northern Colorado as well as with the Greeley Chamber Orchestra. 


This year is Joshua’s third year teaching Orchestra at Preston Middle School. His goal is to provide as many opportunities for students to grow as individual players, as leaders, and together as an Orchestra. In addition to directing Preston Middle School's Orchestras, Joshua has served as an Assistant Director of Colorado State University's Middle School Outreach Ensemble and has been a director of the Northern Colorado Youth Orchestra since its founding in 2020. 



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!”