2023 HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY
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.
Jeremy Woolstenhulme received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Brigham Young University in 2000, and a Master of Arts degree in cello Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005.
Mr. Woolstenhulme currently serves as the orchestra director at Northview High School in Fulton County, Georgia and previously taught for 20 years in the Clark County School District of Las Vegas, Nevada. He has traveled with his orchestras to London, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, and New York. His orchestra was selected to play at the 2008 and 2017 Midwest Clinic and in 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2018 at the National ASTA Conference. While teaching in Las Vegas Mr. Woolstenhulme also played cello for with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and conducted the Las Vegas Youth Symphony.
With a steadily growing number of original and arranged works to his credit, Mr. Woolstenhulme is a commissioned and published composer, many which have been performed around the world. His works have consistently been included as J.W. Pepper Editors’ Choice selections and can be found on festival repertoire lists. He is co-author, with Terry Shade and Wendy Barden of the highly acclaimed string method, String Basics. His specialty is to write for middle and high school orchestras where he composes to teach, challenge, and inspire. He has served as clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and the People’s Republic of China.
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)!
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. Chaeli enjoyed performing and studying with professors at UNC, including the University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Russell Guyver.
Mrs. Fischer now plays violin in the Elevation String Quartet, and teaches elementary music, middle school orchestra, and recently started a Mariachi ensemble in Greeley-Evans School District 6.
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.
STRING BASS INSTRUCTOR
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!”
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 five beloved dogs.