Dana Winograd, Artistic Director
Dana received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School in New York. Before moving to Santa Fe, Dana was busy as a freelance cellist in New York City, where she performed in various Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Beauty and the Beast. She also performed with the American Composers’ Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and the New Jersey Symphony. Since moving to New Mexico in 1999, Ms. Winograd has joined the New Mexico Philharmonic and is currently the principal cellist of the Santa Fe Symphony. In addition, she plays in many chamber music groups, from Taos to Santa Fe to Los Alamos, including The Figueroa Project and Chatter. She is a mentor for the Santa Fe Public School orchestra programs and has a large private cello studio. She lives happily with her husband, Gil, and their four dogs.
Associate Artistic Director, Elementary Strings Director, & Intermezzo String Orchestra Conductor
Karles holds a double B.Mus., magna cum laude, in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the University of New Mexico, as well as a B.A. in physics from Oberlin College. He also has registered training in all ten Suzuki Violin Books from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. In addition to his native Santa Fe, Karles has taught violin literally across the country, from the Hawaiian to the Virgin Islands. Karles is a founding member of SFYSA, and during his student years served on both violin and viola in Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Youth Philharmonia, and as a mentor in Elementary Strings. Since 2005 he has served SFYSA from time to time as section coach, chaperone, librarian, Elementary Strings instructor, and Board member. His favorite chord and (ice cream!) is Neapolitan.
José Santiago, Mariachi Director
José Santiago’s dream since childhood was to be a professional mariachi. José began studying with his father at the tender age of four, learning to play vihuela, guitar, trumpet, and violin. José’s professional debut was in 1982 with Mariachi Tenampa, when he was only 14 years old. As musical director, arranger, and violin section leader for Mariachi Tenampa, he has been an integral part of the group’s success. José has also worked as a studio musician, having produced more than forty recordings as well as national radio and television ads. His many arrangements of traditional mariachi works, as well as his contributions to mariachi pedagogy, have become the standard of many mariachi groups and teachers. Since 1998, José has run an Internet-based stringed-instrument shop, Santiago Violins, where he specializes in the making, restoration, repair, and sale of fine violins, violas, bows, and related accessories.
Chris Ishee, Jazz Director
Mr. Ishee is music director at Santa Fe Preparatory School, and is in demand as a jazz educator and clinician throughout the country. You can find his second CD release, Saints and Sinners, online and in fine music retail stores. Prior to moving to New Mexico in 1994, Mr. Ishee toured as keyboardist for trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, singer Engelbert Humperdinck, singer Alvaro Torres, and others. He has also appeared on many recordings and commercials. For the last eight years Mr. Ishee has been a member of the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra and has performed locally, nationally, and internationally with diverse artists such as Bobby Shew, the Crimson Jazz Trio, Eddie Daniels, the Jono Manson Band, John Popper, Bo Diddley, Chris Calloway, Frank Morgan, Kenny Davern, Bud Shank, Jeff Kashiwa and many others.
Joel Bein, Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor
Mr. Bein received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York, where he studied conducting with Brian K. Doyle, and where he was Music Director of the Clarkson University Orchestra. He has worked with renowned wind conductors such as Craig Kirchhoff, H. Robert Reynolds, Stephen Peterson, Mallory Thompson, Richard Floyd, Eugene Corporon, and Michael Haithcock. In addition to conducting YSO, Mr. Bein is also Assistant Conductor of the High Desert Winds, and Director of Bands at El Dorado Community School. In 2013 Mr. Bein was named a Finalist for the American Prize in Wind Ensemble Conducting. Under his baton, YSO has collaborated with Guillermo Figueroa as well as composer and SFYSA alum Jared Baca. As a trumpet player he has performed with Concordia Santa Fe, High Desert Winds, the American Standard Brass Quintet in New York, Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the Crane School Symphony Orchestra. His other interests include reading, traveling, the Red Sox, and creating new paradigms.
Richard Snider, Youth Philharmonia Conductor
Richard D. Snider retired from St. Michael’s High School in 2009 where his bands received numerous First Division awards at district and state competitions. He has taught instrumental and vocal music in Santa Fe from elementary to college levels, as well as musical theatre and art history. Richard received the Santa Fe Partners in Education “Teachers Who Inspire” Award in 1994 and was inducted into New Mexico Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2001. He received his B. Mus. Ed. and M. Mus. Ed. degrees from Texas Tech University. Currently Richard is a freelance jazz and classical bassist, and you can hear his trio, The Three Faces of Jazz, at hot clubs all around Santa Fe.
Raul Ojeda, Mariachi Instructor
Raul teaches vihuela, guitar, guitarron, as well as voice for SFYSA’s Mariachi Program. Raul is the oldest son of Don Miguel Ojeda. Both Don Miguel and his father were mariachi violinists. Raul’s own musical career started with guitar lessons from his father at the age of 15; he subsequently learned vihuela, guitarra de golpe, and finally his favorite instrument, the guitarron. In 1971, at the age of 21, Raul moved from Mexico with the rest of his musical family to form Mariachi Tenampa, directed by his father. Known as one of the best guitarron players in the state of New Mexico, Raul is also the lead vocalist with Mariachi Tenampa. He is well known for his powerful and broad-ranging voice and his extensive repertoire of hundreds of songs.
Christine Chen, Elementary Strings Instructor
Christine has been playing violin since she was six years old. She started taking Suzuki violin lessons in Queens, New York, and grew up playing music with her friends and siblings in orchestras, string ensembles, and chamber groups. She studied with Nicole DiCecco and Enrico DiCecco and has performed in venues in New York City, Taiwan, Philippines, and Italy. She is thrilled to be working with young musicians!
Haley Lovelace, Elementary Strings Instructor & Private-Lesson Program Instructor
Haley Lovelace holds a Bachelor of University Studies in string pedagogy and educational psychology from the University of New Mexico. An active researcher in the field of string pedagogy for more than a decade, Haley combines Suzuki and traditional pedagogies as well as developmental psychology in her teaching. Haley’s students have been accepted into regional Solo & Ensemble festivals and the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. Haley is herself an alum of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, and has also performed with the University of New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Currently she serves in the first violin section of the Albuquerque Philharmonic. In addition to her SFYSA studio, Haley maintains an active private studio in the Duke City. In her “spare” time she enjoys kitties, cooking, baking, and her baby, Arya Finley, born February 26.
Monica Oechsner, Elementary Strings Instructor
A transplant from Phoenix, Arizona, Monica holds an undergraduate degree in violin performance from East Tennessee State University and a graduate degree in viola performance from the University of Alabama. She is a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra, and recently toured China as principal violist with the American Festival Orchestra. This is Monica’s second year as orchestra instructor with Santa Fe Public Schools, teaching fourth through eighth grade at Gonzales Community School. In addition to her public school teaching, Monica teaches privately and has had many students participate in regional and all-state orchestras. Together with her husband, Howard, they have five children, one dog, and two cats.