President: Harry Hawkes, Strategy&

Vice President: Pete Martin, Votem Corp

Treasurer: Belinda Grassi

Secretary: Gail Opaskar, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Carol Duber

TJ Ely

Michael Farrell, Baker Hostetler

Barry Gabel, Live Nation

Adam Harvey

Nicholas House

Haydee Pagan, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

David Schane, Eous Energy



Jon AndersonLead singer of YES

Michael GarsonPianist for David Bowie

Daniel Goldmark, Ph.D, Case Western Reserve University

Richard KingPrincipal Horn of The Cleveland Orchestra

Donna Lee, DMA, Kent State University

Ari Maron, MRD

Linda Miller

Julie Myers-KingCellist, The Akron Symphony Orchestra & Cello Instructor

Graham NashCo-Founder or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Cyrus Taylor, Ph.D, Dean at Case Western Reserve University

James ‘J.Y.’ YoungStyx



The momentum, enthusiasm, and risk-taking of Contemporary Youth Orchestra is held together and supported by a masterful plan for success. Kim is in charge, working with the board of trustees to ensure everything is working in proper order and that we're heading for success as a unit. As a veteran non-profit leader, she thrives in organizations like our and brings experience and passion to the job.


Liza's the one in the middle of the stage at every concert - but she's so much more than a conductor. As Executive Director, Liza oversees the day-to-day operations of CYO, ensuring everything runs smoothly. She's a conductor, an educator, a producer, a manager, and more. Learn more about Liza on her website.


Amber captures CYO's dynamic process and individual personalities. A fixture at rehearsals and shows, Amber photographs, interviews, and blogs to share our story. Check out Amber's Instagram.


The shows and rehearsals don't run themselves. Ben makes sure our musicians and productions operate smoothly, efficiently, and enjoyably.

carol duber, volunteer coordinator

Carol unites passionate people with useful assignments. She ignites excitement and helps perform the meaningful work the makes CYO hum.



Liesl Hook received a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and a master of music in Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music with Michele George. She has studied violin with Wei Shu Co, Almita and Roland Vamos, Gary Kosloski, and Stephen Clapp, and piano with George Cherry. Liesl has been a member of the Suzuki Violin faculty at The Cleveland Institute of Music since 1994 and has been on the music faculty at Hawken School in Lyndhurst, Ohio since 2003. Her Suzuki teaching has taken her to many festivals and Institutes throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Japan where she has been a guest lecturer and master class teacher. Liesl is a violinist with The Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, the Erie Philharmonic and Playhouse Square productions.


A sought after violin instructor and ensemble coach, Callista Koh is also the Department Head of the Suzuki Program at The Music Settlement. Prior to her appointment at The Music Settlement, she was on the Suzuki faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Fairmount Fine Arts Center, where she was also Assistant Director of their Suzuki program. She is a violinist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Playhouse Square Productions.


Laura Shuster holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody Institute, and Case Western Reserve University.  As a freelance violist, she is principal viola of Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Blossom Festival Orchestra. 


Derek Snyder has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and Europe, and has collaborated as a chamber musician with members of some of the country’s most exciting ensembles, including The Cleveland Orchestra, The Detroit Symphony, Montreal Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony.


Nicole Castleberry Clouser is not your typical Middle School Orchestra and Band teacher.  She had a rock-n-roll start playing electric bass in rock bands and her love of all music ultimately brought her to classical orchestral performance and the passion of instilling the love of music to others through music education.

Nicole received her BM from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City studying with Orin O’Brien and continued with graduate studies at the Julliard School but ultimately received her MM from McGill University in Montreal.


Four-time Grammy® Award-winning Producer and Recording Editor, Thomas Moore is a founding member and President of Five/Four Productions, Ltd.. Five/Four Productions is a full service independent audio production company that uses the latest technology and proprietary processes to create the world's most acclaimed recordings.


From Jazz to R&B to Broadway to Rock to Hip Hop, Joe Miller is one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the area. Trained in classical music as well as Jazz, he has toured and performed extensively with international, regional and local artists.


Ben Kipp, percussionist, has performed with orchestras including the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Lansing Symphony (MI), Dayton Philharmonic Concert Band, the Air Force Band, the Cincinnati Symphony, and The Cleveland Pops Orchestra. An experienced contemporary player, he has performed with artists including Bob Becker, Keith Aleo, Jeff Luft, and Michael Burritt. He has worked with conductors such as Keith Lockhart, Mathias Bamert, JoAnn Falletta, Louis Langree, Jeff Tyzik, Julian Kuerti and Grant Llewellyn. Ben was the teaching assistant at the Brevard Music Center in 2011 and 2012, and while their he received the “Most Outstanding Collegiate Musician” award.


Bandleader, drummer and percussionist Bill Ransom is a musical chameleon - equally at home with classical, jazz, R&B and rock. With a style described as “physical, stirring, demanding, rare and personal,” Bill has toured and recorded with leading artists including Patrice Rushen, Jose Feliciano, Marion Meadows, Cecil Bridgewater, Diane Reeves, Mary Wilson, and James Newton.




Robert is the man responsible for capturing the beautiful moments CYO creates on film. 


You never see him, but Dave Yost is integral to the enjoyment of your CYO experience. As a Grammy-Award winning engineer, he is the guy who guarantees we get to listen to recordings of performances for years to come. A member of our team since 1999, Dave won the CYO Distinguished Service Award in 2011.


Beautiful lighting has become a part of every CYO show - and Jamie Zammikiel is the guy who gets it done.



Linwood Bell joined the CYO composition team in 2015. After putting his own small studio together, he started doing a lot of work for the Premiere Radio Network and Clear Channel. He has written and produced thousands of tracks for businesses all over the country, as well as doing production music library cuts. He has arranged works for CYO including charts for the Alternative Press Music Awards and Graham Nash. 


Stefan Podell has been arranging music for CYO since 2009. Now a sought-after composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Stefan has created works for artists such as Jon Anderson of YES, Jefferson Starship, Evelyn Glennie, and Sean Beeson. As a songwriter and musician, Stefan has won awards from the likes of Billboard Magazine and VH-1. He has shared the stage with performers such as Cheap Trick, Barenaked Ladies, and Dishwalla.


Born in Costa Rica, Mau Quiros started playing music at a very early age. At the age of 17 he won a composition contest hosted by the Costa Rica National Symphony Orchestra, and started exploring jazz music. Later on, he received a full right to study jazz performance in Miami with Mike Orta and Classical Pianist Kemal Gekic and continued to write for different ensembles while producing and composing music for different artists in the pop and latin world. has worked and recorded with artists like Armando Manzanero, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’rivera, Randy Brecker, Troy roberts Nu-Jive, among others. He's currently based in NYC where he performs and produces for different artists along with developing his own music.