Ted Foster has been our Prelude Strings conductor since 2016. He is the Instrumental Music Director at Challenger Middle School, in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, where he teaches multiple levels of Orchestra, Band and Jazz. Mr. Foster earned his Master's in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in 2015, and his Bachelor of Music from George Mason University in 2009. In 2014, he was honored with the opportunity to conduct the Elementary Honor Orchestra of the San Diego Unified School District. Mr. Foster was awarded the 2013 David Paul Schuchman Award for Outstanding Middle school Instrumental Music Teacher, as voted by his secondary instrumental music educator peers in the San Diego Unified School District. In the same year, he also received the Band Educator of the Year Award from the California Music Education Association, Southern Border Section.
Mr. Foster's primary instrument is the String Bass, and his students have been accepted to numerous honor ensembles throughout the years. Mr. Foster has studied and performed on all of the instruments of the string family, and he shares his knowledge and passion with students of our Primary Strings!
Alyze Dreiling has been our Symphonic Orchestra conductor since 2015. www.alyzedreiling.com
Originally from Detroit, she was the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Classics for Kids and currently is Artistic Director and Conductor of YPO Soloists Ensemble and Soloists Sinfonietta. Recently awarded 3rd prize in the national competition "The American Prize" in the conductor of youth orchestra division. She has guest conducted the Greater San Diego Community Symphony and Coterie and has conducted professional ensembles in the San Diego area including the San Diego Master Chorale and Cabrillo Chamber Orchestra of which she is the resident conductor.
As a violinist, she began her studies with Mischa Mischakoff, under a sponsorship from the Detroit Symphony and the Music Study Club of Metropolitan Detroit.
Ms. Dreilling attended Indiana University where she studied with the legendary Josef Gingold. She holds a BM in Violin Performance from Indiana University and MA from United States International University with an emphasis on Orchestral Performance. She has attended Kneisel Hall, Blossom Music Festival and Academy of the West for chamber music and worked with Walter Trampler, Karen Tuttle, Janos Starker and Menahem Pressler. She has appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Philharmonica Hungarica at the Vienna Summer Festival, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra and served as concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra before coming to San Diego.
In San Diego she has appeared as soloist with the International Orchestra, Grossmont Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego State Symphony Orchestra. She was the Violinist/Conductor of the International Chamber Players at USIU. Adept with all musical styles, she has played concertmaster for Donna Summers, Smoky Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Tom Scott, to name a few. She has also served as concertmaster for shows at the Old Globe, Civic Auditorium, LaJolla Playhouse, Lawrence Welk Theater and Starlight Musical Theater and has also played with San Diego Symphony, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Hutchins Consort, Opera Pacific and Orquestra de Baja California.
Currently she is principal violist of the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra and Grossmont Quartet, violinist of the California Consort, and known recitalist and chamber music performer in San Diego. Ms. Dreiling is adjunct faculty at USD and USD Chamber Music Festival, maintains a private teaching studio and is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). She also adjudicates for the Certificate of Merit program, member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and the National Piano Guild.
Jonathan Ingber is our Wind Ensemble conductor.
The conductor of the CYO Wind Ensemble since 2004, Mr. Ingber also has directed the Palomar College Brass Ensemble (2006-2011), summer sessions of the Palomar College Concert Band (2005-2009) and the MiraCosta College Windjammers Concert Band (2007-2010). As an Adjunct Professor at Palomar College (since 2004), he has taught courses in music history, theory and solo performance. He also worked as an Adjunct Professor at MiraCosta College (2000-2010). Mr. Ingber majored in trumpet performance, receiving his Masters Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (1988) and his Bachelors Degree, Cum Laude, from the University of Southern California (1986). He studied with Charles Schlueter, Principal Trumpet (Ret.) – Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Boyde Hood, Trumpet (Ret.) – Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Former Principal Trumpet with Lyric Opera San Diego (2003-2011), Mr. Ingber also has
performed extensively as a freelance musician: San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera,
San Diego Chamber Orchestra, concerts with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, productions with the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre, musicals with Starlight Theatre, brass quintet concerts in Southern California and in Mexico, and work with string ensembles and ceremonial bands. In 2011, Mr. Ingber premiered Robert Weller’s Trumpet Concerto with the Palomar Symphony Orchestra. He also has soloed with the North Coast Symphony and the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra, has played under the baton of Composer/Conductor John Williams and Marvin Hamlisch, and has backed-up noted performers including Michael Crawford, Doc Severinsen, Michael Feinstein and Frank Sinatra Jr.
A founding member of the quintet, Premier Brass, Mr. Ingber continues to perform as a freelance trumpeter and also works as a public school music coach. He maintains a private studio, teaching trumpet lessons to players of all levels and ages. Former students have continued their music studies at USC, UCLA, CSU Long Beach and the Eastman School of Music. A CYO alumnus himself, he and his wife are very proud that their daughter, a violinist, has played in the program since 2011 and is currently a member of the CYO Symphony.
Carolyn Lechusza has been our Intermediate/Chamber Strings conductor since 2016.
She has an extensive professional background in orchestral playing as well as in chamber music. Her experiences include summer music festivals such as Interlochen, Tanglewood, Oberlin at Casalmaggiore, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, the Roundtop Music Festival, The National Orchestral Institute, the Musicorda Music Festival, and the Conductors' Institute at Bard College.
Professional orchestra experience includes the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in New York, solo appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, the Punk Rock Orchestra, the California Consort, the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Nova.
Ms. Lechusza Aquallo is currently a Music Director at the Mueller Charter School in Chula Vista, CA.
Meet Our Conductors
Robert Gilson serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Civic Youth Orchestra Symphony.
He received his Masters Degree with Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music with post graduate work at San Jose State University and the University of Southern California.
Between 1973 and 2007, Mr. Gilson conducted music ensembles as Professor of Music at Palomar College, was the Palomar College Music Department Chair between 1974 and 1977, Chairperson of the Palomar College Performing Arts Department from 1997 to 2002, and served on the Academic Senate of the College until his retirement in June, 2007. He was also the Music Director/Conductor of the Palomar Community Orchestra for over 30 years. Mr. Gilson co-founded the North County Civic Youth Orchestra program in 1986. Mr. Gilson spent a one-year sabbatical in 1982 studying in England, Germany and Austria. In 1985 he attended a Master's Conducting Seminar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In the Spring of 1991 he spent his second sabbatical researching and studying youth orchestra programs in the Midwest.
In 1993, Mr. Gilson took the Civic Youth Orchestra Symphony on its first international tour to Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna. Every other year from 1996 - 2008, he has taken the CYO Symphony on international tours throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia. During these tours they received a Silver Award in an International Music Festival, performed in the Sydney Opera House, performed on Croatian National Television, and participated in the 2004 International Youth Music Festival in Vienna. They were also privileged to perform in the Grosses Saal of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, an honor only bestowed on one other occasion to a youth orchestra.