Staff & Conductor Bios

YOL Conductors

Dr. Williams Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra 

A Ph.D graduate of Texas Tech University, Dr. Williams has been with the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock for over 20 years. She has previously worked as the Interim Assistant Professor of Music Education for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and conductor of the OMNI Ensemble, an all campus string orchestra. She is an active researcher, having presented her work at music conferences throughout the United States, including the NAfME Society for Music Teacher Education and the American String Teachers Association conferences. Dr. Williams has been an active conductor and artistic advisor with the youth symphony orchestras in Lubbock since 1997. She has served as a conductor for all three YOL orchestras during her twenty years with the program and is currently conducting the Symphony Orchestra. Beyond her regular duties, Dr. Williams maintains an active conducting and teaching schedule, serving frequently as a clinician and judge for instrumental groups in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. She has been a member of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra viola section since 1994. Previous teaching positions have been held throughout Texas since 1991, including serving as Interim Instructor for String Music Education at Texas Tech University and orchestra director positions in Amarillo, San Antonio and Lubbock public schools. Additionally, Dr. Williams is trumpet player and has held previous band positions in both Ralls and Lubbock, TX. Elementary and choral music positions have been held in Lubbock, as well.
 Membership affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, American String Teacher’s Association, American Viola Society, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas MEAs, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi. She is a Red Raider through and through, having earned all her degrees from Texas Tech University. Dr. Williams holds a PhD. in Fine Arts as well as Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Music Education. She is married to Todd Williams and has four boys: Justin Anderson and Connor, Sawyer and Carson Williams.

Dr. Ipsen, Interim Conductor Philharmonia

An insightful and engaging conductor and educator, Wisconsin-born Dr. Ross Thomas Ipsen was recently appointed as Interim Conductor for the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock Philharmonia.
Ross also spends much of his time teaching violin and performing as both conductor and violinist in the Lubbock area, Wisconsin, and California.

Ross comes to the Philharmonia from his successful time at Texas Tech University as the Associate Conductor with the University Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the University String Orchestra. Previous appointments as Assistant Conductor include with the Sonoma County Philharmonic, San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble, and the Lawrence University Symphony Orchestra. In recent engagements, Ross has conducted atthe UW Madison Summer Music Camp and the Texas Tech University Band and Orchestras Camp. Ross’s international career began as a selected masterclass participant to conduct the
Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. He has also been a guest conductor with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, San Francisco School of the Arts Orchestra, and Youth
Orchestra Program at St. Norbert College.

Ross holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts from Texas Tech University in Orchestral Conducting  studying with David E. Becker. His Masters Degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying conducting with Michael Morgan, Alasdair Neale, and Donato Cabrera. He
graduated from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI, with a Bachelors Degree (Honors) in Violin Performance and Instrumental Music Education.


Kathleen Smith, conductor for the Prelude Strings Orchestra

Kathleen Smith, conductor for the Prelude Strings Orchestra, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in violin from Murray State University where she studied with Christopher Thompson and Eric Williams. Kathleen is a private violin teacher and a certified Suzuki Teacher of Violin
with the STELR Program. She is currently the Director of the STELR Program in Lubbock, TX.
She has served as Coordinator and Violin Instructor for the String Program in the Jasper School District in Jasper, Indiana, and at the String Preparatory Division at Indiana State University in
Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the Co-Conductor/Co- Music Director of the Charleston Youth Orchestra in Charleston, Illinois. Mrs. Smith is a freelance violinist in Texas, as well as performing frequently in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. She
has performed with the Evansville (IN), Terre Haute (IN), Owensboro (KY), Danville (IL), Windsor (Canada), Flint (MI), Saginaw (MI), Symphonies. Kathleen is married to Christopher M. Smith, Professor of Horn in the School of Music at Texas Tech University. They are parents
of three daughters. Mia, a student at Texas Tech studying Elementary Education, Natalie, a senior violinist at Interlochen Arts Academy High School, and Audrey, a student at Roscoe Wilson and a cellist of the Prelude Strings Orchestra..