Dr. Laurie Williams Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Ross Thomas 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 at
the 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.
Jeremy Isley Youth Orchestra Percussion Specialist,
Jeremy Isley has worked in numerous school districts as a music educator. He is an innovator in instrument design, having started his own company in 2006, Isley Percussion, which has provided services for percussionists all over the United States. He also has experience with drum circles and providing community music events in churches, schools, community groups, and professional performance venues.