Robert Turizziani – In addition to his work with the West Virginia Youth Orchestra, Mr. Turizziani is the founder and music director of the Seneca Chamber Orchestra and the music director of the River Cities Symphony. He has a degree in clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is currently the principal clarinet of the West Virginia Symphony. Mr. Turizziani has performed with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Louisville, as well as the Cincinnati Pops and Opera and a number of smaller regional orchestras. With the Pentaura Quintet, he has participated in artist residencies at the Banff and Sandpoint Festivals. Under his direction, the West Virginia Youth Orchestra has made three international trips: Prague, Vienna, and Central Europe (2000); Italy and Austria (2006); and Hungary, Poland, Austria and Slovakia (2012).
Ian Jessee, an Ohio native, came to West Virginia to participate in the West Virginia Symphony Artist-in Residence program as a string instructor for the Kanawha County Schools. Mr. Jessee earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Ohio State University. He performs with the West Virginia Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, and is concertmaster of the River Cities Symphony Orchestra. He spends summers in Austria as a violinist in the Classical Music Festival, playing in the Kismarton Quartet. He has participated in the New Hampshire Music Festival, and the Bach and Beyond Baroque Music Festival (Fredonia, NY). In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Jessee served on the faculty of the International Music Festival Akademi Datça in Turkey.
As an educator, Mr. Jessee’s public school programs have consistently received superior ratings and highest honors in regional and state competitions, and in 2011 placed 1st in the prestigious National Orchestra Festival, part of the American String Teachers Association Conference. He served from 2006-2008 as president of the West Virginia Chapter of ASTA, and currently serves as state chapter president of National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) organizing competitions and festivals, and is serving as District Co-Chairman of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). He is also a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Ohio Music Education Association, the Conductors’ Guild, and the West Virginia Music Teachers’ Association.
Sandra Groce moved to Charleston in 1998 to become violist of the Montclaire String Quartet and Principal Viola the West Virginia Symphony. She continues as a section player in the WVSO, though she stepped down from the combined Quartet/Principal Viola position in 2010.
Sandra grew up in Philadelphia, was educated at Yale University and the Eastman School and received her Master’s Degree in performance from the University of Oregon. Previous to joining the West Virginia Symphony she was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. She also performed several summer seasons with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in South Carolina and Italy, and the Central City Opera in Colorado.
In her 15 years (and counting) in Charleston, Sandra has worked with many young string players through private lessons in her own home teaching studio, working with students in the Kanawha County Schools String program and coaching sectionals and chamber music for the West Virginia Youth Symphony. With the Montclaire String Quartet she performed hundreds of concerts in schools throughout West Virginia. In past years she has been an active member several of the local music performance clubs which sponsor wonderful playing opportunities for local students.
Sandra can think of no place she would rather make her home than in the Mountain State with her husband Larry and daughters Virginia and Bonnie.
Joshua Humphreys – Josh is a 2013 graduate of WVSU with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education, with his major in Music Education PreK-Adult. He is currently a substitute teacher with the Kanawha County School system. Josh has had experience as a student teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School, as a band camp instructor, and as a private teacher of saxophone.
Josh has been an active member of the Kanawha Valley Community Band since 2009 and has rehearsed and performed with the Charleston Youth Arts Company and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.