Joseph Lee, conductor, is currently the Resident Conductor of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra, Music Director of the University Orchestra at Sewanee: The University of the South, and the Artistic Advisor of the Manuel Maria Gutierrez Orchestra (Costa Rica). He has appeared with a diverse group of performers including Grammy award winning artists Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, the world-famous Canadian Brass, the performers of Cirque de la Symphonie, Act of Congress, Riders in the Sky, Tony Award nominee Jodi Benson, and other Broadway stars including Gary Mauer, Julia Murney, Virginia Woodruff, and Burke Moses.
Mr. Lee is Music Director of the Festival Internacional de Musica Pochote (Costa Rica), Music Director of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival, Music Director of the Signal Mountain Music Festival (TN), Director of Music Ministries at East End United Methodist Church of Nashville, and served on the conducting staff of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival from 2007-2011. In the Spring of 2011, Mr. Lee returned to his alma mater to serve a one-semester appointment at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Orchestra and Conducting, and currently serves on the faculty of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. In addition to his regular conducting activities, Mr. Lee frequently travels the Southeast US and Central America leading clinics, adjudicating band and orchestra festivals, and guest conducting.
Mr. Lee has participated in music festivals and master classes both at home and abroad. In master class, he has with world-renowned instructors including Kenneth Keisler, Otto Werner Mueller, Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Paavo Jarvi, David Hayes, and Duain Wolfe. Mr. Lee graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Conducting teachers and mentors include maestros Robin Fountain, Taavo Virkhaus, James Paul, and Carlos Miguel Prieto.
Dr. C. David Ragsdale is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Ragsdale teaches courses in music education and conducting. Additionally, Dr. Ragsdale conducts the University’s Wind Ensemble, the Huntsville Youth Orchestra’s “Sinfonia,” the Huntsville Chamber Winds, and the Tennessee Valley Music Festival’s orchestra and wind ensemble. He maintains an avid guest conducting schedule throughout the Southeastern US, including recent conducting engagements at the University of Georgia, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Central Florida, Wake Forest University, Winthrop University, as well as numerous district and all-state honor bands. Dr. Ragsdale is published in two collegiate music texts by McGraw-Hill Publishing and in the 8th, 9th, and 10th editions of GIA’s popular “Teaching Music Through Performance” textbook series. Additionally, he is a regular contributor to “Ala Breve” in his role as Wind Band Expert for the President’s Council of the Alabama Music Educators Association. In 2015, Dr. Ragsdale was named the UAH College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Professor of the Year.
Prior to UAH, Dr. Ragsdale served as the Associate Director of Bands for the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he directed the internationally-acclaimed “Band of the Hour” Marching Band for the Miami Hurricanes. In 2004, Dr. Ragsdale was inducted into the Iron Arrow Society, the highest honor attainable at the University of Miami by any student, faculty member, or alumnus.
Dr. Ragsdale holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Appalachian State University (NC), a Master of Music degree from Winthrop University (SC), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami (FL). A disaster responder for the American Red Cross, he and his wife Jennifer, Middle School Dean at Randolph School, currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama along with their daughters, Ella and Anna.
Jacob Frank began his study of the violin at the age of 10. In high school, he played in the Huntsville Youth Symphony, so he has strong ties to this wonderful organization. He has studied the violin with instructors Alberto Jaffe, Viljar Weimann, and Achim Gerber. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Church Music from Bob Jones University.
Mr. Frank has been a guest clinician at various workshops in the area, most notably as guest conductor for the ASTA Honors Festival in Tuscaloosa. Jacob also serves as the Northern District Chair, as well as Treasurer, of the Alabama Orchestra Association. During most days, he stays busy teaching privately, providing music for local weddings and parties, and performing with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. Jacob is also the Concertmaster of the up and coming chamber orchestra from Decatur named “Sul Ponticello,” conducted by Viljar Weimann.
Besides playing and teaching violin, Mr. Frank thoroughly enjoys conducting. He is currently the conductor of a total of seven orchestras, most of them being youth. He is the Music Director of the Decatur Youth Symphony, and their four string orchestras, as well as conductor of the Horizon String Orchestra, an advanced adult group, under the Huntsville Symphony School. He is thankful for the opportunity to serve as conductor of the Philharmonia String Orchestra, and is thrilled to be helping kids flourish as string players. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys spending time with his family; his wife Kelly, and children Lily, Levi, Asher, Ava, and Ezra.
Kelli Battraw, a native of Arizona, received her Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University in Music Education, with an emphasis in string instruments.
After graduating, Kelli spent 4 years teaching elementary school orchestra in the Chandler, AZ school district. In that time she also had the opportunity to work with students in both district and state elementary orchestra festivals. Upon moving to Huntsville,Kelli began work as the Arts-in-Education Coordinator for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, a position which she held for 3 ½ years.
Kelli has been teaching private string lessons since 1997, a passion she continues today. She lives in Madison with husband, Aaron, and their three sons Adam, Hyrum, and Brigham and Spencer.
Bethany Wing received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia at Athens. She spent the next few years teaching middle school orchestra at East Cobb Middle school in Marietta, Georgia. Later, she earned a Master of Arts degree from Tennessee Technological University. She has enjoyed performing with many regional and local orchestras.
While in college, Mrs. Wing began teaching private violin and viola lesson which she continues, currently. She and her husband, Frank, live in Madison with their three children, Connor, Emily, and Alex.