Music for a lifetime: Educating musicians to create a better world

Staff Profiles

Erika Batalla

Erika Batalla

Wind Symphony Conductor

Erika Batalla joins the Youth Orchestras of Prince William this season serving as the new conductor of the Wind Symphony. She has a degree in Music Education and Clarinet Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. She studied clarinet with Professor Garrick Zoeter and conducting with Dr. Emily Threinen and Dr. Damon Talley.

Erika Batalla served as a Band Director for three years in Fredericksburg area teaching grades 5-12th. As a director, she was active in her district by running VBODA events, assisting schools in their programs, and promoting music organizations in the area. Her goal as an educator is to provide her students with all the necessary tools and knowledge in music, to perform diverse repertoire, and to leave with a strong foundation and understanding of music through performance.

As a conductor, Erika Batalla has worked with distinguished conductors such as Mallory Thompson, Michael Haithcock, Steve Davis, Robert Reynolds, and Kevin Sedatole. This past summer she was selected to attend a week intensive conducting symposium at Temple University where she was chosen to conduct a chamber concert with Temple University's most talented players. Erika Batalla was also accepted to the United States Army Band Conductors Workshop where she had the opportunity to conduct The United States Army Band. She currently serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, an adult wind band in the Fredericksburg area. She is a strong believer in programming wind band classics, modern pieces, and revive works for the wind band medium.

Latoya Lamons

Latoya Lamons

Concert Orchestra Conductor

Latoya Lamons received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied violin with Dr. Rachel Vetter Huang and viola with Michelle Lacourse and her Master of Music degree in conducting with Professor Anthony Maeillo at George Mason University. She has performed with the University Symphony Orchestra, Mount Vernon Orchestra, and the BESK quartet. She currently performs viola with the Dolce Quartet in Northern Virginia.

Ms. Lamons is currently the director of orchestras at South County High School and Laurel Hill Elementary. She was the first director of the orchestra program at South County Secondary School from 2005 – 2009. She left South County for a brief time and returned to Carl Sandburg Middle School from 2009-2013 where she was the director from 1997 – 2005! Her orchestras have received consistent superior ratings at District Orchestra Assessments and other festivals taking place in Williamsburg, VA and Hershey, Pennsylvania as well.

Ms. Lamons is a frequent adjudicator and guest clinician in Virginia and the surrounding states.

Ms. Lamons resides in Springfield, VA and enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and being with friends and family.

Lisa Kline

Lisa Kline

Preparatory Orchestra Conductor

Lisa Kline attended James Madison University and Bridgewater College (Virginia), where she graduated with a degree in music. She received her primary Suzuki training from William Starr and Ronda Cole. Currently, she is the Orchestra Director at Gainesville Middle School in Prince William County. She has taught strings in Fauquier County and at the Prince George's County Magnet School for the Performing Arts, where she developed the first Suzuki Violin Program in that county's public school system. Mrs. Kline also maintained a private Suzuki violin studio for ten years. She has performed as a member of the Prince William Symphony Orchestra and the Prince George's Philharmonic Orchestra. Mrs. Kline has served as an adjudicator for various Solo & Ensemble Festivals and as a guest conductor for the Shenandoah Junior All-County Orchestra. Her musical education also includes training in Paul Rolland String Pedagogy from George Mason University. Additionally, she is the proud parent of a YOPW player!

Andrew Lisowski

Andrew Lisowski

Repertory Orchestra Conductor

Andrew (Drew) Lisowski is the orchestra director at Falls Church High School and the assistant director at Luther Jackson Middle School. During his time at Falls Church HS the program has doubled in student enrollment and an additional orchestra was added to the program. His ensembles have been consistently rated superior at state orchestra assessments and national competitions.

Mr. Lisowski graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. He studied with Akemi Takayama and Doris Lederer. Mr. Lisowski was named the Presser Scholar for the 2010 academic school year, an award given to an outstanding junior at the conservatory. In 2008, he attended the international Carl Nielsen Masterclass in Assens, Denmark where he sat principal 2nd violin.

In 2012, Mr. Lisowski was nominated for the FCPS Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year Award. He was also featured on Apple 21's Insight program for his work at Falls Church High School. Mr. Lisowski has presented at the Virginia Music Educator's Association In-Service Conference and at the Symposium on Music Teacher Education. In 2016, he was invited to guest conduct the Alexandria City Public School's 7th Grade Honor Orchestra.

In addition to his teaching duties at Falls Church, Mr. Lisowski joined the artistic staff of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William in 2013 as the Primo Conductor. For the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Lisowski will be the Repertory Orchestra conductor. Mr. Lisowski also worked with the McLean Youth Orchestra from 2007-2013. During his time with the McLean Youth Orchestra, he has served as a sectional coach, rehearsal conductor, and conductor.

In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, Bones and Peanut.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Primo Orchestra Conductor

Mr. Brian Smith has been teaching in the Virginia public school system for the last 27 years. He has received his bachelors and masters of music degrees from Shenandoah Conservatory and Baylor University respectively, along with working on a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at Louisiana State University. His wife, Valerie works in the Fauquier County school system. They have 2 sons Garrett, 22 and Brock, 20.

Mr. Smith has performed with many professional orchestras and ensembles throughout the United States, including a performance with the Baton Rouge Symphony at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has also performed at such music festivals as the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, the Ruidoso String Workshop, in New Mexico and the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He taught on the collegiate level at both Shenandoah University and Mary Washington University.

For the last 16 years, Mr. Smith' groups from Osbourn Park High School have performed quite extensively in the US and Europe. They have appeared in the World Projects Music Festival at the Kennedy Center (2009) in Washington D.C., the Edinburgh Easter Festival (2005) in Scotland, and the VMEA Conference (2007) in Norfolk, Virginia, and most recently, members of the OP Chamber Ensemble performed at the prestigious St Paul’s Catholic Church in downtown New York City in February 2015.

Mr. Smith has also adjudicated and conducted a variety of orchestra assessment and all-county events in the region, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

Claudia Morales

Claudia Morales

Executive Director and Ex Officio member of the Board

The Board of Directors of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William is pleased to welcome CLAUDIA MORALES as our new Executive Director. Mrs. Morales joins YOPW after serving as the Managing Director of The Metropolitan Chorus in Arlington, Virginia for four years. She worked with Music Director and Conductor Maestro, Barry Hemphill nurturing a vibrant organization that is part of an exciting matrix of partnerships and collaborations that include joined works with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, McLean Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia and the annual collaboration with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra for the traditional Annual Messiah Sing-Along.

Previously, Mrs. Morales served as Theater Manager at the Lisner Auditorium for four years. In that role, she worked with an incredible team presenting talented musicians from around the globe, in addition to local community groups that represent the cultural diversity of the D.C. metro area. Currently, Mrs. Morales serves as Concert Manager Consultant for the Meyer Auditorium at the Freer Sackler Gallery.

Mrs. Morales brings to YOPW her vision for arts education. She is passionate about the role that music education plays in the community, and the impact that this has in people's lives, especially the youth. She believes that access to the arts should be for all members of the community.

Mrs. Morales holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the Catholic University of Lima, Peru. In addition, she holds a Master in Arts Management from the George Mason University. Mrs. Morales also holds a Certificate in Events Management from the School of Business of the George Washington University.

Mrs. Morales lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband Alex, her six year old son, Mayu, and her three year old daughter, Nayra. She enjoys being an active and involved mom, and when she is not working or driving her kids around, she enjoys cooking, baking, running, camping, hiking and traveling with her family. We are excited to have Mrs. Morales join our YOPW family.

Christen Reddig

Christen Reddig

Youth Chorus and Advanced Chorus Conductor

Christen Reddig, Youth Chorus and Advanced Chorus Conductor, is a 2010 graduate of George Mason University with a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting and a 1992 cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. While at Ohio State she participated in the Robert Shaw Choral Institute and sang under the direction of Mr. Shaw with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on their performances and recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.

She was the director of the training choirs of the Madison Youth Choirs in Madison, WI. She prepared her choirs to be the model choir for the National Association for Music Education’s World’s Largest Concert. She was also the associate conductor of the Capital City Girls Choir (CCGC) at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. During her time with CCGC her choirs sang with several choral composers including John Rutter (Premier of Mass for the Children, chamber orchestra score), Bob Chilcott , Stephen Hatfield and Nick Page. Her choir was selected twice to be the model choir for Doreen Rao’s Choral Music Experience Institute at Elon University in North Carolina.

After eight years of teaching choral music at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA she will begin teaching at Robinson Middle School in Fairfax, VA this fall. When not singing or working Mrs. Reddig enjoys spending time with her husband Pete and sixteen year-old son, Colin.

Anne Rupert

Anne Rupert

Music Director and Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor

Anne Rupert, Music Director and Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she earned a Bachelor of Music with a double major in Cello Performance and Instrumental Music Education. At Eastman, she studied cello with Robert Sylvester and Steven Doane, and was a member of every major performing ensemble including the Heidelberg, Germany Schlosspiele Orchestra under the baton of David Effron. Upon graduation, Mrs. Rupert taught for 10 years in the Fairfax County Public Schools where she was the Orchestra Director at Oakton High School, Rachel Carson Middle School and Franklin Middle School. Mrs. Rupert's orchestras consistently received Superior Ratings and Best Overall Orchestra Awards at District and National competitions in New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Orlando, Boston, Myrtle Beach, Gatlinburg, Atlanta, Hershey and Williamsburg. In March 1999 she was appointed Music Director and Youth Symphony Orchestra conductor of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William, an ensemble she led from 1999-2011. In June 2006, Mrs. Rupert made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut when she took the YSO to New York City for a week-long tour culminating in a Gold Rating performance at Carnegie Hall. Mrs. Rupert returned to public school education in September of 2006, this time at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, VA where she directs the High School and Advanced Middle School Orchestras. Mrs. Rupert is especially pleased to share that she has numerous of her former high school students employed as Orchestra Directors in Virginia since their graduations from their respective colleges or universities! Since 1989 Mrs. Rupert has been a member of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra cello section, where she also served as Music Librarian from 2003-2007. She performs frequently as a free-lance cellist in the Washington D.C. Metro Area, and has in the past maintained a small private cello studio. Mrs. Rupert is the 1994 and 2010 recipient of the American String Teachers Association Virginia Chapter Outstanding Orchestra Director Award, the 2006 Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Musical Excellence in Prince William County, the 2007 Award for Outstanding Service to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and 2008 and 2012 People's Choice Award at Robinson Secondary School. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Rupert has served as guest conductor to many of the All County, Junior and Senior Regional Orchestras in Virginia, North Carolina and Connecticut, Junior All State Orchestra in Maryland and has almost annually adjudicated at Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) District Orchestra Assessments across the state. Her other guest conducting engagements include: Levine School of Music, JMU Spring String Thing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Summer Music Camp, Franklin Band and Orchestra Camp, and the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute held annually in the DC metro area. Mrs. Rupert holds active memberships with NAfME, VBODA and ASTA. She is delighted to have this opportunity to be back working with the students and staff of YOPW once again!

Mrs. Rupert lives in Clifton, VA with her husband Greg and their five sons: Ben, Nick, Nathaniel, Noah and Michael and Rascal, the dog. (Yes, he has grown on her, but don't tell the boys!) She enjoys being an involved mom, Cub Scout leader, violin and cello practice partner, #1 fan and chauffeur as necessary. She thanks you for the opportunity to work with your children in this setting and appreciates your support of public school music education and youth orchestras.