Conductor & Staff

Below are the professional musicians dedicated to teaching, coaching and supporting the Maine Youth Orchestra

Ben David Richmond, Conductor

 

The Maine Youth Orchestra welcomes our new conductor. This diverse and talented composer, audio engineer and conductor will begin conducting this year with MYO.

Ben David Richmond is a conductor, composer, and audio engineer currently serving as Associate Conductor of the Southern Maine Symphony, Conductor with the USM Composers Ensemble, and Rehearsal Conductor of the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. For the 2018-19 season, he will also be serving as Interim Conductor with the North Shore Philharmonic and the Maine Youth Orchestra.

As a composer, Richmond has written three symphonies, three ballets, two string quartets, and a list of other works ranging from unaccompanied solo to full ensemble.

As an audio engineer, Richmond has worked with Eighth Blackbird, InVoice Chicago Recording Studio, the University of Chicago, North Park University, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Navy Pier's Crystal Garden Ballroom, Victory Gardens Theater, and many others.

Ray Libby, Winds and Percussion Coach

Ray Libby graduated from the University of Maine Orono with a B. A. in music education and a minor in English. Ray has taught in various Maine schools and retired as instrumental music director at Brunswick High School. He has spent many summers at various music camps, has played clarinet in many Orchestras, and has been a solo clarinetist for the past 21 years with the Casco Bay Concert Band. He plays multiple woodwinds in several area jazz bands including the Mount Washington Hotel Big Band, Phil Rich Big Band and the Mike Willette Swing Band. He performs in pit orchestras for productions throughout Maine including: The Best of Broadway at the Merrill Auditorium, The Portland Players, The Freeport Players, The Ogunquit Playhouse, and the Maine State Music Theater. Ray lives in Brunswick with his wonderful wife Jean and their dog Lila.

Jeanie Wester, Strings Coach

Jeanie Wester has a BS from Wittenberg University in Chemistry and a MS in Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Ms. Wester teaches viola, violin, and piano in Yarmouth, Maine. She has been a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Maine Chamber Ensemble, Maine State Ballet Orchestra, and Maine Promusica.  She has been the violist in Southern Maine String Quartet and Northern Lights String Quartet for many years.  Ms Wester has been a part of the Maine Youth Orchestra since 1983 when it was the Brunswick Regional Youth Orchestra and has been a board member, string coach, librarian or orchestra manager since that time.  All four of her children have played in MYO. Supporting string education has been a rudimentary part of her life.  An example of the connection between science and music, in the summer she volunteers with Friends of Casco Bay collecting data on the water quality of Maine's beautiful Casco Bay.

Jennifer Turmel, Assistant Strings Coach

Jennifer Turmel has an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Oregon.  She currently teaches chemistry at SMCC and is active in the homeschooling community, teachng violin and viola and tutoring chemistry. She has played violin with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra and the Cathedral musicians and volunteered with the Maine Youth Orchestra for two years before becoming an assistant strings coach. When she isn't teaching math, science, or music Jennifer enjoys knitting and spending time wit her family.