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A native of Buffalo, New York, Hayden Denesha is a passionate conductor known for his intensity and his dedication to the education of audiences and young musicians. Presently, Hayden serves as the Associate Conductor of the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestras. Hayden is also on faculty at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania where he directs the College Orchestra and teaches classes in Music Education. Hayden most recently served as Assistant Conductor for the Peabody Youth Orchestra and worked as an Assistant Conductor and Youth Orchestra Conductor for the South Carolina Philharmonic. While with the South Carolina Philharmonic, he led professional young persons’ concerts and helped grow its Youth Orchestra program into one of the largest in the state.

As an advocate for contemporary programming, Hayden has premiered numerous commissions and has been relied upon for his expertise in multimedia collaboration. He recently worked on the U.S. premiere of Du Yun’s Where We Lost Our Shadows at the Kennedy Center and served as an Assistant Conductor for a Baltimore city-wide production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass under the baton of Marin Alsop. He is also one of the few conductors in the world trained in original performance practice of accompanying silent films with live orchestra. In 2018, he was invited to Indiana University in partnership with the Jacobs School of Music to present the original orchestral score to Phantom of the Opera (1925) with renowned organ soloist Dennis James.

Hayden holds conducting degrees from the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the University of South Carolina, and the State University of New York at Fredonia. He has also trained and performed at music festivals such as the National Orchestra Institute, Eastern Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School, and the PRISMA Festival in Western Canada. His principal teachers have included Marin Alsop, Joseph Young, Scott Weiss and David Rudge. Hayden is equally at home as a performer on viola having earned his undergraduate degree in Viola Performance & Music Education. He has held viola section positions with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Aiken Symphony Orchestra, and the Carolina Ballet. He presently resides in Baltimore, MD with his wife Mary Kate and is an avid Buffalo Bills fan.

Dr. Hayden Denesha
Associate Conductor, Loudoun Symphony Orchestra
LSYO Music Director and Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra

A native of Northern Virginia, K. Robby Carroll is an innovative and energetic music educator with over fifteen years of experience teaching students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. He currently serves as the orchestra director at Lightridge High School in Aldie, VA and has done so since its inception in 2020. Mr. Carroll is also a conductor with the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestras, leading their String Orchestra ensemble. Prior to his position at Lightridge, Mr. Carroll was the orchestra director at Willard Middle School (formerly Willard Intermediate School) in Aldie, VA upon its opening and was the orchestra director at Potomac Senior High School in Dumfries, VA for a decade.

Mr. Carroll began learning the piano at age 8 and grew up playing clarinet in the Fairfax County Public School system until graduation. He graduated cum laude from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at Mason, he attended and participated in the Schlern International Music Festival in Völs am Schlern, Italy studying piano, accompanying, and chamber music. Mr. Carroll started playing and studying the violin in earnest after accepting his first teaching position, and went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in strings from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL. His principal teachers include Anna Balakerskaia, John Casagrande, and David Eccles.

Mr. Carroll has served as a stage and sight-reading adjudicator for VBODA District Orchestra Assessments and as a guest conductor throughout the commonwealth. When he is not teaching, practicing, or performing, Mr. Carroll enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Robby Carroll
Conductor, String Orchestra

Ms. Sarah Geiger's musical journey began at the age of 3 when she started violin with the Buffalo Suzuki Strings. Through the years she pursued a variety of musical opportunities at the local, regional, and state levels, and upon graduating high school attended Ithaca College for Music Education, graduating in 2005. Ms. Geiger returned to Ithaca College in the summers from 2018-2020 and earned a Master's in Music Education as well.

Currently, Ms. Geiger teaches for Loudoun County at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn, VA working with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade orchestras. Additionally, she coaches Chamber Orchestra – an after school club for students that desire extra performance opportunities. She enjoys bringing students into the community for real-world music experiences, and collaborating with other schools. Ms. Geiger is currently on the board of directors as secretary for The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestra (TCSYO). Ms. Geiger is a violinist with the Maestra Ensemble and also teaches private lessons at The Music Loft.

Sarah Geiger
Conductor, Prelude Strings

Mrs. Samantha Oakley, a native of Fairfax County, VA, has been a music educator since 2012 and has served as the Director of Orchestras at Woodgrove High School in Loudoun County since 2015. Under Oakley's leadership, the Woodgrove orchestra program has consistently earned superior ratings at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association yearly concert assessments, showcasing their ability to perform advanced string orchestra repertoire of grades V and VI.

During her tenure in Loudoun County, Samantha has made a significant impact on the local music community through her enthusiastic presence and dedication to providing young musicians with growth opportunities. In 2016, she established the Woodgrove Symphony, which offers symphonic experiences to young wind, string, percussion, and brass musicians. Mrs. Oakley co-directs and leads the Woodgrove Symphony on tours across western Loudoun County, showcasing a diverse repertoire for the community. In 2022, she recognized the need for an elementary ensemble opportunity in Loudoun County and played a crucial role in co-establishing 'Western Loudoun Spring Strings', a music camp that has provided over 40 4th and 5th grade students with the chance to learn and perform on stringed instruments.

When not on the podium, Mrs. Oakley enjoys an active musical life. She regularly performs with the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra, shares her expertise by adjudicating concert assessments across the state, and has the privilege of guest conducting and providing sectional coaching throughout Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Additionally, she nurtures musicians of all ages in her violin/viola studio.

Outside of her musical endeavors, Mrs. Oakley finds joy in attending performances ranging from those held at the renowned Kennedy Center to those at her alma mater, the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. However, her most cherished performances are the solos performed by her oldest daughter at festival each year.

Beyond music, Mrs. Oakley appreciates spending time in nature. She enjoys camping, gardening, and biking with her husband, two daughters, and their dog.

Samantha Oakley
Interim Conductor, Symphonic Orchestra
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