Robert Loughran, YOBC Music Director
Conductor of Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Strings

Robert Loughran,YOBC Music Director, and Conductor of Philharmonia strings and Symphony Orchestra, is currently a member of the Arts Faculty of Princeton High School, where he serves as Music Director of the orchestra program. He is an adjunct assistant professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and a former member of the Bucks County Community College faculty. Holding a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, Mr. Loughran has studied conducting with Dr. Joseph Barone, founder of l’École Monteux, and Herbert Blomstedt, Honorary Conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. He has conducted the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, Temple University’s Gifted Young Musicians Baroque Orchestra, the Main Line Symphony, and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia.



Steve Sweetsir, Assistant Music Director
Fanfare Winds & Philharmonia Conductor


Steve Sweetsir, Director of the Wind Ensemble and Assistant Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and Ithaca College and holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in French Horn performance. He has played with many professional organizations, including the United States Coast Guard Band, the Portland Symphony and the Corning Philharmonic. Mr. Sweetsir currently performs with several chamber groups, bands and orchestras in the Bucks County area. He is a partner in Bucks County Piano.



Colleen Sweetsir
YOBC Executive Director and Conductor of Wind Symphony


Colleen Sweetsir has been the conductor of YOBC’s Wind Symphony for over 15 years. In 2009, she was appointed as the Executive Director of YOBC, a nonprofit, educational organization which has created musical opportunities for almost 2000 young musicians in the Bucks County area. She received her training at Boston Conservatory of Music and Ithaca College and holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY at Cortland. In 1975, she joined the United States Congressional Coast Guard Band and toured the nation with them during our nation’s Bicentennial. She has been a member of the Corning Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Philadelphia Biblical University Band and Symphonic Orchestra, and Music 2000. She is currently an associate conductor for the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony (DWVS) and in 2011 she conducted the Bristol Township Honors Band Music Festival. She is an active French hornist and performs with DVWS, Bucks County Symphony, and other local musical organizations in addition to teaching French horn privately and offering coaching sectionals for area schools.

Thomas Cunningham
Conductor of Ripieno

Thomas Cunningham is artistic director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. He recently made his New York City debut conducting a performance of Tchaikovsky’s final opera, Iolanta, for Opera Slavica. Mr. Cunningham is conductor of the Ripieno Ensemble in Bucks County, PA, and works regularly with The Princeton Festival, Opera Slavica and the CoOPERAtive Program. Previously, he has assisted on productions ranging from Jenůfa and Eugene Onegin, to Alcina, Così fan tutte and Der fliegende Holländer. Mr. Cunningham’s previous engagements include Bard SummerScape, the Berkshire Choral Festival, and Westminster Opera Theater.


Highlights of the 2014-15 season include Madama Butterfly with Opera Forza, a return to the CoOPERAtive program for L’Elisir d’Amore, and 3 programs with Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra in New York City. More


Colin Oettle
Conductor, Prima Strings and Concertino
Coach, Honors String Quartet

Colin Oettle is a New Jersey-based conductor and violinist currently pursuing his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at Rutgers University, where he is the assistant conductor of the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra and the Rutgers Sinfonia. Mr. Oettle completed his undergraduate studies in violin and music education at Ithaca College in 2009, and he draws upon his diverse musical and educational background to work with young musicians around the tri-state area. Mr. Oettle has served as assistant conductor of the Northern New Jersey Youth Orchestra and has guest conducted the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra. Mr. Oettle is also an experienced writer; he has published many articles about classical music, and in 2009 he won the Ithaca College writing competition in creative nonfiction. Mr Oettle will graduate with a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in May 2013.


Margaret Claudin
Conductor, Flute Choir & Chamber Flute Ensemble


Margaret Claudin, flutist, began her musical studies with piano lessons from her father. Her flute teachers include the late New York Philharmonic principal Julius Baker, English flute soloist William Bennett, David Shostac of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and David Cramer of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition, Ms. Claudin also studied the baroque flute with Sandra Miller, and has participated in numerous master classes, including those of Stephen Preston, celebrated English baroque flutist.


She holds the Professional Studies Diploma from Temple University, the Master of Music degree from Wichita State University, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Colorado, all in flute performance. Margaret has made frequent solo and chamber music appearances throughout the United States and Europe. Her repertoire covers a wide musical spectrum, ranging from baroque sonatas, to premiering contemporary compositions.


Since 1999, Ms. Claudin has served as a chamber music coach and flute instructor at Philadelphia Biblical University and she maintains an active private studio in Philadelphia. She is on the board of the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia and serves as an adjudicator in the Philadelphia area. Margaret is a member of the PBU faculty woodwind quintet, Penta Voce, and she plays with the Southampton Chamber Music Society.


Karl Krelove
Conductor, Wind Ensemble & Clarinet Ensemble

Karl Krelove is a life-long resident of the Philadelphia area. After graduating from Hatboro-Horsham High School he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Temple University. In 1969 he joined the US Army Field Band with which he performed for three years as first clarinetist and clarinet soloist. On leaving the army he spent the next 35 years teaching and performing as a freelance clarinetist in the Philadelphia area. Retired in 2007 after 30 years of teaching music in the Neshaminy School District, Mr. Krelove, who still performs with several area orchestras, has continued teaching and coaching clarinetists in Lower Bucks County and is proud to have begun building a presence in the YOBC program.


Kathleen Mitchell
Director, Saxophone Ensemble

Kathleen Mitchell, coach of YOBC's Saxophone Ensemble, is Adjunct Instructor of Music (Saxophone) at The College of New Jersey. Ms. Mitchell is respected as an outstanding saxophonist, Ms. Mitchell has been the Principal Second Saxophone with Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia since 1994. Her orchestral experience includes saxophone performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performances on both saxophone and clarinet with Reading Symphony, Allentown Symphony, and Haddonfield Symphony among others.  She has also given solo and chamber music concerts throughout the United States and Canada. Ms. Mitchell has recorded with Karel Husa and has performed with KlezMs, the Ocean City Pops, and is a member of the saxophone quartet “3XY,” whose music consists of their own original works with each member of the group contributing to the compositions. They also play original arrangements of jazz tunes by Grover Washington, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and others.  Ms. Mitchell has performed with theater companies throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the Walnut Street Theater, Media Theater, and the Arden Theater.


Ms. Mitchell has an M.M., Music Performance degree in Saxophone, from Northwestern University School of Music and a B.M. in Music Education and Music Performance in Saxophone from Ester Boyer College of Music, Temple University. She studied with Dr. Frederick L. Hemke at Northwestern University and with Marshall Taylor at Temple University.  In addition, she studied jazz with Ron Kerber, clarinet with Beth Vilsmeir, and flute with Anthony Salicondro at the University of the Arts.


Ms. Mitchell is also on the music faculty of Rowan University, The Governor’s School of Music, and the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield, NJ.  She has also given Master Classes at Temple University and University of the Arts in Philadelphia.