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. Steve 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, after two years as conducting intern with the YOBC Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia, now leads the Ripieno Strings. He also maintains active assistant conductorships with Opera Slavica and The Princeton Festival, having worked on productions ranging from Jenůfa and Eugene Onegin to La Bohème and Die Zauberflöte. Previously, Mr. Cunningham has collaborated with Westminster Opera Theater, CoOPERAtive Program, Berkshire Choral Festival, Bard Summerscape, and OperaMODO. He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College.

Mr. Cunningham's 2013-14 season includes reengagements with The Princeton Festival and Opera Slavica for new productions of Der fliegende Holländer, Maddalena (US Russian-language premiere), and Iolantha.


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.


Joseph P. D'Alicandro, Jr.

Conductor of the Percussion Ensemble

A native of Philadelphia, Joseph P. D'Alicandro, Jr. received the Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music Education degrees from Temple University.  Mr. D'Alicandro also has a Degree in Elementary Education from Holy Family College.  Mr. D'Alicandro graduated Temple University with the academic distinction of Cum Laude.

Mr. D'Alicandro works currently in the Pennsbury School District, Yardley, Pennsylvania as band director at the William Penn Middle School and Percussion Instructor of the Pennsbury School District.  Mr. D'Alicandro was the percussion writer and instructor of the Pennsbury High School Marching Band in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.  During his 14 years with the Pennsbury High School Marching band the band has performed in China, France, California, and won numerous awards.

As a band director Mr. D'Alicandro has been selected to the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" in 2002, 2004 and in 2006. Nomination for this award is because Mr. D'Alicandro "made a difference" in the life of one of his former students. Only 5% of the nation's teachers are honored once but fewer than 2% are honored more than once.  In Addition Mr. D'Alicandro was nominated in 2004 for the "Disney Hand Teacher Award" which honors creativity in teaching.  Mr. D'Alicandro was also recognized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as an Exemplary Teacher.

Mr. D'Alicandro is in demand as a clinician, private instructor and performer in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware area and is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and Percussive Arts Society.  As a performer Mr. D'Alicandro has performed with many community theaters as well as big bands.  Mr. D'Alicandro was the featured xylophone soloist for the Tri-County Concert Band performing "Nola" as well as"Fluffy Ruffles" and "Flight of the Bumblebee."  In addition Mr. D'Alicandro is the Principal Percussionist for the A Sharp Orchestra.

Mr. D'Alicandro has co-authored a percussion ensemble book with Dr. Quincy Hilliard entitled "Percussion Time."  The book enhances students' experiences with supplementary opportunities to develop techniques that are specific to percussion instruments and to learn more about musical style. The 14 pieces are appropriate for ensemble or festival performance and as a feature on a band concert. Dr. Hilliard and Mr. D'Alicandro have collaborated through Barnhouse Productions on a band arrangement entitled "Sakura" which features percussion ensemble with concert band.

Recently Mr. D'Alicandro has written an article entitled "Daily Rudiments" in the May 2006 issue of Instrumentalist magazine.  He has also written an article entitled "Creating a Middle School Timpanist" in the December 2006 issue of Instrumentalist magazine, and "Four Mallet Mastery" in the April 2007 issue.  In the November 2008 issue of Instrumentalist Mr. D'Alicandro has written an article entitled "Conga Basics." He has also co-written two band selections entitled "Cha Cha Ching" and "With Pride and Dignity" with Mr. William Owens through TRN Music.

Mr. D'Alicandro is also the first-call session drummer and percussionist for executive producer Joe Mass at Range Records in Ardmore, Pa. Mr. D'Alicandro has recorded a studio demo for Faith Hill as well as drums and auxiliary percussion for Marshall Portnoy and Carrie Zaruba.


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.