Back to top

artistic staff

Manny Laureano

Co-Artistic Director and Conductor, Symphony Orchestra

Manny began his musical studies in the New York City public school system and received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the Juilliard School in 1977. He was appointed principal trumpet of the Seattle Symphony, a post he held for four years before serving in his current position as principal trumpet with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Conductor Manny Laureano

Claudette Laureano

Co-Artistic Director and Conductor, Repertory Orchestra

Claudette’s musical training began in the public schools of New York City. She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and became a teacher and freelance violinist in Seattle, Washington before coming to the Twin Cities in 1981. In 1982 Claudette was hired to begin a string program at the Breck School where she remained until 1988 and then returned in 2003 to present day.

Portrait of conductor Claudette Laureano

Jim Bartsch

Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra

Jim Bartsch has been part of the MYS artistic staff for 28 years, teaching the String Orchestra for 7 years and the Philharmonic Orchestra for 21 years.

A native of St. Paul, Jim started playing the violin in the St. Paul Public Schools Orchestra program taught by Linville Doan. He attended Highland Park Jr and Sr High Schools, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Minnesota, studying with Young-Nam Kim.

Smiling photo of Jim

Pat Kelly

Conductor, String Orchestra

Pat holds degrees in Music Education and Journalism from the University of St. Catherine and a masters degree and doctoral studies from the University of Minnesota. She has played viola in the Nicollet Quartet for over 20 years, has worked as a clinician and guest conductor at numerous music camps and festivals such as the South Metro Conference Festival in 2014. She was honored with the Master String Educator Award from the American String Teachers Association, has been nominated as Minnesota Teacher of the Year and was spotlighted on the MPR "Teacher Feature".


Whitney Lussier

Conductor, Wind Orchestra

Whitney is a Vermont native who earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from St. Olaf College. She has taught instrumental music in both Vermont and Minnesota, and currently teaches at St. Helena School in Minneapolis, where she oversees a comprehensive K-8 music program. In addition to her general music duties at St. Helena, she also founded the school’s first self-sufficient band program in fall 2016. Outside of teaching, she enjoys rock climbing, playing trombone with the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and spending time with her dog Beethoven.

Conductor Whitney Lussier