|Courtney Varner, viola
Courtney Varner has been playing the viola for 12 years and is one of the founding members of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, serving as principal viola chair in its first year. She has played with the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra for 5 years and helped it reach the amazing level it is today. In 2010, she played for the opening of the Tyler Perry Studio with various freelance musicians in Atlanta. In January 2011, as part of the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra spent a week in Beijing and Xian China for their American Music Festival. She is a working violist and has been playing professionally in the Metro Atlanta area for the past 5 years. Upon graduation, she plans on teaching middle school orchestra.
|Kathryn Encisco, cello
Kathryn Encisco, a junior at Kennesaw State University studying music education, while studying cello under Charae Krueger, is from East Cobb and a graduate from Lassiter High School. She began shifting her focus from piano to cello when she turned nine, and has loved the cello since. Her teacher for over ten years was Sarah Paul from the Kennesaw Area. Ms. Encisco has been a member of Honor Orchestras, both state and county levels, All-State, and GYSO throughout her musical career. She was a member of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) for seven years under Jim Palmer, Dr. Michael Alexander, and Grant Harville, and was co-section leader/assistant section leader for numerous of the years she participated. When she is not on campus in classes or rehearsals, Ms. Encisco is working at her job of two and a half years or teaching (new) cello students. She hopes to teach/help anywhere possible just so she can spread her love for music to anyone willing to listen.
| Matthew Richards, double bass
Matthew Richards is a senior at Kennesaw State University, and is currently studying music education. He is a student of Joseph Mcfadden of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has been playing the double bass for more than ten years and was a private student of Dr. James Barket for six of those years. He has recently begun taking private cello lessons with Dr. Barket’s wife Jennifer. Mr. Richards has played with the Fulton County Honor Orchestra as well as the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) for two years. He has also worked as an assistant for the Elementary school students in the ASYO, and is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA). More recently he has started performing with a Jazz combo with the KSU School of Music. Mr. Richards enjoys teaching privately, and also performs regularly with both the Kennesaw State University Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras, as well the KSU Wind Ensemble.
| David Metrio, double bass
David Metrio is a sophomore at Kennesaw State University, pursuing a degree in Music Education. While is high school, David was a member of the GMEA Allstate orchestra for five years, and as principal bass for the last two years. David was also Principal Bass for the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra for three seasons and was given the opportunity to perform with the Emory Symphony Orchestra, at Emory University. Before moving to Kennesaw, David was a teaching assistant at Crescendo Strings Academy of Music, an after school elementary school orchestra program that encompassed over 120 students in 6 different elementary schools across Gwinnett County.
Currently, David holds the title of head intern and librarian for the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, the largest youth orchestra network in the southeast. David serves as a bass clinician for the Lost Mountain and Dodgen Middle School orchestras as well as Harrison High School Orchestra, where he runs weekly sectionals with various grade levels at those schools. He has done bass clinics at various middle schools and high schools in the Gwinnett, Cobb, and Fulton County School Districts as well as the Atlanta Public School District such as Dickerson, Tapp, North Gwinnett, Lanier, Webb Bridge and Garrett Middle Schools, as well as McEachern, Sprayberry, North Gwinnett, and North Atlanta High Schools. David is an active member of Collegiate division of the National Association For Music Education (CNAfME) as well as the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and is President-Elect of the KSU ASTA for the 2014 school year, serving as president starting fall 2015.