Our Staff + Board

Meet the DCYO team
EXPERIENCE

DEDICATION

COMMUNITY

Our Staff

Dr. Mark Rockwood

Director

Mark began studying music at a young age, starting piano lessons at age five. However, his true love came two years later when he begged his parents to buy him a violin after seeing a violinist in concert. At age seven, he began taking violin lessons and enjoying every minute of it. This brought him all the way to completing a Ph.D. in music theory at the University of Oregon in June 2017. His dissertation focused on sonata form in the chamber music of Antonin Dvořák. Along with his primary area of music theory, he completed a secondary concentration in violin performance at Oregon, studying with Fritz Gearhart.

During his studies at the University of Oregon, Mark taught classes in music theory, aural skills and keyboard skills. In 2014, he developed and taught a class which explored sonata form in orchestral music written in the 19th century. Mark also has extensive private studio teaching experience. He maintains a private violin and piano studio in Eugene. He is also Adjunct Instructor of Violin at Northwest Christian University. He is a registered Suzuki violin teacher, with certification in Books 1-3. As a performer, Mark has worked with many ensembles throughout Oregon, including the Oregon Coast Chamber Orchestra, Cascadia Concert Opera, Corvallis/OSU Symphony, and the Shedd Institute.

Mark holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon, where he studied with Kathryn Lucktenberg. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from San Jose State University, where he studied privately with Cecily Ward and had extensive chamber music coachings with the members of the Cypress String Quartet.

Taylor Siling

Assistant Director

Taylor Siling is a Roseburg native. She was one of the earliest violin students in DCYO and was the longest continuous participant when she left. During her last year with the orchestra, she was concertmaster. Taylor participated in the choir and band programs at Roseburg High School, and she has performed in eight summer musicals at UCC and with Roseburg’s Chamber Orchestra. After graduating from Roseburg High, she enrolled at UCC and was part of the Umpqua Singers, touring to Ukraine, Hungary and Brazil. Taylor then transferred to Oregon State University.

She graduated with a BA in music with a focus in vocal performance and choral music education. While at OSU, Taylor participated in the OSU Chamber Orchestra, campus band, opera workshop, chamber choir, and musical theater. She conducted the University Chorale and Chamber Orchestra and traveled to Hawaii, China and Canada with the chamber choir. Recently, she received her masters in music education from Oregon State University. Taylor is currently the music teacher at Fir Grove Elementary and Melrose Elementary and teaches private violin and viola lessons.

Dr. Kathryn Brunhaver

Cello Instructor

Kathryn Brunhaver recently completed a doctorate in cello performance and music theory at the University of Oregon in the studio of Steven Pologe. As the recipient of the Eugene Symphony Graduate Teaching Fellowship, she was both a cello section member of the Eugene Symphony from 2013-2017 and a cello and chamber music instructor at the U of O Community Music Institute, where she still continues to teach. Kathryn previously earned her bachelor’s degree in cello performance from the Peabody Institute, where she was the recipient of the Ruth Blaustein Roseburg Orchestral Scholarship and the prestigious Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award.

She completed her master’s degree in cello performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her active performing career in Eugene includes guest appearances with Chamber Music Amici, the Amore Concert Series, Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium, and Principal Cello with Orchestra NEXT. She is also a member of the Salem Symphony cello section and two local bands–Halie and the Moon and Satori Bob.

Jenna Nelson

Instructor

Jenna Nelson began playing violin with a Youth Orchestra and Symphony program in Bremerton, Washington when she was eight years old. She moved to Douglas County when she was 15 and quickly became integrated with the Douglas County Youth Orchestra and Roseburg Chamber Orchestra. Besides performing, she also assisted with teaching and coaching duties within DCYO.

Jenna graduated in 2011 from Umpqua Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in music, and won the Douglas County Young Soloist competition that same year. She has received further training from University of Oregon in Suzuki Pedagogy and other training workshops. She has been teaching string instruments for nine years, and performs with the Roseburg Chamber Orchestra and at other venues in the area.

Ahavah Oblak

Executive Director

Raised in rural Wisconsin, Ahavah Oblak has been involved in the arts since childhood, studying classical piano for ten years, singing in madrigal, swing, and concert choirs in high school and formally pursuing an art history minor during her undergraduate studies. She moved to southern Oregon in 1991 and became a licensed K-8th grade teacher.

Ahavah worked extensively with home schooling groups and offered art, theater and music education classes utilizing piano and soprano C recorders with her students. Ahavah added an English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement to her license in 2008 and worked with migrant youth while living in Jackson County.

She holds an M. Ed from Southern Oregon University (2008) and a Master of Science in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon (2012). She is honored to have worked with the Warm Springs Tribe’s Culture and Heritage Department on the design of benchmarked curriculum developed around seven traditional foods (roots, berries, venison and salmon) for their new preschool program, while at U of O.

Ahavah began working in the nonprofit world in 2013 and has experience as an executive director, development director, events coordinator and grant writer. She brings a passion of working with diverse communities, a familiarity with Oregon foundations, a strong background development work and a love of the arts to the Umpqua Symphony Association.

Kathi Halloran

Orchestra Administrator

Douglas County native Kathi Halloran comes to DCYO after over twenty years in the Human Resources field. She has been involved with DCYO since her daughter, Taylor joined at a young age. Singlehandedly, she keeps DCYO running in tip-top shape. There is no question to which she does not know the answer!

Our Board

2021 Board of Directors

President
Mary Lee Hope

Mary Lee’s professional positions included working in a hospital kitchen at 16, a receptionist and vet tech for a veterinarian and as an office manager for a State Assemblyman. She retired from her positions as a Hospital Marketing Director and real estate agent.


In those days, she enjoyed water and snow skiing and backpacking. Mary Lee is married 33 years to the love of her life, John. They moved to Oregon after traveling the Unites States upon retirement. Mary Lee is a water-color and clay artist.


Taking up a new instrument can be daunting but Mary Lee is learning to play the cello with the Douglas County Youth Orchestra. Her hopes and dreams for the Association and the Douglas County Youth Orchestra are that the excellent instruction our teachers have developed continue and grow. Along with the USA Board she will work to further a sustainable financial future.

Secretary
Karin Gray

Karin is a relatively new resident of Roseburg having moved here in 2015 to be closer to her family. Karin became interested in the Douglas County Youth Orchestra because two of her grandchildren were members of the orchestra. As a way of immersing herself in the community she became a member of the Board of Directors of the Umpqua Symphony Association which is the sponsor of DCYO and is presently serving as its president.

Board Member
Trish Melendes-Keller

Board Member
John Paulson

John Paulson grew up in Roseburg and is a graduate of the Roseburg Public School system. His advanced education and work career took him to different parts of the United Sates.  John completed his work career as an Account Manager for International Paper Container Board Division. John credits his parents with teaching him the importance of giving back to one's community. Being a Board Member has given John the opportunity to make our community a better place to live.

Board Member
Susie Johnson-Forte