Conductor: Russ Berlin
Music Director Russ Berlin is well-known as the co-founder and conductor of the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra and as an inspirational teacher of hundreds of area students. During his 30 years as an instrumental music teacher, the Lee’s Summit R-7 district earned a national reputation for its outstanding orchestral program.
He continues working with outstanding young musicians as music director and conductor of the Academy Orchestra of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. Berlin has earned many awards for his musical, educational and civic accomplishments. He is the recipient of the Missouri Music Educators President’s Award for Distinguished Service to Music Education in the State of Missouri and the Lee’s Summit North High School Silver Shoe Award for making a significant difference in the lives of students. He was named School Music Educator of the Year in 1994 by the Missouri Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, received the 2004 City of Lee’s Summit Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, and has been recognized by the city of Lee’s Summit for outstanding leadership on behalf of the city and state.
He holds a BME degree from Kansas State University, an MME from Kansas University, and has completed advanced orchestral training at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Associate Conductor: Kirt Mosier
Internationally known composer and conductor Kirt Mosier is the artistic director for the Kansas City Youth Symphony and is the former director of orchestras at Lee’s Summit West High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He has also taught orchestration and arranging as an adjunct professor at UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. Mosier has twice won national composition awards. In 1993, his original work, “Baltic Dance”, won the National School Orchestra Association Composition Contest and in 2004, “American Reel”, won the 2004 Merle J. Isaac national composition contest.
In 2010, the Portland Ballet Company of Portland, Maine commissioned Mr. Mosier to write an original score to their production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
From 1990 to present, Kirt Mosier has conducted numerous all-state and honor orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. In addition, he has frequently been utilized as a keynote speaker at conferences.
Mr. Mosier is the founding teacher of the Digital Media Technology program at Summit Technology Academy which is housed by the Lee’s Summit R7 School District. Digital Media Technology students learn studio multitrack recording as well as video editing software and techniques. Mr. Mosier’s students at Summit Technology Academy have won national recognition.
Mr. Mosier has been the past orchestra vice-president for the state Missouri Music Educators Association, and is currently the past president of American String Teachers Association for the state of Missouri.
In 2015, Mr. Mosier conducted his work RUN! with the Georgia All-State Orchestra. In September of 2015, Mr. Mosier conducted the International Strings Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Mosier was also a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the year award. In 2016 Mr. Mosier conducted the National High School Honors Orchestra as well as the National Junior Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He also had two world premiere performances at the 2017 Midwest International Clinic in Chicago. In 2017 Mr. Mosier’s travels took him twice to Carnegie Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as many locations within the United States. In 2018 his conducting appearances will include performances throughout the United States, Singapore, The Netherlands, and at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. The Kansas City Symphony premiered one of Mosier’s holiday arrangements in December of 2017.
In 2018 and beyond, Mr Mosier will be conducting various all state and honor groups that will include two guest appearances in Seoul, South Korea.
Musicians 2018–2019 Season
John Rutland, Concert Master
Devin SaferiteViolin II
+Cindy Hancock, Principal
*Casey Solsberg Shields
+Carrie Turner, Principal
+Michael Bersin, Principal
Brian Casement, Principal
Lorraine Miller, Principal
Katie Baeth, Principal
Karl Hayes, Principal
+Sheri MattsonEnglish Horn
Sheri Mattson, PrincipalClarinet
+Jim Gai, Principal
+Lisa England, Co-Principal
Marti Whelan, Co-Principal
Gary Caselman, Principal
+Bryant Knapp, Principal
+Jacob Crawford, Principal
+Angie Thurmond, Principal
*+Darrell Thompson, Principal
+Will Braune, Principal
* LS Grad
+ Music Teacher