Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra
Shen, originally from Beijing, came to the United States in 2008 to pursue his musical dreams. He is an accomplished violinist and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, he obtained a Professional Studies Diploma in Orchestra Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music. As an assistant conductor, Mr. Shen has worked closely with renown conductors such as Marcelo Lehninger, JoAnn Falletta, Carlos Kalmar and Vinay Parameswaran. A strong advocate for new music, Mr. Shen has performed and premiered numerous newly composed pieces both as a conductor and violinist.
Kristen Shoup joined the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony organization in 2001, sharing Classical Orchestra conducting duties with Conductor John Varineau. She also conducts for the West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts Association and has previously been an orchestra director for Grand Rapids Christian Schools and Calvin Christian Schools.
Shoup earned a B.A. in music education from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. She has been a member of the viola section of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1992.
Barb Hammond has been the manager of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony organization since 1990. A Grand Rapids Youth Symphony alumna as a violinist, she worked for 28 years as an orchestra director with Grand Rapids Christian Schools. She has a B.A. and M.A. degrees in music education from Calvin College.