Yuri Morozov is a Software Engineer, working remotely from his home in Spokane. He was born and raised in the Republic of Georgia (former USSR), moving to USA in 1990s and to Spokane in 2006. He and his wife Eteri are big fans of classical music and musical education for kids. Eteri is a Board member of Spokane Chamber Music Association (Spokane String Quartet) As a child, Yuri had played some piano and guitar. Eteri has studied piano for seven years and still plays it as a hobby. Their older son Sam, age 14, is a trumpet player at SYS, starting with Philharmonic, and now at Youth Symphony, he also plays piano. Their younger daughter Jessie, age seven, likes to play piano and make her own music, she also starting to take lessons in string instruments, like violin and cello. Yuri also does some volunteering in schools, mostly to prepare kids for Math competitions.
Cheryl Carney was a member of the Spokane Symphony from 1971 - 2006. She received her BA degree in Cello performance from Eastern Washington University and pursued further studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In Spokane she has also performed extensively with Allegro: Baroque & Beyond, Northwest Bach Festival, Spokane Opera, Coeur d’Alene Opera, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and NWSMC. Her professional travels have taken her to Southern California, Oregon, Eastern Washington, Canada and Utah. She also performs with several small chamber ensembles including the Inland Empire Cello Ensemble & Tedesca and is a private cello instructor. Currently Cheryl works at Gonzaga University in the Music Dept as the Administrative Assistant.
Ken Treis studied piano, vocal performance, mathematics, and physics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, where he performed with the college opera and soloed with multiple choral groups. After college, he was a frequent soloist with the Walla Walla Choral Society before moving to the Spokane area in 2007. Ken works as a software engineer with Miriam Technologies and currently directs music at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in St. John, WA, where he and his wife Danielle are raising their nine homeschooled children. As a family, they regularly play and sing for churches and retirement homes in the area. Their children have participated at all levels of the Spokane Youth Symphony orchestra since 2012.
Jason Thackston, Treasurer
Adelle and her husband are the parents of five children. While both grew up in Arizona, they have spent most of their married life in Washington and Alaska, and have recently moved their family to Spokane. Adelle has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Arizona and specialized in oncology nursing before becoming a full-time mother. She has been highly involved with her children over the years in various capacities such as serving on a Preschool Board of Directors, Cub Scout Committee Chair, and most recently, helping to form the Vail Youth Symphony in Arizona. Adelle grew up playing the violin, flute, and piano and is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to helping young musicians develop their talents. Her oldest son has been playing violin for several years and is part of the SYS Philharmonic and Sarah, also plays violin and is now a member of Strings.
(Photo and bio coming soon)
SYS Board of Directors
Shawna Ernst works in the Information Systems Department for Spokane County as a Geographic Information Systems Senior Analyst. Her primary duties include managing and addressing data for the Spokane Region’s 911/Dispatch operations. She holds a Bachelor’s in Geology and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University and is working on her MBA from Washington State University. Shawna grew up in the Mead School District, where she played violin and viola. She has one son, Noah (age 16), who fell in love with the trombone at age 8 and hasn’t put it down since. He plays in the Philharmonic, and in the marching, concert, and jazz bands at Shadle Park High School.
Jason Thackston is senior vice president, energy resources for Avista. He joined the company in 1996 and has held leadership positions in customer solutions, energy delivery, finance, risk management, investor relations and corporate development.
Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitworth University with a major in international studies and an emphasis in business management. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Gonzaga University.
In addition to serving on the Spokane Youth Symphony board, he serves as chair of the board of trustees of Whitworth University as well as on the boards of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee and the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County. Previously, he served on the boards of the Northwest Gas Association, the YMCA of the Inland Northwest, the Northwest Business Development Association, and the Business Development Corporation of Eastern Washington.
Karen (Kromholtz) Kraft's love of classical music stems from her background in professional ballet. She was born in Walnut Creek, CA, and raised in Spokane, WA, where she trained as a ballet dancer with Thelma Young, NYCB soloist William Earl and later with professionals from the First Chamber Dance Company of Seattle. After graduating from Gonzaga Preparatory High School in 1979, she continued her training in New York City on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School and with David Howard. A few months later she was asked to join the Joffrey II Dancers where she was invited by Robert Joffrey to join the Joffrey Ballet Company. Years later she danced with Spokane Ballet partnering with NYC Ballet and Boston Ballet Soloist Christofer Aponte. After an injury-forced retirement from performance, she received a full tuition presidential scholarship earning a BA degree in Dance from the University of Washington in 1992. Highlights of her performing career include working with Robert Joffrey, Anthony Tudor, Jaques D'Amboise, Laura Dean, Choo San Goh, Christopher Aponte, and performing for President Ronald Reagan. She married Stephen Kraft in 1987, is co-owner of "Froyo Earth" frozen yogurt stores, has four children, and teaches ballet at Ballet Arts Academy and Professional Ballet School. Yvette Kraft, their youngest child, is a member of the Spokane Youth Symphony.
Angus Nunes began teaching Elemental Music in Spokane Public Schools in the fall of 1997 at Linwood Elementary School on Spokane’s north side. There he taught elemental music to students ranging in age from kindergarten through sixth grade, band and orchestra classes to fifth and sixth graders, and zero hour open chorus to fourth, fifth and sixth graders. In 2003 he changed his assignment and began teaching fifth and sixth grade orchestra classes at eight Spokane Public Schools on Spokane’s South Hill. Currently, he teaches fifth and sixth grade orchestra classes at Hutton, Jefferson, Lincoln Heights, Moran Prairie, Mullan Road, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wilson Elementary Schools. Angus plays the double bass in the bass sections of the Gonzaga University Orchestra and the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra. He has been teaching the Elementary Methods Music class in the School of Education at Gonzaga University since the fall of 2005.
Connie Rae Kerbs
Connie’s background includes psychology, social work and music. She and her husband Mike have foster/adopted special-needs and traumatized children for over 20 years. Her passion for music stems from the “defining influence” of early music teachers, her life-long enjoyment of playing various instruments and the vital role a nurturing music program has played in their (very) large family. “Elementary strings (viola) and later band instruments resonated in my soul, encouraged an abiding love for beautiful music and promoted a strong belief in the value of early enriching music experiences for children. “I love music and I love kids –putting them together is sublime!” The Kerbs currently have two young cellists in SYS - with four others “in the wings.” Connie is Vice President of the Washington State Foster Parents’ Association. She speaks, writes, trains and advocates for vulnerable children and their families on the state and national level regarding foster/adopt issues. She is also working on getting her first children’s book published. “I deeply appreciate the opportunity to support a thriving music program for our area’s children by serving on the Spokane Youth Symphony Board.”
Spokane Youth Symphony
Adelle Lines, Secretary
Ken Treis, Vice President
Jeannette Wee-Yang, Presidentboardpresident@spokaneyouthsymphony.org
Jeannette Wee-Yang is assistant-principal violist of the Spokane Symphony, and violist in the Spokane String Quartet. Jeannette also serves as vice-president on the board of the Spokane Chamber Music Association. Born in Singapore, where violin lessons were started, she immigrated to Vancouver, B.C., at age 8. She received a bachelor of music degree from the University of British Columbia and a master of music degree from Indiana University. Jeannette has performed with orchestras across North America, including the Milwaukee Symphony, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She was the principal violist of the Sudbury Symphony in Ontario, Canada, and the assistant principal violist of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. She has taught at Whitworth University and Carroll College, WI. Mother of three and wife to Dr. Yang for 20 years, her daughters have been part of every level of Spokane Youth Symphony orchestra since 2005. Her son is a jazz pianist at Mead High School,