On June 10, 2023, our beloved Maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann suddenly passed away after a brief illness. Gerhardt was a remarkable conductor, musician, husband, father, friend, and ultimately, an extraordinary human being who dedicated his life to the pursuit of musical excellence. We will celebrate his profound interpretations, exceptional musicianship, and the fatherly mentorship he bestowed upon us all throughout his more than five decade-long career in music this entire season. For more information regarding his memorial concert, endowment fund campaign, and obituary, please visit the link below.
Matthew received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Brown University and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Mannes College of Music as a student of David Hayes. While at Mannes, he was a Julius Rudel Conducting Fellow with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he received mentorship from Music Director JoAnn Falletta, served as assistant conductor for six subscription concerts, and was featured as a guest conductor at an educational concert. He also served as Assistant Conductor of the Mannes Opera, where he worked under Glimmerglass Opera Music Director Joseph Colaneri. Matthew is a native of Cincinnati, where he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts before graduating from Walnut Hills High School. He swam competitively for the Cincinnati Aquatic Club, and continues to train and compete through U.S. Masters Swimming. He is also an avid skier, hiker, and devoted baseball and football fan.
Mr. Beery received a Bachelor of Music degree from Capital University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. Additional Doctoral work has been credited in Music Education with a cognate in Conducting at Kent State University. Further graduate conducting study has taken place at the University of Michigan and Miami University. Choral groups under Beery’s direction have earned consistent and numerous superior ratings at OMEA District and State Adjudicated events and have been invited through audition to perform at the OMEA Professional Development Conferences. Mr. Beery is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and Ohio Music Education Association. In addition, He has served as Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church, and Music Director for the contemporary service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, both of Massillon, Ohio.
Rachel Hagemeier became the President & CEO of the Canton Symphony Orchestra in October 2022. From 2019-2022, she served as the CSO Manager of Education and Community Engagement and expanded educational and community engagement programming despite a global pandemic. She is the producer and co-host of the podcast Orchestrating Change, a podcast dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of orchestral music. In 2019, Rachel was a member of the Essentials of Orchestra Management program through the League of American Orchestras where she studied with industry professionals for two weeks in Los Angeles, California. In Canton, she is a member of the board of directors for Lighthouse Ministries and participates in Leadership Stark County where she is a 2019 Spotlight Program and 2020-2021 Signature Program graduate. Rachel graduated from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music with degrees in Bassoon Performance and Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. Growing up in Edmond, Oklahoma, she began studying the bassoon at the age of 11 under Dr. Lori Wooden. In college, she studied bassoon under Cleveland Orchestra members Phil Austin and Jonathan Sherwin. Rachel is a member of OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) and NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and runs a bassoon studio out of her home. She is happy to call Canton, Ohio her home and looks forward to serving the Canton Symphony Orchestra for years to come.
Michael Koscso earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance at Kent State University, and a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance at Miami University. Throughout his schooling, Mr. Koscso received many awards in recognition of superior scholarship and musicianship. He attended Miami University as a Graduate Assistant. In addition to his studies, Mr. Koscso has participated in many music festivals; including the Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival. He has performed with many area orchestras and is an experienced soloist and chamber ensemble musician. Mr. Koscso is currently the Director of Artistic Operations and a cellist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and has spent the last several summers as Personnel Manager and Music Librarian with the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado, where he enjoyed climbing several of the 14,000-foot peaks around the state. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world and Indians games with his wife, Becky.
Jennifer joined the Canton Symphony Orchestra in September 2016 and serves as Director of Finance. She has an Associate of Applied Business degree in Accounting. She worked in a public accounting setting for many years in the Cleveland area. Her family moved to the Canton area in 2016 and Jennifer was thrilled to join the Canton Symphony.
Jennifer has a teenage son and daughter who keep her busy with theater performances and soccer games. In her spare time, she and her husband, Dean, enjoy going spending time with family, playing games, going swimming and boating.
Nathan Maslyk holds a B.A. in Arts Management & Entrepreneurship with minors in Theatre and Accounting from Baldwin Wallace University. An entrepreneur at heart, Nathan founded Anecdote Productions Limited in 2016 to produce and present original musical events for Ohio audiences. Nathan has deep interest and experience in the nonprofit arts sector, having previously produced a new musical for Sandusky, Ohio’s bicentennial celebration, working as a freelance consultant for nonprofit organizations, and having served three and a half years as a representative of the Season Ticket Services department at Playhouse Square. He is also a member of the American Association of Fundraising Professionals and the League of American Orchestras.
At Canton Symphony Orchestra, Nathan’s role has expanded to include both development and marketing. He is responsible for representing the organization in all aspects, including all social media content curation, mass email communications, advertisement procurement, website management, fundraising, grantwriting, sponsorship acquisitions, and organizing all campaigns for the MasterWorks, Pops, and Divergent Sounds series. He will complete his Masters at the University of Akron (Arts Administration Program) in the summer of 2023.
Caroline Eberhard is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. She has a combined 15 years of musical experience and 10 years of experience in education. She has spent her time as an educator in public schools, private schools, and non-profit organizations, working in an assortment of classroom sizes, with students of varying age and ability. Caroline has worked as a voice, piano, and sailing instructor, and has been as a substitute teacher in Cuyahoga County. She has 3 years of experience in administration from her work as a Medical Assistant in Canton and Administrative Assistant at the non-profit organization Regatta Point Community Sailing in Worcester, MA. Originally from Shrewsbury, MA, Caroline grew up continuously involved in theater and musical productions. She began taking vocal lessons at age 11, and studied under Angela Gooch of the Longy School of Music. In college, Caroline studied under Jim Mismas and Cynthia O’Connell. Caroline continues to teach private voice and piano lessons through Avon School of Music and Strongsville Academy of Music. In her free time, Caroline enjoys cooking, hiking, reading.
Rachael received an Associate of Science from Kent State University with a focus in Business and Marketing. She is a lover of the arts and passionate about people. After devoting 6 years caring for her grandfather, she was inspired to pursue a more fulfilling and rewarding career in the music industry. Rachael has been drawn to music from a very young age. She played the saxophone from middle school through high school and later learned the tuba, euphonium, and guitar. Joining the team at the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Rachael hopes to continue to develop as a musician, grow with the community and spread the joy of music to others.
Rachael’s responsibilities include serving as the first point of contact for patrons of the CSO, providing guidance for programming, ticketing, travel directions, and volunteer information. Her role has expanded to include managing the administrative offices of the organization, ensuring that everything is in working order to properly conduct business. Recently, Rachael has taken over volunteer management for the CSO, growing it’s volunteer base significantly and streamlining the process to be much more efficient.
Zoe Stier received her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree also at CIM. Stier has flourished in the orchestral atmosphere, and has had great success performing as a part of the CIM orchestra. Stier is a recipient of two Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation scholarships: the Jean Louise Martin Scholarship and the Madge Cathcart Gerke Collegiate Artist Scholarship, as well as being the recipient of two named scholarships at CIM: the Susan Palm Waller Scholarship for Flute and the Patience Cameron Hoskins Scholarship fund for Flute. In the fall of 2022, Stier was also one of two winners in CIM’s ‘Imperfect Pitch’ entrepreneurship contest. Today, Stier enjoys her musical career performing as a substitute musician with regional orchestras, and in her new role at the Canton Symphony Orchestra, in being the Marketing and Development Assistant. When she isn’t as busy, Zoe enjoys going hiking, thrifting, and reading.
Jodi Hall has been at the Canton Symphony Orchestra since 2019 and has served in various roles for the organization. Her current role involves helping Jennifer Sloane in the finance department with processing payroll, managing income and expense reports, and invoicing.
Thomas Pleban received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance at Kent State University. While completing his studies, Mr. Pleban was awarded many Sinfonia Scholarships administered by the Kent State University Foundation. He has attended the Blossom Festival School and he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Kent State University. His performance activities demonstrate a wide range of experience; from solo and chamber ensemble performances to symphony orchestras. Mr. Pleban is a violist and Librarian of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and is involved in the development of the Canton Symphony’s Education Department. He is one of the founding members of the Kentland String Ensembles. He also has been a member of Lyric Opera Cleveland, performed with The Playhouse Square Theaters, and regularly plays with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles throughout North East Ohio. Mr. Pleban teaches viola and violin at the Portage Arts Academy.
Ralena Mae Bevington is the Program Director for the Lighthouse Saturday Strings Program and Canton Youth Strings instructor. A native of Canton, Ohio she began playing the violin and taking vocal lessons at the age of seven. Ralena achieved her Bachelor of Music Education Degree (BME) from the University of Mount Union, graduating cum laude. While attending the University of Mount Union, she played the viola in the Alliance Symphony. She is currently the Director of Strings for Canton City Schools where she teaches at McKinley HS (Downtown & Main Campus) and the Arts Academy at Summit. Ralena achieved her Master of Arts in Education as an Intervention Specialist, with a reading endorsement, from Malone University. In 2013, alongside Ms. Betty Smith, Beverly Bevington and S.C. Toe, she became Co-Founder of the 501c3 program En-Rich-Ment. This program gives inner-city children the opportunity to learn any musical instrument at no charge to the family. In Ralena’s career, she has achieved numerous recognitions including: The Williams Scholarship in Fine Arts, Mu Phi Epsilon Merit Award, The Gerald & Esther Garland Palmer – ‘32 Music Scholarship, Joseph A. & Rhea M. Jeffries Memorial Scholarship, Cecil T. & Marian H. Steward Award, The National Cabinet of Mount Union Women Scholarships, and Top 10 Finalist in the Canton Symphony Music Educator of the Year two years in a row. Aside from teaching music, Ralena’s is an avid equine enthusiast participating in many events including Ranch Riding and Cutting.
Michele Monigold is the conductor for the intermediate Canton Youth Symphony. This is her first year conducting this emsemble. Michele is also the Director of Bands and Music Department Head at Jackson High School where she directs the Marching Band and Symphony Band, and teaches advanced courses in Music Theory, Music History, Composition, and World Music. Michele established the Jackson High School chapter of Tri-M Music Honor Society in 1999 and has developed an international travel initiative with the band, organizing school exchange programs in China (2014) and Ireland (2018).
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in music education from The University of Akron. Michele holds Mentor and Master Teacher certifications, is a National Geographic certified educator/trainer, an Ohio Teacher Leader Liaison, and an active OMEA adjudicator for both Solo and Ensemble and Large Group Adjudicated Events. She is an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University, a member and associate conductor of Akron Symphonic Winds, and was selected as the State Board of Education District 8 Ohio Teacher of the Year for 2019.
Both Michele and her husband Sean Monigold were members of Canton Youth Symphonies as students. She is extremely proud to be a part of this outstanding organization once again!