Music Mentors

About the Music Mentors Program

The Music Mentors program was developed to promote educational and artistic collaboration between local university students and members of the Corvallis Youth Symphony. Mentors play alongside CYS members, assist with sectionals and chamber music, provide master classes, and serve as artistic advisors to members of the symphony. Music Mentors are selected based on their teaching and performance skills, along with their interest and potential to contribute positively to CYSA’s educational and artistic mission.

2014-2015 (Inaugural season) Corvallis Youth Symphony Association Mentors

Alexis Evers is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at the University of Oregon, where she is a member of the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra and a student of Molly Barth. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in 2014 from the University of Illinois, where she studied under Dr. Jonathan Keeble and was a 2012 winner of the Thomas J. Smith Scholarship Competition. During her undergraduate studies, she was a member of the University of Illinois Wind Symphony and the Champaign-Urbana Civic Wind Band, which recently performed with the Canadian Brass. Recent appearances also include participation as a performance fellow at the nief-norf Summer Festival for contemporary chamber music.

Laura Goben is finishing a Master’s of Music in Oboe Performance at the University of Oregon in Eugene studying under Melissa Peña. She has been playing oboe for twelve years and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Oboe Performance at the University of Michigan where she studied with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. While in Ann Arbor, Laura worked with various youth orchestras and created a partnership between the university and the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra. Laura is currently principal oboe of the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra, a member of the URA Quintet (formerly the Oregon Graduate Woodwind Quintet), and teaches privately in Eugene.

Cellist Natalie Parker began playing in the fourth grade, when the cello was indeed bigger than she was, and has been in love with it ever since. Once she was accepted into the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) as a high school student, there was no stopping her in pursuing her passion to share her love of music with others, either in school, at summer festivals, or amongst the community. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at UNCSA in 2013. This is her final year pursuing a Masters degree in Music Performance at the University of Oregon (UO), with Steve Pologe, as a Graduate Teaching Fellow for the cello studio, university orchestra, and UO Community Music Institute.

Shannon Webb is a junior at Oregon State University, where she majors in music education student the plays the French horn. Shannon is a member of the Oregon State University Marching Band and OSU Wind Symphony. When she is not doing music things at Oregon State, she enjoys playing on an intramural softball team and scrimmaging with her roommate at volleyball.

Matthew Valenzuela is a percussionist and music educator based in the Eugene, OR area. He is currently in his second and final year of study towards a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Oregon, where he studies with marimba virtuoso Pius Cheung. He was recently named winner of the Brookings-Harbor Young Artists Concert, and made his recital debut in Brookings, OR. He has performed in masterclasses with Nancy Zeltsman, Jean Geoffroy, Jack Van Geem, Fumito Nunoya, and Eriko Daimo, and has performed with master percussionists Anders Åstrand and Javier Nandayapa in recital. He is a proud member of the Percussive Arts Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, and the National Association for Music Education.