Our Director

René Knetsch

René KnetschSince receiving his masters degree in violin performance from Wichita State University in 1976, René has made his living in music, as a performing violinist, teacher, and conductor. Before moving to Denver in 1994, he was a violinist with several professional orchestras, including Oklahoma, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Birmingham. His first job after college was at Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas, where he taught violin and viola, and conducted the university’s orchestra. While living in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 90’s, where he played in the Alabama Symphony, René had the opportunity to be the music director of the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra, a community orchestra in many ways similar to the Parker Symphony Orchestra. It was this group that made him come to understand the important role that community orchestras play in providing opportunities for musical expression to many who would otherwise not have that chance.

He made his mark in the Denver area playing as the principal 2nd violinist with Opera Colorado and the Central City Opera Orchestra, as concertmaster for the Lone Tree Symphony Orchestra, and as conductor of the Arapahoe Community College. He is now semi-retired, but continues to conduct the PSO and play with Inside The Orchestra – a group that performs classical music concerts in elementary schools and Tiny Tots concerts for young children and parents.

When he is not busy with his musical endeavors, René spends time in his woodworking shop at home. He has been an avid woodworker since he was in high school.


Our Concertmaster

Nadya Hill

Nadya Hill, a Colorado native, has been featured as a violin and vocal soloist with various orchestras across the country, and is comfortable in a wide range of musical styles from classical to jazz and non-classical traditional and ethnic music.

Known for her work with current composers, Nadya has premiered and recorded two original song cycles by Robert Spillman and numerous pieces with William Hill including “Three Wings for Voice and Full Orchestra” with the Colorado Symphony, “El Pero Azul” with the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, and “African Sketches” for the Colorado Symphony’s “Drums of the World”. Nadya is also a member of the award-winning jazz ensemble “Bill Hill and Friends”.

Nadya and her husband Michael Hoffman are the co-founders and directors of the Mountain Area Chamber Music Festival, and Nadya is the Marketing Director for Denver Violins.

While not performing, Nadya loves hiking with her mutt Sophie, cuddling with her moggie Dasch, and making art and organic cosmetics for her small business Gemini Botanics. Hill received degrees from both the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado, Boulder.


The Orchestra

CONDUCTOR
René Knetsch


VIOLIN
Nadya Hill, Concertmaster
Roxanna Trevino, Assistant Concertmaster
Amelia James, Violin II Principal
Mary Barnhart
Linda Bisbee
Louise Doege
Dana Drown
Lynne Glaeske
Bruce Goldstein
Emma Graul
David Higgins
Linda Kuhrt
Alicia Mitchell
Mary Roper
Chelsey Smith
Jennifer Spampinato
Dianna Starnes
Diane Thomas
Susan Thomas
Tori Weingarten
Andrea Wells
John Williams
Oressa Wise
Joann Wolter

VIOLA
Jennifer Poole
Samuel Diaz
Farley Fleming
Andrew Kolczynski
Sebastian Saiz-Harrison
John Schultz
Sam Smith
Gerhard Wolter

CELLO
Jim Todd, Principal
Cherie Swisher, Assistant Principal
Andrea Meyers, Fixed 3rd Chair

Nancy Marble
Katherine McMurray
Ausra Mollerud
Lezlie Richards
Barb Risner
Ken Rubin
Amanda Rusten
Cam Short-Camilli

BASS
Joy Mulhollan Peoples
Sam Conner
Nathan Kahn
Chris Kolakowski
Joseph Turnage

FLUTE/PICCOLO
Sue Duehr
Erin Hunt
Lisa Meltzer

OBOE/ENGLISH HORN
Cheryl Poules
Krista Wickersham

CLARINET
Robert Nuñez
Katie St. Gemme Pate
Karen Weiser, Bass Clarinet

BASSOON
Megan Altekruse
Tim Hoyman

FRENCH HORN
Susan Miller-Curley
Joseph Askey
Elisabeth Bristol
Tate Hopkins

TRUMPET
Jeff Blinn
Nicholas Hanoian
Esther Morgan

TROMBONE
Justin Olmos
Rick Phelps
Dave Ernst

TUBA
John Morgan

PERCUSSION
Lisa Michelle Kataria
Abby Myers
Robert Russell
Daniel Wibben

TIMPANI/PERCUSSION
Teag Solberg

HARP
Joan Fitzpatrick

PIANO
Jeannette Howell

Bold = Principal or co-Principal player

Musicians are listed alphabetically to emphasize their equal contributions to the orchestra