Ross Bader, Conductor – Youth Orchestra, has been Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra Conductor since August 2007. He has been the director of the Dobyns-Bennett High School Orchestra since 2004 and director of the Ross N. Robinson Middle School Orchestra for since 2006. He is a graduate of Milligan College with a degree in Music Education. During his time at Milligan, he was the accompanist for the Milligan College Concert Choir and also participated in Chamber Singers, Jazz Band, and the East Tennessee State University marching and concert bands. In 2003, Milligan’s annual choir award was renamed the Ross Bader Concert Choir Award in his honor, and he was the recipient of the award that same year.
Mr. Bader’s teaching responsibilities include directing the Concert Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra at Dobyns-Bennett High School. He also directs the beginning sixth grade string classes and the seventh and eighth grade orchestras at Ross N. Robinson Middle School. Mr. Bader also actively assists the marching and concert bands at Dobyns-Bennett. He is a regular piano and violin performer in the Tri-Cities area. Mr. Bader also served as the State Orchestra Chair for the Tennessee Music Education Association from 2012-2014.
A native of Kingsport, at age 11, Wendy began studying violin in the strings program of Kingsport City Schools under the direction of Celia Bachelder. She earned a bachelors’s degree from East Tennessee State University while pursuing studies in music, mathematics, and physics, later receiving a master’s degree in mathematics, as well, from ETSU. Wendy has been the principal violist of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years, played extensively with the Symphony of the Mountains as a section violist, and is a member of the Appalachian String Quartet. She also was employed as an assistant professor of mathematics at Northeast State Technical Community College for five years, and she worked extensively with the TN Governor’s School for the Arts, held every summer at Middle Tennesse State University in Murfreesboro, TN, during its formative years. Wendy and her husband, Mike, have four children – Meredith, Cullen, Savannah, and Caleb.