Lila Williams (Cello)
Lila Sellers spent over 30 years in the new home sales / real estate industry as a broker/agent, manager, and trainer. She started playing the cello at the age 10 and played through high school and continued playing just for the sheer pleasure through-out the rest of her career. Lila majored in business at Michigan State University and the focus then and for the next several years was mainly her career and family. After moving to Mesquite, she started playing with local musical groups, including the duo "Cello Fusion", the Cello Society of Southern Utah, the Mesquite Community Band, the Dry Heat Jazz Band (electric bass guitar)! Lila currently is a Broker / Salesperson with Desert Gold Realty, and has been a volunteer member of the non-profit group "The Mesquite Showgirls".
Brent Pettit (Cello/Harp)
Brent Pettit taught Applied Cello, String Pedagogy, and directed the Suzuki cello school at Missouri Western. He concurrently taught String Orchestra, grades 6-12 with the St Joseph Missouri School District. Mr. Pettit was a cellist with the Kansas City Federation of Musicians and held a chair in the St. Joseph Symphony for 20 years under the direction of Dr. Deborah Freedman. Brent also played regularly with River, a traveling string quartet. He has performed for a variety of traveling classical soloists, and pop artists such as Shania Twain, Martina McBride and Chip Davis.
Mr. Pettit studied with Martin Zwick, Lloyd Beckstead, and later with David Shand at the University of Utah. He studied string quartet performance with David Dalton, Brigham Young University. Brent has a Masters in Music Ed and Administration at Northwest Missouri State University, where he was a founding member and cellist in the NMSU String Quartet-In-Residence.
If you're out in the early morning you might see Brent riding his Penny-Farthing bicycle, ca.1890, on Mesquite Boulevard. Just wave, and he'll honk and tip his hat.
Lisa Brunner (Violin)
Lisa has played the violin for over 25 years. Before joining the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra, she played with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, in addition to quartets and other ensembles, in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa also teaches violin, viola, and cello students of all ages. When she is not practicing or teaching, Lisa writes poetry based on her favorite symphonic works. Lisa received her Bachelor's of Philosophy in History from the University of Pittsburgh and her Juris Doctor from Duquesne University. Although she practices law in Las Vegas, the violin will always be her first love.
Debra Vradenburg (Cello)
I began playing piano at age 8 in Detroit, Mich.; then Violin and Cello as an older adult. To gain experience, I volunteered in the schools as an orchestra assistant. I have played for 5 years with the Orchestra of Southern Utah, Cedar City (Conductor Dr. Xun Sun). I have also performed with The Bach Festival, Dusty Strings (older adults), SUPAF, and Tuacahn Summer Arts Program. Last year, I finally attended 'CelloSpeak' in Bryn Mar, PA.
I am currently a cellist with Southwest Symphony, St. George, and SNSO. I study cello with Robin Keith, and piano with Lori Arnold. I Love Every Minute of Everything I'm Doing! I enjoy SNSO very much. Everyone is fun, caring, and supportive, even if you make 'the perfect wrong note'.
My goal is to improve performance skills, and not be 'my worst critic’.
Thank you Dr. Selmer and Mrs. Spitzer for this valuable opportunity to play more music. You are a gift.
Josephina Romero (Violin)
Josephina Romero is a senior at Moapa Valley High school, where she has been concert mistress for 2 years in the orchestra. She has been playing violin for 8 years, 6 years in the public school orchestras. She has been a member for 5 years in the Las Vegas Youth orchestra, this year in the Philharmonic, of that organization. She has participated in the C.C.S.D. Honors orchestra program for 4 years. And was principle second violin in the C.S.N. Orchestra 2013-2014 school year. She is enrolled again this school year at C.S.N. Josephina has played with the Zephyr strings in Moapa Valley, in numerous nights of music, Messiah performances and solos. She is a student of Tianna Heppner Harjo, (Las Vegas) and has benefited from the mentoring of Mr. Walter White. Josephina loves to perform in all musical situations and is looking forward to being involved with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Muije (violin)
Paul worked for over 36 years at the Jim Bridger Power Plant in south west Wyoming retiring are a maintenance mechanic. He started his violin journey when his youngest child was heading off to UNLV and he had more time on his hands. He decided he wanted to learn a musical instrument from scratch. So on Christmas Day of 2014 his wife, Reneé surprised him with a beginners violin. Since then, Paul has taken lessons from various instructors, has watched instructional videos on YouTube and has practiced for countless hours.
Being a part of the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra and all the great musicians is an honor and privilege. Paul would like to thank Selmer and Phyllis Spitzer for welcoming him into the group. Also a thanks to his wife Reneé for starting him on this journey and for putting up with all the practicing. Also a shout out to my dog, Lucky.
Marya Hoffman (Viola)
Marya Hoffman has been playing the viola for ten years and is under the tutelage of Tianna Heppner Harjo. She has been a two year Las Vegas Youth Orchestra violist, three year Honor Orchestra member, and a two year Nevada All-state Orchestra participant. She is, and has been an active member of the College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra for 3 years, and in her community Orchestra, the Zephyr Stings, in Moapa Valley. She is also a member of the newly formed Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra, and has participated in the Messiah concert every year. She has performed at many festivals and talent nights as a soloist, in small ensembles, and also in full Orchestras. She is also an Art student at CSN. She has shown her work at art shows in Moapa Valley, the Lost City Museum, the Mesquite Fine Arts Invitational, and the CSN Art Gallery. She has won numerous awards for her art and has received scholarships for her work. She participated in the 2013 Student Juried Show where two of her works were accepted and one received an honorable mention. She plans on continuing her schooling, and her long term plans are to eventually become a full-fledged Artist, teach Art, and give music lessons.
Gaye Nelson (Cello)
Gaye Nelson, a lifetime resident of Logandale, NV, grew up in a musical family and started piano lessons at a very early age. Over the years she has learned a variety of musical instruments, including, piano, organ, recorder, mandolin, guitar & cello. She also loves choral music, and has been actively involved in choral groups both as a singer and a conductor.
She has taken advantage of every opportunity to improve her abilities and has studied music at BYU, SUU & UNLV.
She is married to Jack Nelson and they are the parents of 3 children and grandparents to 16 grandchildren. Together as a family they make up a bluegrass band. Gaye and her two daughters also perform string & piano music, including classical, sacred and easy listening music. These two family groups perform frequently at conventions, weddings, reunions, church meetings and gatherings. Gaye is also involved in her church and gives service in the community.
Gaye is currently the musical director of Zephyr Singers and Zephyr Strings, a community choral group and orchestra in Moapa Valley, NV; she also plays in a recorder consort. As an experienced piano teacher, she continues to teach piano to many children and youth.
Liliana Briceno (Violin)
Liliana has been playing violin in the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2014. She started her musical journey with learning to play piano at the young age of seven. She then started playing violin at Mack Lyon Middle School. Shortly after, she joined the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra. She continued playing violin in orchestra at Moapa Valley High School for all four years as the first violinist. Each year she participated in the Clark County School District’s Solo and Ensemble Festivals from 2009-2015 winning superior ratings.
“I am honored to play alongside very talented musicians in the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra,” expressed Briceno. “Through SNSO I am able to perfect my skills as a musician, thanks to Dr. Spitzer and fellow members. During my time with SNSO, I have become more familiar with numerous classics that have contributed to my passion for music.”
Tyson Wilson (Cello)
Tyson has been playing the cello for seven years and joined the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2016. He also plays percussion at Virgin Valley High School and is the drum major in the marching band. He has played cello in other orchestra ensembles such as; the middle and high school orchestras, Harmonic Strings Chamber, and Cello Society of Southern Utah.
“The orchestra is amazing,” mentioned Wilson. “The music is not too challenging, and the people are great. The first time I went to practice, I got the chills for how amazing we sounded. Dr. Spitzer has conducted some amazing pieces.”
Kitana Lopez (Viola)
Kitana Lopez is from Mesquite, Nevada. She has been playing viola for 11 years, and her love for the viola started when she was in 7th grade. Her love for music has bloomed since then. She attends Southern Utah University where she has been studying Music Education. Kitana will soon be graduating with her Bachelor of Music Education degree in the Fall of 2022. During her time at SUU, she has worked closely with the Southern Utah University Music Department as their orchestra librarian. She has planned and assisted with numerous performances, honor ensembles, and festivals with the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony throughout her time as a librarian. Kitana has been involved in numerous ensembles and collaborations with the SUU Opera, Choral Department, and Wind Symphony. With this, she has also been a scholarship candidate for the ArtsFusion program that focuses on promoting arts education in Utah's elementary schools.
Alongside this, she has had the honor to be mentored by Lindsay Szcezeny, Ling Yu, and Kimberly Johnson on viola. And mentored on conducting by Adam Lambert and Xun Sun. Outside of the university, Kitana has performed with the Orchestra of Southern Utah, the Nevada Chamber Orchestra, and the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra. She is ecstatic to be graduating and ready to start the next chapter of her life as a music educator.
Andy Tan (Violin)
Andy Tan has been playing violin in the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra since the Fall of 2015 when he was in 8th grade. He started learning violin in 6th grade at Charles Hughes Middle School, and played in the Hughes Middle Orchestra as well as the advanced CHMS Chamber Orchestra. He now plays in the Virgin Valley High School Chamber Orchestra. Last year he participated in an orchestra festival with VVHS and received a ranking of 1 (which is the highest ranking they can receive). He also has been playing piano for six years. In addition to his music abilities, he holds a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do (Korean Martial Arts). He also enjoys reading and spending time with friends. He plans on pursuing an engineering degree in college.
"I love playing in the Symphony! My friends are always there with me, and we have fun at every practice. I have met so many amazing people in the Orchestra, whom I can hear and learn from. The other musicians have tons of knowledge that I hope I can also achieve later in life. Symphony is a great experience to be a part of. The challenge every concert makes me play better and better every year. Practicing different pieces of music every season has exposed me to many different types and styles of music; from sci-fi to classical, every concert is a blast."
Cora Doland (Violin)
Cora Doland is a junior at Virgin Valley High School and first started playing Violin in the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra in 8th grade She first started learning to learn the violin in 6th grade and advanced each year including Charles Hughes Middle School’s Orchestra chamber group. She also started learning how to play the guitar in 8th grade. Once she started high school in 9th grade, she has participated in the VVHS advanced guitar ensemble for two years. She also learned percussion and added mallets to her list of instruments in 10th grade in which she performed in marching band at VVHS. Doland said that since she started playing musical instruments, it has helped her become more confident at performing on stage or presenting assignments in class at school.
“My favorite thing about playing in the Symphony is the challenging music,” said Doland. “The music level is a lot harder than what I usually play, so playing in this group is a great way to push myself.”
Lizzbeth Martinez (Viola)
Lizzbeth Martinez is a sophomore at Virgin Valley High School. She began playing viola starting in 6th grade while attending Charles Hughes Middle School. When she was in 7th grade, she advanced in her music skills and joined the CHMS advanced and chamber orchestras. Chamber is the highest orchestra program at CHMS. Also during 7th grade, she had joined a community group called Harmonic Strings Chamber to expand her skills and perform at more events. Toward the end of 7th grade she was accepted into the local Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra in which she still currently performs. In 9th grade she performed in the VVHS orchestra and is planning to play in the VVHS Chamber Orchestra for her upcoming sophomore year.
“What I like most about playing my instrument is that it relieves stress,” said Martinez. “It's fun to play, and I get into the music that I am playing. I also love making friends with other musicians and helping others out and working together.What I like most about playing in the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra is that the music pieces are harder and more challenging than the ones given from school. I also greatly enjoy how multiple instruments join together in one group to create such beautiful music for others to enjoy.”
Nona Marie Miller (Violin)
NonaMarie started playing violin at age 9 because she wanted to play music from "Star Wars." Over the years, she has been a member of several community orchestras including the Bismarck Symphony, the Fargo/Moorhead Symphony and the Southwest Symphony in St. George. She now enjoys lending her talents to the Southern Nevada Symphony. As part of these and various other ensembles, she has accompanied artists including Kurt Bestor, Peter Cetera, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Vee and Jenny Oakes Baker. When not playing music, she works in marketing and enjoys traveling and cooking.
Jimmy Cisneros (Bass)
Starting in 2008, Jimmy has been playing bass for 14 years in Las Vegas. Originally from Hacienda Heights California, he has resided in Las Vegas for 14 years as well. During High school he attended the prestigious Las Vegas Academy for Orchestra after picking up music very quickly in middle school.
He is a 6 year veteran of Las Vegas Youth Orchestra (LVYO) and CCSD honor Orchestra as well as 4 year veteran of NMEA Nevada All-State Orchestra. Jimmy was also chosen principal bassist of The Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic in 2010 and served as such until graduation in 2013 including a Concert Tour of China.
While on tour in China he was asked to play with the Qinhaungdao Symphony Orchestra as they were short on Bassists. After graduation he attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he played with UNLV Symphony and Chamber orchestra's under the direction of Taras Krysa from 2014-2016. During this time he was also invited to play for the Henderson Symphony Orchestra as well as Desert Winds Symphonic band, both of which he is still involved in to this day.
While out busking one day Jimmy was approached by Gerald Reid of Nevada Chamber Orchestra and after a brief conversation was invited to be a part of that group as well. He is also a founding member of the Dr Shirley Linzy Young Artist Orchestra of Las Vegas, also known as YAO, directed by Yunior Lopez. Jimmy also currently plays for 1 take Improv Comedy and University Methodist Church, both directed by Faustino Solice as well as being a member of The Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra Bass section out of Mesquite Nevada. Jimmy has been lucky enough to perform at the Smith Center Six times on several different occasions over the last couple years during & since graduation from high school and will keep looking forward to any new opportunities that may arise in the near future. One of these opportunities came in disguise in March of 2020 when the pandemic shutdown canceled indefinitely concerts with every single group here in Southern Nevada. With the knowledge and hope that the theaters and venues would soon open again, Jimmy found an opportunity to start his own group. After making several phone calls to musicians from all around town, he was overwhelmed by the need of everyone that he spoke to, to make music. Upon this realization, ClassicaLV was born as a outlet for musicians who wanted to make music when everything was closed. ClassicaLV has been lucky enough to be featured at several venues around Las Vegas since our beginning and will be featured at Whitney Library Theater every month till Dec 2023.
Ann Hogan (Violin)
Garth McBride (Violin)
Jan Mecham (Violin)
Trent Robison (Violin)
Mark Deramo (Violin)
Alex Hill (Violin)
Teri Holt Horne (Violin)
Jill Laub (Violin)
Braydon Pikyavit (Violin)
Jason Stout (Violin)
Pat DiBenedict (Violin)
Gregory Maldonado (Violin)
Donna Martinez (Violin)
Milena Amhof (Violin)
Angelina Langston (Violin)
Teri Holt Horne (Violin)
Chelle Reed (Violin)
Nona Marie Miller (Violin)
Brayden Pikyavit (Violin)
Belinda Martinez (Violin)
John Gurzynski (Viola)
Kimberly Johnson (Viola)
Dinah Hamilton (Viola)
Mary Hoberg (Viola)
Ruth Mangan (Viola)
Riley Fulmer (Cello)
Christian Martinez (Cello)
Jessica Peterson (Cello)
Francesca Wahl (Cello)
Ana Caban (Cello)
Tyson Wilson (Cello)
Terry Marquart (Bass)
Elise Eden (Bass)
Willie Harrington (Bass)
Timothy Thomas (Bass)