Board Of Directors
Carson Elias, President
Growing up in Upstate NY, Carson started piano lessons at age 5 which eventually grew into picking up the trumpet a few years later. Playing both instruments all throughout middle school and high school, he continued his musical pursuits at Drexel University in 2011.
At Drexel, Carson graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Music Performance Minor in Trumpet and Piano. For his senior recital, Carson along with a fellow student were the first ever recipients of the Myron “Mike” Moss memorial fund award which funded the project space and recording of the concert. Since graduating from Drexel, he now works at a local company in the Delaware Valley as both an engineer and a project manager and has continued to pursue musical avenues in the local music scene. Having gained valuable experience in project management, his intent is to bring these skills to the Philadelphia Wind Symphony to continue the path of leading a musical performance organization in a post-pandemic world.
Christopher Parks, Vice President
Elizabeth Kell, Treasurer
Elizabeth Kell is a passionate advocate of music as a lifelong pursuit and avocation. Liz graduated with a BA in Physics from UPenn with a minor in music history, and studied for a Master of Design at the Institute of Design in Chicago. She is currently director of the user research practice for Comcast product design. As a Philadelphia-area native, Liz was flute section leader in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra for several years, receiving PYO’s Helen Karp Distinguished Service award. In addition to PYO, Liz was an active performer in orchestras, chamber ensembles and theater productions in the greater Philadelphia community and at Penn. After a long break, Liz returned to the flute as an adult where it quickly became an avid pursuit outside of her professional work. Along with piccolo in PWS, Liz is a member of the flute sections of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony and The Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, and performs with the First State Flute Choir. She recently won first prize in the Flute Society of Washington DC Adult Amateur Competition and performed in masterclasses for Jeffrey Khaner. She is a former student of David Cramer and currently studies with Mimi Stillman.
Andrew Lesser, Secretary
Dr. Andrew Lesser currently serves as Director of Music at the Wilbur Watts Intermediate School in Burlington, New Jersey and Senior Adjunct Professor of Music at Rowan College of Burlington County. Dr. Lesser is also Principal Clarinetist of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, a professional ensemble that presents engaging band music throughout the Philadelphia area. An accomplished composer, Dr. Lesser's works are available through Kjos, Musica Propria, and Grand Mesa Music, and is featured in the 10th volume of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Dr. Lesser has presented seminars on many topics of music education throughout the state and national level, and has published articles in peer-refereed journals such as General Music Today, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the Journal of Sound and Music in Games.
Dr. Lesser received his Ed.D. in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University with the paper "Video Game Instruction and Learning in the Music Classroom". He earned his graduate degree from The University of Maryland and his undergraduate degree in Music Education and Music Performance from Rutgers University. He is also the current Technology Chair of the New Jersey Music Educators Association and the Chairman of the New Jersey Young Composers Competition. He has previously conducted All South Jersey concert events including the 2009 All South Jersey Middle School Band and the 2020 All South Jersey Elementary Choir Festival. In 2018, Dr. Lesser was named a Quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.
Dr. Lesser's YouTube channel, "Professor Lesser", focuses on the link between gaming, learning, and music. He currently resides in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey; further information can be found at his website at www.andrewlessermusic.com.
Peter Schoenbach, Member-At-Large
Dr. Peter J. Schoenbach was born in Philadelphia in an 1941 and educated in the public schools and at Swarthmore College. After earning a Masters and Certificate in Latin American Studies at Columbia University and a Doctorate at Rutgers, he served as a music administrator at such institutions as the Curtis Institute, Boston and Wayne State Universities, serving as Dean/Director/Chair. Prior to that he held teaching positions at Columbia, Temple, Rutgers and Minnesota. His last position was Director of the School of Music at the State University at Fredonia in which he served for ten years. He is an accomplished bassoonist and woodwind coach and has performed at summer festivals such as the Berkshire Music Festival (Tanglewood), Marlboro, and Bowdoin, and was Director of the School of Music at the Chautauqua Institution from 1997 until 2002 where he played with the Chautauqua Symphony and taught bassoon. He has also played part-time with the Philadelphia, Minnesota, English Chamber, Detroit, Buffalo, and Western New York orchestras.
He has published extensively in the fields of Latin American Literature, especially theatre with emphasis on Brazil, and the music of the Hispanic world. These articles include "Portuguese Music Today," in the Portuguese Studies Review, and a Study Guide and Bibliography on Brazilian Classical Music by the Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of New Mexico. He retired in January of 2006 and moved to Philadelphia in November of 2007. There he teaches part-time at the Curtis Institute of Music, and continues to play the bassoon as founding member of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, and to give lectures and serve as a consultant.