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.
Tony Wastler, Vice President
Amy Thomas, Treasurer
Amy K. Thomas is an attorney licensed in California and Nevada. She served in the Sixth Army Band (1987-1989). She moved from San Francisco to Philadelphia in January 2022, lured by family and roast pork sandwiches.
Robert Blacksburg, Treasurer
Bob Blacksberg, clarinet, is a founding member of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony and also a founding member of the Pennyslvania Symphonic Winds. He is lawyer by training and early work experience, and continued work until retirement in technology services for law practice. Today he is the President of The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and Chair of the Board of KlezKanada, a festival and training retreat for Jewish arts, culture and music based in Montreal. He has also served in many positions at Society Hill Synagogue, including as its President.
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.
vacant, Artistic Director
Ian Taylor, General Manager
After spending formative years immersed in a robust public school music program, Ian has built his career around bringing rich musical experiences to students in spaces that have historically had fewer such opportunities. He has taught instrumental music at various schools in New York, Connecticut, and the US Virgin Islands. He was a founding member and later of Executive Director of Project Music, an organization that brings out-of-school-time music education programs to underserved communities in Stamford, CT. Since 2021, Ian has worked in various roles at Play On Philly, including directing the music program at Roman Catholic High School and coordinating after-school and summer music programs for area children. He received his B.M. and M.M. in Music Education from the State University of New York College at Fredonia and Boston University, respectively. Ian also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University, as well as an executive certificate in social leadership and teaching artistry from the Global Leaders Program of Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Ian has had the great pleasure of working alongside likeminded educators across the United States and internationally, including partnerships with music programs in Chile, Honduras, Bolivia, and Mexico. He joined PWS in 2022 as a member of the trumpet section.