Cathy Alfaro Wood
Austin Youth Orchestra Program Coordinator
Ms. Wood joins The Austin Youth Orchestra as the Program Coordinator for the 2018-2019 Season. A native Austinite, Ms. Wood is very familiar with AISD and its many music programs. She was an active member in her school's band and orchestra, under the direction of renowned directors such as Diane Gorzycki, Gary Wylie, and William Dick. After graduating from Crockett High School, Ms. Wood continued her studies in music at The University of Texas at Austin, marching with the Longhorn Band under the direction of Ms. Paula Crider and studied trumpet with Mr. Raymond Crisara.
Ms. Wood brings to AYO her vast experience with Non-Profits in the Austin area. Most recently, she was the Operations Manager for The Austin Area Garden Center, which is the non-profit support arm for the Zilker Botanical Garden. Her five years at Zilker Botanical Garden included mostly fundraising, event coordinating and programing. She is most proud of the work she did as Chair of the Zilker Garden Festival, which has been a staple in Austin for 60 Years. The Zilker Garden Festival and the money it raises supports the garden in its yearly operating expenses, special projects and education. Ms. Wood is currently the three-year Booster Club President for The McCallum Fine Arts Academy Orchestra and works on daily basis with students, faculty and staff supporting the orchestra and its mission of classical music education.
Her daughter is a member of the Symphony violin section.
Austin Youth Orchestra
Board of Directors
William Dick, President, was the recipient of the 1994 Elizabeth Green Music Educator of the Year award from the American String Teachers' Association. He has also been named “Director of the Year” by the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and is the recipient of the Music of the Heart Educator Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. For twenty-seven years he was on the orchestra faculty of the Austin ISD. During that time he instituted the Fall Festival for Strings, the AISD Best of Class Solo Recital, and conducted the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has presented sessions and conducted at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conventions, the American String Teachers' Association Conventions, and at numerous state music conventions. Mr. Dick is a registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Since retiring from the Austin ISD, Mr. Dick has been on the faculties of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He is co-author with Laurie Scott of the textbooks Mastery for Strings, Level One and Two, and Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, co-authored with Laurie Scott and Winfred Crock.
Carolyn Hagler, Vice President, is a professional cellist and cello instructor living in Austin, TX. She earned her bachelor's degree from Dominican University of San Rafael, CA and her master's degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin. Carolyn also did her coursework for her education certification at the University of Texas at Austin. After completing her master's degree, she won a position with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, where she studied under Michael Tilson-Thomas and Leonard Bernstein.
Carolyn is currently a tenured cellist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra having been a member for over twenty years. She also performed and toured internationally with the acclaimed world ensemble, Mundi, gathering accolades from reviewers across the globe, including a feature on NPR.
As a teacher, Carolyn has taught individuals from 4 years old to 64 years old. She was a cello professor at Texas Lutheran University, Austin Community College and the
Armstrong Community School. Carolyn also taught in both the Eanes School District and the Austin Independent School District as an elementary and middle school orchestra director.
In addition to performing with the Austin Symphony, Carolyn is a full time Realtor, working with City View Realty. In her free time, she loves to travel and explore with her husband and three sons. She loves to cook, garden and entertain as much as possible. Carolyn also enjoys meeting people from all over the world in her Austin Airbnb.
Susanna Sharpe, Secretary, a native of New York, was raised in a musical family, her mother an accomplished composer and a singer of both classical and folk music, her father an amateur violinist. Family connections to Latin America sparked her interest in the languages, cultures, and music of that region, and she found her voice singing songs in both Spanish and Portuguese.
Susanna has been entertaining audiences in Austin, Texas, since 1984. She was the leader and lead singer of one of the city's most popular dance bands, Susanna Sharpe and Samba Police, from 1988 to 2000, playing before crowds large and small in a variety of venues around Texas. In addition to occasional reunion performances with Samba Police, Susanna continues to perform Brazilian and other Latin American repertoire with smaller ensembles. In addition to her work as a band leader, Susanna performed and taught workshops for 10 years with Circle of Light, a project of the late singer and composer Tina Marsh that brought music, dance, and stories of different religions and cultures to Austin audiences of all ages. She also sang and recorded songs in Yiddish with the Austin Klezmorim in the early 1990s.
Susanna and her husband have raised two musician children – a classical violinist daughter who performed with Austin Youth Orchestras for 11 years, and a multi-instrumentalist son who specializes in jazz saxophone. In addition to being a musician, Susanna is the communications coordinator for LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at The University of Texas at Austin. She also volunteers at a family detention center in Karnes, Texas, assisting families seeking political asylum in the United States.
Laurie Scott, Treasurer, is Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project, named “String Project of the Year” in 2008 by the American String Teacher's Association and the National String Project Consortium. Previous to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin, viola and music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teacher's Association, taught for eight years for the Austin ISD at Lamar Middle School and Travis and McCallum High Schools, was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony, and served as Region XVIII College Division Chair for the Texas Music Educator's Association. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, inclusive school music programs, and character development through the arts. Her articles have appeared in The American String Teacher, The American Suzuki Journal, and The Journal of Research in Music Education.
She is co-author with William Dick of the textbooks Mastery for Strings, Level One and Two, and Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock. Her latest publication, From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Performers become Great Teachers, is co-authored with Cornelia Watkins and was published by Oxford University Press in April of 2012.
Thomas H. Waggoner, AYO Director Emeritus. 1993-2018.