MEET THE CONDUCTORS
Our team of music educators at North Idaho Youth Symphonies work hard in order to produce a quality musical experience for our musicians and compelling performances for all.
Director of Philharmonic Orchestra
Jan Pellant accepted the position of Artistic Director & Conductor of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony in July 2018, after being selected out of our top five conductor candidates during the conductor search of 2017-2018. As Music Director of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra since 2015, Jan has conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Talich Chamber Orchestra, Pavel Haas Chamber Orchestra, Vidin Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Bethel Park Orchestra, Orchestra Enigmatic as well as orchestras in Thailand, Japan and the United States. He has led performances with the Pilsen Opera and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and in 2007, he led the Prague Karlin Theater Orchestra on an eleven-city tour of Romania. The following year, he led the Berlin Newklassiker Symphony Orchestra on a New Year’s concert tour of China, and the Czech Youth Symphony Orchestra on a tour of France, performing Antonin Dvorak’s Stabat Mater.
A native of the Czech Republic, Jan Pellant studied at the Prague Academy of the Performing Arts, and he holds degrees from the Prague Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University. He has served on the faculty of the International Conservatory in Prague as conducting instructor and is the Artistic Director of Summer Music Nights at the Bohemian Forest. Jan Pellant is a DMA candidate in orchestra conducting at the University of Kentucky (ABD), where he studied with John Nardolillo and served as a teaching assistant there.
Assistant Director of Philharmonic Orchestra
Director of Intermezzo Orchestra
Michael Harrison is an experienced and passionate musician with a varied background as performer, educator and clinician. Mr. Harrison currently serves as the Director of Instrumental Music at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy in Northern Idaho where he teaches middle and high school concert band, orchestra and jazz band. This marks his fourth year with the NIYS organization. Mr. Harrison received his Bachelors degree in Music Education and Trumpet Performance in 2003 from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Masters degree in conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. Before relocating with his wife and 2 children, Mr. Harrison previously taught band for 7 years at Utterback Middle School for the Performing Arts in Tucson, Arizona. While in Tucson, he also served as Director of the Tucson Jazzwerx, a community jazz outreach program, and Assistant Director for the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra.
An accomplished performer and trumpeter, Mr. Harrison has appeared throughout the U.S., Canada and Japan and was featured on the 2009 & 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA National Telethon with the Arizona Roadrunners ‘Jass’ band. His performance experiences are diverse and include the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Disney College All-Star Band, and numerous touring Broadway productions. He has performed onstage with such musical legends as Jerry Lewis, Linda Rondstadt, Art Garfunkel, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Doc Severinson, Marvin Hamlisch, and The Smothers Brothers. Although his teaching schedule is very demanding, Mr. Harrison can regularly be seen performing with the Hot Club of Spokane and other notable groups around the Inland Northwest and he maintains an extensive private lesson studio.
Director of Debut String Orchestra
The 2018-19 season marks Kristina Phillips 13th year with the NIYS. She received her Bachelors of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and received her Masters Degree from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University. She has taught band and orchestra in the public schools in Tacoma, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Currently, Kristina is one of two 5th grade Strings teachers in the Coeur d’Alene School District.
Kristina is principal bassist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, has served as principal cellist of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, and is a regular performer with Opera Coeur d’Alene and the Lake City String Quartet. She also maintains a large private teaching studio in Coeur d’Alene. She and her husband Jim live in Coeur d’Alene with their four children.