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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.

Conductor: Ruth Boden

Dr. Ruth Boden

Director of Philharmonic Orchestra

Dr. Ruth Boden is an Associate Professor in the School of Music at Washington State University where she teaches cello, bass, music theory and coordinates the chamber music program. Dr. Boden holds a B.M. and M.M. in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a D.M.A. from the University of Alabama.

Ruth is an active performer and has appeared as a guest artist with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, Washington Idaho Symphony, Coeur D’ Alene Symphony, and gave the premier performance of Philip Wharton’s Concerto for Violin and Cello with the Rendezvous Orchestra in Moscow, Idaho. She has also been a member of numerous orchestras throughout the Southeast and Northwest, including the Pensacola Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Washington Idaho Symphony, and Spokane Symphony among others. Additionally, Ruth has worked with several notable chamber artists including the Vermeer, Juilliard, Miami, and Cavani String Quartets and the Diaz Trio.

Ruth served as the interim conductor for the Washington State University Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2011, interim Artistic Director and conductor for the Spokane Youth Symphony during the 2013-2014 season, and has served as guest conductor and clinician for numerous festivals throughout the Northwest.

Ruth is a staunch supporter of new and contemporary music. She released her first solo CD Off the Cuff in July of 2014 which features eclectic contemporary music for solo cello. An avid hiker and lover of the outdoors, Ruth spends parts of her summers backpacking with her cello and performing new works commissioned for her project Music Outside Four Walls.

Conductor: Shad Frazier


Director of Intermezzo String Orchestra

Shad Frazier graduated with a BA in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Idaho. He has been a member of the Idaho Army National Guard since 2009 and is a Chief Warrant Officer 2, currently serving as the Commander for the 25th Army Band. The 2023-24 season will be Mr. Frazier's fourth year with the NIYS.

Mr. Frazier is also the Instrumental Music Director for Lake City High School where he manages two Concert Bands, Marching and Pep Band, two Jazz Bands, two String Orchestras, and the percussion ensemble, “STOMP”. He has been teaching since 2012 and has experience at all grade levels in band, orchestra, and choir.   

Shad married his wife, Allison in 2011 after meeting in the Vandal Marching Band at the University of Idaho (GO VANDALS!) in 2007. They have two sons together, Dean and Arlo, who are the two most precious boys on the planet. He enjoys spending time with his family and their two dogs, Penny and Daisy in the woods or on the water, fishing.  

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Conductors: Kristina Phillips


Director of Debut String Orchestra

The 2023-24 season marks Kristina Phillips 17th year with the NIYS. She received her Bachelors of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and 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 the 5th grade Strings teacher for the Coeur d’Alene School District, teaching at all eleven elementary schools. 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, three dogs, and twenty of the happiest chickens in Idaho.

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