Matt Tavilson

Matt Tavilson currently serves as the head director of orchestras at Paetow High School in Katy ISD. As an orchestra director/music director, he has taught in Spring Branch ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Alief ISD and Bay Area Youth Symphony. In addition to his teaching, Mr. Tavilson is active guest conductor in Europe and in the USA. He has conducted East Texas Symphony Orchestra, University of Texas at Arlington Symphony Orchestra, Eskisehir Symphony Orchestra, Akademik Orkestra of Izmir, Bursa State Orchestra, Turkish Radio Choir, and Baskent University Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Tavilson received his Bachelor's of Music from Ankara State Conservatory. in 1998, he pursued further study in education and conducting where he completed his Master's degree in Music at Texas Tech University. During his study, he conducted the university orchestra and coached strings for Lubbock Youth Orchestra. He also studied orchestral conducting under Dr. Sergio Espinosa at University of Texas at Arlington.

Mr. Tavilson has participated in many orchestras and festivals around the world. Some of the orchestras he has played include: Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Amarillo Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Midland-Odessa Chorale, Roswell Symphony Orchestra, Troy Festival Orchestra of Germany, Mediterranean Orchestra of France, and International Bass Festival in Munich. Mr. Tavilson enjoys traveling around the world, running marathons, road cycling (MS 150) and spending time with his family.

Kyle Davis

Kyle Davis is from Midland, TX and is in his second year as the Head Orchestra Director at Jordan High School in Katy ISD. Prior to his appointment in Katy, Mr. Davis for worked for the Humble, Amarillo and Ector County ISD. Students in Mr. Davis' orchestras have been successful at All-State and All-region auditions, solo and ensemble contests and earned multiple "Sweepstakes" at UIL Concert and Sightreading contests. In addition, his orchestras have earned numerous "Best in Class" and "Best in Festival" Awards at national music festivals. This year the Jordan High School Symphony Orchestra received an invitation to perform at the National Orchestra Festival in conjunction with the American String Teachers Association National Convention. He has also served as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas.

Mr. Davis studied music at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX receiving a Bachelor of Music (All- Level Certification) and a Master of Arts in Music. His teachers include Emmanuel Lopez, cellist of the Harrington String Quartet and Dr. Mark Bartley, Associate Director of the School of Music and Associate Conductor of the Amarillo Symphony. While in school, Mr. Davis earned many awards as a young conductor and music education researcher. As an undergraduate, he organized and conducted several chamber music recitals. This led to invitations to guest conduct the WTAMU Symphony as well as cover conduct on numerous occasions for the ensemble. In 2008, Mr. Davis was one of five conducting students selected in a national search to participate in the College Orchestra Directors Association masterclass with Thomas Cockrell of the University of Arizona and Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops. In 2009, he was given acceptance into the McNair Scholar program where he completed graduate level research on UIL programming. The resulting research has won awards and been presented at the TMEA and TODA Clinic and Convention.

Upon graduating Mr. Davis joined the faculty at Amarillo College as the Director of Orchestral Activities and the Amarillo Opera as an assistant conductor. While at AC, Mr. Davis grew the membership of the orchestra and developed it into a fully symphonic ensemble. In 2011, he made his professional opera conducting debut with the Amarillo Opera's Production of Joshua's Boots, an opera by Adolphus Hailstork.

Mr. Davis is married to Heather Davis, a head middle school orchestra director in Fort Bend ISD and they have a two-year old son, Grayson.

Emory Daniel

Emory Daniel is the Associate Orchestra Director at W.P. Clements High School in Fort Bend ISD as well as the Director of the Katy Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Daniel earned both his undergraduate degrees at the University of Georgia in Double Bass Performance and Music Education. He attended Interlochen Arts Camp and the Brevard Music Festival. He also did graduate work at Indiana University-Jacobs School of Music. He has been a member of the Athens Symphony Orchestra, the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and a substitute bassist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He was also an interim principal bassist for both the Orquesta Sinfonica de La Salta in Argentina and the Conservatorio A. Vivaldi in Alessandria, Italy. Along with conducting Mr. Daniel teaches bass privately where his students have received Region & All-State Honors in both Georgia and Texas.

Francisco Garay

Austrian-born Venezuelan-American cellist, Francisco Garay, is the director of the Katy Youth Symphony's Cello Choir. He has established himself as a cello teacher in the Greater Houston Area, has taught as a sectional coach, and has served as a region judge and clinician in FBISD, Klein ISD, and Katy ISD. He also teaches group classes for the Houston Youth Symphony's Coda program, inspired by El Sistema.

He received his Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, where he studied with associate principal cellist of the Houston Symphony, Anthony Kitai. After graduating, he received training in the Suzuki Method under Avi Friedlander. Earlier in his career, he was a part of the Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University's Shepard School of Music, where he studied with Cornelia Watkins.

Growing up in the Houston area, he has had a diverse musical upbringing, having performed in the United States, Venezuela, France, and Austria. In the past, he has been under the baton of Grammy-Award winning conductors, including Hans Graf, Christian M─ârcelaru, and JoAnn Faletta. He has also participated in the Texas Music Festival, Interlochen Summer Music Festival, ARIA International Summer Music Academy, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival.