About the Directors
Mr. Ledford is a native of the Houston area, holds both Bachelors’ of Music and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a cello student of David Mollenhauer. Mr. Ledford began teaching in San Antonio in North East ISD as an after school strings teacher for several area elementary schools. While in San Antonio he had the opportunity to work with and learn from skilled teachers such as Elaine Heinze, Melanie Sorgi, Dr. Jan Garverick, and Dorothy Wells. Additional educational influences include Ann Roberts, Dr. Michael Alexander, and Donna Rodgers. In 1999, Mr. Ledford moved back to Houston to lead the orchestras at Deer Park High School to UIL Sweepstakes Awards before assuming the position as head orchestra director at J. Frank Dobie High School in Pasadena ISD. Under his direction the program grew from 50 to around 190 and won numerous awards at state and international festivals including performing at the Midwest Clinic in 2009. In 2010, Mr. Ledford took over the program at Klein Oak High School to continue the tradition of excellence in Klein ISD. While at Klein Oak, the orchestra has grown to just over 200 students, placed in the finals of TMEA Honor Full Orchestra (2013, 2019), performed at the Midwest Clinic (2014), been invited to ASTA's National Orchestra Festival (2017, 2019), placed as runner-up grand champion at NOF in 2017, and earned distinctions at other state festivals. When not working with his students, Mr. Ledford enjoys traveling and spending times with his wife Elizabeth, son Thomas, and daughter Grace.
Originally from Morganton, NC, Ms. Thwing has studied violin since age 7 under the Suzuki method. Throughout her studies, Ms. Thwing has studied viola with renowned violinist Ida Kavafian, the Fry Street Quartet, the Miro String Quartet, and violist Yizhak Schotten and has studied conducting with John Gordon Ross, composer David Holsinger, and Maestro Bob Bernhardt. After making the switch to viola at age 16, Ms. Thwing went on to earn her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. There she was honored as a soloist, as an academic student, and as a leader in her ensembles and organizations. Since graduating from Lee University in 2015, Ms. Thwing has completed training in the Suzuki teaching method and has served at music camps in Tennessee, Virginia, and New York. She is very excited to continue her tenure this year as the Assistant Orchestra Director with the Klein Oak Panthers!