Staff

Staff Members

Ana Maria Solis-Herrera

Organizer

Ana Maria Soli­s-Herrera is the Director of Orchestras at Austin High School in the Austin Independent School District. Previously she was Director at O. Henry Middle School, Lamar Middle School, and McCallum High School. Prior to her appointment as Austin Youth Orchestra Organizer, she served as Co-coordinator and Conductor of the Concertante, Sinfonietta, and Philharmonic Youth Orchestras.

Mrs. Soli­s-Herrera holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Violin Performance and a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She has completed certifications in Suzuki Method and conducts workshops at the University of Texas.

Mrs. Soli­s-Herrera performed internationally with orchestras in Asia, Latin America, and the United States, including the Ehime University Orchestra in Matsuyama, Japan, the Carlos Chavez Symphony in Mexico City, and the Ohio Light Opera. Mrs. Solis-Herrera has been invited to speak at music educators conferences in Italy, Sweden, and Latin America on her research, the musical preferences of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the United States.

Contact Mrs. Solis at mssolis-herrera@austinyouthorchestra.org

Fidencio Solis

Organizer

Originally from Mexico City, Mr. Fidencio Solis is the Director of Orchestras at Chapa and Simon MS in Hays CISD. He previously taught at O. Henry Middle School for 16 years in the Austin Independent School District, and he was Director for the Gulfport School District in Mississippi. Mr. Solis also serves as Austin Youth Orchestra Organizer. Mr. Soli­s holds a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, he is certified in Suzuki Method.

Mr. Solis has contributed his expertise to the Austin Youth Orchestra for 16 years and gives his time to fellow music educators and their projects. He plays chamber music, performs with community orchestras and freelances around town. He enjoys sharing time with family and friends, making people laugh, making and listening to music, going to the movies, and traveling.

Contact Mr. Solis at mr.solis@austinyouthorchestra.org

Brenda McGahagin

Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Brenda McGahagin is the parent of a recently graduated violinist with the Austin High School Orchestra. She brings to her role as Administrative Coordinator an appreciation for classical music and experience with management, fundraising, and publicity. Brenda graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Natural Sciences and worked as a Registered Dietitian and Food Service Director for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission prior to volunteering with the Austin High School Orchestra Booster Club and the Austin Youth Orchestra. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys time with family and friends, gardening, travel, nature, music and reading.

Contact Mrs. McGahagin at admin@austinyouthorchestra.org


Alex Burch

Administrative Coordinator

Alex Burch is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She holds bachelor degrees in Vocal Performance and Instrumental Music Education alongside a certificate in Pre-Med. While at UT, she was Co-Director and Director of UT Lab Orchestra, a student run organization to bring underutilized music to the Austin Community. She was under the tutelage of Darlene Wiley, Dr. Laurie Scott, Dr. Bob Duke, Dr. Amy Simmons, and Dr. Miguel Campinho. Since graduating, she is working as orchestra director for Blazier Intermediate, Mathews Elementary, Lee Elementary, and Barton Hills Elementary in Austin ISD. Ms. Burch is the website and social media coordinator for AYO and the current director for UT Lab Orchestra.

In her free time, Ms. Burch enjoys spending time making art, volunteering at a local farm sanctuary, traveling, and enjoying the company of her partner and cat, Anacrusis.

Contact Ms. Burch at aburch@austinyouthorchestra.org