Jay Welenc --2018 Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education District 2-- works as a music educator and instrumentalist in Toledo, Ohio. Appointed as TIYO Conductor in 2013, he brings over 30 years of experience training Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Choir students from elementary through undergraduate studies. Ensembles under his direction have earned numerous awards for excellence, as well as praise and acclaim from audiences across the world. His educational leadership experience encompasses a wide range of service from mentor teacher to event chair to co-authoring educational standards. He is currently Band and Orchestra Director at Toledo School for the Arts where he became the first full-time instrumental instructor and founded the Studio Orchestra. Mr.Welenc has performed in a variety of Concert Band, Brass, Jazz, Orchestral, and Choral ensembles across the Midwest. As an instrumentalist and vocalist, Mr. Welenc lends his musical experience to professional and amateur colleagues alike. He has had the privilege of sharing the concert stage with Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Watts, Bob Havens, Thom Ritter George, and others. Mr.Welenc holds Music Education degrees from Quincy University (IL), and the University of Iowa, as well as teaching licenses in Music and in Career Education.
Gary Gorton is a classically-trained violinist from Ashland, Ohio with over 25 years of string-playing experience. Joining the TIYO conducting team in 2014, he is employed as Orchestra Director in Washington Local Schools, teaching stringed instruments to students in grades five through twelve. Beyond his orchestral accolades, he has also written and delivered a music curriculum designed to fit the needs of special needs students. Gary served as concertmaster of the University of Toledo Symphony for two years before completing his student teaching at Bedford Public Schools. In addition to teaching, Mr. Gorton has performed with such musicians as Mark O’Connor and Maynard Ferguson, has performed with the Adrian and Perrysburg Symphony Orchestras, and performs as a gig musician in the Greater Toledo Area. Mr. Gorton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Toledo.