Jay Welenc was appointed as TIYO Conductor in 2013. He brings nearly 40 years of music education and conducting experience to TIYO. While 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 a growing number of audiences across the globe. Named the 2018 Teacher of the Year for Ohio State Board of Education District 2, his educational leadership 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 and 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 and the University of Iowa, as well as teaching licenses in Music and Career Education.
Gary Gorton joined the TIYO conducting team in 2014. He is a classically-trained violinist from Ashland, Ohio with over 25 years of experience playing strings. Currently employed as Orchestra Director in Washington Local Schools, Mr. Gorton teaches stringed instruments to students in grades five through twelve. Beyond his orchestral accolades, he has written and delivered a music curriculum designed to fit the unique capabilities of special needs students. Mr. Gorton served as concertmaster of The University of Toledo Symphony for two years before completing his student teaching at Bedford Public Schools. He 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 all around the Greater Toledo area. Mr. Gorton holds a Music Education degree from The University of Toledo.