Meet Trond Saeverud, Artistic Director and Symphony Conductor; Tom Dinardis, String Orchestra Conductor; Angela Badon, Preparatory Orchestra Conductor; and Brandon Cornett, Bay Area Chamber Music Festival Coordinator.
Artistic Director & Symphony Conductor
Trond Saeverud is a conductor and violinist. He has conducted professional and community orchestras in Denmark, Norway, and the US — most recently in Maine, where he is the founder and artistic director of the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra. From 2008–2010, Trond conducted the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in several subscriptions and Pops concerts, including a very successful stage production of West Side Story. As a concert violinist, Trond has been a soloist with major orchestras in Europe and in the US, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Lincoln Center, New York. He has produced CD’s as a soloist with orchestras in Norway and Denmark and regularly premieres new works that are written for him. Trond’s solo CD ‘Ghosts’ received the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy Award (1997). His recital CD ‘Hika’ was editor’s choice, Strad Magazine (2002). Trond studied conducting with Brian Priestman at the University of Kansas (DMA, 2002) while serving as frequent guest conductor for the Kansas City Camerata and producing, as doctoral thesis, a new critical edition of the Second Symphony of his grandfather, Harald Saeverud. Trond is also concertmaster of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, leader of the Nor’easter String Quartet and is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Galveston Symphony Orchestra (2013).
String Orchestra Conductor
Tom Dinardis since 1998 has led the orchestras of Westbrook Intermediate (formerly Webster) in Clear Creek ISD, where the orchestra program has grown from thirty to over two hundred students. In both 2011 and 2016 the Westbrook Chamber Orchestra was named Texas Music Educators Association Middle School Honor String Orchestra, the states top ranking honor for school orchestras. This group has placed in the top five in this state-wide competition multiple times, and all three performing orchestras at Westbrook consistently receive superior ratings and ‘best in class’ awards at UIL contests and festivals.
A native of Ohio, Tom Dinardis started playing violin in the fourth grade in public school. He was a member of the Baldwin Wallace youth orchestra program for nine years and is the winner of various scholarships and awards including outstanding student teacher of 1995 at Cleveland State University, where he studied violin with Daniel Rains and graduated with a degree in Music Education. He remembers his high school orchestra director having a great influence on his decision to become a teacher, and was given opportunities to teach as a high school student when he formed a string octet and taught private lessons to district elementary string players in a pilot program.
Mr. Dinardis is an active adjudicator, clinician, arranger, and performer in the surrounding Houston area. He has conducted the Bay Area Youth Symphony’s String Orchestra since 2010, is a regular member of the Halcyon Quartet, has been a principal violinist of the Clear Lake Symphony since 2001, and has played with the Galveston Symphony, Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. He is an active member of Texas Music Educator’s Association, Texas Orchestra Director’s Association, and has presented sessions at the Texas Association of Gifted and Talented conference and at the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association chamber music workshop. In 2010 he was named Teacher of the Year at Westbrook Intermediate, and was one of six finalists for this award at the district level. He and his wife Karen have lived in Texas since 1996 and have four children, all of whom play piano and stringed instruments.
Preparatory Orchestra Conductor
Angela Badon is an accomplished violinist, conductor, and music educator and has been an orchestra director with Pasadena ISD since 2006. She is credited for the establishment and success of the 150 member Melillo Middle School Orchestra program which has won superior ratings and best in class awards consecutively at area festivals since the school’s opening in 2008. She was appointed to the curriculum revision team in 2009 to write and implement a middle school curriculum for the district’s new middle school configuration along with revising the current orchestra curriculum.
Mrs. Badon is a native of New Orleans, LA, and began playing the violin at the age of 9 in public school. While in high school she began her professional career by forming a string quartet and performing as a soloist for events around the city. She went on to receive many awards and honors including being chosen as the principal 2nd violinist in the Louisiana All-State Orchestra in 1998. Besides her love for performing, she began teaching private lessons to younger students in her community and assisted her orchestra director by teaching and tutoring in the beginner classes. It was then that she realized her true passion was teaching.
Mrs. Badon is a graduate from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She went to complete her Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona with a concentration in string education research. She began her teaching career in her home town where she piloted the first Pre-K Suzuki program in the public schools and co-created a curriculum for other new programs in the New Orleans area. She is also credited for the re-establishment of two other award winning K-6 programs in the New Orleans area until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mrs. Badon was then employed by the Texarkana Community Music Education Academy as a private violin teacher and conductor.
She is currently the Assistant Orchestra Director at Dobie High School and is an active performer, private teacher, and clinician in the Houston area. She is the former principal 2nd violinist of the Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra (2006-2010) and presently is a member of the Sagemont Church Orchestra. She is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association, Texas Music Education Association, and the Texas Orchestra Director’s Association. She loves her new found home in Houston where she lives with her husband and daughter who is also an aspiring violinist.
Bay Area Chamber Music Festival Coordinator
Mr. Cornett is currently the Orchestra Director at Brookside Intermediate in Clear Creek ISD where he has nearly doubled the size of the program in just one year. He was previously the Assistant Orchestra Director at Westbrook Intermediate for three years. In 2016, he had the opportunity to conduct the Westbrook Intermediate Chamber Orchestra at the TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio as they were named the 2016 TMEA Middle School String Honor Orchestra. Along with teaching public school, Mr. Cornett holds a private teaching studio in the Clear Lake area where his students consistently rank in Region and All-State orchestras. In 2014, he founded the Clear Lake Chamber Ensemble, an organization dedicated to performing free chamber music concerts. Mr. Cornett received his Master of Music in Cello Performance in 2013 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. While there, he studied cello with Carter Enyeart and chamber music with Benny Kim as a member of the Graduate Fellowship String Quartet. He received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2011 from Sam Houston State University where he studied cello with Daniel Saenz and conducted the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.
Advisory Board Member and Immediate Past Artistic Director & Symphony Conductor
Lisa Batson has gained a reputation as a creative and dynamic orchestra director in the Houston area. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. After completing her degree, she was awarded a full scholarship at Kent State University where she earned a Master’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in violin pedagogy while teaching undergraduate classes.
The majority of her career has been at Space Center Intermediate School where they have won consecutive UIL sweepstakes, ranked in the top 10 of the TMEA Honor Orchestra competition as well as runner up, and numerous other awards. She also works tirelessly to build the community of music study as the Artistic Director and Symphony conductor of the Bay Area Youth Symphony. Her resume also includes several years as conductor with the Greater Houston Youth Orchestra and continues to be invited as a guest conductor for All City and All Region Orchestras throughout Texas. During the summer, Mrs. Batson enjoys being the Executive Director of the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp in Kansas City where the students are taught improvisation and rock styles by the world’s leading electric violinists from major universities such as Julliard and Vanderbilt. She has also conducted at the Sam Houston State University orchestra camp. Always keeping an eye of the needs of the community, she began her own successful summer camp in Houston called Sizzling Strings where students can take a break from rigorous competitions and play the music for the sake of pure enjoyment. The camp has now been running for over 10 years.
As a teacher, Mrs. Batson has achieved membership in Texas Music Adjudicators Association and honored as a member of Mu Omicron. After twenty years of teaching, she was awarded a lifetime membership with the PTA, a $10,000 technology grant, and awarded a Fellowship through Fund for Teachers. She has been able to share her experiences as a presenter at Texas Orchestra Directors Association Convention as well as district workshops throughout Houston. Mrs. Batson is a professional violinist and orchestra contractor and has been a member of numerous symphonies in New York, Ohio, Louisiana, and Texas. Music also flows in her home with both children and husband enjoying music as well.
Brass and Woodwinds Sectional Coach
Ed Johnson began playing trumpet at age 11 in El Dorado, Arkansas. In the 9th grade he performed with and played in the South Arkansas Youth Orchestra performing ‘A Trumpeter’s Lullaby’ as soloist with the Orchestra. His love of Orchestra and performing began. He performed solos at the school solo and ensemble contests with his mother, Dorris Fay Johnson, as his accompanist. He also performed in his church as his mother was the organist. He was featured as soloist with high school and college marching bands throughout his 10 year marching band career. In college at Henderson State University in Arkedelphia, Arkansas he performed frequently on recitals and concerts given to the student body. There he met and married Katrinka Blystone of Tomball, Texas. After graduating from Henderson he and Katrinka moved to Fayettville, Arkansas and served as Graduate Assistants there while working toward their masters. Mr Johnson won the Concerto Competition with the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra with whom he also performed in the trumpet section. The couple moved to Tomball to pursue a career as a performers and private teachers in the Houston area teaching private lessons in the Tomball/Klein/Spring area. After performing with the Baytown Symphony Orchestra for 2 seasons as Principal Trumpet the couple was asked to perform as a duo at a Gala Reception associated with a Baytown Symphony fundraiser. They enjoyed performing so much together they began performing as Wind & Ivory trumpet/piano duo. They have been performing regularly since 1986. They performed in Paris France at the Maurice Andre trumpet Competition in 1989 which encouraged them to continue to seek performances with the duo. They have performed throughout Arkansas and Texas for University, and Art Council audiences. Please visit their website at: windandivory.com.
Mr. Johnson has performed with the Baytown Symphony Orchestra (1984-1988 performing once as a soloist)) The Texas Opera Theater (1986-1990), touring branch of the Houston Grand Opera, the Ronnie Renfrow Big Band (1984-1992), , The Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale(1994-’95, again, performing once as soloist with the orchestra),Orchestra X(1999-2001), The Woodlands Symphony(2005-2007). He has continued to perform as a contract musician through the Houston Musicians Union since 1984. Ed and Katrinka moved from the North side of Houston to Clear Lake in 1998 so that Mr Johnson could be the 1/2 day band director at Clear Lake Intermediate. He stayed at that position for 2 years continuing to perform with Wind & Ivory, contract musican as well as teach around 40 students privately. The couple have 4 boys, Samuel(17) Edgar(15) Benjamin(11) and Leo(8). Katrinka has enjoyed homeschooling the boys. They attend worship at League City church of Christ and are involved in many functions of that congregation. The family enjoys camping, hiking and generally being together. Ed is privileged and honored to be a part of The Bay Area Youth Symphony and hope his talent and love of Orchestra and Performance can be a catalyst to the already top notch performers in the group.