Conductor and Director Bios
We are delighted to have the following conductors and directors as part of the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque. Feel free to read their bios to find out how each of them is such a vital part of our organization. (To "meet" our Producer, please read our Producer Bio
Chris Ramos - Conductor
Conductor Chris Ramos is also Director of SoundPack, the Lobo's basketball band and a graduate assistant to the University of New Mexico's bands through teaching classes in coducting, rehearsing, and ensemble preparation.
He is currently working on his Masters Degree in music, specializing in conducting and musicology. He holds bachelor's degrees, awarded by Texas A&M University-Commerce, in both piano performance and music education, summa cum laude and with highest honors.
While attending Texas A&M, he was the assistant director of their Piano Academy and a member of the Alpha Chi Honors Society, TAMU-C's pioneering Honors College.
Chris also has played the french horn in both university bands and orchestras and enjoys finding new avenues of making music and art with others.
Dedicated to the development of the surrounding community, Chris has consistently worked with college and youth ministries in local churches, where he is known to encourage students to ask hard questions and wrestle with controversial ideas.
Julie Smith - Choral Director
Julie Smith, our adult choir leader for the past three years, teaches voice at our Albuquerque Academy of the Arts. She is currently working on her Music Education degree.
Her voice experience includes
- Directing and instructing as the Youth Choir Director for the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque
- Singing with the Symphony's Adult Choir since 1997
- Enjoying a prominent role in the recitatives in "The Messiah"
Steve Gokool - Past Conductor
Maestro Steve Gokool, one of our illustrious conductors at past concerts, is a man of many talents. He is an acclaimed tenor soloist, a voice teacher, a saxophone instructor, and an artist who enjoys drawing, painting and astronomy.
- He has conducted major works including
- Lehar's "The Merry Widow"
- Ellingboe's "Requiem"
- He has performed many works including
- Handel's "Judas Maccabeus," "The Messiah," and "Giulio Caesare"
- Rossini's "Petite Messe Sollenelle"
- Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Gondoliers," "The Yeoman of the Guard," and "Pirates of Penzance"
- He worked as Chorus Master for the Alexander Singers of North York for their productions of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Ruddigore" and "Fiddler on the Roof."
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Steve received his undergraduate degree in Voice and Composition from the University of Toronto and his Masters Degree in Music from the University of NM in Voice and Conducting. He studied conducting under acclaimed directors Dr. Doreen Rao, the late Jacques Hetu, Dwight Bennett, and Dr. Bradley Ellingboe. His voice instructors included Louis Quilico, Gary Relyea, Marcella Neugeld, Maestro Bill Neill, and Dr. Angela Hawaleshka.
Michael Mauldin - Past Conductor
Michael Maudlin, one of our illustrious conductors at past concerts, is a well-known pianist, composer, and conductor. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, at the Kennedy Center, and in Europe and Australia.
- In 1980, he was named "Composer of the Year" in a national competition sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association.
- His CD, "Enchanted Land," was inspired by the landscapes of New Mexico and performed by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
Michael also served as Music Director of the Albuquerque Boy Choir for seven years. The group grew into three choirs of eighty-five boys who performed with American Boy Choir, The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, and others. The choir produced three CDs during Michael's time there, plus toured Hawaii, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and London.