Accomplished musical artist, Dr. Brandon Loos has captured the attention of audiences throughout the United States and abroad with his musical mastery and finesse.
He has had the good fortune to travel extensively overseas as a musician performing in Spain, Ischia, Italy, Austria, and Argentina. Dr. Loos has shared the stage with world renowned artists including James Morrison, Jens Lindemann, Thomas Gansch, and Hans Gansch.
In addition to performing with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra as a core member and serving as Artistic Director and conductor for Volusia Community Arts, Brandon is equally committed to his profile as a teacher, working with students of all ages and abilities through his position at the College of Central Florida and an active private studio. He is thrilled to be working with Flagler Youth Orchestra.
Victor Luis Rivera was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico in 1977. In 1989, at the age of 12, Victor began to study violin under the tutelage of Deborah Dansby Wells as a member of the Deltona Middle School String Fever Program. While continuing his studies with Mrs. Dansby until graduating Deltona High School in 1995, he participated as Concertmaster in the Volusia County’s "All-County" orchestra and won the Florida Future Music Educators Soloist Competition. In 1992, Victor became Concertmaster of "Ars de Chiesa Orchestra" and Concertmaster of the Stetson Youth Chamber Orchestra under the guidance of Routa Kroumovitch at Stetson University. He also began to study violin privately with Dr. Alvaro Gomez and received a scholarship to study at Stetson University School of Music.
Victor Luis Rivera is a War Veteran who proudly served his country in the United States Army. After joining in 1996, he received multiple awards and commendations for his actions in and out of combat. In 2003, as a member of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, he was a part of the liberation force which invaded Iraq. Mr. Rivera later retired from military service due to injuries received in combat. Upon receiving his honorable discharge Victor resumed his studies under Dr. Gomez, and continued his education earning an Associates of Arts from Daytona State College, a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Rollins College with a focus in Violin Performance and Conducting, as well as a Masters of Arts in Teaching: Music Education. While attending Rollins, he was the Student Conductor for the Rollins Orchestra, String Ensemble, and Concert Choir Under the tutelage of Dr. John V. Sinclair.
Victor has performed with many organizations in the Central Florida area, such as the Bach Festival Orchestra, Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Maitland Symphony Orchestra, Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Daytona Beach Community Orchestra, and is the Concert Master of Sabbath Strings.
Victor is also a 5th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Karate and enjoys teaching and studying martial arts and self-defense at Wes Crile in Deltona under 7th Degree Black Belt Michael Abrams.
Hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, cellist Gracie Lookadoo graduated in 2021 with a Bachelors in Music Technology from Stetson University. Their fifteen years of study have included two performances in Carnegie Hall, a performance tour of Italy and the Vatican, as well as several self produced albums under the monikers “August Moon” (in collaboration with composer Gracie Caggiano) and “Fallen From Grace” (a solo project). Gracie’s ensemble endeavors over the years have included tours and performances with the Carolina Youth Symphony, the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Chamber and Symphonic Orchestras, Stetson University’s Chamber and Symphonic Orchestras, and the Delphi 421 Early Music Society.
Gracie specializes in extended techniques for cello, often incorporating electrical components and alternative playing styles into live and recorded works. They credit their creative inspiration to mentors Dr. Jamie Clark, David Bjella, Dr. Chaz Underriner, and Dr. Nathan Wolek, whose support and encouragement during their time at Stetson played a key role in their development as an independent artist.
During the day, Gracie is a competitive Ballroom and Latin dancer, teaching out of the Arthur Murray Studio in Ormond Beach. Their other passions include scuba diving, natural photography, travel, writing (music or otherwise), and creating with whatever they can get their hands on. If you ever wonder where Gracie is, the answer is “on the way to the next big adventure”.
I was educated at home under the effective tutelage of my mother who played acoustic guitar and piano admirably. During my early life, the presence of music in some form or another was frequent and did not affect my conscious mind with any particular significance. I thought of music as breathing air or drinking water, not as something craved, but expected, unremarkable, and constant. As a young boy, I always assumed that at some point that I would attempt some instrument or another, but lacking distinct motivation towards any one choice, I delayed the pursuit until the age of nine or ten, when I decided rather arbitrarily, or perhaps preternaturally, that I would like to focus on the bass guitar. This whim was shallowly rooted, and with little difficulty I was convinced by a peer enrolled as a violinist to try the upright bass. The lessons were free of charge, the instrument would be provided during class, and I would have the freedom to apply at least some of what I learned to the bass guitar if I decided the orchestra wasn't for me.
I joined the Flagler Youth Orchestra at the beginning of its second year, and I never left. I participated in the program through graduation and consistently volunteered my time as an assistant, stagehand, and tutor. I've had many capable and even renowned music instructors over the years, and the wisdom of each has propelled me into the privilege of playing both upright and bass guitar in a variety of settings including full orchestral ensembles, chamber groups, church services, informal gigs, private jam sessions, and even political events. After graduating I continued to attend FYO concerts from the audience, until I received the offer to teach bass fundamentals, and was again granted the honor of direct participation. Besides my involvement as a teacher, I have a wife named Cheyenne, a son named Elias, and an appreciation for a variety of cheeses.
The accessibility of this program altered the course of my life, made friendships that are sustained to this day, and gave me a depth of appreciation for music which promises to be a lifelong endeavor to explore.
With special thanks to Mrs. Cheryl Tristam for her service to the program and my life.
Dr. Pamela Mireles is a Mexican-American violinist with different talents and strengths in her musical career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance (2017) in the Escuela Superior de Música from the Fine Arts and Literature National Institute in Mexico City, and her masters in Violin Performance (2019) and her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Violin Performance with a cognate in Entrepreneurship (2022) from the University of Florida.
Since her studies in the hometown in Mexico, Dr. Mireles has performed as a soloist, joined jazz bands, folkloric music ensembles, new music projects, chamber music and orchestra performances, both in the classical and pop style. Nowadays, Pamela spends her time freelancing in several orchestras around North Florida, teaching violin lessons (privately and in public education), teaching music appreciation online as an adjunct and translating in-person lessons and masterclasses from Spanish to English and vice versa.
San Antonio studied music and English at the University of Florida, earning a degree in violin performance under the instruction of Dr. Janna Lower. There she played in various chamber ensembles, worked as orchestra manager of the UFSO, and completed certificates in violin performance and music and medicine. She channeled her love of literature and music into teaching, going on to receive a Master of Arts in English Education and study the Suzuki method of violin education with Rolando Freitag, Mark Mutter, and Judy W. Bossuat-Gallic.
Lacy has performed with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, the Gainesville Orchestra, the Vienna Summer Music Festival, and currently plays with the Solisti Chamber Orchestra. Lacy has also worked with various community organizations, such as Gators for Music, the UF health ensemble, the Cade museum youth music workshop, and UF Shands Hospital Arts in Medicine program.
In her free time, Lacy enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and 12 year old Chihuahua Yorkie mix, Teddy. Outside of teaching at FYO, Lacy maintains a small private studio and teaches at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. She is grateful to teach at FYO!
Evan Hernández is a recent graduate of the Stetson University School of Music, where she won the Community Award for her private violin instruction. Evan has organized concerts focused on highlighting the work of marginalized composers, she has worked for Boulanger Initiative, and she views music as the most effective method of change. Evan has traveled across Europe performing as a violinist to Germany, Italy, and the UK, including England and Wales. While at Stetson, Evan was the President of the National Honor Society for First-Generation College Students, the Vice President and Historian of Mu Beta Psi (a music and community service organization), she was co-section leader, and she was involved in various other projects on campus, such as Delta 421 and composition studio projects. Evan also attended the Longy Divergent Studio as a Composer and a Violinist/Performer in June 2023. Prior to attending Stetson, Evan was a concertmaster at the Flagler Youth Orchestra and a member of the quartet, she was a trombonist in the honors band at FPC, and she was an IB student.
"I am very grateful to have had the opportunities that led me to pursue collegiate level studies on the violin, and I would like to give those opportunities back before I go to graduate school. The Flagler Youth Orchestra is a deeply important and special program that I'm greatly looking forward to contributing to!"