Chris Kim

PYSO Philharmonic Conductor

Chris Kim is the Choi Family Endowed Director of Instrumental Activities and conductor of the Occidental Symphony Orchestra at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The League of American Orchestras/ASCAP has recognized his advocacy of contemporary music by awarding him the Adventurous Programming Award six times between 2008-2014. The American Prize has recognized his work from 2014-2018 in multiple categories. He has premiered over 250 new works for orchestra. He has sought to program worthy, unknown repertoire with orchestras. In the 2016-2017 season, all concerts by the Cornell Symphony Orchestra featured works by women composers both present and past; Kristin Kuster, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jacqueline Jeeyoung Kim, Tonia Ko, Joan Tower, and Lili Boulanger. During the 2017-2018 season, Jazz-influenced works permeated the repertoire of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra; Duke Ellington, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Parker, and Wynton Marsalis. At Cornell University he directed the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra.  The Cornell Chamber Orchestra was a featured ensemble at the College Orchestra Directors Association’s National Conference in 2012. The Cornell Orchestras have formed multiple collaborative relationships with the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, Conservatorio de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR, and Sinfónica del Neuquén in Argentina, and have taken multiple visits to these sister cities. In January of 2019, Cornell Orchestras embarked on a tour to Taiwan to collaborate with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra as well as Engagement activities with five different student orchestras across the city of Taipei. Cornell Orchestra and Ithaca College Orchestras have jointly presented the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclasses for over a decade bringing conducting pedagogues such as Carl St. Clair, Larry Rachleff, and David Effron, Alexander Polischuk, and Gustav Meier to work with young conductors.

He has led opera productions at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea in the production of Magic Flute as well as having been the music director of the Comic Opera Guild in Ann Arbor, MI where he conducted Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow, Mozart’s Magic Flute as well as Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. He has appeared with orchestras in the US and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria, and Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has appeared in music festivals such as Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary. Each summer he is a part of the faculty at Cortona sessions for new music where he teaches conducting and helps premiere new works by composers from around the world.

Jack Taylor

PYSO Symphony Conductor

Jack Taylor, a former member of PYSO, is now recognized as one of the top music educators in Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Music Education from Southern Oregon University. His background of excellence in music training and his passion for teaching students provides a well-balanced approach for music education. Mr. Taylor has taught music in Temple City for nine years at the elementary and intermediate school levels. His groups consistently receive superior ratings at area music festivals. In addition to his groups at Temple City, Mr. Taylor serves as the conductor of the Pasadena City College Community Concert Band and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra.

Pin Chen

PYSO Sinfonia Conductor

Pin Chen began studying the violin with her father at the age of six and has been teaching private violin and viola lessons since she was 14 years old. She graduated at the top of her class with a Master of Music degree in Music Education with a Conducting Specialization at Colorado State University, Fort Collins and received her Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental and general music education with Department Honors from Northwestern University. Ms. Chen is the Vice President of String Education of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and is Orchestra Director at Arcadia High School, which boasts one of the largest school orchestra programs in the state. She is the President and Founder of Crescendo Young Musicians Guild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for music education, performance, and community service for youth of all socio-economic backgrounds in the LA area. Ms. Chen is listed in the Cambridge Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals and is an active member of the Music Teachers Association of California.

Gary Yearick

PYSO Wind Ensemble Conductor

Gary Yearick received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Long Beach State University in 1979. He has a Single Subject Credential in Music, and a Junior College Life Credential. Gary has taught instrumental music at Temple City High School, Oak Ave. Intermediate School in Temple City, and currently teaches at Oaks Middle School in Ontario. Gary has been a member of the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association since 1980. He has been a PAC Judge since 1987, a Head Judge since 1991, and currently is VP, Parade Adjudication. He has been member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association since 1987.

Kyle Smith

Prelude Strings Conductor

Kyle Smith began playing the trumpet in fifth grade under the direction of Jack Taylor. Upon graduating from Temple City High School, he attended California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at CSUF, Kyle was also a member of the University Honors Program and the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. Kyle previously taught band and orchestra in La Cañada for seven years, and is currently in his first year as one of the Instrumental Music Directors in the Temple City Unified School District, where he teaches the elementary school bands, as well as Band 1 and Intermediate Orchestra at Oak Ave. Intermediate School. He is also a member of the teaching staff at Bellis Music Camp, which is a week-long camp held each summer in the Angeles National Forest dedicated to musical and social development of middle school students. He is enjoying his third year with the esteemed Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras and the All-City Orchestra.