Meet Our Directors

Youth Symphony Director, Dr. Joseph Rodgers

Dr. Joseph Rodgers has been the Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) musical director since 2009. He previously served on the Board and has played cello as a soloist with YSO. Dr. Rodgers joined the faculty of Minnesota State University, Mankato in the fall of 2007, after serving on the faculty of Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS as well as Emporia State University.

Dr. Rodgers holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Master of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and a certificate in Orchestral Conducting from International Workshops/Western Michigan University, and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas. As a performer, Joseph Rodgers has worked with many well-known conductors, having performed in solo, chamber music and orchestral settings in Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Australia as well as in over 15 states here in the USA.

Dr. Rodgers had been active as a private teacher, conductor and adjunct faculty member at several colleges in the Midwest, including Central College (Pella, IA) Grinnell College and Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA), and was an advocate of education and outreach for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in and around Kuala Lumpur from 1998 to 2002. At Minnesota State University, he directs the MSU Orchestra, and teaches cello, bass and music theory. He also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Rodgers is a member of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), Conductors Guild of America, College Music Society, American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and MNSOTA.

Youth Philharmonic & NorthStar Strings Director, Mark Wamma

Mark grew up in Mankato and is a MAYSO alum. He is a 2009 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN where he received a B.A. in Music focusing on violin performance. He has had the privilege to study under Peter McGuire, Brian Buckstead, Jonathan Magness, Lara MacLean, and Marilyn Bos.

He is a prolific teacher, with over forty students including those from Minnesota State University, Mankato; Martin Luther College; the New Ulm Suzuki School; and his private studio. In addition to teaching and conducting, Mark is an active performer. He is the Assistant Principal 2nd violin for the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra; a section violinist in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra; and a substitute player for other regional symphonies. Furthermore, Mark is a founding member of the River Valley String Quartet.

Youth Winds Director, Dr. Amy K. Roisum Foley

Dr. Roisum Foley has served as the director of MAYWE since its inception in 2016. She is also the Director of the Concert Bands and an Associate Professor of Music at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Roisum Foley administrates and conducts the Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and conducts and coaches chamber ensembles. Her teaching also includes graduate conducting, undergraduate conducting, and instrumental music education courses. She has served as guest conductor and clinician for honor bands and festivals throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Carolina and Canada. In addition, she advises the MSU chapter of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference and serves of several departmental and university committees.

Dr. Roisum Foley received her BM in music education from St. Olaf College her MA in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Thomas and her PhD in Music Education and Wind Band Conducting from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her major instructors include Maestro Craig Kirchhoff, Dr. Paul Haack and Dr. David Teachout. Prior to attending the University, she served for six years in the Lakeville, MN Public Schools.

Dr. Roisum Foley is the founder of the Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble, a semi-professional volunteer wind ensemble, whose mission is to perform the highest level of wind band and wind ensemble repertoire. Dr. Roisum Foley has served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Music Educators Association and the Minnesota Band Directors Association.

Summer Winds & Summer Jazz Director, Dave Stordalen

Dave is a 20-year veteran of public school education in North Dakota and Minnesota and currently serves as the Director of Bands for Truman Schools. Dave performs regularly in the region in the Armstrong Boulevard Brass Quintet, the Southern Minnesota Real Big Band and the Rock/R & B band “Powerhouse.” Dave is a 30-year veteran of the Army National Guard and recently retired as Bandmaster of the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band in Rosemount, MN.