Administrative Staff


Steven C. Murray, Executive Director

Steven C. Murray is a nonprofit executive specializing in the areas of branding, technology, resource utilization and institutional advancement. Mr. Murray began as Executive Director of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City in December 2010. Before his appointment with the Youth Symphony, he designed and implemented education strategies at professional orchestras for five years, serving as Director of the Cedar Rapids Symphony School of Music (now Orchestra Iowa School) and Education Manager for the Kansas City Symphony. He has served in a variety of leadership roles within the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years.

Mr. Murray earned degrees in music education (violin/trombone) and communication arts (EM – television/radio) from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Mr. Murray is an Eagle Scout and recently completed a two-year stint as Cubmaster of his son’s Cub Scout Pack.

He has served as a grant panelist for the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and as an adjudicator for Nonprofit Connect’s Philly Awards for excellence in nonprofit marketing and communications.

From 2011-2020, he served on the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras Youth Orchestra Division, including two terms as Vice-Chair during that time.He is an unabashed two-spacer, though insistent upon AP style in all other respects.



Keith Stanfield, Artistic Director 

Keith Stanfield is Concertmaster of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra, member of The Opus 76 Quartet, an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music (London, UK) and an active concert violinist and non-profit leader based in the US. 

In addition to his classical music and outreach initiatives, Keith is a former soccer player and represented Western Samoa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He played five matches for the country (scoring two goals) before retiring to focus on the violin. He has coached soccer in the UK and the USA. He has also written articles for a number of publications including The Strad and the The Catholic Herald. In addition to serving as the Artistic Director here at the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, he also oversees and coaches for the YSKC Academy and teaches as a visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music.



Alex Ayala, Admissions Officer & Program Coordinator

Alex Ayala is Admissions Officer and Program Coordinator for Youth Symphony of Kansas City. She has many years of experience providing exceptional customer support in community education and outreach, field operations, project management, office management and campaign finance compliance. Alex has a proven record of program development and has created and implemented community education programs for youth at a large non-profit organization. Alex is a native of Kansas City and is enthusiastic about bringing her decades of experiences to YSKC. Her secret talent: baking from scratch, especially peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. 



Dani Hoisington, Program & Marketing Manager

Dani Hoisington is a Kansas City native and joins Youth Symphony of Kansas City as an 8-year alumna. After studying Violin Performance and serving as Orchestra Manager at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, she continued as a Graduate Assistant of Dr. Shannon Thomas at Florida State University but changed course after a year to take a position at a KC-based cybersecurity company.

Dani spent six years in the cybersecurity space as an events, marketing, and sales training professional, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her passion for classical music with her marketing and operations expertise.

In addition to her position at YSKC, Dani also serves as Business & Operations Manager for The Opus 76 Quartet, Kansas City’s professional string quartet, and provides freelance social media and marketing services to various Kansas City-based arts organizations.

She and her partner, Will, enjoy eating their way around KC and traveling. 


Gregory A. Carroll, Director of Development

Gregory A. Carroll is a seasoned arts executive, performer and educator. Prior to joining Youth Symphony of Kansas City, Greg founded and operated Midnight Blue Jazz, LLC, providing creative, scholarly and strategic services to nonprofit, education and corporate communities. Greg also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Director of Education with the International Association for Jazz Education and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado. He has performed both jazz and classical music and played on over twenty-two jazz recordings.

Mr. Carroll holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Greg and his wife, Dr. Doris Wright Carroll, reside in North Kansas City where they enjoy golfing, hanging with friends and family and are devoted K-State Cat Backers. Go Cats!


Alex Long, Development Associate

A native Kansas Citian, Alex Long graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in peace and conflict studies. She began her development career interning for the Children’s Center of the Visually Impaired and Big Brother’s Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City before working for Union Station.

She is thrilled to join the Youth Symphony of Kansas City team in their mission of educating and inspiring future musicians who call Kansas City home. When not working, Alex is happy spending her days cuddling with her sweet snaggle-toothed pup, Finnegan.