Administrative Staff

Steven C. Murray, Executive Director
smurray@youthsymphonykc.org

Organizational Advancement
Brian Williams, Director of Advancement
brian@youthsymphonykc.org

Bri Hopkins, Advancement Associate
bhopkins@youthsymphonykc.org

Program Operations
Russ Pieken, Director of Operations
rpieken@youthsymphonykc.org

Mackenzie Williams, Operations Assistant
mwilliams@youthsymphonykc.org

Jacob Bubb, Music Librarian
jbubb@youthsymphonykc.org

 

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 (Iowa) and Education Manager for the Kansas City Symphony (Mo.)  He has served in nonprofit leadership positions for more than 15 years.

Mr. Murray earned degrees in music education and communication arts (EM – television/radio) from Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa).  In June 2011, Mr. Murray was elected to the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras Youth Orchestra Division and currently serves as Vice-Chair.  He is an unabashed two-spacer, though insistent upon AP style in all other respects, and is an occasional tweeter at @stevencmurray.

 

Brian Williams, Director of Advancement

Brian Williams began his nonprofit career at United Way of Metro Chicago in 2004 and while there he served in several key roles in development. He worked within the United Way organization for nine years.  Brian began at the Youth Symphony of Kansas City as Director of Advancement in October 2016. He previously served at Kansas City Actors Theatre as their Director of Development and Marketing where he designed and implemented an annual fundraising and marketing plan for the theater.

Brian’s background is in the arts – theater in particular.  He received a bachelor of arts in theater at UMKC and his master of fine arts in acting at The University of Iowa.  Upon graduation he moved to Chicago.  Brian is an avid runner and has run several marathons.

 

Bri Hopkins, Advancement Associate

Bri Hopkins joined the Youth Symphony team in 2017. She earned her bachelor of arts in theatre and arts administration from Drury University and cultivated her passion for arts advocacy and entrepreneurship. As a student, Bri was an agent of engagement for the community and helped connect people through the arts which she is excited to continue in Kansas City. Bri’s past efforts in arts advocacy have taken her from Jefferson City to Washington D.C. to educate Missouri’s senators and representatives at the state and federal level.

 

 

Russ Pieken, Director of Operations

Russ Pieken has been a music educator for 20 years in Kansas and Missouri. During this time he taught strings/orchestra at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Russ has been privileged and honored to have conducted performances in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and for the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.  Groups under his direction have also performed for the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference and National Association for Music Education. In 2008 he was awarded the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts/National Symphony Orchestra National Music Educator Fellowship.  Russ holds a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a master of education degree from Baker University. Russ is proud to be an alumnus of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City.  Russ is married to his wife of 20 years, Laurie, and they have two wonderful, kind and compassionate kids, Joseph and Norah.

 

Mackenzie Williams, Operations Assistant 

Mackenzie Williams is a senior studying oboe performance with a business management minor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory.  Mackenzie is a Trustee Scholar and an Honors College student.  She has performed in many ensembles including the UMKC Wind Ensemble, chamber groups, the Illinois All-State Band and All-State Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and traveled Europe with the Illinois Ambassadors of Music.  Recently, she served as an intern for the Kansas City Symphony and worked on events such as Celebration at the Station and multiple large-scale concerts.

 

Jacob Bubb, Music Librarian

Jacob Bubb is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. In recent years, Jacob has performed with the UMKC Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and Tuba-Euphonium ensemble in Washington D.C., San Antonio, Chicago at the Midwest Clinic, and other national and regional conferences and competitions. Jacob has worked with many middle and high schools in the Kansas City area, and currently is the Director of Bands at McLouth School District (Kan.)  In high school, Jacob was a three year member of the Missouri All-State Band as a euphonium player, and played trombone and tuba in other performing ensembles in the St. Louis area. Jacob joined the Youth Symphony of Kansas City staff in 2014 and served as an artistic intern in the program in 2013.

 

Share →