Our Mission

At Nextgen, our vision is to provide learning opportunities for instrumental music students of all ages and abilities through individual instruction, performance ensembles, community involvement, and music appreciation. 

 

We believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop their intellectual and artistic capacity through playing a musical instrument and participating in a variety of musical ensembles and opportunities.

 

We aim to support and supplement the work being done in public and private music education, and to provide resources that help students put to use and further what they learn in their school music programs and private lessons.

Who We Are

Conductors for Nextgen ensembles are chosen for their expertise and musicianship. All our staff are active as professional musicians and prepared to give students expert instruction based on real world experience.

450044895957189014-2.0.185.1480.1480.full.jpg

Dr. Brian Norcross

Artistic Director, Allegretto Director and Conductor

Dr. Brian Norcross is not only the Artistic Director of Allegro Orchestra Lancaster but also one of its founders. His passion for creating a joyful experience when conducting, playing and listening to classical music drives much of Allegro’s artistic vision and audience experience.

 

Many people know Brian from Franklin & Marshall College where he is the Conductor of Instrumental Ensembles. He is also well known around the community as the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church.

 

He and his wife Kim have four children: Molly, Megan, Greyson and Gloria.

 

Dr. Zach Levi

Overture Director and Conductor

Zachary Levi is the high school orchestra director in the Southern York County School District as well as the orchestra director at York College.  By the summer of 2018 he plans to have completed his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from Catholic University.  In addition to teaching and conducting, Zach is an active cellist performing with Allegro and the York Symphony.  He lives in Columbia with his wife Johanna and their son Samuel.

zachlevi.jpg
 
Beth_Lavender_head_shot._square.jpeg

Beth Lavender

Prelude and Intermezzo Strings Director

Elizabeth Lavender graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Music degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she studied cello with Leighton Conkling, and has done graduate work in music education and cello performance at Hartt School of Music, including participation in cello master classes under David Wells. Beth is a member of Allegro Orchestra Lancaster and also serves on its board. Past orchestral affiliations include the Huntington (WV) Chamber Orchestra and the Lancaster (PA) Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing with Allegro, she is an active free-lance cellist in the Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg areas.

In 2016, Beth retired after a 35-year career as a public school string teacher and orchestra director, primarily in the Hempfield School District, where she worked with string students at all levels, grades 4-12. She has served as guest conductor for the Central Dauphin Honors Orchestra, the Dauphin County Elementary Orchestra, and the LLMEA Middle School County Orchestra, and has been on the faculty of the Strings Excell Elementary String Camp at Elizabethtown College for over 25 years. Under Allegro’s NextGen Youth program, she currently serves as conductor of both the Prelude and Intermezzo string orchestras. She is the author of A Better Beginning: A Pre-Method for Starting Young String Students, and has presented workshops on incorporating the Paul Rolland approach in school settings locally in Pennsylvania (PMEA Districts 7, 11, and 12) as well as at the state and eastern US level (PMEA Conference, NAfME Eastern Division Conference). She was recently the recipient of the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association's 2019 Outstanding String Teacher Award, for "outstanding achievement as a string teacher and contributions to the string profession."

 

Nina Missildine

Prelude and Intermezzo Strings Interim Co-Director

Nina Missildine found her calling for viola performance and music education at an early age. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a concentration in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College, a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance with an emphasis in chamber music from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Since 2005, Nina has taught in a large private violin and viola studio and piloted an elementary string program for at-risk students in North Carolina. Upon completion of her Master’s Degree in 2009, she has been the orchestra director and strings instructor at Maryville Middle School and Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School in Maryville, TN.

 

In addition to her music education background, Nina has been an active performer as a violist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Mountains, and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Nina currently teaches private violin and viola lessons at The Academy of Arts and Sciences at Church of the Apostles in Lancaster, PA.

Nina.png
drew peris.jpg

Drew Peris

Poco Accelerando Chamber Ensemble Director

Drew Peris is a professional violinist, string instrument teacher, and current Director of Orchestras at Lancaster Mennonite School. He grew up in Lancaster and attended Millersville University. He holds two Bachelor's degrees in Music Ed and Violin Performance from MU. He has performed with several orchestras including the Hershey Symphony and Millersville University Symphony Orchestra, and has done recording work as a studio musician at several large radio stations, including XPN World Cafe in Philadelphia. He has an extensive history as a liturgical musician and director at multiple churches in the Lancaster area, and has worked with Music For Everyone on several occasions helping to lead music camps. In his free time he loves to play his instruments and make music with family and friends. He also enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with family!

Scott Cullen

Intermezzo Winds Director

  Mr. Cullen teaches instrumental music for grades 7 through 12 for the Octorara Area School District.  Prior to working at Octorara, Mr. Cullen taught elementary band and middle school performing arts classes for the Central Bucks School District.  Mr. Cullen joined the music department at Octorara in 2002 and teaches high school music electives such as guitar, piano, music theory, and music appreciation, in addition to teaching middle school band, high school band, high school marching band, and high school jazz band. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Immaculata University teaching trombone lessons.


          Believing that professional affiliations are essential as an educator, Mr. Cullen has been a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association for his entire career. His activities and roles with PMEA have been varied. He has hosted or co-hosted five high school honors festivals for band, orchestra, and chorus students. He has also had an active role as a leader in District 12 serving at various times as president, festival coordinator, advocacy chair, and curriculum and instruction chair. In these roles Scott has also served on the PMEA state board.

YPN47KJ9-29188_original.jpeg
 
jbrack.jpg

John Brackbill

Intermezzo Winds Director

John Brackbill is the HS Director of Bands, 4th Grade Band Director and Instructional Facilitator for K-12 Music in Manheim Central School District. He is entering his 21st year of teaching, and his 14th year at Manheim Central. Prior to his appointment in Manheim, John taught middle school band, orchestra, chorus and general music in the School District of Lancaster.

 

His responsibilities include directing the high school marching, concert and jazz bands; teaching music electives such as music theory and music technology; directing the high school spring musical orchestra; 4th grade beginning band instruction; and leading the K-12 music department in curriculum and instruction. He was the 2015 Manheim Central High School Teacher of the Year and was a 2019 quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award. In 2019, he was also the Pennsylvania recipient of School Band & Orchestra magazine "Directors Who Make a Difference" award.


He is a 1998 graduate of JP McCaskey High School; he holds a B.S. in Music Education (magna cum laude) from Elizabethtown College, a M.M. in Wind Conducting (summa cum laude) from Messiah University and is currently pursuing his D.M.A. in Music Education through Boston University.

Caitlin Jodoin

Nextgen Program Director

Caitlin Jodoin is a tubist based York, Pennsylvania. She also doubles on bass trombone, flugabone, and sousaphone. Caitlin holds her Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Education from the University of Toronto. She studied tuba with Jen Stephen and Sal Fratia as well as conducting with Jeff Reynolds and Uri Mayer. Caitlin graduated in 2020 from New York University earning her Master’s degree in Music with a focus on tuba performance under the instruction of Marcus Rojas and Kyle Turner. 

Caitlin has performed in her hometown of Toronto with groups such as Hannaford Youth and Silver Bands, Weston Silver Band, Pan Fantasy Steel Band, Toronto Community Orchestra, and Kingston Brass. During her years in New York City, Caitlin was a co-leader and co-founding member of eGALitarian, an all-female brass ensemble playing classical as well as NOLA style brass band music. She has been seen playing with groups such as: Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Festival Theater Hudson, Canterbury Choral Society, Ensemble Mise-En, Brass Queens NYC, ConSoul Big Band, The Game Brass, and the Mannes Symphony Orchestra. Since her recent move to York from NYC, Caitlin was asked to perform Mahler No. 3 with Franklin and Marshall as part of their mentorship orchestra. 
 

One of Caitlin’s goals is to amplify voices from minority communities. She has commissioned works from different female artists including a tuba solo with piano, tuba and trombone duet, and a graphic score duet.

DSC00834 (1).jpg