Meet your MYO Faculty
Betty Perry, Founder and Artistic Director EMERITUS, ISO COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR
Betty Perry is a native of New York City and a product of the renowned Third Street Music School Settlement. She has held a career as a successful violist and teacher. Perry has been teaching music to underserved youth in Indianapolis since 1980. Many of her students have become professional musicians and some have developed music programs based on her program model.
Perry was introduced to the viola in the public school system at the age of 12. She began her viola studies at the Third Street Music School Settlement on a music scholarship and studied under Julius Shaier. Her teachers also include Paul Doktor, Harris Danzinger, Sol Greitzer and Lawrence Shapiro. Perry attended the New York College of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Butler University. Co-founder and former principal violist of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, Perry has also played in the Cosmopolitan Orchestra of New York, the Symphony of the New World, NYC, the Richmond Symphony and has held principal positions in the Kokomo Symphony and the Wabash College Chamber Orchestra.
Her many awards include The City of Indianapolis Mayor’s award for Excellence in Education, Who’s Who in Black Indianapolis, the NUVO Cultural Vision Award, Indianapolis Center for Leadership Development Empowering Youth – Distinguished Achievement Award in the Arts, Butler University’s Gus Poulimas award in Education, the Indiana Youth Institute’s Youth Investment Award and the Indiana Arts Commission’s Artist-in-Education Award.
KRYSTLE FORD, DIRECTOR
Krystle Ford, an Indianapolis native, is a violinist and alumnus of Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts. She comes from a family of musicians, namely the Laswell family that played alongside the jazz greats on the historical Indiana Avenue. Krystle became a member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra in 1997, and served as a mentor and later as a violin teacher under the direction of Ms. Betty Perry. She has traveled to London where she studied violin and music business as well as Spain where she gave demonstrations on jazz violin to young students at Las Musicas. She has had the privilege to play alongside great musicians such as Pookie Johnson, Melvin Rhyne, Clifford Ratliff, Richard Wyands, Everett Greene, Bobby McFerrin, David Baker, Greg Buford, Doug Harris, David Young, and Larry Ridley. She has also been a member of various string ensembles backing Grammy Award winning gospel artists Tye Tribbet, Kim Burrell and Donald Lawrence. She is also a two-time winner of the world renowned Showtime at the Apollo competition and has played for Jazz Mobile in Harlem, the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jazz Legacy Ensemble in New York, Danville Symphony, the IAJE and NAJRI conference in NYC and North Carolina, Nubian Heritage Concert Series, Schomburg Center in Harlem, Soundtrack ’63 at The New School, Southampton Film Fest and the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Fest. She served as Artistic Director for the Noel Pointer Foundation and has recently relocated to Indianapolis where she serves as the Associate Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.
Ray teaches violin and is the conductor for Orchestra B.
Sarah leads cello sectionals for Orchestra B and also teaches cello.
Susan teaches viola and has been with MYO since 2014.
What is your favorite thing about MYO? The fantastic mission created and sustained by a most amazing director Ms. Perry, her dedicated staff, and the wonderful students, past & present.
What is something interesting about you? I loved to climb as a child. I grew up in Taiwan and my family had a water tower several stories high, storing water during typhoons. Grape vines with big black grapes grew all over it. I used to climb up picking and eating them while watching the goings-on in the neighborhood from up there. I still love to hike to top of mountains for gorgeous sceneries.
Shannon leads the MYO Parent Ensemble and also teaches violin & viola. Shannon also leads viola secionals for Orchestra B. She has been with MYO since 2003.
What is your favorite thing about MYO? Everyone is family!
What is something interesting about you? I was once a pre-med student.
Adrienne started with MYO in 2016. She is an alumni of the program and is currently teaching cello lessons for all ensembles.
Greg teaches bass for MYO and has done so since 2014. He is also a bassist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
What is your favorite thing about MYO? Working with talented, young bass students!
What is something interesting about you? I love to ride trains!
Liz teaches cello and leads sectionals for Orchestra A
What is your favorite thing about MYO? My favorite thing about MYO is the family feeling and fellow teachers.
What is something interesting about you? My husband and I have been taking ballroom dancing for over 15 years. Still learning!
Dean teaches violin for MYO.
Sarah teaches bass for MYO.
Jennifer has led violin sectionals for Orchestra A since 2013. She is also a violinist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
What is your favorite thing about MYO? The approach of building community.
What do you do for fun? I love to sew and take walks with my family.
Jesse teaches violin for MYO.
James has been teaching violin for MYO since 2014, but he first joined MYO as a student in 1995!
What is your favorite thing about MYO? I love MYO social events!
What is your favorite music to play or listen to? My favorite piece to play is Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof.
Martin teaches cello for MYO.
Alanna teaches violin & viola for MYO.
Joanna teaches violin for MYO.
Bonnie teaches violin and viola for MYO.
we are also proud to work with our BCAS Teaching Fellows
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