Conductor Biographies

Dr. Amber PetersonDr. Amber Dahlen Peterson, is an Associate Professor of Music and the Mazie Barnett Kilmer Chair for Strings Education at Southwestern College. Through this position, she conducts the South Kansas Symphony, provides violin and viola lessons, and teaches music education, history, and theory courses. Peterson completed her Ph.D. in Music Education, with a cognate in Music Cognition and Psychology, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She also holds music education degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She completed the Suzuki Violin Teacher Training program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and has earned additional graduate credit at The Ohio State University and University of Iowa. Some of her influential teachers include William Bauer, Lisa Huisman Koops, Kathleen Horvath, Lisa Boyko, Deborah Dakin, and Nobuyoshi Yasuda. Peterson has performed with many semi-professional and community symphonies, pit orchestras, and chamber ensembles throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio. She currently plays with the Delano Chamber Orchestra, the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony, and the Hutchinson Symphony. Prior to beginning her doctorate, Peterson taught orchestra in Moline, Illinois, teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has also served on the staff of the Cole Family Summer Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Illinois Summer Youth Music, Illinois Ambassadors of Music, and the Cleveland Music School Settlement. She has held leadership positions in the Illinois Music Education Association and American String Teachers Association. She currently co-chairs the KASTA State Solo Competition. Peterson’s articles have appeared in American String TeacherContributions to Music EducationArts Education Policy Review, and Visions of Research in Music Education. She has presented sessions for state music education conferences in Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as national conferences of the American String Teachers Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Symposium on Music Teacher Education, and the National Association for Music Education. 


South Kansas Symphony Advisory Board

  • Rae Lynn Baker
  • John Baker
  • Dr. Roger Storm
  • Ashton Humbert
  • Kylie Stamper
  • Candy Pettey
  • Madeline Norland

Office Staff

  • Maya Damron - Performing Arts Division Administrative Assistant
  • Jacob Giger - Stage manager
  • Sean Whitney - Assistant Stage Manager

Contact Information

Snail Mail: SKS, Performing Arts Office, 100 College St., Winfield, KS 67156

Phone: (620) 221-7720

Email: Amber Peterson —

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