Conductor Biographies

Amber Peterson, ConductorDr. Amber Dahlen Peterson, conductor, is assistant professor of music and the Mazie Barnett Kilmer Chair for String Education. Beyond her work with the symphony, she oversees the Southwestern College Youth Symphony, coaches the Williams String Quartet, and teaches viola and violin, string methods, and music fundamentals. Amber holds music education degrees from Case Western Reserve University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She also completed Suzuki Violin teacher training at Cleveland Institute of Music. Prior to coming to Winfield, Amber taught orchestra in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa and played violin and viola in many regional symphonies. Her research has appeared in Contributions to Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, and American String Teacher. Amber has been an active presenter for numerous state and national conferences, including American String Teachers Association, American Educational Research Association, Symposium on Music Teacher Education, and the NAfME Research and Teacher Education National Conference. Her specializations and research interests include music teacher education, string education, and music cognition and psychology.


Jayme HayesJayme Hayes, conductor, is Director of Bands and Choirs at Central USD 462 in Burden, KS. She oversees all instrumental ensembles in the district and vocal ensembles, grades 7-12. Her groups have received Superior and Excellent Ratings at Regional and State level festivals. Jayme has been a professional tubist in the Wichita area for over 10 years. She has played with Wichita Symphony Orchestra, South Kansas Symphony, Wichita Grande Opera, and Delano Chamber Brass. Jayme earned her Bachelors in Music Education and Bachelors in Tuba Performance from Wichita State University. She is currently working on her Masters in Instrumental Conducting through the American Band College program of Sam Houston State University. Jayme currently resides in Winfield with her husband and children.


Ismail Farid, SCYS Executive DirectorIsmail “Ish” Farid, Southwestern College Youth Symphony Executive Director Originally from Singapore, Ish and his family immigrated to the USA in July, 2000 and settled in Winfield, December 2002. A professional musician and entertainer since he was 20, Ish started playing the piano since the age of six and was trained under the London Royal School of Music program. At 16, he taught himself jazz and pop. After active duty with the Singapore Armed Forces, Ish launched his music career. He started as a restaurant pianist, then moved on to perform with jazz combos, lounge and show bands. During his professional career, Ish also coordinated holiday shows with hotels and accompanied and performed with singers from different parts of the world. Ish completed his professional degree with the Trinity College London, earning him the LTCL title. He is currently the Assistant Director of Orchestras with USD 465, Winfield, and Executive Director for the Southwestern College Youth Symphony. He teaches Jazz & Pop piano, improvisation and orchestral strings. Besides doing gigs with his daughter, Ish composes and does arrangements for string ensembles.


Linda Newby, Programs Manager, is a fourth grade teacher for USD 465 in Winfield. She enjoys reading and attending athletic events. Linda joined the orchestra, band, and choir on Southwestern College’s 2008 trip to Italy, and became close to many musicians. Her current role as Programs Manager for the symphony is to organize, plan, and help with the Golden Circle and other events. Linda is also a member of the Symphony’s Advisory Board. This is her seventh season as manager.

South Kansas Symphony Advisory Board:

  • Rae Lynn Baker
  • John Baker
  • Diana Williams
  • Pam Taylor
  • Susan Humbert
  • Linda Newby
  • Eva Farid
  • Amber Peterson

Office Staff:

  • Rose Hanna – Southwestern College Administrative Assistant
  • Linda Newby – South Kansas Symphony Programs Manager
  • Lael Porter – RPAC Lights and Sound Manager
  • Ashton Humbert – South Kansas Symphony Student Librarian
  • Brandon Pew – South Kansas Symphony Stage Manager
  • Eva Farid – Southwestern College Youth Symphony Stage Manager
  • Jessica Arnoldy- Southwestern College Youth Symphony Student Librarian

Contact Information:

Snail Mail: SKS, Rose Hanna, 100 College St., Winfield, KS 67156

Phone: 800-843-1546 extension 6272

Email: Amber Peterson —-Amber.Peterson@sckans.edu