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Staff

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Shari Rhoads

Artistic Director

American pianist and conductor Shari Rhoads studied accompanying at the University of Southern California with Gwendolyn Koldofsky. She continued her collaborative studies with Dalton Baldwin. She worked as maestra interna and correpetitor at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona and Theater de la Zarazuela in Madrid. She was Montserrat Caballé’s exclusive accompanist in the 1980s and also worked with Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Alicia Nafé, Ghena Dimitrova, Agnes Baltsa, Luis Lima, Bo Skovfus and Ramon Vargas. Miss Rhoads began her conducting career in Barcleona as assistant to Romano Gandolfi (La Scala), Luis Garcia Navarro (Stuttgart Rundfunk) and was assistant to Generalmusikdirektor Hans Drewanz at the Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany. She was the second American woman in history to hold the position of Kapellmeister at the Luzernertheater Luzern, Switzerland. Miss Rhoads taught at the Musikhochschule Luzern and the Conservatoire de Lausanne, Switzerland.
She has appeared at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Beethovenhaus, Bonn, Germany concert series, the Schubertiade, Vevey, Switzerland and the International Lucerne Festival. She has appeared in concert for thirty as a chamber musician throughout Europe and the United States. With stage director Georges Delnon (Intendant Hamburg Opera and Schwetzingen, Germany Baroque Festival), she is co-creator of Mozart: Szenische Gestaltung and has mentored young singers in Italy and Switzerland in the art of Mozart style for twenty two years.
Miss Rhoads has recently added musical theater to her repertoire and directed 12 musicals in the last 18 months including Orphan Train, working with Emmy award winner stage director Pat Birch (Grease). She is also artistic director and conductor of ConcertIA, a new musical venture championing Midwest musicians.

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Josh Johnson

General Manager

Josh currently serves as General Manager of ConcertIA and Orchestra Manager for the Dubuque Symphony.  He also performs as Third Horn with the Quad City Symphony, Second Horn with the Lincoln Symphony, Fourth Horn with the Dubuque Symphony, Sub/Extra Horn with the Des Moines Symphony and Utility Horn with the South Dakota Symphony.
In addition to a performing and administrative career, Josh maintains an active horn studio in Des Moines through the Des Moines Symphony Academy.
He received a Bachelors degree from the University of Iowa, a Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and completed some Doctoral studies at the University of North Texas.  He has studied with Tom Tritle, Jeff Agrell, Alan Mattingly and William Scharnberg.
Josh lives in Windsor Heights with his wife Amanda, son “Teddy” and dog Jack (a Husky mix).

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