Meet Our Team

 


LaSaundra Booth
Executive Director
Certified Music Teacher, Wake County Public Schools

L Booth Mrs. Booth is a licensed educator with over thirteen consecutive years of classroom experience, and over twenty-four years of performance experience. She holds an advanced degree in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Music Education with a concentration in String Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While attending UNC-Greensboro, Mrs. Booth studied cello with Alex Ezerman. Mrs. Booth received a BA in Performance with a concentration in Cello from North Carolina Central University, and studied cello with Master Cellist, Dr. Timothy Holley.

Mrs. Booth is excited to bring her wealth of experience, knowledge, and success to the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra. Throughout her career she has served as String Specialist, Conductor, and Lead Teacher in charter, private, and public school settings, as well as for non-profit music organizations. Mrs. Booth is a former member of the Greensboro Philharmonia, and performed Duke Symphony Orchestra, Durham Symphony, Raleigh Symphony, and completed a mini-tour in Sydney, Australia.

Mrs. Booth has a successful history of establishing string programs and creating string orchestra curriculum for public schools and non-profit organizations. Under Mrs. Booth’s leadership, all of her performing ensembles have received superior ratings in adjudicated music festivals and competitions. Mrs. Booth’s accomplishments include a featured article and cover story on the 2008 edition of Opus magazine, a guest appearance on an episode of One Tree Hill, the WB network’s hit television series, and a performance on Spiritual Awakenings, an inspirational television show. Mrs. Booth was interviewed by Tara Lynn, host of the WCPE Classical Radio Station, for her work with youth in the community. Mrs. Booth is also an inventor, and was awarded a patent by the USPTO for designing a music instruction apparatus for string instruments (USPTO# 20140260902).

Mrs. Booth is the Founder and Principal Cellist of Integrity Strings, a registered music booking agency. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra. Mrs. Booth’s vision for the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra is for the organization to serve as an international model for excellence in orchestral training, instruction, and instrumental performance.


Tonya Suggs

Artistic Director
Certified Music Teacher, Wake County Public Schools

T SuggsTonya Suggs is an Orchestra teacher in the Wake County Public School System. Mrs. Suggs has a B.A in Business Administration and a Masters in Music Education from East Carolina University. Ms. Suggs is a member of the North Carolina Music Educators Association and American String Teachers Association.

Throughout her career, Ms. Suggs has served as a string coach for the Raleigh Children’s Orchestra in Raleigh, NC, and the artistic director and conductor for a non-profit music organization. She is an active member of the Durham Symphony, and has performed with the Raleigh Symphony and Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra. Ms. Suggs is excited to serve as the Adagio String Ensemble Conductor and Artistic Director of the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra.

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Jesse L. Suggs, Jr.
Board President
Retired, Guilford County Public Schools

Jesse L. Suggs, Jr. is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. He retired in June 2000 and taught part-time in Guilford County Schools until the fall of 2003 when he returned to teaching until June of 2014. Mr. Suggs, currently teaches private lessons.

As the former director of the Ben L. Smith High School Orchestra, the Jamestown Middle School and Northwest Middle Orchestras, which he founded and the Northern Guilford Middle School Orchestra, Mr. Suggs extended their musical ambassadorship over 65,892 miles including Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans , San Antonio Texas, Bahamas, Jamaica, Hawaii, Australia and Singapore. The Smith Orchestra has the state record for the longest non-stop performance by a string orchestra (12 hours, 14 minutes and 29 seconds).
Mr. Suggs took the Northern Guilford Middle School String Orchestra consisting of 6th, 7th and 8th graders to the The National Adjudicators Invitational in Richmond, Virginia in April 2014. There they performed three selections of Grade III music, over 14 minutes of music from memory. They received superior ratings from all judges. Performing from memory was a first for the festival.
Mr. Suggs has served as Assistant Conductor for the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra, founder and Music Director of the Jamestown Orchestra, and Co-founder of North Carolina’s 1st Western Region Junior All-State Orchestra in 1992. He has served as Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer of the Orchestra Section and Member-at-Large of the North Carolina Music Educators Association.

Formerly Principal bassist for the Greensboro Philharmonia and the Greensboro Civic Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Suggs also played soprano, alto and tenor saxophones for the Greensboro Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Suggs is active as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor.

Jesse Suggs was the winner of the Maxine Swalin Award for an Outstanding Music Educator for 2008. This award, sponsored by the North Carolina Symphony, is given annually to a North Carolina music teacher who:

-Makes a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds

-Serves the community in an exemplary manner as a role model in music education

-Instills a love for music in children

-Inspires students to reach appropriately high musical standards

With this $1,000 recognition award, the North Carolina Symphony honors Maxine Swalin who, along with her husband Dr. Benjamin Swalin and Conductor from 1939-1972, gathered funds from the General Assembly to establish the children’s concert divisions in 1945. This division of the North Carolina Symphony brings live concerts throughout the year to children statewide.
Jesse L. Suggs, Jr. retired for the 2nd time in June 2014 with 45 years of teaching.

Elaine Hanzer
Board Member

Andrew Markoch
Board Member

Walter Booth, Sr
Treasurer

Debbie Booth
Secretary

LaSaundra Booth
Ex Officio

Sheila Brown
Parent Liason