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Meet the Orchestra

Meet the Orchestra

String section rosters are alphabetical after Principals.

Maestro David Stewart RileyMusic Director & Conductor
David Stewart Wiley
Click here for bio

Roanoke Symphony Orchestra


  • Akemi Takayama, Concertmaster (Click for bio)
  • John Irrera, Assistant Concertmaster
  • Matvey Lapin, Principal 2nd
  • Andrey Lund, Assistant Principal
  • Larry Chang
  • Richard Downs
  • George Figueroa
  • Emily Ilyes
  • Vladimir Kromin
  • Brooke Mahanes
  • Kevin Matheson
  • Violaine Michel
  • Shaleen Powell
  • Christi Salisbury
  • Donna Stewart
  • Heather Austin Stone
  • Samuel Thompson
  • Jane Wang
  • Zachary Windsor
  • Ting-Ting Yen
  • Yulia Zhuravleva


  • Satoko Rickenbacker, Principal
  • Thomas Stevens, Assistant Principal
  • Jason Diggs
  • Megan Gray
  • Bryan Matheson
  • Lindsey Parsons
  • David Phillips
  • Sam Phillips



  • vacantPrincipal
  • vacant, Associate Principal
  • Mara Barker
  • Michael DiTrolio
  • Victor Dome
  • J. Michael Priester


  • Alycia Hugo, Principal
  • Julee Hickcox


  • Julee Hickcox


  • William P. Parrish, Jr., Principal
  • vacant


  • Carmen Eby, Principal
  • vacant, Principal 2nd


  • Scott Bartlett, Principal
  • Scott Cassada


  • Vacant, Principal
  • Abigail Pack
  • Dakota Corbliss


  • Paul Neebe, Principal
  • Tom Bithell
  • vacancy
  • Jeffrey Kresge


  • Jay Crone, Principal
  • Katie Thigpen

Bass Trombone

  • John McGinness


  • vacant, Principal


  • Annie Stevens, Principal


  • vacant, Principal
  • Al Wojtera


  • Anastasia Jellison, Principal


  • vacant
Maestro David Stewart Riley

David Stewart Wiley

Music Director & Conductor

Our Maestro David Stewart Wiley has conducted such distinguished symphonies as Atlanta, Buffalo, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, Oregon, Hawaii, and Utah, as well as in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.  This May 2024 he will return to guest conduct the Boston Pops in historic Symphony Hall, having made his triple debut with the Boston Pops as conductor, composer, and piano soloist a few years ago. Wiley continues to conduct regularly in New York, and also appears throughout the U.S. as pianist, composer, and conductor — with engagements including Symphonicity, in Kansas City, and many others in about 40 US states. 

Wiley enjoys a multi-faceted career as an orchestra builder, guest conductor, arranger, educator, and chamber music collaborator, and inspires and engages both orchestras and audiences.  Under his direction since 1996, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has experienced continued artistic growth, program innovation and expansion, and increased financial stability, and The RSO board recently renewed his contract for 4 additional years. His tenure with the RSO is a remarkable success story, with stellar reviews, a diverse list of guest artists and composers, and innovative commissions of new music. Wiley is an active community partner and recognized celebrity, having been named Roanoke’s “Citizen of the Year” for his outstanding service and outreach.  David was part of the leadership team who travelled to Denver as Roanoke received its unprecedented 7th “All-American City” award. The RSO & Wiley received a Distinguished Music Educator Award from Yale University for its partnership with local schools. The RSO produced its first live TV broadcast, and collaborates with WVTF public radio to broadcast many of its concerts. His energetic work bringing classical music to youth in our minority communities has been steadfast, and he was honored by the NAACP as Citizen of the Year in the Arts for his service.  He and his wife Leah were honored at the MS Society’s “Dinner of Champions” for their leadership, and Maestro Wiley was honored during his 25th season by the governor and a joint bipartisan resolution in the Virginia house and senate. The RSO has an endowment fund in his honor.

As a solo pianist with diverse classical, pops, and chamber music experience, Wiley has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States including Boston, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Oregon, Honolulu, Wheeling, and West Virginia, and in China, Russia, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria.  Opera and ballet performances include the Aspen Opera Theater, IU Opera Theater, and the Moscow Ballet.  Wiley plans and facilitates an innovative experience with business executives and musicians together on stage titled “Conducting Change” which helps executives to model leadership skills in a fun and engaging atmosphere with a live orchestra.

Festival engagements included the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Garth Newel, Wintergreen, Park City (Utah), Minnesota Orchestra Summerfest, Sitka (Alaska) and Prince Albert (Hawaii) summer music festivals.  From 1999 until 2006 Wiley was the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, where he founded and built the festival orchestra, created the student academy, and led the festival to remarkable artistic growth in seven years, tripling the balanced budget. He continues as Artistic Director of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival in Floyd.

As a composer, he wrote symphonic music for the film “Lake Effects”, which featured a symphonic soundtrack performed by the RSO with original music by Boyle and Wiley. Wiley’s CDs include an album of French Cello Concerti with Zuill Bailey & the Roanoke Symphony on Delos International, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” with the RSO & Choruses, American Piano Concertos with Norman Krieger & the RSO on Artisie 4 which includes Wiley’s third piano concerto. He has released Wiley & Friends: Classical JazzAmerican Trumpet Concertos with the Slovak Radio Symphony/Neebe, and violin/piano duo CD Preludes & Lullabies with Akemi Takayama, Sempre Libera with soprano Adelaide Trombetta, a solo piano CD with all original compositions Full Circle, and Piano Bells

David Stewart Wiley won the Aspen Conducting Prize, was Assistant Conductor for the Aspen Music Festival, and was awarded a Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood.  Wiley holds both a Doctor and Master of Music in Conducting from Indiana University, a degree in Piano Performance with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a degree in Religion, summa cum laude, from Tufts University.  He is a recipient of the Perry F. Kendig Prize for service to the arts and is a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International. David and Leah have two sons in college here in the Commonwealth.

Akemi Takayama


Celebrated violinist Akemi Takayama has served as the concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra since 2004. In this vital leadership role, she brings to our orchestra an extraordinary depth of musicianship, glorious solo sound, vibrant stage presence and natural musical leadership. Ms. Takayama appears regularly as soloist and concertmaster of the RSO, and Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra as well as an active chamber musician and associate professor at the Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music where she holds the Victor Brown Endowed Chair. Ms. Takayama is currently in her fourteenth year as violinist for the internationally renowned Audubon Quartet, and tours regionally and nationally with the group. Her recordings with the Audubon Quartet include four CDs, all available on the Centaur and Composers Recordings labels.

Early Start

Born to musical parents in Tokyo, Japan, Takayama began her violin studies with her mother at the age of three. Her professional violin career began in Japan at the age of 15. She has performed throughout Japan, France, and the U.S., including appearances with the Shinsei-Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toho School of Music Orchestra, and on a “FM Recital” broadcast throughout Japan on NHK Radio. She also has performed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the Yomiuri Philharmonic Orchestra, Music at Gretna, and with the New World Symphony Orchestra. Her solo performances in the U.S. have included radio and TV appearances in the greater Cleveland area and with the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Junction Orchestra, and the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.


Akemi Takayama received first prize in both the Northwest Regional Music Teacher National Association and the Grand Junction Young Artist competitions. She has performed at and served on the faculties of the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Idyllwild School of the Arts in California, the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Shenandoah Performs in Virginia and at Virginia Tech. During her graduate studies, Akemi was a teaching assistant to the renowned Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned both an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree. Previously, she studied with Toshiya Eto and Ryosaku Kubota at the renowned Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where she earned her bachelor degree in music performance. She also studied with Brian Hanly at the University of Wyoming where she earned her professional studies degree. Ms. Takayama won a position in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival and the Isaac Stern Music Workshop. The late Isaac Stern said of Ms. Takayama “she is a true musician and will always bring credit to any group that she works with.” Akemi indeed brings great credit to the RSO and to our region.

Ms. Takayama plays a J.B. Ceruti violin from Cremona, Italy, made in 1805.

Kelley Mikkelsen

Principal Cello

A native of South Dakota, cellist Kelley Mikkelsen has performed in concerts throughout the United States and Europe and has worked with a variety of celebrated soloists, chamber musicians, and conductors, such as Bobby McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Joan Tower, Ursula Oppens, Gary Karr, as well as the Cleveland, Colorado and Cavani Quartets. As cellist of the internationally renowned Cassatt Quartet, she made appearances at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress. She was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including CMA/ASCAP awards for adventurous programming, commissioning grants from Meet the Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an award of excellence from the Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC. She has been invited as Artist-in Residence to Princeton and Yale Universities, Syracuse University, the University at Buffalo, Bucknell University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Early Career

In 2003, Ms. Mikkelsen was named principal cellist for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Opera Roanoke; she has also performed with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, formerly Williamsburg Symphonia, since 2007.

She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music as a pupil of Paul Katz, and completed her Master’s degree at the University of Akron, studying with Michael Haber.

With a deep commitment to nurturing young musicians, Ms. Mikkelsen has taught on the faculties of Augustana College, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and East Carolina University, and she currently maintains a private studio.

She has recorded for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, CRI, Tzadik, and Albany labels.

Ms. Mikkelsen plays a Bartolomew Bimbi cello from Florence, Italy, made in 1780.