Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra Conductor
& Director of Education
Burke Lokey is the Orchestra Director for St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, MI. Under his leadership the Orchestras have earned top ratings at Michigan School Band and Orchestra Festivals and in 2012 the Chamber Orchestra received 3rd place at the National Orchestra Festival. Before coming to St. Joseph he taught instrumental music in New York City and Rockland County, NY. He helped build a thriving string program in Nyack, NY that has been recognized on a State and National level. During that time he has arranged music for and conducted ensembles that were showcased at such venues as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and New York State Music Association Conferences.
Burke has an extensive background in Music Education having received a BA in Music and String Pedagogy from Arizona State University (’01) and a MA in Music Education from Columbia University (’08). He has led workshops and presentations on the use of Music Technology for education and Music Advocacy in the community. When not teaching Burke enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons.
Joe Oprea has been teaching and performing music professionally since 2002. He received his undergraduate degree in music education from Central Michigan University and his master degree in bass performance from Western Michigan University in 2009. Joe currently teaches orchestra in the Lowell orchestra program. He has taught at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for the last five summers as well as maintaining a private bass studio for the last 13 years. In addition to teaching, Joe performs regularly with the Truth in Jazz Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, the West Michigan symphony, as well as many small local jazz groups. Joe has performed with many well-known musicians including Wes Anderson, Allen Vizzutti, Billy Hart, Robbie Smith, Keith Hall, Tim Froncek, and Stefon Harris. Joe has studied bass with such teachers as Phil Palmobi, Joseph Conyers, and Tom Knific.
Beth Oeseburg was born and raised in Kalamazoo where she began studying violin at age seven. She went on to study music at Western Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree specializing in violin performance.
Since then, she has performed in the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and South Bend symphony orchestras, as well as the Southwest Michigan Symphony and LaPorte County Orchestra. She is currently teaching in the Saint Joseph school orchestra program as Artist in Residence for high strings as well as teaching privately through the Citadel Dance and Music Program on both violin and viola. Beth currently performs in the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster and is the immediate past Concertmaster of the LaPorte Symphony.
Dr. John Owens is the Music Program Director at Lake Michigan College, where he teaches jazz ensemble, rock ensemble, musicology, and other courses. Previously, Dr. Owens was the Director of Bands at Page High School (AZ/Navajo Nation) and St. Augustine High School (CA). At Kent State University (OH), Dr. Owens taught music education courses, conducting and arranging, and instrumental methods. Further, he was a music teacher supervisor at inner city Cleveland Schools for Oberlin College and has served as a consultant for the non-profit music organization Little Kids Rock, in New Jersey.
As a musician, Dr. Owens was a percussionist in the United States Army Band, Disneyland Resort, and Knott’s Berry Farm. As a composer, he has written 57 commissioned works for scholastic and independent percussion ensembles in California, Germany, Arizona, Washington, and Holland. Further, he has adjudicated for four different percussion associations, repeatedly been invited to serve as a clinician with multiple music programs, and worked as a clinician at various music festivals.
Dr. Owens scholarly work has been published in the Finnish Journal of Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, Oregon Music Educator, and other journals. He has presented at the Ohio Music Educators Conference, Michigan Music Conference, New Hampshire Music Educators Conference, and others. Currently he has two books in preparation, which include a solicited manuscript on culturally responsive ensembles and an accepted publication focused on popular music and society.
He earned his Ph.D. and Masters of Music in Music Education from Kent State University. His Bachelors of Arts in Music Education was earned at California State University San Bernardino.