Panel Discussion I – Leading Professional Ensembles
Michelle Rofrano (Conductor; Founder and Artistic Director, PROTESTRA)
First Lieutenant Elizabeth Elliott (US Army Band Officer)
Lina Gonzalez-Granados (Conducting Fellow, the Philadelphia Orchestra & Seattle Symphony)
Susie Seiter (Film Conductor)
Meg Zervoulis (Associate Music Director, West Side Story Broadway)
Conductor Michelle Rofrano has led The Queen of Spades and Trouble in Tahiti with The Glimmerglass Festival; Le Nozze di Figaro with The Crane School of Music; An Evening of American Opera/Trouble in Tahiti with Westminster Choir College; and Così fan tutte and The Turn of the Screw with DC Public Opera. She has served as assistant conductor for productions with The Glimmerglass Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Juilliard Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Birmingham. Upcoming engagements include debuts with Opera Saratoga and City Lyric Opera. Rofrano is the founder and Artistic Director of PROTESTRA, an activist orchestral ensemble that advocates for social justice through classical music.
First Lieutenant Elizabeth Elliott, a native of Orlando, Florida, holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Music Performance degree in Instrumental Conducting from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.
Before auditioning for the United States Army Band, LT Elliott spent three years teaching high school and middle school band in the public and private schools of Florida and New Mexico. She won her audition with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in 2016 and went on to receive her commission in 2017 after 10 months of Army combat training and officer schools, becoming the fifth female commissioned band officer in Army history.
LT Elliott’s most recent positions were as the Executive Officer and Conductor the United States Training and Doctrine Command Band at Fort Eustis, Virginia and as the Executive Officer of the 82nd Airborne Division Band and Officer in Charge of the All American Chorus on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. LT Elliott is married to her husband Scott, and is currently busy raising their one year old rainbow baby Oliver.
Lina Gonzalez-Granados has distinguished herself as a skilled interpreter of opera and orchestral music spanning the 17th century to today. She is in high demand throughout the U.S. and Europe and is the recipient of various local, national, and international awards. Winner of the 2019 CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship, and the Third Prize and ECHO Special Prize of La Maestra Competition and the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, she currently serves as the Conducting Fellow of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Seattle Symphony, as well as Artistic Director of Unitas Ensemble, a chamber orchestra she founded to promote and perform the works of Latin-American composers. [Read the full bio here]
Susie Benchasil Seiter is a prolific conductor and orchestrator for film, television, video games, and live concerts. She recently completed a 120 city worldwide orchestra tour as conductor and music director for multiple Grammy-winning Evanescence and Billboard Music Award winner and YouTube sensation, Lindsey Stirling. Susie has toured the world with pop artists, video game shows (The Legend of Zelda Symphony, Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions) and Disney live to pictures shows (Frozen, Pixar in concert, Mary Poppins). She also conducts recording sessions for films such as the upcoming Paramount film “GI Joe: Snake eyes,” the video game “Fortnite.” This fall she returns to the symphony hall with “Toy Story Live” with the Baltimore Symphony.
Broadway: West Side Story (current revival), The Prom, Mean Girls, Great Comet of 1812. Off-Broadway: The Visitor (upcoming @ The Public), Merrily We Roll Along (Fiasco/Roundabout), Cagney, Rated P. Other New Works: Breathe (May 14th ’21 Album and Streaming Release), Broadway Vacation (Seattle 5th Ave upcoming), Buñuel (Public Theater in development), and Jeannette (in development). At her home base, Paper Mill Playhouse, her credits include Mary Poppins, Bandstand, and Ever After, and their annual New Voices concerts. Meg is also active as a music educator and music therapist and is a proud member of Local 802 and Maestra. Education: Carnegie Mellon University. www.megzmusic.com