Clark Potter, Conductor
Clark Potter is in his tenth year of conducting the Lincoln Youth Symphony, and he is in his twenty-first year as the viola professor and conducting teacher at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He is an active performer, serving as principal viola of the Lincoln Symphony and as the violist of the Nebraska Chamber Players and the Trans-Nebraska Players. Mr. Potter is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician in schools around the region, and, prior to taking the helm of the Youth Symphony, he conducted the Junior Youth Orchestra for six years. He has conducted the Lincoln Youth Symphony in performances in Rome (2009), Vienna and Budapest (2011), Prague, Leipzig and Dresden (2014) and Belfast and Dublin (2016), and he has conducted All-State Middle School Orchestras in Iowa, Alabama and Oregon. Prior to his appointment at Nebraska, Mr. Potter taught nine years at Eastern Oregon University, where he was professor of strings and conductor of the Grande Ronde Symphony. He was selected as the Outstanding String Educator for the state of Nebraska for 2008, as voted by the Nebraska chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
He received his graduate degrees from Indiana University and California Institute of the Arts and his bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University. He is married to Jan Potter and has two grown children, Shannon and Samuel. He enjoys the hobbies of baseball and running.
Terry Rush, Assistant Conductor
Terry R. Rush recently retired from Lincoln Public Schools. Prior to his retirement, he was the instrumental music director at Lincoln Southwest High School for five years. Mr. Rush was also the Director of Instrumental Music at Lincoln High School for twenty-five years. His groups have traveled to Florida, Colorado, California, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois and London, England as well as performing at the State Bandmasters Association State Convention numerous times.
After retirement, Mr. Rush worked as an adjunct instructor at Doane College.
Prior to teaching at Lincoln High School Mr. Rush taught at Pius X High School for five years. He has been a member of the Lincoln Symphony for 42 seasons and the Lincoln Municipal Band for 44 years serving as principal trombone as well as guest soloist. In 2001 Mr. Rush was appointed Assistant Director of the Lincoln Municipal Band. In 2002 he was appointed Assistant Music Director of the Lincoln Youth Symphony, which has traveled to China, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic and Italy during his tenure.
Mr. Rush serves as a low brass, jazz, marching and concert band clinician throughout the Midwest, has directed several conference honor bands and orchestras. He also adjudicated for the Youth Music of the World International Band, Jazz Band and Orchestra Festival in Maastricht, Holland.
Mr. Rush is a past officer on the board of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association. He is a past winner of the Donald A. Lenz Outstanding Nebraska Bandmaster, recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundation National Legion of Honor Award and the Nebraska National Guard Medal of Freedom for his support to military music programs. Mr. Rush is the 2010 recipient of the Lincoln Symphony Golden Baton Award.
Mr. Rush and his wife Jacqueline, also a band director with Lincoln Public Schools, have three children, Ben, a Computer Developer and Programmer, Stacey, recently out of the United States Army Music
Alyssa Wilhelm, Woodwinds Coach
Alyssa Wilhelm is the Director of Bands at Lincoln Southwest High School and has been teaching there since 2005. She teaches 2 Marching Bands, 3 Concert Bands and 4 Jazz Bands. She has been the woodwind coach with the Lincoln Youth Symphony since 2011. Alyssa earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education degree in 2005 and her Master’s in Music Education degree in 2012, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She plays piccolo in Omaha Symphonic Winds and often plays with the Lincoln Municipal Band as well.
Alyssa is married to fellow band director, Jared Wilhelm, and they have 2 children, Annaliese and Gabriel, and currently expecting baby number 3!
Jennifer Wood, Strings Coach
Jennifer Wood has officially joined the Lincoln Public Schools full-time staff. After 3 years in Omaha Public Schools, she moved back to Lincoln to work with West Lincoln Elementary, Campbell Elementary and Goodrich Middle School. This is Miss Wood’s 3rd year with Lincoln Youth Symphony. The Strings Family is her charge, though she enjoys working with all students at all levels and mediums of musical study.
Miss Wood is from “The Region” in Indiana. Her youth orchestra was the Northwest Indiana Youth Orchestra. In college, she studied Double Bass with Dr. Hans Sturm at Ball State University for 3 years, and then at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2013. Her 3 years at Norris Middle School were challenging and exciting. It’s always hard to leave wonderful students, yet Lincoln is too special to stay away from for too long.
This young lady loves to teach publicly, privately, small and large group, and everything in between. She looks forward to collaborating with Lincoln’s musical community in months and years to come.