Omaha Area Youth Orchestras

The OAYO Team

For over 60 years, OAYO has built a musical community that fosters artistry and friendship that would not be possible without talented individuals who value music education that lasts a lifetime. OAYO is grateful to its staff, volunteers and parents who work together to build a pipeline of performances and music lovers in our community.

OAYO Administrative Staff

Sophia Potter, Interim Executive Director

Alex Wewel, Program Manager and Producer

Megan DeBoer, Marketing and Operations Manager

Cassie Cosimi, Youth Symphony and Youth Philharmonic Rehearsal Manager

Gabby Chatman, Youth Concert Strings  Rehearsal Manager

OAYO Artistic Staff
Aviva Segall, Music Director

Aviva Segall is the residing Music Director and Principal Conductor for OAYO. Ms. Segall earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and subsequently attended the University of Southern California School of Music. She received her Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University. Ms. Segall is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician, recently working with the Omaha Symphony, Wichita Symphony-Naftzger Competition, J. Laiten Weed Honors Orchestra, NE ASTA Strictly Strings Orchestra Festival, Indiana State School Music Association, Honor orchestras and bands for Eastern Nebraska, Western Iow, and South Dakota Public Schools. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Symphony Orchestra League-Youth Orchestra Division.

Patricia Ritchie, Assistant Conductor

Patricia Ritchie combines her love for performing and teaching in Omaha, where she has taught Orchestra in the Omaha and Millard Public Schools for nearly 40 years. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN and her Master of Music Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Denver-Lamont School of Music. Patricia has served as a guest conductor and clinician, adjudicator, coach, private lessons teacher, OAYO board member, cellist with the Omaha Symphony, and has performed for movie soundtracks. She has served as President of Nebraska Chapter of American String Teachers Association, Chair of Orchestra Affairs for Nebraska Music Educators, and as a conductor for Nebraska Ambassadors of Music European Tours.

Sophia Potter
Chamber Music Program Director

A native of Lincoln, NE, Sophia Potter began her cello studies at the age of 10 with Carol Work. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Cello Performance in 2007 from Oberlin College. In the spring of 2009, Sophia received her Masters of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Sophia resides in Omaha where she directs and performs with the Rangbrook Ensemble, a professional string sextet. Additionally, she serves as the chair of the Artist Selection Committee for the Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music series and Interim Executive Director for OAYO. 

OAYO Board of Directors

Victoria Graeve-Cunningham, OAYO President

Alex Zimmerman, OAYO President-Elect

Jean Faulconbridge, OAYO Secretary

Tom Yaroch, OAYO Director of Development

Brett Werner, OAYO Treasurer

Ken Sigmon, OAYO Board Member

Washington Garcia, OAYO Board Member

Trudy Bredthauer, OAYO Board Member

Suzanne O'Donnell, OAYO Board Member

OAYO Community Advisors


PO Box 24639
Omaha, NE 68124


For donation, marketing and media inquiries, email

For program, ensemble, billing and operations questions, email

© 2019 by Omaha Area Youth Orchestras

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