People of Canton Symphony Orchestra
To run a symphony, it takes many talented, passionate, and creative individuals who love what they do and love the organization they serve. As you can see, it absolutely cannot be accomplished alone.

Gerhardt Zimmermann, Music Director

Maestro Zimmermann is Music Director and Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Zimmermann’s energetic and vibrant performances have drawn invitations to appear on the podium with the Cleveland, Chicago, National, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Jersey, Syracuse, Rochester and San Antonio orchestras; as well as several international orchestras and opera companies. In 2006, Zimmermann was named Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Texas, Austin. After serving 21 years as Music Director/Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, he is also Conductor Laureate of that orchestra.

Michelle Charles, President and CEO

Michelle has been President & CEO since 2011. Previously serving in all capacities of the organization as chorus member and volunteer, board trustee and staff, she continues to be a driving force behind the increasing notoriety of the Canton Symphony.  Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music History and Theory from Hiram College and will receive her MBA in Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University in the Spring of 2022. She received a Fundraising Certificate from Boston University (2020) and a Leadership Certificate from Harvard University (2021). Michelle is currently the Past President of the Rotary Club of Canton and District Governor Nominee for Rotary District 6650 and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  She is currently serving on the boards of The Friends of the Summit (91.3 FM) where she serves as Treasurer, and the Leadership Stark County Alumni Board. She was a member of the 27th Class of Leadership Stark County, and is currently a member of Woman’s Impact, Inc. In 2012, she was honored to be named one of the Twenty Under 40 and in 2018 was inducted to the YWCA of Stark County’s Women’s Hall of Fame. Michelle has three sons, three stepsons, and one crazy golden retriever. In her “spare” time, she and her husband JC enjoy hiking in the Summit Metro Parks and traveling. 

Michael Koscso, Director of Artistic Operations

Michael Koscso earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance at Kent State University, and a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance at Miami University. Throughout his schooling, Mr. Koscso received many awards in recognition of superior scholarship and musicianship. He attended Miami University as a Graduate Assistant. In addition to his studies, Mr. Koscso has participated in many music festivals; including the Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival. He has performed with many area orchestras and is an experienced soloist and chamber ensemble musician. Mr. Koscso is currently the Director of Artistic Operations and a cellist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and has spent the last several summers as Personnel Manager and Music Librarian with the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado, where he enjoyed climbing several of the 14,000-foot peaks around the state.  In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world and Indians games with his wife, Becky.

Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz, Associate Conductor

Matthew received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Brown University and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Mannes College of Music as a student of David Hayes. While at Mannes, he was a Julius Rudel Conducting Fellow with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he received mentorship from Music Director JoAnn Falletta, served as assistant conductor for six subscription concerts, and was featured as a guest conductor at an educational concert. He also served as Assistant Conductor of the Mannes Opera, where he worked under Glimmerglass Opera Music Director Joseph Colaneri. Matthew is a native of Cincinnati, where he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts before graduating from Walnut Hills High School. He swam competitively for the Cincinnati Aquatic Club, and continues to train and compete through U.S. Masters Swimming. He is also an avid skier, hiker, and devoted baseball and football fan.

Jennifer Sloane, Director of Finance

Jennifer joined the Canton Symphony Orchestra in September 2016 and serves as Director of Finance.  She has an Associate of Applied Business degree in Accounting.  She worked in a public accounting setting for many years in the Cleveland area.  Her family moved to the Canton area in 2016 and Jennifer was thrilled to join the Canton Symphony.

Jennifer has a teenage son and daughter who keep her busy with theater performances and soccer games.   In her spare time, she and her husband, Dean, enjoy going spending time with family, playing games, going swimming and boating.

Rachel Hagemeier, Manager of Education and Community Engagement

Rachel Hagemeier joined the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 2019 as the Manager of Education and Community Engagement. There she also serves as the host of the podcast Orchestrating Change and runs the Orchestrating Change Leadership Program. In 2019, Rachel was a member of the Essentials of Orchestra Management program through the League of American Orchestras where she studied with industry professionals for two weeks in Los Angeles, California. In Canton, she serves as an advisor board member for Artful Living and Learning and is a member of the board of directors for Lighthouse Ministries. Rachel is a graduate of Leadership Stark County’s 2019 Spotlight Program for young professionals and the 2020-2021 Signature Program, a 10-month training in leadership and community awareness. Rachel graduated from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music with degrees in Bassoon Performance and Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. Growing up in Edmond, Oklahoma, she began studying the bassoon at the age of 11 under Dr. Lori Wooden. In college, she studied bassoon under Cleveland Orchestra members Phil Austin and Jonathan Sherwin. Rachel is a member of OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) and NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and runs a bassoon studio out of her home.

Nathan Maslyk, Manager of Marketing

Nathan Maslyk holds a B.A. in Arts Management & Entrepreneurship with minors in Theatre and Accounting from Baldwin Wallace University. An entrepreneur at heart, Nathan founded Anecdote Productions Limited in 2016 to produce and present original musical events for Ohio audiences. Nathan has deep interest and experience in the nonprofit arts sector having previously produced a new musical for Sandusky, Ohio’s bicentennial celebration, working as a freelance consultant for nonprofit organizations, and having served three and a half years as a representative of the Season Ticket Services department at Playhouse Square.

At Canton Symphony Orchestra, Nathan is responsible for representing the organization in all aspects, including all social media content curation, mass email communications, advertisement procurement, website management, and organizing all campaigns for the MasterWorks, Pops, and Divergent Sounds series. He is also pursuing his Masters at the University of Akron in their Arts Administration program and will graduate in the spring of 2023.

Kayla Arrington, Manager of Development

Kayla Arrington earned her bachelor’s degrees in Public Relations and Theatre from the University of Mount Union.  Kayla has worked in development, event planning, and marketing at various arts organizations in Northeast Ohio, including Playhouse Square.  Most recently, Kayla served as the Annual Giving and Special Projects Coordinator at Beck Center for the Arts, overseeing fundraising initiatives and events for the organization. When not in the office, Kayla is a professional performer and choreographer in the local theatre industry and enjoys teaching dance to students and adults alike. 

Rachael Mosley, Box Office Manager

Rachael received an Associate of Science from Kent State University with a focus in Business and Marketing.  She is a lover of the arts and passionate about people.  After devoting 6 years caring for her grandfather, she was inspired to pursue a more fulfilling and rewarding career in the music industry.  Rachael has been drawn to music from a very young age.  She played the saxophone from middle school through high school and later learned the tuba, euphonium, and guitar.  Joining the team at the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Rachael hopes to continue to develop as a musician, grow with the community and spread the joy of music to others. 

Thomas Pleban, Librarian

Thomas Pleban received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance at Kent State University.  While completing his studies, Mr. Pleban was awarded many Sinfonia Scholarships administered by the Kent State University Foundation. He has attended the Blossom Festival School and he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Kent State University. His performance activities demonstrate a wide range of experience; from solo and chamber ensemble performances to symphony orchestras. Mr. Pleban is a violist and Librarian of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and is involved in the development of the Canton Symphony’s Education Department. He is one of the founding members of the Kentland String Ensembles. He also has been a member of Lyric Opera Cleveland, performed with The Playhouse Square Theaters, and regularly plays with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles throughout North East Ohio. Mr. Pleban teaches viola and violin at the Portage Arts Academy.

 

Interns of Canton Symphony Orchestra

Sara Gibson, Community Engagement & Education

Sara Gibson is currently pursuing a BM of Music Education from the Conservatory of Music at Capital University. She is a fourth-year member of the nationally recognized Capital University Chapel Choir in which she also serves as a Choral Manager and soprano section leader under Dr. Lynda R. Hasseler. Sara also serves as a teacher’s assistant to Dr. Libby Hainrihar in Capital’s SSAA ensemble, Cantabile. She studies voice with Jacqueline Barlow-Ware and holds executive board positions in organizations on campus including Sigma Alpha Iota, PATSO (Performing Arts to Serve Others), and ACDA (American Choral Directors’ Association). Off campus, she works as a cantor and choral scholar at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, Ohio under Jeremy J. Bankson. Sara also has a background in instrumental music as a flutist, having played in bands and orchestras in her hometown of Sidney, in Lima, and in OMEA honor band.

Maggie Lewis, CYS Assistant

Maggie Lewis is in her sophomore year at Walsh University and is perusing a double major in Clinical Laboratory Science and Biology. She is an active member of the Walsh University Marching Band and Concert ensemble where she plays bassoon, trombone, and tuba. Her freshman year was spent serving as an assistant to Thomas Roblee, the director of Walsh University’s instrumental ensembles. Maggie also has experience in orchestral, wind, and small group settings as she was a participant in various wind ensembles, orchestras, and OMEA Solo and Ensemble competitions in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.