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 Lehman, Manager of Development

Kayla Lehman 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. 

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.


Rachael Mosley, Administrative Assistant

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. 

Interns of Canton Symphony Orchestra

Chloe J. Redman, Marketing

Chloe J. Redman is currently pursuing a Masters of Art in Arts Administration from the University of Akron and is a recent graduate from the University’s Dance program with a Bachelors of Fine Art as of December 2020.  From age ten all the way through high-school, Chloe trained at the University of Akron’s Dance Institute under the executive direction of former Cincinnati ballet dancer Christina Foise. Through this pre-professional, ballet-based program, Chloe has had opportunities to learn from and work alongside local and international artists, most notably Ohio ballet dancers Damien Highfield and Shauna Conzaman, freelance artist Brian Murphy, Neos Dance Theater, Verb Ballets, Groundworks Dance Theater, Kegwin and Company, Joseph Morrissey, Le Ballet Jazz de Montreal and many more. Chloe has had extensive performance experience and looks forward to continuing pursuing performance for many years to come. In the administrative space, Chloe is a first year graduate assistant with NCCAkron with a focus on media as well as ArtSparks Artistic Associate, Teaching Artist and Advanced Teams Coordinator. 


Alexandra McGuire, Community Engagement & Education

Alexandra McGuire is currently a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studies with Mary Kay Fink (primary teacher), Jessica Sindell, and Joshua Smith. She performs solo recitals, with the CIM orchestra, and with chamber ensembles and has also performed with the Case Western Reserve University Klezmer Music Ensemble. While performing with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, her performance on piccolo was described as “controlled and pitch perfect” by Alexandra also is a member of the Cleveland chapter of the Back to Bach Project, was a CIM Musical Pathway Fellowship Mentor, teaches her own studio of students, is a substitute teacher at Bach to Rock in Jacksonville Beach, FL, and was previously a teaching artist for CIM2. Alexandra graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL. Additionally, Alexandra performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra for 6 years, winning the Young Artist Competition in 2016 and performing as a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony. She was featured as a soloist with the First Coast Wind Symphony after winning their Young Artist Competition in 2017.  Her previous teachers include Gia Sastre and Les Roettges. Alexandra is passionate about music, aspiring to be a symphony musician and flute teacher.

Nick Desjardins, CYS Assistant

Nick Desjardins is a second year music education major at Kent State University. At Kent he is studying cello with Si-Yan Li. He plays in pit orchestras in Canton, Alliance, Akron, and Chagrin Falls. He is also part of the Hartville String Quartet and is a Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra Alumni. He owns and directs Hartville Symphonic Chorus, a new contemporary youth orchestra and choir, that produces musical content each month. He has studied under Arleen Scott, Alicia Tremmel, Hannah Lintz, and Kathryn Griesinger. Nick is overly excited to be working with Canton Symphony Organization, impacting its youth members in the way that the organization impacted him.

2331 17th St. NW
Canton, Ohio  44708

Box Office: 330-452-2094
Administration: 330-452-3434
Fax: 330-452-4429

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