Meet The Staff

EYO Staff Photo

Michael R. Gagliardo



Nationally acclaimed American conductor and educator Michael R. Gagliardo has served as the Music Director of the Etowah Youth Orchestras since August of 1995.  In May of 2016 he was named Music Director & Conductor of the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, after serving as the Principal Guest Conductor of the GSO during the 2015-2016 season.  He also serves as Conductor for the Mark Wood Experience. He is also a recognized composer, arranger, and speaker. In 2015, Gagliardo’s composition Corbeau: Suite for Orchestra received its Carnegie Hall Premiere.

Gagliardo held the position of Music Director of the Jacksonville State University/Community Orchestra from 1999 until 2008, and again from 2011 until 2014. From 1993 until 1995, Mr. Gagliardo served as the Principal Conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, the Assistant Conductor of the Ball State Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Conductor of the BSU School of Music Composer’s Forums.  He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Wood River Municipal Band.

Since his debut with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra in 1993, Mike Gagliardo has led performances by professional orchestras and bands including the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and the Alton Municipal Band, and youth orchestras including the Olathe Youth Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a regular guest conductor at all-state festivals throughout the country, including appearances in Alabama, Colorado, New Jersey, and Tennessee.  Opera and musical theater performances include productions with the Jacksonville Opera Theatre and the Theatre of Gadsden.

Throughout his career, Mike Gagliardo has demonstrated a continuing commitment to arts education.  He is a frequent guest speaker and presenter at conferences for music educators and professionals, including the national conferences of the League of American Orchestras and the American String Teachers’ Association, and state conferences for music educators in Alabama and Colorado.  He has also been a presenter at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Summer Teachers’ Institute, and continues to present educational outreach programs for the Knox Concert Series, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama, and the Gadsden and Anniston Public Libraries.

Mike Gagliardo has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Walters Department of Music at Jacksonville State University, and as the president of both the Alabama Orchestra Association and the Alabama String Teachers’ Association.  He has also been a member of the League of American Orchestras’ Youth Orchestra Division Board of Directors; the American String Teachers’ Association’s National Advocacy and National High School Honor Orchestra Committees and Youth Orchestra Task Force; and the Arts Education Council of Americans for the Arts.

Mike Gagliardo has received many honors and awards, including the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Eastern Illinois University, the Citizenship Award and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Ball State University School of Music, two Citations for Leadership and Merit from the American String Teachers’ Association, and Strings Teacher of the Year from the Alabama String Teachers’ Association.  He has also received twelve ASCAP Awards with the Etowah Youth Orchestras, and was the recipient of the Richard Malone Humanitarian Award in 2009 for his work with the Humane Society of Etowah County.

Born in Alton, Illinois, Mike Gagliardo began his musical studies on the piano and the trumpet and studied conducting with Donald Tracy at Eastern Illinois University and Leonard Atherton at Ball State University.  He currently resides in Gadsden, Alabama, with his girlfriend Janet and their four-legged children, Mattie Mae, Murphy and Max.  In addition to his work in music, he is the owner of Mattles & Company LLC, an event planning and consulting firm.

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Roland Lister


Mr. Roland Lister is the Associate Conductor of the Etowah Youth Orchestras. In this capacity he serves as the Principal Conductor of the June Moore Bugg Prelude Strings and the Etowah String Philharmonic, and Director of the EYO’s Summer Strings Camp. He also serves as an instructor for the EYO’s Beginning and Intermediate Strings Program in the Etowah County and Attalla City School Systems. He holds a B.S. degree in Music Education from Jacksonville State University and a Masters degree in School Administration from the University of Alabama. He has studied viola with Mary Ann Noble and Roger James of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Lister taught instrumental music in the Gadsden City School System for thirty years, spending twenty years as a string orchestra director.  In 1978 Mr. Lister organized and conducted the Gadsden City School System’s first full symphony orchestra. He continued as an orchestra conductor until he retired in 1998 to work with the EYO. In 2000 Mr. Lister served as the conductor of the Premiere String Orchestra at the Alabama All-State Orchestra Festival. In 2003 he was chosen as conductor of the All-West Tennessee String Orchestra in Memphis.  Mr. Lister conducted performances of the Etowah Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2002 and again in 2007.  He also conducted the orchestra at the Royal Elizabethan Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, England.  His string orchestra has presented a concert for the Alabama Music Educators Conference and he has twice served as a clinician for the conference.  In 2007 Mr. Lister was selected as Teacher of the Year by the Alabama chapter of ASTA, and was inducted into the Alabama Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Dr. Darryl E. Harris, Sr.

Darryl's picture

Dr. Darryl E. Harris, Sr., a native of Greenville, Mississippi serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Etowah Youth Orchestras. In addition, Dr. Harris is the music director and conductor of the Jacksonville State University Community Orchestra and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Walters Department of Music. He was previously music director and conductor of the Chagrin Valley (Ohio) Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. He has been Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and has been guest conductor of the Mobile Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Nassau (Long Island) Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Tacoma (WA) Community Orchestra and the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. Dr. Harris served as music director and conductor of the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre’s 2006 production of Godspell, and taught instrumental strings in the Hattiesburg (MS) Public School District for several years.

As a professional bassoonist, he has played with the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York City Opera Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kokomo (IN) Symphony Orchestra, the Tacoma (WA) Symphony Orchestra and the Greenville (MS) Symphony Orchestra which he joined in the 1968-1969 season.

Dr. Harris has a Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Science in Music Education magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University where he was also inducted into The Golden Key National Honor Society as well as degrees from Western Illinois University, State University of New York at Empire State College and the Moody Bible Institute.

Dr. Harris served in the United States Air Force in the music and meteorological programs and is ‘proudly’ retired.

Click HERE to contact Darryl Harris