Dr. Jeffrey Specht
Artistic Director & Conductor
Jeff’s personal website
Dr. Jeffrey Specht is an American conductor, music educator, and arts advocate dedicated to fostering the love of music and enriching communities through live musical performance. Equally at home conducting symphonic works and opera, his performances have been hailed by critics as “exhilarating and inspiring!”
Dr. Specht is currently the Music Director & Conductor of the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the Soundstage Rhythm Orchestra in Portland, OR. Jeff has served as Director of Orchestra and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College; Music Director and Instructor of the Campus Orchestra and Campus String Orchestra at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Music Director of the Metroplex Opera Co. in Dallas, TX; and Music Director of the Crow River Area Youth Orchestra in Hutchinson, MN. Jeff has appeared as guest conductor with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, the Central Texas Opera Festival, the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Opera Theater, the Meadow’s Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Bulgaria. Jeff holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX; and a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. He resides in Tigard, OR with his wife Laura and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Tosca.
OPAYCO Musical Director
Erica Boland began playing violin at the age of 3 and discovered a love of teaching in high school. When asked by other members of the orchestra to help them prepare for chair auditions, 3 out of 4 of the students placed better in the seating. Erica earned a Bachelor’s in Music Studies with Instrumental Emphasis from the University of Texas in Austin in 2000 and completed her Master’s in Music at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2002. While in Austin, Erica taught in the UT String Project, teaching violin and conducting student orchestras. In Flagstaff, Erica was the Graduate Assistant of Conductor Victor Liva and the Suzuki Program under the tutelage of Louise Scott and Karen Halberg. Erica performed in the Flagstaff Symphony and conducted the Flagstaff Junior Symphony from 2000-2002. After completing her degrees, Erica moved back to Albuquerque, NM. She taught middle school orchestra in the Albuquerque Public Schools for 12 years while teaching sectionals with the Albuquerque Junior Symphony, a part of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program in which Erica had been a member in middle and high school. Erica moved to Portland, Oregon with her family in 2014. She teaches Suzuki violin lessons and began playing with the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in 2016. Erica hopes to share her enthusiasm for music learning and performing with the students of the Oregon Pro Arte Youth Program and together build a program where a life-long love of music is fostered and supported.
Coach, Youth Orchestra
Amy Roesler discovered early on that music is her favorite way to relate to and communicate with people. She started playing the violin at age eight. Unsatisfied with just one musical outlet, she soon branched out into learning other instruments, such as piano, double bass, and percussion. Amy continued her music training at Brigham Young University, earning a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in education in 2010. While in Utah she spent seven years performing with the Orchestra on Temple Square, the orchestra that accompanies the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, all while teaching middle school orchestra full-time. Since returning to Portland, Amy balances between teaching orchestra part-time and playing concerts and shows. She has performed in the pit orchestra for several major Portland area theaters, such as the Broadway Rose and Lakewood Center for the Arts. She also frequently plays for cabarets and variety shows, with genres ranging from classical, jazz, rock, and bluegrass.