Our Director and Conductors


Gerald Fowkes, Music Director and Conductor

Gerald Fowkes is currently Director of Orchestras at Fairfax High School and the newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the McLean Youth Orchestra.  Prior to his tenure at Fairfax he taught in Prince William County Schools where his orchestras consistently received Superior ratings at District Orchestra Assessment and national festivals throughout the Eastern Seaboard.  As a former member of the artistic staff of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William, Mr. Fowkes was the conductor of the Concert Orchestra from 2005-2016.  In the summer of 2016 he joined the artist faculty as the orchestra director of the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute. He has had the distinct honor of conducting All-County Orchestras in Albemarle, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford Counties and the 2014 VBODA District X Senior Honor Orchestra and 2016 VBODA South East Regional Chamber Orchestra.  In addition, he is a frequent guest conductor at the JMU Spring String Thing and regularly serves as an adjudicator for various VBODA district orchestra assessments throughout the Commonwealth.

Mr. Fowkes is a 2001 graduate of Louisiana State University where he graduated summa cum laude in Cello Performance.  His former teachers and mentors include Dennis Parker, Loran Stephenson, Wesley Baldwin and Pamela Frame.  In addition, he has studied conducting with Jindong Cai, Michael Butterman and Donald Peterson and participated in master classes with cellists Gary Hoffman, Aldo Parisot, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, and Paul Katz, amongst others.  A product of Prince William County Schools, he is an alumnus of both the Youth Orchestras of Prince William and the American Youth Philharmonic and a past Virginia Governor’s Scholar at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. A former member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, he performs frequently as a freelance cellist throughout the Baltimore/Washington metro area having performed with the Virginia, Fairfax, and McLean Orchestras amongst others.

A Prince William County resident, Mr. Fowkes was selected as the 2014 Dale City Civic Association Teacher of the Year and a past nominee for the Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Award.  He maintains a private cello studio at his home where he resides with his wife, Becky, daughters, Scout, Ellie, and Mason, and son, Isaak.

 

Andrew “Drew” Lisowski, MYO Repertory Ensemble Conductor

Andrew (Drew) Lisowski is the orchestra director at Falls Church High School. He also teaches the Music Sampler class and is a Tri-M Music Honor Society advisor at FCHS. During his time at Falls Church HS the program has over doubled in student enrollment and two additional orchestra classes were added to the program. His ensembles have been consistently rated superior at state orchestra assessments and national competitions.

Mr. Lisowski graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. He studied with Akemi Takayama and Doris Lederer. Mr. Lisowski was named the Presser Scholar for the 2010 academic school year, an award given to an outstanding junior at the conservatory. In 2008, he attended the International Carl Nielsen Masterclass in Assens, Denmark where he sat principal 2nd violin.

In 2012, Mr. Lisowski was nominated for the FCPS Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year Award. He was also featured on Apple 21’s Insight program for his work at Falls Church High School. Mr. Lisowski has presented at the Virginia Music Educator’s Association In-Service Conference and at the Symposium on Music Teacher Education. In 2016, he was invited to guest conduct the Alexandria City Public School’s 7th Grade Honor Orchestra.

In addition to his teaching duties at Falls Church HS, Mr. Lisowski joined the artistic staff of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William in 2013 as the Primo Conductor. He currently conducts the Repertory Orchestra. Mr. Lisowski also works with the McLean Youth Orchestra serving as sectional coach, rehearsal conductor and conductor. He is currently conductor of the Repertory Ensemble Orchestra.

In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Aubrey, and their two dogs, Bones and Peanut.