Our Director and Conductors

Dr. John Devlin, Music Director and Conductor

John Devlin is an established conductor in the Washington, DC area. He is Music Director and Conductor of both the McLean Youth Orchestra and the Youth Orchestras of Prince William (VA). He is also the Associate Conductor of the Capital City Symphony and the Assistant Conductor of the Apollo Symphony. In addition, he is a technical director for IMAG at the National Symphony. With these orchestras, Devlin has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and at Strathmore.

Recently, Devlin has worked with the National Symphony Orchestra, serving as the offstage conductor for a world-premiere performance of a work by composer Chris Brubeck. He also conducted a recording session at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. The orchestra, made up of musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, recorded the soundtrack to “Life is Love,” a new film by acclaimed director Halfdan Hussey, with score by Christopher Caliendo.

Devlin is also an active conductor of outstanding high school and collegiate ensembles. Over the past two seasons, Devlin made his Carnegie Hall debut, leading the Youth Orchestras of Prince William at the National Orchestra Festival. At the University of Maryland, Devlin conducted the world premiere of La Saulaie, written by Claude Debussy and completed by scholar Robert Orledge. He was also selected to conduct numerous honor ensembles, including the Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Maine All-State Orchestras.

A strong advocate for new music, Devlin has, over the last four years, commissioned fifteen new works that span from traditional orchestral works, to collaborations with new music groups, amplified chamber ensembles, rock bands, and rap artists. His New Retro, Go-Go Symphony, and Seamless Symphony projects were all recently premiered by the Capital City Symphony and earned high praise from critics as performances that “stand out and are exciting, ambitious and, dare we say — funky?”

Devlin is also active as an opera conductor. His performances of Daniel Catan’s Florencia en al Amazonas with the Maryland Opera Studio earned praise from Anne Midgette of the Washington Post as events that “spoke well for studio opera.” Devlin has also gained attention on the airwaves; recordings of his work have been featured on New York’s WQXR and on various public radio broadcasts.

Devlin completed his doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting with James Ross at the University of Maryland School of Music. Devlin also earned his Master of Music degree at Maryland and has served as the Assistant Conductor of the University Symphony for the past six years. In 2008, he graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a double major in Music and Latin.

Devlin has studied at the Pierre Monteux School, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Conductors Guild/Baltimore Symphony Conducting Workshop, and the Conductors Institute at Bard College. At these and other programs he worked with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, Dianne Wittry, Michael Jinbo, and Harold Farberman.

For more information on Devlin, including recordings and upcoming concerts, please visit www.JohnDevlinMusic.com.


Veronica Jackson, MYO Repertory Ensemble Conductor

After graduating from W. G. Enloe High School (Raleigh,North Carolina) in 1985, Ms. Jackson studied violin at the University of Miami (Coral Gables) with Dr. Marla Meutschler (Paul Rolland protégé) and Dr. Earl Sanders at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). After graduating summa cum laude from NCCU, she began teaching orchestra in Wake County Schools elementary, middle, and high schools in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Jackson moved to Richmond in 1994 and began teaching in Henrico County, where she worked for 17 years at several schools including Byrd Middle School, Godwin High School, Freeman High School, and Tucker High School. In Henrico County, she coordinated the Strings Discovery Program designed to introduce stringed instruments to rising 6th graders. Ms. Jackson’s orchestras are known for outstanding performances throughout the county. Recently, her high school orchestras performed at the Virginia Music Educators’ State Convention in Norfolk, VA. Her orchestras have also received superior ratings in national competitions in Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Boston. Locally, Ms. Jackson’s middle and high school orchestras consistently receive superior and excellent ratings in District Orchestra Assessments. Ms. Jackson’s students have received numerous individual awards and recognition for their performances. In August 2012, Ms. Jackson accepted the position of Orchestra Director at Francis Hammond Middle School in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). She continues to serve with her energetic style of teaching. The strings program at Hammond has doubled since she has been there. The Hammond Middle School orchestra students have received superior and excellent ratings at District Orchestra Assessments. March 2015, Hammond MS was the only school in the area to have four ensembles in the District X Orchestra Assessment – three received straight superior ratings and the fourth ensemble received an excellent rating. Coordinated by Ms. Jackson, the innovative and collaborative programming in the ACPS Strings Program has made a direct impact on the increase in the overall numbers in the District. Some of these programs are 7th and 8th Grade Honors Orchestra Event,  5th Grade Fiddle Fest, Electrify Your Strings featuring Mark Wood, ACPS Summer Band and Orchestra Camp, and LOWER STRINGS BOOST! also known as VIOLA, CELLO, BASS DAY.

Ms. Jackson has also participated in several conducting workshops with such names as Dr. William Jones of Iowa State University, Dr. Anthony Maiello of George Mason University, and Dr. Marvin Rabin. She has served as guest conductor and clinician for the Virginia’s Central Regional Orchestra Event, North Central Regional Orchestra Event, Southeastern Regional Orchestra Event, District XII Regional Orchestra Event, JMU’s Spring String Thing, Chesterfield County Schools All-County Orchestra, Richmond City Schools All-City Orchestra for three years, Newport News City Schools All-City Orchestra, Hanover County Schools High School All-County, Fauquier County Schools, Norfolk City Schools, and Spotsylvania County Schools All County Orchestra. She serves as the orchestra director for the Sinfonia Orchestra at Shenandoah Performing Arts Camp at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Ms. Jackson has served as guest clinician and conductor for the Pitt County All County Fifth Grade Orchestra and Nash Rocky Mounty Public Schools in North Carolina for four years. Ms. Jackson also served three years as conductor for Richmond Symphony’s Youth Concert Orchestra, an intermediate full orchestra.

Ms. Jackson has adjudicated several orchestra festivals in North Carolina and throughout Virginia. In addition to her commitment to her students, Ms. Jackson was appointed director of the Rappahannock Youth Symphony Orchestra in Fredericksburg, Virginia in October 2008 where she served for five years.

In July 2012, Ms. Jackson was selected to participate in the Music Educators’ Conducting Workshop at The Julliard School. This week-long program was for the 30 music educators from around the country who were selected by their resume and video-audition. Ms. Jackson was a 2010 finalist for the R. E. B. Award for Teaching Excellence. Other affiliations include membership and past president of the Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers’ Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Music Educators’ National Conference, and active membership at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Maryland.

Ms. Jackson is lovingly supported by her husband Charles Dawkins and her two gems, Camille and Phillip.