Dr. Martha Placeres, Conductor


The Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra convened for the first time in 1957 under the sponsorship of the Topeka Symphony Society and led by Mr. Robert Hallman. Its mission is to provide young musicians the opportunity to play in a symphony orchestra with their peers from high schools throughout northeast Kansas. Directed by Interim Conductor David Barg, the orchestra today boasts over 60 members from the Topeka area and northeast Kansas.




Dr. Martha Placeres, Conductor,
The Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra

Dr. Martha Placeres is Director of Orchestras and Assistant Professor of Music in the Washburn University Department of Music. Originally from Mexico, Dr. Placeres has a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Puebla State Conservatory of Music, a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from Texas Tech University.
As a music education advocate, Dr. Placeres created and developed the string and orchestra programs at the University of Texas at Brownsville where she taught instrumental conducting, violin, and viola, as well as conducting the UTB Symphony and String Orchestras. She also was involved in bringing string education to the city of Brownsville by founding the UTB String Project which led to the creation of the Brownsville SMART Orchestra and Skinner Elementary String Project. An accomplished violinist, Dr. Placeres also is an experienced adjudicator and clinician for many competitions and music clinics.
Dr. Placeres received the “Woman of the Year in the Arts” award in the State of Puebla, Mexico in 2008. The Carmen Serdán Alatriste Award is presented only to women from Puebla who have an outstanding career and have contributed to the culture in the State.
As a conductor, Dr. Placeres has led the Puebla State Conservatory of Music Youth Symphony, the Puebla State Symphony Orchestra, the University of Tamaulipas Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Tech University Symphony and String Orchestras, and has been guest conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra in Decatur, Illinois.



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