Musical Director and Junior/Debut Director Sheila Bateman brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Snoqualmie Strings. The Snoqualmie resident grew up in Newcastle, where she began studying the violin at age 4 and later played in the Seattle Youth Symphony. She then attended Brigham Young University, where she played for the BYU Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, and studied violin privately with Barbara Williams. She studied conducting with Paul Broomhead at BYU and Will Kesling at USU. She earned a BS from BYU in 1990 and a MS from USU in 1994, when she began teaching violin privately. She moved to Snoqualmie in 2004, and in 2009 founded the Snoqualmie Strings Youth Orchestra. She has also served as the music director for her church's regional choir and orchestra (2007-2018), as well as the Assistant Choral Conductor for the Ensign Symphony and Chorus (2013-2019), and Ensign Youth Chorus Director (2017-2019). She currently plays in the Ensign Symphony in addition to maintaining her private studio and Snoqualmie Strings.
Sheila is an avid arranger and transcriber, with over 50 pieces of music for her church choir, youth orchestra, and Ensign Chorus. Making arrangements of great classics, such as Dvorak's New World Symphony and Beethoven's 5th, to be played by all levels of Snoqualmie Strings together remains one of her favorite activities.
Youth Orchestra Director and Chamber Orchestra Coach Rylan Virnig is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting under the direction of David Alexander Rahbee. A passionate educator, Rylan began his formal conducting studies with Robert Spittal and Timothy Westerhaus at Gonzaga University, where he received degrees in Violin Performance and Economics. In addition to winning the University’s Concerto Competition during his third year, Rylan was awarded the Undergraduate Music Award as well as the Jo Merwin Music Award for outstanding musical accomplishments and contributions. Rylan also served as concertmaster of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra, who hosted internationally recognized soloists such as Midori Goto and Lynn Harrell.
In addition to his duties as conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestra and assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, Rylan has appeared as substitue violinist for the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, and Helena Symphony Orchestra, and remains an active instructor of music at various institutions, such as the Community Music Center, and the Chamber Music Camp of Portland. Rylan has also participated in music festivals including the Monteux Festival Orchestra and the InterHarmony International Music festival.