Music Director/Conductor | Director Emeritus | Board of Directors | Staff
Eileen M. Young, Music Director/Conductor
Eileen Young performs as Principal Bass Clarinetist in the Winston-Salem Symphony and as Principal Clarinetist with the Salisbury Symphony. She is the former Bass Clarinetist with the North Carolina Symphony. Eileen was the Salisbury Symphony featured soloist in October 2009 with her performance of Persis Vehar’s “City of Light” Concerto for Clarinet and orchestra. Reviews of the concerto claimed that she “…played with great virtuosity” and “… sailed confidently and unperturbed through each challenge.” Her performance interviews were featured on WFDD in Winston-Salem and on WDAV in Davidson, NC. Eileen performed James David’s Auto ’66 Concerto for Clarinet in April 2013 with the Wake Forest University Wind Ensemble.
In 2004 and 2006, Eileen completed successful tours of France as clarinet soloist and accompanist with the Forsyth Country Day School choir. Eileen performs regularly throughout the region on various chamber recitals as clarinetist with the Elektra Winds woodwind quartet.
Since joining the Salem band organization in 2011, Eileen has overseen substantial increases in audience size, budget growth, season sponsorships, and band membership. Salem Band currently performs 5 outdoor and 3 indoor concert programs per season and includes 70 member performers. Eileen also instituted sponsored ensembles, including the Salem Swing Band (which she also conducts), Salem Saxophone Quartet, the Salem Band Brass Quintet, and the Salem Band Flute Ensemble. Eileen also serves on the Board of Directors.
Salem Band recently celebrated 250 years with the Winston-Salem community. Special events included several World Premier performances of Commissioned compositions, a Student Trombone Competition, a Proclamation from the City of Winston-Salem, Community Trombone Ensemble pre-concert music, Salem Band Alumni Concert and Memorial Service, and the publication of a new edition of the book on our history, The Salem Band.
Eileen received the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance from UNC Greensboro where she was a winner in the Concerto Competition. She received the Master of Music degree in saxophone from the UNC School of the Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with Instructional Certification from Messiah College, where she won the Second Annual Keith Kuhlman Performance Competition. Her principal teachers include James Houlik, Robert Listokin, Daryl Coad, Craig Whittaker, Kelly Burke, William Higgins, Beverly Butts, and Frank Stachow.
Eileen can be heard on recordings with the North Carolina, Winston-Salem, and Western Piedmont Symphonies, Kindermusik International, and the Forsyth Country Day School Choral Ensemble. She is the recipient of two Emerging Artist grants from the Greensboro United Arts Council, numerous faculty and course development grants at Wake Forest University, and several grants through the Winston-Salem Foundation. Originally from, Pennsylvania, Eileen grew up performing in community bands in Lancaster County as part of the Music Performance Trust Fund.
Jeff Whitsett, Director Emeritus
Jeff Whitsett joined the Salem Band in 1972, became its Director in 1992, and retired to become Director Emeritus in 2011.
A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Jeff is a former public school music teacher, private instructor and a life-long Moravian. He is a charter member of the Piedmont Wind Symphony, serving 25 years as Principal Euphonium and Associate Conductor. A former Vice-President, Regional Marketing Manager for a national print music distributor, he managed their NC branch for more than 23 years. Currently Jeff serves as Director of Moravian Church Bands in Winston-Salem and as Personnel Manager/Librarian of the Winston-Salem Symphony. Originally from Winston-Salem, Jeff now calls Mount Airy home where he lives with his wife, Beverly Huffman.
Gwyn Warden, Administrative Assistant
Gwyn Warden has enjoyed playing clarinet for Salem Band for over 10 years. She served as Board Secretary from 2017-2022 and became Administrative Assistant for the Band in 2023.
Gwyn double-majored in Religion and Music at Salem College where she studied clarinet under Dr. Eileen Young. While at Salem, Gwyn participated in many ensembles including Salem’s Chamber Choir, Supertonix a capella group, and Instrumental Chamber Ensemble. She was also a member of Wake Forest University’s SOTOGAB Marching and Pep Band, Symphonic Band, Clarinet Choir, and Woodwind Quintet. During her time at Salem College, Gwyn also began playing summer concerts with Salem Band (2012). In 2013, Gwyn toured with Salem College’s Chamber Choir to the Festival of the Aegean in Ermoupolis, Greece. She also toured with the Chamber Choir to Washington D.C. in 2014 where she had the privilege of singing and playing clarinet in the National Cathedral, Holocaust Museum, and Union Station.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts from Salem College in 2014, Gwyn moved to Cleveland, Tennessee to pursue a Masters of Church Music from Lee University. While in Graduate School, Gwyn studied clarinet under Dr. Peter Cain and enjoyed playing in Lee University’s Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble (under Dr. David Holsinger), and Orchestra. In 2015, she toured Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia with Lee University’s Symphonic Band.
Gwyn currently serves as Music Director of Courtney Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC. She loves directing the Worship Choir, Handbell Choir, and planning worship services for the church. Gwyn also enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Jared and daughter Elsie. She and Jared have a goal of visiting all 63 U.S. National Parks together.
Salem Band Board of Directors
As of May, 2023
BOARD CHAIR: Dr. Robert Rhoads
Fr. Gus Chrysson
Dr. William Hansen
Dr. Carmichael Henry
Ms. Beth Myers
Mr. Steven Sherrill
SECRETARY: Ms. Emily Wall
TREASURER: Ms. Melody Choplin
Dr. Eileen Young, Music Director
Mr. Jeff Whitsett, Director Emeritus
Salem Band Staff
Dr. Eileen Young
Mr. Jeff Whitsett
Ms. Gwyn Warden
Ms. Judith Stein
Ms. Kristie Staton
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