Christopher Fashun

Music Director/Conductor
Holland Area Youth Orchestra

Holland Area Youth Orchestra welcomes Dr. Christopher Fashun to the podium as the new conductor of the youth orchestra starting in September, 2019. Christopher Fashun has been hired as the new Music Director of Holland Area Youth Orchestra, announced by the Holland Symphony Orchestra. The search committee led by Amanda Dykhouse is most excited about this new leadership and exciting ideas for the continued growth of the youth orchestra program. Fashun follows Richard Piippo who is retiring from the position of Holland Area Youth Orchestra Music Director after 20 years in this leadership. Piippo is the retired Director of Orchestras at Hope College, the position which Fashun now holds. Holland Area Youth Orchestra is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this spring and is most appreciative of the gifts Richard Piippo has brought to its growth, the constant challenge to perform at a high level and his passion for teaching, music, and students! Fashun joins the team with Kyle Nester who conducts both the Holland Area Junior Strings (beginning orchestra) and Holland Area Concert Strings (intermediate orchestra). Christopher H. Fashun is an incredibly diverse and versatile conductor, performer, and educator. He brings over two decades of experience as a music educator leading middle school, high school and collegiate band and orchestra programs in addition to directing jazz and percussion ensembles. A 2018 recipient of a U.S. Postdoctoral Fulbright Award in All Disciplines, Dr. Fashun will be living and researching Afro-Brazilian music in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil during the summer of 2019. His project will focus on the dissemination of Afro-Brazilian music and culture in the city of Salvador. An Assistant Professor of Music at Hope College, he serves as the Director of Orchestras, the founder and Music Director of the Brazilian Drumming Ensemble, teaches applied percussion, world music, and is an Instructor of Instrumental Music Education. An accomplished percussionist and violist, he has several years of orchestral and chamber music experience and has enjoyed success in both areas as a soloist by winning three concerto competitions, one on viola and two on marimba. When he’s not making music, he is either cycling, paddle boarding, or practicing Pilates and enjoying the fabulous beaches in Holland (in the summer, of course) with his wife and daughter. Holland Area Youth Orchestra is the most advanced of the three orchestras in the youth orchestra system. This full orchestra consists of largely high school members, selected by audition each spring. Auditions will be held at selected local high schools this year as well as one at Midtown Center, Holland MI, on Saturday, April 20th for those unable to audition at the schools. Interested students may call the Symphony office at 616-796-6780 to schedule a short audition time.

Kyle Nester

Music Director & Conductor
Holland Area Junior Strings & Holland Area Concert Strings

Kyle Nester graduated from Alma College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree. After a long-term substitute teacher position in Fremont, Michigan he taught 5th – 12th grade orchestra at Chippewa Hills School District for seven years. After his wife Andrea finished her law degree at Michigan State University, he started teaching at Holland Christian in 2012. Andrea is currently employed in a law firm in downtown Grand Rapids.

Mr. Nester and his wife enjoy running races, enjoying nature, playing music, traveling, and spending time together. We have three “interesting” cats and a planted freshwater fish tank.