About the Oklahoma Community Orchestra

Darren Moring
Concertmaster

Darren Moring graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School where he studied under Kathleen McCullough. He performed annually in the Kansas All-State Orchestra where he served as the Principal Violist in his senior year.

Darren graduated from the University of Kansas with his Bachelor's of Science in Atmospheric Science and a Minor in Music Performance, studying viola under Phillip Kramp and performing with the KU Symphony Orchestra under David Neely. He competed in concerto competitions in Kansas City as well as at the University of Kansas, where he placed 4th. During his studies, he also served as Principal Second Violinist with the Overland Park Community Orchestra, Principal Violinist in his church orchestra, and a common substitute for multiple ensemble groups across the Kansas City metro.

He currently works for Weathernews Inc. as an Operational Marine Meteorologist in Norman. He joined the Oklahoma Community Orchestra in 2018, and has served as Assistant Concertmaster since January 2019.

Tonya Ford
Principal 2nd Violin

Tonya earned both her Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Tulsa. She was able to join the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra during her junior year of college and performed with them for a total of sixteen years. After graduating, Tonya taught orchestra with the Norman Public Schools as well as playing with the Lawton Philharmonic for four years before returning to Tulsa. In 1990, her family relocated to Edmond and she started teaching orchestra with the Edmond schools. Tonya soon joined the Oklahoma Community orchestra and has served both as assistant-concertmaster and now as principal second violin. She also enjoys performing with the Enid Symphony and the Edmond Chamber Orchestra. Tonya is now retired from Edmond Schools, where she taught orchestra for 21 years.

Kathy and Bill Thompson
Co-Principal Viola

Kathy, Bill and violas go way back. As dating teenagers they shared a viola stand in Wichita Falls (TX) high school orchestra, where a good date often involved some viola practice together. As newlyweds, they played together in the Abilene Christian University orchestra. For many years they have continued to share a viola stand in the Oklahoma Community Orchestra. 46 years into marriage, they still make music together. The viola can be very romantic.

Kathy completed her Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and her  PhD in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma and now serves as  the chair of the music department and teaches at Oklahoma Christian University.

Bill collects violas and works as an insurance agent in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Bob Carroll
Principal Cello

Bob is a graduate of U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City. While attending the University of Oklahoma, he was principal cellist in the OU Symphony and a member of the OU String Quartet.

He was also a cellist with the Midland-Odessa, TX Symphony following his collegiate years, while working as a YMCA professional.

Currently, Bob plays for pleasure in the Oklahoma Community Orchestra and is a member of the Classics Moods String Quartet; additionally, he plays solo cello for weddings, receptions, and other events.

In his professional life, Bob is a jewelry insurance and security expert; owner of the Robert G. Carroll Associates -- Oklahoma's only agency that specializes in insuring both the personal jewelry of individuals and jewelry-related businesses throughout several states in the Southwest.

Andre Francisco
Principal Double Bass

Andre’ is a 1976 graduate of U.S. Grant High School where he was the first African-American student body president. He attended Central State University (UCO) in Edmond studying string bass with Ruth Ralston. He has also studied with Charles Hoag at the University of Kansas.

A fourth generation music educator in Oklahoma City, he is currently the Instrumental Music Teacher at Rogers Middle School in Spencer, Oklahoma. He previously taught band and orchestra at John Marshall, Star Spencer and Frederick A. Douglass High Schools. He was also adjunct professor of brass at Rose State College and adjunct professor of string bass at the University of Central Oklahoma.

As a performer, Andre’ is the principal bassist of the Oklahoma Community Orchestra. He has been a member of the bass sections of the Enid/Phillips Symphony, Lawton Philharmonic and for sixteen years, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He is also an assistant director of the Ambassadors’ Concert Choir.

Civically, he has served on the board of directors of the Urban League, and the Ambassadors’ Concert Choir. Currently he is on the board of the Metropolitan School of Dance. He is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Black School Educators, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Andre’ and his wife Teresa reside in Oklahoma City. They have one son, Addam.

Janet Romanishin
Principal Flute

Janet Romanishin, DMA, University of Southern California, has performed in the Tucson Symphony, Ballet and Pops Orchestras, Arizona Opera Orchestra, Tulsa Opera Orchestra, Norman Flute Quartet, and Missouri Symphony Society Performing Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. Her many solo recitals include guest artist appearances at the University of Arizona and the University of Redlands, CA., as well as the Ada Arts Council Artist Series. She has performed at national conventions of Sigma Alpha Iota and the National Flute Association. On the founding board of the Oklahoma Flute Society, she has served in many capacities, including president and treasurer. Dr. Romanishin has taught flute at Duquesne University and the Northern Arizona University Summer Fine Arts Camp, and flute and piano at South Mountain Community College (Phoenix). An active member of Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, she is currently president of Norman Area Music Teachers Association, and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of flute. She has presented educational performances about the flute family for schools through the Norman Arts and Humanities Guest Artist Program. She teaches flute, adjudicates, freelances, and performs and records with the Arioso Consort.

Gerald Warlick
Principal Oboe

Gerald Warlick earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. There he studied oboe with Richard Killmer, currently professor of oboe at the Eastman School of Music. He taught instrumental music in Crescent and Oklahoma City Public Schools; was adjunct professor of oboe and bassoon at the University of Central Oklahoma and performed as a member of the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with symphony orchestras in Enid, Fort Smith and Lawton.

Mr. Warlick retired as a music educator after fifteen years with Midwest City-Del City Schools. He is presently adjunct professor of oboe at Oklahoma Christian University and Southern Nazarene University and maintains a private studio of oboe students. Mr. Warlick performs regularly as principal oboist with the Enid Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma Community Orchestra, and chamber music groups Eclipse and Cimarron Wind Quintet.

Jennifer "Jenny" Rucker
Principal Clarinet

Jenny has been principal clarinetist with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra since its inception and is a frequent substitute for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, playing clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. In addition, Jennifer has competed in the International Clarinet Association’s “Clarinetfest” Orchestral Excerpt Competitions, where in 2006-2008, and 2010, was chosen as a semifinalist, and in 2007, won second place in Vancouver, B.C..

Jenny earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music Education degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is a member of the Cimarron Wind Quintet, The Lyric Theatre Orchestra, the Edmond Chamber Orchestra, the Pollard Theatre Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians Local 375-703. She is currently the adjunct clarinet instructor at Oklahoma Christian University, the University of Central Oklahoma and has a highly successful private clarinet studio at her home in Edmond.

Jenny may also be seen and heard playing clarinet, sax and flute, with local bands, such as The Shadowman Blues Project, Moonlight Serenade, and The Edmond Jazz Orchestra.

Barre Griffith
Principal Bassoon

Barre, an Oklahoma native, studied bassoon from 1953-1962 with the late Betty Johnson, former principal bassoonist with the Oklahoma City Symphony and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.  He attended Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, from 1962-1966 and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree.  During that time, he played with the ASU Orchestra, Sun Devil Band, Opera Workshop Orchestra, and the ASU Student Woodwind Quintet.  In addition, he performed as second bassoonist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.  From January - June 1967, he was a Graduate Assistant with the Music Department of the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, and was the principal bassoonist with the University of Idaho Orchestra.  From 1967-1971 he was a member of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and attended the Catholic University of America from which he earned a Master of Music Education degree.  While living in the Dallas, Texas, area from 1971-1979, he played with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra as principal bassoonist.

Barre is president of the American Exchange Bank, Lindsay, Oklahoma, and vice-president of the First National Bank, Fletcher, Oklahoma.  Along with being a freelance musician, he performs as principal bassoonist with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra, the Cimarron Wind Quintet, the OU Civic Orchestra and is the third bassoonist/contrabassoonist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bill Knisely
Principal Trumpet

Bill Knisely grew up in Midwest City, Oklahoma and graduated from Midwest City High School. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University and his Master's degree from the Northwestern University School of Music. Currently, Bill is the band director for Monroney Middle School in the Mid-Del Schools and also teaches trumpet privately. He lives in Midwest City with his wife Tonya and their three sons. Bill has played with the OCO for over twenty years and has served as President of the Board of Directors on two occasions.

Kristi Nagode
Principal French Horn

Kristi graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a combined vocal and instrumental Bachelor of Music Education degree. She studied horn with Dr. Melvin Lee and played in the band, orchestra and various ensembles. After graduating, she taught vocal music at Newcastle High School and Junior High for four years, and also played with the Westside Wind Quintet. During a two-year stay in Enid, Kristi played principal horn with the Enid Symphony Orchestra and studied with Dan Meier.

After returning to Oklahoma City in 1987, she directed adult and children’s choirs at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church for nine years. She and her husband, Cory, who plays trombone in the Community Orchestra, also play in St. Luke’s instrumental ensembles and serve on the board of El Sistema Oklahoma. Some of the other groups Kristi has performed with are the Harmonious Winds Quintet, the University of Oklahoma Hornsemble and Civic Orchestra, the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company and Sooner Theater.

Daryl Nagode
Principal Trombone

Daryl Nagode graduated in 2011 from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied trombone performance with Dr. Irvin Wagner. Shortly after graduating, he became a member of Banana Seat, an established cover band based in Oklahoma City.

Daryl is also a founding member of a brass quintet called the Boulevard Brass. The group was formed by friends and fellow OU alumni in the summer of 2011, and they have been active ever since, giving over 100 performances around Oklahoma in a wide variety of venues.

Daryl also performs in a 7 piece brass band called the Boyd Street Brass, which is modeled after New Orleans street bands. Led by Jay Wilkinson, they perform a mix of instrumental music and vocal tunes featuring Jay, who writes all the music performed by the group. Boyd Street Brass performs mostly original music by Jay, but they also have many arrangements of popular songs.

Daryl also plays regularly at St. Lukes United Methodist Church, plays bass trombone in the Enid Symphony, subs in the OKC Philharmonic and other regional orchestras, subs in the OKC jazz orchestra, and performs on occasion with theaters in the area, including Weizenhoffer Theatre, Rose State Theatre, Painted Sky Opera, and Cimarron Opera. He also works part time as the webmaster for the OU School of Music.

Martin Bellows
Principal Tuba

Having performed in many local productions, Martin has always been an active musician and supporter of the arts.

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, he taught instrumental and vocal music in New Mexico and Oklahoma until 1976.

After working a few years for the state of Oklahoma and then in private industry, he started Bellows Musical Instrument Services in Edmond, where he repairs band instruments and tunes pianos.

Martin has sung with various quartets and directed the local Barbershop chapter in Chickasha. He established the church orchestra at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond and continued to direct for fifteen years. Currently he sings in the choir at Waterloo Road Baptist church, and plays tuba in the Coffee Creek Brass Quintet.

He has been with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra since 1993.

Brad and Brian Kiespert
Co-Principal Percussion

Father and son duo Brad and Brian Kiespert share the principle duties for the percussion section.

Brad has been a member of the percussion section for 13 years. Brad studied percussion at UCO under K. Dean Walker. He is also the is the drummer for "Talk of the Town", an 18-piece big band in the Glen Miller tradition.

Brian has been with OCO for the past 8 years. He attended OU and graduated with a percussion performance degree from Southern Nazarene University studying with K. Dean Walker as well. Brian also performs weekly with his church.