Board of Directors
Byrwec Ellison had a 35-year career as a structural dynamics engineer in the aerospace and energy production industries. He studied seismic, geotechnical, structural and reliability engineering at Caltech and UCLA, and his work has encompassed vibration and loads analysis of high performance military aircraft, orbital space vehicles and nuclear power generating facilities.
In his spare time, he freelanced for 20 years as an arts writer for daily and weekly newspapers in California, contributing advance feature articles and concert reviews. On radio, he was on-air host for the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on station KTCU-FM in Fort Worth. He previously served on the board of directors of Long Beach Opera, where he assisted general directors Michael Milenski and Andreas Mitisek with programming and special projects. A dabbler at composing and arranging, one of the 1-1/2 minute high points of his life was hearing "Promenade I" from his original orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures from an Exhibition” performed and recorded commercially in Royal Albert Hall by Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony at the 2004 London Proms. An amateur violinist for over 50 years, he enjoys playing in FWCO with his wife, Anne, because the repertoire of violin-bassoon duets is impoverished.
Tara Coleman is a violinist with FWCO, and has enjoyed reuniting with her original love of music. She first developed her skills as a child playing piano and violin in school and church. After graduating high school, she went on to receive her undergraduate degree in English from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and later on would earn her graduate degree in Environmental Communications & Culture from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK. Tara has a hospitality, communications, and public relations background developed over the last twenty years, leading to her career as the Financial Communications Manager for the City of Dallas.
Tara and her wife moved to Fort Worth in 2020 from Louisiana with their two pups Theo & Finn. They serve in their community as foster parents and help in animal rescue. In her free time, Tara enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors in nature while reading and writing.
Anne Ellison joined FWCO in the middle of the 2003-04 season playing second bassoon. She attended Arlington ISD schools and started playing bassoon in the seventh grade after the junior band directors suggested it to her. She continued playing throughout high school as the first chair in Lamar High School’s band and orchestra, making All-City, All-Region and All-Area in band and orchestra every year. After the last band concert of her senior year, she thought her bassoon-playing days were over for good, as she did not own a bassoon or have a musical outlet. When she met her violin-playing husband about 10 years later, he helped find opportunities to re-kindle her skills on borrowed instruments in local community orchestras. When an opportunity arose to join FWCO in 2004, she finally bought a bassoon and has been with the orchestra ever since.
Anne attended Rice University and earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, then worked in the aerospace industry as an engineer on the Space Shuttle and fighter aircraft programs for 29 years. She has a deep interest in personal finance and money management, which led her to take on a role as treasurer for the FWCO in 2014 when the orchestra had a need. In her spare time, she volunteers as a tax counselor/preparer for the United Way via the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and for AARP doing free income tax preparation for lower-income and older clients. When it’s not tax season, she enjoys retirement by starting every day with the New York Times crossword puzzle, running, reading and hiking. She and her husband, Byrwec, have one son who lives in Denver, who is training to become a teacher.
Ginger is a Reading Specialist with the state of Texas and presently a professor of Reading/Writing at Tarrant County College. She has been teaching at some level of education for over 40 years.
She has played with the FWCO for 15 years, previously playing with other orchestras and wind symphonies in the state of Texas. She is married with two adult children who also participate in music. Her daughter spent 21 years marching and staffing with drum corps and now judges band competitions and Winterguard on the side while teaching high level calculus at the high school level. Her son has his own Irish punk band and plays side gigs to keep his sanity while working as a gunsmith. Both kids learned to use music as their outlet. Her husband plays the “radio” and computer games.
Ben Ledesma began playing fourth horn with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra in the 2019 season. Prior to joining and while attending Texas A&M University in pursuit of a degree in Electrical Engineering, he held positions as principal horn in the Texas A&M Symphony Orchestra and as a rotating horn in the University’s Wind Symphony. Additionally, he enjoyed ample freelancing opportunities in the greater Bryan/College Station area – from serving as a pit musician in musical theater productions to teaching lessons in the Bryan ISD. Ben has mentored under several professors of horn, most notably Patrick Hughes at the University of Texas and Jeffrey Powers at Baylor University.
A native of Arlington, Ben resides in Saginaw with two wonderful roommates and a lovely husky named Kira. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is pursuing an MS in the same discipline with Purdue University while working a day job at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. With the opportunity granted to him as a board member, he hopes to revitalize FWCO with new community involvement and to inspire musical excellence within the group to the highest standard.
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Patricio Lopez moved to the DFW area in 2012. He currently works for a large Healthcare Organization in Arlington, TX, in the field of Human Resources.
He started off playing cello in elementary school through high school but later found a passion for the viola when going to the University of Texas at El Paso, which led him to change instruments. He played with the UTEP Symphony Orchestra and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. Upon moving to Fort Worth in 2012, he began playing with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra in the viola section.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling whenever he gets the opportunity and has a pet Pomeranian named Onyx.
Brendan J. Marcum Carter is an American cellist from El Paso, TX. Brendan started his musical journey in the fall of 2005 when he picked up the cello for the first time and quickly joined the both Youth Symphonies in the El Paso region. Developing a passion for music and leadership, Brendan was the Orchestra President of Coronado High School and both of the youth symphonies to which he belonged between the years of 2009-2013.
In 2017, Brendan earned his bachelors degree in Music Performance from the University of North Texas studying under Professor Nikola Nino Ružević. Mr. Marcum Carter held a position on the University of North Texas College of Music Advisory Counsel during his senior year. Brendan is currently the Resident Director Assistant for the Flower Mound office of Merrill Lynch Wealth Mangement. Mr. Marcum Carter is an active musician with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra and the Brazos Chamber Orchestra appearing as a soloist, chamber musician, and an orchestral player. Brendan has soloed with orchestras around the United States and Canada. Currently, Brendan resides in Arlington, Texas with his two dogs, Baby and Suge.
Now retired, Steve Moore earned degrees in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture from Texas A&M University and worked in the horticulture retail industry for over 40 years.
He studied piano privately all through his youth and participated in annual National Piano Guild Auditions. He also played in a marimba troupe in his hometown of Bryan, Texas during his high school and college years. In high school, he made 1st chair All-State Percussion II after district, region and state competitions. He began playing timpani with the Rice University Campanile Orchestra, where he performed for over 10 years.
Steve has served as FWCO's timpanist and principal percussionist since 2006 after moving to Fort Worth in 2004. He enjoys gardening, classical music, knitting and crochet and reading.
A Texas native, Doug Omundson was raised in El Paso and after living in many places around the country, is happily back in Texas and calls Fort Worth home. He works in healthcare leadership for JPS Health Network, where he is the front-line leader of Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Cath Lab, and Cardiac Electrophysiology. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.
Doug has enjoyed rich musical adventures through playing the tuba. he studied music at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and Arizona State University. Teachers include Arnold Jacobs, Sam Pilafian, Dave Fedderly, Patrick Sheridan, and Ron Bishop. Doug played professionally with the Washington, D.C.-based Monumental Brass Quintet, and has performed with the Cleveland Winds, the El Paso Symphony, the Mesa Symphony, the Tempe Symphony, and the Heartland Philharmonic. He currently holds principal tuba positions with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, Northeast Orchestra, Brazos Chamber Orchestra, Central Texas Medical orchestra, and North Texas Medical Orchestra. Doug is also a well-versed solo player having given numerous recitals and made tuba solo appearances with the Cleveland State University wind ensemble, the Brevard Music Center, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Arizona State's inaugural "Octubafest," and at a Society of Composers conference, as well as an upcoming 2024 solo engagement with the Central Texas Medical Orchestra.
Doug is delighted to return to the FWCO board of directors in 2023 after having served in the past, including a term as president of the board. In his spare time, Doug and his wife, Katie - a violinist with FWCO, enjoy trying to keep their two rescue dogs, Gustopher Robin and Lord Percival, out of trouble!
The current concertmaster of the FWCO, Dan Stevens is an engineer at Lockheed Martin. A native of Fort Worth, and a product of the FWISD, Dan was a member of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth, and in high school was member of the TMEA All State Orchestra all 4 years and played in the TCU symphony, serving as principal violist of all. At the age of 17 he was offered a position in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra by Maestro John Giordano.
Originally a music major, he attended TCU on scholarship and then the Julliard School where he studied viola with William Lincer and chamber music with the Julliard String Quartet. He participated in master classes with many master artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Ruggierio Ricci, and was a member of the National Orchestral Association Training Orchestra based in Carnegie Hall where he was exposed to many of the greatest conductors of the day. However after 4 years of total immersion in the music world, he decided to spend some time pursuing his interests in Science and ended up earning a degree in mechanical engineering.
As an engineer with a steady day job, he found that he could participate in both of his loves. As a young engineer at General Dynamics he was invited to join a rehearsal of the FWCO by some co-workers. He was quickly pushed up to principal violist by the other members of the section. In 1990, when the orchestra's fine young concertmaster moved away, conductor Yves L'Helgoual'ch asked Dan if he would move over to violin and play concertmaster, and except for a few years when he was away form Fort Worth for jobs in Virginia and Waco, he has been concertmaster and an active volunteer for the FWCO ever since.
He currently serves as a board member, a member of the Carol Competition and Young Artist committees, and is the orchestra manager and concertmaster for the University Christian Church's Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival for which the FWCO has provided the orchestra for over 20 years. He is also a past board president and a past chair of the orchestra committee and was heavily involved in the production of the 5 PDQ Bach summer concerts, even working with Peter Schickele and performing the world premier of the PDQ Bach composition, "The Only Piece Ever Written for Violin and Tuba" in Bass Hall. Outside of the FWCO Dan has played in the Austin, Waco, Fort Worth, and Wichita Falls Symphonies, The Dallas Opera Orchestra, the Brazos Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the professional ensemble, Forte' Strings. When he can find the time, his hobbies include golf and high performance driving.