Mrs. Johanna Kitchell is thrilled to be joining the New World Youth Orchestra family as the newly-appointed director of the Concert Orchestra. She is in her 12th year as Orchestra Director at Riverside Junior High and Riverside Intermediate in Fishers, Indiana. The Riverside Orchestra program encompasses approximately 290 students in grades 6-8, and is highly successful, receiving several awards and consistently high scores at festivals and competitions. The Riverside orchestras have earned nearly all gold ratings at ISSMA Organizational Contest, including six “With Distinction” accolades. The RJH Philharmonic Orchestra has twice been an Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) demonstration ensemble, in 2011 and 2015.
Mrs. Kitchell is the 2018 Indiana ASTA Middle School Music Educator of the Year, and the 2014 recipient of the IMEA Outstanding Middle School Music Educator award. She also currently serves as Past-President of the Indiana chapter of the American String Teachers Association; previously, she has served as the INASTA President, Treasurer, and All-Region Honor Orchestra Coordinator.
Mrs. Kitchell has guest lectured at Butler University Ball State University, and Indiana University. She has served as a panel expert at the ASTA national conference, and has been a conference presenter & clinician for IMEA, traveling the state to work with other school ensembles. She is a D’addario Educational Consultant, helping to develop and appearing in filmed beginning string tutorials for orchestra educators. Mrs. Kitchell served as the 2018 guest conductor for the Kentucky MEA Middle School District 7 Festival Orchestra. Currently, she also serves on the board of the Indiana Arts Education Network, an advocacy group promoting arts education in all schools across Indiana, as well as the board of the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy, as an education and community liaison.
Mrs. Kitchell is a graduate of Butler University, where she studied cello under Dr. William Grubb. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Music Education degree at Butler, with a hopeful completion date of May 2022. Mrs. Kitchell is very involved in the Indianapolis music community as a private string teacher, professional gig musician, and frequent concert-goer. She was named the 2014 recipient of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Pitz Leadership Award, which recognizes community contributions to the orchestra. When not in school, Mrs. Kitchell enjoys listening to live music, running, watching Jeopardy, playing with her dog Zoey, and spending time with her husband.