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Adam Bodony
Artistic Director

Cara Pittenger
Executive Director

Susan Kitterman
Founder and Artistic Director Emerita

Johanna Kitchell
Conductor, Concert Orchestra

Mrs. Johanna Kitchell is thrilled to continue with the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra as the Concert Orchestra conductor. She is in her 16th year as Orchestra Director at Riverside Junior High and Riverside Intermediate in Fishers, Indiana.  The Riverside Orchestra program encompasses approximately 230 students in grades 6-8, and is highly successful, receiving several awards and consistently high scores at festivals and competitions.  In March 2022, the RJH Philharmonic Orchestra placed second in the prestigious ASTA National Orchestra Festival in Atlanta, GA. The Riverside orchestras have earned nearly all gold ratings at ISSMA Organizational Contest, including nine “With Distinction” accolades.  The RJH Philharmonic Orchestra has twice been an Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) demonstration ensemble, in 2011 and 2015.


Mrs. Kitchell was most recently named the 2023 Hamilton Southeastern Schools Teacher of the Year, as well as a 2023 Yamaha Music “40 Under 40” Music Educator. She 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 served nearly a decade on the board of the Indiana chapter of the American String Teachers Association; her roles included 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 string tutorials for orchestra educators. Mrs. Kitchell served as the 2018 guest conductor for the Kentucky MEA Middle School District 7 Festival Orchestra and the 2019 conductor for the INASTA All-Region North Honor Orchestra. Currently, she also serves on the board of the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy, as an education and community liaison.


Mrs. Kitchell holds both a Bachelor and Masters of Music in Music Education from Butler University. Mrs. Kitchell is very involved in the Indianapolis music community as a 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 teaching or conducting, Mrs. Kitchell enjoys running, playing trivia, and spending time with her husband and son.