Durango Telegraph - Portrait of a conductor
Portrait of a conductor

Mikylah Myers McTeer, 30, is assistant professor of violin and viola at Fort Lewis College. Now in her third year as a faculty member, she is also concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony; half of a new professional duo, Campi and McTeer; and a third of The Red Shoe Piano Trio, a chamber group that performs regularly in and around the Southwest.

McTeer’s academic schedule and concertizing have not stopped her from fulfilling a long-held dream to start a youth orchestra.

“When I was young,” McTeer said in an interview last week, “I played in the Portland Youth Philharmonic. It’s the oldest youth orchestra in the country. It laid the groundwork for my life as a professional musician and music educator.”

From those early days, two bits of musi

cal wisdom have stayed with her, McTeer said: Sit up straight, and look at the conductor. “I learned that from our conductor Jacob Avshalomov,” she said. “In addition to the discipline and love of music he instilled in us, that simple advice has stood me well.”

McTeer is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was a four-year member and co-captain of the Oberlin Varsity Women’s Soccer Team. She also earned a master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. Until the creation of the Durango Youth Symphony, McTeer spent her summers performing at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

– Judith Reynolds

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