Conductor / Director
Richard Piippo – HAYO Music Director/Conductor
Richard Piippo brings a wealth of chamber music, solo, orchestral and conducting experiences to HAYO. Born in Wisconsin, he has Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His studies at the university were with George Sopkin and enhanced by work with Pierre Fournier in Switzerland and Lazlo Varga and Margaret Rowell at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.Piippo’s professional life is committed to teaching young people. He founded the Fairlane Youth Chamber Music Guild, which has exposed many talented young musicians to the enjoyment of chamber music. In 1989, Chamber Music America awarded him a Commendation of Outstanding Leadership in Chamber Music Education. In 1996, one of his string quartets won the American String Teachers Association chamber music competition in Michigan. Since 1996, Piippo has spent his summers on the faculty of the Seminar at Western Michigan University, as conductor of the chamber orchestra and coaching chamber music. In 1998, Mr. Piippo was invited to tour Europe with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He served as Conductor of the Metropolitan Concert Orchestra, the Dearborn Youth Symphony, as well as Artistic Director/Conductor of the Dearborn Summer Music Festival. In 1998, the Dearborn Youth Symphony received the Mayor’s Arts Award for the outstanding musical ensemble in Dearborn.
Mr. Piippo retired from Hope College in 2014 and was cello instructor and the Associate Professor of Orchestras. Piippo’s performing career began as cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony. His reputation grew when he captured first place in two national cello competitions. He appears as soloist and chamber player throughout the United States and Canada, performs as adjunct cellist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and is the cellist with the American Piano Quartet. Critics have commented on his sure techniques and lyrical style, which brings to audiences an extraordinary experience.
Kyle Nester – HAJS Music Director/Conductor
Kyle Nester graduated from Alma College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree. After a long-term substitute teacher position in Fremont, Michigan he taught 5th – 12th grade orchestra at Chippewa Hills School District for seven years. After his wife wife Andrea finished her law degree at Michigan State University, he started teaching at Holland Christian in 2012. Andrea is currently employed in a law firm in downtown Grand Rapids.
Mr. Nester and his wife enjoy running races, enjoying nature, playing music, traveling, and spending time together. We have three “interesting” cats and a planted freshwater fish tank.