Seth Gamba – Director
Seth Gamba grew up in Cobb County Georgia where he began playing the bass in the 6th grade public school orchestra. He is a graduate of Walton High School, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University with a double major in Doublebass Performance and Civics. He has a Master of Music Education from the University of Georgia.
Mr. Gamba is currently the orchestra director at Elkins Pointe Middle School and Hembree Springs Elementary School in Fulton County. He is also a frequent performer in professional jazz ensembles and orchestras. He has been a member of the Porto Allegre Symphony in Brazil, the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony, and the Macon Symphony. He volunteers his skills in the Dekalb Symphony where he plays the viola and is the codirector of the New World Unity Ensemble, the choir at the Bahá’í Unity Center in Decatur.
Mr. Gamba recently organized and presented a Basstravaganza clinic for GMEA district 5 orchestra teachers. The notes and suggestions from that clinic were published in the GAASTA newsletter Gut Reaction. He also presented research findings on adult participation in music at the GMEA convention in 2001. This paper was published in the Georgia Music News in 2002.
Mr. Gamba is the assistant director of the Upbeat! summer music camp and hosts one of the sessions at Elkins Pointe.
Mr. Gamba has composed for many genres including student orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble, and rock band. His compositions have been performed at school concerts, district performance evaluations, and previous GMEA conventions. Compositions are currently available directly from the composer.
Mrs. Nicole Thompson presently serves as conductor of the String Orchestra with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta. She also serves as Director of Orchestras at Taylor Road Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia. Additionally, Mrs. Thompson serves as coordinator for the Georgia High School 9-10 All-State Orchestra. Mrs. Thompson earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree at Georgia State University. She earned her Master of Music Education Degree and Specialist of Music Education Degree at the University of Georgia. Mrs. Thompson has conducted orchestras at the Georgia Music Educators’ Conference in Savannah, Georgia and American String Teachers Association conferences in Dallas, Texas and Reno, Nevada. She has also taught seminars in Budapest, Hungary, as well as being an active clinician throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta area. Mrs. Thompson has maintained an active performing career as well. She plays violin full time with The Mount Paran Orchestra and is also a freelance violinist. Her professional affiliations include MENC, ASTA, and GMEA. Mrs. Thompson loves sports and has earned a black belt in Martial Arts and completed 2 triathlons.
Mrs. Hoebeke is the Director of Orchestras at Hopewell Middle School in Fulton County. Under her direction, the orchestras have consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation. Her orchestras have performed for the National Middle School Association Conference, the Georgia State PTA Convention, the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, Walt Disney World Magic Music Days, Music in the Parks Festival, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Ga.
Mrs. Hoebeke received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Florida State University and a Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Miami, Florida. During her career, she has performed as a violinist with several orchestras throughout the Southeast. Her professional affiliations include NAFME, GMEA, and ASTA. Mrs. Hoebeke has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator with several orchestras, including the Dougherty County Honor Orchestra, Middle School Honor Orchestra in Muscogee County, Bibb County Middle School Honor Orchestra, Georgia American String Teachers Association Camp, and the GMEA District 11 Solo and Ensemble Festival. She lives in Holly Springs with her husband, Tony, and sons, Thomas and Timothy.
Lori Gomez – Academy Director
Mrs. Gomez was born and raised in Upstate New York. She and her two daughters, Sophia (13) and Summer (11) reside here in Johns Creek. Her passion for music started at a very young age while sitting around the dinner table listening to her parents (both music teachers) talk excitedly about their jobs. Music was everywhere, and everyone played guitar, piano, sang, and had one or more classical instruments in their repertoire.
After earning a Master’s degree in Performance and Music Theory, she moved to Cali, Colombia for a few years to play in a full-time symphony (La Orquesta Sinfonia del Valle) where she really honed her violin and viola performance skills. Upon returning to the United States, she enrolled in the University of Connecticut and worked toward her PhD for three years. Life took some interesting turns and eventually she ended up living here in beautiful central Georgia.
Mrs. Gomez is also an avid fiddler, and plays and sings in a local band called Keltic Kudzu. (Check out her website at keltickudzu.com and like it on Facebook!) The band plays regularly at family-friendly venues such as Olde Blind Dog on Crabapple Rd, and the Heron House on Mountain Park. The band also performs at the annual Stone Mountain Highland Games every October.
She currently teaches Orchestra, AP Music Theory, and Guitar Class at Chattahoochee High School.