Hakoda is enjoying his 13th season as music director and conductor of the Salina Symphony. During his tenure as music director, the Symphony has increased the number of concerts from four to seven with tremendous growth in ticket sales, resulting in an average concert attendance of 1,000. In addition, the Youth Symphony Program has flourished under his leadership, growing from one orchestra into a comprehensive educational program involving more than 170 students from grade school through high school. To honor his accomplishments, the Ken Hakoda Endowed Conductor Chair was established in May of 2014.In addition to his work with the Symphony, Hakoda serves as associate professor of music at Kansas Wesleyan University, where he teaches choir, music education and music theory classes. He is founder of the KWU Chamber Orchestra. He also directs choir at St. John’s Lutheran Church and regularly serves as music director at the Salina Community Theatre.Hakoda is also known for his talent as a composer with over 20 works to his credit. He has won a number of awards and honors as a composer, including the 1998 Claude T. Smith Phi Beta Mu Composition Contest, the 1996 MMEA Collegiate Composition Contest and a Departmental Distinction at St. Olaf College. Hakoda also received the 2003 Outstanding Young Band Director Award from Kansas Bandmasters Association and was named as the 2014 Kansas Federated Music Club “Composer / Conductor of the Year.”Hakoda hails from a unique musical background, having received extensive training in choral and instrumental education as well as theory / composition. At St. Olaf College, he earned a bachelor of arts degrees in choral music education, instrumental music education and theory / composition, for which he was awarded with the departmental distinction. While at St. Olaf, Hakoda studied voice with Dan Dressen, saxophone with Ruben Haugen, composition with Tim Mahr and Peter Hamlin, and conducting with Tim Mahr and Steve Amandson. Hakoda continued his education at Wichita State University as a graduate assistant, where he served as the director of the Shocker Pep Band. He earned master of music degrees in instrumental conducting, studying with Victor Markovich and Harry Davison and theory / composition, studying with Dr. Walter Mays and Dr. Dean Roush. Hakoda is currently a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he is studying pedagogy approaches in music education.
Henry Littich has taught as an orchestra/strings teacher since 1997. He became the Director of Orchestras for Smoky Valley Public Schools in 2009, where he teaches at Smoky Valley High School, Smoky Valley Middle School and Soderstrom Elementary School (grades 4-12). Littich began conducting the Salina Junior Youth Symphony in 2011. Since Littich’s arrival in Lindsborg, the Smoky Valley High School String and Symphony Orchestras have consistently earned first division superior ratings at the KSHSAA Large Ensemble Music Contest. In addition to outstanding ensemble performances, Littich’s students have earned individual accolades, earning seats in the State and District Honor Orchestras as well as high ratings at state and district solo and small ensemble music contests. The Smoky Valley High School Orchestra performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association in-service workshop in February 2015. Prior to coming to Lindsborg, Littich taught orchestra in Odessa, Texas. He holds a bachelor of music education and a master of music from Kansas State University, where he studied violin with Dr. Cora Cooper. In addition to his work in the Smoky Valley school district, Littich plays violin with the Salina Symphony and currently serves as the orchestra chair for South Central KMEA and state president of the Kansas American String Teachers Association. He and his wife, Kate, reside in Lindsborg with their children, Emma and Eddie.
Lindsay Modin began teaching orchestra in 2003, and has been the conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra since helping establish the ensemble in 2007. She maintains successful orchestra programs at Central High School and Lakewood Middle School as well as Cottonwood, Heusner, Meadowlark and Oakdale Elementary Schools in Salina. Modin was selected as a member of the 2002 National Wind Ensemble (NY), where she performed in Carnegie Hall. She was also the winner of the Nebraska Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Woodwinds Competition in 2001. In 2009-2010, Modin was awarded “Young Teacher of the Year” by the Kansas chapter of ASTA. Her Lakewood Tri-M International Music Honor Society has received the National Jr. Chapter of the Year Award twice. Modin has been a guest clinician at String Fling at KSU, and is on faculty at High Plains Music Camp at FHSU.Modin holds a M.M. from Kansas State University (2009) and B.M.E. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2003). When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Ryan, and their son, Marcus.