top of page

Meet Our Conductors & Staff


Alex Encinas
Artistic Director & Lead Conductor of the Scherzo Ensemble
Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Director of Education
Member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

 Alex Encinas is a true citizen of the world.  He was born in Peru, but his passion for music has taken him to Russia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Japan, France and finally to the United States.  At the beginning of his international career, he studied violin in Moscow and worked as a violinist with orchestras all around the world.  But it was the viola that truly captured his heart and he earned a Master’s degree in Performance at the University of Southern Mississippi on the Viola.  His goal as Director of Education of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is to work closely with Jackson Public Schools and attract new audiences.


To date, Mr. Encinas’ career as a professional musician includes his participation in important festivals and institutions, including the International Tour, I Musici Estensi from Italy (viola), the International Tour, Arpeggionoi Chamber Orchestra from Austria (Viola), and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.  He was the Assistant to the Concertmaster at the Symphony Orchestra at the Cité Université in Paris, France, and at the Orquesta Filarmónicain Lima, Peru.  He was also the Artistic Director of the Association Cultural Despertando Talentosin of Lima, Peru, as well as the Personnel and Recruiting Coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.  In Russia, he was the manager of the Chamber Orchestra Astraxan, and the president of the Russian-Hispanic Community Association.  Currently, Mr. Encinas is a violist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and performs with various ensembles across the country.  

Cami 2023 copy.jpeg

Camila Patiño
Conductor, Scherzo Orchestra
Conductor Little Mozarts
Member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Musical training has been in Maria Camila's life since childhood. She graduated with a Masters Degree from the School of Science and Arts at the University of Southern Mississippi, with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting as well as a Bachelors Degree from the School of Arts and Letters at the University of Southern Mississippi, with an emphasis in Music Performance in Viola. 

Ms. Patino has had the opportunity to collaborate with well-known artists such as The Beach Boys, Transiberian Orchestra, Deborah Voight, Rene Fleming, Oh Jeremiah, and Ilmar Gavilan, among others. She was principal viola on several occasions during her time as a member of the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. Currently, she plays with the Mississippi Symphony, Gulfcoast Symphony, and Meridian Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Patino also is co-founder of the Ruah String Trio; and the founder of the Global Aqua Music program at Global Adaptive Aquatics in Atlanta, GA, designed to assist children with disabilities.

Born in Ibagué, Tolima, Colombia, Ms. Patino enjoys passing her love of music that began in her hometown at the age of 4 years old, on to the next generation, with her over 12 years of teaching experience. In 2016, she founded the strings program at Hinds County School District, and since then, she has taken on the roles of operations manager and strings teacher for the outreach programs of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in public schools. In addition to these roles, she runs her very own private violin studio, conducts the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, and serves as the director of operations and programming for the Premier Orchestral Institute. Ms. Patino's dedication to music education extends beyond her local community, as she also previously held the position of Festival and Operations Coordinator for the esteemed Heifetz International Summer Music Institute in Staunton, VA.

Tammy Luke copy.png

Tammy Luke
Conductor, Allegretto Orchestra
Member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra


Tammy is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music.  She then graduated from Northern Arizona University with a master’s degree in viola performance with an emphasis on Suzuki violin.


She plays viola in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in addition to teaching strings for the MSO strings program.  She also serves as All-City Conductor for the Jackson Public School District’s Orchestra Program.  She co-coordinated the All-City Program for four years.  


Tammy is a certified Suzuki violin instructor and has served as a clinician in several Suzuki institutes.  She is also certified in the Mark O’Connors violin method.  She served as a clinician in the 2022 Tupelo Suzuki Fall Kickoff, 2006 Greater New Orleans Suzuki Summer Institute and taught in the 2012, 2018, & 2022 Premier Orchestra Institute.  She continues to explore educational avenues by attending clinics and conferences: 2022 Mimi Zweig workshop, 2022 Mark Mutter Group class ideas, 2021 ASTA workshop, 2018 American String teachers Conference, 2014 Charleston Mark O’Connor Camp, 2012 40th Suzuki of Americas Conference, 2012 New Orleans Suzuki Clinic, 2008-2011 American String Teachers Association Conference  and Greater Washington Suzuki Institute.  


In her free time, Tammy enjoys trivia games, walking, geocaching, pottery & ceramics and dog agility competitions.  

Taylis Fernandez.png

Taylis Fernandez
Cello Coach
Member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Cellist Taylis Fernández, an American-Cuban musician, embarked on her cello journey in Havana, Cuba. By the tender age of 15, she had already earned a coveted spot in the prestigious Early Music chamber ensemble, Ars Longa. Her talents took her on captivating tours across various South American countries, including Mexico and Colombia, and she even graced the renowned International Cervantino Festival. Taylis made her mark with Ars Longa, contributing to several critically acclaimed CDs, including the award-winning "Eco de las Indias," where she showcased her prowess on the viola da gamba.


Upon her arrival in the United States, she continued to pursue her passion for cello performance. Taylis obtained both her undergraduate and master's degrees in cello performance under the tutelage of Dr. Alexander Russakovsky from the University of Southern Mississippi. During her academic journey at Southern Mississippi, she held the prestigious position of principal cellist in The Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra, affording her the privilege of performing alongside luminaries such as Plácido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, and Joshua Bell.


Her musical education also led her to Oklahoma State University, where she honed her skills under the tutelage of esteemed cello professor Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes. Throughout her student years, Taylis had the invaluable opportunity to receive guidance from renowned cellists such as Colin Carr, Paul Katz, and Eric Kim.


As an orchestra musician, Taylis's talent knows no bounds. She has graced the stage with the Sphinx Orchestra, been a member of the Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Opera in Oklahoma, contributed to the Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas, and lent her talents to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in Alabama. For several years, she has been a dedicated member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.


Her passion for both teaching and performing shines through as a faculty member of the Premier Orchestra Institute and the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra. Here, she imparts her wisdom to aspiring musicians, all while occasionally taking center stage as a soloist or engaging in the magic of chamber music.  Ms. Fernandez's love for music and teaching extends to her role as the cello teacher at Millsaps Conservatory. Furthermore, she is the visionary founder of the Mississippi Fine Arts String Trio, with whom she has embarked on captivating tours through Chile and Peru. Her journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication to the world of music and her commitment to nurturing the talents of future generations.


Richard Hudson
Brass Coach
Member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

A native of the Washington, DC suburbs, Richard Hudson began his musical instruction on piano and French Horn while in elementary school.  Fine individual instruction and enjoyable experiences in local, regional, and statewide performing ensembles encouraged an interest in a career in music which he pursued at Indiana University.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1980 he performed with the Houston Symphony for the entirety of the 80-81 season as Assistant Principal Horn.  At the conclusion of that season he auditioned for and won the job of Principal Horn with the then-named Jackson Symphony.  After two seasons with the Jackson Symphony he accompanied his new wife, Linda Naef, to Boston, MA; her to pursue further academic study and him to free-lance in the New England area.  Ten years of free-lancing brought many musical opportunities including performances with the New Hampshire Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Opera Company of Boston, Boston Concert Opera, the Cambridge Symphonic Brass Ensemble, and theater work including Boston productions of Broadway shows Les Miserables and Secret Garden.  This time also brought son Tyler and daughter Caroline.  

    In 1993 he returned again to Jackson with his family to perform as Second Horn with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds.  As Horn 2 he also performs with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet which presents many educational concerts for students in Mississippi.  His versatility as a performer is displayed in these concerts when he performs a short solo on the “Hosemaphone,” a distant but undeniable relative of the Natural Horn fashioned out of a length of garden hose, a funnel and some duct tape.  Concurrent with his duties as a performer, he has held positions as Director of Sales with the MSO; Events Coordinator/Fundraiser with the Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Executive Director of the Jubilee!JAM Foundation.  In 2002 he accepted the dual positions of Director of Operations and Personnel Manager with the MSO.

    Nights and weekends left over after rehearsals and performances are filled with reading, cooking, gardening, and carpentry.

Kim Scarbrough Headshot.png

Kim Scarbrough
Woodwind Coach

Kim Scarbrough has been a professional music educator for over 30 years, teaching in public school, private school, and home school settings. She currently teaches private flute, piano, and voice lessons in the greater Jackson area.  Kim is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the Mississippi Music Teachers Association and the Music Forum of Jackson.  


Kim received her degree in Music Education from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (Wheaton, Illinois), where she studied flute, piano, and voice.


A musical visionary, Kim is at her best when she is leading students in the creation of memorable musical experiences – from a performance of favorite scenes and songs from Les Miserables, to worship and folk/bluegrass ensembles, to her new favorite –the MYSO Woodwind Ensemble! 

Andrew Dillon.png

Andrew Dillon
Theory Coach
Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Dillon is an artist, performer, and educator born and raised in Jackson, MS, who is passionate about music through social change. Andrew matriculated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education in K-12 Strings. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching from Longy School of Music at Bard College. Mr. Dillon believes all children should have a robust, active music life and he strives to ensure all children have access to classical music education. With more than 15 years of experience as an elementary music educator in Mississippi and North Carolina, Andrew uses his training in social emotional learning combined with his education and professional artistic talents to integrate music and other arts into math, science, language arts, history, social studies, and religion. Mr. Dillon specializes in lessons, workshops, and performances in children’s museums, public and private schools, after school programs, summer art camps, libraries, community centers, special events, and performing arts venues.

Alina Head Shot_edited_edited.png

Alina Shook
Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra

Alina Shook is originally from Memphis, TN but moved to the Jackson Area in 2018 with her husband, Paul and their three children.  She became involved with MYSO as a parent of two orchestra students.  She was elected as parent president in 2021 and then was most recently hired by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra to manage the day to day tasks of the youth orchestra.

Alina has a background in Clinical Social Work where she worked with children and youth for 15+ years.  She however chose to leave that career and homeschool her three children in 2012.  While two of her children are now in college she continues to homeschool her youngest who is a current member of MYSO.  

Alina grew up playing music and that passion has never left her.  Working with the youth orchestra allows her to combine her passion for young people and music together.  Her goal is to grow awareness for the youth orchestra in Mississippi and promote positive growth opportunities for young people today.

bottom of page