Meet the QCSYE



QCSYEs Music Director
Youth Symphony Orchestra and Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor

Daniel Chetel joined the faculty of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL in August 2016 after concluding his five-year tenure as the Music Director and Conductor of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras in Lexington, KY where he led a youth orchestra program including six performing ensembles and three community-based programs serving nearly 400 students from 12 counties and 60 area schools. In addition, Dr. Chetel served as the Conductor of the UK Philharmonia, the all-campus symphonic orchestra at the University of Kentucky School of Music.

While living and working in Lexington Dr. Chetel served as the Assistant Conductor for the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, UK Opera Theatre, and the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras. Dr. Chetel led the UK Symphony Orchestra at subscription concerts, educational outreach concerts, and special events such as the Opening Gala of the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky. In addition, Dr. Chetel has served as the Conductor of the UK Opera Theatre’s Annual Undergraduate Production, Cover Conductor for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and guest conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Reading, PA. Recently Dr. Chetel has also served as Cover Conductor for summer concerts of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as well as Assistant Conductor for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

A strong believer in music education, Dr. Chetel worked for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras as Program Coordinator for the BYSO’s Intensive Community Program, a rigorous stringed instrument curriculum serving underrepresented youth throughout Boston. In the summer of 2008 Dr. Chetel traveled to Acarigua, Venezuela to work with a nucleo of the nation-wide Venezuelan Youth Orchestra System, El Sistema. During his time at the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Dr. Chetel developed the program North Limestone MusicWorks, an El Sistema-inspired string training program in the underserved North Limestone neighborhood of Lexington, KY which is now in its fourth season.

As an operatic conductor Dr. Chetel has worked for DiCapo Opera (NY), University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, University of Maryland Opera Studio, Newton Symphony (MA), Dunster House Opera Society (MA), and the Reading Symphony Orchestra (PA), where he has worked on fully-staged productions of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte, Puccini’s La Boheme, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Vaughan-Williams’s Riders to the Sea, among others; and world premiere operas by Thomas Pasatieri and Joseph Baber.

Originally from Massachusetts, Dr. Chetel holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.M. from the University of Maryland School of Music, and a D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Kentucky School of Music where his doctoral research addressed the publication and performance challenges of Hans Krasa’s children’s opera Brundibar.


Youth String Ensemble Conductor

Michele Ottesen is currently in her ninth year as the orchestra director at Davenport North High School and Wood Intermediate School. A native of Davenport, Ms. Ottesen spent seven years as a member of the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of James Dixon and Daniel Culver. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Her principal violin teachers include Doris Preucil, Andrés Cárdenes, and Stephen Shipps. Prior to returning to the Quad Cities, Ms. Ottesen was a member of the Dakota String Quartet, and served as principal second violin in the South Dakota Symphony. She has been a member of the Quad City Symphony since 1998.







Prelude Strings Conductor

Dortha DeWit was born in Anchorage, Alaska and grew up in Michigan. Her early violin studies were with her mother, violinist, teacher, and conductor Jean Manning. Mrs. DeWit's later teachers included Romeo Tata, Roland and Almita Vamos, Richard Young, and Josef Gingold. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. In addition to maintaining a private violin and viola studio, Mrs. DeWit teaches at Augustana College and is an active performer throughout the Midwest. She has taught at St. Ambrose University and has given lessons and led workshops for public school programs in Iowa and Michigan. Mrs. DeWit is a thirty-year member of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where she is currently assistant principal second violin, and performs with the Serenata String Trio and a clarinet, violin and piano trio at Augustana College. In addition to her work with the Quad City Symphony, Mrs. DeWit's orchestral experience includes playing for the West Shore, Grand Rapids, and Clinton Symphonies, as well as orchestras in Quincy and Galesburg, Illinois, and Evansville, Indiana. She helped found the Quad City Symphony Youth String Ensemble and was its principal conductor for twenty-two years. She was also instrumental in forming the Quad City Symphony's Prelude Strings. In 2014, Mrs. DeWit conducted the SEISTA Junior Honors Orchestra.




Youth Choir Conductor

Catherine Lyon is one of three Vocal Music Directors at Pleasant Valley High School, where she directs Pleasant Valley Singers, a Concert Choir Women's Ensemble, Jazz Nouveau (a vocal jazz ensemble), and teaches voice lessons. Her principal voice teachers include Kenneth Prewitt and Gordon and Jean Greer. 

Catherine holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Vocal Performance from Bob Jones University and Music Education from St. Ambrose University. She has taught vocal music in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, before moving to Iowa, where she has taught in both the Davenport and Pleasant Valley school districts.

Mrs. Lyon maintains a large private voice studio, is a frequent adjudicator in Illinois and Iowa, and is an accompanist for private vocal students. Her students consistently place in state and regional competitions, which allow them to compete at the national level. 

Catherine performs regularly as a choir member with Quad City Choral Arts and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).