Music Director

Jonathan Handman

Maestro Handman has an extensive background in the performing arts.  His studies include The Eastman School of Music (Trombone performance), The Oberlin Conservatory (B.A. in Music Education, Cello) and an M.A in orchestral conducting from SUNY Fredonia. One of his treasured experiences was spending a six month residence in La Paz, Bolivia as a cellist in the Arka-Ira String Quartet, The Bolivian National Symphony, and Professor of Cello at the Bolivian National Conservatory.

     Mr. Handman is also music educator, having a direct and positive impact on the next generation of musicians in the Hudson Valley.  In his fourteenth year at Arlington High School (located in LaGrangeville, NY), he is the conductor of two symphony orchestras and directs an extensive chamber music program. In addition to Arlington’s Philharmonia Orchestra winning the 2017 and 2012 Public School Grand Champion Prize at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival, chamber ensembles from this program have performed at Lincoln Center (2015) and made it into the live quarterfinal round of the 2012 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

     In 2013, Maestro Handman was the winner of the American Prize in Conducting/Youth Orchestra Division. In addition, he received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education from the Oberlin Conservatory and in 2002 was Oberlin’s invited guest speaker representing the decade of the 1990’s at its 100th year anniversary celebration of music education. He is in frequent demand as a guest conductor for honor orchestras throughout the northeast, most recently working with groups from Long Island, Albany and Virginia.


     One of Mr. Handman's crowning acheivements has been as the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Stringendo Inc., a music school that is committed to furthering the growth and talents of string players in the Hudson Valley.  Under his direction, Vivace, Stringendo’s most advanced ensemble has garnered numerous awards including the Grand Champion Orchestra at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival in 2016, 2014 and 2009; and The American Prize winner in Orchestra Performance – Youth Orchestra Division in 2013.

     Maestro Handman joined the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra torward the end the of the 2016-17 season as it's final music director.  His hard work and dedication to excellence bore fruit during the 2017-18 season with rave reviews from concert-goers and critics alike. This couldn't be more clear than in a review by Leslie Gerber in the Woodstock Times.  Said Gerber, “I have never heard the WCO sounding better than it did under Handman.”  Maestro Handman now continues his tenure as Music Director in our inaugural season as the Woodstock Symphony Orchestra.


     Mr. Handman currently resides in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. with his wife Kim and two sons, Jack and T.J..

     Ms. Tusch is a local performer and private instructor here in the Hudson Valley. In her youth, she studied violin with Emily Faxon, and trained at many summer programs, including the NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Summer Program, and The Eastman School of Music Summer Horizons program. Ms. Tusch had the privilege of performing with the MENC All-Eastern Orchestra in 2005, the New York All-State Orchestras twice, and was selected as the All-State String Orchestra concertmaster in 2006.

     Ms. Tusch performed as a violin soloist with the SUNY Orange OCCC Orchestra in 2003 as the first ever winner of the Concerto/Aria competition. In 2004, she won first prize in the Virtuoso-in-Progress solo competition, giving her the opportunity to solo with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic on a 3 concert tour, and in 2006, she won second prize and received the honor of soloing with the College Youth Symphony at SUNY New Paltz.

     Ms. Tusch is also a member of the Dorian String Quartet, has served as co-concertmaster of the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, and she regularly performs with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.

     Ms. Tusch holds a BA from SUNY New Paltz in Communication Disorders, and a Master of Music from SUNY Purchase, where she studied, and remains under the tutelage of Carmit Zori.


     For further information, feel free to visit her website at


Sarah Tusch

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