Academy Orchestra Conductor
Paul Jackson is the Orchestra Director at Astronaut High School in Titusville. An experienced teacher and performer, he earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan where he attended on the Distinguished Artist Award scholarship, and the Master of Music degree from the University of Florida.
During his time as a student at Hope College, Mr. Jackson was the student director of the Hope Pre-College Chamber Music Program. While coordinating the program, he also coached several high-school quartets, trios and quintets to very successful performances.
Mr. Jackson's school orchestras consistently earn "Superior" ratings at Music Performance Assessment, and his students often earn individual high honors in district and state events. He is the coordinator of the Brevard All-County Middle School Orchestra, and serves on the Brevard Music Leadership Team.
Mr. Jackson performs violin locally with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra where he serves as Principal Second Violin, the Cocoa Village Playhouse, and with his wife and sister as the Jackson Trio.
Symphony Orchestra Conductor
Samantha Felber is a violinist from Brevard County. She graduated from Titusville High School and then attended the University of North Florida where she received her Bachelors of Music Education Degree. While at UNF, Ms. Felber studied violin under Dr. Simon Shiao and Melissa Barrett. She performed in masterclasses for the Tokyo String Quartet, Project Trio, Time for Three, and Brooklyn Rider.
Ms. Felber is currently the Orchestra director at Heritage High School. During her time at Heritage, the performing ensembles have increased from three to five and have begun attending state music performance assessments. Ms. Felber teaches violin privately and still performs regularly. She has performed with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, alongside the Canadian Brass, for the Cocoa Village Playhouse, and at numerous venues in the county. Ms. Felber is an active member of NAfME and FOA.
Mark P Nelson, Artistic Director
Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor
Maestro Nelson has been a conductor, clinician, and educator for 37 years. He received his undergraduate degree from New Jersey City University and his Master's degree in interpretive conducting from Trenton State. While at Trenton, he served as a guest clinician and conductor throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including performances at Carnegie Hall, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and the 5TH Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan along with appearances on classical radio station WQXR in New York City. He is recognized internationally through his conducting of orchestra ensembles at the renowned Midwest Clinic, the National Association for Music Educators national conference, National Band Association conferences and the American School Band Directors Association national conferences. He has conducted ensembles across the nation from California to the east coast. He has been honored by the Florida Bandmasters Association with the “Oliver Hobbs Award” for outstanding contributions to bands in the State of Florida. Most recently he was honored by being selected, by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation, as a Legion Laureate and was inducted by them into the Foundation at the 2013 Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Mark is sought after as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and has conducted numerous All State ensembles. He maintains memberships in FOA, FBA, NAFME, NBA, CBDNA, ASBDA and the Conductor’s Guild. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation through Boston University.