Parents and Student Musicians…
We are so glad you will be joining the
Prescott Youth Orchestra!

Joseph Place

Executive Director & Conductor

One of Maestro Place’s dreams was to expand the Pops Symphony to include classical, chamber and as part of the organization’s education and outreach, create a community youth orchestra. While everyone struggled in 2020 with the difficulties and devastation of a pandemic, so too were people working hard toward the future. We are proud to announce that Maestro Place is now Executive Director/Conductor of parent organization, the Prescott Symphony Orchestra, the Prescott Pops Symphony, and the Prescott Youth Orchestra. Look for more new and exciting happenings with the Prescott Symphony Orchestra!

More background…
Joseph Place was originally selected as the new Music Director/Conductor for the Prescott Pops Symphony in April, 2015. Joseph follows Paul Manz, Founder and Conductor of the Pops for over 23 years. Paul now holds the title of Conductor Emeritus. A fifth generation Arizona native, Joseph has conducted orchestras and ensembles and played trumpet throughout the Southwest for over 25 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Grand Canyon University, with additional study at the University of Redlands, California, where he served as Graduate Assistant. He has served churches as Director of Music in Arizona, California and Texas. He is currently employed as Director of Music, Development and Administration at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Prescott, Arizona and also serves as a conductor, educator, facilitator and clinician for festivals, conferences and master classes in choral and instrumental music. Place is the Resident Conductor for the Chaparral MusicFest in Prescott and a volunteer for Chaparral Arts. He plays trumpet and has freelanced and substituted for orchestras in the Phoenix area, southern California and north Texas.

Joseph is excited to carry the Prescott Pops Symphony’s fantastic history of outstanding performance and emphasis on youth music education into the future. His inspired conducting, passion for orchestral music, and unbounded enthusiasm will make for performances you won’t want to miss!

Sarah Walden Amato

Program Director

Sarah Walder Amata is delighted to be the Program Director of the newly formed Prescott Youth Orchestra. Sarah was born in Flagstaff and grew up in the deserts and mountains of Arizona. After graduating cum laude from Oberlin Conservatory in 1992 with degrees in cello and viola da gamba, she moved to The Netherlands, graduating from The Royal Conservatory in The Hague with a masters in Baroque Cello in 1994. She then immersed herself in the musical and cultural possibilities of Northern Europe while continuing to maintain musical connections in her native state.

In 2016 she founded the fiscally sponsored Sarah Walder Music Project in Arizona. Sarah’s music project is designed to make music and music education fun and accessible to all as well as to build community. It combines street performances, workshops and lessons, concerts of her own compositions and improvisations with loop station as well as commissioned and classical pieces.

Sarah performs as principal cellist of several modern and Baroque orchestras, as a chamber music player and as a viola da gamba and cello soloist. She has toured in South Africa, South America, South Korea, Europe and the United States. Some of the groups with which she has performed include Musica Temprana (viola da gamba), Super Librum (vielle), Ensemble Rei and Trio del Fuego (cello), and The Northern Consort (Baroque cello). Sarah has played well-known venues, from Utrechts’s Vredenburg to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, from Alte Oper Frankfurt to Seoul Arts Center, as well as less well-known but unique locations, such as the Jesuit missions of the Chiquitos in Bolivia, the medieval churches in the province of Groningen in the Netherlands and the streets of Arizona and New Mexico.

Sarah is greatly looking forward to the opportunity to share her love of music with the people of Prescott.