ANNE MARIE PETERSON grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She began musical studies at Arizona State University before transferring to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois to complete her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Viola Performance and String Pedagogy. Always an eager student, she earned her Instrumental Music Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with additional studies at Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music. For the past 25 years, Ms. Peterson was an orchestra teacher for the School District of Elmbrook. She served two terms as State Chair for Orchestra for the Wisconsin School Music Association and contributed articles to the Wisconsin School Musician. Chamber Music America, the Civic Music Association, the Grammy Signature Gold Organization, and the School District of Elmbrook have recognized Ms. Peterson for her work with young musicians. Ms. Peterson retired from public school service in 2011 and joined the music faculty at Alverno College. In addition to her work with WIO, she is currently a Music Director for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (String Orchestra West). Anne Marie received the 2017 Teacher of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
BENJAMIN LEON recently retired after serving 26 years as Orchestra Director in the Elmbrook School District. Mr. Leon earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from UW-Whitewater and his master’s degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Mr. Leon worked as a substitute teacher in the West Allis School District prior to joining the Elmbrook School District in 1989. Benjamin is still active in the music scene, both as an educator and performer.
“What I’d like to accomplish is to show growth in music … Sometimes people can surprise themselves with what they can do and I’d like to foster that.” – Ben Leon
Senior Music Consultant
SIEW ENG GOH holds a licentiate in Music (Major in Violin and Theory) from the London Royal School of Music. Mrs. Goh has won many first prizes in solo and chamber music competitions. Siew Eng played the violin and viola for the Radio and Television Malaysia and was Concertmaster for the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra. She was on the faculty of the Green Lane Convent School and taught violin and viola in a private studio for 7 years before her immigration to the United States. Mrs. Goh studied the Suzuki Method in England and at the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point. Siew Eng joined the West Suburban Suzuki Academy in 1983 and currently maintains a private studio.
TOM SPITZ is entering his eighth year as a professional orchestral instructor and twenty-sixth year as a musician; primarily a violinist, he also plays viola, cello, string bass, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, and percussion. After graduating from UW-Milwaukee, Tom spent two years as the Whitewater Unified School District's first fully licensed after-school strings instructor/lead teacher, helping build a program new to the community and school district. Currently, Tom is the beginning orchestra instructor (grades 5 and 6) at Poplar Creek and Ronald Reagan elementary schools in the School District of New Berlin - coincidentally where Tom was raised and attended school. In addition to his educational path, Tom engages in performing and gigging with local orchestras and peers, including but not limited to the Concord Chamber Orchestra, Festival City Symphony, and Kettle Moraine Symphony. Tom is especially excited for and grateful to his students, colleagues, and friends who performed in Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra's inaugural Spring 2016 concert series, and looks forward to working with and alongside them for many years to come!
Chairman of the Board
DR. MATT GIBSON is an educational and community leader. He served as superintendent of the School District of Elmbrook for 17 years, elevating student achievement while successfully guiding three successful building referendums.
In “retirement”, Dr. Gibson serves as principal of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA). He also consults for executives and organizations and serves on a variety on non-profit boards.
Dr. Gibson earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UW-Madison. He has always loved music. It is interesting that his first professional job was as a music educator.
WIO is thrilled that Dr. Gibson will be an advocate for our powerful mission.
JIAN SUN is the founder of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA) and Greater Chicago International Academy (GCIA), a Total-Care Program for international students enrolled at high schools in the United States. By partnering with private high schools, WIA/GCIA provides opportunities for students to improve their English skills and to learn about American culture through both classroom learning and interactive extra-curricular activities. In addition, the Total-Care Program provides students with room and board, transportation, tutoring, and other needs for their daily lives.
Mr. Sun has loved music since his childhood. He is very excited to be part of this unique opportunity – a new orchestral program that seeks to bring the generations together! After living in Wisconsin for over 20 years, Jian feels it is time to give back to the community where he has gained so much. Serving on the board as well as playing an active role in administration for this program provides Jian with a great opportunity to serve the community.
Mr. Sun came to the state of Wisconsin in 1992. Jian earned both MBA and Master of Science degrees from Marquette University. Mr. Sun received a Bachelor of Science from Beijing University.