Welcome to the of the Southwest Symphony! We are blessed with talented people in this area who are dedicated to bringing professional quality music to our community. I am honored to serve with a board of directors who work hard to provide and manage a diverse season for you. The driving force behind all of this is the staff who work to make sure each concert happens with ease.
Welcome back Dr. Mark Jelinek who conducts the orchestra and develops great concerts for each season. Last year he added a fourth symphony concert that featured a chorus of local singers that I had the privilege of rehearsing. The added concert was an afternoon of Christmas and holiday music that was a huge success and brought in the season with style.
Our orchestra manager, Cindy Walker, has served the community and the Southwest Symphony for many years. She is a true professional. Having worked with this organization in the past, I can honestly say that she has helped to make the Southwest Symphony the respected and quality orchestra that it is today.
One of the areas of our organization that I am most proud of is the Youth Series outreach program. Christy Hepp, Youth Series Coordinator, has done a terrific job of making various experiences available to students throughout Lea County by scheduling residencies every year. For many years musicians from various concerts have been going to the schools and demonstrating what they do best. Because of the generosity of corporate sponsors, foundations, and individuals like YOU, we are able to bring buses of students to events throughout the year.
The newest addition to our staff is Deb Walker. She was recently hired by the board to be our new Executive Director and she has taken this position very seriously. Deb has already worked very hard to make our advertising look amazing. She is a native of this area and has fit into this position quite easily. We are pleased and excited about what is to come with her in this position. Please welcome her when you see her at the concerts.
Social media has taken over many aspects of people’s lives, and people use their phones to stay connected. Southwest Symphony moved into this century with its Facebook page, and now we are launching an “app” so that you can be connected and reminded of the great season of concerts no matter where you are. The app will also have photos and videos of the various artists coming this season. Check it out and add us to your phone or tablet. If you are not sure how to do this please ask one of the board members working the concert or Deb.
Attendance at concerts is a great way to support our local symphony, but there are other opportunities that you might consider. If you, or someone you know, is interested, speak to any board member or staff member and they will help you find the area that best suits your abilities. We occasionally have openings on our board of directors, and Friends of the Symphony can always use an extra pair of hands.
Thank you for choosing to spend this time with us and enjoy the concert.
Dr. Christopher Eubank, President
Southwest Symphony Board
Dr. Mark R. Jelinek, DMA - Artistic Director
Dr. Mark R. Jelinek, emeritus professor of music at Bloomsburg University, conducted the University
Community Orchestra for 29 years and the University Chamber Orchestra for 22 years. This season also marks his 26th season as artistic director of the Southwest Symphony in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Dr. Jelinek, a native of Hobbs, NM holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University, where he studied cello and conducting under Arthur M. Welker.
Dr. Jelinek received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University, where he studied cello with Takayori Atsumi and conducting with Eugene Lombardi, Frank Spinosa, and Richard Strange.
Dr. Jelinek conducted the 2012 Pennsylvania All-State Orchestra, Northeast Region 4 Orchestra, District 8 Orchestra Festival (twice) and “String Fest,” several Districts 8 & 9 “String Fests,” the 2011 Montgomery County Honors String Orchestra, the Texas Region 6 Orchestra, the Southwest Symphony (Hobbs, NM), the 567th Air Force Band of Cape Cod (cello soloist also), “Weekend for Strings” (University of Northern Colorado), the cello orchestra of the Annual Arizona Cello Symposium (three times), and the American Cello Congress. He has published articles in Yamaha Instruments’ “New Ways”, “The American String Teacher”, and “Band and Orchestra Product News”.
Notable guest artists with Dr. Jelinek’s orchestra include the FORTE Tenors (America’s Got Talent), R. Carlos Nakai, Riders in the Sky, Leslie Parnas, Bob McGrath (“Bob” from Sesame Street), David Wetherill, Donald Portnoy, James Buswell, David Hickman, Edgar Meyer, Jubilant Sykes, Michael Martin Murphey, BJ Thomas, Deborah Henson-Conant, and Gail Williams.
Dr. Jelinek performed in cello sections of orchestras in Texas (Abilene, El Paso, and Midland-Odessa), New Mexico (Roswell and Las Cruces), Arizona (Scottsdale), California, and Pennsylvania (Williamsport). He played in orchestras with such notables as Emanuel Ax, Leonard Rose, Erick Friedman, Eugenia Zukerman, Jeffrey Siegel, Gary Burton, Ferrante and Teicher, Steve Allen, Doc Severinsen, Chet Atkins, Empire Brass, Floyd Cramer, Lou Rawls, Smokey Robinson, Andrae Crouch, and the Three Irish Tenors.
Dr. Jelinek’s professional affiliations include PMEA, NAFME, APSCUF, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Kappa Psi.
Dr. Jelinek is the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Robert M. and Gladys L. Jelinek of Hobbs, NM.
Deb Walker - Executive Director
Deb Walker began working with the Southwest Symphony in May 2019. She received her Associate of Arts Degree in Advertising Communications from Collins College in 2001 and is married with one daughter. She co-owns Patio Pizza with her husband, Brandon, and has been a member of the Hobbs Rotary Club since 2012. She is an ex-officio member of the Symphony’s Board of Directors.
Cindy Walker - Orchestra Manager
Cindy Walker has been the Orchestra Manager for the Southwest Symphony since 1995. She has a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and a Masters of Music in Music Theory & Composition from Texas Tech University. A recent retiree as manager of Griffin Funeral Home, she also has an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from Amarillo College. In addition, Ms. Walker is Chancel Choir accompanist and organist at First United Methodist Church.
Christy Hepp - Office and Youth Series Coordinator
Christy Hepp began working with the Southwest Symphony in 2014. A retired elementary teacher with Hobbs Municipal Schools, she graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree from University of the Southwest and a Masters Degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. Christy is excited to be coordinating the Youth Series Events with Lea County schools to enhance the existing music programs and to inspire students through the performing arts.
Southwest Symphony Board of Directors
- Board President : Dr. Chris Eubank
- Board President-Elect: Erin Anderson
- Treasurer : Mike Wishkaemper
- Secretary: Mona Mroz
- Lucy Acosta
- Mick Cavanaugh
- Kay Hannum
- Brian Henning
- Don Williams
- Artistic Director: Dr. Mark Jelinek
- Executive Director: Deb Walker
- Office/Youth Series Coordinator: Christy Hepp,
- Orchestra Manager/Programming Coordinator: Cindy Walker