Conductors & Staff


Robert Blais
Artistic Director
Conductor, Concert and Senior Orchestras

Robert Blais, Artistic Director of the Green Mountain Youth Symphony, embarked on a conducting career when he created the Boston-based cello orchestra Blazin' Cellos. Upon arriving in Montpelier in 2001, he founded GMYS, Central Vermont's own youth orchestra.

Together, Mr. Blais and GMYS have captivated audiences at the Vermont Statehouse for Farmer's Night, for the Paine Mountain Arts Council, the Vermont Capitol Independence Day Celebration on the Capitol Steps, yearly at Montpelier's First Night celebration, in joint concerts with the Vermont Philharmonic, and regularly at the Barre Opera House. Robert Blais and the GMYS are champions of contemporary music, having commissioned and performed world premieres of orchestral works by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Erik Nielsen, Laura Koplewitz, Pam Marshall, and Lydia Busler-Blais, and in 2005 produced a concert comprised of music written entirely in the last twenty years by female composers.

After more than tripling the size of GMYS, Robert has expanded the orchestra's reach, starting new orchestras at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Robert is recently excited by GMYS' 2011 trip to Quebec City for the Eurochestries Festival, where he and the kids joined five other young ensembles from Europe and Asia. There, Blais conducted a combined orchestra comprised of students from the Youth Orchestra of the Leipzig School of Music "Johann Sebastian Bach”, the Dalian University Symphony Orchestra from China, the University of Valence (Spain) Honors Woodwind Quintet, and GMYS. Vermont Governor Shumlin honored the GMYS and Robert by proclaiming August 14-21, 2011 Green Mountain Youth Symphony Week.

In addition to his work with GMYS, Robert Blais has conducted for the Monteverdi Music Camp, the Vermont-based School for Strings Camp, the Montpelier Capitol Orchestra, the Vermont Philharmonic, the current Blazin' Cellos based in Vermont, and is a frequent guest conductor for numerous programs and festivals. He receives rave reviews for his educational outreach concerts from seasoned performers, teachers, and students alike.

Robert is also a well-known cellist and pedagogue, having been featured as a soloist with the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, the Holyoke Symphony, the Guilford Music Festival Orchestra, and the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, as well as travelling as a chamber musician. Locally, his students play with the Vermont Philharmonic, the Green Mountain Youth Symphony, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra.



Paul Perley
Conductor, Repertory Orchestra

Paul Perley, conductor, cellist, composer, and luthier, began his musical education at age eight; his teachers have included, among others, Elizabeth Endress, Albert Bellson (brother of Louis Bellson) and Helene Gagne. Locally he has performed with the Vermont Philharmonic, the Bartholdy Ensemble, the Gabriel Piano Trio, the cello duo Soavita (with his wife Melissa), and is a founding member of the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra.

As a composer Mr. Perley has written music for theater productions, chamber music ensembles, and several youth orchestras. In 2010 he composed, and recorded the score for the film Four Friends which premiered at the 2010 Green Mountain Film Festival. He is currently working on the scores for a several others. In 1999 he created the Green Mountain Waldorf Orchestra, several members of which are pursuing professional music careers.

He conducted the orchestra until the closing of the school. He has conducted for GMYS since 2002. Paul and his wife, Melissa, maintain private teaching and ensemble studios at their home on Berlin Pond.







All Ages ~ All Levels ~ All Instruments

Now scheduling audtions for fall 2015 placement and for the August 2015 Creative Arts & Music Program (CAMP)


Where & Where

Monday, May 11, 3-9 pm
Monday May 18, 3-9 pm
Wednesday, May 27, 3-9 pm
Sunday, June 7, 10 am - 5 pm

by appointment

Monteverdi Music School
46 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT

to schedule an audtion contact

Leah Wilhjelm, Orchestra Manager (802) 888-4470 or email:


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The Green Mountain Youth Orchestra and its programs are made possible by the generosity of others. There are several ways to support GMYS.



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