Our Conductors

Felix Torres


Felix Torres is the Artistic & Executive Director of the East Texas Youth Orchestra and the Music Director of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, ETYO recently completed its first international tour to Vienna, Austria, as part of the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival. 

Most recently, Mr. Torres was an Associate Director of Orchestras at Arlington High School in Arlington, TX for three years. There he taught over 150 students across six orchestras including assisting with the full orchestra. Prior to his arrival at AHS, Felix taught beginning strings at three elementary schools which fed directly into AHS.

Mr. Torres was also the Apprentice Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra from 2012–2014. Working closely with Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, he conducted the FWSO in neighborhood and youth education performances, as well as assisting Harth-Bedoya in subscription concerts at Bass Performance Hall during the 2013–2014 season. Mr. Torres has worked with various youth orchestras in both Texas and Illinois, including the Fort Worth Youth Orchestras.

Mr. Torres holds a Bachelor of Music Education (2006), a Master of Music in Wind Conducting (2012), and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting (2014) degrees from Texas Christian University. At TCU, he was a Graduate Conductor with the TCU Bands, and Assistant Conductor of the TCU Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Torres made his international conducting debut with the TCU Symphony Orchestra on their tour of Argentina in the Spring of 2013. He has studied orchestral conducting with Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Dr. Germán Gutierrez, Dr. Lucia Matos, and Dr. Tim Semanik; wind conducting with Mr. Bobby Francis; and choral conducting with Dr. Dennis Shrock, and Mr. Ron Shirey.

In addition to his conducting pursuits, Mr. Torres is the Music Publishing Manager with FILARMONIKA Music Publishing, which is dedicated to the promotion and performance of music from Latin America, and is the Managing Director of Latin Orchestral Music, an online database of Latin American orchestral works. Felix makes his home in Arlington, TX, with his wife, Lacey, and their three dogs: Eve, Cali, and Rex.

Sarah Reason


Sarah Reason was recently appointed the orchestra director at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler ISD, Sarah Reason brings energy and charisma to the podium. In addition to her responsibilities at Robert E. Lee, Reason is also an associate conductor with the East Texas Youth Orchestra directing the Philharmonic Orchestra, a full orchestra geared towards junior high students. For the past two years in Tyler, Reason has built a competitive orchestra program at Boulter Middle School doubling the recruitment and securing Superior ratings. In her previous post in Abilene, TX, Reason led the orchestras at Mann Middle School earning sweepstakes throughout her five-year tenure. During her time in Abilene, she worked closely with the nationally renown ensemble, "Revolution", with its director, Darcy Radcliffe. 

An accomplished violinist, Reason remains active in orchestral and chamber performances throughout the region and maintains a thriving private studio. She plays in regional orchestras including the Longview Symphony Orchestra. Reason received her bachelor in music education from Hardin-Simmons University and is currently pursuing her master of music in conducting from Stephen F. Austin State University. 

Dr. Sarah Roberts


Dr. Sarah Roberts is Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Tyler. With an extremely diverse background in classical, jazz, and popular music; Dr. Roberts has performed with a gamut of ensembles ranging from traditional saxophone quartets, to new music groups, to rock bands, to jazz groups and all points in between. In the East Texas area, Dr. Roberts frequently performs with her self-titled jazz quartet (Sarah Roberts Quartet) and the Rose City Big Band, which she formed in 2015. In addition, she

has been a saxophonist for various orchestras including the Plano Symphony, Irving Symphony, and San Angelo Symphony; a frequent substitute saxophonist with the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Lonestar Wind Orchestra; and is a member of Kris Berg’s Metroplexity Big Band. Furthermore, she has presented recitals and lectures throughout the United States including presentations at discipline specific conventions for such organizations as the North American Saxophone Alliance and the Jazz Education Network.

In addition to a very active performing schedule, Dr. Roberts is a highly sought after clinician and adjudicator. In 2012, she was the guest artist with the Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s jazz band for their annual jazz festival; and in 2014 she was the Artist-in-Residence with the Southeast Iowa Symphony. In February 2017, Dr. Roberts was the featured soloist with the Mineola Middle School Band for their TMEA Honor Band Performance where she premiered a work specifically commissioned for the event. In April 2017, she was the featured soloist for the Canton High school Band’s annual gala. Dr. Roberts has also been a frequent saxophonist for the American R&B group, The O’Jays.

As an adjudicator, Dr. Roberts is frequently a judge for the Frisco Jazz Festival and the Collin College Jazz Festival in addition to other festivals throughout the state of Texas. Furthermore, Dr. Roberts has been the regional clinician for various TMEA and ATSSB all-region jazz festivals throughout Texas and has been the conductor of the TISD all-city band festival. She is also on the faculty of the Texas All-Star Jazz Camp and serves as the band conductor for the Green Acres Middle School Band Camp.

While Dr. Roberts spends much time on the road providing clinics at schools, she has also been instrumental in the implementation of various workshops on the UT Tyler campus. She has hosted two successful UT Tyler Saxophone Days that brought over 60 saxophonists to campus. In September 2015, she developed and implemented The University of Texas at Tyler All-Region Workshop that brought more than 350 high school students from across East Texas to campus for a day-long workshop where participants learned strategies for successful preparation of their audition etudes. Her further duties at UT Tyler include conducting the UT Tyler Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, teaching the saxophone studio, and conducting the saxophone ensemble. In addition, Dr. Roberts is currently the President of the Texas Jazz Educators Association and the college representative for Region 21 of the Texas Music Educators Association. She has also served on the board of the East Texas Youth Orchestra since 2015.

Dr. Roberts completed her doctorate of musical arts degree in saxophone performance from the University of North Texas in August 2015. She also holds dual master of music degrees in saxophone performance and jazz studies from the University of North Texas and dual undergraduate degrees in saxophone performance and jazz studies from the University of Michigan. Her primary saxophone teachers include Donald Sinta, Donald Walden, Eric Nestler, and Jim Riggs.