Artistic Director & Conductor
Taia Harlos received her Bachelor’s of Music in Performance, Bachelor’s of Music in Education, and Master’s in Teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Greg Fulkerson. Taia has taught at Germantown Friends School for 17 years and served as Chair of the Music Department for ten years. She currently directs all three orchestras in the school and has guided the growth of the World Percussion program, Jazz program, the Orchestra program, and the Middle School general music program. Outside of GFS, Taia is an avid chamber musician, freelance artist, and solo artist and clinician. She has performed with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Philly POPS, Lancaster Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Philadelphia Opera Company, Haddonfield Symphony, Newtown Chamber Orchestra, and the Fairmount String Quartet. Taia performs regularly with popular music artists as well, including Natalie Cole, The Who, Josh Groban, Evanescence, and Ben Folds Five. She has performed at numerous summer festivals including the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Mt. Gretna Music Festival, and the Orvieto String Festival in Italy. Taia and her husband, fellow GFS faculty member Jeff Fetterman, have guided expedition canoe trips in the remote Canadian wilderness for 20+ years. When Taia is not canoeing, teaching, performing, or playing with her new puppy (Jäger), she can be found on the wintery slopes as an ardent snowboarder.
Gia was introduced as a teaching artist with the Musicopia Drumline program in 2018 and served as a teaching artist under the direction of Jesse Mell. She then began working as a teaching artist with the MYSP and MSO string orchestra programs in 2019. She is a former student of Ms. Daniela Pierson, and is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in both Music Education and Music Performance with a viola concentration. She currently studies with Kerri Ryan, assistant principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music.
Gia has taught and assisted in a number of programs, including The Philadelphia School, Temple Music Prep, The PYO Music Institute, Russel Beyer’s Charter School, and the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra. She is an Alumnus of the Primavera Fund, The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, The Philadelphia All-City Orchestra, and the Temple Prep YCO Orchestra. She currently plays in the Temple University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andreas Delfs, and has played a number of times with the Drexel University Symphony Orchestra.
She currently is a teaching artist for the 2020-2021 season of the Musicopia String Program. She enjoys working with students of all ages from different areas of Philadelphia and focuses her teaching on creativity, growth, and success within the arts.
Talia has bachelor's degrees in music and Judaic Studies from Tufts University and a master's degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She has worked as marketing manager for the American Symphony Orchestra League, communication and development manager for Healthy NewsWorks, publicity associate for ICM Artists, and as a marketing consultant at various arts and nonprofit organizations. Talia is also an active musician in the Philadelphia area, having been classically trained in piano. She regularly plays in orchestras with The Philadelphia Chorus, Narberth Community Theatre, the Adath Israel Players, and others. She is also an experienced rehearsal pianist and accompanist. In her role at Musicopia, Talia is thrilled to be a part of a team that brings the joy and benefits of music to Philadelphia-area children.
William Valencia is an educator, musician, and producer from Ecuador. He graduated from Temple University with a Masters in Music Performance in Double Bass, and his bachelors from the University of Southern Mississippi in Music Education and a minor in Business Management. William has participated in masterclasses and festivals in Brazil, Argentina and the United States.
Valencia has played in ensembles such as the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil del Ecuador, La Filarmónica del Ecuador, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador, Festival South Symphony Orchestra, The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble (USM), Symphonic Winds (USM), Banda de Femusc, the Festival South Orchestra, The Esmeraldas International Music Festival Orchestra, Festival das Montanhas Orchestra, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was the teacher and director of the Mississippi Strings program at the WorX Performance studio and taught double bass in public schools in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, US. Currently, he is the executive director and founder of Bass Producción Artística Integral and the director of the International Music Festival Guaranda. Also, he continues his master's degree in performance at Temple University.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Ashley Vines started her music studies in elementary school and began studying viola in high school. Ashley completed her Bachelors in Music Performance from Temple University’s Boyer College in 2014 and studied with Renard Edwards. Since graduating, she has worked as a freelance musician, teaching artist for Musicopia, Tune Up Philly, and conductor through Temple University’s Community Music Scholars Program. Ashley recently won the IRIS Orchestra Artist Fellowship audition and moved to Memphis, TN in August of 2016 to become an IRIS Artist Fellow. She works as a music mentor to the students at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary and is the violist in IRIS Orchestra’s newest chamber ensemble C3Strings. Ashley plays on a 2011 Robert Brode viola.
Cellist Andrea Weber has been living and working in the Philadelphia region as a teacher and performer since 2005. Ms. Weber holds a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from Temple University, which led to her work in the area; she also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with cellist David Ying of the Ying Quartet. Other cellists with whom she has studied include Gloria DePasquale, Jeffrey Solow, Andres Diaz, and Luis Garcia Renart.
Ms. Weber currently teaches for the Musicopia String Orchestra, various ensembles of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization including Prysm Young Artists and Tune Up Philly, and directs her own private cello studio. In 2013 Ms. Weber was named the Lower School String Ensemble Specialist at Friends Select School, where she directs the 3rd Grade and 4th Grade string orchestras.
Ms. Weber is a diverse cellist who performs both classical and alternative music throughout the region. She has performed in the Lancaster Symphony, Symphony in C, The Great Hall Chamber Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and is a founding member of the Elysium String Quartet. Her improvisation and part writing work as an alternative cellist has led her to perform at nationally acclaimed venues such as World Café Live in Philadelphia, The Queen in Wilmington, the Painted Bride, the Tin Angel, the Bethlehem MusikFest, the Dewey Beach Music Fest, and Philadelphia FolkFest. Her collaborations with local songwriters, composers, and bands have been aired on local, national, and international radio; her current discography includes records from 20 original local artists.