Michele Senger
  • Title Youth Philharmonic Conductor; Strings Education Coordinator; Honors String Quartet Coach

Michele Senger (she/her/hers) recently retired from her position as an Orchestra Director at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School and Valley High School, a position she has held since 1998. 

Michele is a member of the Des Moines Symphony and conducts the Des Moines Symphony Youth Philharmonic. She directed the intermediate and advanced orchestras for the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute (DASI) from 2000-2009.

Prior to moving to West Des Moines, Michele taught in the Amphitheater Public Schools in Tucson, Arizona. She was also a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly with “Go for Baroque” and the Marelle String Quartet. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Arizona and a Master of Music from Ohio University. Her major professors included Gordon Epperson, Leighton Conkling, and George Sopkin.

Member of the Orchestra since


Most memorable experience with the Orchestra

Playing with Yo-Yo Ma

How I got started playing my instrument

A string quartet came and performed at my school and I loved the sound of the cello. I signed myself up for lessons and when I got home from school that day I told my parents they had to get me a cello. Thankfully they did.

Favorite composer

It depends on the day but Mahler is usually right up at the top.

Favorite solo piece

Tough choice — there so many good ones. Schumann's Cello Concerto is one of my favorites.

Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod

David Bowie, Freddy Mercury and Queen, Tim and Mollie O'Brien, Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlán, and many others. I like variety — I clean my house to Desmond Dekker!