Cody Toll has been teaching 5th-8th grade orchestra and private lessons in Manhattan since 2013. He became the conductor of the Silver Orchestra in August 2015 and became the Gold Orchestra conductor in August 2016. Prior to returning to Manhattan, he taught 5th-12th grade orchestra in Fort Scott, beginning after his graduation from Kansas State University in 2010. While in Fort Scott, Cody served as the Kansas American String Teachers Association secretary and was awarded the KASTA Young Teacher of the Year Award in 2012. He also co-founded the Youth Orchestra of Southeast Kansas in 2013. In 2018, he was named Northeast Kansas Middle School Music Teacher of the Year. Cody has been an invited guest clinician for KMEA Northeast District honor groups, the Western Kansas Orchestra Festival, the Salina Youth Symphony, and on numerous occasions for String Fling at K-State. Cody performs on violin, viola, and guitar with various string quartets, his band Everyday Lights, and the Salina Symphony.
Kristen Toll was a member of the Gold Orchestra for seven years and became the conductor of the Silver Orchestra in August 2016. Kristen received her music education degree from Wichita State University. During her time at Wichita State, Kristen was involved with founding and leading the WSU chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Kristen teaches elementary general music and strings in the Manhattan-Ogden school district, and has been a director for String Fling at K-State for the past four years.
Lauren Fischer is a music education major at K-State and is the new conductor of the Bronze Training Orchestra. She began playing the violin in 5th grade, and later switched to the viola. She grew up in Manhattan and played viola in the Gold Orchestra for five years. She also teaches private lessons.
David Littrell came to K-State in 1987 as a professor of cello and bass, became the K-State Orchestra conductor in 1990, and was awarded the title of university distinguished professor in 2001. He took the K-State Chamber Orchestra to England/Scotland in 2008 and Ireland in 2011. He founded the youth Gold Orchestra in 1988-1989, which has influenced nearly 400 students through the years. Dr. Littrell has been the director of String Fling for 30 years, an event that welcomes over 600 young string students to K-State every January. He was the national president of the American String Teachers Association in 2002-2004 and the CASE Kansas Professor of the Year in 2007. He retired as the Gold Orchestra conductor in November 2015 after serving for 27 years. Dr. Littrell will remain as CEO of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Training Orchestras. He will retire from K-State in May 2018.