Mission Statement

The Canyon County Symphony is based on the belief that music is a powerful art form, with timeless appeal, that can bring life-transforming experiences for players, audience members, and patrons.  

Our organization is based on volunteerism and seeks to provide opportunities for in-depth music education and training in an inclusive environment for all experience levels in an atmosphere of excellence and dedication.

Meet Our Music Directors

Dr. Nick Harker

CCS Symphony Director

Nick Harker, one of the co-founders of the Canyon County Symphony, is an innovative and flexible conductor with a decade of experience in professional, community, and educational ensemble conducting. He has not only conducted in orchestral settings but also in the opera and ballet pits, as well as recording and film studios. He is the current interim conductor for the College of Idaho Sinfonia and is currently teaching at the prestigious Idaho Arts Charter School. He recently led the Keene State College Chamber Orchestra in New Hampshire and has also held conducting positions with the Salt Lake Symphony, Utah Philharmonic, Utah Philharmonia, West Jordan Symphony, and Evanston Civic Orchestra. He has worked regularly as a clinician and guest conductor with public schools across Idaho, New Hampshire, and Utah. As a violinist, he has performed with the Salt Lake Symphony, Idaho Falls Symphony, West Jordan Symphony, Utah Philharmonic, and others.

Growing up in a musical family, he developed a love of music from an early age. He obtained his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Utah where he studied primarily with Dr. Robert Baldwin, and his Masters in Music in Orchestral Conducting at Brigham Young University, studying under Kory Katseanes and Dr. Don Peterson. As an undergraduate at Brigham Young University-Idaho, he studied violin under Dr. Dallin Hansen and earned an undergraduate degree in music education. Some of his other mentors include Jeffery Meyer, John Nardolillo, Thomas Heuser, Roger Kalia, Mark Gibson, and Kenneth Kiesler.

He is married to his wonderful wife and has two young boys. He also enjoys composing, playing basketball, and skiing.

Hannah Leonora Bailey picked up a flute nineteen years ago and never hesitated to pursue a future in music. Her first teachers Mary Kemnec and Emily Reynolds taught her to embrace the learning process through positive encouragement that has served as a model for her own teaching methods. She discovered her passion for performing and teaching at Northern California Flute Camp where she attended as a student then continued to work on staff for six years. Here she had the opportunity to learn from renowned performers including Keith Underwood, Amy Porter, Aaron Goldman, Paula Robison and several others. Hannah studied with Gary Woodward at Azusa Pacific University, earning her Bachelor of Music in Performance in 2016 and Artist Certificate in 2018. After moving to Boise with her husband in 2018, Hannah studied with Dr. Nicole Molumby at Boise State University and received her Masters of Music in Performance in 2020. During these years, she also attended the Credo Flute and Passion Flute events where she had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for Jill Felber, Angeleita Floyd, and Bonita Boyd. 

During the 2016/2017 season, Hannah served as the principal flute with the Orange County Symphony, which included a featured performance as a soloist on the complete Brandenburg Concerti. In the summer of 2017, she traveled to Zhengzhou, China and performed as principal with the Yellow River Symphony.  She can even be heard on Sean Gabel’s album “Sounds of Christmas.”  She has adjudicated a number of competitions including the Marker and Pioneer International Music Competition and the TVMTA Bach Festival and Competition. 

Although she has completed her university education, Hannah’s love for music history is evident in her social media series on the history of the flute, as she seeks to keep the lineage at the forefront of our pedagogical tradition. Hannah recently performed on piccolo with the Meridian Symphony and the Canyon County Symphony and pursues her love of teaching through her studios in both Boise and Nampa. 


Hannah Bailey

CCS Flute Orchestra Director

Danika StarrHarrt

CCS Youth Symphony Director

Her musical journey formally began with piano lessons at the age of six, where she quickly built skills but did not enjoy the typical solo method-book learning experience. At the age of nine she had the opportunity to learn her dream instrument, flute, and study under instructors Greg McLaughlin, Nora Nusbaum, and Bill Douglass, who all showed her that music existed *off* the page as well. That’s when music really began to come alive for Danika. 

As a high achiever, flute was Danika’s main instrument to rise to first chairs in her youth symphonies, until she picked up the oboe at age 13, followed by violin at 14, viola at 15, French horn at 16, bass at 17, harp at 18, and more instruments, all self funded by the teaching she began to be asked to do. To this day, she still plays all her instruments fluently, but has come full swing back to piano as her main instrument to perform. She has played in community symphonies, bands, and gigging ensembles on ten different instruments and enjoys playing over 20 different instruments for the fun of it or as layers on audio recordings for her own and others’ albums.

As a young adult she studied at William Jessup University, with emphasis on composition and oboe, all the while maintaining her own studio of 60 private music students at home. Overall, Danika has taught music for nearly 20 years now, with directing community and youth symphonies included in about half of those years.

Danika has composed symphonically and as a singer-songwriter since the age of 12. If all her compositions and arrangements were played back to back, you’d be listening for about eleven days and nights straight. Her compositions have received numerous awards and attention, including her work scoring for films and her work as a singer-songwriter. 

Today Danika is a homeschooling parent and multi-location local business owner (Encore Creative Center). Her performing group, Starrharrt Symphonic, is a contemporary vocal-instrumental chamber orchestra sharing upbeat, inspirational original music all around the Treasure Valley and beyond. She is passionate about the harmony of joy and excellence, and is committed to helping students experience the power of music in their lives.

Betsy Olson

Canyon County Children’s Concert Chorus Director

Betsy Olson has been teaching music for over 50 years. After graduating from California State University at Long Beach, Betsy taught flute and piano in her private studio for the next 14 years while raising a family. She has been a music teacher in the La Habra City School District (California) since 1993 and recently retired in 2020. While in La Habra she earned the La Habra Masonic Lodge Outstanding Educator Award in 2000, 2003, and again in 2010. Schools First Federal Credit Union honored her with the Educator’s First Award in 2004, and she was featured on their website as a “Hero in Education” the following year.

In 2010, the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators honored Betsy as Outstanding Arts Educator in Elementary/Vocal Music. The La Habra City School District named Betsy “Teacher of the Year” for the 2013-2014 school year. Betsy worked her last two years establishing a newly formed Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School for her district. In those two short years she assisted in the school receiving the NAMM “Best Communities for Music Education” award (one of 90 in the nation) and became a California Exceptional Arts School.

Betsy was a Director with the Southern California Children’s Chorus (SCCC) for close to two decades before her retirement. She was one of five on faculty directing the Intermediate Chorus. Among the many performances with the chorus, Betsy was the on-call director for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary celebrations, performed for all the living Medal of Honor recipients at the Reagan Presidential Library and recorded with Hans Zimmer at Capital Records for their performance at the Academy Awards (which won an Emmy).

Betsy is level three Kodály trained and earned a Master’s of Music Education at CSU Fullerton where she was an adjunct professor and partnered to mentor future music teachers. She often presented at workshops and conferences and served as guest clinician at area festivals.

Betsy and her husband, Bob, live in Nampa and have four daughters, four sons-in-law, six beautiful granddaughters, eight sweet grandsons, and a cute little dog named Chloe.

Kate Haderlie

Canyon County Children’s Prelude Chorus Director

Kate Haderlie graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2012 with her degree in Music, Theater, and Creative Writing. She is passionate about performing arts in the community and has been an active volunteer in community theaters and choirs for over 20 years. Kate teaches music and theater classes for Encore Creative Studio and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s summer programs. She especially enjoys working with children ages 5-10 because of their boundless energy and imagination. In her spare time, Kate likes to write music and bake cookies – occasionally at the same time. She lives in Caldwell with her husband and their two children.

Meet Our Board

Bruce Mills


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Kyle Lambert

Vice President

Don Anderson

Executive Director

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Nanci Jayne

Membership Director

Sabrina Mead

Patron Relations

Faith Brown


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Valoree Knaack-Overstreet


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