Kris Markes is thrilled to join Oklahoma Youth Orchestras as Executive Director. Kris comes from a family of musicians and educators, and music has been the center of her world for most of her life. Starting with the oboe in middle school, Kris has continued the pursuit of music throughout her academic and professional career.Prior to her role with OKYO, Kris spent 20 years with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic where she held several positions, including Education Director, General Manager and Interim Executive Director. There she developed award winning music education programs, fostered ongoing relationships with local arts organizations and created a shared value of community between musicians and staff. She has worked closely with local musicians, artists and educators, internationally renowned guest artists and conductors, and business leaders in Oklahoma City.
Kris also served on the Board for OKYO for several years before being named Executive Director. Other activities include membership in the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, League of American Orchestras, Co-Chair of Arts Activities for the Wiggle Out Loud Festival, and as a supportive parent for the John Rex School PTA.
An Arkansas native, Kris holds a Masters of Business Administration in Arts Management with honors from Oklahoma City University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Summa Cum Laude, from Arkansas Tech University. She lives in Oklahoma City with her sons, Patrick and Vincent, and her husband Peter, who is an Assistant Professor of Music Education and the 2014 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.