The Mona Shores Orchestra Program was founded in 1986, under the direction of Robin (Duvendack) Bloomberg, who in her three year tenure grew the program from 13 to nearly 200 students. In 1988, Timothy Staudacher joined the Mona Shores performing arts faculty and assisted Miss Duvendack during her last year as orchestra director. In 1989, Cathy (Mitchell) Sander became the high school orchestra director and continued in the position through 1991. Mr. Staudacher continued as the assistant orchestra director through 1991, and became the high school orchestra director when Miss Mitchell shifted to the middle school orchestra director position. Under the direction of Mr. Staudacher, Mona Shores Orchestra members have performed at music festivals and conferences in Michigan and throughout the United States including Smoky Mountain Music Festival (1995, 1998), Magic Music Days at Disney World Florida (2000), Midwest Music Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, (2000, 2001, and 2005), American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival in Detroit, Michigan, (2007), and Michigan Music Conference Performing Ensemble (2008). The Mona Shores High School Orchestras have consistently earned first division ratings each in Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association District Festivals. The orchestra began touring internationally in 2000, with a trip to The Czech Music Camp for Youth near Prague in the Czech Republic. The group has since traveled to and performed in China (2005), and Ireland and England (2008). In 1996, Mr. Staudacher founded the Mona Shores Fiddlers, an extra curricular alternative styles ensemble, which performs throughout the Muskegon community. The Fiddlers host an annual Fiddle Fest in November which has featured guests artist including Detour, Barrage, Finvarra’s Wren (2013), The Moxie Strings (2014), Peat in the Creel (2014), AnDro (2015), and CrossBow (2016).
After 23 years at Mona Shores, Mr. Staudacher retired in the spring of 2011, and Samer Jeroudi assumed the role of high school orchestra director. Mr. Jeroudi continued the tradition and high standards of the high school orchestra program through the spring of 2014, when Kelly DeRose, middle school orchestra director (Fall 2002 -Spring 2014), took on the high school director role. Mrs. De Rose has lead high school orchestra students in performances in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria (2012), Italy (2016), and at the American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (2017). In 2014, Nick Mosley joined the orchestra faculty as Middle School Orchestra Director.