Ryan Silvestri is in his eighth year at Wando High School as Director of Orchestras. A native of Boardman, Ohio, Mr. Silvestri earned a bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from Florida State University and a master's degree in violin performance from UNC-Greensboro. He completed his string education studies with the late Dr. Michael Allen, co-author of the Essential Elements for Strings series, as well as Dr. Rebecca MacLeod. As a violinist Ryan has performed with the Charleston, Greensboro, and Tallahassee Symphonies and also served as Concertmaster of the Brevard Music Center Sinfonia Orchestra. Primary violin teachers include Marjorie Bagley, Corinne Stillwell, Eliot Chapo, and John Wilcox. 


Professional associations include NAFME and ASTA. Mr. Silvestri has been published in the American String Teacher - a national string journal put out by the American String Teacher's Association. Under his direction, the Wando Orchestras have nearly tripled in size and consistently received Superior ratings at SCMEA Concert Festival. In 2018 the Honors Orchestra competed in the ASTA National Orchestra Festival. Ryan lives in Mount Pleasant, SC with his wife who is also a music educator, and three children. He looks forward to another great year with the Wando Orchestras as they constantly strive for even higher levels of success!

Derek Deakins is a fiddler, violinist, guitarist, and orchestra conductor originally from Kingsport, Tennessee.

Derek's musical journey began with Suzuki violin lessons at the age of five and has taken him all around the world as a professional musician.  Derek has performed in several foreign countries and all of the 48 contiguous United States in venues ranging from Madison Square Garden to the Grand Ole Opry. 


Derek graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education, and he also holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.


While living in Nashville, Derek performed with major recording artists such as The Osborne Brothers, James Monroe, Mac Wiseman, Charlie Daniels, Craig Morgan, Tracy Byrd, Andy Griggs, Neil McCoy, and Blake Shelton. His television appearances include Grand Ole Opry Live, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, The Jimmy Kimmell Show, and Late Night with Craig Ferguson. 


Derek has recorded and produced four professional albums, titled "If I Could Give the World," "The Fiddle, Bluegrass, and Me," "Double Fiddle Time," and "Where We Belong," as part of the Gravel Road Acoustic Trio.  Among the band's accomplishments, their unique arrangement of "Wagon Wheel" inspired country singer Darius Rucker to record the chart-topping hit.


Most recently, Derek has enjoyed working as Director of Orchestras at Summerville High School and DuBose Middle School.  He is excited to be back at Wando High School where he previously worked as Director of Orchestras and pioneered the guitar program and Advanced Placement Music Theory program.


When Derek is not teaching, you might find him performing bluegrass music with bands throughout the Lowcountry or strolling the streets of downtown Charleston with his wife, Lisa. 


Visit for more information.

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