sarah Tiedemann,
executive director

An accomplished arts administrator, flutist, and educator, Sarah Tiedemann was appointed Executive Director in 2016 after teaching flute at YMA for five summers. She previously served as Marketing Director at Chamber Music NW and Communications Coordinator at Third Angle New Music. She also is Second Flute/Piccolo of the Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra and teaches at Lewis & Clark College. Sarah received a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Oberlin Conservatory, followed by a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from New England Conservatory, and went on to postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

A modern-day Renaissance woman, Sarah has run a national congressional campaign, volunteered at an urban planning non-profit, backpacked throughout the Northwest, dabbled in acting, and studied voice. In her spare time, she enjoys distance running, hiking, gardening, and fixing up her 100-year-old house with her husband and two cats. She loves YMA and is thrilled to be a part of making this incredible experience come to life for so many deserving young people!


Galen Cohen, MA, LPC
Camp Director / Registration & Program Coordinator

Galen has been involved with YMA since 1993, when he attended 1st Session as one of the youngest cellists in the program. He remembers that all of the cello parts had to be re-written for him, as it was his first time attempting to play more advanced music. He continued at YMA into his teenage years as a CIT (Counselor in Training) and then as a Counselor. After a brief hiatus, Galen returned as the Director of Student Life for 8 years and was appointed Camp Director in 2015.

Galen holds a B.S. in Education and Social Policy and a Minor in Music from Northwestern University, and a M.A in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. In addition to being Camp Director, Galen works as a Mental Health Therapist, primarily with adolescents and families. Galen is also an active cellist in the Portland music community.

As with most students who attend YMA, the summer program has been life-changing for Galen, and he is thrilled to pass the experience along to new generations of families. At camp, in addition to seeing him run around addressing parent questions, training the Counselor team, helping with facilities issues and supervising the Faculty, he is known to be a beast on the 4-Square Court. However, he sadly admits that he has never won the tournament.


Joellen Sweeney, Office Assistant

Joellen Sweeney is a proud YMA alumna and former theatre counselor. After graduating from Willamette University in 2014, Joellen returned to Portland, where she works as an actor and teaching artist. Joellen's performance work has been featured at Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Post5 Theatre, Coho Productions and others; she is also a founding member of Wanderlust Theatre, a performance collective that combines live storytelling with hiking.

Joellen is thrilled to return to YMA in 2017 for another incredible summer of music, art and community! See you on the Quad!