The Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellows are chosen through a rigorous live and recorded audition process. Each participant receives a full tuition/housing fellowship during the festival. We welcome them to Houston!
Praised as “superb” by the Log Cabin Democrat, flutist Leanne Hampton enjoys an active and varied career. Currently, she studies with Christina Jennings at the University of Colorado. Ms. Hampton has won prizes at the MTNA and Plowman Chamber Music Competitions as well as the Mid-South and Oklahoma Flute Society Young Artist Competitions. Ms. Hampton has performed with the Colorado Mahlerfest Orchestra, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Music Festival. She has premiered works by Daniel Kellogg and Libby Larsen. She holds a MM from the University of Colorado and a BA from the University of Central Arkansas.
Elisa Muzzillo is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Flute Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studies with Christina Jennings. Before moving to Colorado, she did her undergraduate in Flute Performance at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. In Philadelphia, she studied with Adeline Tomasone, principal of Opera Philadelphia, but also worked closely with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra such as David Cramer and Loren Lind. Over the past summers, Elisa has participated in music festivals and masterclasses such as The Panoramic Flutist and Siena Music Festival. She is thrilled to attend TMF this summer!
Christen Sparago graduated in May from Rice University with her bachelor’s of music, where she studied flute with Leone Buyse. A founding member of the Meraki trio, Christen recently performed five world premiers as a part of Meraki’s new music commissioning project to expand the repertoire for the flute, viola, and piano ensemble. Originally from Western Massachusetts, Christen studied with Janet Arms and Linda Chesis before she came to Rice.
Jilene VanOpdorp, a native of Williamsville, NY, is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Northwestern University in the studio of John Thorne. She received her BM in Flute Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Elizabeth Rowe, Cynthia Meyers, and Fenwick Smith. Last summer, Jilene performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and is currently a semi-finalist for the New World Symphony’s 2015-2016 season. Also an avid piccolo player, she won the NFA’s Piccolo Masterclass Competition in 2011. In addition to her studies, Jilene enjoys teaching and maintains a private flute studio in Evanston, IL.
Oboist Regina Brady recently completed the double-degree program at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she majored in neuroscience and oboe performance with Robert Walters. She has played oboe and English horn with the Oberlin orchestras, as well as the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Regina was a member of the Sarasota Music Festival in 2014. A native of White Plains, New York, Regina is a graduate of the Juilliard-Pre College Division where she studied with Richard Dallessio. She will begin her Master of Music degree at the Colburn School with Ariana Ghez in the fall.
Andrew is a native of the Pittsburgh area, holding a Bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida. Some of his most fond musical memories are from playing with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic in New York's Carnegie Hall and Bethesda's Strathmore. Andrew has also toured in Italy with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and played in Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall with his woodwind quintet. He participated in the Texas Music Festival in the summer of 2014. This fall, Andrew will begin his Master's of Music, studying with Johnathan Blumenfeld at Temple University in Philadelphia.
A Houston native, Elizabeth Gaines has been playing the oboe since the age of 12. During her time in high school, Mrs. Gaines was an active member of the Houston Youth Symphony and was a founding member of their chamber music program. She holds an undergraduate degree in instrumental music education from Baylor University in Waco, Texas where she studied with Dr. Doris DeLoach. She just finished the first year of her master's degree in oboe performance at Rice University where she studies with Mr. Robert Atherholt. Elizabeth just got married on May 22 and is very excited to be a "Mrs."!
Born on Long Island, NY, 22-year-old Claire Kostic, is recent graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Frank Rosenwein. She also is a graduate of the Juilliard Pre-College Division where she studied with Richard Dallessio. This is Claire's second summer at TMF and she is excited to return. Claire will be moving to Houston in the fall to pursue her Masters of Music at Rice University where she will be studying with Robert Atherholt.
Micah currently attends the University of Michigan as a clarinet performance and music education major in his last year studying with Chad Burrow. His other teachers include Dan Gilbert, Yehuda Gilad, Dan Silver, and Kenneth Grant. He has worked with numerous critically-acclaimed music directors, namely Sir Simon Rattle, H. Robert Reynolds, and Michael Haithcock. As a soloist and chamber musician, Micah has programmed and performed many recitals. Recently, he’s attended both Hot Springs Music Festival and Marrowstone Music Festival as a fellow. Micah plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2016 pursuing a master’s degree in clarinet performance.
Bio coming soon
Born and raised in Damascus, Oregon, clarinetist Clarissa Osborn recently graduated with a Master of Music in clarinet performance at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Daniel Gilbert. She holds a bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Oregon, where she studied with Dr. Wayne Bennett, Jerome Simas, and Louis DeMartino. She has performed with multiple groups including the Eugene Symphony, the Central Lutheran Church Chamber Orchestra of Eugene, Oregon, Eugene Ballet’s Orchestra Next, and the annual University of Michigan’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society musical. Clarissa was also the winner of the University of Oregon’s 2012-2013 Concerto & Aria competition, and performed Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with the University’s Symphony Orchestra in 2014.
Phillip Sammons is excited to attend the Texas Music Festival as an orchestral fellow! A native of Katy, TX, Phillip participated in the festival in 2014 as an E-flat clarinetist. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston where he studied with Randall Griffin. Most recently, he graduated from Louisiana State University with his Master of Music degree, studying under Deborah Chodacki. Phillip is thrilled to begin his new job in August as an elementary music teacher! He hopes to continue studying clarinet privately, to maintain his own studio, and to volunteer with special needs children.
Jack Walters began studying clarinet at age 8 with Craig Lawrence and continued his studies later on with Sean Osborn, former clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera. He will graduate in 2015 with a BM from the University of Michigan where he studies with Daniel Gilbert, former clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He has played in the University’s top orchestra throughout his college career. He has also participated in music festivals such as Kent Blossom, Domaine Forget, and Marrowstone.
Michael is a rising young bassoonist in the Chicago-land area from Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Currently an undergraduate at DePaul University, Michael is heavily involved in DePaul's large ensembles and Baroque music program. He also plays bassoon and contrabassoon as a free lance musician with Chicago area orchestras.
Making numerous solo appearances at the Siloam Springs Music Festival, Michael gave a recital at DePaul in April and plans to continue pursuing orchestral training and higher musicianship.
Bassoonist Corinne Crowley is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studies with George Sakakeeny. As an avid chamber and orchestral musician, she has performed with the Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival Young Artists Orchestras, and the Typical Winds quintet who recently completed a five-concert tour of France.
At Oberlin, Corinne has also studied world music and jazz improvisation with Jay Ashby. She recently performed with Snarky Puppy and Magda Giannikou at Cleveland’s Severance Hall and will be recording with Magda Giannikou’s Banda Magda this summer. Her bassoon teachers include George Sakakeeny, Thomas Schneider and David McGill.
Ellis Reyes-Montes is a multifaceted and dynamic musician whose performances have been heard in different venues around the nation and on the air in Houston. As a soloist, he has performed with the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Symphony Orchestra and he University of Houston Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra. He holds a master's degree from CCPA where he studied under Dennis Michel of the Chicago Symphony and Ted Sulori of the Milwaukee Symphony. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston under the tutelage of Elise Wagner, of the Houston Symphony, and Cheryl Huddleston.
Jacob Thonis made his solo debut in 2013, playing Weber’s Andante und Rondo Hungarese with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Thonis is a member of the American Youth Symphony, Olive Reed Trio, and The Colburn Orchestra. He has performed with the Walden Chamber Players and as part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society concert series. Mr. Thonis has spent recent summers at the Round Top Festival-Institute and Centre d’Arts Orford. Previously, Mr. Thonis studied with Janet Underhill at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.
Valerie Ankeney is from Dayton, Ohio and she finished her sophomore year as a Horn Performance major at the Eastman School of Music. Most recently, her horn quartet at Eastman won the concerto competition and performed the piece titled In the Mind’s Eye by James Beckel with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. She is an active member of the Femmes Fatales Wind Quintet at Eastman.
She is an alumni of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and was principal horn of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Ohio All-State ensembles and was a winner of the WDPR 88.1 Young Talent Search. Valerie was a finalist in young musician concerto competitions through the Dayton Philharmonic, U.S. Air Force Band and Lima Symphony. Valerie studied with Robert Johnson, Elizabeth Freimuth and is currently under the tutelage of W. Peter Kurau.
Matthew Baldridge was raised in San Antonio, Texas and began playing the horn at the age of 9. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy, he began his undergraduate study at Trinity University with Jeff Garza. In the fall of 2014, Matthew transferred to the University of Houston where he currently studies as a sophomore with Robert Johnson. During his years of playing, he has also had the privilege receiving guidance from world-renowned musicians, including Bill VerMeulen, Radovan Vlatkovic, and Frøydis Ree Wekre. Matthew has toured around the world, performing in China, Japan, USA, and Canada. This is first summer attending the Texas Music Festival.
Aaron Griffin is currently studying horn performance at the University of Houston Moores School of Music with Gavin Reed. At UH, Aaron has played at the top of all of the ensembles and is principal of the Wind Ensemble. He is an active freelancer and has taught at many schools in the Greater Houston Area. Other primary teachers include his best friend, Steven Winter, and Kevin McIntyre. He has also received additional studies from Bill Vermeulen and Rob Johnson. Aaron was a participant of the 2014 Texas Music Festival and is excited to return for the 2015 summer. Following TMF, Aaron will tour the San Francisco Bay Area with the UH Wind Ensemble and attend the Marrowstone Music Festival to study withDale Clevenger.
Scott Höhn maintains an active performing career in Houston, Texas and around the country. Since moving to Houston in 2013, Scott has performed with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota (Florida) Orchestra, and Colorado MaherFest. He is also a co-founder of Symphonic Brass of Houston. Scott graduated with a Master of Music degree from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Northern Colorado. His primary teachers include William VerMeulen, Denise Tryon, Marian Hesse, and Mark Denekas.
Alex Kovling has recently earned his Master’s of Music degree from Rice University, under the tutelage of William VerMeulen . Before being accepted to Rice University, Alex studied with Christopher M. Smith at Texas Tech University, where he was also a member of the Lubbock Symphony. During his education, he won several competitions and awards, including the Yamaha Young Performing Artists competition. Currently, Mr. Kovling is a regular sub with the Houston and San Antonio Symphonies. He has also had the opportunity to play Wagner Tuba with the Houston Grand Opera (in Die Walkure). While being born and raised in Lewisville, Texas, and being confined to this great state during his en tire education, he has recently won a position with the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington D.C.
Charlotte is a native of North Texas. She is a recent graduate of The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Horn Performance studying with Jeff Nelsen and natural horn with Richard Seraphinoff. Charlotte was named a 2015 Jacobs Scholar for outstanding musicianship and IU Founders Scholar for sustained academic excellence. Charlotte has also studied abroad with Wolfgang Vladar (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) in Vienna, Austria during the Fall 2013 semester. This fall, Charlotte will be pursuing a Masters degree in Horn Performance with Randy Gardner at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Spencer Park – Spencer Park is a horn player who was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although he didn’t play horn until 6th grade band, his musical foundations started at the age of 7 when he took piano lessons and sang as a soprano in a boy choir. He has since won numerous horn and piano competitions, most notably, the first prize at the 2013 National Young Artist Competition in Anehiem, California. Spencer began his collegiate studies at Brigham Young University, where he studied with Larry Lowe. While at BYU he enjoyed two wonderful summers at the Aspen Music Festival. Spencer has also toured with several musical ensembles throughout the USA, China, Australia, and Southern Africa. He has learned from and collaborated with many of the world’s leading horn players including; Dale Clevenger, William Caballero, Andrew Bain, Julie Landsman, John Zirbel, David Wakefield, and the American Brass Quintet. He has played guest principal wanger tuba with the Houston Grand Opera and can be seen performing often with the Houston Symphony. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Rice University and is very much enjoying learning from the legendary William VerMeulen and the rice horn crew.
Ashley Salazar lives in McKinney, Texas and has just finished her third year at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she is double majoring in French Horn Performance and Applied Mathematics. She receives private lessons from Gregory Hustis, Adjunct Professor of Horn at SMU and Haley Hoops, second horn for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
She was Co-Principle French horn in both the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) and GDYO Philharmonic between 2010-2012 in Dallas, Texas and placed third in the 2011 GDYO Philharmonic Concerto Competition. She was also a three time Texas Music Education Association All-State member.
As an alumnus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michael Woodard graduated from the academy and attended the summer arts program where he was awarded an Emerson scholarship. He has just finished his junior year at Southern Methodist University where he is currently studying as a Horn Performance and Business double major. In addition to his principal mentor, Greg Hustis, he also maintains studies with Haley Hoops, and his original teacher, Jeff Garza. He has performed with the San Antonio Symphony and regularly plays with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. This is his second summer attending the Texas Music Festival.
A native of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Ryan began playing trumpet at age 10. He recieved his Bachelor's Degree in Performance from North Texas as a student of Keith Johnson.
Now, as the trumpet graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University, Ryan studies with Dr. Gary Wurtz. Ryan performs with the Orchestra of the Pines, Wind Ensemble, Swingin' Axes jazz ensemble, and is a founder of the student quintet, Axem Brass.
In recent months, Ryan has advanced to the semi-finals of the National Trumpet Competition at Messiah College in Pennslyvania, been selected as a finalist for the International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpts Competition in Columbus, Ohio, and been a winner of the 2015 SFASU Concerto Competition.
Dylan Harris is a native of Houston, Texas and currently a sophomore Trumpet Performance major at the Eastman School of music. He currently studies with Professor James Thompson and is an active performer in various ensembles at the Eastman School of Music and the Houston area. Dylan has performed in various venues across the United States such as the Texas Music Educators Association, The Mid-West Clinic, the National Orchestra Championships in New York City and the National Trumpet Competition in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Along with these venues, Dylan is an alumni of many Houston arts programs including the Houston Youth Symphony and the American Festival for the Arts.
Bio coming soon
Tyler Norris is a 19 year old from Austin, Texas. He has just completed his first year at Indiana University studying trumpet performance under John Rommel. He has participated in several of the major ensembles at IU, including performing with the wind ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association conference in Nashville. He has also previously studied with John Armstrong of the Navy Band, Kyle Koronka of the Austin Symphony, and Dr. Joe Cooper.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Eric began playing piano at age 3 and trumpet at age 9. Now an undergraduate student at New England Conservatory, his principal teachers have included Roger Blackburn and Jeffrey Curnow of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Benjamin Wright and Thomas Siders of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Eric has played with several youth orchestras in Philadelphia and Boston, as well as several orchestras and chamber ensembles at New England Conservatory. This summer Eric will also be attending the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Steven Osborne is a freshman trombone player from Atlanta, Georgia studying at the Manhattan School of Music with David Finlayson, second trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. Living in Georgia for 18 years, he has studied with Nathan Zgonc, principal trombonist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Freddy Martin, along with participating in activities such as Georgia's Governor Honors Program, Honor Band of America, Emory Symphony Youth Orchestra and Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony. Other than playing and performing, Steven says, “I enjoy reading about the mind, and I am very active and just love being outside improving the fitness and minds of myself and others.”
Rachel Trumbore, a native San Diegan, is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance at Northwestern University where she studies with Michael Mulcahy, Timothy Higgins, Douglas Wright, Randall Hawes, and Christopher Davis. Some of Rachel's other influential teachers include Peter Ellefson, Kyle Covington, and Toby Oft. Professionally, Rachel has been called in San Diego to play in the pit orchestra for Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady and to be a substitute with the San Diego Symphony.
Aside from classical trombone, Rachel is pursuing the sackbut in hopes of someday being in an early music consortium.
Jacob Small is an American born bass trombonist from Houston, Texas. He received his Bachelors of Music from Baylor University in May 2014 and is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at Southern Methodist University. His most notable teachers include Brent Phillips, John McCroskey, Philip Freeman, and John Kitzman. In addition to being a freelance trombonist in the Dallas and Houston areas, Jacob Small has had appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra and various Chamber ensembles throughout Texas. Small was a finalist in the Big XII solo competition in Spring 2014.
Chris Torrisi began playing the tuba at age 11 under his long time teacher, Jason Harvey. He was a two-year TMEA All-State member and first chair his senior year. He was a member of the Houston Youth Symphony for three years, Texas All-State Orchestra, and attended the BUTI Tuba Workshop. Chris currently resides in Houston, where he is a freshman at Rice University receiving his Bachelor’s degree in tuba performance with Dave Kirk of the Houston Symphony. He has enjoyed performing in the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Larry Rachleff, as well as various small chamber ensembles at The Shepherd School of Music.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, euphoniumist & tubist Angel Elizondo is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Michigan, where he holds the prestigious Rackham Merit Fellowship. Under the tutelage of tuba artist & pedagogue Fritz Kaenzig, Angel has earned a Masters of Music from the University of Michigan & also holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University, where he studied under tuba soloist Dr. Kent Eshelman. Angel has most recently appeared in concert with the Ann Arbor Symphony & the University of Michigan Symphony Band, & has also recently appeared at the 2014 International Tuba & Euphonium Association (ITEA) Tuba Artist Competition & the 2015 ITEA Midwest Regional Euphonium Mock Band Competition.
Dylan Barber recently finished the first year of his master's in percussion performance at Boston University, where he studies with Tim Genis. Before attending BU, Dylan received a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from George Mason University, where he studied with John Kilkenny and John Spirtas. Dylan is very excited to be returning for his third summer at TMF, and is looking forward to working with his outstanding colleagues, as well eating an absurd amount of tacos.
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Julian Bridges now attends the University of Michigan, where he is pursuing a BM in Percussion Performance, and where he studies privately with Joseph Gramley, Jonathan Ovalle, and Joe Becker. Bridges also has studied at the National Conservatory of Paris, and won 1st Prize in Division II of the 2012 Modern Snare Drum Competition.
Bridges is simultaneously completing his BFA in Jazz/Contemporary Improvisation at Michigan, where his mentors have included Michael Gould and Benny Green. He has had the privilege to perform with artists including Danilo Perez, Robert Hurst, Larry Grenadier and Benny Golson.
Will Champion, a Charlotte, NC native, is a junior at Northwestern University studying with She-e Wu, Vadim Karpinos, Chris Lamb, and James Ross. For the 2014-2015 season, Will was an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and will continue that membership next season. He was a semifinalist in the 2014 Atlanta Modern Snare Drum Competition and placed second in the 2014 Illinois Day of Percussion Mock Audition. He has enjoyed teaching both privately and large ensembles in North Carolina and South Carolina schools. Will was a 2014 TMF fellow and is looking forward to come back for 2015.
Jack is a 26 year old Percussionist from McCook, NE. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying with Albert Rometo and Anthony Falcone. He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he is currently studying with Christopher McLaurin and working toward an Artist Certificate. Jack has played with orchestras including the Kansas City Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, and the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra. Jack currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Maggie.
Charlie Rosmarin is a first-year masters student at the New England Conservatory, where he studies with Will Hudgins. His recent orchestral studies have brought him to the Avery Fisher Hall stage to perform with the New York Philharmonic as a Zarin Mehta fellow. He also travelled to Seoul, South Korea this April to perform with the Seoul Arts Center Festival Orchestra. Past summers have brought him to MAW, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and NOI. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Juilliard School in 2014 under Dan Druckman. Charlie also enjoys running, reading, and using Yelp to find food.
David Yoon is currently in his first year at The Juilliard School pursuing a bachelor of music in percussion performance. He has previously been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in 2013 and 2014. He has won numerous competitions including the Modern Snare Drum Competition, Southern California International Marimba Competition, and the Great Plains International Marimba Competition. He will be participating in the Texas Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival in 2015.
Eric Bowser, 20 years old, began playing violin at the age of 7. He has participated in various orchestral programs and summer festivals, and in 2013 he had the privilege of playing in the National Youth Orchestra, where they performed with Joshua Bell and conductor Valery Gergiev. In his hometown of Kerrville, Texas he participated in both the community symphony and area youth orchestras. Eric also enjoys playing fiddle music, piano, and organ. He is a music student at Baylor University.
Chen Ying started learning violin at age of 5 under her father. She entered the Central Conservatory of Music Primary School in 2005, studying under Chai Liang. She graduated in 2008 and entered the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School and she studied under Xiaolong Liu. In 2010 She organized a solo recital held in the Central Conservatory of Music. In 2012 her piano trio won the 3rd prize in the 2nd Chamber Music competition held by the Middle School. She is currently studying under Zuo Jun at the Yong Siew Tho Conservatory of Music.
Bio coming soon
Ahra Cho started playing violin at the age of 5, received a certificate from pre-school in Korea National University of Art (2001~2005). She has performed with numerous orchestras including Jeonju Philharmonic Orchestra as her debut at age 11 as well as Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Yewon annual concert, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Sejong soloists Concert, Seoul Nat’l University symphony orchestra. She has also performed recitals at Kumho Art Hall supported by the Kumho Cultural Foundation and Ewon Cultural Center. Her competition career includes: First prizes in Strad, Seongjung Music Competition, Sejong Music Competition and second or third prizes in many Korean competitions. Besides, she took part and played in San Francisco International Music Festival, Vianden Music Festival and 2014 Musetica Festival in Spain. She graduated from Yewon School, Seoul Arts High School and Seoul National University as an honor student at 2013. She studied under professor Ju-young Baek and is now studying at Manhattan School of Music for her Masters degree under professor Lucie Robert.
San Antonio native Jacob Cortez is currently pursing undergraduate degrees in Violin Performance and Music Education from the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Julia Bushkova. In addition to performing with the UNT Symphony and Opera orchestras, Jacob performs with several local ensembles throughout the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area. He has worked with artists such as Kirsten Yon, Frank Huang, Leon Spierer, the Baumer String quartet, and Vadim Gluzman. An advocate for music education, Jacob maintains a private strings studio in the DFW area and teaches with the UNT String Project. As the undergraduate winner of the 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Essay Contest, his writing has been featured in the Southwestern Musician magazine.
A native of Germany, Dolores Derksen started her violin studies at the age of 5 in a small public elementary school where the she learned the basic violin repertoire. At the age of 8, she moved to Texas, where she began studying with Houston Symphony violinist Sergei Galperin. Since then, she has made numerous achievements, including winning concertmaster as a 6th grader in the Austin Youth Orchestra. Throughout her years, Dolores has placed in several orchestras, including Region 26 Orchestra (2008-2014), Texas All-State Orchestra 2012-2014, and Austin Youth Orchestra (2008-2014). She was also the concertmaster of the Austin Youth Orchestra in 2014. She currently studies with Emanuel Borok at Southern Methodist University.
Seth Freifeld hails from Tucson, Arizona and is currently attending the University of Houston for his undergraduate degree in violin performance in the studio of Dr. Kirsten Yon. Previous to his collegiate career, he has been playing the violin for 13 years under the instruction of his father, Bruce Freifeld. Seth’s goal is to become a member of a major symphony orchestra.
Bio coming soon
Bin Gui began to play the violin when she was four years old. Although showed great talent immediately, Bin did not attend conservatories until 2014. While studying at Yucai Middle School and Qingdao No.2 Middle School, Bin continued playing the violin in the studio of Yuxia Liu, and served as the concertmaster of Qingdao Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years. After graduation from high school, Bin attended University of Virginia for two years, there she studied with Prof. Daniel Sender. Now Bin is studying at Manhattan School of Music in the class of Ms. Lucie Robert.
Guo Xingchen, 19, was born in China and started learning the violin at age 6. She graduated from middle school attached to China Conservatory of Music in 2012. She is also awarded the Second Prize in the 3rd Thailand International String Competition in 2014. Currently, she is a third year student in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, and is under the tutelage of Foo Say Ming. She plays as the Concert Master of NAFA Orchestra since 2014.
Violinist Hongming Hu is from Singapore. He began to play the violin at the age of four. Hongming graduated from The Affiliated High School of Shanghai Conservatory Of Music. He currently studies with Qian Zhou at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
Ingrid Hunter, a native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, has performed extensively as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. She currently resides in Houston, TX where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in violin performance with Prof. Frank Huang, at the Moores School of Music. She is the former concertmaster of the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, and the Moores School Opera and Ballet Orchestras. Mrs. Hunter’s performances include regular appearances as the violinist for Musiqa, Houston's premiere new music ensemble, and the Mercury orchestra. Mrs. Hunter is professor of violin at San Jacinto College Central and also maintains an active private violin studio.
21 year old violinist Yesong Jeong is an artist whose playing combines natural temperament with technical ease. A winner of various competitions, Ms. Jeong has won 1st place in the Jeonju International Competition in 2010 and 1st place in the Jeonbuk University Competition. As a result of her successes, She was soloist in Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Jeonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Zigeunerweisen Op.20 with Sori Arts Center Youth Orchestra, and Vivaldi's Four Season with Young Artist String Orchestra, in which she was also concertmaster for 2 years. Ms. Jeong received a Bachelor of Music degree under the Professor Sung-Ju Lee from the Korea National University of Arts in which she was the recipient of scholarship for entire year. She has had several solo recitals and chamber concerts. She hopes to become a player that could impress people.
Sarah Jane Kenner looks forward to returning to Houston for her second summer at the Texas Music Festival. Sarah’s violin studies began at the age of five in her hometown of New Rochelle, New York. In 2014, Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Temple University's Boyer College of Music, where she studied with Hirono Oka. At Temple, Sarah sat as associate concertmaster and principal second violin of the school's Grammy-nominated symphony orchestra, playing with them in concerts at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and New York's Lincoln Center. Sarah has participated in master classes with members of the Guarneri and Tokyo Quartets, and previous summer festivals include the Aspen and Bowdoin International Music Festivals. Sarah is also an active Baroque violinist, and has played in master classes with Julie Andrijeski, Emlyn Ngai, and Joel Lester, and performed with artists including Jane Glover, Leah Nelson, and Joyce Lindorff. Sarah now resides in New York City, where she is a second year Master’s student at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Lucie Robert.
Grace Kimbrough is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is associate concertmaster of the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, concertmaster of the Lipscomb University Chamber Orchestra, and violinist in the Avalon Trio (piano trio). Other orchestral and chamber experiences include being in the first violin section of the InterHarmony Festival Orchestra in Arcidosso, Italy and the Eastern Music Festival Symphony Orchestra; first violinist of the Lipscomb University String Quartet; assistant concertmaster of the Curb Youth Symphony; concertmaster of the Repertory Orchestra (Blair School of Music pre-college); and concertmaster of the Florida State University Summer Music High School Orchestra. Grace has performed in master classes (both solo and chamber) given by Cyrus Forough, Frank Almond, Joel Smirnoff, Elisabeth Adkins, Sarah Sant-Ambrogio, Dr. Anna Kijanowska, Blair Milton, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Jeffrey Multer.
Bion coming soon
Hao Wei Lim
Hao Wei picked up the violin at the age of 4. Unlike his peers, Wei did a huge detour before deciding on pursuing his studies in music; he received a Diploma in Computer Engineering and spent a 2-year stint in the army. Wei says, “I do enjoy teaching privately in my free time and keeping in shape when I'm out of the practice studio.”
Ying Chu Lin
Bio coming soon
Born in Catania in 1986, Lorenzo Mazzamuto graduated in 2005 from the Vincenzo Bellini Musical Institute of Catania as a student of Maestro Vito Imperato. He had his solo debut with an orchestra at the age of 11 performing a Vivaldi Concerto. The young violinist has already taken part in over 25 national and international musical competitions, obtaining in all either first prize or absolute first prize.
He studied with Sylvia Ahramjian (former student of Ivan Galamian) and in March 2007 he has been admitted at the Manhattan school of music of NYC. In June 2013 has graduated at the Moscow State Conservatory. He plays a Claude Lebet Violin of 2010.
Mr. Nickerson has played in professional orchestras since the age of 16, including the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He has also been concertmaster of several youth orchestras, including the Interlochen Philharmonic, the University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra and the Casper Youth Orchestra.
Mr. Nickerson holds a music performance degree from the University of Oklahoma, and currently is seeking his Masters of Performance and Pedagogy at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where he studies with Kirsten Yon. His prior studies were with Jennifer Cowell, Rossitza Jekova-Goza, Rebecca Ansel and Hal Grossman, and in masterclass with Benny Kim and Paul Kantor.
Mr. Nickerson currently teaches private violin lessons to intermediate and high school children in the greater Houston area.
Meredith Peacock is a performer and teacher living in Austin, TX. She is a devoted chamber and orchestral musician and has attended the Atlantic Music Festival, Madeline Island Chamber Music Camp, Domaine Forget, the Meadowmount School of Music, and the Round Top Music Festival. Meredith graduated in 2014 with her Master of Music in Performance degree from Arizona State University. As a scholarship student at ASU, her primary studies were with Jonathan Swartz. In 2012 Meredith graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where she studied with Kenneth Goldsmith.
Bio coming soon
Keyi Shen was born in Shanghai in 1995 and began studying violin at four years old. In 2005, Shen was admitted to primary school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2009, she won second prize in the Romanian international Violin Competition and received the Excellence Prize in the China National Violin Competition. She has performed with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra and Taipei Youth Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, Keyi Shen was admitted to the Manhattan School of Music to join the studio of Lucie Robert in 2014.
Bio coming soon
Rachel D. Smith holds the MM in Performance from the University of Houston and the BM in Performance, from Texas Tech University. She has studied with Jan Mark Sloman (Dallas Symphony Orchestra), Elisabeth Adkins (National Symphony Orchestra), and Charles Castleman (Eastman School of Music). Ms. Smith has performed in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and China. She has been involved in several music festivals both abroad and in the U.S., including The Quartet Program National Orchestral Institute. Additionally, she has performed on master classes with Yair Kless, Sally O’Reilly, Charles Castleman, Elisabeth Adkins, Emmanuelle Boisvert, and many others.
Jinyoung Song was born in South Korea. She began to play the violin at the age of 8. She finished her Bachelor degree in Kyung Hee University where she studied under Chun Soo Chung, with scholarship. While doing her Bachelor degree, she won several the top prizes including the Haneum Philharmonic Music Competition when she was in university. Song was also selected as a member of festival orchestra, conducted by Han Na Chang.
Recently, Jinyoung Song finished her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, and she will be continuing her professional studies with Lucie Robert.
Yuan Tian was the First Prize winner of the 2001 China National Young Artist Competition, the recipient of the Special Prize in the 2010 Cuellar-Nathan Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2014 Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, and Second Prize winner in the 2015 Eisenberg-Fried String Concerto Competition.
Born in Shandong, China, Yuan had his first violin lesson at the age of six with professor Zhang Sen. At 13 years of age, he moved to Beijing to study with professor Liu Peiyan, Wen Wei and Zhang Ti at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where he served as concertmaster of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, giving concerts throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the Central Conservatory of Music, where he additionally served on the violin faculty of the College of Continuing Education. He moved to New York in 2014. He will attend the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival in 2015.
Currently, he is pursuing his second master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music with Ms. Lucie Robert.
Tak Kin Wong
Wong Tak-Kin is a violinist from Hong Kong, he has received his Bachelor in Music in Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He is an active chamber musician, and he is currently studying Master in Performance (Chamber Music) in Kent State University. In his undergraduate, his quartet was coached by several professional quartets such as the Miami Quartet, the Penderecki Quartet, and the Chilingirian Quartet. Wong’s also participated a lot in orchestral performance. He was selected to serve as concertmaster in Blossom Music Festival Orchestra and the Kent State University Orchestra and performed with The Cleveland Orchestra in Blossom Music Center during summer. He toured with Asian Youth Orchestra across places in Asia including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. He also participated in NJO winter program in the Netherlands and performed within the Netherlands including the Concertgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam. He has worked with many conductors, including Trevor Pinnock, James Judd, Brett Mitchell, Martin Sieghart, Alan Cumberland. His teachers include Cathy Meng Robinson, Amy-Lee and Ivan Chan.
Graham Woodland currently studies at the University of Missouri, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance studying under Eva Szekely. While at MU, he has served as Concertmaster of the University Philharmonic, the Ninth Street Philharmonic, and the Missouri All-Collegiate Orchestras, in addition to being a regular member of the Columbia Civic Orchestra. As a soloist, Graham has appeared with the MU Philharmonic Orchestra and the MU Chamber Soloists. In addition to being a Fellow at the 2015 Texas Music Festival, he has attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, where he was a student of Chin Kim, and the Innsbrook Institute Academy and Festival, where he worked with violinists such as David Halen, Robert Lipsett, and Jonathan Swartz. He has been awarded top prizes in numerous competitions such as the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), MU Emerging Artists, and Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) Competitions. Aside from orchestral and solo playing, Graham has studied chamber music with Peter Miyamoto, members of the Emerson, Esterhazy, Jasper, Ariana String Quartets, and currently studies with Julie Rosenfeld as violinist of the newly-formed Everest Quartet. He has also participated master classes with musicians such as, Pinchas Zukerman, Daniel Stabrawa, Christian Stadelmann, Stephanie Sant’Ambrosio, and members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Yue Yang is currently an undergraduate student at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She majors in music at Haverford College, where she studies with Charles Parker and plays as soloist and concertmaster of the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Orchestra. In the summer of 2014, she performed with the National Music Festival chamber orchestra as a co-winner of the concerto competition at the Festival. Yue sees music as a way to make sense of her world and her everyday life.
Born in Nanchong, Zhao Tian began his violin lesson from his father when he was 3 years old. He was admitted to the Sichuan Conservatory of Music at the age of 8, to further his violin studies under the tutelage of Professor Hu Weimin. Later at the age of 18, he was awarded full scholarship to study at the Yong SiewToh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, where he studied with the internationally renowned violinist and educator, Professor Qian Zhou. In 2014, he has been selected as exchange student to Peabody institute of music, Johns Hopkins University. At same year, he received full scholarship from Manhattan School of Music to continuing his Master degree study in New York City.
Zhu Ke is studying at the Manhattan School of Music with Ms. Lucie Robert. He won his first international prize in 2008 when he took fourth place in the junior section of the 13th Menuhin Competition in Cardiff. He also won the fifth prize of the 6th Tchaikovsky Music Competition for young musicians 2009 in Korea. Last month, he won the first prize in Pearl & Julius Young Competition in New Jersey and the First Classical Concerto Competition at the Manhattan School of Music. He is the first Chinese person to receive an invitation to perform with Scotland BBC Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Rebecca Barnett, 18, currently studies Viola Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park under the instruction of Katherine Murdock. For the past two summers, Rebecca has participated in the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, which includes a full tuition fellowship.
Before college, Rebecca was a member of the Peabody Performance Academy for Strings, where she also served as assistant principal Viola in the Peabody Youth Orchestra. Furthermore, she received the Peabody Achievement Award in Viola for three years as well as generous scholarship to continue her studies at the Preparatory.
Ryan Beauchamp, a Virginia native, is currently a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He performs as a freelance musician with numerous ensembles in East Central Illinois. Ryan has previously performed with the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Next Generation Concert Series (NC) and most recently with the Krannert Art Music Chamber Music Series (IL). He received his BM in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from East Carolina University and his MM in Viola Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His principal teachers include Ara Gregorian, Liz Freivogel, Melissa Reardon, and Masumi Rostad.
David Derrico is A New York City based violist. Originally from Gainesville Fl. Mr. Derrico Came to NYC to pursue his ungraduated and master’s degrees at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Karen Dreyfus. He won top prize at the FSMTA String Concerto Competition and The Philadelphia International Music Festival Concerto Competition and multiple prize winner at the Fuchs Chamber Competition. Since his graduation Mr. Derrico has been an active freelance violist around the greater New York area. He is excited to be returning to MSM this fall as part of the Orchestral Performance program studying with Irene Breslaw.
Mila Gallardo started her viola studies at F.O.S.J.E (Fundacion Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil del Ecuador) where she was member of the Youth Symphony of Ecuador for five years. She studied with Manuel Moreno and Oswaldo Toro. She was also member of the experimental ensemble “Clave de Mano”. Mila has taken masterclasses with Brett Deubner (Temple University), Andrea Kim (Germany), Rudolf Haken (University of Illinois) and Alexandre Razera (Brazil). In 2012 she won the "International Viola Scholarship" offered by Western Illinois University, to be part of the "President's International String Quartet" of the university. Today she is a junior of the viola studio of Dr. Istvan Szabo.
Stephen Hart, 18, attends the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he studies viola with Professor Peter Slowik. In the past, Stephen has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the Cremona International Music Academy (where he won an Honorable Mention in the Competition for Strings), and the Viola Workout. He was also a member of the inaugural National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Aside from his musical accomplishments, Stephen is an Eagle Scout and a black belt in Taekwondo and graduated Valedictorian with Distinction from the Orange County School of the Arts.
Jeremy Julio Laureta
Originally from Uniondale, New York, Jay is a freshman at the Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship under the tutelage of Karen Ritscher, having recently graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy at the age of sixteen with its highest musical honor, the Young Artist Award. He has studied chamber music with Earl Carlyss at the Juilliard School and Susan Jolles of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He began his formal musical training at the age of fourteen through the Mannes Preparatory Division.
Jay has been honored by organizations such as the Anthony Quinn Foundation and the Doublestop Foundation, and has been recipient of fellowships from the Texas Music Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, where he was recruited through the Young Artists of Color Training Initiative, and the National Music Festival. He has also been profiled and featured on Interlochen Public Radio and SiriusXM. As a founding member of 4strung, a NYC-based string ensemble, and violist of fusion jazz group 72nd Street, he has performed extensively in venues across Manhattan.
His past teachers and mentors include Renee Skerik and David Holland. He has performed with the Astoria Symphony and the Opera Theatre of Montclair. Jay plays on a bow and a Marco Gandolfi viola graciously on loan from the American Viola Society.
Sarah Lee is an avid freelancer in the Bay Area. Not limited to performing traditional classical music, she also enjoys premiering new music. In 2014, she premiered Emma Logan’s piece, “Tangent,” at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and in 2013, she premiered William Bryant’s piece, “A San Francisco Evening” at the Indiana University. She received awards from Indiana University such as Premier Young Artist and A.W. Mason Music Scholarship. Lee received her Bachelor’s of Music from Indiana University under Stephen Wyrcznski and is currently completing her Master’s Degree at her hometown at the San Francisco Conservatory with Jodi Levitz.
Wenran Meng is an international student from Beijing, China. She played violin since she was five years old, and at 13 years old made the switch to viola. She attended the attached middle school of Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she was the principal violist. While Meng was in high school, she represented China as a young musician in a Taiwan Music Festival. She is now a junior studying viola with Doris Lederer. Meng has had the opportunity to attend the National Orchestra Institute Music Festival the privilege to work with Alan Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Vernon, and CJ Chang. Last semester, Meng won second prize of Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition. She is currently is the principal violist of the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra.
Violist Oscar Rendon, 20, is from Denton, Texas, where he studies with Susan Dubois, and Daphne Gerling at the University of North Texas. Oscar started off on viola at age 12, and has always had a love for the instrument. His senior year of high school, he was a member of the Texas All-State Orchestra and performed in the Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed in, Idyllwild, Los Angeles, Sewanee, and has played for the Monroe Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, and the Fort Smith Symphony. He also enjoys swimming and playing tennis competitivly.
Violist Zoe Rosner is from Charlottesville, Virginia. She is pursuing a Bachelor's in Music Education with a Performance Certificate at the University of South Carolina and will graduate in Spring 2016. Zoe teaches at the USC String Project and is treasurer of her school's American String Teacher's Association chapter. She is also active in chamber music at USC, playing in a quartet and the USC Chamber Orchestra und
Wei Yi Sheng
Born in Kelantan, Malaysia, Sheng Wei Yi began studying viola after graduated from University College Sedaya International (UCSI), majoring in violin. Her teachers have included Eliza Julia Fluder, Attila Pasztor and Liu Jian. She has performed in the International Festival of Classical Music in 2011 and also as a guest player with the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre Orchestra. She has been a member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) in 2012-2014 and the Kuala Lumpur String Project (KLSP), led by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra musicians Sherwin Thia and Elizabeth Tan. Wei Yi holds a Bachelor Degree in Music (Hons) from UCSI University. Since 2014 she has been a member of Malaysian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mustafa Fuzer Nawi.
Violist Julia Vicic is a native of St. Paul, MN. Past teachers include Sabina Thatcher, Kenneth Freed and Mary Sorlie. She participated in the Artaria Chamber Music School and Minnesota Youth Symphonies throughout school. She attended the Meadowmount School of Music in 2013 and was the “Coda Bow” prize winner in the 2013-2014 MNSOTA Mary West Competition. Her quartet took first prize at the 2014 St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Young Musician's Chamber Music Competition. A 2012 and 2013 finalist in the MYS Solo Competition, Julia studies with Stephen Wyrczynski at Indiana University.
Jenna began studying cello at age nine. She was a member of Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, MENC All Eastern Festival, and principal of Longy Youth Chamber Orchestra where she was awarded the Sophie Vilker Scholarship (2010). Since studying at The Boston Conservatory, she has been principal of the MIT Summer Philharmonic Orchestra and performs with The Mozart Academy of Music. She has taught summer programs at Longy and Indian Hill Music School. Jenna studies with Sato Knudsen (BSO) and graduated from The Boston Conservatory with a B.M. in Cello Performance. Previous teachers include Jane Sheena and Mihail Jojatu (BSO).
Nineteen year old cellist, Stephanie Chen, originally from Taipei, Taiwan, began studying the cello at the age of four. She graduated from Taipei American School, where she completed her high school diploma and studied with professor Professor Zheng-Yi Qing. In 2012, she made her debut at the National Concert Hall with the Taipei Century Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Liao and has performed in master classes from Mischa Maisky, Michael Friedmann, Paul Katz, The Formosa Quartet, and The Ying Quartet. Stephanie is currently a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music studying with Professor David Ying.
Kyumin Romana Chun, from Seoul, Korea is a first year of graduate student at Indiana University and studies with Peter Stumpf. She graduated from Ewha Womans University in 2013. She won the first prize in the CBS competition, music journal competition, Sung-shin University. Ms. Chun performed Schumann Cello Concerto with the Madri Orchestra and Haydn Cello Concerto in D major with the Ewha Orchestra.
Cellist Yoobin Chung was born and began her early musical training in South Korea. She received a Bachelor's degree in cello performance as a scholarship student under Marion Feldman at Manhattan School of Music. During her time at MSM, she served as principal of Opera and Philharmonia orchestras and she was invited to play master classes for Tokyo string quartet and at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with Cho-Liang Lin while also studying chamber music with American String Quartet, Lucie Robert and Brentano String Quartet.
Ms. Chung recently graduated from Manhattan School of Music with a Master's degree in cello performance under the tutelage of Alan Stepansky.
Holly Garrett, 22, is a recent graduate of Boston University, completing a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, under the tutelage of Michael Reynolds, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has made appearances at various music festivals across the country, such as the Texas Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Madeline Island Music Festival, and Green Lake Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Garrett made a solo appearance with the New England Repertory Orchestra earlier this year, and she has performed in master classes for Matt Haimovitz, Alan H arris, Norman Fischer, Alison Wells, and Alan Stepansky.
A recent graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, 23-year-old cellist Danbe Lee, from Silver Spring, MD, is a passionate chamber musician and orchestra player. Ms. Lee had participated in numbers of festivals including Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Yellow Barn music festival(YAP), and Hidden Valley Music Seminar. This Summer, she will be participating in Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, and continuing her master’s studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the Fall, with her teacher Stephen Geber, the formal principal cellist of Cleveland Orchestra.
Cheuk Yan Leung
Cheuk Yan Leung is currently pursuing the Master of Performance Degree in Kent State University under Professor Keith Robinson. He also studied with Professor Ray Wang and Ms Monica Su in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He has participated in masterclasses given by Steven Isserlis, Gary Hoffmann, Shanghai String Quartet etc. He has also participated in the Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy and the Interharmony Music Festival 2013. Famous conductors he worked with include Trevor Pinnock, Anthony Hermus, Nicholas Kok and Alan Cumberland.
Eunhye Eunice Lim is a first year of graduate student at the Cleveland Institute of Music and studies with Richard Weiss (first assistant principal cello, The Cleveland Orchestra). She was born in Seoul, South Korea and began to study cello at the age of eleven. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Korean National University of Arts in 2010 when she studied with Myung-wha Chung and Hyung-won Chang. In the spring of 2013, she completed her professional studies diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Stephen Geber (retired principal cello, the Cleveland Orchestra). In 2013, she served as a principal cellist of both the Korean Youth symphony and Absolute orchestra. Ms. Lim won the first prize in the Sung-shin University, the Strad, Eum-youn, Seoul Baroque chamber music competitions in 2006 and actively participates in competitions world-wide. She has also performed master classes with Bernard Greenhouse and Miklos Perenyi and most recently for Alice Weilerstein in 2014.
Andrew Plaisier will complete his senior year next spring at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, double majoring in biology and cello performance. In 2014, he performed Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the Calvin Orchestra as a Concerto Competition winner and also toured Costa Rica with the orchestra performing Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos with his friend, Joshua Ruiter. The two have recently been acclaimed as featured street performers by the Holland Sentinel for their renditions of pop music. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing racquetball, tennis, and spending time outside biking and rollerblading.
Julia Wen, from Barrington, IL, is pursuing a master’s degree with Alan Stepansky at the Peabody Conservatory. She performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo with the Valparaiso University Symphony on their tour to China in 2011, and finished her bachelor’s degree at Roosevelt University. She has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the National Cello Institute. Julia regularly volunteers for Peabody’s performing organization for disadvantaged audiences, Creative Access, teaches in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s El- Sistema-inspired program, Orchkids, maintains a private studio, and writes for the CREDO music blog. Past teachers include Richard Hirschl, Daniel Morganstern, and Gilda Barston.
Avery Cardoza began studying double bass at the age of ten. His father was a major influence, having studied double bass at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. Avery studied under LInda McKnight and currently studies as an undergraduate with Jeremy McCoy at Manhattan School of Music, where he attended precollege. He previously attended the Brevard Music Center Festival and Eastern Music Festival.
Albert grew up in Seattle and started studying bass at the age of nine with Ben Musa. In high school, he began taking lessons with Seattle Symphony principal Jordan Anderson. Albert now studies with Maximilian Dimoff at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Joseph Gaskins is a bassist originally from Goose Creek, South Carolina. In high school, he was a member of the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry, serving as principal bassist for two years. He spent one semester at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, studying with Paul Sharpe, and later transferred to the University of South Carolina, where he currently studies with Craig Butterfield. He is currently Principal bassist for the USC symphony. He is also a substitute bass player for the Long Bay Symphony and the Augusta Symphony.
Bio coming soon!
James Peterson began studying the Double bass at age 10 and pursued it wholeheartedly from day one. Throughout his middle school and high school years he was a member of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. In James's junior year of high school he was principal bass of the All-Virginia Orchestra and James also received the Lafayette Jackson Memorial Scholarship for his achievements in music. James was also chosen to be a National Symphony Youth Fellow, where he studied privately with Paul DeNola of the National Symphony.
James has been an active member of the Washington DC/Virginia music community, playing in ensembles such as the Piedmont Symphony, the American University Philharmonic, Washington Youth Chamber Orchestra and the Annandale Symphony.
James is now pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Double Bass Performance at the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Ira Gold.
Bassist Russell Thompson comes from a family of musicians and is happy to return to Houston. He began playing in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra during high school. In 2014, he graduated with a Degree in Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Maximilian Dimoff. This fall, he will be attending the BU school of music to study with Edwin Barker. He has played with the Firelands Symphony and the Rappahanock Symphony, among others. He attended TMF last summer, and in other years has attended the National Repertory Orchestra and the National music Festival. His other teachers include Tracy Rowell and Paul Henry.
Erin started out playing violin at age 6, and then switched to bass when she was 13. In 2014 she received a bachelor’s degree in performance from Azusa Pacific University where she studied with Tim Eckert and Nico Abondolo. She has played in masterclasses for Paul Ellison, Scott Haigh, David Young, Bruce Bransby, Lawrence Hurst, Murray Grodner, and Micah Howard. Previously she attended Montecito Summer Music Festival where she studied with Tim Pitts. Erin currently studies with Kurt Muroki at Indiana University where she is pursuing a master’s degree in Double Bass Performance with an outside area in Violin Making.
Classical double bassist Jonathan performs throughout Alberta and is the most recent recipient of the Calgary Philharmonic’s Marley Rynd Memorial Performance Award. Jonathan has won the position of Section Bass of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Opera, the Banff Centre, and the Bow Valley Chorus Orchestra as well as many other local ensembles. He has toured across the country with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), where he served as the Principal Bass in 2014. With the NYOC, he premiered multiple works by prominent Canadian composers such as Sebastian Hutchings, Jordan Pal, Neal Gripp, James O’Callaghan, Emilie Cecilia LeBel, and Lucas Oickle, with many of these works having been recorded. Jonathan is currently studying Double Bass Performance at the University of Calgary with Charles Garrett. His previous teachers include Sheila Garrett, Lawrence Hurst, Winston Budrow, Jeremy McCoy, and Ed Tait. He has also participated in tine Calgary Pro Musica’s Dick Matthews’ Young Artist Development Program for the past two years. Jonathan currently performs on an Italian double bass of unknown make from the late 19th century.
Sophie Graf is an undergraduate harp performance major at Duquesne University studying with Gretchen Van Hoesen. Sophie has performed with a variety of regional and youth orchestras and is currently the principal harpist of the Duquesne University Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in master classes with Maria Luisa Rayan-Forrero, Ann Yeung, Nancy Allen, and Claire Jones. In fall 2013, Sophie won the Duquesne University Concerto Competition and in summer 2014 Sophie won the American Harp Society’s Anne Adams Award. Most recently, Sophie won Duquesne University’s 2015 Women’s Advisory Board Scholarship Competition and the 2015 VSA International Young Soloists Competition.
Molly Langr began studying the harp at the age of six with ShruDeLi Ownbey. In 2011, she won fourth place and the Salzedo Price at the American Harp Society national competition intermediate division. She was a soloist with the Utah Symphony at age 11, and again at 17, playing the Debussy Danses as part of their Salute to Youth program. She was a member of the 2014 National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A., as well as a Young Arts winner. Molly is a rising sophomore at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studies with Doug Rioth.