2013 Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellows - University of Houston
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2013 Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellows

The Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellows are chosen through a rigorous live and recorded audition process. Each student receives a full tuition fellowship and housing assistance for their stay in Houston. The 2013 Orchestra Fellows come from Texas, other U.S. States, and foreign countries. We welcome them to Houston!


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Catherine Baker, Texas

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Catherine Baker, a Houston native who grew up in The Woodlands, was a participant at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina where she performed under distinguished conductors including Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta of the Buffalo Philharmonic. She has also performed at the Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas under maestro Peter Bay of the Austin Symphony. Catherine plays in the Austin and Houston areas as a freelance flutist and piccoloist.

Ms. Baker will be entering the two-year Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Southern California, studying with Jim Walker in the Fall of 2013. In the Spring of 2013, Catherine received her Master of Music degree from The University of Texas at Austin with Marianne Gedigian, performing regularly with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, New Music Ensemble and various chamber music groups. Prior to attending UT, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Houston with Jennifer Keeney and Sydney Carlson. At UH she was a member of the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. At both schools, she participated in various professional recording projects with the wind ensembles which will be released in the near future.

In addition to performing frequently, Catherine is devoted to teaching young, aspiring flutists and has had a small studio in Round Rock iSD. Outside of her musical endeavors, Catherine also enjoys making delicious pies, practicing yoga, and graphic design.

Leanne Hampton, Colorado

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Praised as “superb” by the Log Cabin Democrat, flutist Leanne Hampton enjoys an active and varied career that includes performing with chamber music groups, outreach organizations, orchestras, and new music ensembles. Currently, she studies with Christina Jennings at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ms. Hampton holds a BA in Music with Honors from the University of Central Arkansas where she studied with Dr. Carolyn Brown. Ms. Hampton is a member of the award-winning graduate wind quintet, 40th Parallel, at CU Boulder. The ensemble competes in prestigious competitions, performs regularly in both community and professional settings, and engages in outreach programs for young musicians. Recently, 40th Parallel appeared as semi-finalists in the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and was awarded runner-up at the MTNA West Regional Chamber Music Competition.

Ms. Hampton has won prizes at the Oklahoma Flute Society Collegiate Artist Competition and the Mid-South Flute Society Young Artist Competition. During her time in Arkansas, she served as co-principal of the Conway Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Repertory Theater. Ms. Hampton has participated in the ARIA Institute and BU Tanglewood Institute summer programs. She has also performed in masterclasses for the flute clubs of Kentucky, Oklahoma, and the Mid-South.

Kasumi Nakashima, Japan

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A native of Japan, Kasumi is a passionate and dedicated musician and educator. She recently received a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance at the University of Houston where she studied with Jennifer Keeney. She will be attending DePaul University in the fall of 2013 to pursue a Master of Music degree. Currently on faculty at Houston’s Virtuoso Academy, she also actively maintains a private flute studio composed of students from throughout the Houston metro area.

Caitrine-Ann Piccini, Texas

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Caity Piccini is an accomplished prize-winning flutist who has performed with orchestras and given numerous solo and chamber recitals across the United States and abroad. Caity is currently pursuing her DMA at the University of Houston and studies with Houston Symphony Principal Flutist, Aralee Dorough. She received her Master’s in Music Performance from NYU, studying with Keith Underwood, and holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from Temple University, where she studied with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Associate Principal Flute, David Cramer.

Amulet Strange, Texas

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Amulet Strange, a native of Dallas, Texas, is currently a Master of Music candidate under the tutelage of Leone Buyse at Rice University. Before moving back to her home state, Amulet graduated from San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music studying under Timothy Day and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. Other mentors include Jocelyn Goranson and Cathy Payne. Her summers have been spent across the United States at Brevard Music Institute and Ohio Light Opera. Recent achievements include the Presser Scholar Award and Texas Flute Society Festival’s Outstanding Soloist recognition and Karen Adrien Scholarship Award.

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Leah Craft, Georgia

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Oboist Leah Craft recently completed her undergraduate degree in Music Performance at the University of Georgia where she studied with Dr. Reid Messich. She plans on attending Rice University in the fall of 2013 to pursue her Master’s in Oboe Performance under the tutilage of Robert Atherholt. She has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Last summer Leah was a soloist with the Sewanee Symphony at The Sewanee Summer Music Festival and was the first prize winner of the Concerto Competition. She has received additional instruction from Erin Hannigan, Dr. Dwight Manning, Katherine Needleman, Dr. Eric Ohlssohn, Robert Stephenson, Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, and Richard Woodhams.

Bethany Lawrence, Texas

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Bethany Lawrence is a native Houstonian from the far east side of the city. She has had several performing opportunities with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and recently performed with the San Antonio Symphony. Along with bassoonist Ellis Montes, she is a co-founder of the Houston Serenade Project, an organization dedicated to the performance of wind serenades and other larger chamber works, which gave its premiere concert in May of 2012. Bethany has been an orchestral fellow in the Texas Music Festival as well as the Sessione Senese per la Musica e l’Arte, with whom she toured Tuscany and Switzerland and was featured as a concerto soloist. This summer, she will be participating in the Texas Music Festival and will be the oboe teaching assistant at Brevard. While in Houston, Bethany was a finalist in the Moores School concerto competition, the recipient of the A. Clyde Roller award, was featured as both an oboist and recordist on KUHF and as an English hornist on KHOU, and gave the American premiere of Ivan Bozicevic’s Marittimo for Oboe, Piano and String Orchestra with the Texas A&M University orchestra.  Bethany received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, where she studied with Anne Leek, and is currently pursuing a masters degree at the University of Texas under Rebecca Henderson.

Alex Liedtke, Illinois

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Chicago native Alex Liedtke is principal oboist of the Fayetteville Symphony (NC). He is a current graduate student at North Carolina School of the Arts and received a Bacherlor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His principal teachers include Elizabeth Camus, Robert Morgan, and Robin Driscoll. In addition to orchestral playing, he is a strong advocate for contemporary music and has premiered several compositions in 2013 at new music recitals in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC.

Kelly Mozeik, Pennsylvania

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Kelly Mozeik is currently studying at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University pursuing a Master's of Music degree in Oboe performance. At Rice, she studies with the former principal oboist of the Houston Symphony, Robert Atherholt. She is holding a Bachelor's of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Frank Rosenwein, principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra. 

As a musician in Houston, Ms. Mozeik subbed with the Houston Grand Opera and has performed with the Cypress Symphony. Being a student at Rice, she is an active member of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and chamber ensembles. She also performed Gunther Schuller's 5 Impromptus for English horn and string quartet for Mr. Schuller himself. Kelly is a private lesson teacher at Brazoswood High school in Clute TX, teaching oboe, english horn, and clarinet. In Cleveland, Kelly was as substitute oboist of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and was a private lesson teacher at Euclid High School where she taught oboe and clarinet. She made her Severance Hall debut performing Tomaso Albinoni's Concerto for two oboes twice with the University Circle Wind Ensemble. Ms. Mozeik also performed Eric Ewazen's Down a River of Time with the Wind Ensemble twice, once being a performance for Mr. Ewazen. During the summers, Kelly has attended summer music festivals including Texas Music Festival, Masterworks Festival, John Mack Oboe Camp, and Carnegie Mellon Pre-College where she performed with the orchestras, involved in chamber music, and attended masterclasses. 

Sophia Parente, Minnesota

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Sophia Parente is currently an undergraduate in the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and will graduate with an oboe performance degree in 2014. She studies oboe with Robert Atherholt, former principal oboist of the Houston Symphony, and is a member of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra at Rice. In Summer 2012, Sophia received a full fellowship to attend the National Music Festival in Chestertown, MD, and also studied at the Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, NC on merit scholarship. In Spring 2012, Sophia received the Sviatoslav Ricther Grant to organize free volunteer concerts by Shepherd School musicians at three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. Previously, Sophia studied with John Snow, associate principal oboe of the Minnesota Orchestra, and was a member of the University of Minnesota oboe studio for two years. In her spare time, Sophia enjoys working with people with intellectual disabilities, ballroom dancing, and doing yoga. Sophia is the current president of the Rice chapter of the international volunteer organization, Best Buddies, and recently received the Morty Rich Scholarship for her continued commitment to community service for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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David Cook, Michigan

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Originally from Troy, Michigan, David Cook is pursuing Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance and chamber music at the University of Michigan. He holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Central Michigan University, where he performed with the university’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, Symphony Orchestra, and Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Recent performances include Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto with conductor Leonard Slatkin and pianist Emanuel Ax, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker with the Taylor Ballet Americana, and the College Band Directors National Association conference. A dedicated educator, David works with the Detroit Symphony Orchestras Civic Youth Ensembles as Civic Orchestra Clarinet Mentor and has taught clarinet at several schools across the state of Michigan. David’s principal teachers include Chad Burrow, Daniel Gilbert, and Dr. Kennen White.

Kelsi Doolittle, New York

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Born on Long Island, Kelsi attended public high school and played principal clarinet in the Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony. She attended The Manhattan School of Music Pre-college program in 2009 and studied with Anthony Mcgill, principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. During this time Kelsi was chosen for the New York State All State and All Eastern festivals. She also took part in a number of summer music festivals including USDAN, Crane Youth Music, and New York State Summer School of the Arts. Currently, Kelsi is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Clarinet Performance and Music Education at The Eastman School of Music. She studies with Kenneth Grant, principal clarinetist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Jon Manasse, acclaimed clarinet soloist, professor of clarinet at the Eastman School of Music and The Julliard School. In 2012 Kelsi was nominated for Eastman’s competitive Performers Certificate. Kelsi performs regularly at the Eastman School of Music with such prestigious ensembles such as The Eastman Wind Ensemble and The Eastman Philharmonia.

Julian Hernandez, Texas

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A native of El Paso, Texas, clarinetist Julian Hernandez began his musical studies at the age of nine, and went on to study with Dr. Richard Shanley, Dr. Vanguel Tangarov, and Mr. Alan Olson at Baylor University where he earned his undergraduate degree in music education. He is currently working on his Master's in Music Performance at the University of Michigan studying under Dan Gilbert. Recent engagements include performances with the Baylor Symphony, Waco Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Band. Julian is an alumni of the Brevard Music Center Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar (NYSOS), and the 2012 edition of the Texas Music Festival. He is just as passionate about teaching as he is performing and is hoping to one day teach clarinet at the college level.

Garret Jones, Texas

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Born and raised in Bedford, TX, clarinetist Garret Jones began his musical training at the age of 12. After graduating cum laude from L. D. Bell High School, he continued his studies at Baylor University with Dr. Richard Shanley, Dr. Vanguel Tangarov, Dr. Jun Qian, and Mr. Alan Olson, where he is currently working to obtain his Bachelor's degree in Music Education. Garret was a three-year participant with the Texas All-State Band and Orchestra groups, and is an alumni of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth. Garret is an active member of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Baylor Wind Ensemble, Waco Symphony, and Baylor Opera Orchestra. Garret's future plans include further study at the graduate and doctoral levels, one day hoping to teach clarinet at the college level. His appreciation and love for music are the driving factors for pursuing his dreams in the musical world.

Rajesh Soodeen, Texas

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Rajesh Soodeen received his undergraduate degree in clarinet performance from the University of Houston with Randall Griffin, principal of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. He was a member of the University of Houston Wind Ensemble which was featured at TMEA in 2011 and Midwest Clinic in 2012. In addition to the Wind Ensemble, Rajesh has played clarinet and bass clarinet in the University of Houston Orchestra which was featured at Midwest Clinic 2012 and TMEA 2013. He has subbed for the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra and has performed in the Houston Wind Serenade Project.

Beginning Fall 2013, Rajesh will pursue a Masters degree in clarinet performance at Indiana University with James Campbell.

Rebecca Tobin, Illinois

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Clarinetist Rebecca Tobin is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music with Jon Manasse and Kenneth Grant. Rebecca has performed as principal clarinet of the National Orchestral Institute Orchestra, Marrowstone Orchestra, Brevard Orchestra, and the Sound Exchange Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Rebecca frequently performs with the Midic Winds quintet, which was awarded third place in the wind division at the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and was recently named a finalist in the J. C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. At Eastman, she is principal clarinet in the Harmonie Octet, has held a co-principal position with the Eastman Philharmonia, and has toured with the Eastman Wind Ensemble as co-principal clarinet. This spring Rebecca was also honored to receive Eastman’s Performer’s Certificate. A Chicago native, Rebecca continues study with Gregory Smith of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has also worked with artists including Ricardo Morales, Yehuda Gilad, Julian Bliss, Steven Cohen, and Carol Lee Smith.

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Pearson Altizer, Texas

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Pearson began his bassoon studies in San Antonio with bassoonist Sharon Kuster and is currently pursuing his bachelor of music at the University of Texas at Austin with renowned pedagogue Kristin Wolfe Jensen. His first year at UT Austin he was the recipient of a travel grant to spend time studying in Houston with bassoonists Ben Kamins, Elise Wagner, Cheryl Huddleston, and TK Dewitt. He later won the UT Board of Regents Chamber Music Competition for his work with the Hill-Country Reed Trio. He has played with Austin Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Choir Orchestra and orchestras at Hot Springs Festival and Masterworks Festival. He is looking forward to spending his summer in Houston at the Texas Music Festival and in Virginia at the Castleton Festival under maestro Lorin Maazel.

Jessica Findley, Kansas

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Jessica Findley, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is currently a junior pursuing a bachelor of music degree in bassoon under Dr. Eric Stomberg at the University of Kansas. She spent her first two years of college study at Bowling Green State University in Ohio studying with Drs. Nathaniel Zeisler and Maya Stone. Jessica is an enthusiastic chamber musician and she enjoys collaborating with a variety of unique instrumental combinations, including renaissance and contemporary ensembles. In 2011-12, she was selected as a finalist in the BGSU Chamber Music Competition and the BGSU Concerto Competition. More recently, Jessica was the winner of the KU Concerto Competition, performing the Mozart Concerto for Bassoon with the KU Symphony Orchestra in March of 2013. This year, she was also the first-prize winner of the collegiate bassoon division of the Midwest Double Reed Society Young Artist Competition. Jessica has performed with the Neue Eutiner Festspiele Oper Orchester in Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany as well as the Perrysberg Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Winds, and the Ottawa Symphony.

Hunter Gordon, Ohio

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Hunter Gordon is a third year student at Oberlin Conservatory pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance with George Sakakeeny and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He has performed with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and a variety of Oberlin Conservatory Ensembles, including the Oberlin Orchestras, Oberlin Sinfonietta and Contemporary Music Ensemble. For the past two summers he has attended the Round Top Festival Institute, where he studied with Benjamin Kamins and Kristin Wolfe Jensen.

Nicole Haywood, Texas

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Nicole Haywood, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance at The University of Texas at Austin, where she studies with Kristin Wolfe Jensen. Her summer music festival appearances include Le Domaine Forget and Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. She has also performed in master classes with Christopher Millard, Gustavo Núñez, Marc Goldberg, and William Ludwig. Nicole is currently the second bassoonist of the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra in Round Rock, Texas.

Jennifer Lane, Texas

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Jennifer Lane recently finished her 3rd year at Baylor University as a bassoon performance major from Dallas, Texas. She currently performs with the Baylor Wind Ensemble, Baylor Symphony Orchestra, First Baptist Church of Waco orchestra and is a member of a student organized wind quintet, Unifive. Jennifer and her quintet enter competitions during the year and play for local events around Waco. During her time at Baylor, Jennifer has performed in master classes with George Sakakeeny, Richard Beene, Frank Morelli, Peter Kolkay and William Ludwig. Jennifer teaches bassoon privately to students year round and was recently invited to teach a bassoon clinic at J J Pearce in Dallas over the summer. Every June for the last three years, Jennifer has taught bassoon camp at the Bassoon Academy of Dallas for students ranging from beginners to advanced high school bassoonists. After graduating, Jennifer plans to pursue a graduate degree in bassoon performance.

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Luke Baker, Texas

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Luke Baker is a native Houstonian and has just finished his first year at Southern Methodist University studying horn performance with Greg Hustis. Before coming to SMU, Luke grew up in Sugar Land on the Southwest side of Houston. In High school Luke was the Brass Section Leader and Band President at Dulles High School under the direction of Joe Pruitt, as well as being a member of the Houston Youth Symphony, Virtuosi of Houston and his wind quintet named The Fifth Harmonic. Luke has been extremely successful in various solo competitions including being selected as runner up in the AFA young artist competition in 2011. In addition to his current professor, Greg Hustis, Luke has studied with Holley Linder, Felipe Vera and Gavin Reed. Outside of music Luke is the Vice President of the SMU Ballroom dance team. He also enjoys rock climbing and studying martial arts and holds a second-degree black belt in Chun Kuk Do.

Nick Castellano, California

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Nick Castellano is currently pursuing his Bachelors of Music degree at the University of Southern California as a student of Dr. Kristy Morrell. Nick has performed on master classes with Adam Unsworth, Kendall Betts, W. Peter Kurau, and Hermann Baumann, and has attended the Eastern Music Festival and Idyllwild Arts Festival in previous years. He enjoys performing regularly with such ensembles as the USC Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has appeared under the baton of Mallory Thompson, H. Robert Reynolds, Carl St. Clair, Gerard Schwartz, and James Conlon. In his free time, Nick enjoys swimming, reading, and spending time with his family and friends.

Andrew Du Comb, Michigan

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Andrew has been playing the horn for 8 years, studying with David Everson of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 5 of those years. Growing up he did many youth orchestras and was a member of the Oakland Youth Orchestra, Dearborn Youth Orchestra, and the Detroit Philharmonia and Sinfonia Orchestras. In 9th grade, he performed with the Michigan All-State Orchestra as well. His last 3 years of high school he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy to further pursue is music career. While at Interlochen he studied with Gene Berger and Gustavo Camacho. He has competed in several concerto competitions, including the Michigan Solo & Ensemble competition his 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years and received division one ratings all 3 years. He has attended numerous summer camps including Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Interlochen and University of Michigan Horn Institutes, the Brevard Music Festival, the Domaine Forget Brass Institute, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival. He will be a sophomore at Rice University this fall, where he studies with Mr. William VerMeulen. When he isn’t playing horn he enjoys being in the outdoors, going on hikes, walking through the woods, and anything else one does in nature.

Kayla Howell, Texas

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Kayla Howell, a native Texan, has just finished her second year at the University of North Texas pursuing a degree in Horn Performance. A daughter of two musicians, her studies in music began in the first grade, and she began learning horn in the fifth grade. She attended Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Texas and was a three year Texas All State musician during that time. Kayla also participated in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra for three years, becoming Principal of the horn section in her last year. She is currently a member of the UNT Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra.

Thea Humphries, Canada

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Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Thea Humphries is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in horn performance at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of W. Peter Kurau. Previously, she studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Thea has participated in summer festivals such as Domaine Forget in Quèbec, the Interprovincial Music Camp, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She was a member of the Ontario Provincial Honour Band and the Canadian Wind Orchestra. Thea was awarded the National Arts Centre Outstanding Brass Performer Award and has won several trophies and scholarships both regionally and provincially from the Kiwanis Music Festival.

Emily Nagel, Connecticut

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Connecticut native Emily Nagel graduated this May with her Master’s of Music Degree from Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with Professor William VerMeulen. She has previously studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Los Angeles’ Colburn School Conservatory of Music. Emily has attended many prestigious music festivals, including the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, and the Music Academy of the West in California.

Jeremy Odell, Texas

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Texas native Jeremy Odell is currently a freshman at Northwestern University, where he is pursuing a degree in Horn Performance. Jeremy has participated in several summer music festivals, including Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Kendall Betts Horn Camp, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Bar Harbor Brass week. Jeremy was a member of the TMEA Symphony Orchestra for two years, an Austin Symphony Youth Awards winner, and a YoungArts winner. Jeremy has studied with Patrick Hughes, Jon Boen, and Gail Williams.

Erin Steinke, Texas

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Erin Steinke is a freelance musician from Houston, Texas. She has a studio of about 40 french horn students and regularly plays gigs around town. She is currently the principle horn of the Houston Heights Orchestra. She has been asked to play with several orchestras around Texas and in her former resident state of Ohio including the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, the Canton Symphony, the Mansfield Symphony, and many more.

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Cameron Kubos, Texas

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Cameron Kubos is a trumpet player born and raised in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Cameron returned to the University of Houston to pursue a Master’s Degree in the studio of Jim Vassallo, which he will complete in May of 2013.  

Equally at home in jazz and classical music, Cameron performs regularly around the Houston area. As a student at the Moores School of Music, he has performed principal in all major ensembles at the school including the acclaimed University of Houston Wind Ensemble. He has studied primarily with Jim Vassallo while at the University of Houston, and had additional studies with Mark Hughes, Scott Moore, and Adam Luftman. As a jazz musician and improvisation student of Carol Morgan and Noe Marmolejo, Cameron has performed in a number of ensembles at the Moores School and in other groups around Houston. He has shared the stage with many artists including Jon Faddis, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Evans, and Diane Schuur. Recently, Cameron has been a member of the summer orchestras at the Texas Music Festival in Houston, Texas and the Hot Springs Music Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was also a two year Fellowship Recipient at the Summer Brass Institute in San Francisco, California.

Colin Sieg, Texas

Jay Stinson, Alabama

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Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Jay Stinson has always had a connection with music.  Jay started on the violin at age 7 and then trumpet at age 9.  After 12 years in Wisconsin, his family moved to Helena, Al where he attended middle and high school. While in High School he was selected to various honor bands across the state and the southeast, attended the Alabama All-State Band Festival, was a semi-finalist at the 2009 International Trumpet Guild Youth Solo Competition held at the 2009 ITG conference in Harrisburg, Pa, and was selected via taped audition to be assistant-principal trumpet with the 2010 ASTA National High School Honors Orchestra at the 2010 ASTA conference in Santa Clara, Ca.  Jay currently is pursuing his Bachelors in Music Performance at the University of Alabama.  While studying here Jay has had the fortune of performing in the University of Alabama Symphonic band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir, Trumpet Ensemble, Trumpet Quintet, Wind Ensemble, and the university orchestra, the Huxford Symphony Orchestra.  While a member of the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble, he went on a tour of Italy with the ensemble in the summer of 2012 where they performed in Rome, Padova, and Torino.  Jay has also been a part of various summer festivals such as the Marrowstone Music Festival and has spent two years at the Menlo Summer Brass Institute and this will be his first time here at Texas Music Festival.  Jay gets inspiration from his Grandfather, William Gavinski, who was an avid music enthusiast and World War II veteran. Unfortunately, Jay was unable to ever meet his grandfather, but looks to him every day for inspiration. Jay has played in masterclassse’s for Michael Sachs, Mark Inouye, Vlad Lavrik, Paul Merkelo, and Charles Lazarus. Jay’s primary teachers are Eric Yates and Joe Ardovino, he has also had periodic lessons with Mark Inouye and Adam Luftman.

Paul Torrisi, Texas

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Paul Torrisi started playing the trumpet at age 11. In High school, he was a three-year TMEA 5A All-State member and was first chair for two years. He all studied with Jim Vassallo, principal trumpet of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras, during that time. Last summer, Paul attended Eastern Music festival, where he worked with Judith Saxton, Jeff Kaye and Chris Gekker. He currently resides in Dallas, where he is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University studying trumpet performance with Tom Booth of the Dallas Symphony. He has enjoyed performing in the Meadows Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz orchestra.

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Tenor Trombone

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Thomas Neal, Texas

Curtis Swike, New York

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Bass Trombone

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Skyler Foster, Arizona

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Skyler Foster Joined the Phoenix Youth Symphony, and, was a finalist in the concerto competition before choosing to study at Northern Arizona University as a student of David Vining. While at NAU, he won the concerto competition as a junior and performed Eric Ewazen's Concerto for Bass Trombone. Upon completing his BM in Performance with honors, Foster began studies toward a MM at the New England Conservatory with Douglas Yeo and Norman Bolter. Upon Mr. Yeo's retirement from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Skyler elected to continue his training at Arizona State University. Foster has performed at the CBDNA Regional Conference, with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Salt River Brass, and serves as bass trombonist of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Az.

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Ben Malmer, Texas

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Ben Malmer is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Tuba Performance at the University of Houston where he studies with Mark Barton. He attended Roundtop Music festival and he also placed 3rd in the student division of the Leonard Falcone solo competition last summer. Most recently he won first prize in the student division at the South Central Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference. His primary teachers have been Mark Barton, Dave Kirk and Derek Fenstermacher.

Thunyawat Thangtrakul, Thailand

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In the recent Brass Explosion Festival 2012 held in Singapore, He clinched the first-prize in the Pan-Asian soloist Category. The year before In 2011, he won First-Prize in at the Conservatory Concerto Competition winds Finals, as he performed Woodward's Concerto for Tuba with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Jason Lai. He also participated in principal Tuba of Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble (SAYOWE) in 2008, coached by Mr.Boonchai Sawadkitikul who is the principal of Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. Thunyawat is currently a Fourth-year student of Brett Stemple at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of music in Singapore.Thunyawat also was a guest tuba player of Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Chulalongkorn Symphony Orchestra.

Thunyawat Thangtrakul started his music studies at the age of 17 in the Thephamitsuksa school with Sukit wongjitsukasam. His teachers include Manit Bhuchanok (Bangkok Symphony Orchestra) and Boonchai Sawadkitikul(Thailand Phiharmonic). In 2008,Thunyawat was offered a place to study at Chulalongkorn University. During his studies, he was principal tuba of Chulalongkorn Symphony Orchestra. He was also a member of The Thailand Tuba Quartet Dara Thai. He was performed in masterclasses conducted by Steve Rosse, Thomas Alley, Roland Szenpali and Sergio Carolino.

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Jaeyoung Bea, South Korea

Catherine Calvert, Texas

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Catherine Calvert just completed her bachelor’s degrees in Violin Performance and Music Education as a student of Dr. Kirsten Yon at the University of Houston. She is graduating summa cum laude in Spring 2013. Ms. Calvert has played in the violin sections of several orchestras, including the Lubbock Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony, and Big Springs Symphony orchestras. Past summer festivals in which she has participated include the Cambridge International Strings Academy, Round Top Festival Institute, Bay View Music Festival, and the International Music Academy Pilzen. Ms. Calvert grew up in Houston, Texas.

Gary Cappozellio, Connecticut

Eunae Cho, South Korea

Caroline Cox, North Carolina

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Caroline Cox started her violin studies at the age of four. Caroline is a graduate of East Carolina University with a double major in violin and piano performance. She studied violin with Ara Gregorian and piano with Keiko Sekino. She has been selected to perform in the ECU Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival: Next Generation Series several times, during which she has had the opportunity to perform with Robert McDonald and Michael Kannen. Caroline won the ECU concerto competition during her freshman year. In her junior year, she won the Durham Symphony Orchestra and Raleigh Symphony Orchestra concerto competitions and as a result of this, performed the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor as soloist with both orchestras. In spring 2012, Caroline represented North Carolina in the Music Teachers National Association Competition in New York City where she was awarded first place in the Young Artist Collegiate String Division. Caroline is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Violin Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York City and studying with Lucie Robert.

Gisela Escobar Díaz, Puerto Rico

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Originally from Puerto Rico, Gisela began learning violin at the age of seven at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, studying with Dara Morales, current second violin assistant principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She pursued her undergraduate degree at Temple University studying with Helen Kwalwasser, and graduated with a double degree in Music Education and Violin Performance. Gisela will start her graduate degree in Violin Performance at the University of Houston, studying with Frank Huang, concertmaster of the Houston Symphony.

As an active performing musician, she has been part of the Youth Orchestra of Mexico, Youth Orchestra of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Symphony Orchestra and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, with whom she held the position of principal second violinist for several concerts in the 2011-2012 season.

During the summer, she has attended various music festivals such as: Eastern Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Lake George Music Festival, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (FOSJA), and the Mozarteum International Summer Academy. She has participated in masterclasses with Mikhail Kopelman and Eduard Schmieder.

Eunhye Dong, South Korea

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Eunhye Dong, a native of South Korea, started the violin at the age of five. She was the recipient of the Dean's Talent Award and was a full scholarship student at the Oberlin Conservatory under the tutelage of Kyung Sun Lee and Marilyn McDonald. Additional teachers include Paul Kantor, Dong Suk Kang and Hai Yup Yang. She won the second prize at the Sejong music Competition and was a semi-finalist at the Concert Artists Guild Competition. She has concertized throughout North America, France, Germany, Thailand, and S.Korea, and has been soloists with numerous orchestras, including the Ukraine National Philharmonic and Daejeon Philharmonic. She has been in masterclasses with Pamela Frank, James Buswell, Jennifer Koh, Anner Bylsma, many others. Eunhye is currently studying with Lucie Robert at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Nicholas Hatt, Pennsylvania

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Nicholas Hatt, native to Beaver, Pennsylvania, began his violin studies at the age of seven. His major teachers at this time were Lorinda Troxler and Christie Kecskemethy. Recently, he has participated in masterclasses with well-known violinists such as Noah Bendix-Balgley, Lucie Robert, as well as members of the Florida Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

As an active orchestral musician, Nicholas maintains an active summer performance schedule. He is an alumni of the Eastern Music Festival's 2010 and 2011 seasons. Here he has studied with John Fadial, the concertmaster of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and was given many leadership opportunities by serving in various principal positions. Nicholas was also one of the orchestral fellows at the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival in its 2012 season.

Nicholas recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Performance at West Virginia University, where he studied with Dr. Mikylah Myers McTeer. During his time in West Virginia, he served as the Principal Second Violin and Associate Concertmaster of the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra and was also a finalist in the 53rd Annual Young Artist Competition. As an avid chamber musician, he was a founding member of the Walrus Quartet and has performed with the WVU Chamber Players. His group, the Walrus Quartet recently performed in a masterclass conducted by the Montclair String Quartet. In the Fall, Nicholas will be attending the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music for his Master of Music degree, where he will continue his violin studies with Andrzej Grabiec.

Amanda Hernandez, Texas

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Violinist Amanda Hernandez is currently studying for her undergraduate degree at the University of Houston under the instruction of Dr. Kirsten Yon. In 2011, she was selected as one of the winners of the Lee High School Orchestra Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. She has also participated in competitive summer programs such as the International Music Academy of Pilsen and Texas Music Festival.

Mengqi Hong, China

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Mengqi began studying violin at 8 years old. She later attended the Shanghai Music Middle School studying with Professor Zheng Qing. She has also participated in masterclasses with well-known violinists Ning Feng and Huang Bing.Now she is a first year violin student at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, studying with Zuo Jun.

Hanbing Jia, China

Guontong Li, China

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Sitong Liu, China

Azeneth Loaisiga, Costa Rica

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Azeneth started her musical studies in Cartago, Costa Rica, and then she studied in the pre-conservatory of the Musical Arts School of the University of Costa Rica, where now she courses postgrad studies after getting with honors her Bachelor Degree in year 2012. She won the Honor Recital in years 2000 and 2008, and also she succeed as the Best Average of the Music career in years 2009, 2010 and 2012.

She coursed Master Classes with Gella Dubrova, Ludmila Vernigora, Cuauhtemoc Rivera, Ino Mirkovic, Latin-American Quartet, Lin He, Eli Mathews, Cristina Zacharias, etc. She plays in chamber groups and orchestras such as Cartago Symphony, Heredia Symphony, University of Costa Rica Symphony, University of Costa Rica Student Symphony, 1910 Ensemble, etc. She also has participated as Concertmaster in Cartago Symphony and University of Costa Rica Student Symphony, and also as soloist with the University of Costa Rica Symphony and Student Symphony. Internationally, she has participated in the Central-America Youth Symphony in year 2010 and in Sewanee Summer Music Festival in year 2012.

Angelica Lundberg, Wisconsin

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Angelica is an active member of the Duluth-Superior, Green Bay, Fox Valley, and La Crosse Symphonies and is looking forward to beginning the 2013-14 season with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. While maintaining a private violin and viola studio, she has also appeared with such groups as Kansas, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Vic Ferrari Band, and The Contours.

Angelica, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, began violin lessons at age 6. She received her Masters in Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and her Bachelors in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. While at UWO, she won the music department's Concerto Competition in 2004 and 2006. Her past summers have included the Brevard Music Center and the Marrowstone Music Festival.

Cassidy Moore, New York

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Cassidy Moore, age 19, is a violinist from New York City. She began her studies at age four, and is currently pursing her Bachelor of Music degree with Carol Cole at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music. Previously, she was a student of Eriko Sato at the Mannes College of Music’s Preparatory Division, where she served as concertmistress of the Mannes Symphony.  She has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. In the summer of 2010, she performed as a soloist and as part of a string camerata with Jeunes Virtuoses de New York as a part of Les Fêtes Musicales de Savoie in Valmorel, France. She has attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Yuiko Grace Nakano, Japan

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A native of Japan, Yuiko Grace Nakano is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Classical Performance at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Lucie Robert and will complete her studies in 2013. She recently won first place at the 2012 Chamber Competition at the Duxbury Music Festival.

Grace studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy where she was a recipient of the Fine Arts Award in 2007. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance from Boston University where she studied with Bayla Keyes.

She has participated in summer festivals including National Orchestral Institute, Texas Music Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, and International Academy in Pilsen.

Grace has performed in various ensembles including Boston Civic Symphony, Freisinger Chamber Orchestra, and Shattered Glass. In addition to her studies and performance in classical music, Grace has performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and recorded labels with Boston's upcoming Indie-rock band, Air Traffic Controller.

Jingjing Nie, China

Ahreum Park, South Korea

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Ahreum Park began playing violin at the age of 6. she graduated Sun-Hwa art middle School and high school in South Korea and then She went to Han-Yang University in Seoul, Korea. Ahreum have performed in Concerts every year since 2008 in South Korea as the member of Planetary Chamber Ensemble (lead by Park Jung Min, a student of Heifetz).

She has participated in TIMF music festivals as full fellowships (Tong-Young International Music Festival), and J&R International Music Festival in South Korea every year since 2008. She has won several competitions in South Korea. She is currently a student of Alexander Kerr, persuading a Performance Diploma at Indiana University.

Drime Riberio, Brazil

Melanie Riordan, Texas

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Houston violinist, Melanie Riordan, is excited to participate in the Texas Music Festival. Melanie began playing the violin at the age of ten in her hometown of New Rochelle, NY. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College, Melanie received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with esteemed pedagogue Cyrus Forough. While at CMU, Melanie received the Harry G. Archer award for excellence in violin studies. She received her Masters in Music at McGill University, studying with Toronto Symphony Concertmaster Jonathan Crow. Melanie has attended the Spoleto Festival USA, Orchestre de la Francophonie, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival among others.

Melanie has recently performed with the Houston based early music ensembles Mercury Baroque and Ars Lyrica. A champion of contemporary music, Melanie was selected as one of two violinists to perform the world premier of Marty Regan’s The Memory Stone, commissioned and produced by the Houston Grand Opera for their most recent season. She was also a member of the orchestra for the American premier of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Emile, and Philip Glass’s Kepler at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2011 and 2012.  Ms. Riordan currently maintains a large private studio of young violinists and violists throughout the greater Houston area and studies privately with University of Houston and TMF faculty member, Dr. Kirsten Yon.

Hyun Joon Shin, South Korea

Tsz Ho Sit, China

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John Sit Tsz Ho is currently a Master of Music student at the Manhattan School of Music, major studying violin under Ms. Lucie Robert. He studied violin under Mr. Leung Kin Fung before he graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for performing Arts in 2012. In 2009, John was granted the Hong Kong Jockey club scholarship for his three years degree program study in HKAPA, which is one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship schemes in Hong Kong for outstanding local and Mainland students. Now at the age of 21, John learned the violin at 6 under his mother and passed grade 8 of ABRSM with merit at 10. He was the member of the Asian Youth Orchestra in 2009 and 2010. He got the FRSM of the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music in 2012.

He has studied with many famous violinist including master class with Huang mengla, private lesson with Professor Wang Hong, Simon Standage, Lorenzo Colitto, Eva Steinschaden. For chamber music, he had masterclass opportunities with Szymanowski quartet, Penderecki String Quartet, Endellion string quartet and Chilligrian Quartet. During his degree study in HKAPA, John was using the Bassot violin made in 1707, kindly loan from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charity Trust. He has worked with renowned conductors like Richard Pontzious, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Edo de Waart, Trevor Pinnock, Uros Lajovic. James Judd, Henry Shek, Alan Cumberland.

Its actually my first year in US, and I have never been in Houston before, so I am really excited and looking forward to this great music festival.

Rachel D. Smith, Texas

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Rachel D. Smith holds a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where she studied with Dr. Kirsten Yon. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance, summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University, and has studied with Jan Mark Sloman (Dallas Symphony Orchestra), Elisabeth Adkins (National Symphony Orchestra), and Charles Castleman (Eastman School of Music). In addition to performing with regional symphonies across Texas, Ms. Smith has performed as an orchestral and chamber musician 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 and the 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.

Ms. Smith is a 2011 Recipient of a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship and has also received multiple merit scholarships as both a graduate and undergraduate. She holds membership in the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi, the Golden Key International Honor Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda. In addition to her instrumental work at the Moores School, Ms. Smith served as a Graduate Assistant in the Music Literature Department. Her interest in teaching, and specifically in Suzuki training, was sparked by her undergraduate participation in the Texas Tech University String Project, which is a Suzuki-curriculum-based string education program for elementary-age students.

Jian Song, China

Xin Yu, China

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Xin yu was born in NanChang China. She has been studied with Zhang Jingzhou for three years when she was studing in the WuHan music middle school affiliated of WuHan conservatory of music. During this time, she has won the sencond price in "Violin competition of WuHan conservatory of music". She is currently a first year student and study with ZuoJun in Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music,National University of Singapore.

Siyu Zhang, China

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Siyu Zhang was born in Changchun, China in 1993 and began to played violin at age 5 and studied with Liu Yi. She gave performances in Harbin and Dalian which the cities of China. She has won the second prize of "Andrea Postacchini" in Italy International Violin Competition in 2009. She was accepted by the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School division with professor Wang Homg. During the school, she has received excellent grades and scholarships. She has also been invited by the famous TV Show “making progress every day” in Hunan. She has performed in master class for Hu Kun, Gerardo Ribeiro, Bill Van der Sloot, Miriam Fried, Wolfgang Jahn, Sergiu Schwartz and Guanter Pichler the first violin of the "Alban Berg" Quartet group

Siyu has been accepted the full scholarship by Meadowmount Summer Camp in 2010 and 2011. She has been accepted by manhattan School of Music as a full scholarship students 2012. Now she is a freshman and studying with Lucie Robert.

Christina Zhou, Singapore

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Christina Zhou completed her Bachelors of Music (distinction honors) in violin performance at the age of 21 at the Eastman School of Music, studying with the late Zvi Zeitlin. She has attended prestigious summer music festivals like Bowdoin International Music Festival (2008), Music Academy of the West (2009-2011) and Texas Music Festival (2012). She has received chamber music coaching from the Takacs Quartet, Paul Katz, the Ying Quartet, Peter Salaff, Jerome Lowenthal, Kathleen Winkler, Amir Eldan, Zvi Zeitlin, David Quiggle, Marcin Markowicz. She has also played in orchestras and worked with renowned conductors like Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, Nicholas Mcgegan, John Nelson, Larry Rachleff, Josep Cabelle, Lavard Skou-Larsen, Warren Jones, Daniel Hege and Eiji Oue. She has held positions as concertmaster and principal in the Eastman school orchestras, as well as the Music Academy Festival Orchestra. Awards include third prize in the National Piano and Violin Competition 2001 in the junior category and winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition in 2009, giving her solo debut; performing the Bruch violin concerto in G minor at the Eastman Theatre. Her past teachers include Zhang Zhen Shan, Sergiu Schwartz, Charles Castleman, Zvi Zeitlin. She is going to be a second year graduate diploma student under the guidance of Zuo Jun at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore.

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Grant Bradshaw, Missouri

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Grant Bradshaw is an aspiring musician from Columbia, Missouri. He started piano lessons at age six, began composing original music just a few years later, and took up the viola during his freshman year of high school. Now a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he studies viola with Leslie Perna and composition with Dr. W. Thomas McKenney. He is passionate for music education and performance, and one of his greatest joys is working with the young musicians of the Missouri Symphony Conservatory youth orchestras, where he is the assistant conductor under Kirk Trevor.

Grant especially loves orchestral music; he is an enthusiastic player in the University of Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra and the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and he has played in the Missouri Symphony Orchestra for the past three summers. In 2012, he won first place in his division at the Missouri Music Teachers Association State Auditions for viola, and this spring he was selected principal viola of the 2013 Missouri All-Collegiate Orchestra. Also a strong supporter of new music, Grant has performed in the University of Missouri’s New Music Ensemble and has led the Columbia Civic Orchestra in two world-premieres of Missouri composers’ works. His own original compositions have received many performances, most recently a world premiere at the Sheldon concert hall in St. Louis.

Tam Duong, Texas

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Originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Tam Duong is now a senior at Texas Tech University getting her Bachelors in Viola Performance and Music Education. Tam, first started the viola in the sixth grade while attending public schools in the Pasadena Independent School District. Tam is a section violist with the Lubbock Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Midland-Odessa Symphony and other community orchestras in West Texas. She is involved with Youth Orchestras of Lubbock and LubbockISD's orchestras. Since 2010, Tam has taught young students in the String Project at Texas Tech. She has attended Green Mountain Summer Music Festival in 2011 and Bravo! Music Festival in 2012. She has studied with Renee Skerik, Dr. Katrin Meidell, Penny Meitz and Korey Konkol.

Andrew Griffin, Texas

Bridget Kinneary, Texas

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Bridget Kinneary started playing viola at the age of 10 in Spring Texas, where she grew up. Now a student at the Eastman School of Music, Bridget is working hard to build a career that combines her passions for performance, music education, and artistic leadership. As a violist, Bridget has performed in various ensembles including Houston Youth Symphony, Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra, The World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen, Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastman Philharmonia. Bridget has spent summers with the Philadelphia International Music Festival, American Festival for the Arts, The Baylor University Quartet Invitational, and Interlochen Arts Camp.

Since she was twelve years old, Bridget has had a profound interest in teaching music. She worked as a volunteer teacher in the Klein ISD fifth grade strings program for five years. In 2010, Bridget initiated a new chapter of Texas Future Music Educators in her school district and served as president of the organization. At Eastman, Bridget has served as president of the schools chapter of the National Association for Music Educaion, and is currently the Education Director for Sound Exchange Orchestra.

Andrew Krimm, Texas

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Andrew Krimm holds a Bachelor’s Degree in viola performance from the University of Colorado, where he received a full merit scholarship. A native of Dallas, Texas, he was recognized by Downbeat Magazine for his exceptional performances in chamber music. Currently Andrew is an active member and founding violist of the Altius Quartet from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, who most recently won first prize in the string division of the Plowman International Chamber Music Competition. This past May 2013 Mr. Krimm completed his Artist Certificate at SMU. Andrew’s teachers include Erika Eckert. Geraldine Walther, and Ellen Rose. Mr. Krimm performs on a 1940 Fredrick Haenel viola.

Yue Li, China

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Yue Li is from China and is a student at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. She has studied viola under Ms.Xidi Shen and Ms. Manchin Zhang.

Zoe Loversky, Washington DC

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Zoe Loversky was born in Davis, CA., and grew up in Washington DC. She is currently finishing up her freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University where she studies viola performance with David Harding. She has previously attended Brevard Music Festival and Eastern Music Festival, where she first discovered her love of orchestral playing. She is also passionate about chamber music and is mildly obsessed with Shostakovich’s quartets. Zoe has recently joined a flute, harp, viola trio, and is very excited to perform some Debussy and Ravel in the coming year. On her off days, Ms. Loversky teaches spin classes, does yoga, and reads ‘War and Peace’.

Stephanie Mientka, Colorado

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Stephanie Mientka has been studying music since age 5, and has been playing viola since age 13. Growing up in a musical family provided her with many diverse performing opportunities from young age, including performing with her family’s Celtic band “Feast” for the past 6 years. Ms. Mientka enjoys playing a wide variety of musical genres, but loves playing in orchestra and playing chamber music with friends. She received her bachelor’s degree in music performance from University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2011, and for the past two years has been pursuing her master’s in music performance at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she studies with Ivo-Jan van der Werff.

Amanda Wilton, Texas

Rui Xu, China

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Rui Xu is a student at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore. Originally from China, he started to play the violin at the age of five and has participated in many competitions, winning first place several times in the "Art Genius" competition.

Kristine Yang, Pennsylvania

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Kristine Yang is currently pursuing a degree in viola performance at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has been studying viola with Xiao Fu Zhou for 2 years and has previously studied violin with Helen Kwalwasser. Throughout the year, Kristine performs regularly with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra as well as in other ensembles in the Philadelphia area. In addition, she teaches for the Philadelphia String Project which offers string instruction to students in the Philadelphia school system.

Yisong Yang, China

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Yang Yisong began to learn the violin at the age of 5, and at 10 years old, began to study with Mr.Min Long. At the age of 15, he switched to viola and is looking forward to attending the Texas Music Festival this June.

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Emily Camras, Illinois

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Emily Camras, 18, is recognized nationally as a cellist, having won recognition in the Walgreens' National Concerto Competition and second prize in the 2012 National Finals of the Music Teachers' National Association Competition. She has soloed with the Oistrach Symphony, the Midwest Young Artists’ I Solisti Chamber Orchestra, and the Elgin Youth Symphony Philharmonia and appeared at the Meadowmount School of Music and Chicago Cultural Center.

For four years, Emily served as co-principal cellist in the Midwest Young Artists' Symphony Orchestra. Her string quartets and piano trios earned recognition in the St. Paul and Fischoff competitions. In July, she will participate in the 2013 National Youth Orchestra of America, performing under Sir Valery Gergiev in the U.S., Russia, and London.

Emily currently studies with Tanya Carey, and her past teachers include Melissa Kraut and Andrea LaFranzo. In fall, she will begin studies with Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan, where she will pursue a double major in cello performance and physics.

Lichia Chuang, Taiwan

Warren Hagerty, Indiana

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Cellist Warren Hagerty was born in Naperville, Ill., and grew up mostly in Orange County, California. He is in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he has studied cello performance with Eric Kim and Sharon Robinson. He has performed on the continents of Australia, Europe and North America in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. In December 2010, he played two concerts in Carnegie Hall as principal cellist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar under the baton of Jaime Laredo. As a member of the Wasmuth String quartet, he participated in a residency with the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany, which culminated in the quartet's European debut, playing works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Ligeti. In April of 2013, he performed in the Kennedy Center with the Wasmuth Quartet, as a part of the Kennedy Center's Conservatory Project. In the 2013-2014 school year, he will be a part of Indiana University's resident string quartet, known as the "Kuttner" Quartet. Hagerty has been a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra since 2011, as well as a member of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra since 2010. He has performed in master classes for Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Kosower and Sung-Won Yang.

Nicholas Heinzmann, Connecticut

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Nicholas Heinzmann, from Connecticut, began cello studies at the age of nine at his local elementary school before beginning private instruction with Marcia Wiley, Nicholas Anderson, and Astrid Schween. He has participated in solo masterclasses with cellists Jeffery Lastrapes, Joseph Johnson, and Lynn Harrell, and as a chamber musician with Schmuel Ashkenazi, Claude Frank, Kay Kim, and the Ahn Trio. In 2010, he performed as a soloist with the Western Conneticut Youth Orchestra and the Danbury Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their annual concerto competitions. Nicholas is an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Camp, where he received the prestigous Emerson Scholarship and served as prinipal cellist of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

An advid orchestral musician, Nicholas grew up playing in numerous ensembles in the tri-state area, including the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, with whom he played in Paris, Vienna, and Salzburg, the New York Youth Symphony, and the Connecticut All-State Orchestra. Additional coaching with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Nicholas is currently a junior at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, where he is a student of Hans Jørgen Jensen and a recipient of the Arnold and Edna Weber Endowed Scholarship.

Joseph Howe, Oregon

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Joseph Howe, a native of Oregon, recently recieved a Master of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where studied with Judith Glyde and served as a teaching assistant and principal cellist of the University Symphony, Chamber, and Opera orchestras. He also received a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Oregon, where he was a student of Steven Pologe. In Eugene, OR, he was a member of the Oregon Mozart Players. He is currently assistant principal cellist of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra and cellist and co-director of Ensemble Pearl, a baroque chamber ensemble, which has been heard on Colorado Public Radio. He has performed in masterclasses for cellists such as Steven Doane, Johannes Moser, Alban Gerhardt, and Alisa Weilerstein, and members of the Takács, Ying, and Emerson quartets.

Joseph Isom, New York

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A native of Buffalo, NY, Joe just completed his junior year at the Manhattan School of Music where he is an undergraduate cello performance major in the studio of Alan Stepansky. Joe began studying cello in the 4th grade. He was a student of Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO). Joe was a member of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra where he served as principal cellist. He was a winner of the Silverman String Scholarship, which included the honor of performing as a soloist with the BPO. Joe has attended the Eastern Music Festival at Guilford College, and the New York State Summer School of the Arts, School of Orchestral Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Joe is an active chamber musician at MSM where he has studied with Wolfram Koessel and other members of the American String Quartet who are artists in residence at MSM. He performs as a pit musician for MSM’s operatic productions, and he has served as principal cellist for the MSM Symphony.

Wanyu Kuo, Taiwan

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Wanyu Kuo just completed her master of music degree in cello performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Stephen Geber in May 2013. A native of Taiwan, Wanyu Kuo began her study of cello at age eight and she won several prizes from regional and national competitions. During her study in Taiwan, she appeared as a soloist with the New Music Ensemble of National Taiwan Normal University twice. Wanyu Kuo earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. The music festival training she has includes: Asian Youth Orchestra (2007), Kirishima Music Festival in Japan (2008) and the International Orchestra Institute in Maryland (2012). In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, watching Taiwanese talk show and eating frozen yogurt.

Samuel Pierce-Ruhland, New York

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22-year-old cellist Samuel Pierce-Ruhland frequently appears with various ensembles in the Rochester, NY area. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he studied with Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott and studied baroque cello with Beiliang Zhu. His previous teachers include Hans Jensen of Northwestern University and Joseph Johnson, principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has played in masterclasses given by Janos Starker, Lynn Harrell, Timothy Eddy, Colin Carr, Desmond Hoebig, Clive Greensmith, Natasha Brofsky, Amir Eldan, and the Guarneri and Pacifica Quartets. Since his freshman year at Eastman, he has frequently held the position of principal cellist in both the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia. He has premiered numerous works by fellow Eastman students, and he worked with composer Steven Mackey in a 2010 performance of “Physical Property.” As a music ambassador, he performs frequently in hospitals, schools, and other public venues alone and as part of Eastman's student-run Sound Exchange Orchestra.

Aside from playing music, Samuel enjoys road cycling, kayaking, and photography. Though a native of Wisconsin, Houston is an important part of Samuel's life: his father lived there for many years, and his uncle currently lives in the area.

Wenjun Wang, China

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Wenjun Wang was born in 1992. She started playing piano at the age of six and playing the cello since 8 years old. She has entered the affiliated high school to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with excellent results in 2004 study with cello Professor Yu Mingqing. She enthusiastic social activities, she has participated in China Junior Chamber Orchestra. She was also the principal cellist of China Youth Symphony Orchestra, and also took part in many social artistic practices and engages in a number of performances, such as the China Arts Festival, the Music Festival of the Central Conservatory of Music College, the fiftieth anniversary of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra and so on. She also participated in trio, quartet performances, which have got high opinion from many professionals.

She award the First Prize of the third Hong Kong International Youth Arts Festival Cello Competition in 2009 and she has won the 7th position (Excellence Award)of the Sixth VC Cup National Professional Youth Cello Competition of A group in 2008. In 2010, she got full scholarship to study at Yong Siew Toh conservatory of music with Qin Liwei.

Bing Wei, China

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Wei Bing started playing the piano when she was 8 years old and switched to the cello two years later when she was accepted to the primary school affiliated with the Wuhan Conservatory of Music. Three years later she was admitted to the Wuhan Conservatory’s music school and in 2004 won 2nd prize in the Tian Tian Art String Instrument Competition. In 2005 Bing was awarded a full scholarship to the Astona International Summer Music Academy in Zurich and in 2006 went to the Great Wall International Music Academy. The next year she studied at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music with Tang Yan before being accepted to the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore on a full scholarship to study with Qin Liwei. In 2011 she performed at the Lake District Summer Music Academy with Robert Cohen, Royal Academy of Music, Emma Ferrand, Royal Northern College of Music, and Gregor Horsch, Principal Cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. She has performed on stage with Kiri Te Kanawa as well as principal cello of the conservatory’s orchestra with José Carreras. Bing has performed in masterclasses for Louise Hopkins, David Takeno, Konstantin Heidrich, Ma Xinhua, Ray Wang, and Rachel Johnston. She has performed as a substitute with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Hangzhou Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in China. Recently, Bing is first-year Master’s student of Norman Fischer at Shepherd School of Music.

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Double Bass

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Kathryn Bradley, Missouri

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Kathryn Bradley is a classical Double Bassist from Saint Louis, Missouri, and has been playing the bass for almost ten years. Kathryn has attended music festivals such as the Chautauqua Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, and Philadelphia Int’l Music Festival. She has performed in many double bass master classes, including classes taught by Paul Ellison, Hal Robinson, Ali Yazdanfar, Alex Hannah, and Owen Lee. Kathryn is a member of the Occasional Symphony, an orchestra made up of classical musicians in Baltimore, and served as co-principal for the Peabody Conservatory’s Concert orchestra in the 2012-2013 season.

Kathryn is currently pursuing her Bachelors of Music in Double Bass Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she is studying with Ira Gold, section member in the National Symphony Orchestra.

Mary Craddock, Oklahoma

Theodore Gabrielides, California

Teddy Gabrielides currently attends the USC Thornton School of Music where he studies with LA Phil bassist and world-renowned teacher David Allen Moore. Originally from Chicago, he was active in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras throughout high school while studying with Jason Heath. Teddy has attended the Domaine Forget academy where he worked with Paul Ellison, Francois Rabbath, Ali Yazdanfar, Etienne Lafrance, and Nicholas Walker. In addition to performing with the USC Thornton Symphony, Teddy frequently performs with pre-professional groups in the Los Angeles area.

Kynan Horton-Thomas, Texas

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19 year old Kynan Horton-Thomas, from Houston Texas, is enrolled in the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Double Bassist student of Scott Dixon. Mr. Horton- Thomas has performed with the Houston Symphony, Virtuosi of Houston, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra. A winner of the High School for performing and Visual Arts concerto competition, Kynan has performed in master classes with Sandor Ostlund, Ali Yazdanfar and Francois Rabbath. Previous teachers of Kynan have included Eric Larson and Paul Ellison.

Douglas Lemke, Connecticut

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Douglas Lemke has studied the double bass since the age of six, and currently holds three degrees in performance, two from The Hartt School and one from Penn State University. He has performed with various orchestras and ensembles throughout the United States, France, Bulgaria, and Brazil, and premiered and recorded for Emmy Award-winning composer Lanny Meyers in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Dedicated to his music, he has participated in master classes with many instructors, including Edwin Barker, Edgar Meyer, Paul Ellison, Micah Howard, James Van Demark, Jeff Turner, and John Moore, among others. In addition to his career as a musician, Doug is an active aquarist and aids in the captive breeding process of endangered aquatic turtles native to New Guinea.

Brian McAnally, Pennsylvania

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Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Brian McAnally will be entering his fourth year as an undergraduate double bassist at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studies with Lawrence Wolfe, Assistant Principal Bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Prior to college, Brian studied with Ranaan Meyer, bassist of the acclaimed string trio, Time for Three. While in high school, Brian played with and was a member of a number of ensembles, including the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, District, Regional and All-State Orchestras, Philadelphia Sinfonia, and the Delaware County Youth Orchestra. Other summer programs Brian has participated in include the National Repertory Orchestra and the Wabass Institute and Workshop. In July, Brian will be traveling to Quebec to participate in the Domaine Forget International Festival.

Nathan Varga, Ohio

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Nathan Varga is a recent Master of Music graduate of Boston University, having studied with Benjamin Levy. In 2011 Nathan completed a Bachelor of Music in double bass performance at Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland, Ohio. Drawn to Boston by its vibrant and diverse music scene, Nathan has been privileged to perform with Cambridge Concentus Baroque, Marsh Chapel Collegium, Boston Philharmonic, Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Worcester Bach Consort, Cape Cod Symphony, Alea III New Music, and the Orchestra of Indian Hill. He has drawn great inspiration from leading orchestral bassists such as Henry Peyrebrune, Edwin Barker, Paul Ellison, Scott Dixon, Meredith Johnson, Todd Seeber, Sue Yelanjin, Deborah Dunham. Nathan is pursuing a career in orchestral double bass performance with special interest in baroque music and chamber music. In addition to the pursuit of musical performance Nathan enjoys listening to and discussing modern music of all genres.

Trevor Young, Texas

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Pursuing an Undergraduate degree in Bass Performance at The McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, Trevor Young is among the most ambitious of young musicians today. His bass playing has taken him to festivals and workshops in Bavaria, British Columbia, Baltimore, and the University of North Texas. His primary teachers are Kurt Muroki and Rachel Calin, and has studied with Orin O'Brien of the New York Philharmonic, David Neubert of of the Austin Symphony, and Jessica-Gilliam Valls of the Austin Lyric Opera. Also a prolific composer, he has received commissions from Jeff Bradetich and Tomastik strings. Mr. Young is always writing and exploring the vast expanse of the musical world in attempts to better understand this transcendent language.

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Hope Cowan, Texas

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A native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Hope Cowan currently lives and works in Houston, Texas and will begin her Master of Music degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Fall 2013. At the Shepherd School, Ms. Cowan will study with Houston Symphony Principal Harpist Paula Page. A recent graduate of the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, Ms. Cowan has served as principal harp for the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and Ballet Orchestra. She also plays with several professional orchestras in Texas and Louisiana including the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. While a member of the AURA Contemporary Ensemble, she was featured several times on KUHA 91.7’s Classical NPR program “The Front Row”. She has participated in prestigious music festivals including the Roundtop Festival Institute, the Chautauqua Institute, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, and is excited to be a part of the Texas Music Festival this summer. In addition to her harp playing, she also sings and holds a position as the alto staff singer at St. Andrew's Presbyteria Church in Houston. As a member of the Moores School Concert Chorale, she performed with Houston groups Ars Lyrica and Mercury Baroque, and competed internationally in Tours, France. An avid and versatile performer of all genres, Ms. Cowan has played for countless weddings, corporate events, restaurants, radio shows, and church services in the greater Houston area.

Mayetta Im, Macau

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Born and raised in Macau, Im started to learn piano when she was 8 and learned harp at about 15. Her first harp teacher is the former harp principal of Macau Orchestra, Ms Lee Li Chun. Im studied with her at the Macau Conservatory for 2 years and had performed both solos and in the student orchestra. After that, Im joined the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2009. There she was studying harp with Dr. Teresa Suen, harp principal of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra. Im had three years of tour performances with the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra, tour places include cities in China and Europe.

In 2009, Im was admitted by University of Houston as a harp performance major student with scholarship and she is studying with the harp principal of Houston Symphony, Ms Paula Page. Im played a lot in the school's orchestras and operas. She also went to Eastern Music Festival during last summer and she won the Milligan Harp Competition (College Division)in May 2012. 

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Dylan Barber, Virginia

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Dylan Barber is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from George Mason University where he studies with John Kilkenny and John Spirtas. While at George Mason, Dylan has played with many of the University’s large ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Symphony, as well as chamber ensembles, including the Chamber Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dylan has had the opportunity to perform professionally with the Washington Concert Opera, Cathedral Choral Society, and American Festival Pops Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, Dylan received a scholarship to study at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival where he played in the Sewanee Symphony and Festival Orchestra, and was a finalist in the Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition. As part of the concerto competition, he was privileged to perform the Ewazen Marimba Concerto with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra.

Lei Lei Hoi, Macau

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Lei Lei Hoi was born in Macau. In 1998, she won the first prize of the Macau Youth Musicians Competition. Between 2002 and 2004 she studied music education at Macau Polytechnic Institute and studied timpani with Harmen Cnossen (former timpanist of the Macao Orchestra) before enrolling in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Her principal teachers there included timpanist Alan Cumberland (former timpanist of London Philharmonic Orchestra), Dr. Lung Hueng Wing (former principal percussionist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra) and Sophia Woo (percussionist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra). Lei Lei has substituted in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Macao Orchestra and Hong Kong Sinfonietta and has taught at various high schools in Macau and Hong Kong. Lei Lei has recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where she obtained a master's degree in percussion performance under the guidance of Chris Allen, Jeremy Branson and Paul Evans. Lei Lei has also been offered scholarships to take part in two music festivals abroad, namely, the Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute (AISOI) and Canton International Summer Music Academy (CISMA), where she was under the tutelage of percussionists Don Liuzzi (Philadelphia Orchestra), Gary Wain (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) and Matthew Goddard (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra).

William Kaufman, Ohio

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William Kaufman (Percussion/Timpani) is currently pursuing his master's degree at Cleveland State University under the tutelage of Tom Freer. He completed his bachelor's degree from Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Michael Werner and Joseph Tompkins. William was a Fellow at Orford Arts Center in Quebec and Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas. He has performed with such groups as Toledo Symphony, Philharmonia New York, and Mimesis Ensemble, where he performed in the world premier of Mohammed Fairouz's opera Sumeida's Song. William has performed with conductors Kent Nagano, JoAnn Faletta, and Michael Morgan, and has worked with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera.

Matthew Kibort, Illinois

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Matthew Kibort is in his first year of undergraduate percussion studies at Roosevelt University, where he is studying with Edward Harrison of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has been a percussionist for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois All-State Honors Orchestra, and the Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, he toured Spain with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. In his free time, Matthew enjoys listening to different types of music, hiking, and playing golf.

Kelsey Lamb, Ohio

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Kelsey began her percussion studies at the age of ten. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Fredonia State and studied with Dr. Kay Stonefelt, Tiffany Nicely, and John Bacon. She is now in her first year of pursing a Master’s Degree at Cleveland State University and is a student of Tom Freer. She is also a section percussionist in the Mansfield Symphony.

Steven W. Logan, California

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Steve W Logan is currently a percussionist with the YMF Debut Orchestra, and has performed with many orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, the Burbank Philharmonic, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Honor Orchestra of America. With the Debut orchestra Mr. Logan has been a part of the premieres of John Williams's Adventures of Tin Tin and War Horse suites, conducted by the composer himself on a gala concert of his works at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Logan also performed with the orchestra on their two week tour of China in December 2011. He performed as featured soloist on the the Gordon Jacob Concerto for Timpani and Wind Band with the Ryle Wind Symphony at the Kentucky Music Educator’s Association Conference, and as featured soloist on the Bob Becker Bye Bye Medley with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard on several film soundtracks including The Red Cape and The Fifth Horsemen. Mr. Logan was the winner of the Percussive Arts Society Symphonic Timpani Mock Audition, and has attended both the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, and the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.

Mr. Logan just completed his Master’s of Music Performance Degree from the University of Southern California where he studied with Joe Pereira, Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Jim Babor, Percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Prior to coming to USC Mr. Logan received his bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University studying with Assistant Principal Percussionist and Timpanist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Tom Freer.

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Past Fellows

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