It's the music. It's the musicians.
It's the experience.
2023 Festival Musicians
Audas is currently focused on engaging and empowering communities through classical music. Her belief in the power of music to create bonds between people inspired her to found the non-profit organization Classical C.A.R.M.A. (Concerts Aiming to Raise Money & Awareness). As its artistic director, she helps to produce and perform in benefit concert series which fundraise for organizations aiding those in need, bring awareness to obstacles faced by underserved populations, and promote classical music education through outreach concerts.
In the past few years, Audas has performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician in Israel, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, and the United States. She recently graduated with her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Prior to attending university, she studied with the late Arkady Fomin, Music in the Mountains’ Conservatory Director. She currently works with Vadim Gluzman at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute.
Astafiev is currently Adjunct Professor of Bass at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1998. Prior to that, he was a member of the Columbus Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Moscow Philharmonic, which he joined at age 19. He also enjoys performing chamber music. He is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory and The Juilliard School.
Lauren Avery is the concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony in Durango, CO and has also performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic, and the Modesto Philharmonic, as well as many other ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has spent summers with the Cabrillo Festival, the Castleton Festival with Lorin Maazel, Spoleto USA, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, and Durango’s own Music in the Mountains. She has degrees from Vassar College and Rice University.
LINDA MACK BERVEN
Piano, harpsichord, pre-concert lecturer
Mack Berven currently serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Durango Choral Society, which has twice been awarded the Chorus America Alice Parker/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. She was a long time music faculty member at Fort Lewis College. She also conducts the Durango Women’s Choir, and is a former Music Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Her appearances as a conductor, pianist, and harpsichordist have included the San Juan Symphony, Fort Lewis College faculty recitals, Third Avenue Arts Recital Series, Showcase Concert Series, and the Durango Bach Festival, and she regularly performs with C. Scott Hagler as part of the Vivace Piano Duo. Mack Berven has conducted choirs and orchestras at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and 2018, as well as in in Prague, Greece, Zagreb, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Linz. Mack Berven earned her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.
Boyd currently serves as Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Practice in Violin at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He has established an international career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, lecturer, and educator. Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has appeared at many prestigious venues throughout the US, Europe, Russia, and Asia and collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Emerson quartets. As a chamber musician, Boyd has appeared at the Marlboro and Aspen festivals, among others, and is an artist of The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, where he was a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Interested in the violin and its history, Boyd has lectured on the golden age of violinists and their violins, and is a contributing writer to The Strad magazine. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he plays on the “ex Stopak” Matteo Goffriller violin, crafted in in Venice in 1700.
Dallas-based percussionist Seth Burkhart holds degrees from The New England Conservatory, The Lynn Conservatory and recently completed a Professional Diploma from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of The Arts under the tutelage of George Nickson. Seth’s former teacher’s include Ted Atkatz, Will Hudgins, Shaun Tilburg, and Parker Lee. Some ensembles Seth has performed with include The New England Philharmonic, The Boston Chamber Symphony, South Florida Symphony, The Nova Singers, and Park Street Church in Boston. He has also worked with artists: Justin Timberlake, John Malkovich, The Blue Man Group and Philip Glass. Seth was finalist and runner up for TAPS 2017 and NEC 2018 mock auditions and winner for SMU 2021 mock audition.
Clay has held the position of principal double bass of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 1995. Prior to that, he was the principal of la Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Spain), and was a charter member of the New World Symphony. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Texas Wesleyan University and has served on the faculty of University of North Texas. He has performed with the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas Symphonies, and most recently as a guest principal with the Oregon Symphony. An active chamber musician, Clay has performed as a guest artist with Spectrum Chamber Music Society, Fine Arts Chamber Players, Mount Vernon Music, and Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth. He has also appeared as a soloist, performing concertos with the Fort Worth, New World, Colorado, and Metropolitan State University Symphonies. He holds the Master of Music degree from Indiana University and the Bachelor of Arts from Metropolitan State University.
Cole joined the Oregon Symphony in 2011. An avid chamber musician, she is a member of the Mousai Remix string quartet with fellow Oregon Symphony musicians Shin-Young Kwon, Jennifer Arnold, and Marilyn de Oliveira. She has also performed locally with Third Angle Ensemble, fEARnoMUSIC, 45th Parallel, and Northwest New Music. During the summer months, Emily has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, the Seattle Opera, and the Apollo Music Festival. She is on the faculty at Lewis & Clark College; she also coaches chamber musicians with Portland Summer Ensembles and Seattle’s Music Northwest. She earned her M.M. from the University of North Texas, where she held a teaching fellowship and studied with Emanuel Borok. She received her B.M. from the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Brian Lewis. A native of Seattle, Emily was also a longtime student of former Seattle Symphony concertmaster Ilkka Talvi.
Daniels holds viola positions in the Las Colinas and Wichita Falls orchestras, and is a former member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Chamber Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Tulsa Symphony, and New World Symphony. As a chamber musician, Rachel was a member of the resident piano quintet aboard the Holland America cruise ship line, and has performed in masterclasses for members of the Dover, Brentano, Jerusalem and Quatuor Ébène string quartets. Rachel was a fellow at the Colorado College Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. As a trained Suzuki teacher, Rachel balances her performing career with an active private studio. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music.
Elias is currently Professor of Music and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at Cedarville University in Ohio. He has performed in solo recitals and in orchestras in the United States, El Salvador, Argentina, Bulgaria, Japan, and Korea, and has represented El Salvador at the World Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lorin Maazel. Before joining Cedarville in 2013, he was the Director of Strings and Orchestra at Colorado Mesa University. In addition, he was Concertmaster of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony in the Valley in Glenwood Springs. He and his wife, pianist Andrea Arese-Elias, gave their New York debut at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2002. He holds degrees from Biola University, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and Duquesne University.
Eisfeller is the principal harp of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Symphony, as well as adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico. She has also performed with the symphonies of San Antonio, El Paso, Hartford, and Opera Southwest. Summers have taken her to Oregon for the Coast, Britt, Cascade, and Sunriver festivals, and also to Italy to perform with the Assisi Performing Arts. She often plays with Durango’s San Juan Symphony. She is a frequent performer for Arts in Medicine, UNM’s integrative medicine program that provides music, visual arts, massage, and creative writing to patients and staff at University Hospital in Albuquerque. She is an honors graduate of Indiana University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and taught harp and music theory.
Fabian joined the clarinet faculty at the University of North Texas in the fall of 1990. She is concertmaster of the Dallas Wind Symphony and is the principal clarinet of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. Fabian has also been featured as a soloist with other ensembles, including the Texas Chamber Orchestra. She has performed frequently with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. In demand as a teacher and clinician, several of her former students have gained international recognition for their achievements in music competitions as well as positions in major symphony orchestras. Fabian earned a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from the University of Buffalo and a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance/Woodwinds from Michigan State University.
Fabian is principal saxophone and soloist with “America’s Premier Wind Band,” the Dallas Wind Symphony. Fabian is part of the Artist Faculty and Adjunct Associate Professor of Saxophone at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He concurrently holds the position of personnel manager for the Dallas Wind Symphony.
He is the soprano saxophonist with the award-winning Texas Saxophone Quartet. A graduate of the Crane School of Music, S.U.N.Y. at Potsdam, New York, he earned his bachelor’s degree in both performance and music education. His master’s degree was completed in multiple woodwinds and saxophone performance at Michigan State University.
The seventh in a “full octave of musical siblings,” French is the associate principal cello of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the orchestra in 1986, he held titled positions in both the Shreveport and Honolulu Symphonies. He has appeared in concerto performances with the Houston Symphony and in the Chamber Players series, Da Camera of Houston, Greenbriar Consortium, and the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. He teaches orchestral repertoire at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and teaches cello to younger students, including coaching the Youth Orchestra of the Americas as they prepare for their international tours.
Fullerton has been assistant principal cello of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and an adjunct professor of cello at the University of Texas at Arlington since 2015. Before joining the FWSO, she held the position of assistant principal with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Winnipeg, Manitoba for three seasons. She has also performed as an extra musician with the Houston, Pittsburgh, and Seattle Symphonies. She spent three summers as a participant in the Crested Butte Music Festival and has also performed with the Colorado Music Festival during the past two summers. A native of Ohio, Fullerton moved to Toronto, Ontario at age eleven, where she studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She then earned her Bachelor of Music at Rice University, and received her Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Gailing began her musical studies on the violin at the age of five. Currently, she performs regularly with the New York City Ballet, Baltimore Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as the New York Philharmonic. Throughout her career as a violinist and violist, she has collaborated with renowned musicians across genres including artists Andrea Bocelli, Jon Batiste, Cory Henry, and Kygo. She serves as a teaching artist for Midori & Friends, a non-profit that provides accessible music education to children with little access to the arts. During her summers, she has performed at several music festivals including Spoleto, Sarasota, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Tanglewood. Her work is featured on Victor Gould’s latest jazz album In Our Time, and the 2020 release of Thomas Ades’ In Seven Days. Galling received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance as a Macaulay Honors scholar from Queens College, and later graduated from The Juilliard School with a Master of Music in Viola Performance.
A native of Littleton, CO, Garner recently completed his 10th season as a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He is also a regular extra violist with the Fort Worth Symphony. Previous positions include associate principal viola of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and principal of the Midland/Odessa Symphony and Abilene Philharmonic. During two recent summer seasons, Garner participated in the Crested Butte Music Festival. He received undergraduate degrees in viola performance and music education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Master of Music from the University of Southern California.
JEAN LARSON GARVER
Larson Garver has been principal flute with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1971. She has also been Adjunct Professor of Flute at Southern Methodist University since 1971. Her career with the DSO has included several tours of Europe, Asia, and South America, and performances at Carnegie Hall. She is a founding member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, where she has spent the last thirty-two summers. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Fine Arts Chamber Players, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Woodwind Quintet, and the Mainly Mozart Festival. Larson Garver studied at the University of Texas in Austin, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance.
Hadeka is currently a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to that, she held the position of associate principal horn in the Omaha Symphony. She is a former member of the New Mexico Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. She has also performed with the Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. In 2008, she was the University Division Concerto Competition winner at the Northeast Horn Workshop. In addition to performing, Hadeka has taught at Loyola University in New Orleans and the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She has attended summer festivals including Lake George, Sarasota, Aspen, Spoleto, and Lucerne Festival Academy. In 2016 she was the Library Apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music and her master’s at Southern Methodist University under Gregory Hustis.
Halvorson is the principal viola of the Sarasota Orchestra and a member of the Sarasota String Quartet. She formerly held a contract with the Akron symphony, and has performed with orchestras such as the Cincinnati, Houston, San Antonio, Syracuse and New World Symphonies, and Boston Symphony in an opportunity through Tanglewood. She has joined Tanglewood, Spoleto Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Credo Festival on summer fellowships, and she took first prizes at the American Viola Society’s Excerpt Competition and Collegiate Solo Competition. As a chamber musician, she has coached with the Juilliard, Ebene, Dover, Cavani, Calder, and Jupiter Quartets. Halvorson plays on a Mario Miralles viola, on generous loan from the Maestro Foundation. She holds the Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, and recently completed her Master of Music at Rice University.
Hawthorne holds the Oboe II / English Horn position with the Allen Philharmonic Orchestra in Allen, Texas. She has performed with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria) and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto. She has also played with The Dallas Opera, the Shreveport, Fort Worth, Plano, and New World Symphony Orchestras, among others, and the Dallas Chamber Wind Ensemble. An avid pursuer of chamber music opportunities, she played with the Eastman Harmonie wind octet, and the Southerly Winds woodwind quintet. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from SMU. She brings science and the arts together with an interest in research concerning music performance anxiety, and has interviewed musicians about their experience and the environments that worsen their anxiousness. Hawthorne is eager to promote further research about performance psychology that can benefit professional and amateur musicians. She completed her master’s degree in oboe performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music.
AARO PAAVO HEINONEN
Heinonen is currently principal bass with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. Prior to that he was the principal bass with the Indianapolis Symphony for 22 years, where he was also a soloist, recitalist, and conductor. He has also played principal bass with the Kansas City Symphony and played with the Honolulu Symphony. He recently performed as bass soloist in his own adaptation of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. He has had a long association with the Aspen Music Festival, where he played as principal bass and was featured as soloist. He has performed in the Grand Tetons Festival and Colorado Music Festival, and is regularly engaged with the Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Baltimore Symphonies, and various chamber groups. He is playing on instruments made in 1761 by Domenico Busan of Venice or Antonio Pedrinelli, ca. 1820.
Herrington has performed with and occasionally conducted the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra for 30 years until 2011. He holds a degree from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied with Dr. Irvin Wagner. Herrington is a founding member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and is principal trombone with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Virginia native Hight, although classically trained, has collaborated with artists of many different genres including the Dallas String Quartet, Grammy-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin, and contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and Rudolfinum in Prague. She has performed with prominent musicians including Paul Neubauer, Peter Wiley, Peter Serkin, Dawn Upshaw, and the Escher Quartet, among others. She currently tours with pianist and composer Eric Genuis, whose non-profit, “Concerts for Hope”, performs in prisons, schools, nursing homes, and homeless shelters across the country. Hight is on faculty at Zhen Music and Arts Institute and Rockwall School of Music in Dallas. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bard College and Conservatory and completed her master’s degree at Southern Methodist University. Currently, she is in the Performer’s Diploma program as a recipient of the Meadow’s Artistic Scholarship at SMU.
Hinkle’s adaptability to different musical styles has led to a performing career with a myriad of ensembles, from Broadway shows including Wicked, Aladdin, and Beautiful, to the Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band, and to the Oregon, Seattle, Spokane, and New Haven Symphonies. She has also performed with drummer/composer Dan Pugach’s Grammy-nominated ensemble Nonet. She has given solo recitals and led clinics and studio classes at colleges, elementary and high schools, and industry symposia across the country. Her work spans not only musical genres but other artistic media (art, literature, public speaking, etc.). As a founding member of Calliope Brass, she has had a hand in its administrative operations and performances, but it’s her original storylines, artwork, and collaboration with puppet-makers from Sesame Street that have been integral to the development and production of Calliope’s sought-after educational programs.
Hunt performed in the first violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 43 years. Currently, he serves as concertmaster of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra, a position held since 1988. Previous posts include the Filarmonica de las Americas, Canary Islands Opera Festival Orchestra, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Fredonia Chamber Players, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. In addition to several appearances as soloist with the Penfield Symphony Orchestra, Hunt has also appeared as guest artist with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra, Fredonia Bach and Beyond Festival, Society for Chamber Music (Rochester), and Madrigalia. He holds music degrees from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon School of Business Administration.
Inouye is active as a performing artist and educator in Durango, Colorado. She maintains a private piano studio in Durango, is co-director of the Piano Academy at Fort Lewis College, and artistic director of 3rd Avenue Arts Chamber Music Festival. She performs regularly as a pianist and harpsichordist with 3rd Avenue Arts Bach Festival, St. Mark’s Recital Series, and has performed with Missoula Symphony and String Orchestra of the Rockies. As a certified Orff Schulwerk teacher, Inouye leads courses and workshops throughout the US, Hong Kong, Kuwait, and New Zealand. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from Brigham Young University and the University of Montana.
Ji joined the first violin section of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2020. She began her musical studies at the age of seven in South Korea. As a soloist, Ji’s performances have been publicized on NPR, PBS, and other radio stations. She has performed at The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and A. Mickiewicz University Hall in Poland. As a chamber musician, Ji has collaborated with renowned groups and artists and has been an active participant in The Juilliard School’s ChamberFest and Focus! Festival, which features U.S. and world premieres. She was a contemporary ensemble artist at Atlantic Music Festival. She has served as Concertmaster and Principal Second at The Spoleto Festival USA, YMF Debut Orchestra, The Colburn School, The Juilliard School Orchestra and Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ji has held several Artist Faculty positions at numerous conservatories and institutes. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the The Curtis Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, and an Artist Diploma from The Colburn School.
Tomoko Kanamaru first appeared with a professional orchestra at the age of nine in Tokyo. She made her U.S. concerto debut with the Savannah Symphony in December 2000, performing the Grieg Concerto. Since then, she has made solo appearances with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the Binghamton Philharmonic. More recently she performed the Liszt First Concerto with the Middletown Symphony (in Ohio), the Tchaikovsky First Concerto with the Symphony of Southeast Texas, and Petrushka with the Annapolis Symphony, in addition to the return appearance with the Symphony of Southeast Texas performing the Liszt First Concerto. During the 2018-19 season, she performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Ambler Symphony as the member of the soloists from the Camerata Philadelphia. Most recently, she was the soloist for the Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia and Symphony in C.
As a chamber musician, she has performed twice for the New York Philharmonic Ensembles Series at Merkin Hall, performed with the Philharmonic Quintet of New York, and made a recital appearance in Tokyo with the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the company’s Japan Tour. In 2011, Allan Kozinn described her performance in The New York Times as “focused” and “energetic” with regards to the New York Chamber Music Festival & September 11th Tenth Anniversary Commemorative Concert at Symphony Space. As a part of the Delphinium Trio, she performed in the opening concerts for the 11th Red Rocks Music Festival in Arizona.
In addition to radio and television broadcast in the U.S., Japan, and Canada, she has recorded solo and chamber music for such labels as Nippon Columbia, MSR Classics, Urlicht AudioVisual, and Siegfried & Call. Ms. Kanamaru was invited by the Yamaha Corporation of America to give master classes and lectures in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Chicago, Jackson, and Washington D.C., and has also appeared at such academic institutions as the Indiana State, Syracuse, and Carnegie Mellon Universities. In addition to writing articles for several Japanese music magazines, Ms. Kanamaru co-edited more than 30 volumes of pedagogical piano music for the Yamaha Music Foundation. Her workshop at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago in 2009 was featured in The Washington Post and the BBC’s The World Today.
Ms. Kanamaru holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo. In the U.S., she studied at Eastman School of Music, and received an Advanced Certificate from The Juilliard School and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Having previously taught at the UC-CCM and College of Mount St. Joseph, she currently serves as Associate Professor/Keyboard Area Coordinator for The College of New Jersey.
She is thrilled to return to Durango in Summer 2021 for the Music in the Mountains.
Originally from Yerevan, Armenia, Petros Karapetyan joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. He is a former member of the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra, and has also played with the Houston Symphony, the IRIS Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Sinaloa de las Artes, and Symphoria. Petros has had fellowships at Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, Lake George Music Festival, and Colorado College Summer Music Festival.
As an educator, Petros teaches at the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians in Stamford, CT, and has previously given master classes at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
and the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca in Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Music with Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the University of Rochester, and a Master of Music degree from Rice University.
Hailing from Worcester, MA, Kustanovich joined the viola section of the Fort Worth Symphony in 2005. Kustanovich has also performed with the Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Seattle Symphonies, touring much of the US and Europe. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music as a violist, also receiving a Bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a violinist.
LaBonte is the Associate/Assistant/Utility Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She previously held a position with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and served as Acting Principal Horn of the Fort Worth Symphony from 2019-2021. She also currently serves as the Instructor of Natural Horn at Eastman School of Music, and is the Assistant Artistic Director of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp. She has been a guest lecturer at institutions including Baylor University and the University of Texas at Austin, and is an avid chamber musician. She has performed with orchestras across the country including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, and others. She is an award-winning soloist and was a participant in the prestigious ARD International Competition in 2021, the only American horn player invited. She has presented performances and lectures as a member of the International Horn Society. LaBonte received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies.
Latta has been at University of the Pacific since 2014 and has served in leadership roles in the Conservatory of Music, Office of the President, and Enrollment Management. He has also maintained an active performing career including the Stockton Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, and Stockton Concert Band. Latta was formerly Director of Percussion Studies at Fort Lewis College. He has performed as a chamber musician in the Durango Chamber Music Festival, the Animas Music Festival, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference. In 2019, he performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the University of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Prior to earning his doctorate, he was a member of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, where performances included the Tournament of Roses Parade. He received his bachelor’s from the University of the Pacific, his master’s from East Carolina University, and his doctorate from the University of Arizona.
Leisring is principal bassoon of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she served for 14 seasons as principal bassoon in the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in Spain, where she performed the European Premiere of Ellen Taaffe-Zwillich’s Concerto for Bassoon. She has also performed with the Milwaukee and Barcelona Symphonies. She studied at The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, and the University of North Texas.
Lewis is in her 14th season with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She gave the U.S. premiere of Malcolm Forsyth’s Eclectic Suite, for cello and piano. Prior to joining the SPCO, she was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony, and performed as a substitute musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has performed solo and chamber recitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities. She holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and The Juilliard School.
Rochelle Mann is a former Featured Scholar at Fort Lewis College, where she served as Music Department Chair as well as Acting Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. She is currently a Professor Emerita at FLC, maintaining an active schedule as a flutist, author, and educator. Mann has served as Principal Flute of the San Juan Symphony since 1983, and has also performed with the Santa Fe Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, and Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. Her recent solo and chamber concerts have included the Third Avenue Arts Recital Series, Durango Chamber Music and Bach Festivals, as well as the New Deal Salon series (AR) and Musica Viva (CA). She is a graduate of Indiana and Arizona State Universities.
Joel Ockerman is a freelance horn performer and teacher currently based in Rochester,
New York. He previously served as adjunct Lecturer in Horn at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Horn Performance.
As a performer, Dr. Ockerman has performed with orchestras across the country including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, and the Syracuse-based Symphoria. As a natural horn performer, Dr. Ockerman has studied with
Anneke Scott and performed with La Follia Austin Baroque, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Austin Baroque Orchestra. Also an avid performer of contemporary music, he has played with ensembles such as Roomful of Teeth, the American Wild Ensemble, and Density512.
Dr. Ockerman’s major teachers include Patrick Hughes, Jean Martin-Williams, Richard Deane, and
Joy Hodges Branagan.
Marissa Olegario is an active performer in the US and abroad and is Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has worked with artists from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmoniker and Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet and is an active substitute in orchestras across the US. She has presented recitals at the International Double Reed Society Conference and the Meg Quigley Symposium. She was a semi-finalist for the 2016 Matthew Ruggiero International Woodwind Competition, a recipient of the Yale School of Music Alumni Prize and a New York City Council on the Arts grant.
Ms. LaBonte received her Bachelor of Music degree in 2018 from the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of W. Peter Kurau and is currently working to complete her graduate degree coursework under the same guidance. In addition to her degree studies she maintains a private studio, has been a guest lecturer at institutions including Baylor University and the University of Texas at Austin, and is a member of several chamber ensembles including the Antara Winds and the Fort Worth Symphony Brass Quintet. Nikolette is also an award-winning soloist and will be featured with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta as an Emerging Young Artist.
Outside of the concert hall, Ms. LaBonte is active in promoting classical music throughout the community. She is a faculty member of the Eastman Horn Institute, serves as the Associate Operations Director of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and previously worked as the education coordinator of the Hawaii Symphony. Away from the horn, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, and scuba diving, although she must reserve the latter for her visits to more tropical destinations.
Cameron Olsen is a percussionist and drum set player from Vancouver, WA. He just graduated with his bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from Central Washington University under the tutelage of Mark Goodenberger. He is currently pursuing his Masters in percussion performance at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Ortiz has been an avid chamber musician, freelance artist, and private studio teacher over the last 8 years. She frequently plays with many local churches and ensembles to maintain her diversity in freelance performance. She has substituted with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and performed the opening concert for the Women In Classical Music Symposium at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. She has been actively involved in many national and international competitions. She was the first-place winner in the 2022 National Trumpet Competition Small Ensemble Division, and the 2021 Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Brass Solo Division Colorado, among others, and was semi-finalist for the 2022 Roger Voisin Memorial International Trumpet Competition and the National Trumpet Competition graduate solo-division. She received her Bachelor of Music from The University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Music from Southern Methodist University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado.
oboe, English horn
Parker is currently Assistant Professor of Oboe at Butler University and principal oboe of the Quad Cities Symphony. He has taught master classes throughout the country at the University of Michigan, Temple University, Rice University, and many other institutions. He maintains a career as an orchestral musician, soloist, and chamber player, and has appeared as guest artist and a player with many orchestras in North America including the Florida Orchestra, and the Richmond, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Santa Fe Symphonies. He recently performed the world premiere of Rob Deemer’s oboe concerto Pillars of Creation, with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble. He plays and coaches chamber music at various international music festivals. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, his master’s degree at Yale University, and his doctorate at the University of Michigan.
Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer, and conductor. He is currently a Professor of Music at Augustana College. Pennington is the associate principal timpani with the South Dakota Symphony and is currently a Cultural Envoy for the State Department in the Middle East. With performances on four continents and over twenty-five states, he has performed on Prairie Home Companion and has been a featured performer at four Percussive Arts Society international conventions. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Arizona, and Arizona State University.
Reader grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She has performed with small and large ensembles including the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony while maintaining a private cello studio of her own in Houston. In recent summers she has enjoyed playing in the Bellingham Music Festival in Washington State and also participating in chamber music festivals in Texas, Colorado, and Utah. She completed her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where her primary teachers were Melissa Kraut and Desmond Hoebig.
Robertson is currently principal tuba of the Tulsa and East Texas Symphony Orchestras, and is the tubist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra youth education brass quintet. He has performed with many professional orchestras, including the Dallas, Fort Worth, Charleston, Shreveport, Plano, Irving, Las
Colinas, and Lawton Symphonies, as well as the Dallas Wind Symphony. Robertson has been a semi-finalist in national tuba auditions and the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference Orchestral Excerpt competition. Robertson also maintains a private studio of 40 low brass students in the Highland Park and Richardson ISDs near Dallas. Robertson is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.
Hornist Jeffrey Rogers is a resident of Taos, New Mexico. He currently plays Principal Horn in the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Taos Chamber Music Group. He also frequently plays with Nudeco, a contemporary music ensemble based in Miami, Florida. Prior to moving to New Mexico he spent 20 years playing Principal Horn in various orchestras in Mexico and Chile including the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Chilean National Symphony Orchestra in Santiago, Chile. He also served as Principal Horn of the prestigious Mineria Symphony Orchestra based in Mexico City for 20 consecutive years.
Jeffrey has been a featured soloist with the Mexico City Philharmonic and the Mineria Symphony Orchestra. He has an extensive chamber music career performing with many chamber ensembles including the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, Mexico City Brass Quintet, Camarata Mazatlan and the contemporary music ensemble CEPROMUSIC, of which he has been a member since 2015. He has participated with these groups as well as many others in Mexico’s most important festivals including the Festival Internacional Cervantino, Festival de Mayo de Jalisco, Manuel Enriquez New Music Forum, Zacatecas Cultural Festival, and the Ortiz Tirado Music Festival en Alamos, Sonora.
Romero grew up within the acclaimed Texas band system and achieved musical success at a young age. She was appointed principal trombone of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2018. Prior to her appointment at the Met she held the position of principal trombone with the Fort Worth Symphony from 2016 – 2018. She has been a guest trombonist with the New York and London Philharmonic, among others. She was a semi-finalist in the first Brass Division of the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg in 2019. She serves on the trombone faculties of Rutgers University, Mannes School of Music and Bard Conservatory as well as presenting solo recitals and masterclasses at numerous colleges, universities, conservatories, and industry conventions across the US. She has a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Baylor University, and a Master of Music from Rice University.
Originally from Los Angeles, Santonastaso works as a musician, educator, and mentor throughout the United States. He currently performs as a section member of the Santa Cruz Symphony, Sarasota Opera Orchestra, and the chamber orchestra One Found Sound. He has performed with the New West Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, Symphony Silicon Valley, and the Fresno Philharmonic, among others. As part of numerous chamber music and masterclass events, Luke has performed alongside world class artists such as Midori Goto, and The Borromeo String Quartet. He has received fellowships with the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and Incontri in Terra di Siena music festivals. Luke is passionate about educating young musicians in his private studio and has worked with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Crowden School, and the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra as a coach and private instructor. He holds degrees from the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA.
Sawyer is a local Durango percussionist who is both a professional musician and a licensed structural engineer. He has been the principal timpanist with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the past 7 years. In addition, he has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Music in the Mountains, Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra, Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Pro Musica Colorado, and several other orchestras on the Colorado Front Range. In 2013, He won the Undergraduate Concerto Competition at the University of Colorado School of Music performing the Creston Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra. He graduated in 2015 from the University of Colorado, Boulder with degrees in Engineering and Percussion Performance and has lived in the Durango area for the past 2 years.
Schreiber joined the St. Louis Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster in September 2008, at the age of 20. She has appeared in recital throughout the U.S., as well as in London, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, and toured with jazz legend Chris Botti in Shanghai, Mexico City, and Eastern Europe. She made her St. Louis Symphony solo debut in 2011 and has appeared as a soloist with the Richardson, Gateway, Alton, and Missouri Symphony Orchestras. In the summers, she has performed at Festival Mozaic in California, Olympic Music Festival in Washington, and for the past six years, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Schreiber attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
violin, concertmaster emerita
Leslie Shank leads an active musical life as a soloist and chamber musician. She was a
member of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for 30 years, 24 years as assistant
concertmaster, and is a founding member of the Minneapolis based chamber music group, The Isles Ensemble. Shank gave her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition, and was twice re-engaged to perform on its Special Presentation Series. She was appointed Visiting Assistant Violin Professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, for the year 2014-15.
Shank served as concertmaster of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado for 11 years, and has performed at numerous other festivals including the Aspen, Grand Teton, Mainly Mozart, Marlboro, and the Britt Festival, where she served as concertmaster of the festival orchestra. As a member of the prestigious Musicians from Marlboro, she toured the East Coast. In addition to her musical activities on violin, she frequently plays viola in chamber music and is an avid photographer.
percussion, stage manager
North Carolina native Shelley performs frequently as a percussionist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also played with the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony. In addition to serving as Stage Manager for Music in the Mountains, he recently completed his first season as Company Manager for the Princeton Festival in Princeton, NJ. Ryder is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Sherman joined the Fort Worth Symphony as principal trumpet in 2016. He has appeared with the Dallas Symphony and as a soloist with the Garland, Arlington, and Las Colinas symphony orchestras. He has also performed on the Broadway national tours of the Book of Mormon, Porgy & Bess, and Matilda, among others. Sherman is a Yamaha performing artist. An active educator, he regularly appears as a clinician and recitalist at universities throughout Texas and the United States. He is an alumnus of the Yale School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Round Top Festival.
Shields joined the Oregon Symphony as principal clarinet in the fall of 2016. Prior to that, he served as principal clarinet of the Canadian Opera Company as well as the New Mexico Philharmonic. He has appeared as a soloist with the Oregon Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, and as guest principal clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, and Santa Fe Pro Musica. He is becoming increasingly know as a performer of chamber music, making over 30 appearances annually throughout the US and Canada. He is co-artistic director of Chatter, an Albuquerque-based chamber music organization, and a core member of the Portland-based chamber music collective 45th Parallel Universe. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and holds a Master of Music in Composition from the University of New Mexico. He continues to compose regularly.
Silvers currently serves on the faculty at Fort Lewis College as a Visiting Instructor of Music Theory and Upper Strings. As an undergraduate at UCLA, he was the concertmaster for the UCLA Philharmonia, the school’s flagship orchestra. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Herb Alpert School of Music there. He has performed with many university and regional orchestras during the course of graduate studies at the University of Indiana and the University of Wisconsin. He was the winner of the 2018-2019 UW Madison Concerto Competition and a finalist in the Montgomery Symphony Concertmaster Competition. Silvers has served as concertmaster at summer music festivals, including the Chautauqua Institution in New York and is a regular performer in masterclasses around the country. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and at venues in Italy and Switzerland. He earned his Master of Music from the University of Indiana and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Simiz is assistant principal cello of the Phoenix Symphony and principal cello of the Phoenix Symphony Sinfonietta. A native of Romania, he studied at Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest and received a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Simiz is a faculty member at Arizona State University.
Simiz is a cellist with the Amabile String Quartet and head of the string department at the Arizona School for the Arts since its inception in 1995. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and her master’s from California State at Long Beach.
KATHERINE YOUNG STEELE
Since 2012 Steele has held the FortePrincipal Oboe Chair of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, she was principal oboe of the Florida Orchestra, where she appeared frequently as soloist and collaborated on the orchestra’s multi-year cultural exchange with musicians in Havana, Cuba. Since 2008, she has been co-principal of the Eastern Music Festival and has performed at Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Banff festivals and with the National Repertory Orchestra. She currently serves on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has previously taught at the University of Tampa, St. Petersburg College, and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Steele holds a Bachelor of Music and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School.
Sulyga is a violinist with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and a frequent chamber musician. He was a member of The Moscow Virtuosi, with which he performed in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and a participant in numerous international festivals. He began his studies in his native Moscow, and continued them at SMU in Dallas, Paris, and the University of Houston.
Hailed for her “verve and pizazz” and the “gleaming purity” of her artistry by the Miami Herald, Ebonee Thomas is Second Flute and Piccolo of The Dallas Opera. She has previously served as Principal Flute of the Knoxville Symphony and the Florida Grand Opera, and spent one year as Second Flute of the Houston Symphony. In addition she has performed as Guest Principal Flute with the Seattle Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Ebonee has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Dallas Symphony.
Ebonee completed a four-year fellowship with the prestigious New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall, she was a featured soloist under Tilson-Thomas, performing Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto and the North American premiere of Christian Lindberg’s flute concerto, The World of Montuagretta.
Along with performing orchestral repertoire, Ebonee is an avid chamber musician, applauded as a “standout” by Theater Jones in her latest performance for the Fine Arts Chamber Players. She performs regularly with the Austin Chamber Music Society and Voices of Change, a new music ensemble in Dallas, TX. She was a finalist for the Austin Arts Awards for her performance of Valerie Coleman’s Danza de la Mariposa, for solo flute. Ebonee has been a member of the Firebird Ensemble with Seraphic Fire and can be heard on several of their released recordings including The Brandenburg Project. Ebonee had the rare opportunity to perform John Adams’ Chamber Symphony in Carnegie Hall under the composer’s baton. She also served as Principal Flute of the Star Wars in Concert! Orchestra during their U.S., Canada, and Mexico tour and was Principal Flute of the American Repertory Theater’s revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.
As a passionate pedagogue, Ebonee is the Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. Along with all of her musical endeavors, Ebonee serves as a member of the board of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras and is on the National Advisory Board of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program
Ebonee received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance degree from Southern Methodist University and received her Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers Jean Larson Garver, Claire Johnson, Helen Blackburn, and Fenwick Smith. Ebonee plays on a silver .16 wall Brannen Brögger flute with a platinum Mancke headjoint and a Burkart Elite Piccolo.
Turner is a native New Yorker who has appeared with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States. She has performed with New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, and Albuquerque Chamber Soloists. She is co-founder (with husband, Guillermo Figueroa) and Artistic Director of Festival de Musica Rondeña in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A native of Odessa, TX, Tyler currently attends the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He was previously a member of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra for five years as well as Chamber Music Amarillo and the Amarillo Opera. He has performed and collaborated with notable artists such as Simon Fischer and Paul Neubauer as well as the Cassatt, Harrington and Juilliard String Quartets. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from West Texas A&M University.
Ukens currently holds the position of third horn in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to this appointment, Ukens spent much of his career as an active chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral performer throughout the Southwest. Before moving to Rochester, Nathan held the positions of fourth horn in the Sarasota Orchestra, principal horn in the Santa Fe Symphony and second horn in the New Mexico philharmonic. As a soloist, Nathan has appeared with the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Philharmonic, the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus and the Albuquerque Philharmonic. In addition to his Master of Music from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with Gregory Hustis, Ukens holds a Bachelors of Music from Oklahoma State University.
Steven Woomert joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trumpet in 2014. He has recently appeared as acting Principal Trumpet of the Orchestre symphonique de
Montreal, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. As an accomplished orchestral player, he has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Barbados Classical Pops All-Star Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the
Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Born in Toronto, Steven began his musical studies at age five on violin and continued with
trumpet studies at age 11. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern
University, where he studied with Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Christopher Martin. Steven continued his studies at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in
Toronto where he studied with Andrew McCandless. In 2013, he was the winner of the
International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpts Competition. Steven has participated in many summer festivals, including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy
Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA.
As an active educator, Steven is part of the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto and has also taught at the University of Western Ontario. Steven and his father Barton have commissioned and recorded a CD of brand-new music for two trumpets and piano, entitled Tandem. Besides performing, Steven enjoys joining some of his TSO colleagues on their volleyball team (The Gustav Bahlers).