The Ones behind the Music

Meet Our Musicians

It's the music. It's the musicians.

It's the experience.

2023 GUEST ARTISTS AND SOLOISTS

TONY DESARE

piano, vocals

Named Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has won critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad.  From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas and headlining major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old school class around the globe.  He has appeared on the CBS Early Show, National Public Radio, A Prairie Home Companion, and the Today Show.

He has been a featured guest artist with over 100 symphony orchestras, including the Cleveland Symphony, New York Pops, San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago Symphonies. He is an accomplished composer with song writing and broadcast commercials to his credit as well as scoring five films. He won first place in the USA Songwriting Contest in 2014. His music sounds fresh and contemporary while paying homage to the Great American Songbook.

RICHARD KAUFMAN

Guest Conductor

Richard Kaufman has devoted much of his musical life to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as conducting film and classical music in concert and on recordings. He is thrilled to be returning to the Music in the Mountains Festival for the 2023 Gala Evening. Kaufman is in his nineteenth season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra film series, CSO at the Movies, holds the permanent title of Pops Conductor Laureate with the Dallas Symphony, and was recently given the permanent title of Principal Pops Conductor Laureate with Pacific Symphony.

Kaufman regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the world. The 2023-24 concert season includes return engagements with The Cleveland Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He will make his conducting debut with the Tonkuenstler Orchestra in Austria.

Kaufman received the 1993 Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category. He has conducted for a who’s-who of performers including John Denver, Andy Williams, Nanette Fabray, the Beach Boys, and Amy Grant.

Kaufman joined the music department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and for almost two decades, supervised music for all of MGM’s television and animation projects, receiving two Emmy nominations. He has also coached various actors in musical roles, including Jack Nicholson, Dudley Moore, and Tom Hanks.

As a studio violinist, Kaufman performed on numerous film and television scores, recording with artists including John Denver, Andy Williams, Burt Bacharach, the Carpenters, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra.

His wife, Gayle, is a former dancer-actress in film, television, and on Broadway, and his daughter, Whitney, is a successful singer and actress.

Richard Kaufman is proud to be represented by Opus 3 Artists.

MARIANO MORALES

composer, arranger, piano

The artistic life of composer, arranger, music director, and instrumentalist Mariano Morales encompasses a wide spectrum of genres. He is a successful contemporary composer, a jazz/Latin jazz and salsa arranger, and a pianist/violinist. He is considered one of the most eclectic Latin musicians of his generation. He has performed and recorded with leading pop artists and has toured internationally with numerous Latin jazz ensembles including his own ensemble “Pikante”. 

He has performed as a guest pianist with the New Mexico, Houston, and Puerto Rico Symphonies, and at numerous jazz festivals. He has arranged music for big bands to symphony orchestras and has composed many chamber works for a large variety of ensembles. He has received numerous commissions and is in demand at workshops and master classes in composition and arranging.

He has been a professor at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and the University of Puerto Rico, among others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music/jazz composition and arranging from Berklee College of Music and a master’s and PhD in music composition from Indiana University.

PHILIPPE QUINT

violin

One of the world’s most versatile and imaginative artists, Philippe Quint is internationally recognized for his unique approach to classical repertoire, championing new music, rediscovering neglected works, and creating a new format of docu-concert experience: multimedia journeys about the lives of Astor Piazzola and Charlie Chaplin.

An active chamber musician, Philippe has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Rome, Lincoln Center, and Chatauqua festivals, among others. He is constantly in demand and regularly appears with major orchestras and conductors worldwide. Winner of the “Ambassador of Arts” presented by Brownstone and Gateway Organizations at the United Nations, he is the first classical artist to start in the lead role in the independent film  Downtown Express.

His live performances and interviews have been broadcast on television as well as radio stations nationwide. His award-winning discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. Quint studied at the Special Music School for the Gifted and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. He plays on a 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin.

AVIRAM REICHERT

piano

Reichert won the Bronze Medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. He is a frequent soloist with the leading orchestras in his native country, Israel. He has had numerous concert engagements in the Far East, performing with the Tokyo Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony, and the Korean Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also performed with numerous orchestras in the United States.

Reichert’s past season included performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Tacoma Symphony, and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra. In recital, Reichert has performed throughout the United States, Israel, South Africa, the Far East and in Europe. He has had numerous appearances at festivals in the US and the Far East. Reichert is a sought-after teacher who is frequently invited to conduct masterclasses in Japan, Korea, South Africa, Israel and the United States. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Seoul National University, College of Music.

ERIN SCHREIBER

violin

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.

TEXAS GUITAR QUARTET

Formed in 2008, the Texas Guitar Quartet has been hailed as “Impeccable in every respect” by Classical Guitar Magazine. Throughout the United States and the world audiences have embraced the quartet for their daring programs and dazzling virtuosity. Recent highlights include performances for the Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra 2016 (Nicaragua), Victoria Bach Festival, Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Festival Internacional del Noreste (Mexico), and Texas Music Festival. The quartet has presented a series of concerts in historic cathedrals along the Camino de Santiago, Spain.

The group has pushed the boundaries of the guitar quartet medium by premiering new works by Peter Lieuwen, Mark Anthony Cruz, and John Truitt and creating daring arrangements of orchestral works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Ravel. The TxGQ has been featured in concertos with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Bach, and Nicaraguan Youth Symphony, Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, and the Abilene Philharmonic. The TxGQ is comprised of Isaac Bustos, Jonathan Dotson, Jay Kacherski, and Alejandro Montiel.

NÉSTOR TORRES

flute

Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Torres was something of a musical prodigy.  His father was a piano and vibraphone-playing musician who encouraged Torres to follow his interest in drums. He studied percussion and saxophone before settling on the flute. When the family moved to New York City in the 1970’s, where the elder Torres found some performing success, Néstor was introduced to Tito Puente, whose band he was allowed to sit in on. This eventually led to regular gigs in NYC, while he continued studies at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Berklee College of Music. Torres gained improvisational experience by playing in charanga bands, a style of music that adapted classical instruments into Cuban danzón rhythms. He decided to relocate to Miami in the 1980’s, establishing relationships with leading musicians there, including Gloria Estefan. He went on to earn a Grammy nomination in 1999 for Treasures of the Heart, and a Latin Grammy Award, for Best Pop Instrumental Album for This Side of Paradise in 2001.

JASON VIEAUX

guitar

Vieaux began his musical training in Buffalo, NY at the age of eight, after which he continued his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1992, he was awarded the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner. He has performed as a concerto soloist with over 100 orchestras, both in the US and around the world. As a touring performer, he enjoys repeated invitations with distinguished series including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He has appeared in major festivals such as Ravinia, Caramoor, and Grand Teton, and has an extensive discography collaborating with many renowned artists.

In 2011 he co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music for 25 years. In 2012 he launched the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar with ArtistWorks, a technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux with students around the world. 

2023 Festival Musicians

ERIC ANDERSON

bass clarinet

Eric Anderson enjoys a multifaceted career as a solo, chamber music, and orchestral musician. He has held positions with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Richmond (VA) and Omaha Symphonies and performed as a guest musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

During the summers, Eric has performed at the Aspen, Britten-Pears, Colorado, Grant Park, Kent Blossom, Round Top, Spoleto USA, and Tanglewood music festivals. An avid chamber musician, Eric has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, the Chicago Cultural Center, Ravinia’s Bennet Gordon Hall, and live on New York City’s WQXR.

A dedicated teacher, he has served as an instructor at the State College of Florida, Oberlin College, and Yale University. Eric received bachelor’s degrees in music and English literature from Oberlin College and Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music.

ANDREA ARESE-ELIAS

piano

Arese-Elías was born in Cordoba, Argentina, and has performed extensively as a solo and chamber musician in Argentina, Mexico, El Salvador, Japan, Bulgaria, South Korea, and the United States. She has taught piano at the National University of Cordoba, University of Cincinnati Preparatory Department, and  teaching as the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has also been part of the piano faculty at Colorado Mesa University, where she was a founding member of its resident ensemble Piano Trio “Las Americas.”

She frequently performs with her husband, violinist Carlos Elias as part of the Elias Duo. Together they made their New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 2002. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the National University of Cordoba and completed her Master and Doctoral degrees in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

BORIS ASTAFIEV

Bass

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. 

JACQUELINE AUDAS

violin

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. 

REBECCA BARNES

viola

Barnes joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2016.  Prior to that she held a temporary appointment with the CSO since 2012.  She was an Adjunct Instructor of Viola at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music from 2011-2016.  Prior to joining the CSO, she was a violist with the Louisville Orchestra.  She received her Bachelor of Music degree and completed graduate studies at the CCM, and was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival.

LINDA MACK BERVEN

Piano, harpsichord, pre-concert lecturer

Mack Berven earned her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois, and was a long time Professor of Music at Fort Lewis College. She 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. Dr. Mack Berven 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. Dr. 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.

She has prepared numerous choral works for the Music in the Mountains Festival through the years, and has served as pre-concert lecturer and keyboard performer since 2012.

STEPHANIE BLOCK

viola

Block is a Chicago-born violist and joined the Sarasota Orchestra in 2023 as their Acting Principal Viola. She has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician and gave the U.S. premiere of Alejandro Cardona’s Sweet Tijuana: Danzas Fronterizas for Viola and Orchestra with the New Juilliard Ensemble. An alumna of the New World Symphony, she has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

She was featured on PBS NewsHour and appeared on PBS American Masters. Block has performed and toured with the Amernet String Quartet and is an artist at the Sitka Music Festival. She also has a passion for jazz music and performed with Wynton Marsalis at Dizzy’s Jazz Club in New York as part of Daniel Chmielinski’s Four by Four. A pediatric cancer survivor, she was a headline speaker for the Miami Cancer Institute’s Inspire You and is an inaugural ambassador for the Histiocytosis Association.

EMMANUELLE BOISVERT

violin, concertmaster

Following her tenure as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, she was welcomed in 1988 as the first and youngest woman ever to be named concertmaster of a major orchestra, serving 23 years as the Detroit Symphony Concertmaster.

She is currently Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, while performing as a soloist in diverse concerto repertoire. As a founding member of the St. Clair Trio, Boisvert’s artistry as a chamber musician places her in demand as artist-teacher in residence at such venues a Seattle String Project, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Wayne State University, Center for Creative Studies, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, and the Emmy award-winning All-Star Orchestra, currently broadcasting its third season on PBS.

Other guest concertmaster appearances have included Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Grand Tetons Music Festival. She is an alumna of the Marlboro Music Festival. She holds degrees from the Quebec Conservatoire and The Curtis Institute of Philadelphia.

BETSY BRIGHT

trumpet

Bright has been a member of the Tucson Symphony trumpet section since 2003 and she is also a member of the TSO Brass Quintet, Monsoon Brass, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and the Tucson Pops Orchestra. Additionally, she has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, The Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, American Wind Symphony, Britt Music Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, and Bay View Music Festival.

She is also a deeply committed trumpet teacher. She has maintained a private trumpet studio since 1997 and she is the founder and director of Tucson Brass Workshop. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she studied at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. She graduated summa cum laude in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance and a minor in composition. Betsy is married to TSO principal tuba, David Morgan. They live with their adorable sons, Max and Oliver.

WILLIAM CLAY

bass

Originally from Colorado, Clay has held the position of principal double bass of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 1995. Before arriving in north Texas, he was principal bass of la Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon (Spain) and was a charter member of the New World Symphony. As a soloist he has performed with the Fort Worth, New World, Colorado and Metropolitan State University Symphonies.

An active chamber musician, he is a member of the Board of Spectrum Chamber Music Society and has performed with a variety of ensembles including Mount Vernon Music, Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth and Chamber Music International. He has performed as guest with the Oregon, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas Symphonies. He has also performed with other music festivals including the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Colorado Music Festival. He holds the Master of Music degree from Indiana University and the Bachelor of Arts from Metropolitan State University.

EMILY COLE

violin

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.

Rachel Daniels

viola

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.

TIMOTHY DANIELS

oboe, English horn

Daniels has held the English horn and section oboe chair with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2021. Prior to that, he held the same position with the Kansas City Symphony, with which he was a featured soloist on Aaron Copland’s Quiet City. He has been a guest performer with numerous orchestras including the San Francisco, New World, and Memphis Symphonies as well as the Metropolitan Opera and IRIS Orchestra. He has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival of Japan, and Spoleto Festival USA.

Daniels holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Robert Walters, Elaine Douvas, and Eugene Izotov respectively. Daniels is a proud graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied under the late Daniel Stolper.

James Doyle

percussion

Doyle is based in the Pacific Northwest where he serves on the faculty at the University of Puget Sound and performs with orchestras and new music ensembles throughout Seattle, Bellevue, and Olympia. He is a member of Striking Music, a Seattle percussion and multimedia ensemble, and tours internationally with the U.S. and Japan-based ensemble, Apricity Trio. As a soloist and multi-discipline collaborator, he has performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia, with recent appearances on the Seattle Symphony’s Octave9 Series, the Nakanojo Biennale (Japan), and Artist-in-Residencies at Gunma University in Maebashi, Japan. Before relocating to Washington, Doyle served on the faculty at Adams State University and performed throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Prior to his tenure in Colorado, he was principal percussionist with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

CARLOS ELIAS

violin

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.

DEBORAH FABIAN

clarinet

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.

LESLIE FAGAN

flute

Fagan is currently Assistant Principal Flute of the Nashville Symphony. Before moving to Nashville, she was Assistant Principal Flute with the Omaha Symphony from 2007-16. For many years prior, she was an active freelancer and teacher in the Chicago area and was a regular substitute for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, participating in their 2009 Asia Tour. While in Chicago, she was also a substitute/extra player for the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Formerly a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she performed with that organization at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. She has been an interim studio instructor for flute majors at Roosevelt University in Chicago and is currently Acting Associate Professor of Flute at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. She holds a Doctor of Music in Flute Performance from Northwestern University.

REESE FARNELL

horn

Farnell is a free-lance horn artist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  In 2017 he was Principal Horn at the Sichuan Symphony.  He earned his Bachelor of Music at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Master of Musical Arts in Horn Performance from Yale University.

CHRISTOPHER FRENCH

cello

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.

SARAH FRISOF

flute

Equally at home in the solo, chamber, and orchestral stages, Sarah Frisof is a passionate flutist and educator.  As a soloist, Dr. Frisof was the second-prize winner of both the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, and she was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Kobe International Flute Competition. Dr. Frisof has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. 

As a committed proponent of contemporary music, Dr. Frisof frequently premieres major works. Recent premieres include Ingrid Stölzel’s work The Voice of the Rain, Damian Montano’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with the Dallas Winds and Joel Puckett’s Knells for Bonnie for flute and wind ensemble. The Puckett Concerto was released on the Klavier  Label in February of 2017.

In June of 2016, Dr. Frisof released her first solo CD, The Flute Music of Joseph Schwantner, an authoritative recording of all of Schwantner’s major works for flute. This recording, which was released on the Centaur Label, includes the world premiere recording of “Taking Charge,” a new chamber work for flute, piano, and percussion.

In addition to Dr. Frisof’s work as a solo artist, she is an active orchestral musician, having worked with major symphony orchestras across the country, including the Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Kansas City Symphony and many others.  Dr. Frisof also serves as the principal flute of the Dallas Winds, the premier wind band in the United States.

In the summers, Ms. Frisof plays with several festival orchestras including the Sunflower Festival (Topeka,  KS), and Music in the Mountains (Durango, CO). An enthusiastic educator, Dr. Frisof has taught in a variety of diverse settings, including as a faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Music in the Mountains Conservatory, and the Blanche Bryden Summer Institute. She has taken her passion for education to global audiences, including working with young students in Zimbabwe and Brazil, and she frequently gives masterclasses at universities across the United States.

A graduate of the Eastman School, The Juilliard School, and the University of Michigan, she was formerly the Professor of Flute at University of Kansas and the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Frisof is currently the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Maryland.

KEIRA FULLERTON

cello

Fullerton has been assistant principal cello of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and was an adjunct professor of cello at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2015-2020. In the spring of 2023, she served as visiting cello professor for six weeks at Baylor University. 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 2017-2019 summer seasons.

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.

COLIN GARNER

viola

A native of Littleton, CO, Garner has been a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra viola section since 2008. 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 West Texas Symphony and Abilene Philharmonic. While playing with the West Texas Symphony, he was also the violist in the Permian Basin String Quartet. Additionally, Garner participated in the Crested Butte Music Festival during the summers of 2015-16. 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.

CYNTHIA GIANNINI

dancer

Tango was a perfect fit that followed Giannini’s fifteen-year career with the Joffrey Ballet.  Giannini has a wealth of experience in choreography, stage design, live orchestras, and theatre in her ballet life. She works in tango as a dancer, director, teacher, and choreographer. Her love of the music inspires the feelings she conveys and incorporates in her movement and with her partners’ in the dance. In 2017, Cynthia won the title of Stage Tango Champion in the United States and represented the US in Buenos Aires that same year in the semifinals of the Mundial de Tango. Cynthia has created her company Intimo Tango, where she shares her passion through teaching, performance, live music, art, storytelling, and community building. She is currently working on a documentary series called 21st Century Tango, where she recounts her experiences with the people, places, and intimate connections she has encountered in her tango life.   

WILLIAM GOWEN

bass

Gowen is currently the principal bassist of the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He has won numerous awards and honors including the first prize of the 2013 Tuesday Musical Club Young Artist Competition in San Antonio. Gowen has also given a solo performance of Paganini “Moses Variations” in Carnegie Hall.

At the age of nineteen, Gowen became the youngest member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with PianoTexas and performed Schubert’s Trout Quintet. Gowen graduated with an artist diploma from TCU, studying under Professor Yuan Xiong Lu.

Additionally, he received a fellowship to attend the National Orchestra Institute summer music festival in Maryland. He was a recipient of the Emerson scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp. Gowen has performed in master classes with several notable double bassists such as Gary Karr, Lawrence Hurst, Paul Ellison, Timothy Cobb, Jack Budrow, and Jeffrey Turner.

SHERYL HADEKA

horn, librarian

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.

ABIGAIL HAWTHORNE

oboe

Hawthorne holds the Oboe II / English horn position with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra as well as the McKinney and the Allen Philharmonic Orchestras. She held the third oboe and English horn position with the Wichita (KS) Symphony Orchestra for the 2017-2018 season, performed with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in the July 2022, 2018, and 2016 seasons, and has participated in the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria), Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Sarasota Music Festival, among others.

Hawthorne is also an associate musician with The Dallas Opera and has performed with the Dallas Winds, Symphoria (Syracuse NY) and the Fort Worth, New World, Plano, and the Richardson Symphony Orchestras. Hawthorne graduated with a Masters degree in Oboe Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. 

In addition to performing, Hawhthorne maintains a studio of middle to high school oboists. She also works as administrative manager with the Orchestra of New Spain, a Dallas-based ensemble specializing in Spanish baroque and contemporary Hispanic music.

MARTIN HÉBERT

oboe

Martin Hébert was appointed principal oboist with the Oregon Symphony in 2006. He has held that same position with symphony orchestras in Tampa, Mexico City, Savannah, and Honolulu. He has served as guest principal oboe with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony, among others.

Hébert has participated in many summer Festivals including Crested Butte in Colorado, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and Grant Park Festival in Chicago. As a featured soloist, Hébert has performed frequently with ensembles throughout North America. In November, 2021, he played the Bach Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin with the Oregon Symphony.

Martin has played with opera, ballet, and chamber ensembles throughout the United States. In Oregon, he has performed with Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Opera, and the Oregon Bach Festival. Martin can be heard on recordings with the Oregon Symphony on the PentaTone label, the Atlanta Symphony on Telarc, and the Mexico City Philharmonic on Decca. 

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Hébert attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Mack, principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra.

PALOMA GRIFFIN HÉBERT

violin

Hébert’s career includes collaborations with musicians throughout North America and Europe, as well as orchestral, pedagogical, and popular music activities. Formerly the assistant concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony, she was also a member of the Portland new music ensemble fEARnoMUSIC, which she led as Artistic Director from 2011-2014. She has served as a guest concertmaster for the Eugene Symphony and a tutti violinist with Norway’s Kristiansand Symfonieorkester.

Hébert’s solo appearances include the Oregon Symphony, the Fresno Philharmonic, and Arizona Musicfest. As a member of the band Pink Martini, she performed at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She is the director of Portland Camerata at the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. In 2021, she began teaching violin and chamber music at Reed College. She has coached at summer chamber music workshops for Oregon State University, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, and in 2022, Portland Summer Ensembles.

BYRON HERRINGTON

trombone

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.

VALORY HIGHT

violin

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.

JENNIFER HINKLE

bass trombone

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.

JUSTIN HUBBARD

saxophone

Hubbard is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Fort Lewis College where he is Director of Bands and teaches the saxophone and clarinet. He also leads the audio production courses and is a freelance audio engineer.  He regularly works with high school and youth ensembles such as the San Juan Youth Symphony, Canadian all-province ensembles, and is scheduled to guest conduct and clinic at events throughout the US. Though primarily a conductor and saxophonist, Justin increasingly performs as a woodwind specialist with musicals, orchestras, and choirs. 

His research interests center around perception of sound and psychoacoustics—especially regarding electroacoustics and digital musical instruments. In addition to his DMA in Conducting from Arizona State University and Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Nevada, Reno, Hubbard also earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University.

WILLIAM HUNT

violin

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.

HANNAH JI

violin

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.

Petros Karapetyan

violin

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.

PHILIP KRAMP

viola

Kramp currently freelances in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. He frequently performs with the Baltimore Symphony, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is also a regular substitute with the St. Louis Symphony.

Prior to moving to the DC area, he performed with the Kansas City Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has attended the Marlboro, Yellow Barn, and Ravinia Festivals, among others, where he collaborated with great artists including members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. Kramp studied at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory.

DMITRY KUSTANOVICH

viola

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.

Nikolette LaBonte

Horn

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.

JONATHAN LATTA

percussion

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.

LAURA LEISRING

bassoon

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.

SARAH LEWIS

cello

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.

STEPHANIE MAGNUS

bassoon

Equally at home in a performance venue or classroom, Magnus has been an active bassoonist and contrabassoonist in the North Florida region since relocating to Jacksonville in 2016. In addition to regular chamber concerts, she frequently performs with the Jacksonville Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, The Florida Orchestra, and the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

When she is not performing or teaching at Jacksonville University or University of North Florida, she can be found fixing up her historic Springfield home, training for a marathon, or camping with her husband, fellow Jacksonville Symphony cellist Brian Magnus. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, she earned a Master of Music in Musicology and Literature, also from SMU.

NICOLLE MANIACI

violin

Maniaci is Principal Violin II and orchestra personnel manager of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. She is also the director of the string program at Bosque School in Albuquerque. She was a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra First Violin Section for 11 years and is now a first violinist with the New Mexico Philharmonic. 

Maniaci is a founding member of the Eleganza String Quartet and Chamisa Chamber Players. She also enjoys performing with the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Chatter, Orchestra of the Duke, and Opera Southwest. She was a sectional coach for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony for 18 years. Maniaci was born in Long Island, New York and moved to New Mexico with her parents in 1974. She grew up in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program and received her music degree from theUniversity of New Mexico. She spent her summers studying the violin at various festivals around the country.

Ruxandra Marquardt

violin

Romanian-born Marquardt attended the George Enescu School of Music and Conservatory of Music in Bucharest. As a young musician, she won several prizes and medals in international competitions   including the All-Romania Prize and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition. After emigrating to the US, she was the youngest Associate Concertmaster in the US. She was also Principal Second Violin and Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida and guest Concertmaster with the New Mexico Philharmonic, where she also appeared as soloist. Her other solo performances include appearances with the Bucharest Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, and Boston Virtuosi, among others.

As a chamber musician, she has participated in the Bayreuth, Skaneateles, Eastern, and the Grand Tetons Music Festivals, Serenata Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Opera. She frequently performs in the Abiquiu Music Festival and is a member of the Santa Fe Symphony. Ms. Marquardt is a violin teacher and chamber coach in central New Mexico.

CODY MCCLARTY

trumpet

McClarty was appointed to the Assistant Principal Trumpet position of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in May 2018.  Prior to this, he served two years as Principal Trumpet for the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Garland Symphony Orchestra, and the Arlington Symphony Orchestra. McClarty has also performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and the Breckenridge Music Festival.

In the summer of 2014, he was a member of the National Repertory Orchestra. McClarty joined the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra in the summer of 2019, in Durango, Colorado. He has also been offered positions with the Air Force Academy Band, the Navy Band, as well as a one-year position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. 

McClarty is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and began trumpet studies under his older brother, James McClarty. McClarty earned his BM in Trumpet Performance from Southern Methodist University, under the tutelage of Tom Booth. While at SMU, he also studied with Ryan Anthony, and Kevin Finamore. Other notable teachers include Tom Cupples, and Wiff Rudd. McClarty is a Shires Trumpet Artist.

DAVID MORGAN

tuba

Morgan has been Principal Tuba of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 2010. Additionally, he is a member of the TSO Brass Quintet, Tucson Pops Orchestra, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and Monsoon Brass. He has performed as guest principal tuba with the San Diego Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony, and the Britt Festival Orchestra, and he has participated in the Aspen, Hot Springs, and Bay View Music Festivals.

He has been featured as a Guest Soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Pops Orchestra, Sierra Vista Symphony, and Arizona Symphonic Winds. Morgan hails from Vienna, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. He studied tuba with Michael Bunn (Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra) at the Shenandoah Conservatory; he earned a Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance in 2003 and minored in bass trombone. He later began graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University.

JOEL OCKERMAN

horn

Ockerman is an active freelance horn player and teacher in Austin. He recently served as acting principal horn of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and has also frequently performed with numerous ensembles throughout the state of Texas, including the Austin Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, and the United States Air Force Band of the West. Additionally, he has frequently collaborated with the Austin-based New Music ensemble Density512, and has performed on natural horn with the Austin Baroque Orchestra. He received his bachelor’s and doctorate from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin.

Marissa Olegario

Bassoon

Olegario actively performs 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. She has presented recitals at the International Double Reed Society Conference and other symposia. She was a semi-finalist for the 2016 Matthew Ruggiero International Woodwind Competition and a recipient of the Yale School of Music Alumni Prize.

Committed to engaging with her community, she has collaborated in performance with Dance for Parkinson’s, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, and Beyond Foundation’s Meet Me at Maynards community events in Tucson. She has commissioned and premiered works by living composers of diverse backgrounds and enjoys performing in unconventional spaces to reach broader audiences. She holds degrees from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, and SUNY Stony Brook. 

REBECCA ORTIZ

trumpet

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.

 

JOHN PENNINGTON

timpani

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.

STEVE PETERSON

trombone

Peterson has performed as principal trombone with the San Antonio Symphony since 2016. He has also performed with Dallas, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras.  Peterson has taught at Richland College in Dallas, Texas State University San Marcos interim faculty, and is currently adjunct professor of trombone at St. Mary’s University and Trinity University.

Peterson has performed with many chamber groups including DFW Brass, Bishop Arts Brass, and the Dallas Symphony “Yes” Brass Quintet. Prior to moving to Texas in 2011, Peterson played in jazz and commercial ensembles on Princess Cruise lines, which allowed him to travel to Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Peterson is also a videographer and creates many original satirical and documentary videos that can be found on his YouTube channel: stevepetersonproject. He has a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University.

REBECCA RAY

oboe, English Horn

Ray is currently principal oboe with the Las Cruces Symphony and the San Juan Symphony, second oboe and English horn in the Santa Fe Symphony, and freelances regularly on oboe and English horn with the New Mexico Philharmonic. Ray’s other freelance groups include Chatter, Opera Southwest, Music at St. John’s Cathedral, and the 505 Winds.

Her former positions in music education include Instructor of Oboe and Bassoon at New Mexico State University, Elementary Music Teacher for Las Cruces Public Schools, Director of Bands at the Bosque School in Albuquerque, among others. Currently Ray’s teaching focus is through private instruction and as an active clinician and double reed advocate in local school band programs. She has a studio in uptown Albuquerque, Desert Double Reeds, where she specializes in double reed family instrument repair (NAPBIRT member since 1997). She has degrees from Ithaca College (1994 BM, Oboe Performance and Music Education) and the University of New Mexico (1997 MM, Oboe Performance).

ANNAMARIE READER

cello

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.

SASHA ROMERO

trombone

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.

UMUT METE SAKA

dancer

Mete started dancing tango at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.  His student activity soon became his passion, which led him to take classes from local and international tango maestros. He started instructing fellow students in tango in 2017 and ran a student organization for four years where he shared his tango experience with more than 150 students. He has organized or helped five major festivals and tango concerts, over 10 milongas (Argentinian tango events), and worked as an assistant in the largest tango school in Istanbul for two years.

He created and pioneered the university milongas in Istanbul, uniting several universities’ tango societies in 2018, which are still active today. Mete is the 2023 Colorado State Champion of Tango de Pista, and is currently being featured in an upcoming documentary, 21st Century Tango. Mete is pursuing his graduate studies in computer sciences at the Colorado School of Mines.

LUKE SANTONASTASO

violin

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.

DEREK SAWYER

percussion

Sawyer is a local Durango percussionist who is both a professional musician and a licensed structural engineer. He has lived in the Durango area for the past 3 years. He has been the principal timpanist with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the past 9 years. In addition to this, 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, Colorado Pro Musica, and several other orchestras on the Colorado Front Range.

In 2013, he won the Undergraduate Concerto Competition at the CU 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.

LESLIE SHANK

violin, concertmaster emerita

Shank 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.

RYDER SHELLEY

percussion

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.

KYLE SHERMAN

trumpet

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 othersSherman  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. 

JAMES SHIELDS

clarinet

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.

RICHARD SILVERS

violin

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.

JAN SIMIZ

cello

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.

MARIA SIMIZ

cello

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.

OLEG SULYGA

violin

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.

VALERIE TURNER

violin

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.

AMELIA VAN HOWE

oboe

Van Howe is a freelance oboist and English hornist in the Pittsburgh area. She has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, and the Westmoreland and Johnstown Symphony Orchestras, among others. She earned third prize in the 2018 National Society of Arts & Letters Pittsburgh Chapter Music Competition and was the winner of the 2017 Duquesne University Concerto Competition.

She has performed at many summer festivals, including the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, the Music School Festival Orchestra at the Chautauqua Institution, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, among others. She is an avid chamber musician and performs regularly with the Windfluence Quintet. She earned her Artist Diploma and Master of Music  from Duquesne University and her Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University. She is also a small business owner of Sunshine Reeds, which provides high quality oboe and English horn reeds to amateur and professional oboists.

ALEJANDRO VALDEPEÑAS

viola

Originally from Toronto, Valdepeñas enjoys a multi-faceted career as a violinist and violist. He joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as the Associate Principal Viola at the start of the 2022/2023 season. Valdepeñas made his solo debut on violin at age 9 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sarah Chang. Recent engagements include performances and recordings with the Amici Chamber Ensemble and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Soloists. 

He has spent multiple summers as a violinist with the Santa Fe Opera and has also performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In the summers, Valdepeñas has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and School and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale. His future summer engagements include performances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Valdepeñas received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory and his Master of Music from Rice University.

SERGEI VASSILIEV

clarinet

Vassiliev has served as principal clarinet with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic since 2009. He has appeared in the US and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician, including presenting masterclasses at Kharkiv Conservatory in Ukraine. He has held principal clarinet positions with Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, and has performed with the Houston and Colorado Symphonies as well as many others.

He recently founded Educational Partnerships Immersive Concerts (EPIC), an original concert series that received the Peak Arts Prize upon its inception in 2020. EPIC has since become an acclaimed chamber music series and has enjoyed participation by world class talent such as principal musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Paris National Opera Orchestra. He maintains a teaching studio in Colorado Springs and serves on the faculties of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He holds degrees and awards from the University of Michigan, Rice University, and University of Southern California.

KATIE VENTURA

harp

Katherine Ventura is currently Acting Principal Harp of the Kansas City Symphony. She has also performed as guest principal harp with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, St. Louis, National, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, Rochester Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London, UK), and the United States Air Force Band.

Festival appearances include Principal Harp of the Britt Festival Orchestra 2022 (Oregon), Principal Harp of the Verbier Festival and Verbier Chamber Orchestras (Switzerland), the Spoleto Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, and with the Sun Valley Music Festival in Idaho.

Ms. Ventura is pursuing a Doctorate in Musical Arts at Temple University and holds degrees from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Carnegie Mellon University.

MATT WILSON

horn

Wilson joined The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra starting in the 2017-18 season, after playing as a guest musician for many years. He was Principal Horn of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra from 2012–2017. He was Acting Associate Principal Horn with the Minnesota Orchestra for the 2021-22 season and on their 2016 European tour. He has also been guest Principal or Associate Principal Horn with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, and the South Dakota Symphony, and has had engagements with the Colorado Symphony and The Phantom of the Opera Broadway touring company. He has been Principal Horn of the Crested Butte Musical Festival for several years. A Southern California native, he started playing horn at the age of 9. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota and his Master of Music from the University of Minnesota.

GLORIA YUN

flute, piccolo

Born in New York and raised in a musical family, Yun studied piano with her mother and clarinet with her father. She was influenced by her older brother, an orchestral conductor, to become a symphony musician.  She has performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra. She joined the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and the Britt Festival Orchestra in 2019. She has won prizes from the New York Flute Club, Pittsburgh Flute Club, and Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Young Artist Competitions as well as First Prize in the Wind Division of the LISMA International Music Competition. She made her European debut in the fall of 2016 as a concerto soloist with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. Yun has studied at the Mannes College of Music and DePaul University.