The Ones behind the Music

Meet Our Musicians

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

It's the experience.

2021 Festival Musicians

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. 

LAUREN AVERY

violin

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.

REBECCA BARNES

violist

Barnes has enjoyed playing in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Prior to that, she was Assistant Principal Viola in the Louisville Orchestra. Between these two Orchestra jobs, she began her teaching career as Adjunct Professor of Viola at the College-Conservatory of Music, which is also her alma mater. At CCM, Rebecca studied under Masao Kawasaki and Dr. Catharine Lees. During this time she spent many summers as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Throughout her career, Rebecca has been a passionate chamber musician, performing with many groups in the vibrant chamber music community of Cincinnati, OH, as well as with colleagues in Europe.

Gabriel Beavers

bassoon

Beavers is the Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Beavers is also a member of Miami’s Nu-Deco Ensemble. Prior to joining the faculty at Frost, he served on the faculty of Louisiana State University. Formerly a fellow with the New World Symphony, he has also served as principal bassoon with the Virginia Symphony, acting principal bassoon with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jacksonville Symphony, and as acting second bassoon with the Milwaukee Symphony. Beavers has also previously held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Music. He attended both Boston University and Southern Methodist University.

LINDA MACK BERVEN

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.

EMMANUELLE BOISVERT

violin, concertmaster

Boisvert is currently the associate concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony.  She was previously a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, and went on to become the first and youngest woman ever to be named concertmaster of a major orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, where she served 23 years under the direction of Neeme Järvi and Leonard Slatkin. She also performs diverse concerto repertoire as a soloist, and appears with the Emmy Award-winning PBS All-Star Orchestra, formed in 2014 with leading musicians from major symphony orchestras across the US. As a chamber musician, she was a founding member of the St. Clair Trio, and is in demand as an artist/teacher-in-residence at venues that include The Seattle String Project, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland. She holds degrees from the Quebec Conservatoire and the Curtis Institute, and is an alumna of the Marlboro Music Festival.

AARON BOYD​

violin

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.

BRANDON CHRISTENSEN

violin

Christensen’s career has revolved around chamber music and education.  Retired from the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts in Missouri, where he was a tenured professor of violin, he has also been on the faculties of Dickenson College, the Harrow School in Beijing, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Music.  He has given extensive international clinics and master classes throughout China, in Italy, and in Sweden.  Christensen has performed as a soloist with many chamber orchestras in the US and China, and was active in regional period ensembles in the Midwest.  In Italy, he was on the faculty of the Festival Suoni d’Abruzzo for three years, and has also performed in Bologna, Ascoli Piceno, and in Tuscany.  At home in all genres of classical music, he has given more than a dozen world premieres, including the Doppelgänger Concerto for Two Violins by David Dzubay and, most recently, Zephyros, for violin and chamber orchestra, by Enrico Blatti.  

WILLIAM CLAY

bass

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.

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.

STEPHEN DUNN

trumpet

Dunn is Associate Professor of Trumpet at Northern Arizona University. He has performed with the Utah, Eugene, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras, and performs regularly with the Elden Brass Quintet and as a soloist. Dunn has composed several pieces for trumpet ensemble, trumpet with electronics, and trumpet with percussion.

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.

Kimberly Fredenburgh

Viola

Fredenburgh, originally from New York, is Professor of Viola and serves as Head of the String Area at the University of New Mexico.  She has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician across the United States, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and many South American and European countries. She is the principal viola of The Santa Fe Symphony and the Santa Fe ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and is assistant principal of the New Mexico Philharmonic. She has performed many seasons with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Opera and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. She is a regular performer on the Chatter Chamber series. She has served on the faculty at Arizona State University while also performing as associate principal of the Phoenix Symphony for seven years. She has delivered pedagogical papers and performed at several national string conferences and international competitions. Her interest in contemporary music has resulted in the creation of many new works for her instrument.

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

Currently the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Maryland, Frisof serves as principal flute with the Dallas Wind Symphony.  Frisof has attended the Verbier, Tanglewood, Pacific, and Aspen Music Festivals, and she has substituted with the Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Detroit, Boston, Kansas City, and Fort Worth Symphonies. She was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Kobe International Flute Competition and the 2nd prizewinner of the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition. She has maintained a private studio for over 20 years, and her interests in humanitarian outreach and education have taken her to Zimbabwe and Brazil. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Michigan and she also received degrees from The Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music.

KEIRA FULLERTON

cello

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.

COLIN GARNER

viola

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

flute

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.

SHERYL HADEKA

horn

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.

Rachel Halvorson

viola

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.

AARO PAAVO HEINONEN

bass

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. 

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.

NANCY HUNT

violin

Hunt has been a violinist with the Rochester Philharmonic since 1977. She previously held posts in the Dayton Philharmonic and the Filarmonica de las Americas (Mexico City). She was Lecturer of Strings at Nazareth College of Rochester for 24 years. She currently has a private teaching studio. She holds a degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

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.

TOMOKO KANAMARU

piano

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.

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

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Kustanovich immigrated with his family to the U.S. at age 5, settling in Worcester, MA. He joined the viola section of the Fort Worth Symphony in 2005. Kustanovich has also played with the Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Seattle Symphonies, touring much of the US and Europe. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a violinist, later graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music as a violist.

Nikolette LaBonte

Horn

Nikolette LaBonte, a native of South Florida, is currently serving as the Principal Horn of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. She joined the FWSO in 2019 and is currently on leave from her position as Associate/Assistant/Utility Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra where she has served since 2016.

In addition, Nikolette has held positions with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Oahu Choral Society and has had had the opportunity to perform with orchestras across the country including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Syracuse-based Symphoria.

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.

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.

JOHN O’NEAL

percussion

O’Neal is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Music at Fort Lewis College and is the principal timpani with the San Juan Symphony Orchestra.  Additional professional experience includes performances with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony, Missouri Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.  O’Neal holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, and additional degrees from Florida State University and the University of Kansas.

ANDREW PARKER

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.

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

Steve Peterson has performed as principal trombone with the San Antonio Symphony since 2016. Steve has also performed with Dallas Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. He has a Bachelor of Music in trombone performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with David Jackson and a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman. Steve 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.

Steve has performed with many chamber groups including DFW Brass, Bishop Arts Brass, and the Dallas Symphony “Yes” Brass Quintet. Previous to moving to Texas in 2011, Steve played in jazz and commercial ensembles on Princess Cruise lines, which allowed him to travel to Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Steve is also a videographer and creates many original satirical and documentary videos that can be found on his YouTube channel stevepetersonproject.

Jeffrey Rogers

horn

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.

JOHN ROMERO

trombone

Romero is the new principal trombone of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  He has been an active and successful solo competitor, winning the Larry Wiehe competition in 2012 at the annual International Trombone Festival in Paris, as well as ITF’s Marstallar competition in 2013. In addition, he won the Big XII Trombone Conference Tenor Competition and Baylor University’s Concerto Competition. He has been a featured soloist at Blast of Brass’s summer festival.  Romero teaches privately in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and his students have been successful in placement auditions and competitions.  He has a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Baylor University, and a Master of Music from Rice University.

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.

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.

Robin Schulze

bass trombone

Schulze is currently a Civic Fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Prior to moving to Chicago, he was an active freelancer throughout Los Angeles, performing with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, Southeast Symphony, Redlands Symphony Orchestra, as well as recording for movie and video game soundtracks. He has been a fellow at Music Academy of the West, Moritzburg Festival Academy, and the Napa Valley Music Festival. He has served as a teaching artist for the Jumpstart Young Musicians Program at The Colburn School, a tuition-free program that provides music education for low-income Los Angeles area students. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and St. Olaf College.

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. 

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.

KATHERINE STEELE

oboe

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. 

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.

NATHAN UKENS

horn

Ukens has spent much of his career as an active chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral performer throughout the Southwest, but took up the position of fourth horn in the Sarasota Orchestra in the fall of 2018. Prior to moving to Florida, Nathan held the positions of principal horn of The Santa Fe Symphony and second horn in the New Mexico Philharmonic. As Company Manager of Chatter, an Albuquerque based chamber music organization putting on 60+ weekly concerts a year in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area, Nathan appeared as a soloist and chamber musician and became a fixture of the Albuquerque chamber music stage.  He has appeared as a soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Philharmonic, the New Mexico Symphonic Choir, and the Albuquerque Philharmonic. In addition to his Master of Music from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with Gregory Hustis, Ukens holds a Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma State University.

Ron Wasserman

Bass

Wasserman is a fourth generation musician and lifelong New Yorker, with a diverse record of performing, composing, commissioning, and producing.  Since his first professional gig in 1979 at age 18, he has logged well over 5,000 engagements in virtually every performing arts genre imaginable, the majority of them as the long-time principal bassist of the NYC Ballet Orchestra. Since 2014, he has been bandleader of the New York Jazzharmonic, which performs a wide array of projects, notably as the accompanists to The Ashley Bouder (dance) Project. Wasserman has been especially active in commissioning works by women composers and choreographers. During the pandemic he has ventured out into video production with other furloughed musicians and dancers. His Curbside Nutcracker got close to a half-million views on social media. Much of his work can be seen on his YouTube channel.

RICHARD WHITE

tuba

White is in his fourth season as a founding member and principal tuba of the New Mexico Philharmonic. He serves as Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of New Mexico. White has performed with the Canadian Brass Quintet, Malaysian Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and Indianapolis Symphony, and has recorded with film composer John Williams. Recently, Richard has been traveling around the world putting his passion for motivational speaking into action.

Matt Wilson

horn

Wilson started playing horn at the age of 9. He joined The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the 2017-18 season, after playing as a guest musician for many years. He has been principal horn of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra for the last 5 seasons (7?). He acted as associate principal horn with Minnesota Orchestra on their 2016 European tour and has been a frequent guest principal horn as well as a regular sub with them and the SPCO since 1999. He has also been guest associate principal horn with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, guest principal with the Florida Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony, among other engagements. He was principal horn of the Crested Butte Musical Festival for several years. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and his Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota.