Hailed as a performer with “intelligent musicianship…showing maturity above the rest,” Rebekah Alexander is a strong advocate of contemporary music, premiering works with Guerilla Opera, Time’s Arrow Ensemble, the Studio for New Music Ensemble, ALEA III, Boston Chance Orchestra, Boston University, and New England Conservatory. As part of the stunning Lorelei Ensemble, Rebekah recorded and performed the 2015 premiere of Kati Agocs' Debrecen Passion with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. In July 2012, she was invited to the soundSCAPE festival in Italy to work with renowned contemporary soprano Tony Arnold and to premiere Building Fractures by Carter John Rice.
An avid recitalist, Rebekah toured the greater New England area during the 2012/2013 season with classical guitarist David McLellan, presenting an all-English program including repertoire by Britten, Berkeley, Dodgson, and Leisner that explored the journey of an artist rediscovering her inspiration. Rebekah has appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, L’Academie de Nice, Mountain View Festival of Song, Songfest, and Buckhill/Skytop Music Festival, working with renowned musicians Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Rudolf Jansen, Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles, and Sarah Walker.
This past June, Rebekah was invited to perform contemporary vocal works at the OZ Arts Modular Pod Showcase as well as collaborate with Chatterbird Ensemble to present "1972: II. Game 13) by Halldór Smárason.
Flutist Arpi Anderson has been an active freelance performer in the Cincinnati area for over 15 years. She has played with many of the local orchestras and ensembles, including the Cincinnati Symphony and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestras. She is a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and performs regularly with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra in Germantown, TN.
Ms. Anderson holds degrees in performance from UCLA and has done graduate work in music theory and performance at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her major teachers have included Jack Wellbaum, Randy Bowman, Brad Garner, Sheridon Stokes, and Yaada Weber. Ms Anderson also has a wide variety of teaching experience, including private flute instruction, music theory and aural skills, and music history.
A native of San Francisco, Ms. Anderson is currently based in Cincinnati where she lives with her partner, pianist Joshua Nemith. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and practicing yoga.
Currently based in Chattanooga, cellist Heather Anderson teaches and performs as a chamber and orchestral musician. She performs frequently with the Chattanooga Symphony, as well as the Greenville and Oak Ridge Symphonies. She has served as principal cellist of the Orford Academy Orchestra in Quebec and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and has participated in the National Orchestral Institute and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
A passionate chamber musician, Heather has performed with chamber ensembles at various Chattanooga venues, including University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Lee University, Southern Adventist University, and Covenant College, as well as across the United States and in Montreal and Nîmes, France. In addition, she maintains a private cello studio in Chattanooga. Heather is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with David Ying of the Ying Quartet. A native of Minneapolis, MN, she also studied piano for over 10 years.
Jeff Bailey first performed with the Nashville Symphony in 1979. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 1981. His teachers include William Adam, Patrick McGuffey, Lou Ranger and Karl Zimmerman. Jeff has been a featured soloist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and he was a member of the Nashville Contemporary Brass Quintet for nine years.
He frequently performs with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra and is an active studio and freelance musician. A few of his record credits include Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Peter Cetera, Matchbox 20, Shelby Lynne, Billy Bob Thornton, Garth Brooks and the Neville Brothers. Jeff is married to principal second violinist Carolyn Wann Bailey and has two children, Elizabeth and Preston. His hobbies include cycling and motorcycles, and he is an avid caprine enthusiast.
Born in Hendersonville, TN, Preston has been playing the trumpet since he was 12 years old. After earning a Bachelor's of Performing Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University, Preston went to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and completed a Master's of Performing Arts. While at UMKC, Preston was a member of the Fellowship Brass Quintet, the first such brass group to exist at the university. As a member of the group, he was a finalist in the prestigious Coleman Chamber Music competition in 2010.
In January 2012, Preston began performing with the Nashville Symphony, sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Aretha Franklin, Miranda Lambert, Boyz II Men and many more. Beginning this Fall, Preston will resume his position as Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at MTSU. In addition to his symphonic work and private studio, Preston works regularly in recording studios throughout Nashville.
Sarah Berry, cello, is Professional in Residence at Western Kentucky University and cellist with Orchestra Kentucky. Mrs. Berry is a founding member of the cello/percussion duo, Col Legno. Since 2007, the duo has commissioned and premiered new compositions. They have performed at festivals and universities, and can be heard on the Equilibrium label. Mrs. Berry received her Masters in Cello Performance from Rice University and her Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University with majors in Cello Performance and German. Her principal teachers include Felix Wang, Norman Fischer and Grace Mihi Bahng.
Clarinetist Emily Bowland holds positions in the Nashville Opera Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Kentucky and is an active studio musician. Her recording credits include Jack White’s Grammy-nominated album “Blunderbuss” and The Lone Ranger (2013).
She received a BM from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and an MM from the University of Southern California. Her major teachers were Yehuda Gilad, Mitchell Lurie, and Richie Hawley.
She resides in Nashville with her husband, saxophonist Jimmy Bowland, and two children, Parker and Ila.
Paula Elizabeth Bressman, a native of Nashville, enjoys an active and varied performance career in both classical and pop genres. She plays regularly with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, is principal harpist of Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and was a finalist in Miami’s New World Symphony (2011-2012). As an orchestral musician, she has played with artists including Three Dog Night, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Neil Sedaka, Mark O’Connor, Frankie Valli, and Jennifer Nettles. Paula also plays with Music City Hitmakers (Nashville’s chart-topping songwriters) with whom she had the pleasure of backing Dan + Shay during the 2017 ASCAP Country Awards and 2017 CMA Music Festival.
Paula arranges and performs pop, rock, and classical music as half of the harp duo Beyond Pluck with Rachel Miller. The two present multimedia and multidisciplinary programs with astronomers, filmmakers, dancers, and drummers and have performed across the United States and Puerto Rico. They have also collaborated with neuroscientists and performed at the 2012 Neurosurgical Society of America Meeting as part of a “Music and the Brain” project with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and KV 265. Beyond Pluck has been featured in Nashville Arts Magazine, Houston Public Media’s Classical Classroom, and Harp Column. Their arrangement and recording of The Who’s Baba O’Riley is used in advertisements across the United Kingdom for telecommunications company TalkTalk.
A passionate music educator, Paula is on faculty at Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Vanderbilt University with Marian Shaffer and her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati's CollegeConservatory of Music under the tutelage of Gillian Benet Sella.
Originally from Memphis, critically acclaimed Contralto Gwendolyn Brown studied music at Fisk University, Nashville (where she is now Assistant Professor of Voice), the University of Memphis and the American Conservatory of Music, and participated in the young artist programs of Des Moines Metro Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has since performed for many of the top opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels. Earlier this year, she performed a tour de force of four contralto character roles for the Utah Festival Opera, including the Principessa in Suor Angelica, Queenie in Show Boat and Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Maria in Porgy and Bess.
She has performed her signature role of Maria in “Porgy and Bess” with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, New Orleans Opera and Washington National Opera as well as in Germany, Amsterdam and Brussels. Ms. Brown is a specialist in contemporary and avant guard compositions. Her recent performances in George Lewis’s new opera Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera were met with critical acclaim. She also created the lead role, Marie Laveau, in Anne LeBaron’s Crescent City for Los Angeles’ new opera company The Industry. An expert in American Negro spirituals, she was a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in its Beyond the Score project: Dvořák’s New World Symphony and has performed spirituals in recital as well as orchestrated presentations.
Taylor Brown is currently Principal Double Bass of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. Prior to his appointment to the CSO in 2012, Taylor was Principal Double Bass of the Youngstown (OH) Symphony Orchestra, and was a section member of the Canton (OH) and West Virginia Symphonies.
In addition to his orchestral and outreach work with the CSO, Taylor regularly performs with the Pittsburgh and Nashville Symphonies, has toured internationally with Barry Manilow, performed with Earth, Wind, and Fire, and is an active freelance session musician for wide-ranging commercial recording projects.
He serves on the faculty of Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts, and also maintains a private teaching studio in the Chattanooga area comprised of students of all ages and levels. Taylor works regularly with the bassists of the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestras and other area programs and schools, and has given masterclasses in both solo and orchestral performance at Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Duquesne University.
Strongly committed to empowering orchestral musicians and furthering the growth of regional orchestras, Taylor has served as a musicians’ representative on the board of directors of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, and as Chair of the CSO’s Orchestra and Negotiation Committees. Currently, he is both a Delegate and Executive Board Member-at-Large of the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA).
Taylor earned a Bachelor’s degree in Double Bass Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. His primary teachers were Jeffery Turner and Micah Howard of the Pittsburgh Symphony and John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Chris Butler received his BA bass performance from Michigan State University and his MM from Indiana University.
He has been a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 2007, and is now serving as Assistant Principal Bass.
Pianist Jihye Chang has appeared as soloist and collaborative artist in venues throughout the United States and abroad, and a strong devotion to new music has been a hallmark of her performing career. In 2008, Ms. Chang was chosen as the winner of the first annual Mikhashoff International Competition for Pianist-Composer Collaboration. She has premiered more than thirty new works, and has worked closely with composers John Harbison, George Perle, Ramon Zupko, Gunther Schuller, and Claude Baker, among others. She has also appeared in numerous new music festivals in academic institutions including Seoul National University and University of Louisville.
Together with violinist Benjamin Sung, she received a Recording Grant from the Aaron Copland Fund to record an album of works for violin and piano, which was released on the Albany Records label in 2013 to great critical acclaim. She has also recorded the music of Steve Rouse and Marc Satterwhite for Centaur.
Ms. Chang holds the degrees of Doctor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She received her Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Seoul National University. Recently she served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University's College of Music, and currently she is on the faculty of Brevard Music Center and Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy Aruba.
Kirsten Agresta Copely has performed extensively as a solo artist throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Israel, Japan, and the South Pacific. Known for her passionate performances and versatility, Kirsten commands a wide range of genres from classical to hip hop. She has been awarded top national and international prizes and honors, including the Bronze Medal in the prestigious 1989 USA International Harp Competition.
Kirsten debuted as concerto soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, where she has also performed numerous solo recitals. Following a feature in People Magazine, she was presented on segments of NBC, CBS, and ABC-TV and later made appearances on MTV, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, The Early Show, and the Today Show. She has played alongside artists such as Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, John Legend, The Roots, Frank Ocean, Enya, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood. She is featured on Erykah Badu's album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, and has recorded with Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, and Jennifer Nettles, among others.
Kirsten had the privilege of performing with Beyoncé for President & Mrs. Obama at the second official White House State Dinner, honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Kirsten received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Music in 2013.
Violinist of the Kaia String Quartet, Naomi Culp is a dedicated performer, collaborator, and educator in the greater Chicago area. As an experienced chamber, orchestral and solo artist Ms. Culp has performed extensively throughout the United States, Russia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. She was awarded first prize in the National Fine Arts Festival Competition, Washington, D.C. in 2003 where she gave a performance in front of the Capitol Building.
In 2011 Ms. Culp was invited to perform Schubert’s Cello Quintet with Yo-Yo Ma for Chicago Symphony’s Citizen Musician’s Week at the Fortnightly Club of Chicago. As a current member of the KAIA Quartet, she has worked with the Muir String Quartet and renown composer, Joan Tower, during her residency at Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival.
With an extensive orchestral career, Ms. Culp has served as Concertmaster of the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, Assistant Concertmaster of Harper Symphony and Guest Performer as Assistant Concertmaster of Miami Symphony. In addition, she is an alumna of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and currently performs with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra.
Outside the classical world, Ms. Culp enjoys collaborating with other ensembles and artists in jazz, independent rock, folk, and world music projects. She has also performed with touring and local musical theatre productions in the Midwest area. Currently Ms. Culp is a faculty member at DePaul University's Community Music Division. In addition, she maintains a private studio in the Barrington and Chicago area. Ms. Culp holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Roosevelt University’s Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. Her principle teachers have included Betty Haag, Desiree Ruhstrat, Yang Liu, Ilya Kaler and Mathias Tacke.
Rachel Drehmann is a New York City based French horn player and has appeared as a soloist with Berkshire Bach Society, Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and Burlington Chamber Orchestra. She performs with the American Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, and Argento Chamber Ensemble.
She served as the horn player for the Love This Giant tour with pop/rock icons David Byrne and St. Vincent on a whirlwind year-long tour playing shows all around the world. Rachel has recorded and shared the stage with Shakira, Kanye West, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Danny Harrison, Frank Ocean, and Bruce Springsteen. Her radio and television appearances have included NPR, David Letterman, Colbert Report and Jimmy Fallon. As a freelancer in New York, Rachel enjoys playing a wide range of styles and can be heard in numerous Broadway pits, Shakespeare in the Park, and is a member of Banda de Los Muertos.
Perhaps closest to her heart is Genghis Barbie, NYC's leading post post-feminist feminist all-female pop French horn experience, with whom she is a founding member. Since 2010, the group has recorded 4 studio albums and premiered a concerto for four horns at Carnegie Hall with the NY Youth Symphony. She enjoys teaching and performing at universities around the US.
Alicia Enstrom has recently returned to Nashville after touring the world for nearly ten years. Four and a half of those years was spent as the solo violinist/electric violinist for Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam. Prior to that she was the featured violinist with Cirque du Soleil’s holiday special, Wintuk, at the Madison Square Garden Theatre.
In 2010, she was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was chosen to be Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra. She was also chosen as Concertmaster/Leader of the Tanglewood Conductorless String Orchestra. Further, Alicia attended the Brevard Music Center and was selected as Concertmaster under Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor, where she was soloist in Stravinsky's Pulcinella.
From 2005 to 2008, Alicia performed on stages throughout the world as the lead violinist/fiddler, vocalist, pianist and dancer with the International Violin Show, Barrage. She was a featured soloist in both Barrage’s High Strung stage show, CD and DVD as well as their holiday album, Winter’s Tale. In addition, she can be seen in a Barrage TV Special for the Bravo! Network Canada. Prior to Barrage, she attended the Henry Mancini Institute.
Originally from Kansas, Alicia graduated from Vanderbilt University magna cum laude with a degree in Music Performance and a minor in Organizational Development, studying both fiddle and jazz in addition to her classical studies as a student of Christian Teal.
Alan Fey is a classically-trained percussionist (and conductor) who specializes in solo and chamber music. Based in Nashville, his primary focus is on the creation of new music, having been involved in the commissioning and world premieres of more than 12 works in just the last 4 years. Alan has performed in spaces ranging from the Zeitgeist Art Gallery to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and from conundrum music hall in Columbia, SC to Millennium Park in Chicago to Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition to live performances, Alan has contributed to sessions in Nashville and can be heard on the final track of Music for the Soul’s Dignity album.
Alan studied primarily with Chris Norton at Belmont University, where he earned his Bachelor & Master of Music degrees in percussion performance from Belmont University. He spent a year in Dresden studying with Bernhard Schmidt, timpanist with the Dresdner Staatskapelle at the Hochscule für Musik. Alan has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and eighth blackbird, as a concerto soloist with the Nashville Philharmonic and Belmont Symphony Orchestras, in various chamber settings, and frequently as a soloist throughout the southeast. He has performed under conductors Giancarlo Guerrero, Hartmut Haenchen, Ekkehard Klemm, Kelly Corcoran, and Chris Norton.
Oboist Jared Hauser has been described as “melodious and spontaneous” by ArtsNash, and as a “sensitive, elegant soloist” with a “subtle refined style” by Gramaphone Magazine. Appointed to the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Hauser maintains an international performing stature, concertizing at home and abroad. Upcoming appearances include performances across the eastern United States and at the Berlin Philharmonie.
A great proponent of new music, Hauser has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by many of today’s brightest composers. Recent collaborations include the premier of Monk’s Oboe by Libby Larsen, Stan Link’s Dispatches from Devereux Slough, and consortium premier of Crossroads by John Harbison.
Hauser’s orchestral credits include a seven-year tenure as principal oboe of the Orlando Philharmonic, as well as appearances as guest principal with the Orchestra Camerata Ducale (Turin, Italy), the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Atlanta and Houston; as well as performances with many of the nation’s finest orchestras including the Nashville Symphony.
Jun Iwasaki was appointed concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero at the beginning of the 2011/12 season. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s prestigious Concertmaster Academy, he has been hailed for his combination of dazzling technique and lyrical musicianship. In a review of Iwasaki’s performance at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Fort Worth Star Telegram called him “the magician of the evening. He could reach into his violin and pull out bouquets of sound, then reach behind your ear and touch your soul.”
Prior joining the Nashville Symphony, Iwasaki served as concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony from 2007-11, and he performed with that ensemble at the first annual Spring For Music Festival in 2011. Throughout his career, he has appeared with numerous other orchestras, including the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Rome (Georgia) Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, Canton Symphony, Richardson Symphony, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. In addition, he has served as guest concertmaster of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2015, Santa Barbara Symphony in 2010 and National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa in 2006. He served in the same position with the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra from 2005-07.
In addition to teaching at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, Iwasaki is the artistic director of Portland Summer Ensembles in Portland, Oregon, a workshop for young musicians focusing on chamber music.
Matt is currently the Concert Percussion Marketing Manager for Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments, and Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Middle Tennessee State University. He has completed all coursework for the Doctor of Music degree from the Florida State University, has completed a Master's Degree from the University of North Texas, as well as a Bachelor's Degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He is also currently the front ensemble arranger for Music City Mystique and the assistant music ensemble coordinator for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Matt has also taught and arranged for numerous other groups throughout the world, including Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps (2015), Phantom Regiment (2011-2014), Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps (2007-2010), Max Percussion (Bangkok, Thailand), Bangkok Society Drumline, Franklin High School, and Father Ryan High School.
Matt performs regularly with the Nashville Symphony, and has previously performed with the Tallahassee Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tennessee Philharmonic. While at UNT, Matt performed with the world-renowned University of North Texas Wind Symphony, as well as the 1 O'Clock and 2 O'Clock Lab Bands. Matt also travels abroad frequently, having performed in Mexico, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan. In the summer of 2010 he traveled to Ghana in West Africa to study Ewe drumming.
Matt is a proud artist and clinician for Pearl/Adams instruments, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, and Evans Drumheads.
Ji Hye Jung is Associate Professor of Percussion at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and principal percussionist with the west coast-based chamber music ensemble Camerata Pacifica. An advocate for new music, she has commissioned works by Kevin Puts, Alehandro Viñao, Lukas Ligeti, Paul Lansky, Jason Treuting, Michael Torke, David Bruce, Huang Ruo, and John Serry.
Ms. Jung garnered consecutive first prizes at the 2006 Linz International Marimba Competition and the 2007 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition while completing a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
As an artist endorser, she proudly represents Pearl/Adams instruments, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.
Praised for her thoughtful and compelling musical interpretations, cellist Christine Kim has performed in concert series throughout North America and Europe, including Da Camera of Houston, the Foundation for Modern Music, the International Holland Music Sessions, and the Curaçao Summer Music Festival. Since moving to Tennessee in 2011, she has played regularly with ensembles throughout the region, including the Nashville Opera, the IRIS Orchestra, the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and the Stones River Chamber Players. She also appears regularly as a Baroque cellist, and has played with Music City Baroque, Ensemble 1720, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.
Christine is currently Assistant Professor of Cello at Middle Tennessee State University, where she works with both undergraduate and graduate students. She maintains a large private studio and is a sought after guest clinician. She has taught for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Tennessee Valley Music Festival, the Tennessee Cello Workshop, and the ETHOS Music Ensembles. Before joining the MTSU music faculty, she taught at Luther College and Rice University. Her students have attended festivals, masterclasses, and graduate programs throughout the United States and Europe.
Christine holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and Rice University. Her principal teachers include Hans Jørgen Jensen, Paul Katz, and Norman Fischer.
A native of South Korea, Eunbyol Ko has been praised for her artistry and intelligence as a soloist and chamber musician. She maintains an active international career, with performances in Canada, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, China, South Korea, and the United States. As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with the Kyungwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queen City Chamber Orchestra, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. She is a prize-winner in numerous national and international competitions.
A dedicated chamber musician, Ko has performed with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic. She has also served as a chamber music coach for the Starling String Project and has been the official collaborative pianist for the Young-Pyong International Clarinet Festival in South Korea, the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Austria, and the Great Wall International Music Academy in China. /p>
Ko is currently on the piano faculty at Middle Tennessee State University. Her students have been the recipients of numerous national and international awards, including MTNA state and regional competitions, the National YoungArts Competition, and the Dayton Philharmonic Competition. She also maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator, presenter, and masterclass teacher.
Ko received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Masters degree in Piano from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Neil Konouchi is a freelance tuba player based in Nashville, TN. He has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Jack White, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Michael W. Smith. As an orchestral musician, Neil serves as principal tubist for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and is a regular substitute/extra with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He appears with the NSO on Naxos recordings 8.570716 (Pictures at an Exhibition) and 8.559678 (Morning’s Embrace). Neil is a founding member of Halfbrass and a touring member of Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band.
Prior to relocating to Nashville, Neil played tuba and bass trombone as a cast member in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. He attended the University of Southern California where he studied with legendary studio musicians Tommy Johnson and Jim Self and later finished his degree at Berklee College of Music.
Aside from performing, Neil is an experienced music educator, clinician, and adjudicator. He currently serves on the design team and as brass caption head for Father Ryan High School (Nashville, TN).
Carl Larson, violist, hails from Louisville, KY where he was a young participant in the Suzuki Viola Method. He maintains an active performing career as a member of symphony, chamber, opera, and ballet orchestras in New York, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, and the Dominican Republic.
Carl has also been a part of North American tours with San Francisco's JazzMafia, Deltron 3030, Barry Manilow, and many Nashville artists. Summer engagements include performing at the Endless Mountain, Montreal Jazz, Artosphere, Bard, Interlochen, Aspen, and New Hampshire festivals as well as chamber music festivals in France and the Czech Republic with the Manhattan String Quartet. He holds degrees in Mathematics and Viola Performance, and studied with Catharine Carroll and Masao Kawasaki at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Carl is also actively involved with the Miami, Cincinnati, and Nashville chapters of Classical Revolution, a project which seeks to revolutionize the way live classical music is programmed and heard by offering chamber music performances in highly accessible venues such as bars and cafés, and collaborating with local musicians and artists from various styles and backgrounds.
Deanna R. Little, professor of flute at Middle Tennessee State University, holds a BME from the University of Northern Iowa, a MM and DM in flute performance and literature from Indiana University. As an active performer, Little, is a member of the Stones River Chamber Players and the MTSU Faculty Wind Quartet.
She is a frequent performer with the Nashville Opera, the Nashville Symphony, and has performed in numerous commercial recording projects. Her teachers include Kate Lukas, James Scott, Peter Lloyd, Trevor Wye and Angeleita Floyd. In addition to her teaching duties at MTSU, Little teaches on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts and is the Collegiate Flute Choir coordinator for the National Flute Association. Her CD, Inspirations from Tennessee, “The Dolly Project”, will be released in 2017. Deanna Little is an Altus artist.
JEFF LISENBY music directed, arranged, and performed in the Broadway version of RING OF FIRE, played keyboards on the Cast album, and was in many subsequent versions of the show, as well as on the Today Show. Jef was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2012 as music director.
Lisenby has played keyboards with the touring shows of: WICKED, CITY OF ANGELS, and JERSEY BOYS, and has accompanied: Brenda Lee, Pavarotti, Chip Esten, Blake Shelton, Mel Tormé, Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, and Donna Summer. He has also been blessed to get to play in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Ryman Auditorium.
Jeff has won silver and bronze medals for the U.S. in two international classical accordion championships. He currently works with the singers on cruise ship production shows, so he gets to travel all over the world doing what he loves. Jef also teaches adjunct in the School of Music at Belmont University, and plays keyboards on many Nashville recordings, including the Grammy-winning CD: Songs from the Neighborhood—the music of Mister Rogers, and his own A Spy in Tortuga (jazz accordion with a band) and Walkin’ The Winter Wonderland (solo piano holiday music).
David Loucky, Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at Middle Tennessee State University, is widely known as a low brass specialist. A faculty member at MTSU since 1989, he also performed for two seasons as Assistant Principal Trombonist with the St. Louis Symphony. He has performed or recorded with Ben Folds, Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Gladys Knight, Trey Anastasio, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Stones River Chamber Players, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, the MTSU Faculty Brass Quintet and many others.
Loucky earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, a Master of Music from Yale School of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He pursued additional studies in Cologne, Germany and Vienna, Austria in both classical and jazz traditions.
Loucky has commissioned and premiered many chamber and solo pieces for trombone and euphonium. His performances of contemporary solos for trombone are well-known, notably those of Luciano Berio, David Amram, Jacob Druckman, Folke Rabe and others.
San Diego based clarinetist Curt Dallace Miller specializes in the performance of contemporary chamber music. A frequent collaborator with composers, Curt has performed in dozens of premieres and worked with established composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, Rebecca Saunders, Roger Reynolds and Lewis Nielson on performances of their solo and chamber ensemble works. He has performed internationally in ensembles and as soloist at venues such as the Lucerne Festival, Harvard's Fromm Players series, Monday Evening Concerts and wasteLAnd.
As member of the trio Ensemble et cetera he has begun to expand the repertoire for clarinet, double bass, and percussion through commissions and realizations of works for open instrumentation. Through his more recent interest in electronics and sound installation Curt works with visual artist Nichole Speciale on installations which reference and extend drawing and painting through sound and video.
Violinist Victoria Moreira, founding member of the Kaia String Quartet, has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia and South America. First Prizewinner of Viva El Tango Agustin Carlevaro Competition and Music Director of the American Tango Institute, Moreira’s diverse musical background keeps her involved internationally in the Tango scene.
Moreira is a faculty member at DePaul University Community Music Division and has a private studio in the Chicago area. Some of her educational projects include Tango workshops for violinists at Old Town School of Folk Music, outreach concerts of Tango and Latin American Music through Evanston in School Music Association, collaborations with Ravinia Festival and outreach workshops with Promotora de las Bellas Artes in Mexico.
Moreira studied at Escuela Universitaria de Musica, Montevideo Uruguay under Jorge Risi, received her Bachelor of Music at Roosevelt University under Vadim Gluzman and her Master of Music and Artist Certificate at DePaul University under Ilya Kaler. She also did a residency at Northern Illinois University with the Kaia String Quartet under the tutelage of the Avalon String Quartet.
Louise Morrison was born in Dublin, Ireland, and began playing the violin at age 8. She graduated from Dublin College with the Gold Medal for Highest Performance and won first prizes in many Irish national competitions. She furthered her studies in America with a Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from Indiana University, where she was a student of Paul Biss. She has performed solo and chamber recitals, as well as national radio broadcasts, in Europe and the U.S. A member of the Nashville Symphony since 2007, Ms. Morrison spends her summers at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole Wyoming and is a frequent collaborator with the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble.
Nashville native Tim Pearson performs regularly with the Nashville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, IRIS Orchestra and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. As instructor of double bass at MTSU, he performs with the Stones River Chamber Players and recently premiered the “Iberian Concerto for Double Bass and Wind Ensemble” by Spanish composer Jesus Santandreu.
Tim earned degrees from the University of Memphis and Indiana University and did additional studies with Bruce Bransby and Paul Ellison. Tim resides in Nashville with his wife, pianist Megan Gale.
Gil Perel joined the Nashville Symphony in September of 2003 at the request of then music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn. Gil studied at Boston University with Gregg Henegar, Richard Ranti, and Richard Svoboda.
Before coming to Nashville, he was the Principal Bassoon of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under the direction of Claudio Abbado. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Symphony and other various orchestras in the Boston area.
In a recent review, Fanfare Magazine (Nov./Dec. 2014) stated that Michael Samis’s playing places him “in the very highest echelon of the world’s living cellists.” He is recognized for his “golden tone and commanding technique (Nashville Scene), “haunting” tone (The Cincinnati Post) and “shining and expressive” playing (The Tennessean). In 2013, he gave what was likely the U.S. premiere of Carl Reinecke’s Romantic-era Cello Concerto with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, which set the stage for his debut solo album on the Delos label, released in 2014.
Other career highlights include performing as Principal Cellist under Helmuth Rilling, at Carnegie
Hall with the New York String Orchestra, and at the Sarasota and Kent/Blossom chamber music
festivals. He has performed in music festivals around the world, including the Pacific Music Festival
in Japan, where he sat Principal Cello under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas.
Photo Credit Dean Dixon
Anna Spina, a native of Skokie, IL, has established herself as an active freelancer in the Nashville area, regularly playing in studio recording sessions and with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her work in Nashville, she performs and tours frequently with The Chicago Symphony, and has had the privilege of playing with other orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony.
Before moving to Nashville, Anna held two one year positions with the Atlanta Symphony as their 3rd horn, and the St. Louis Symphony as their 2nd Horn. She received her Bachelors degree from Northwestern University, and attended the Colburn School in Los Angeles for her certificate. She is currently living in Nashville, TN with her husband Paul and her two puppies, Charlie and Dory.
Latin Grammy nominated composer Cristina Spinei (b. 1984) is in demand from choreographers, film directors, and musicians. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Bohemian Trio, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Denison University Orchestra, Ebony Strings Quartet, Écouter Ensemble, ETA3 Trio, Gallim Dance, Golden Hornet Project, Kathleen Dyer Dance NY, London Central School, Mary Seidman and Keystone Dancers, the Metropolis Ensemble, MuSE, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay OSSODRE, New York Chamber Music Festival, New York Choreographic Institute, New York Piano Quartet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, St. Johnʼs Church, St. Michel Strings, and Treetops Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Spinei is the recipient of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Grant for Composition, two Composer Assistance Awards from the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts composition grant, and the New York State Council on the Arts composition grant.
As a co-founder of the group Blind Ear, Ms. Spinei produces interdisciplinary concerts that fuse
new technology with contemporary music. Ms. Spinei received her BM and MM in composition from the Juilliard School where she studied
with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Christopher Rouse.
W. Lee Vinson is a freelance percussionist based in Nashville, Tennessee. For four seasons, from 2007 through 2011, he was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and from 2000 to 2004 served as a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. Mr. Vinson holds a bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of John Beck, and has done graduate study at Boston University. He also attended summer music festivals at Interlochen, Tanglewood, and the Brevard Music Center.
Since leaving Boston, Mr. Vinson has maintained an active performing schedule including appearances as an extra percussionist with the orchestras of Detroit, Toronto, Houston, Colorado, Kansas City, and Nashville. A dedicated music educator, Mr. Vinson was a guest lecturer at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York during the 2014 – 2015 academic year while also serving on the music faculty of the University of Kansas in an adjunct capacity. He was previously a faculty member at Boston University, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Interlochen Arts Camp.
An avid snare drum historian, Mr. Vinson maintains a collection of greater than sixty antique instruments, more than forty of which were manufactured in Boston dating from the 1860s through the 1930s.
W. Lee Vinson is a performing artist and clinician for Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Malletech LLC. Mr. Vinson is originally from Auburn, Alabama.
Marie Winget began her musical studies in the public schools of Peoria, Il. She then attended Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. in Economics. After working in the business world for a few years, the pull of music led her to pursue a Masters in Music from Northern Illinois University, working as the graduate assistant to Richard Young of the Vermeer Quartet. Other teachers have included Rami Solomonow, Robert Swan, Li-Quo Chang, Burton Kaplan, and Roland Vamos. She held the position of Assistant Principal Viola of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra from 1997-2005 and also has performed with the Nashville, Richmond and Milwaukee Ballet Orchestras.
An active chamber musician, she has collaborated with musicians from the southeast as well as the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera, and has participated in the Colorado Music Festival, Penninsula Music Festival, and the Foothills Chamber Music Festival. When not playing the viola, Marie loves to be in the out-of-doors, enjoying such activities as hiking, mountain-biking, skiing, tennis, and running.