SSMF Faculty for 2013
Lin He, violin
Jonathan Magness, violin
Brittany MacWilliams, violin
Nurit Pacht, violin
Matthew Michelic, viola
Katherine Lewis, viola
Daphne Gerling, viola
Paul York, cello
Anthony Kitai, cello
Sidney A. King, double bass
Marian Shaffer, harp
Frances Cobb, harp assistant
Patricia George, flute
Robert Stephenson, oboe
Hunter Thomas, bassoon
Robert Patterson, clarinet
Amy Griffiths, saxophone
David Brockett, horn
Peter Bond, trumpet
Mark Babbitt, trombone
Eric Bubacz, tuba
John Kilkenny, percussion
Gary Hammond, piano
Rami Vamos, Education & Community Engagement
Faculty Guests Artists
The 2012-2013 season of concerts will take violinist Lin He from solo, chamber recitals in the states of California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and mainland China to orchestral leadership of the Baton Rouge Symphony, Lake Charles Symphony (where he will make his debut as the violin soloist of the Sibelius Violin Concerto), Rapides Symphony and Shreveport Symphony. In January, 2013, he will appear as the soloist of the Schubert Rondo with the Louisiana Sinfonietta.
As a soloist and chamber musician, violinist Lin He has performed concertos with the Drake Symphony, the Houghton Philharmonia, the Jiang Su Symphony, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the Southern Tier Symphony, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, and the Wooster Symphony. He has also presented recitals at universities across the United States as well as at the East China Normal University, the Nanjing School of the Arts, the Xi’an Conservatory of Music and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music. Most recently, he performed solo recitals and gave master classes at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University, San Diego State University, SUNY Fredonia, and Tulane University.
As an orchestral player, Mr. He has performed with the Shanghai Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and New World Symphony, and has worked under the direction of Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James DePreist, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, David Robertson, Christopher Seaman, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman. He is a regular addition to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Summer festival appearances have taken Mr. He to venues such as the Music Academy of the West and the Tanglewood Music Center where he had a solo performance in Ozawa Hall in 2001. In 2005, Mr. He appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, where he served as Assistant Principal Second Violin for the Festival Orchestra and was the featured violinist for the world premiere concert of American-Chinese composer Huang Ruo. Lin He has been a laureate of the Padesta Solo Competition, the ASTA competition, and a finalist for the Marlboro Music School and Festival. Mr. He received the Creative Achievement Award, the William Forest Chamber Music Award, and the 2003 John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music. Mr. He has been featured on several live radio broadcasts and on the 8 CD set of The Complete Musician (a theory textbook written by Steven Laitz at the Eastman School of Music).
Mr. He has previously taught at Eastman School of Music and Pennsylvania State University. He is now serving as Assistant Professor of Violin at the Louisiana State University School of Music, and the President of the Louisiana String Teachers’ Association. During the summer, he teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Born in Shanghai, China, Mr. He began his musical training at the age of five. Mr. He received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Zvi Zeitlin. Other major influences include Sylvia Rosenberg, Paul Kantor, Kyung Sun Lee, James Lyon, Joanne Feldman, and Peiwen Yuan.
His recent CD release from Centaur Records of French Sonatas for Violin and Piano with colleague Gregory Sioles received favorable reviews.
His website is www.linheviolin.com
Alabama native Jonathan Magness was appointed the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal second violin in September 2008, after performing as a regular substitute with the Orchestra’s first violin section for one full season. He has performed chamber works at several Orchestra concerts, including Schumann’s Piano Quartet at the 2009 Sommerfest. He was featured as soloist at Inside the Classics and Young People’s Concerts in 2010, performing music by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.
Magness has been acquainted with the Twin Cities since his teenage years, when he studied at the University of Minnesota, working with Sally O’Reilly. He has also earned a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a master’s, with high distinction, from the University of Graz in Austria.
Magness has won prizes in numerous competitions. In 2004 he received the grand prize in the International Sparkasse Musikstipendium competition in Austria. In 2005, in the Luis Sigall Violin Competition in Chile, he was awarded the audience prize, prize for best interpretation of a commissioned work, and second prize overall; that same year he was a prizewinner in the Manchester International Competition in the United Kingdom, which brought him the opportunity to appear as soloist with the BBC Symphony under Vassily Sinaisky. He has also been soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Klagenfurt Musikverein, Regional Orchestra of Chile and additional orchestras in the U.S. and Austria, and has performed chamber music and solo recitals across the U.S., South America and Europe. Magness has been on the faculty at Bravo! Music Festival since 2006.
Violinist Brittany MacWilliams has an active career both as performer and educator. She made her professional violin debut at age ten with the Louisville Orchestra and went on to win numerous competitions including the Music Teachers National Association competition. Since then, Ms. MacWilliams has performed extensively as soloist and concertmaster in such diverse locales as Istanbul, Beijing, Salzburg, Munich, Lisbon, and New York. She has had solo engagements with such orchestras as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Munich Hochshule Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony, and Aspen Chamber Symphony. Ms. MacWilliams can be heard as soloist on two critically acclaimed compact discs of Giornovichi Violin Concerti for the Arte Nova Classics/BMG label.
As a frequent recitalist and avid chamber musician, Ms. MacWilliams performs in duos, piano trios, and string quartets throughout the United States. She is a founding member of the Baur Quartet and the Xavier Trio and has recorded four compact discs for the Vital Sounds label, including the Ten Celebrated String Quartets of W.A. Mozart. She can also be heard on “Passion from the Romantic Era,” a CD featuring Brahms’ Violin Sonata in D minor. She was chosen as resident artist for the Next Generation Music Festival where she toured and performed with the Baur Quartet and pianist Awadagin Pratt.
Ms. MacWilliams is currently a member of the violin faculty at the University of Louisville School of Music. She is also the founder and director of the Oldham County Chamber Ensemble, where she conducts the Chamber Orchestra and teaches chamber music. She taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a member of the Violin faculty from 2001-2008. She was also a member of the violin faculty at Xavier University, where she taught violin, viola, and chamber music for six years. She was the Director and a member of the Violin faculty of the Starling Preparatory String Project at the University of Cincinnati for twelve years. During the summers, she has served on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing.
Ms. MacWilliams was the first winner of the prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship in 2001, and over the years her students have won national competitions, performed with major orchestras, and received music scholarships to many top universities and conservatories. Ms. MacWilliams received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy DeLay.
Violinist Nurit Pacht was selected as one of the “Stars of the Year 2000″ by Le Monde de la Musique and since then her career has blossomed with appearances in London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Moscow’s Great Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, The People’s Hall of China in Beijing and at Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series. Chosen by director Robert Wilson to be the featured musician in his multi-media piece Relative Light featuring solo violin works by John Cage’s and J.S. Bach, Nurit is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the contemporary.
Last season, Nurit performed as soloist in collaboration with the dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones in one of Europe’s greatest Cathedrals, the Duomo in Milan as well as at Kennedy Center and on tour in many U.S. capitals with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company culminating in performances at the Lincoln Center Summer Festival. She is now in her third season serving as the artistic director of the “Alliance Players,” a dynamic group of musicians who perform innovative programs in New York City. Nurit performed in duo recitals with Philip Glass playing the composer’s works for violin and piano. She commissioned and premiered works from other leading composers including, Michael Hersch, Noam Sheriff, Annie Gosfield and Octavio Vazquez.
Nurit has toured as soloist with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. She also performed the world premiere of Noam Sheriff’s Violin Concerto Dibrot , a work dedicated to her, with the Israeli Contemporary Players in a radio broadcast from Jerusalem and in the Contemporary Music Festival in Tel-Aviv. Nurit was also the soloist on a tour of China with the Young Israel Philharmonic, performing in the major concert venues of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In the United States she has been a soloist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Alliance Players, American Youth Symphony and Santa Rosa Symphony. In Italy she performed with the Filarmonica di Roma, in Poland and Germany with the Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra, with most of the major orchestras of Romania including the Georges Enesco Philharmonic and with the National Symphony of Columbia.
In the spring of 1996, immediately following the cease-fire, she concertized in six of the worst war-devastated cities of Bosnia to enthusiastic audiences of the three ethnic minorities, with the sponsorship of the United Nations and the European Mozart Foundation. At the invitation of the European Commission she also performed on the occasion of the inauguration of the European Monetary Union in Bruxelles. She was heard at the festivals of Santa Fe, Mecklenberg Vorpommern, Divonne, Stresa, Kfar Blum, George Crumb, Tartini, Monadnock and, at the invitation of Christoph Eschenbach, performed in Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series. One of her live performances from Wigmore Hall was released by Nimbus records.
Nurit Pacht grew up in Texas and made her first solo public appearance on national television at the age of 12. In 1990, at age seventeen, she made her U.S. solo debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and has since won top prizes in international competitions in Europe and the United States, including the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland. She plays on a violin made by P. Guarneri in 1750.
Matthew Michelic enjoys a diverse musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. Mr. Michelic has been praised in the Denver Post as projecting “an extraordinarily rich viola sound”, and the Milwaukee Sentinel viewed his performance of Hindemith’s Trauermusik as a “touching, masterful interpretation”. He has concertized throughout the United States and internationally as a member of the Kenwood, Da Vinci and Delos Quartets, and he has collaborated with artists such as Robert McDonald, Jeffrey Solow, the Amelia Piano Trio, the Prometheus Trio, the Fine Arts Quartet, and the Capela Quartet of Portugal. Mr. Michelic has recorded on the Orion and CRI labels, has been a featured recitalist on WFMT radio in Chicago, and appears regularly on live chamber music broadcasts of Wisconsin Public Radio as a recitalist and as a member of the Lawrence Chamber Players. He has appeared as recitalist for meetings of the International Viola Society, the Chicago Viola Society and the International Double Reed Society.
Mr. Michelic has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and has served as principal violist of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. He currently serves as principal violist of the Green Bay Symphony and the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. His solo appearances with orchestra include such major works as Harold in Italy, Flos Campi, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and the Frank Martin Ballade.
Mr. Michelic holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Indiana University. He has studied at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Montreux, Switzerland. His principal teachers include Bernard Zaslav and Mimi Zweig, and he has performed in the master classes of Paul Doktor, Bruno Giuranna and William Primrose. His chamber music coaches include members of the Cleveland, Fine Arts, Guarneri, Juilliard and Vermeer Quartets.
Mr. Michelic has served as an artist-in-residence at the Colorado College, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Delaware. His summer faculty appointments have included the Indiana University String Academy, the International School for Musical Arts in Ontario, the Green Lake Music Festival in Wisconsin and the CREDO Program in Oberlin, Ohio. He has presented master classes at schools of music across the United States and at the national conservatories of China (Beijing) and Vietnam (Hanoi). Beginning in 2013 he will be teaching at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Very recently, Mr. Michelic has been engaged by D’Addario and Company as one of their Professional Artists, reflecting his interest in the work of contemporary luthiers and ongoing acoustical research.
Currently Mr. Michelic serves on the faculty of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, where his teaching activities include viola, chamber music coaching, orchestral literature for strings and an upper-level course focused on the history of the string quartet. The former students of Mr. Michelic now teach in public school, community school and university settings and perform in professional chamber and orchestral ensembles in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Violist Katherine Lewis enjoys a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, solo performer, and orchestral musician. She is Assistant Professor of Viola at Illinois State University and Master Teacher for the ISU String Project, and currently performs as principal viola in the Peoria Symphony, Heartland Festival Orchestra, and Peoria Bach Festival Orchestra. Her previous orchestral experience includes appointments in the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, TX and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as frequent work with the Houston and New World Symphonies
An avid chamber musician, Dr. Lewis regularly performs with the ISU Faculty String Quartet, the MYA Chamber Players, and the Lewis Trio. She recently premiered Libby Larsen’s viola duo “In Such a Night,” written for her and violist James Dunham for a performance at the 38th International Viola Congress. She has also recorded chamber music by composers Karim Al-Zand and John Allemeier for recordings on the Naxos Record Label.
A recipient of several awards and grants for her teaching and research, including the ISU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award and the ISU College of Fine Arts Research Initiative Award, Dr. Lewis has given recitals, presentations, and master classes at venues throughout the country. She has presented sessions at several conferences including the International Double Reed Society Conference, the American String Teacher’s Association National Conference, the College Music Society Great Lakes Conference, and the Chicago Viola Festival. Recent recital and master class highlights include appearances at the University of Tennessee Viola Celebration, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory, Kansas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lawrence University, and Valdosta State University.
Dr. Lewis earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she was a Brown Foundation Scholar. She holds a Bachelor degree from Lawrence University and a Master’s degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Her principal teachers include Jeffrey Irvine, James Dunham, Karen Ritscher, and Matthew Michelic.
Dr. Lewis is a native of Evanston, IL. In her free time she enjoys training for and running marathons and triathlons, gardening, and spending time with her dog Charley.
Violist Daphne Gerling currently enjoys an active career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist and solo performer. Since the fall of 2011 she has been on the faculty of the University of North Texas College of Music, where she is Artist Teacher of viola and chamber music. Her performances have taken her to leading venues in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria, England, the Netherlands, and Germany, and to music festivals including Aspen, Bowdoin, Encore, NYU, Sarasota, Bad Leonfelden, Norfolk (UK), Staunton (VA), Düsseldorf-Benrath, Internationale Händel Festspiele Karlsruhe, and Neuburg, Bavaria. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Walnut Hill School and New England Conservatory, and holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Rice University, where she studied primarily with Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Karen Ritscher and James Dunham. She furthered her studies with Thomas Riebl, Simon Rowland-Jones and Heidi Castleman, among others.
From 2005-2007 Dr. Gerling was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Music in England, and violist of the Anglian Ensemble.
She has recently been a guest artist or clinician at James Madison University, Rice University, Illinois State University, Florida State University, University of South Carolina, Sewanee, University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, Texas Tech University, University of Virginia, and the Federal Universities of Rio Grande do Sul, Brasília (UNB), Belo Horizonte (UFMG), Santa Catarina (UDESC), Rio de Janeiro (Uni-Rio) and Uberlândia, Brazil. From 2008-2010 she served as Lecturer in Viola at Valdosta State University (GA), Principal Violist of the Valdosta Symphony, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and Director of the South Georgia String Project. In the 2010-11 season she was invited by the VSO to return as soloist in Mozart’s Sinfonie Concertante. Every year since 2007 she has served as coordinator for viola and chamber music at the Festival de Cordas Nathan Schwartzman in Uberlândia Brazil, where she also made several concerto appearances. As an adjudicator she recently served on the panel for the 2013 Houston Symphony Orchestra league competition. In summers she is on the faculty at the Rafael Trio Chamber Music Workshops in New Hampshire and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, with whom she has broadcast twice for National Public Radio. She spent the 2010-11 year studying baroque performance practice in Amsterdam and Cologne, and served as principal violist for the Karlsruhe International Händel Festspiele Opernwerkstatt at the Badische Stadtstheater. This season she joins the roster of Dallas’ Chamber Music International Series performing Brahms’ String Sextet Op. 18. Other solo and chamber performances in recent years have revealed a wide-ranging repertoire including works by Duruflé, Hahn, Schulhoff, Kurtág, Larsen, Fauré, Milhaud, Enesco, Bach, Gubaidulina, Debussy and others. Dr. Gerling is married to Coulter George, a professor of classics at the University of Virginia, with whom she enjoys traveling around the world.
An accomplished soloist, chamber musician and teacher, Paul York has appeared in recital and with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. York serves on the string faculty at the University of Louisville, where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule. Recent solo appearances include a performance of Karel Husa’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra by Aaron Jay Kerniswith the Louisville Orchestra and Vivaldi’s Double Concerto in G Minor with internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Of his performance at Carnegie Hall, New York Concert Reviews said “The fiendishly difficult solo part was brilliantly played by cellist Paul York; one had to be in awe of his playing.”
An avid chamber musician, Mr. York is a member of the Louisville String Quartet and was a founding member of The Logsdon Chamber Ensemble, a Texas Commission of the Arts Touring ensemble as well as ensemble-in-residence at Hardin-Simmons University. In April of 2006, he performed recitals throughout Japan. As a champion of contemporary music, Mr. York has commissioned works for the cello by such composers as Stefan Freund, Marc Satterwhite, Steve Rouse, Paul Brink, and Fredrick Speck. He also premiered the work Ballad for Solo Cello and Seven Cellos by Grawemeyer and Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron jay Kernis as well as Alfred Bartle’s new orchestration of Bartok’s First Rhapsody for cello with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra.
Mr. York has participated in numerous summer festivals. He is currently a member of the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where he performs solo and chamber works, in addition to his teaching schedule. He has also performed at Strings in the Mountains in Colorado, the Abilene Chamber Music Series, and served as principal cello with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. He has held principal cello positions with numerous regional orchestras and performed as a member of the cello section of the Saint Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. York received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and his master of music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. Other teachers include Gabor Rejto, and Louis Potter. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. York was selected to participate in the prestigious Piatigorsky seminar at the University of South California. Mr. York can be heard on the Centaur, Arizona University Press and CRS labels. His latest CD of premiere recordings entitled Cello Vision will be released on the Centaur label in 2009.
As a soloist, Anthony Kitai has appeared with many orchestras including the Galveston Symphony, Symphony North of Houston, Texas Medical Center Orchestra, Jonesboro Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony, and Pine Bluff Symphony. He has participated in numerous music festivals including Grand Teton, Schleswig-Holstein, and Aspen.
As a chamber musician, Anthony Kitai has performed with Mercury Baroque, and on Aperio, Col Canto, Foundation for Modern Music and Woodlands Salon Series Concerts. He frequently collaborates with his wife, pianist Shannon Hesse, and has performed with her on the Galveston Island Arts Academy Concert Series, Greenbriar Consortium Concerts, Houston Community College Chamber Music Series, Imperial Performing Arts, and Westminster Summer Concerts.
Anthony Kitai enjoys teaching and maintains an active private studio where his students regularly play in Texas All-Region and All-State Orchestras. During the summers, he is on the faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Anthony Kitai received his BM and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music and his MM from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His major teachers have included Desmond Hoebig, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, and Peter Spurbeck.
Sidney A. King is the instructor of double bass at the University of Louisville School of Music. He has recently retired as the assistant principal bassist of the Louisville Orchestra, having held that position from 1984-2006. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. King performs frequently throughout the Midwest in various recital settings, including service for fourteen years as a core member of the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. He has held a position on the board of directors of the International Society of Bassists (2003-2006).
He has been a performer at the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1992, often serving in titled positions with that orchestra. Mr. King has performed as principal bassist with the Houston Grand Opera, the Texas Opera Theater, the Sunflower Music Festival, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. Mr. King also served as the double bass instructor at Indiana University Southeast and has long been involved in music education, teaching and coaching many youth ensembles as well as giving numerous solo performances in public and private schools.
Marian Shaffer is Principal Harpist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Iris Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephens College, graduating summa cum laude with a concentration in both harp and piano. She studied both instruments for one year at the Vienna Academy for Music and the Performing Arts and then received a Fulbright scholarship to Cologne, Germany for further study. Her principal teachers include Mimi Allen, Marjorie Tyre, Lucile Lawrence, and Hans Joachim Zingel. In 1974 she graduated from Memphis State University with an M.A. in music and German. She has performed with the Memphis Symphony since that time, four seasons as pianist and 34 seasons as Principal Harpist. As a charter member of the Iris Orchestra, Mrs. Shaffer has held the principal harp position since the orchestra’s formation in September of 2000. In 1995, Mrs. Shaffer was awarded a Rockefeller cultural exchange grant to collaborate on a harp method book based on the traditional “Sones” of Mexico. In May of 2007 she toured China, giving master classes and performing at the Shanghai Conservatory and Shanghai Middle School. She also performed in the Festival Virtuosi in Recife, Brazil in 2007 and 2011. In the 2009-2010 Blair Concert Series, Mrs. Shaffer was soloist with the Vanderbilt String Orchestra and performed on Nashville Public Television. She is on the faculty of Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis, the Hutchison School, and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 1980.
Frances Cobb attends the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as an Artist Diploma student under the instruction of Gillian Benet Sella. In June 2012, she graduated from CCM as a full scholarship Masters student and Graduate Assistant in the harp department. In addition to teaching, Frances has performed as principal harpist of the CCM Philharmonia, Concert Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Chamber Players, Opera productions and many other volunteer-based school related functions. Since moving to Cincinnati in September 2010, she has also been featured twice as a guest artist on the faculty chamber concerts at the University of Miami of Ohio and recently played with the Columbus, Kentucky, and Cincinnati Symphony.
Prior to CCM, Frances achieved her Bachelor of Music in harp performance and minor in piano at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University where she studied harp with Marian Shaffer and piano with Valerie Middleton. She performed as principal harpist for four consecutive years in the Vanderbilt Orchestra while also teaching in the Preparatory Department. During her time in Nashville, Tennessee Frances won runner-up twice in the concerto competition and received honorable mention three times for the Student Showcase concert. Other honors include being featured on National Public Television, an appearance as a guest artist on the Blair School of Music’s faculty chamber concert series, and premiering Michael Kurek’s newly commissioned Macbeth for the Nashville Ballet.
Frances has been performing in professional orchestras including the Cincinnati, Columbus, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 2002 and continues to act as substitute harpist on top of her rigorous teaching and performing schedule at school. After studying with Marian Shaffer at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival for ten consecutive summers, she joined the faculty in 2009 where she continues to teach and perform in masterclasses, coachings, and ensembles. Frances began playing the harp at age six with members of her own family at her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. The love of the harp has been passed down through three generations of the Cobb family beginning with her grandmother, Ruth Moore Cobb, who studied and toured with Carlos Salzedo.
Internationally known performer and teacher, flutist Patricia George travels the world performing and teaching. She has presented her “Famous Flute Spa” masterclasses for more than 300 universities, conservatories, public schools, and flute associations. In January 2011, George became Editor of Flute Talk Magazine and continues to write the monthly column “The Teacher’s Studio.” She has also written for the Idaho Music Educator’s Notes, the National Flute Association’s Flutist Quarterly, Keynotes Magazine, and Chamber Music America.
As a performer George has toured the United States, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Her performances have been heard on National Public Radio affiliates in Tennessee, Idaho and Utah. With Trio Terra Nova (Flute, Bassoon, Piano), she has appeared at the International Double Reed Conventions held in Arizona, Wisconsin and at the Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada, in addition to regularly scheduled performances at Temple Square Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City, UT, Brigham Young University – Provo; Brigham Young University – Idaho; and throughout the Intermountain West. With the Amadeus Trio (Flute, Cello, Piano) she presented over 90 concerts a year for several years throughout the Intermountain West. She has soloed with the Amarillo Symphony, Eastman-Rochester Symphony, Quincy Symphony, Brigham Young University – Idaho Symphony Orchestra, the Magic Valley Symphony, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Elkhorn Music Festival Orchestra, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Cumberland Orchestras, the Idaho Symphony, the Idaho State Civic Symphony, and Wisconsin Lutheran College Orchestra. She has co-authored: Flute 101: Mastering the Basics for the Beginning Flutist, Flute 102: Mastering the Basics for the Intermediate Flutist, and The Flute Scale Book, all published by Theodore Presser Company. Patricia George is an active member of the 5,500 member National Flute Association. She has served as Secretary of the Board of Directors, a member of the Flutist Quarterly Review Board, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Directors. She has performed or presented workshops at the NFA yearly conventions since 2001. She has also presented workshops at the Western International Band Clinic (Seattle, WA) and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, IL). Patricia George has been the flute professor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 1998. Many of her SSMF students have continued their musical education at elite flute institutions such as Juilliard, University of Southern California, Rice, Ohio State University, University of Texas, Florida State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Boston University. Previously she has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department, Brigham Young University – Idaho, and Idaho State University where in 1996 she was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Service. She is also flute professor at the American Band College (Sam Houston State University).This July she will teach a masterclass at the Totally Flute Forum masterclass at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. George earned the Bachelor of Music degree (with distinction) in Applied Flute, the Master of Music degree in Performance and Musical Practice and the Performer’s Certificate in Flute from the Eastman School of the University of Rochester. Her teachers include the legendary American flutists Joseph Mariano (Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic), William Kincaid (Philadelphia Orchestra), Julius Baker (New York Philharmonic) and Frances Blaisdell. She performs on sterling silver Verne Q. Powell flutes, one made in 1964 and the other in 1997. The results of her experiments into the acoustics of the flute, particularly those relating to the crown, are now being used by many flute manufacturers. She is a clinician for Conn-Selmer, Inc and is a Verne Q. Powell Artist. Patricia George is married to American composer Thom Ritter George and is the mother of three musical children (Dr. Samantha George, Lawrence University Violin Professor; Dr. Alexander George, Metropolitan State University Horn Professor; and Clara George, San Francisco-Based Free-Lance Musician).
Robert Stephenson joined the Utah Symphony Orchestra in 1980. He has served as Principal Oboe under Music Directors Varujan Kojian, Joseph Silverstein, Keith Lockhart and Thierry Fischer. He has twice been a member of the Utah Symphony Music Director Search Committee and the orchestra’s Artistic Committee. Prior to coming to Salt Lake City, Mr. Stephenson played Principal Oboe for three years with the Savannah Symphony and Georgia Chamber Orchestra under Christian Badea. He is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Stephenson has performed at the National Music Camp (Interlochen, MI), the Academy of the West with Maurice Abravanel, the Spoleto Festival in Italy and Charleston, SC and Tanglewood. He has also played at festivals across the nation such as the Blossom Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Elkhorn Music Festival (Sun Valley, Idaho), the Temple University Music Festival, The Park City Music Festival and the Deer Valley Music Festival. He has been on the faculty at the Symphony School of America, the University of Utah, the Aspen Music Festival and the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop.
The Southern Music Company publishes his “Twinkle Variations” for solo oboe and Jeanne, Inc. is the publisher for both his “40 New Melodic and Technical Etudes” and “Dance Etudes” for oboe or saxophone. Versions of Dance Etudes will also be made available for flute and for bassoon in 2011. Mr. Stephenson has often appeared as soloist, having performed concertos by Bach, Barlow, Barbirolli, Bellini, Telemann, Handel, Haydn, Cimarosa, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Mozart, Salieri, Corigliano, Strauss, Rimsky Korsakov and Vaughan Williams and in July, 2008, the new oboe concerto by Thom Ritter George at the International Double Reed Society Convention in Utah. Robert performs often with the woodwind quartet, “Three Fish and a Scorpion”.
He teaches privately and at the University of Utah, makes and sells a lot of high-altitude oboe and English horn reeds and enjoys being the father of three bright and beautiful future taxpayers. Robert also finished his second oboe etude book, “Dance Etudes”. It is one of the only etude books available for all woodwinds. He is married to flutist Lisa Byrnes. He likes to spend time exercising, making ceramics, watching PBS and listening to NPR, cooking, going out to restaurants, watching good movies, renovating an old house and traveling.
Since 1996, Hunter Thomas has served as the Principal Bassoonist of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama, an orchestra with which he has performed since high school. Following a recent performance, The Huntsville Times refers to his “hauntingly lovely first solo” in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. Hunter has made numerous solo appearances with the HSO, including his acclaimed performance in 2005 of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto. As an orchestral player, Hunter performs regularly with the Chattanooga Symphony, the Tuscaloosa Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Alabama Symphony and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, with which he has recorded for the Dorian CD label. From 1980-1985, Hunter was the Principal Bassoon of the National Orchestra of Colombia, South America.
Since 2007 Hunter has been artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Sewanee, Tennessee. In March 2011, Hunter appeared as Guest Artist Clinician at the Middle Tennessee State Bassoon Festival in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
In recent seasons he has performed the Weber Concerto with the Huntsville Youth orchestra, the Mignone Concertino with the Sewanee Philharmonia Orchestra, the Andriessen Concertino with the Huntsville Chamber Winds, and the Telemann Concerto for Flute and Bassoon with the Huntsville Symphony. He currently serves as the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra’s personnel manager and librarian, bringing a high degree of professionalism and efficiency to that organization’s artistic operations.
Hunter has inspired and mentored countless North Alabama music students. He maintains an active private studio of bassoonists at all playing abilities and serves on the faculty of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Many of his students have been accepted to prestigious schools and festivals nationwide. His students have appeared on the radio show From the Top, and have been finalists in the Marine Band Concerto Competitions. Hunter is in demand throughout the region as a chamber music coach and festival teacher, and has spent numerous hours in public school band rooms and youth orchestra rehearsals, volunteering his time and expertise in support of music education. Hunter was named the 2003 Harold J. Wilson Music Educator of the Year and served on the Board of Trustees of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.
Hunter attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Louisville, and has studied with many distinguished teachers including as George Goslee (Cleveland Orchestra), Sol Schoenbach (Philadelphia Orchestra), Leonard Sharrow (NBC Symphony), Dan Welcher (Louisville Orchestra) and Kenneth Moore (Oberlin College). He is a Sewanee Summer Music Festival alumni (1973, 1974), and attended the Sarasota Music Festival two summers.
Recognized for his “rich, luscious tone quality” (The Clarinet), Rob Patterson is quickly establishing himself as an exciting young versatile clarinetist. Mr. Patterson has recently been named Lecturer in Music at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music, and Principal Clarinet of the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra where he holds the Henry Jacob Javor chair. Mr. Patterson also recently received a Young Artist Grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to record his debut CD and is a Strathmore Artist in Residence for the 2011-2012 season. As a Strathmore Artist in Residence, Mr. Patterson performed solo recitals, presented masterclasses, and will appear in recital on the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In the final recital of his residency, Mr. Patterson presented the World Premiere of John B Hedges Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet. Mr. Patterson is also the newest member of the VERGE Ensemble, the resident new-music ensemble at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C and the Albermarle Wind Quintet.
Particularly at home in chamber music, Mr. Patterson has performed with some of the great artists of our time around the world. He was invited along with violinist/violist Tien-Hsin “Cindy” Wu, and pianist Pauline Yang to perform and present masterclasses at the Taipei Municipal University in Taiwan and at the University of Southern California’s Global Leadership Conference. He has also been in demand at several leading summer chamber music festivals. At the invitation of Artistic Director Eugenia Zukerman, he joined the Bravo! Vail Valley Music festival for performances with Inon Barnatan, the Miami String Quartet, and Eugenia Zukerman herself and while at the Music from Angel Fire Festival he performed with such notables as Toby Appel, Theodore Arm, Ida Kavafian, Rafael Figueroa, and Bill Purvis. Additionally, Rob has performed in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre, with the Boston-based American Century Music at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with Inscape, and at the Greenport Music Festival in Greenport, NY. A portion of a Brahms Clarinet Quintet performance with Mr. Patterson and violinist/violist Ida Kavafian was released on CD as a part of the “Season Selections” series at the Curtis Institute of Music. The concert in its entirety was also broadcast on television on Philadelphia’s WHYY Y ARTS series and on the radio with WRTI Philadelphia.
Dedicated to expanding the standard clarinet repertoire, Mr. Patterson constantly seeks out new works, lesser-known works and adapts previously written music to the clarinet. His CD, “Gumbo” will feature the results of this devotion, including his own transcription of a J.S. Bach Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord, as well as the World Premiere recording of John B Hedge’s Clarinet Sonatina “Gumbo”, written in 2008. Gumbo received a 2011 “Best Classical Recording of the Year” from the Washington Area Music Association. At the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Boston Globe critic Jeffrey Johnson observed that in his performance of Edison Denisov’s Ode (1968), Mr. Patterson “played the part with command, finding the extremes the work sought to articulate”. While living in Philadelphia, he was very active with the University of Pennsylvania’s Composer’s Guild, presenting many world premieres during his time there.
Mr. Patterson has received praise for his “brilliant soloing” (Burlington Hawk Eye). He will perform with pianist Audrey Andrist on the “Music at the Alden” series in McLean, VA and will give his Kennedy Center recital debut in Fall, 2012. In the 2012-2013 season, the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra will feature him as a soloist with Copland’s Clarinet concerto. He has performed with the Middletown Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Blue Ash Symphony, Colorado College Festival Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as with the Southeast Iowa Symphony where he was also an Artist in Residence. He is also the recipient of the Grand Prize in the Overture Awards.
Mr. Patterson has also performed under the baton of such great conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Leon Fleisher, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Sir Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, and Jeffery Tate. Mr. Patterson serves as Principal Clarinet of the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra and is the clarinetist for the Lyrique-en-mer festival in on the island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, France. He has served as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Annapolis, Fairfax, and Culver City Symphonies. Additionally, he has played with the National, Richmond, Roanoke, Haddonfield, Peninsula, and Downey Symphonies as well as with the Washington National Opera Orchestra. He has been principal clarinetist of the Curtis Institute Symphony, Chamber and Opera Orchestras, and was a founding member of the Great Hall Chamber Orchestra. He regularly plays in the orchestra for the Washington Chorus Washington Choral Arts Society, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and the University of Virginia Singers.
A Cincinnati native currently residing in Washington, D.C., Mr. Patterson holds his B.M. from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where he was awarded the Jill & Sheldon Bonovitz Fellowship, and his M.M. from the University of Southern California where he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship. He has been a featured author in the International Clarinet Society’s The Clarinet magazine. Mr. Patterson’s principal teachers include Yehuda Gilad, Richard Hawley, and Donald Montanaro, and has coached with Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Meng-Chieh Liu and Richard Woodhams. He has participated in the Music Academy of the West, Colorado College, Boston University Tanglewood Institute and Eastern Music Festivals.
For the most up to date information, please visit: http://www.robwpatterson.com
American saxophonist Amy Griffiths has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan and maintains a busy concert schedule with a wide range of musical styles. She can be heard in diverse musical settings from classical solo and chamber music to jazz and popular music and her performances have been broadcast by NPR affiliates throughout the US. She performs frequently as a soloist with pianist Yien Wang and appears often as a member of the Fountain City Ensemble, an unusual and versatile chamber group with whom she has toured the United States and Japan. As a jazz musician, she can be heard in a jazz quartet with her Schwob School of Music colleagues and plays in various big band settings in the Atlanta area.
Griffiths has appeared as a concerto soloist and chamber musician at events such as the World Saxophone Congress, the International Clarinet Association annual conference, the Eastman School of Music’s Women in Music Festival, the CBDNA Southern Regional Conference, the American Musicological Society/Society for Music Theory convention, and the Aries New Music Festival.She has performed with the Phoenix (AZ) Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Charleston Symphony, the Newt Hinton Ensemble, and with the Atlanta Opera in their 2011 production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Highlights of the 2012-2013 concert season include Griffiths as the featured soloist in a performance of the Glazunov Concerto with the CSU Philharmonic Orchestra. She is featured as a soloist on Charles Griffin’s Fist Through Traffic and James M. David’s Locomotive Geryon with the CSU Percussion Ensemble on the Albany Records 2012 release Shifting Cells.
Amy Griffiths is the creator and director of the International Saxophone Symposium And Competition (ISSAC), which takes place at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in October 2012. This event features a competition of some of the world’s most promising young saxophonists from Asia, Europe, Canada, and the US, as well as concerts and masterclasses by Claude Delangle, Joe Lulloff, and Timothy McAllister.
Griffiths graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a high school diploma and a Bachelor of Music degree. She then studied in France for two years before earning the Master of Music degree in saxophone performance and pedagogy from Arizona State University. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. Her former teachers include James Houlik, Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Joseph Wytko, and Griffin Campbell.
Dr. Griffiths is currently the saxophone professor at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in Columbus, GA where she teaches saxophone, chamber music, pedagogy, small group jazz and jazz history. Her students regularly participate in solo and chamber music competitions and attend summer music festivals. As an educator Dr. Griffiths has presented recitals, clinics, and masterclasses at universities and colleges throughout the United States and abroad.
Amy Griffiths is a Conn-Selmer Artist and she performs on Selmer of Paris saxophones. She prefers the DeJacques Saxophone Strap and endorses that neckstrap exclusively. Her website is amygriffiths.net.
David Brockett is serving as Acting 3rd Horn of the Utah Symphony for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. During the two previous seasons he played 2nd Horn with The Cleveland Orchestra; over the past two decades he has spent four full seasons and portions of many others with that orchestra, appearing in subscription concerts at Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Festival, playing on numerous recordings, and touring around the world. David was Acting Assistant Principal Horn of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Acting Principal Horn with the Cincinnati Pops for the 1990-91 season, and has also performed frequently with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Key West Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Erie Philharmonic, the Akron Symphony, the Blossom Festival Concert Band, the Detroit Concert Band, and as Featured Alto Horn Soloist with the Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band. He has played in the orchestras of the Pittsburgh Opera, the Cleveland Opera and Ballet, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
David was a founding member of the Burning River Brass, with which he made four CDs and went on more than a dozen national tours. He also performed and toured with the Cleveland Chamber Brass in the 1990s, including a residency at the Odenwald Festspiele in Germany. He has taught at Penn State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He arranges music for brass and has frequently conducted university and festival brass ensembles.
David has played on numerous radio, television, and film soundtracks, including Tom Selleck’s Last Stand at Saber River and several NBC television specials.
David Brockett was born in London, Ontario and grew up in the Detroit area. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Akron. His principal teachers included Roy Waas, Richard Solis, Albert Schmitter, and Dale Clevenger.
This is David’s third season teaching and performing at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He is in residence for the entire 2009 festival, performing with faculty brass and woodwind groups and participating in the direction of the annual Brass Concert.
David Brockett lives in Cleveland is married to soprano Adele Karam.
Peter Bond has played trumpet in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1992. He studied with John Head of the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Nagel of the New York Brass Quintet and Yale School of Music, as well as Vincent Cichowicz, Arnold Jacobs, and Adolph Herseth; all renown teachers and members of the Chicago Symphony. While living in Atlanta in the 1980′s he was a busy freelance musician, working frequently with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, and lead trumpet for most visiting musicals and entertainers including Evita, 42nd Street, Sugar Babies,Chorus Line, West Side Story, Ann Margaret, Mitzi Gaynor, Ben Vereen, Johnny Mathis, and Tony Bennett. In 1987 Mr. Bond left Atlanta to become Principal Trumpet of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra where he remained until his appointment to the “Met.” He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the New Jersey Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera and Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Bond taught for ten years an the Mason Gross School of Music of Rutgers University. His philosophy of teaching is “using singing and speech as models for easier, more natural, and more musical brass performance.”
Mark has performed extensively with the Seattle Symphony and Opera. In 2009 he performed Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Seattle Opera. With the Seattle Symphony he has recorded the music of Bodine, Borodin, Brahms/Sheng, Dvorak, McKinley, Mahler, and Schuman. He has performed as guest principal trombone with the Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Sym phony Orchestra, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. Additionally, he has worked with numerous orchestras throughout the country, including: Rochester Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and Erie Philharmonic.
Mark has been active in the recording and film soundtrack industry, including: “Valkyrie”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Alpha and Omega”, “The Forbidden Kingdom”, the video game “Prince of Persia”, and Trey Anastasio’s critically acclaimed album “Time Turns Elastic”. He can be heard on Naxos, Albany, MCC, Mark, and R.E.D. Distribution record labels.
Active as a soloist, Mark has performed with numerous ensembles throughout the country. He has won a number of competitions, including the National Solo Competition in Washington, D.C. and the Washington Awards Tour sponsored by the Ladies Music Club of Seattle.
Dr. Babbitt is associate professor of trombone at Illinois State University. Prior to ISU, he was associate professor of trombone for ten years at Central Washington University. Since 2007 he has been on the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. and Performer’s Certificate), Cleveland Institute of Music (M.M.), and the University of Washington (D.M.A.).
Eric Bubacz has an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer. He studied for three years at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY before transferring to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he completed his Bachelor of Music. While in school, Eric was a member two different brass quintets, both of which competed and placed second at the New York Brass Conference Quintet Competition. During the summers, he attended several noted festivals including: The National Repertory Orchestra, Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, Sully Music Festival, Centre d’Arts Orford, Harmony Ridge Brass Seminar, Festival of Art and Musical Excellence and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, where he was the first tubaist to win the Chamber Music Prize. Shortly after graduating from Curtis, he attended the Colonial Euphonium and Tuba Institute where he won second prize at the International Tuba Solo Competition. He also placed first on tuba in the International Women’s Brass Conference Solo Competition.
As an orchestral player, Eric has been named Principal Tuba of the Haddonfield Symphony (1992-1997), the Canton Symphony (1998-2007) and the Reading Symphony (1996-present). He has also performed as an extra musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Blossom Festival Band. In 1997, Eric began working as an extra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. By 2000, Eric was also playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass and can be heard on several of their recordings, including Cantate Hodie – Sing Forth this Day and The Spirit of Christmas. From 2002-2005, Eric regularly acted as Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his work with them include four European Tours, three performances at Carnegie Hall and a performance at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II.
Since moving to Atlanta in the 2006, Eric has become an active teacher and performer throughout the Southeast. In 2007, he was appointed Principal Tuba of the La Grange Symphony. He has also substituted regularly with the Atlanta Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Augusta Symphony. That year he was also invited to be the guest artist for Jacksonville State University’s premier Octubafest in Jacksonville, Alabama. Most recently, he has been appointed adjunct professor of tuba at Georgia State University, in addition to his extensive studio of private students in the Atlanta metro area.
John Kilkenny is currently Director of Percussion Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He enjoys a multi faceted career that includes orchestral performances with the National Symphony, Washington National Opera and Ballet, Washington Concert Opera, Cathedral Choral Society, Washington Chorus, Choral Arts Society, the Master Choral of Washington, and virtually every other Washington DC area performing arts organization. Chamber music appearances include collaborations with flautist Karen Johnson, pianist Carlos Rodriguez, the Folger Consort, Verge Ensemble, Talujon Percussion, Chris Deviney, John Tafoya, Robert Van Sice, Gregory Zuber, and She e Wu. Michael Daugherty’s UFO Percussion Concerto, and the Washington DC area premiere of the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for two Timpanists and Wind Symphony are included in his highlights of his recent concerto appearances.
John appeared as the solo percussionist for a 2008 award winning production of Macbeth at the Folger Shakespeare Theater and completed writing the solo percussion music for Don McCullough’s choral work – Let my People Go, a Musical Journey through the Underground Railroad, which premiered in April 2008at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has been a part of several recent and upcoming commissions, including works from Peter Erskine, Jonathan Newman, Jesse Gessford, Dennis Hoffmann, Peter Klatzow, and Alejandro Vinao and Don McCullough.
John was an Artist in Residence for the Indiana University Summer Percussion Workshop/Academy from 2007-2010. From 2005-2007 John was the coordinator of the University of Maryland Summer Percussion Workshop. Sought after as a clinician and guest conductor, he has appeared at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Juilliard Summer Percussion Academy ( summer 2011), John Philip Sousa Foundation National High School Honor Band, the Music for All Summer Symposium, Western International Band Conference, The Virginia Music Educators Conference, and at several universities throughout the country. John Kilkenny is Yamaha Performing Artist and proud sponsor of Vic Firth mallets, Remo drumheads and Sabian cymbals.
John received his Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a Master’s degree from Temple University. His primary instructors include Jonathan Haas, Gregory Zuber and Alan Abel.
Pianist Gary Hammond has been praised in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America as a recitalist and chamber musician of the first rank. The New York Times has described his playing as “eloquent — a strong feeling of musical expression and intelligent thought.” Mr. Hammond’s performances have taken him to Glazunov Hall in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia; the Musikdagar Festival in Sweden; the Auditorio Nacional in Costa Rica. He has appeared at Weill Hall and Merkin Hall in New York; Ordway Hall, St. Paul; Boston’s Gardner Museum; Glenn Memorial Hall, Atlanta; Meany Hall, Seattle; the Hochschule in Munich, and Hong Kong’s City Hall. He has been heard on New York’s WQXR, National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and on live broadcasts from WNYC and Radio 4 Hong Kong.
Mr. Hammond performs regularly with the acclaimed cellist Astrid Schween as part of the Schween-Hammond Duo. In New York he opened the Young Concert Artists series at the Morgan Library with soprano Marvis Martin and baritone Randall Scarlata, and presented the complete piano and violin sonatas of Beethoven with violinist Frank Almond for the New York chapter of the American Beethoven Society. A recording at WQXR of a Paquito d’ Rivera piece with flutist Marina Piccinini resulted in an invitation to perform on d’ Rivera’s set at the Blue Note.
A native of Seattle, Mr. Hammond is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Juilliard School. His teachers include Randolph Hokanson, Bela Siki, Josef Raieff and Herbert Stessin. He is on the faculties of Hunter College, City University of New York; the Graduate Center, CUNY; and the Sewanee Music Festival, University of the South. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at Emory University, and has appeared at other festivals including the Academies Internacionales du Grand Nancy, France; Musiques en Mer, Italy; the Colorado College Music Festival, Colorado Springs; the Hot Springs Music Festival, Arkansas; and the Oregon Coast Music Festival, Coos Bay. Mr. Hammond has recorded for the Altarus and Partita labels; the American Record Guide commented on his all-Brahms disc with cellist Astrid Schween and clarinetist John Marco, “…this is a fantastic release, with performances at or near the top of the list. Do search out this recording-it is outstanding.” His release on the Naxos label of the Celebre Tarantelle by Gottschalk and other Creole Romantic pieces has also received critical acclaim. Mr. Hammond has been a frequent participant in the Friends and Enemies of New Music series in Manhattan, has collaborated with the American Composer’s Orchestra, with singer Marni Nixon and actresses Claire Bloom and Luise Rainer.
Combining his talents as a performer, educator, writer, and composer, Rami Vamos has produced a wide array of creative output, ranging from children’s musicals to chamber compositions. For the past ten years he has used these creations to share an appreciation of classical music with people of all ages and backgrounds.
As an educator he began his career as a New York City Teaching Fellow. He spent two years as head of the music program at PS 123 in South Ozone Park, Queens while earning his masters in music education at night. Since completing the fellowship he has held multiple positions simultaneously. He creates the curriculum and teaches all of the pre-k music classes in Mt. Vernon, NY. He teaches kindergarten and first grade music classes at Siwanoy and Colonial Schools in Pelham, NY, and has been on the guitar faculty of the Concordia Conservatory in Bronxville for ten years. In addition to his guitar instruction at Concordia, he creates curriculum for and runs a guitar camp for students age 6-14 each summer. He composes music and coaches for the school’s chamber music program, and he writes two to three musicals each year for their Musical Adventures For Children concert series. For the past two years Concordia has received a special grant to make use of his talent as an early childhood educator. Each week he teaches two classes at Fountains Nursing home in Tuckahoe, NY. The residents of the nursing home watch and participate as he teaches a class of pre-k students from a local nursery. This very special program allows him to bring the joy of music to the very young and very old at the same time. For the past three years he has also served as a teaching artist for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. This allows him to visit city schools throughout New York and New Jersey to prepare students for various chamber music events that they attend throughout the year. He is currently in the process of writing his first guitar method book, which will include his own compositions and a recording of his students performing the works with him.
As a composer and arranger, Vamos has produced work of a wide range in style (Pop, Rag, Musical, Classical, Contemporary, etc). His compositions have been heard on CBS, Fox news, and NPR. Members of the Turtle Island String Quartet, St. Louis Symphony, and New York Philharmonic have performed his works. In 2003 he received a Meet The Composer Grant, which brought him to the Raritan River Concert series, where he had works premiered by the Newman and Oltman Guitar duet. The group regularly performs his music. His collection of guitar duets (12 Silly Songs For 12 Silly Strings, co/composed with guitarist Randal Avers) is performed regularly at guitar festivals around the country. He has written and performed his fourteen children’s musicals all throughout New York public schools and libraries and for festivals around the country. He makes regular appearances at the Bridgehampton Music Festival, Cooperstown Festival, Austin Classical Guitar Society workshops and Community Works retreats in Providence, RI. This past year Concordia Conservatory received a grant from the New York State Music Fund to commission a full scale musical for kids age 7-18. The work was a subject of a CBS Teen Kid News documentary, which aired nation wide. When he finds time Vamos enjoys performing with his rock band Sportcoat.
As a classical guitarist Vamos has performed extensively throughout the United States. This last year Music in The Loft in Chicago commissioned a work by Ricardo Lorenz for him to perform with the Pacifica String Quartet. He is a founding member of the Sap Dream electric guitar quartet, which performed at the Norfolk Summer Music Festival, New York Guitar Festival and at Princeton and Yale Universities. Twice a month Rami does volunteer bedside performances at hospitals throughout New York City. He does this for the organization Musicians On Call, of which he has been a member since it’s inception in the year 2000. As a student he took the top prize in the ASTA junior guitar competition and was a finalist in several other competitions including the Rantucci Classical Guitar Competition and the Portland Classical Guitar Competition. He received his undergraduate degree in Guitar Performance at Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Stephon Aron. He earned his masters degree in Guitar Performance under the tutelage of Benjamin Verdery at the Yale School of Music, where he was a Rossoff Scholar and the recipient of the Eliot Fisk Prize. He holds a Masters in music education from Queens College.
Faculty Guest Artists
Violinist Kathryn Eberle is the newly appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Previously, Ms. Eberle was a violinist with the St. Louis Symphony and Guest Concertmaster with the Omaha and Richmond Symphonies. She served extensively as Concertmaster for the Juilliard Orchestra, including the ensemble’s tour of China, as well as performances in Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Carnegie Halls.
Ms. Eberle’s solo performances include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Bahia Symphony in Brazil and the Fireworks Ensemble at the Library of Congress. She has collaborated with such artists as Edgar Meyer, Jaime Laredo, Arnold Steinhardt, Ricardo Morales, and members of the New York Philharmonic. Eberle garnered Grand Prize in the YMF National Debut, Pasadena Instrumental, and USC Concerto Competitions and top prizes in the Klein, Stulberg, and Corpus Christi International Competitions. An avid chamber musician, her festival appearances include Aspen, Banff, Yellow Barn, Encore School for Strings, Missillac (France), Sewanee, Laguna Beach, Innsbrook and Festival Mozaic.
Currently Associate Professor of Violin at Lawrence University, Samantha George served as Associate Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from 1999-2008 and as Acting Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for the 2002-2003 season. Her previous posts have included Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony, Core Concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony, and Guest Concertmaster appointments with the Charleston Symphony and the Oregon Symphony. She has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Heidelberg Castle Festival, and the Washington Island Music Festival. Dr. George is also a faculty member at the Green Lake Chamber Music Workshop and Wisconsin Lutheran College. She received a high-school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy and Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Performer’s Certificate degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a graduate teaching assistant for Charles Castleman. She also holds a doctorate in violin performance and music theory from the University of Connecticut.
As a soloist, Dr. George has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Raleigh Symphony, Idaho State Civic Symphony, Hartford Symphony, and the United States Coast Guard Band. Recent appearances include solo performances with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Beloit/Janesville Symphony, and Waukesha Symphony. In 2002, she performed the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with world-famous violinist Hilary Hahn and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Active as an advocate for greater understanding and appreciation of classical music, Dr. George has hosted two weekly radio programs: “MSO BackStagePass” (WFMR 106.9 Milwaukee) and “MSO Weekly Update” (WMSE 91.7 Milwaukee). In addition, she is a host of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s “Classical Connections” series, teaches music appreciation courses at the Washington Island Music Festival and hosts a number of pre-concert and post-concert lectures wherever she performs.
Ms. Eberle received a Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School studying with Sylvia Rosenberg. She previously studied with Robert Lipsett both at the Colburn School and the University of Southern California, where she received the String Department and Symphony awards upon graduation. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, she was a pre-college student of Cornelia Heard at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Ms. Eberle performs on a J.B. Vuillaume, Paris, 1870.
When Eli Matthews was seven years old and heard Eugene Fodor perform the Paganini violin concerto he knew exactly what he wanted to devote his life to. His parents enrolled him in the local Suzuki program in Memphis, TN where he excelled. At the age of eleven he was invited to play the Mozart violin concerto in D at the international Suzuki festival in Alberta, Canada. The following year he was accepted into the Starling Preparatory String Project at the University of Cincinnati where he began studies with Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy DeLay. As a high school student he began winning competitions and performing the virtuoso concertos of Paganini, Vieuxtemps, and Ernst all across the United States. In the summer he continued his studies at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and later at the Aspen Music Festival. He attended the Univ. of Cincinnati for college where he continued to be a prizewinner at the university as well as many national competitions. His performances at the university included the Sibelius concerto conducted by Keith Lockhardt and the Berg concerto with Gerhard Samuel and the Cincinnati Philharmonia.
After school Eli performed and toured with the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra, where he now holds the position of Associate Second Violin. Eli continues to perform in recitals across the country, collaborating with former Columbia artist Michele Grossman on the piano. He performs chamber music with his colleagues in the Cleveland Orchestra, where he founded the orchestra’s acclaimed ‘Musically Speaking’ series that has the artists engage their audiences with discussion and commentary about the music that is being performed.
Eli finds his most important and rewarding work to be with the young students he works with, whether it is teaching privately in his home or coaching the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra musicians in chamber music, orchestra, and solo repertoire. His teaching methods are extremely diverse, having studied intensely the teaching and playing methods of Flesch, Galamian, Ysaye, Sevcik, Dounis, and of course Paganini, his first and lasting love. He is currently working on a book to combine all these methods into one philosophy. In 2009 Eli returned to Sewanee as a faculty member where his sons Nathanael (cello) and Harrison (violin) have now attended for several seasons.
“The Sewanee Summer Music Festival is one of the most special places on earth for me. After touring all over the world performing in all of the great concert halls I still can’t wait to get back to Sewanee! What happens there every summer is simply magical, and just a few short weeks can make an incredible difference in young musicians’ lives. I am thrilled that my schedule will allow me to return next summer to meet and work with the next generation of students.