ism Faculty

The International School of Music's faculty is made up of highly qualified and talented performers and teachers with worldwide concert and pedagogical experience. Faculty members go through an extensive interview and audition process before being accepted to teach at the ISM. Many hold masters and doctorate degrees from the most acclaimed and respected music conservatories and are dedicated and passionate about their art and teaching. They bring warmth, energy, enthusiasm and patience in working with children as well as adults. Our teachers are also members of numerous local and national music guilds and associations such as Music Teachers National Association, Maryland Music Teacher Association, American String Teacher association, National Federation of Musicians, and the National Guild of Piano teachers/American College of Musicians, among others.

biographies

 

Bassoon Faculty:

 

 

Benjamin Peck

Benjamin Peck is a freelance bassoonist, music teacher, and arts administrator in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He earned his Masters degrees in Bassoon Performance and Arts Management from Shenandoah Conservatory where he studied with Dr. Ryan Romine. He earned his Bachelors degrees in Bassoon Performance and Music Education from Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Phillip Kolker. As a chamber musician, he was a national finalist in the Music Teacher's National Association Chamber Music Competition with the Nova Trio and a regional finalist for the Southeast Region of the U.S. with the Black Swan Sextet. He has participated in master classes with renowned artists including Imani Winds, eighth blackbird, PEN Trio, Barrick Stees, John O'Conor, Chiara Quartet, Sue Heineman, Audubon Quartet, Martin Kuuskmann, Michael Burns, and Sue Barber. He is an advocate for new music and can be heard premiering Alluvion for Two Bassoons on Ablaze Records. As an orchestral musician, he regularly performs with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra.

 

Cello Faculty:

 

 

Dr. Diana Flesner

Dr. Diana Flesner, cello, received her DMA from the University of Illinois, her MM from San Francisco Conservatory, and her BA magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a double major in Music and Russian Language/Literature. Her principal teachers have included Brandon Vamos, Bonnie Hampton, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and Dieuwke Davydov. Always active as a chamber musician, Ms. Flesner is currently a member of the West Shore Piano Trio, which is managed by Ariel Artists and has performed throughout the mid-Atlatic region including concerts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Chatauqua Institution, Goucher College, and St. Mary's College. She was formerly a member of the Cervantes String Quartet, with whom she performed live for WILL-FM, gave the American premier of a quartet by Edward Top, and served as Quartet in Residence for Strings in the Mountains summer music festival. She has participated in Manchester Music Festival and The Quartet Program at Bucknell and has played in masterclasses or coached with members of the Pacifica, Miró, Miami, Kocian, Tokyo, Juilliard, Tákacs, and Kronos Quartets. Ms. Flesner served as principal cellist for the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra and has played with BACH (Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana), The Prairie Ensemble, Opera Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Fairfax Symphony. Dr. Diana Flesner, cello, received her DMA from the University of Illinois, her MM from San Francisco Conservatory, and her BA magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a double major in Music and Russian Language/Literature. Her principal teachers have included Brandon Vamos, Bonnie Hampton, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and Dieuwke Davydov. Always active as a chamber musician, Ms. Flesner is currently a member of the West Shore Piano Trio, which is managed by Ariel Artists and has performed throughout the mid-Atlatic region including concerts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Chatauqua Institution, Goucher College, and St. Mary's College. She was formerly a member of the Cervantes String Quartet, with whom she performed live for WILL-FM, gave the American premier of a quartet by Edward Top, and served as Quartet in Residence for Strings in the Mountains summer music festival. She has participated in Manchester Music Festival and The Quartet Program at Bucknell and has played in masterclasses or coached with members of the Pacifica, Miró, Miami, Kocian, Tokyo, Juilliard, Tákacs, and Kronos Quartets. Ms. Flesner served as principal cellist for the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra and has played with BACH (Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana), The Prairie Ensemble, Opera Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Fairfax Symphony.

Dr. Dorotea Rácz

Dorotea Rácz has collected over thirty international prizes, including the Grand Prize at International Competition "Casarza Ligure" (Italy), first prizes at International Competition "Antionio Janigro" for young cellists (Croatia), International Competition "Valsesia Musica" (Italy), International Competition Alpe-Adria "Alfredo e Vanda Marcosig" (Italy), as well as the second price at the AFAF International Concerto Competition (USA), to mention a few. She has performed in Croatia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy, Malta and the United States, in prestigious venues such as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Konzerthaus Klagenfurt, Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Rácz has participated in master classes with Bernard Greenhouse, Ralph Kirshbaum, Anner Bylsma, Phillipe Muller, Karine Georgian, Silvia Sondeckiene, Valter Despalj, Reinhard Latzko, and Vladimir Perlin. At the age of sixteen, she was awarded a full merit scholarship to study with the acclaimed cellist Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she completed her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate at the Catholic University of America, with a full scholarship and graduate assistantship in chamber music, in the studio of Michael Mermagen.

Ryan Lowe

Originating from the Welsh countryside, cellist Ryan Lowe is a London educated performer and teacher zealous about transmitting his passion for the arts to the community. Ryan recently relocated to Washington, D.C. from London after graduating with honors from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. While at the conservatoire, Ryan specialized in cello performance, conducting, and music theory. He also performed extensively in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Asia, and the United States. In 2012, Ryan was selected from among his international peers to perform for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in a performance that would later feature on ITV television in the UK. While living in the UK, Ryan performed at musically and historically significant concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore hall, Cadogan hall, St. John Smith’s Square, the Duke’s hall, Royal Festival hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Birmingham Symphony hall and abroad in the St. David’s Hall (Wales), the Hangzhou Grand Theater (China), St. Mary’s Basilica (Poland). He was also a member of the cello sections of both the Orion Orchestra and the London Arte Chamber Orchestra. Ryan has benefited from the teaching and guidance of many of the preeminent cellists from Europe, Russia, and the United Kingdom. His musical heritage includes Leonid Gorokhov, Boris Andrianov, Paul Watkins, Matthew Barley, Steven Isserlis, Raphael Wallfisch, Christoph Richter, David Cohen, and Mario Brunello. As the youngest recipient of the St. Julian’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, Ryan used his musical skills to reach underprivileged communities in Wales. During his time at Trinity, he coached several ensembles including the Royal Academy of Music Historical Performance Orchestra, the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra, and the Guangxi Symphony Orchestra in China. He also mentored students with the UK’s Music for Youth Festival for over seven years. Although he primarily focuses on classical cello, Ryan experienced a successful career as a “rock cellist”. Ryan performed in concert venues such as the 02 Arena in London, and recorded with EMI and EMI Asia. MTV also featured Ryan’s rock cello career. Besides cello, Ryan also teaches double bass and has completed all eight levels of the ABRSM for both instruments. His previous students covered a broad spectrum of skills and ages in both the UK and China.

Dr. Susanna Mendlow

Dr. Susanna Mendlow, cellist, received her BA in both psychology and music from Columbia University, her MM from Michigan State University, and her DMA from Stony Brook University. The recipient of numerous prizes in New York City, she has performed in such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Miller Theatre, Symphony Space, and Le Poisson Rouge. Susanna has collaborated with numerous artists, including Alan Kay, Frank Morelli, Dmitri Berlinsky, Colin Carr, and Suren Bagratuni, and members of the Emerson Quartet. She also has worked with composers Kaija Saariaho, Marc Neikrug, Frank Stemper, Stacy Garrop, and Judith Shatin, premiering works by the latter three. In 2012 and 2013 she was invited to play in Stony Brook University's "Starry Nights," an event that showcases select students and faculty. Susanna also enjoys playing non-classical genres and in August of 2011 traveled to Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic as a member of Moyindau, a group that integrated jazz, folk, contemporary classical, and free improvisation. She has continued this journey of musical exploration with her string quartet Kamea. Susanna currently engages in multiple projects as both a cellist and vocalist. She has studied with Suren Bagratuni, Misha Quint, and Colin Carr.

 

Clarinet Faculty:

 

 

Andrew Frankhouse

Washington DC saxophonist Andrew Frankhouse studied with legendary jazz pedagogues George Garzone and Charlie Banacos, as well as Boston Symphony saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky and music theorist Dr. Peter J. Evans. In addition to jazz, Andrew worked as a freelancer and doubler in a variety of musical settings including pit orchestras, wedding and function bands, classical wind ensembles, and club dates with singer-songwriter, blues, R&B, hip-hop, funk, and neo-soul acts. Andrew’s first album as a leader, Gray/Slate/Yellow, was released in December of 2011. The ensemble includes outstanding Boston bassist Sean Farias and New York-based drummer Ignacio Rivas Bixio, and includes seven of Frankhouse’s original compositions. In 2010, Andrew was hired to create a new 5-12th grade music program for the Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, MA. His work there has included creating new coursework in musicology, electronic music, aesthetics, and African American music, conducting high school musical productions, and laying the groundwork for school-wide vocal and instrumental performance programs. His primary curricular focus was around creating curriculum for teaching musical analysis to non-musicians at the secondary level, using concepts rooted Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics. He has given presentations on this curriculum to graduate students at the Longy School of Music and at the Creative Learning Exchange Conference at Babson College. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He received his Master of Music degree with distinction in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music.

Anna Brashears

Anna Brashears received a BM from Grove City College in clarinet performance and is currently pursuing master's degree in musicology at the Catholic University of America, where she currently plays with the CUA Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Brashears served as Assistant to the Director of Advancement at the Rockbridge Academy from 2010 to 2013. In addition to that role, she was also employed at the Rockbridge Academy as a music teacher for grades K-6. From 2013 to 2014 she served as Instrumental Music Community Specialist at St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, MN where she taught beginning band as part of extended day of learning program. Anna also has taught clarinet and saxophone at MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis during that time.

Dr. Christopher Raifsnider

Christopher Raifsnider holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Instruments (clarinet performance) from the Catholic University of America, a Master of Music degree in Woodwind Instruments from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. An active soloist and chamber music performer in the Washington D.C. area, he currently serves as clarinetist, audition supervisor, and career counselor with the U.S. Navy Band. Since 1992 he has performed in more than 1200 concerts on clarinet and saxophone throughout 44 states and abroad. Prior to his time in the Navy, he taught instrumental music in public schools for two years. As a teacher and clinician, Dr. Raifsnider has provided positive and enthusiastic instruction to thousands of students, having taught woodwinds, music theory, and improvisation at all levels. His teachers include Ricardo Morales, Steven Barta, Fred Ormand, Thomas Thompson, and Timothy Roberts. Dr. Raifsnider is a founding member of the Arundel Winds Woodwind Quintet and has performed with the Anne Arbor and Westmoreland symphonies. A patient, mature, and well rounded musician and educator, he draws from the rich tradition of teaching fundamentals first, but also incorporates a variety of new approaches and music technology. A note from the author... improving as a musician takes patience and practice, but let's never forget that music is fun and there is nothing in the world like the rewards we get from learning to express ourselves through the language of music!

Denis Malloy

Denis Malloy is a versatile clarinetist, bass clarinetist, saxophonist and composer happily making diverse music in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area. He records and performs in a wide range of styles including classical, jazz, middle-eastern, cabaret and rock. Denis has performed with the Summer Opera Company in Washington, D.C., the AIMS Symphonie Orchester in Graz Austria, and the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. In the non-classical vein, he has performed with his own jazz duo, trio and quartet for various events and functions at venues including the Library of Congress, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Peabody Library. As a composer and improviser, he has composed music for several Silent Era films, both as an individual and in collaboration with the band Boister. He has performed live accompaniment to silent film at the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute (Silver Spring, MD), Charles Theatre (Baltimore, MD), Patterson Theater (Baltimore), Avalon Theater (Easton, MD), Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), and the Virginia Film Festival, among others. Denis appears on more than a dozen CDs, including two with Boister produced by respected producer Jim Dickinson. Recordings by Persian Flamenco group The Roya Ensemble, Boister, and his independent project TreeHouse Quartet, are available at CDBaby and iTunes. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Denis teaches with the Washington D.C. Youth Orchestra Program, Olenka School, and International School of Music.

Dimitri Kostaras

Dimitri Kostaras MM, BM. Mr. Kostaras has maintained an active career as both a performer and educator. His honors and awards include being named the winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, a finalist in the Chamber Music Division of the Chesapeake Competition, and serving on the Artist Roster with VIM Saxophone Quartet at Strathmore Music Center. During his undergraduate studies at Eastman School of Music, he performed with several outreach ensembles and given a number of master classes and recitals in the Rochester area.

Emily Robinson

Emily Robinson, active performer and teacher of clarinet and saxophone, is currently a DMA Candidate in Music Performance at UMD in College Park, MD. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Ms. Robinson was a member of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band stationed in Washington, DC. As a member of "The President's Own", she performed extensively across both the DC area and the US, as well as The White House. She holds a MM from the University of Minnesota and a BM from DePaul University, where she studied with Burt Hara of the LA Phil and John Bruce Yeh of the Chicago Symphony. Ms. Robinson has over fifteen years of private studio teaching experience and enjoys working with students of all ages and levels.

 

Composition Faculty:

 

 

Aaron Spoor

Composer, performer, and recording artist Arron Spoor performs a range of classical guitar repertoire from the Baroque to the Twentieth-Century periods. Mr. Spoor's second album, Sans Souci, was released February 25, 2011 and features two premiere recordings: Saudades by Grammy-nominated artist Clarice Assad and the album's title track, Spoor's own original composition. The entire album was produced in Mr. Spoor's studio in Mt. Baldy, California. Offering an eclectic program, Mr. Spoor's concerts have included works by Bach, Aguado, Giuliani, Tarrega, Martin, Rodrigo, and Piazzolla. Mr. Spoor has performed in a wide range of venues including Chicago's Rudolf Ganz Memorial Recital Hall, Denver's King Center Recital Hall, and the Feddersen Recital Hall in Walnut, California. Other performances include councerts for the Ventura County Classical Guitar Society, Pasadena Presbyterian Church's Music at Noon Concert Series, First Congregational Church in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Claremont United Church of Christ in Claremont, California. Mr. Spoor received his Master's degree in Music Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received a conservatory scholarship to study under Sergio Assad. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he studied guitar under Alex Komodore, and composition under Dr. Nancy Gunn and Dr. Fred Hess. Mr. Spoor's secondary teachers include Denis Azabagic, and DAvid Evans and he has also had lessons with Pamela Kimmel, Angelo Favis and Paul Henry. In addition to his core curriculum, Mr. Spoor performed n master classes with David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Paul Galbraith, Lorenzo Micheli, Johan Fostier, and Judicael Perroy. Since 1997 Aaron Spoor has operated and managed his own private studio where he teaches guitar, composition and music theory. Prior to starting with the International School of Music, Mr. Spoor served on the faculty of the McHenry County Music Center, in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Karine Muradyan

Karine Muradyan graduated from the Music College of Romanos Melikian in piano teaching, accompaniment and performing She is holds masters from the State Conservatory of Komitas in Yerevan . While in Etchmiadzin, Armenia she held the role of a music school director of piano program, in addition to being piano teacher, accompanist and performer. Following that, Karine was a teacher at the Sayat-Nova Music School in Yerevan and the organ accompanist at St. Sargi's Church. From 1995- 2001 Karine was hired by the American Embassy as a general music teacher in the Quality International School in Yerevan. While in the United States, Karine held an organist position at St. Mary's Church in Washington, DC, and taught piano at the Alexander School of Music in Rockville, North Potomac School of Music, Academy of Fine Arts in Gaithersburg. Karine's teaching experience expands also to the early childhood music and includes Lone Oak Montessori School (Bethesda), Crestview Montessori School, and Redwood Academy. From 2002, Karine has been the Music Director at United Methodist Church in Rockville, music teacher at the Montessori School of Washington and piano teacher at the International School of Music. Additionally, she has been a member of Friday morning music Club in Chamber Music. Her performances include Ellipse Gallery (Arlington, VA), in Summer Museum (Washington, DC) Strathmore Mansion, US Yerevan, Etchmiadzin (Armenia) and Tamilino (Moscow), the Sumner Museum, and the Armenian Embassy. Karine is also a member of the American College of Musicians and the ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal School of Music), also Royal Conservatory. Her students played successfully in competitions and passed the tests with merit and distinction both in performing and theory.

Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee received his B.M. from CSU, Sacramento and a M.M. degree from University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Steve Hendrickson, and Gary Dilworth. He is a member of the Wammie-award winning Great Noise Ensemble and is second trumpet in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR. He has performed with the Virginia, Richmond, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, the New York Opera Society, at various regional theaters in the D.C. area, and has also appeared with The O'Jays. Kevin has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Music Masters Course in Kasusa, Japan. As a composer his music has been performed extensively throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America by groups such as the National Symphony Brass Quintet, the Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet, the Navy Brass Quintet, U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, Tromba Mundi and the All-Star Brass Quintet featuring brass greats Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman and Patrick Sheridan. His music has also been recorded, some pieces by multiple artists. He has enjoyed several commissions by individuals/groups around the country. Kevin is a member of ASCAP. As an educator Kevin teaches brass at the Spencerville Adventist Academy and the International School of Music.

 

Double Bass Faculty:

 

 

Edward Leaf

Double Bassist Edward Leaf has performed in Europe, North, South and Central America and, most recently, Africa. He completed his studies at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University where he held the position of Principal Bass of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. He also attended the Catholic University of America where he was a student of Ali Yazdanfar. He has been awarded coveted fellowships to the Domaine Forget Academy and the National Orchestral Institute and has held the position of Principal Bassist with the Castleton Festival Orchestra and the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Mr. Leaf began his teaching career at Susquehanna University while still in graduate school and is currently on faculty at Shepherd University where he performs as Principal Bassist of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. He is in demand as a teacher and clinician and his students have been awarded All-State honors and been accepted into college music programs. In addition to teaching, Mr. Leaf maintains a busy performing schedule. He currently holds the position of Assistant Principal Bass with the Williamsburg Symphonia and is a frequent guest musician of many area ensembles such as the Virginia Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, National Philharmonic, York Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, and the Apollo Orchestra of DC.

 

Flute Faculty:

 

 

 

Andrew Frankhouse

Washington DC saxophonist Andrew Frankhouse studied with legendary jazz pedagogues George Garzone and Charlie Banacos, as well as Boston Symphony saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky and music theorist Dr. Peter J. Evans. In addition to jazz, Andrew worked as a freelancer and doubler in a variety of musical settings including pit orchestras, wedding and function bands, classical wind ensembles, and club dates with singer-songwriter, blues, R&B, hip-hop, funk, and neo-soul acts. Andrew’s first album as a leader, Gray/Slate/Yellow, was released in December of 2011. The ensemble includes outstanding Boston bassist Sean Farias and New York-based drummer Ignacio Rivas Bixio, and includes seven of Frankhouse’s original compositions. In 2010, Andrew was hired to create a new 5-12th grade music program for the Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, MA. His work there has included creating new coursework in musicology, electronic music, aesthetics, and African American music, conducting high school musical productions, and laying the groundwork for school-wide vocal and instrumental performance programs. His primary curricular focus was around creating curriculum for teaching musical analysis to non-musicians at the secondary level, using concepts rooted Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics. He has given presentations on this curriculum to graduate students at the Longy School of Music and at the Creative Learning Exchange Conference at Babson College. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He received his Master of Music degree with distinction in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music.

Chelsea Kaye Lanphear

Chelsea Kaye Lanphear is a native of Hyde Park, Vermont. In the Fall of 2015, Chelsea will be a senior Flute Performance and Music Education double major at the Ithaca College School of Music. While her primary time is spent mastering the flute and the piccolo, Chelsea is also qualified to teach all woodwind and brass instruments. Chelsea has completed many credit hours in general education classes, music education courses, and secondary instrumental proficiencies. Her required instrumental service hours and many years of nannying and babysitting allow her to work with students of all ages. She is excited to pass along her knowledge, passion, and excitement for instrumental music to students in the northern Vermont area in a positive and educational environment. Chelsea studies under Berta Frank of Jericho, Vermont, and Dr. Wendy Herbener Mehne of Ithaca, New York.

Cynthia Jones

Ms. Cynthia Jones is a local musician who graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Music from Morgan State University and received her Masters of Music in Flute Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. Ms. Jones has studied privately with world-renowned flutist Jonathan Snowden, Dr. Francis Lapp Averitt and Dr. Anita Thesen. She has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore County Music Educators Wind Symphony, Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma National Intercollegiate Band, and many others. She is currently a founder and ensemble coordinator for Anita’s Flutes, a flute ensemble based in Baltimore, Md. She has 20 years of playing and performance experience as well as 8 years of private and group flute instruction ranging from the elementary level to the college level. Ms. Jones’ teaching philosophy is all students enter a learning environment with potential and individual goals. With individual music instruction, encouragement, and the dedication she possess her students are presented with the opportunity to surpass their individual goals. They walk away with the experience “I can and I did.” The passion that she possesses for music will be employed to motivate students in an active and engaging learning environment. She strives to encourage and share her love and dedication towards music with her students.

Dimitri Kostaras

Dimitri Kostaras MM, BM. Mr. Kostaras has maintained an active career as both a performer and educator. His honors and awards include being named the winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, a finalist in the Chamber Music Division of the Chesapeake Competition, and serving on the Artist Roster with VIM Saxophone Quartet at Strathmore Music Center. During his undergraduate studies at Eastman School of Music, he performed with several outreach ensembles and given a number of master classes and recitals in the Rochester area.

Elena Yakovleva

Elena Yakovleva began playing both piano and flute as a child in Kaliningrad, Russia and later graduated from the Rachmaninoff Music College with Honors. Elena continued her studies at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and at the Folkwanghochschule Essen, Germany, studying under Prof. Hans-Jörg Wegner and Prof. Gunhild Ott, and later, under renown Jeanne Baxtresser as a Performance Residence Program student at the Carnegie Mellon University on full scholarship. Ms. Yakovleva has received her Master of Music, Graduate Performance Diploma in Flute and Graduate Performance Diplomain Chamber Music with Marina Piccinini at Peabody Conservatoryon full scholarship. A scholarship recipient from the Russian Ministry of Culture, she was selected for the artist roster of Yehudi Menuhin's foundation "Live Music Now", has been a winner of the "New Names" Festival in Moscow, the "Villa Musica" Award, in 2006 was a prizewinner in the New York Flute Club Competition and in 2011 prizewinner in the Baltimore Music Club Competition. She has played with the Baltimore Symphony, Annapolis Symphony and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestras, toured as soloist, with the Rachmaninoff Wind Quintet and the Kaliningrad Symphony Orchestra throughout Russia and Europe. She has performed in the Peabody "Side by Side" project with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop and Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, participated in the Summer Opera Theatre of Washington, D.C., Kent Blossom Festival and National Orchestral Institute. Elena Yakovleva was selected to represent Peabody in performances at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, and also was a featured performer at Peabody's 2008 graduation ceremony when she received her Master of Music degree. Summer of 2009 Elena performed as a soloist with Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Andreev on the opening of IX International Music Festival "Service to Bach". Elena Yakovleva also holds the Piccolo and Third Flute Chair with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Maryland Symphony Orchestra. She has joined the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in September 2013. She is also on the chamber music faculty at Peabody Conservatory and on the flute faculty at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland.

Helen Kong

An active soloist, multi-style pianist, flutist, and arranger, Helen Kong received a Bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and Master's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL while employed as Graduate Teaching Assistant. Ms. Helen was on the faculty of the Asia Pacific International School and the Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Miss Helen Kong has won numerous competitions including; the Florida Flute Association Young Artist Competition, South Eastern Michigan Flute Association Young Artist Competition, Florida Music Teachers National Association Concerto Competition, the Brevard Young Artist Competition, 3rd prize winner of the 2001 Annual Bach Festival Young Artist Competition in Winter Park, Florida, and recently received a second prize at the 2006 Byron Hester Flute Competition in Houston, Texas. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and served as the principal flutist for the Michigan Youth Orchestra and the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra for many years. As a chamber musician, Helen performs with the A441 Wind Quintet. Over the four years A441 has been together, they have performed at various venues, and were featured as soloists with the Island Chamber Symphony, performing Mozart's Symphony Concertante at New York Institute of Technology, and competed at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Coleman National Chamber Music Competition, and the Plowman National Chamber Music Competition. Recently, the Quintet's live performances and conversation have been broadcasted live on Rochester Channel 13 & 10 News.

Dr. Meghan Shanley

In 2011, Meghan Shanley performed George Crumb's "Vox Balanae" for electric flute, cello and piano at Symphony Space in New York City. As quoted by the New York Times on her performance there, she "sang into her flute to produce surreal, eerie timbres" and according to the UK Financial Times she "played it sensitively." Meghan moved to Maryland later that year where she began her doctoral studies at University of Maryland as a former Woodwind Quintet Fellow and current Ensemble Assistant studying with Aaron Goldman, Principal Flutist of the National Symphony Orchestra. During her two-year appointment as a Fellow in the quintet, Siren, she performed several concerts a season, including Siren's Italy Tour in 2012. While in Italy, she also soloed with the Romanian National Philharmonic Orchestra in a double flute concerto with world famous flutist Giuseppe Nova. She also had the opportunity to play with other well-known musicians, like eighth blackbird, Windscape and Aeolus Quartet, as a member of Siren. Meghan currently plays and subs with several orchestras in the D.C. metro area, including D.C. Public Opera and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. In the spring of 2011 she graduated with her Master of Music degree in classical flute performance from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College where she studied with Dr. Tara Helen O'Connor. Before attending Purchase College, Meghan obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at New York University while studying with Kathleen Nester of New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. In her spare time she enjoys teaching and taking her dog for walks. An active soloist, multi-style pianist, flutist, and arranger, Helen Kong can learn music purely 'by ear'.

Dr. Melinda Wade-English

Dr. Melinda Wade-English is currently on the Woodwind Faculty of Texas A&M's Tarleton University.She also enjoys playing flute and piccolo with The Roswell Symphony Orchestra. She has played principal flute with Opera Vivente, The Maryland Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Annapolis Chamber Opera Orchestra. She was on the adjunct Woodwind Faculty at Anne Arundel Community College, Salisbury University and Peabody Preparatory at Maryland Hall. She has also taught at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. She is a former member of the United States Army Field Band and was featured as flute soloist in this premier band on five of its major tours. These tours included performances in major concert halls In the United States, Korea, Japan, India and Germany. In 1989, she won the Western Maryland Flute Club competition. Dr. Wade-English was also flutist with the Atlantic Winds Woodwind Quintet. This quintet twice won the Baltimore Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Wade-English is also flutist with the chamber groups Arundel Winds, The West River Trio and Serenata. Recently she has appeared as a soloist with both the Anne Arundel Community College Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, as well as a featured soloist with The Chesapeake Flute Symphony in Belgium and France. Several of her students have been chosen for the Maryland All-State Bands, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestras, the Maryland Youth Symphony and The Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra of America. In 2005 one of her students was given the opportunity to solo with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on their side by side concert. Dr. Wade-English received her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas and the degree of Master of Music from Catholic University of America. She has recently received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Texas Tech University. Her teachers have included Emily Skala, Tim Day, Mark Sparks, Toshiko Kohno, Carole Bean and Mary-Karen Clardy.

 

Guitar Faculty:

 

 

Aaron Spoor

Composer, performer, and recording artist Arron Spoor performs a range of classical guitar repertoire from the Baroque to the Twentieth-Century periods. Mr. Spoor's second album, Sans Souci, was released February 25, 2011 and features two premiere recordings: Saudades by Grammy-nominated artist Clarice Assad and the album's title track, Spoor's own original composition. The entire album was produced in Mr. Spoor's studio in Mt. Baldy, California. Offering an eclectic program, Mr. Spoor's concerts have included works by Bach, Aguado, Giuliani, Tarrega, Martin, Rodrigo, and Piazzolla. Mr. Spoor has performed in a wide range of venues including Chicago's Rudolf Ganz Memorial Recital Hall, Denver's King Center Recital Hall, and the Feddersen Recital Hall in Walnut, California. Other performances include councerts for the Ventura County Classical Guitar Society, Pasadena Presbyterian Church's Music at Noon Concert Series, First Congregational Church in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Claremont United Church of Christ in Claremont, California. Mr. Spoor received his Master's degree in Music Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received a conservatory scholarship to study under Sergio Assad. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he studied guitar under Alex Komodore, and composition under Dr. Nancy Gunn and Dr. Fred Hess. Mr. Spoor's secondary teachers include Denis Azabagic, and DAvid Evans and he has also had lessons with Pamela Kimmel, Angelo Favis and Paul Henry. In addition to his core curriculum, Mr. Spoor performed n master classes with David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Paul Galbraith, Lorenzo Micheli, Johan Fostier, and Judicael Perroy. Since 1997 Aaron Spoor has operated and managed his own private studio where he teaches guitar, composition and music theory. Prior to starting with the International School of Music, Mr. Spoor served on the faculty of the McHenry County Music Center, in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Andrew Marino

Guitarist and teacher Andrew Marino has performed throughout his native New York State, Maryland, and beyond as a soloist and in chamber groups. Recently he has performed at Villa Maria College of Buffalo, A Joyful Noise Recital Series (Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD), the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York, and the Thursday Noon Recital Series (Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, MD). Andrew is a prizewinner in numerous competitions, including second prize in the Crane School of Music Chamber Music Competition, and third prize in Appalachian State University's GuitarFest International Competition. Andrew is a devoted teacher, currently teaching individual and group lessons across Maryland. He teaches a variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, rock and pop to students ranging in age from pre-school to adult. Several of his students have gone on to major in Guitar Performance at college and university music programs. In addition to private teaching, Andrew teaches the Guitar Methods course for Music Education majors at the Peabody Conservatory. Andrew holds the degree of Master of Music in Guitar Performance/Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory. He graduated summa cum laude from the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance. Andrew is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the Peabody Conservatory, where he is a full-time graduate assistant.

Andy Mitchell

Andy received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, studying under Nathaniel Gunod and Julian Gray. Andy studied composition with composer Chen Yi at Peabody, who is now Professor in Music Composition at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has performed with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, with an Annapolis Orchestra, for the Arizona and Baltimore Classical Guitar Societies, on public radio, and has toured with vocal artist Steve Green, in addition to playing numerous regular concerts in the Mid-Eastern U.S. through Artist's Representation International. He is on the guitar faculty at the Levine School of Music and the International School of Music. He has lectured for the Baltimore and Philadelphia Classical Guitar Societies, and at several guitar festivals. Andy was listed as an Honored Professional in the 2002 Edition of National Register's Who's Who in Executives and Professionals and received recognition in Classical Guitar magazine. In 1999, Andy released his debut solo guitar album, "Chimaera," which showcases a range of compositional styles, including seven of his own compositions. His recordings have been aired on the Dayton Public Radio program "The Intimate Guitar" and his compositions have been performed live on public radio and TV, including performances on NPR and Fox News. In 2012, classical guitarist Valerie Hartzell recorded Andy's solo guitar composition, "Drift," on her album "Ex Tenebris Lux." (Soundset Recordings) Andy's music has been performed in college recitals, in concerts, and has been used as required guitar repertoire for the National Federation of Music Clubs competitions. His music has also been purchased by several colleges for their music libraries, and is now available for purchase online. Today, Andy continues developing his music career as a guitar composer and teacher.

Austin Flinn

Austin is quickly gaining a reputation as a prominent local musician and educator. He has played guitar for over half his life and studied for seven years with Glenn Lyons at West Chester University. He earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music specializing in Guitar Performance. As a teacher, Austin has helped dozens of aspiring guitarists over the past decade. Many of his students have become fine musicians in their own right and some have even gone on to study music at the University level. Aside from honing their skills on their instrument, Austin’s students benefit from building a solid foundation in music theory. Austin spent years performing in and around Philadelphia before relocating to Silver Spring, MD just outside of Washington, D.C. This includes time spent writing, recording, and performing with a former American Idol contestant. He has also been active in Catholic liturgical music directing choirs and composing new songs. Austin has taught nearly every style of guitar and specializes in Rock (classic and modern), Pop, Blues, Classical, and Acoustic styles.

Dr. Benjamin Altman

Benjamin Altman "possesses robust technique and enough agility to make [the music] both sound and appear effortless," and "a musical intelligence and intuitiveness" that have impressed audiences across the country. He earned a DMA from the Eastman school of music, with previous studies at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Peabody Institute. Dr. Altman has performed with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Ocmulgee Symphony, the Colorado Guitar Quartet, and as a solo artist across the country. Dr. Altman has been active in music outreach, and in addition to classical guitar plays rock, folk, and country styles and the mandolin.

Brendan Lynch

Brendan Lynch graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia with a Master's degree in performance. Brendan worked as an assistant professor for Christopher Berg. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guilford College while studying classical guitar under Dr. Kami Rowan. While working with the Guilford Guitar Ensemble, Brendan won a first place at the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble competition. Brendan has performed multiple solo recitals and has performed in master classes for renowned players including Roland Dyens, Bill Kanengiser, Ben Verdery, and Jason Vieaux. His teaching includes positions at the Guilford College, East Coast Music Productions, Guilford Elementary, and as an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina.

Cassidy Payne

Cassidy Payne graduated with Masters in Music (Guitar Performance) from Peabody Institute of Music, and Bachelor of Music from the Florida State University. Currently Mr. Payne is pursuing his Doctoral studies at the Peabody Institute under the instruction of Julian Gray. Cassidy is an experienced teacher who has been teaching at the ARTI-ST Music of Reisterstown and the International School of Music in Bethesda. Cassidy is classical guitarist and teacher with additional experience in acoustic and electric styles. He welcomes students of all ages and experience levels.

Jarrod Smerk

Jarrod Smerk is a versatile talent in the guitar world. His playing has been described at times as "technically flawless, yet deeply heartfelt and extra--ordinarily musical" and "full of musical sensitivity". Mr. Smerk has toured in both the USA and Europe having performed in Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and Washington, DC. During the summers of 2004 and 2005, Mr. Smerk made extensive concert tours through Poland, including performances in Warsaw, Poznan, Pulawy, Czestochowa, and Kazimierz Dolny. Both years, he was a featured artist and faculty member at The Pulawy International Guitar festival. Initially interested in contemporary styles, Mr. Smerk began playing the electric guitar, performing extensively in groups throughout the U.S. He is well versed in popular forms including Caribbean, Latin-American, and American popular music. In 1994-1995, he studied with renowned jazz guitarist Bob Fraser in Cleveland. Although Mr. Smerk possesses a thorough understanding of standard classical guitar repertoire, Latin-American guitar music plays an important role in his concert repertoire. His experience in these popular forms gives him the opportunity to feature them as a highlight in his concerts. His goal is to promote this music's place in the classical guitar literature and assure its position alongside the traditional repertoire. In the fall of 2005, after four years of study with Julian Gray, he received his Bachelor's Degree in Guitar Performance from The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD. In the fall of 2005, he was named a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Radford University in Radford, VA where he is recieved his Master's Degree in Music Theory.

Jim Ellis

Jim Ellis started out playing guitar and bass in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area. There he studied guitar with Walter Namuth, a long time member of the Buddy Rich band, and jazz music with Butch Warren, bassist on many classic Blue Note recordings. He also studied upright bass with renowned bassist Steve Novosel. In addition to private study, Jim pursued university training receiving a Bachelor of Arts in music performance from the University of Maine and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern Maine. Following his university studies, Jim performed as a guitarist throughout New England, the Bahamas, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and the Pacific Northwest. Currently, Jim's musical activities include recording, performing and composing. He plays various rhythm section instruments such as drums, bass, and guitar as well as records for the purposes of integrating recorded music into live performance and music video production. Jim chooses classic and contemporary repertoire from a variety of genres including pop, rock, hip hop, and jazz. Dedicated to education, Jim enjoys providing private lessons and materials for students. His written materials include worksheets, song sheets, and musical excerpt collections.

Jonathan Zwi

Jonathan Zwi completed his Bachelor of Music degree under the direction of José Antonio López, Julio Ribeiro and Ernesto Bitetti. In addition to his degree in Music, Mr. Zwi also received degrees in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. He was the recipient of several research fellowships at both Indiana and Yale Universities, and has presented his work at research conferences across the United Sates. In June of 2007, Mr. Zwi moved to Brazil to focus on the guitar and re-identify with his heritage and in July he won first place in the 1st Eustáquio Grilo International Guitar Competition. As part of his award he toured Brazil, performing concerts in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. During his time in Brazil, Mr. Zwi was a student at the School of Music at the Federal University of Bahia under the guidance of Mario Ulloa. He was also enrolled in the University's School of Fine Arts, specializing in printmaking, silkscreen and photography, and has shown his work in various exhibits and galleries throughout Salvador, Bahia. He has continued to exhibit his work upon returning to the United States. Currently at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Zwi is the Graduate Assistant in Guitar to Manuel Barrueco and in Musicology to Dr. Elizabeth Tolbert. He has been the recipient of the Richard Franko Goldman Prize for Performance as well as the Presser Foundation Award. He completed his Master's degree under the guidance of Ray Chester and is currently a candidate in the doctoral program under Manuel Barrueco.

Jorge Amaral

The great Venezuelan master Alirio Diaz called Jorge Amaral “a brilliant figure in the future of the classical guitar.” Since taking first prize in the prestigious Fernando Sor International Guitar Competition in Rome in 2000, Amaral established himself among the international concert performers of classical guitar. Awarded prizes in several other international guitar competitions, Amaral toured widely through Europe, Israel, Cyprus, the USA, and Mexico. He has performed and taught master classes in music festivals in Poland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Germany, Mexico, Israel and the United States and participates yearly in summer international guitar festivals abroad. Amaral has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, chamber music ensembles and string quartets. Currently, he maintains an active concert schedule with his wife, guitarist Mia Pomerantz-Amaral, performing together as Duo Amaral. Their contribution to the guitar duo repertoire includes transcriptions and commissioning of new compositions to be performed and incorporated into the classical guitar canon. He released a solo album, “Viaggio,” in 2007 and two duo albums, “Súplica” in 2010 and “Textura” in 2013. All three were critically acclaimed. “Viaggio” has been described by Classical Guitar Magazine as "...a splendid affair throughout…precise, clear and well projected…this recording indeed surpasses several versions I personally own” (Steve Marsh 2010). Duo Amaral’s debut album “Súplica” featured a world-premiere composition, “Saggio,” written by Mr. Amaral's father, Victor Manuel Amaral Ramirez. Céline Keating of Minor 7th Magazine described the CD as “...a sublime album of classical music for two guitars...” Their second album, “Textura” includes several of their own arrangements. Al Kunze of Soundboard Magazine describes, “Duo Amaral’s ‘Textura’ is a superb disc, featuring beautiful music, exquisite playing, and exemplary recording. Mia Pomerantz-Amaral and Jorge Amaral play with extraordinary precision allied with delicacy, nuance, and virtuosity in equal measures” (March 2014). Bradford Werner of This is Classical Guitar continues: “…[‘Textura’] deliver[s] some of the best ensemble work, musical expression, and repertoire. Another great album release!…One of the premier classical guitar duos of today!" Amaral received his bachelor’s and graduate degrees from Santa Cecilia’s Conservatory in Rome, Italy and completed his studies at the renowned Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where he was awarded a Master of Music and a Graduate Performance Degree. For the past several years his young students –ages 8–15– have been prize winners in the most important national and international competitions in the USA, such as the Guitar Foundation of America and the Beatty Guitar Competition in Washington D.C. His college students have been accepted with scholarships to complete their graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Amaral is also the founder and artistic director of the Baldwin Wallace International Guitar Festival.

Marbelly Davila

Venezuelan guitarist Marbelly Davila found her inspiration and motivation early, playing any guitar-like instrument available to her and quickly moved toward the mandolin and finally to the guitar. Mrs. Davila's recent performances as a solo guitarist include the Concert of Defiance at Peabody Conservatory, Fall and Spring Concerts at the Byron House in Potomac, MD. Her most recent vocal collaboration includes a production of Don Giovanni at the Catholic University of America at Hartke Teather in Washington, DC as mandolin player under the baton of Danielle Tirilli. At the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, MD also as a mandolin player under the baton of Leonardo Vordoni. In Boston, she performed with Spanish guitarist Ana Baylin as part of the Ibero-American guitar duo, and in the Renaissance ensemble of the New England Conservatory as singer and guitar player. Previous to her musical journey, Marbelly work as a teacher and researcher in the Food Science department of the Simón Bolívar University in her country. She holds a bachelor in Biological Sciences and a Masters degree in Food Science from UMass, Amherst. Mrs. Davila has had the opportunity to study with guitarists Franka Verhagen, Luis Zea, Giorgia Cavallaro and Ray Chester; and voice with mezzo-soprano Mariela Valladares. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Peabody Conservatory and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Performance at the Catholic University of America under the instruction of Mr. Figueiroa.

Dr. Matthew Palmer

Guitarist Matt Palmer has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. A recent recipient of the "Up and Coming Guitarist of the Year" award by Guitar International Magazine, Matt has been described by critics as "a young artist about to make a real dent in the world of classical guitar" (Premier Guitar Magazine), "highly expressive and technically virtuosic" (Modern Guitars Magazine), and "a truly accomplished and refined musician" (Cleveland Classical). An active performer, winner of numerous guitar competitions, and author of The Virtuoso Guitarist method, Matt Palmer is gaining worldwide recognition as a virtuosic and soulful concert artist. His debut CD, Un tiempo fue Itálica famosa, has been applauded by Guitar International Magazine as "an album of the highest quality with flawless technique, deep levels of personal expression, and an artistic integrity that seems far too rare these days." Classical Voice of North Carolina proclaims Matt's "positively nuclear" debut displays "stunning precision and unwavering accuracy enclosed in a huge dynamic envelope." In addition, Matt's pioneering guitar method, The Virtuoso Guitarist, has been recognized as a valuable addition to guitar pedagogy, and "indispensable for any advanced guitarist or teacher to include in their library" (Classical Guitar Review). Matt Palmer holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Arizona, where he studied with Thomas Patterson and Artists-in-Residence David Russell, Sergio Assad, and Odair Assad. Self-taught as a youth, he began his formal studies at age 20 with William Yelverton at Middle Tennessee State University, and later received his M.M. at Appalachian State University, where he studied with Douglas James. In demand as a performer, Matt's recent concert engagements have taken him to numerous universities, guitar societies, and dozens of international guitar festivals throughout the world. Matt Palmer is a Strings By Mail sponsored artist and uses D'Addario strings.

Mia Pomerantz

Mia Pomerantz was the 2009 top prize winner of the Guitar Gems Competition in Natanya, Israel, as well as the second prize winner at the 38th Fernando Sor International Guitar Competition in Rome, Italy. In previous years she was a finalist and prize winner at the Appalachian GuitarFest Competition, National Guitar Workshop Competition, as well as the winner of the "Best Interpretation of a Composition by Sor" in Rome, Italy 2007. Her playing has been described as "powerful, beautiful, rich in harmony and with a sure, clean technique..." Mia began her music studies at an early age with Irit Even-Tov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. At 14, Mia was awarded the Keren Sharett American-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship Prize. She continued her studies in the United States, studying at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory with world-renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco, was his assistant for two years and was awarded scholarships throughout her Bachelor's and Master of Music Degrees, graduating with high honors. Her recent performances include solo and duo recitals in the USA, Israel, Italy, Panama and Mexico. Mia performs regularly with her husband, guitarist Jorge Amaral as Duo Amaral.

Michael Adkins

Michael Adkins holds Bachelor's of Music from Marshall University and Masters of Music form Peabody Conservatory. He is a member of the Guitar Foundation of America. Michael is recipient of various awards, scholarships, and honors including Stewart Smith Scholarship, Judi Memorial Scholarship and many others. He has performed for Paramount Arts Center, Smith Recital Hall, Goodwin Recital Hall, and participated in master classes of Andrew Zohn, William Kanengiser, Eliot Fisk.

Thomas Kitchen

Thomas Kitchen is a classical-trained jazz guitarist who plays a wide range of musical styles. Thomas has performed professionally with The Jazz Hounds, The Charlie Schueller Quartet, The Redwood Classical Guitar Duo, The City Vista Jazz Trio, The Red Clay Jazz Sextet, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Tropicana Show Band, The Bobby Johnson Gypsy Jazz Quartet, in addition to performing an original composition on WETA’s “The Intersection.” Thomas composed and performed the thematic music for Tim Persinko's fascinating documentary "A Snowy Owl Goes to Washington." Thomas is available to perform regularly throughout the DC Metropolitan Area. He is also a licensed teacher who teaches students of all ages and levels.

 

Harp Faculty:

 

 

 

Barbara Seidman

Barbara's performance positions include ones with the Calgary (Canada) Philharmonic Orchestra, the North Carolina Artist-In-Residence Program and the orchestra for the National Ballet of Washington, DC. She is currently freelancing in the Washington area, where she performs with a variety of operas, ballets, musicals and local and visiting orchestras, as well as in a wide range of chamber music programs. She has performed for many years in the orchestra of the National Theatre, the American Camerata for New Music and in the Flute and Harp Duo in the concerts in Schools Program under the auspices of The Friday Morning Music Club and the Washington Performing Arts Society. Professor Seidman has also substituted with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras. She has recorded for both radio and television. In addition to teaching at the George Washington University, she is on the faculties of Howard University and the International School of Music.

 

Horn Faculty:

 

 

 

Dakota Corbliss

Dakota is an active freelance horn artist on the East Coast, where he divides his time between teaching and performing with a multitude of ensembles. He has played with the Virginia Symphony, Roanoke Symphony, New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, South Florida Philharmonic, New River Valley Symphony, and the United States Navy Band Southwest. He is a faculty member of FredBrass, a brass-intensive summer festival originating from Fredericksburg, VA, and now growing across the country. As well as being a member of FredBrass, Dakota helped found Vice City Brass, a collective of brass and electronic musicians aiming to bridge the generation gap between the past, present, and future. Dakota is a Wallace Brass artist, using their mutes exclusively. Dakota earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Music Performance from Virginia Tech, where he was a featured soloist with both the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble and the nearby New River Valley Symphony. He then continued to the University of Miami where he earned his Masters of Music in Instrumental Performance. Dakota has experience teaching all brass instruments, teaching students from several different high schools in Virginia Beach varying in instrumentation from trumpet down to tuba. He has passed all recital examinations on all brass instruments as adjudicated by the faculty at Virginia Tech. His teachers have included Richard Todd, Wallace Easter, Rebecca Peppard, and Sgt. Eric High.

Heidi Littman Brown

Heidi Littman Brown was born in Sunnyvale, California and began musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Heidi is an active freelance musician in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to her performances with Brass Quintet concerts, , New World Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Littman performs regularly with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. Heidi has taught at Chevy Chase High School, DC Youth Orchestra, and the International School of Music.

Dr. Katie Thigpen

Dr. Katie Thigpen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a performance certificate. While at USC, Katie studied trombone with Dr. Brad Edwards and received the Robert Van Doren Award for the Most Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. In 2009, she earned a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she studied trombone with Tim Anderson. She also graduated with Doctorate of Musical Arts program at CCM in 2014. Katie has enjoyed her summer work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI, serving both as a counselor in 2007-2008 and then as the Director of Camp Bernstein in 2009-2010. She has performed with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This past summer Katie was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with Per Brevig and performed with The American Academy of Conducting Orchestra. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the International Trombone Association

Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee received his B.M. from CSU, Sacramento and a M.M. degree from University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Steve Hendrickson, and Gary Dilworth. He is a member of the Wammie-award winning Great Noise Ensemble and is second trumpet in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR. He has performed with the Virginia, Richmond, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, the New York Opera Society, at various regional theaters in the D.C. area, and has also appeared with The O'Jays. Kevin has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Music Masters Course in Kasusa, Japan. As a composer his music has been performed extensively throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America by groups such as the National Symphony Brass Quintet, the Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet, the Navy Brass Quintet, U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, Tromba Mundi and the All-Star Brass Quintet featuring brass greats Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman and Patrick Sheridan. His music has also been recorded, some pieces by multiple artists. He has enjoyed several commissions by individuals/groups around the country. Kevin is a member of ASCAP. As an educator Kevin teaches brass at the Spencerville Adventist Academy and the International School of Music.

Tyler Castrucci

Tyler is currently the Assistant Principal/Second Trombone in the York Symphony Orchestra, Principal Trombone of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and a member of the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, McLean Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Castleton Festival Orchestra and internationally with the Franco-American Vocal Academy Orchestra. An avid educator, Tyler is a faculty member at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland, where he maintains a private studio of over 25 students. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland.

 

Oboe Faculty:

 

 

 

Dr. Christopher Raifsnider

Christopher Raifsnider holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Instruments (clarinet performance) from the Catholic University of America, a Master of Music degree in Woodwind Instruments from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. An active soloist and chamber music performer in the Washington D.C. area, he currently serves as clarinetist, audition supervisor, and career counselor with the U.S. Navy Band. Since 1992 he has performed in more than 1200 concerts on clarinet and saxophone throughout 44 states and abroad. Prior to his time in the Navy, he taught instrumental music in public schools for two years. As a teacher and clinician, Dr. Raifsnider has provided positive and enthusiastic instruction to thousands of students, having taught woodwinds, music theory, and improvisation at all levels. His teachers include Ricardo Morales, Steven Barta, Fred Ormand, Thomas Thompson, and Timothy Roberts. Dr. Raifsnider is a founding member of the Arundel Winds Woodwind Quintet and has performed with the Anne Arbor and Westmoreland symphonies. A patient, mature, and well rounded musician and educator, he draws from the rich tradition of teaching fundamentals first, but also incorporates a variety of new approaches and music technology. A note from the author... improving as a musician takes patience and practice, but let's never forget that music is fun and there is nothing in the world like the rewards we get from learning to express ourselves through the language of music!

 

Percussion Faculty:

 

 

 

Dr. Daniel Heagney

Dr. Daniel Heagney is an avid performer of contemporary solo and chamber music for percussion. He has served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee at Martin and Louisiana State University. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance and a minor in Experimental Music and Digital Media, a Masters of Music degree from LSU, and a Bachelor of Music from George Mason University. He has studied percussion with Brett Dietz, Jim Atwood, Troy Davis, John Kilkenny, and Ken Harbison. During his time in Louisiana Daniel became a highly sought after solo and chamber musician. He appeared as a clinician at the 2012 Louisiana Day of Percussion, performed as a soloist with the LSU Symphonic Winds, Hamiruge: the LSU Percussion Group, and the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana. He was a frequent guest percussionist with Louisiana’s top ensembles, including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Sinfonietta, and Opera Louisiane. He was also a founding member of the flute & percussion duo Dauphine Street Duo, the percussion duo Broken Sidewalk, and performed with the contemporary music ensemble Chemorocket. Daniel is consistently involved in commissioning, performing, and recording new works for percussion. Recently, he has given the world premieres of John Supko’s evening-length work All Souls (soprano, string quintet, piano, harp, synthesizer, two percussionists, and audio playback), Lindsey Jacob’s Thought Echoes (solo vibraphone), Joe W. Moore III’s No wind, no rain, just a subtle mist (prepared vibraphone), Brett William Dietz's broken (solo vibraphone), Voodoo Spells and Gris Gris (oboe, vibraphone, piano, and cello), Sanctus Bells (glockenspiel quartet), Seven Refrains (flute and marimba), David Stock’s Four Corners (marimba quartet), Jesse Allison’s Divergence (solo marimba and five ipads), and Peter Klatzow's new Six Etudes for solo marimba. The latter of which can be heard on Daniel’s first solo percussion CD, Collision. He has performed and produced recordings of the percussion works of Dinos Constantinides, David Stock, Stanley Leonard and Brett William Dietz. Daniel Heagney proudly endorses Black Swamp Percussion, Marimba One, Sabian Cymbals, and Vic Firth drumsticks and mallets.

Emory Hensley

Emory Hensley is currently the music teacher at W.D. Williams Elementary, and Weaverville Primary Schools. He is a graduate of Mars Hill College with a degree in Music Education, where he studied under Dr. Brian Tinkel. Emory has instructed many middle and high school percussion programs throughout North Carolina and currently works with the Charles. D. Owen High School Marching Band and winter percussion ensembles. He is currently on staff with the DCA two-time Class A high percussion winner Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, and is beginning his third year on staff with WGI PIO group Wake Forest Independent. Emory is an instructor for the MulTiPerc Summer Percussion Camp as well as the Mars Hill College Summer Music Camp. As a performer he has been a member of the Mars Hill College marching band, percussion ensemble, marimba band, and wind ensemble. He has participated in Drum Corps International with the World Class Finalist Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, and with Odyssey Percussion Theatre, a Percussion Independent World group in Winter Guard International. Emory is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and NAfME.

Eric Plewinski

Eric Plewinski received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida. During his Tampa, FL residency, he performed in various theater productions and as an orchestral percussionist with The Florida Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony. Eric was also a member of the national touring ensembles backing operatic tenor Michael Amante and Grammy award-winning Broadway singer Bernadette Peters and can be heard as a member of the McCormick Percussion Group on Music For Keyboard Percussions,The Music of Gui Sook Lee, and Concerti for Strings With Percussion Orchestra all of which are distributed through NAXOS. Eric completed his Master of Music degree at the University of Maryland, College Park where he studied with the principal percussionist of the National Symphony Orchestra, Eric Shin. Additionally, he has studied with Jauvon Gilliam and Tony Ames. Recently, Eric has performed with such groups as the National Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera, Congressional Chorus, Great Noise Ensemble and the GRAMMY-nominated, Inscape Chamber Orchestra. Eric has participated in multiple summer festivals including the National Orchestral Institute and the AIMS festival in Graz, Austria.

Matthew Piccard

Matthew Piccard began his musical studies at the age of five with Dr. Theadora Coob of Berkeley College of Music. Mr. Piccard graduated with Bachelors degree in music and sociology from Bard College at Simons Rock. Matt was also afforded tremendous study abroad opportunities having circumnavigated the globe via ship and having studied, performed, recorded, taught in North America, The Carribean, Central America, South America, Africa, India, South East Asia, and Europe. Matt prides himself on an eclecticism in both musical genres and percussive instruments by drawing on his vast and varied experience. His abilities include orchestral percussion, marching percussion, drum set, electronics, sequencing, programming, hand, ethnic percussion, recording techniques, instruction in all levels. His extensive performance and teaching experience covers most styles and genres.

Tatevik Khoja-Eynatyan

Tatevik Khoja-Eynatyan earned Bachelor's degree and Graduate Performance Diploma in percussion from the Peabody Institute under the instruction of Robert Van Sice, and a Master's degree in Musicology. Tatevik is working with the El Sistema-inspired OrchKids program in Baltimore and teaches percussion and musicianship at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the International School of Music. She also spends a significant portion of each year in her native Armenia, where she is a faculty member of Sistema Armenia and pursues various other pedagogical activities. To date, she has used music as a source of much-needed focus and therapy at a crisis center for children and has facilitated various rhythm and movement workshops for hundreds of musicians and non-musicians of all ages throughout Armenia. In the past, Tatevik has taught percussion at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC and the Peabody Preparatory's Tuned In program. She has worked closely with Belgium's educational organization ReMuA and the Ictus Contemporary Ensemble to create and present an educational concert program entitled "Sound and Body," which focused on making music with non-traditional instruments and toured throughout Belgium and France. Tatevik was a founding member of Washington DC's award-winning Narek Bell Choir, and performed with the group throughout the East Coast, and in Canada, Austria, France, the UK, and Armenia. In 2012 Tatevik was selected by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) to perform in Carnegie Hall as one of the top recipients of AGBU's musician scholarship program.

Wanlu Ma

Wanlu Ma received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Music under the tutelage of Robert Van Sice and her Master of Music degree from Cleveland State University where she studied with Tom Freer (Assistant Timpani Principal, Cleveland Orchestra). Dedicated to orchestral, chamber, and solo percussion music, she has performed with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School Orchestra, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Percussion Group, and has appeared as a marimba soloist on the Peabody Thursday Noon Series. In 2009 she won 3rd place in The First Percussion Competition of China. Wanlu Ma was recently appointed Principal Percussion of Symphony Number One in Baltimore, MD. A firm believer in music education, Wanlu Ma is devoted to nurturing musical growth in students of all backgrounds and ages. She has extensive experience instructing all orchestral percussion instruments.

 

Piano Faculty:

 

 

 

Dr. Adela Peeva

Dr. Adela Peeva holds a Doctoral Degree in Music from the University of Miami, a Master's Degree in Music from the Florida International University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. As an active soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, Dr. Peeva has been performing in the USA, Bulgaria, Austria, Italy, Spain, Greece and Denmark and in venues such as Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Carnival Center in Miami, Klavierhause in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition, she has been a staff accompanist for the European Festivals for Young Choral Conductors in Spain and Austria, for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts in Miami, Florida and All-National Honor Choir in Washington DC. Dr. Peeva has more than twenty years of piano teaching experience. Throughout her career, she has been teaching children of all ages as well as adults. Based on her experience, she authored the textbook "I Play the Piano" for beginning piano students, published in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Alice Ji

Alice Ji , piano: Bachelor of Music, Dongduk Women's University (Seoul, Korea); Master of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder; studied under the tutelage of Hue-Am Park, Hyo Sun Na and Andrew Cooperstock. Alice performed at the Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall as a prizewinner of the American Protégé International Piano and String Competition 2013. Other concerts and festival appearances include Château de Vianden and Larei Hall in Luxembourg, the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Washington International Piano Festival, Brevard Music Center, Vianden International Music Festival (recipient of scholarship awards from Brevard and Vianden), and many others. She was selected to perform at numerous master classes including Pascal Rogé, Barbara Lister-Sink, Robert Weirich, and Christopher Harding. She currently serves as juror for the annual Young Artist Award Competition in Gaithersburg, MD and ISM's Performance Evaluation Program. She is an active member of Music Teachers National Association, Maryland State Music Teachers Association, Montgomery County Music Teachers Association, and Washington D. C. Music Teachers Association. Her award-winning students have performed at such venues as Strathmore Mansion and Steinway Gallery Recital Hall.

Bonghee Lee

Born in Seoul, South Korea, pianist Bonghee Lee performs actively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Korea. Ms. Lee graduated from Yewon School, Seoul Arts High School in Korea, and Yonsei University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, studying with Professor Kyung Sook Lee. Also she obtained a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where she was awarded both the Sarah Stulman Zieler Prize and the Lillian Gutman Memorial Prize in piano. Ms. Lee has participated in many international festivals and concert series. She has demonstrated excellence in various solo and chamber performances in venues including Lincoln Center in New York, Shriver Hall, Strathmore Arts Center, Friedberg Concert Hall, Falvey Hall, Enoch Pratt Library in Maryland, and Gilles-Lefebvre Concert Hall in Canada, Win Art Hall, Yonsei University 100th Anniversary Memorial Hall, Munho Art Hall, and Youngsan Grace Hall in Seoul, Korea. Furthermore, Ms. Lee has performed in master classes for regarded concert pianists such as Leon Fleisher and Oliver Kern. She has a passion for teaching and more than ten years of experience teaching students of all ages. She is an active piano teacher and pianist, and has been an accompanist at the Peabody Conservatory and Preparatory since 2010. Currently, under the guidance of Ellen Mack, she is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where she was a Graduate Assistant in the Accompanying department from 2013 to 2015.

Charles Worle

Charles Worle is a graduate of Mansfield University in Mansfield Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelors of music in keyboard performance in 2012. Mr. Worle also received his M.M. from The University of Maryland in 2017. He has taught private lessons since 2008. He is a dynamic and energetic Pianist with plentiful experience working with kids and adults. Mr. Worle is a highly motivated educator of music and performance arts adept in creating exciting and entertaining learning environments.

Dr. Cecile Khill

Dr. Cecile Khill, DMA, MM, Artist Diploma, BM - Cecile has received a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and the Artist Diploma in Chamber Music and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. She received a Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State in 1996 to continue her doctoral studies in the US. Her teaching experience includes teaching posts at Montgomery College, Catholic University, the International School of Music. Before she taught piano for many years in her hometown, Nazareth. In addition to teaching Dr. Khill wrote a piano method and other teaching materials for elementary and intermediate level students. She judged several piano competitions in the US and Jerusalem. Cecile performs frequently as soloist and chamber musician in the US and in the Middle East. She is currently serving as the Piano Department Chair at the International School of Music.

Dana Smith

Dana Smith is excited to join the diverse and gifted faculty at the International School of Music. A US citizen, she grew up in Nepal and India. She continued to explore the world, living in Burkina Faso, Belgium and Bahrain and traveling in the Middle East and South Asia. Dana has been teaching piano for 20 years, to both children and adults of all levels and diverse cultural backgrounds. She enjoys using music as a tool to improve her students’ confidence and believes in a well-rounded musical education that introduces students to performance, theory, history, improvisation and composition through piano pieces that they love. Although her background is in classical music, her students may learn classical, jazz or popular music, based on a variety of established piano methods. Recently she has begun using the Suzuki method with younger beginners and loves the focus of this method on being creative and positive. Dana also has experience teaching students with special needs, and teaching in French. She is familiar with British and French musical language and has prepared many students for the ABRSM exams. Dana attended Mills College in California, studying piano with Goodwin Sammel, and the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where she studied Keyboard Collaborative Arts with Dr. Alan Smith. Throughout her education Dana was recognized for her scholarship and excellence in performance. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa scholarship society, and Pi Kappa Lambda music scholarship society. At Mills College she was awarded the Friedburger Cup for Best Music Major, and at the University of Southern California the Miriam Oppenheim Scholarship and the Departmental Award for Outstanding Graduate. Since completing her education, in addition to teaching she has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist, and in choirs around the world. Performance highlights include solo and chamber music recitals in India, Belgium and Bahrain, as pianist with orchestra for Saint-Saens’ ‘Carnival of the Animals’ and Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni.’ Dana enjoys bringing the music of lesser known composers to audiences, especially music by female composers. In addition to singing in many choral ensembles, she has been accompanist to Oriana Choir at the University of Southern California, Voci ensemble in Oakland, California, and rehearsal conductor and principal conductor for both adult and children’s choirs. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Dr. Daria Scarano

Silver Medalist of the Emil Gilels International Piano Competition, Daria Scarano began her piano studies when she was five years old in Moscow, Russia. She attended the renowned Moscow Central School of Music of the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. As one of the most promising students, Daria was chosen to give a special performance for the Russian Royal Romanov Family at the Nobleman Palace in Moscow by the time she was eight. Daria came to the United States in 1997 and two years later was admitted to the University of Maryland School of Music at the age of 15, where she acquired her Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. Daria has performed as a soloist, with orchestra and as a chamber musician throughout North and South Americas as well as Europe at such venues as Stadtcasino Musiksaal (Basel, Switzerland), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, Maryland), Moscow Conservatory Recital Hall (Moscow, Russia), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall (St. Petersburg, Russia), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, Portugal), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy), Zarizino Concert Hall (Moscow, Russia), Fontainebleau Palace Salle des Colonnes (Fontainebleau, France), Tchaikovsky Cultural Center Hall (Moscow, Russia), Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile (Santiago de Chile, Chile), Odessa Philharmonic Hall (Odessa, Ukraine) and Washington Arts Club (Washington, DC). She has collaborated with Alexander Toradze and his Piano Studio, Phillipe Entremont, Charles Siem, Anastasia Voltchok and Philippe Bianconi. Her appearances with orchestra include University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra under Maestro James Ross, South Bend Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Tsung Yeh, Orquesta Sinfonica del Instituto Cultural de Providencia under Maestro Denis Kolobov and Odessa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Hobard Earle. Daria is the recipient of the Robert Casadesus Award, Portia Silver Rosenbaum Rotkin Award, Chevy Chase Women’s Award, Yamaha Corporation Award and the Global Music Award. Her recording of Franz Liszt piano solo works was released on Centaur Records to critical acclaim.

Dr. Dimitar Nikolov

Dr. Dimitar Nikolov, a versatile conductor, pianist, and educator, has conducted orchestra and opera performances in the United States and Europe. Audiences have been impressed by his ability to energize the orchestra and to produce unique sound within a large dynamic range. He has held conducting positions in United States (The Fort Dodge Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Opera) and Bulgaria (Burgas Philharmonic, Schumen Symphony Orchestra, Bulgarian National Wind Symphony, and Burgas Opera). Dr. Nikolov has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras in United States, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Russia, Romania, and Ukraine. Dimitar Nikolov began his professional career in 1991 as a Korepetitor (Assistant Conductor) in the Burgas State Opera. Early in his career he had the opportunity to conduct one of the best European orchestras, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. This success led to numerous guest conducting opportunities offered by most of the Bulgarian orchestras. He was also appointed Music Director of the Sofia Wind Symphony. In 1996 Dimitar moved to the United States. He finished his Masters at the University of Northern Iowa and Doctorate at the University of Nebraska. During his studies, he was an assistant conductor for the University Orchestras and the opera programs. In 2001 Dimitar Nikolov was appointed Music Director of the Fort Dodge Symphony and Assistant Conductor of Des Moines Metro Opera. More recently, he spent time conducting professionally in his native country Bulgaria and appeared as a guest conductor with East Coast Orchestras (Newark Symphony, Avanti Orchestra, etc.) and with orchestras in Russia, Romania, and Ukraine. Dimitar Nikolov has studied with many eminent conductors. In 1991 he had the rare opportunity to be selected by the legendary teacher Ilya Moussine to participate in his last workshop. As a Fellow Conductor at the Aspen Music Festival he had the opportunities to study with David Zinman, James Levine, Murry Sidlin, Alan Gilbert, and Yury Temirkanov. He has also studied with Gustav Meier, Diane Wittry, Rebecca Burkhardt, Tylor White, Ivan Bakalov.Dimitar Nikolov is also active as a choral conductor, Concert pianist, and educator. He is currently the Music Director of the Washington International Chorus. He has also previously conducted the Waldorf College Women's Chorus and the Des Moines Choir. Dimitar is currently performing solo and chamber music recitals in the Baltimore/Washington area and in Bulgaria. He has appeared as a soloist with American and Bulgarian orchestras. Dr. Nikolov enjoys teaching young students and has been on the faculty of Catholic University, Simpson College, Waldorf College, International School of Music, and the Bulgarian National Academy of Music.

Dmitry Samogray

Recognized as a "thoughtful player" whose playing exhibits "stylistic mastery and playful lightness" by the press, American pianist, Dmitry Samogray, performs solo and chamber music recitals regularly throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A passionate and dynamic chamber musician, Dmitry is a top prize winner at the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition and a founding member of several ensembles, including the Rácz-Samogray Duo, Trio Accendo, and the Nubar Trio. Rácz-Samogray Duo's Zagreb debut at the HGZ Concert Hall was described as "an inimitable musical evening filled with beauty and emotion". Following a recital at the Lisinski Hall, Trio Accendo was praised for its "attentive interpretations, synchronized musical intent, and a rich tone". In addition to standard repertoire, Dmitry is committed to the exploration of wrongfully neglected music, including works for non-standard, mixed ensembles. As soloist, Dmitry has performed at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall under the auspices of the American Fine Arts Festival for three consecutive seasons. Other festival appearances include PagArt Festival (Croatia), KD Festival (Croatia), International Festival "Umbria Classica" (Italy), and Leonardo De Lorenzo Festival (Italy). Born in Tashkent, Dmitry studied at the Uspensky School of Music with Tatyana Sotnikova before moving to the United States. He has worked with prominent Russian virtuosos Alexander Shtarkman and Larissa Dedova, earning his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, respectively. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Music at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Elizabeth Brown

Pianist Elizabeth Brown is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in collaborative piano at the University of Maryland. A member of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Brown graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. At Northwestern, she studied with Dr. Marcia Bosits, Dr. Sylvia Wang, and Elizabeth Buccheri. Ms. Brown spent the past summer at Songfest, an intensive art song festival at Pepperdine University, where she participated in master classes with Graham Johnson and Martin Katz. She has also attended the Aspen Music Festival 2007-2010, the American-Russian Piano Institute in St. Petersburg, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca. Ms. Brown is in demand as a piano teacher and collaborator throughout the Washington D. C. area.

Eric Waggoner

Eric Waggoner is a collaborative pianist, music director, vocal coach and music educator from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Waggoner earned an Artist Diploma and Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, where he studied with world renowned pianist John O’Conor. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, including piano study at the Music Conservatory in Zagreb, Croatia with professor Ante Milic. As a vocalist in the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Mr. Waggoner has performed works of Beethoven, Mahler and Orff with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras. He has served as Music Director for Loudoun Lyric Opera as well as Assistant Music Director and Vocal Coach for the American Singers’ Opera Project. As a member of the Nova Trio, he was a National Chamber Music Finalist in the MTNA competition in New York City in 2012. Mr. Waggoner currently serves as Music Director at Darnestown Presbyterian Church in Maryland as well as Music Theory Instructor for the PAVAN Governor’s School.

Esther Kim

Esther Kim received a master's degree in piano pedagogy from George Mason University, where she studied with Dr. Joanne Haroutounian. She holds a Bachelors degree in piano performance from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. While in college she received numerous art grants and musical scholarships. She has taught piano since 1999 to students of all ages, levels and abilities.

Dr. Eun-Ji Park

Dr. Eun-Ji Park has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist, and teacher. She has performed numerous recitals in South Korea, Italy, and the United States. In 2007, she made her European orchestral debut with Sinfonia Perusina Orchestra in Italy. She has participated and performed in the Summer Music Festival in New Jersey, the Music Naturally Summer Festival with scholarship in Pennsylvania, and the Perugia International Music Festival in Italy. She has also performed in master classes for Dr. John Gorman, Fraces Veri, Dr. Daniel Lau, Dr. Asaf Zohar, and others. Prizes and awards include the 15th National Saemaul Art World-International Young Artist Music Competition and the 86th Sopa Art World. She is also a recipient of scholarship including the Benjamin T. Rome School of music Scholarship and the 2008 Korean Honor Scholarship from Korean-American Embassy. She received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and the Master of Music degree in piano performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC and the bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Seoul, South Korea. She studied with pianist Jung-Hwa Lee, Ja-Hyang Lim, Byung-Woo Yoon, Bradford Gowen, and Dr. Kaltchev as well as chamber musician Dr. Robert Newkirk and Michael Mermagen. She is an active member of many professional organizations, including the Music Teachers National Association, the Maryland State Music Teachers Association, the Montgomery County Music Teachers Association, and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College, Youth Program in Rockville and International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland.

Grace Luo

Grace Luo is a piano instructor who has been teaching in the Maryland/DC area since 2008. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan in 2008 and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland in 2010. Her teaching experience include the International School of Music in Bethesda, private studio in California and here in College Park, MD. In addition Ms. Luo is a piano accompanist and ensemble pianist since 2003. Grace is a member of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and MSMTA (Maryland State Music Teachers Association).

Hannah Schick

Hannah Schick graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Cedarville University in May 2012. She studied piano with Dr. Charles Clevenger and Mrs. Connie Anderson. Hannah was involved in Concert Chorale and performed in a variety of concerts. She has also been a member of the American Guild of Music and served as a judge for the National Federation of Music Clubs. Hannah has enjoyed teaching a variety of beginning, intermediate, and adult piano students for the past seven years.

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang was born in Seoul, Korea, where she started to play the piano at the age of 5. After she immigrated to U.S., she studied at George Mason University with Dr. Anna Balakerskaia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, concentrated in piano. Ms. Yang has received Suzuki method training with internationally well-known instructor Mary Craig Powell. Currently, Ms. Yang is an accompanist at Sydenstricker United Methodist Church performing variety styles of music. Hannah has been teaching piano to students of all ages at the Contemporary Keyboard Studios at Falls Church before joining the International School of Music.

Helen Kong

An active soloist, multi-style pianist, flutist, and arranger, Helen Kong received a Bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and Master's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL while employed as Graduate Teaching Assistant. Ms. Helen was on the faculty of the Asia Pacific International School and the Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Miss Helen Kong has won numerous competitions including; the Florida Flute Association Young Artist Competition, South Eastern Michigan Flute Association Young Artist Competition, Florida Music Teachers National Association Concerto Competition, the Brevard Young Artist Competition, 3rd prize winner of the 2001 Annual Bach Festival Young Artist Competition in Winter Park, Florida, and recently received a second prize at the 2006 Byron Hester Flute Competition in Houston, Texas. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and served as the principal flutist for the Michigan Youth Orchestra and the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra for many years. As a chamber musician, Helen performs with the A441 Wind Quintet. Over the four years A441 has been together, they have performed at various venues, and were featured as soloists with the Island Chamber Symphony, performing Mozart's Symphony Concertante at New York Institute of Technology, and competed at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Coleman National Chamber Music Competition, and the Plowman National Chamber Music Competition. Recently, the Quintet's live performances and conversation have been broadcasted live on Rochester Channel 13 & 10 News.

Hanni Zhang

Hanni Zhang is an enthusiastic pianist and teacher. She is a doctorate student at University of Maryland majoring piano performance. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Tianjin Conservatory in China in 2010, afterward she went to the United State to pursue her Master’s degree majoring piano performance and pedagogy at Pennsylvania State University in 2013. She entered different competitions and gained many awards, such as the first place and third place of TOYAMA Asian music competition. She played many solo and chamber recitals through China and United State. Hanni has more than 10 years teaching experience. Through the course of her teaching she has had wonderful opportunity to teach diverse students. As a result, she has become proficient at designing creative and stimulating lesson plans, which keep students interested in and focused on their piano study.

Dr. Hyojin Ahn

Dr. Hyojin Ahn has enjoyed a richly diverse musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist, teacher, and accompanist. A graduate of Seoul National University and the University of Michigan, she earned her doctorate in Piano Performance from Rice University in Houston, TX. After graduation, she lived in Miami Beach, Florida playing primarily with the New World Symphony and Southwest Florida Symphony while teaching at Barry University. Since she moved to the DC area in 2012, she has frequently performed with groups including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Piano Society of Greater Washington, Great Noise Ensemble and the Inscape Chamber Orchestra. She is currently on piano faculty at Montgomery College and the International School of Music. She also serves as Music Director at All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, Maryland. Dr. Hyojin Ahn was a recipient of the Presser Music Award with which she participated in music festivals in France, Austria, and Italy and also played as a soloist with the Berlin RIAS youth Orchestra. She has won prizes at several competitions, including the New World Symphony Concerto Competition, the Jacob Flier International Competition, and theSamick Piano Competition. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater as part of the Millennium Stage Conservatory Project in a performance aired live on NPRnationwide. As a member of Acanthes Piano Duo, she toured the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. She also toured France and Spain with the New World Symphony Orchestra sponsored by a Parisian opera company, Opéra-Comique. Recently, she presented a lecture-recital in the College Music Society International Conference in Seoul, Korea. Along with traditional music, Hyojin Ahn is a strong advocate of new music; she has premiered several new compositions for solo piano and a variety of ensembles. She also participated in contemporary music festivals and competitions, including Centre Acanthes in France and the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in the Netherlands. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake she volunteered to teach at Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince.

Dr. Irina Koulikova

A Honored Artist of Russia, pianist Irina Koulikova has performed throughout Russia, Europe and USA, giving recitals at the most prestigious venues and concert halls including the of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia, Weil Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, the Music Center in Strathmore , the Russian Embassy and Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., Hodgson Concert Hall at the University of Georgia, Athens, and the Raymond, F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Palm Beach, Florida. She taught piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory from 1977 until 2014 and served as the Head of the International Department of the Conservatory from 1996 until 2008. Dr. Koulikova has taught and performed at Greece, the International Summer Piano Schools in Novi Sad and Subotica, Serbia, Ohrid, Macedonia, Beijing, China, the Piano Forum in Rowan University in New Jersey and American Fine Arts Festival in New York. She has also judged at the 2nd International competition “Du-nabe” in Novi Sad Serbia. Dr. Koulikova has participated in international conferences in Taiwan, China, Russia and Germany. Dr. Koulikova received her DMA and Masters in Music from Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Russia; her Doctoral Thesis was on “Piano works by Igor Stravinsky”. Dr. Koulikova was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Catholic University of America from 2000 – 2001. She has released 3 classical CDs, the most recent of which is “Two Centuries of Russian Romances”, released in March, 2010 by the “Russian Music Society” label in USA. Dr. Koulikova is member of the faculty of International School of Music in Bethesda, MD, and is a member of MTNA, NVMTA, WMTA, MSMTA and the National Guild of Piano Teachers in America.

Dr. Jeni Maneva

Dr. Jeni Maneva receives her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the West Virginia University; her Master's degree also in Piano Performance from the University of Maine and her Bacherlor's and Master's degrees in Music Education and Piano Performance from the National Academy for Music and Dance in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Dr. Maneva's performing experience include numerous solo and chamber music appearances in the US and Europe; also piano concertos performances with the University of Maine and West Virginia University. Performances at the Corcoran Gallery and Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Rosslyn Spectrum, Arlington, VA, also In Bulgaria, Greece and Germany. Dr. Maneva is currently teaching music, keyboard and chorus classes at the Prince George's County Public School System. Teaching experience include also the Peabody Preparatory Division at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, MD; University of Maine; West Virginia University; International School of Music, Bethesda, MD; Garrison Forest School, MD and Bryn Mawr School, Baltimore, MD. Jeni Maneva's first book The Solo Piano Version of Maurice Ravel's La Valse: Historical Context, Structure, Harmony, and Challenges for Interpretation in the Solo Piano Version has been published by the German Publishisher VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.

Jiyoung Lee

Jiyoung Lee received her BM degree in piano performance from Busan National University (S. Korea), as well as an MM degree in collaborative piano from Southern Illinois University. She received a graduate assistantship as an accompanist at Southern Illinois University, and a full scholarship from Rotary club of Yeongdeungpo (Seoul). While she was earning MM degree at Southern Illinois University, she had extensive performing and touring experiences with the wind ensemble and the concert choir in various areas including Chicago Symphony Orchestra hall. She also played with Dame Evelyn Glennie as a keyboardist. Ms. Lee also attended Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins, for her second master's degree for vocal accompanying. While at Peabody, she received a graduate assistantship in opera accompanying, where she served as a rehearsal pianist for B.Britten's opera "Midsummer Night", and for numerous singers in voice departmental concerts and studio classes. Ms. Lee also played for Poulenc's opera "Les Dialogues des Carmelites" at the Baltimore Lyric Opera as a piano and celesta player in 2013. Ms. Lee has had various performing experiences as a soloist, orchestral pianist, collaborative pianist, and as a private piano teacher.

Karen Jung-Yeon Yim

Pianist Karen Jung-Yeon Yim currently enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of Maryland as a student of Bradford Gowen. She was a national winner at the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Piano Competition. Other competition awards highlights include first prize at the Torrance Symphony Competition, forth prize at the New York International Competition, and first prize at the Korea Times Music Competition, among others. She has performed extensively as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout Korea and the United States. Ms. Yim has performed with the Torrance Symphony, Southwestern Music Festival Orchestra and The Colburn Orchestra. She has participated in several summer festivals including the Banff Music Festival, the Orford Music Festival, Internationaler Klaviersommer Bad Bertrich and the Vianden Music Festival. She has performed in master classes with Leon Flesither, Robert Levin, Yong-Hi Moon and Menahem Pressler. Ms. Yim received her Bachelor’s degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music studying with John Perry, and her Master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Dr. Daniel Shapiro.

Karine Muradyan

Karine Muradyan graduated from the Music College of Romanos Melikian in piano teaching, accompaniment and performing She is holds masters from the State Conservatory of Komitas in Yerevan . While in Etchmiadzin, Armenia she held the role of a music school director of piano program, in addition to being piano teacher, accompanist and performer. Following that, Karine was a teacher at the Sayat-Nova Music School in Yerevan and the organ accompanist at St. Sargi's Church. From 1995- 2001 Karine was hired by the American Embassy as a general music teacher in the Quality International School in Yerevan. While in the United States, Karine held an organist position at St. Mary's Church in Washington, DC, and taught piano at the Alexander School of Music in Rockville, North Potomac School of Music, Academy of Fine Arts in Gaithersburg. Karine's teaching experience expands also to the early childhood music and includes Lone Oak Montessori School (Bethesda), Crestview Montessori School, and Redwood Academy. From 2002, Karine has been the Music Director at United Methodist Church in Rockville, music teacher at the Montessori School of Washington and piano teacher at the International School of Music. Additionally, she has been a member of Friday morning music Club in Chamber Music. Her performances include Ellipse Gallery (Arlington, VA), in Summer Museum (Washington, DC) Strathmore Mansion, US Yerevan, Etchmiadzin (Armenia) and Tamilino (Moscow), the Sumner Museum, and the Armenian Embassy. Karine is also a member of the American College of Musicians and the ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal School of Music), also Royal Conservatory. Her students played successfully in competitions and passed the tests with merit and distinction both in performing and theory.

Kate Weber-Petrova

Inspired by her passion for music, teaching, and history, Kate Weber-Petrova unites these three disciplines in her professional life as a performer, teacher, and music historian. She holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland in College Park, where she studied musicology, and a B.M. from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she majored in both piano and vocal performance. For over a decade, Kate has taught piano and voice students of various ages with the aim of instilling a love and respect for music, a disciplined approach to practicing, and a solid technical and theoretical foundation. In addition to teaching studio lessons, she has taught both graduate and undergraduate music history classes at the University of Maryland, including the History of Western Music, the History of Popular Music, Nineteenth-Century Music, and a Seminar on the Music of Johannes Brahms. Presently, Kate holds the position of music director at Christ Church in Stevensville, MD, where she plays organ and piano, and directs the choral and instrumental ensembles. She has performed as a soloist and/or collaborative musician at the Peabody Institute, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Chicago Institute of Music, Wisconsin Conservatory, St. John's Cathedral of Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Museum of Wisconsin Art, University of Wisconsin-Washington County, and Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

Katerina Zaitseva

Katerina Zaitseva, hailed by Fanfare magazine for her "imaginative and colorful interpretive approach", Katerina Zaitseva has performed in the United States, Germany, Luxemburg, France, South Korea, Japan, and Russia including appearances in the Moscow State Conservatory Hall (Moscow, Russia), John F. Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Steinway Hall (Dallas, Texas), and Yamaha Hall (NYC). She was also privileged to play for the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, at the opening of the Meadows Museum of Arts in Dallas. Ms. Zaitseva has been featured as soloist with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Corvallis Symphony, Lewisville Lake Symphony, and Rapides Symphony Orchestra among others. Her recording of Glazunov's Concerto No. 2 with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra released by the Classical Records in 2007 has garnered international critical acclaim. American Record Guide critic wrote: "Katerina Zaitseva's playing no doubt captures the vitality and excitement one would have heard from Glazunov's daughter Elena, who was often the soloist in early performances of this work. This recording is a welcome addition to anyone's listening library." Katerina's latest CD - Trios by Beethoven, Kuhlau and Donizetti with flutist Dennette McDermott and bassoonist Douglas Bakenhus - was released in Moscow on Classical Records in May 2009. Katerina Zaitseva also performs extensively in piano duo with Nikita Fitenko. Hailed by critics for their "superlative sound, superlative interpretation, and superlative pianism...", the duo has performed worldwide with most recent appearances at the Piano Duo Series (Tokyo, Japan), Nancyphonies Music Festival (Nancy, France), Berkeley University (California, USA), as well as at Seocho District Hall and Yonsei University (South Korea). Their critically acclaimed CD featuring works for piano four hands by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms was released in 2005. Currently, Ms. Zaitseva is on faculty of the International School of Music in Washington D.C. area. Prior to that she was a full time piano faculty and Artist in Residence at Louisiana College (Alexandria, LA). She also presented masterclasses at Han Yang University (Seoul, Korea) and Showa University (Tokyo, Japan). She has been a member of the Music Teachers National Association since 1997. In addition to teaching and performing, she is also the Executive Director of the Washington International Piano Festival and the Associate Executive Director of the Louisiana International Piano Competition. Ms. Zaitseva is a winner of national competitions and awards including the MTNA Competition, SMU Concerto Competition, Von Mickwitz Prize in Piano, as well as an Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award among others. She holds her Master of Music degree from the Southern Methodist University, the Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude from the University of North Texas, and Diploma from the Music School affiliated with the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia. Her principal teachers include Joaquín Achúcarro, Pamela Mia Paul, and Marina Prozorova.

Katherine Vest

Katherine Vest is a professional pianist and has run a private piano studio for five years. She is pursuing a Master of Music in Piano Performance and is a piano teaching assistant at the University of Maryland. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a minor in Voice Performance from Samford University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. During her time at Samford she was a Miller-Shepherd scholarship recipient and placed first in several competitions, including the Alabama Music Teachers Association, the Alabama Federation Music Club, the Samford University Morris Competition, and the Birmingham Music Club Guild Scholarship Competition. She was a featured soloist at Wallace State Community College and soloed with the Samford University Orchestra performing the Ravel G Major Concerto. She performed with the internationally renowned A Cappella Choir and accompanied them for a masterclass with the Vienna Boy's Choir director. Katherine also performed in masterclasses with world-renown pianists, Jeremy Denk, Allen Chow, Heidi Williams, Wu Han, and Lowell Liebermann. While in Birmingham, she worked at Samford University as a vocal accompanist and at Ascension Episcopal Church as a choral scholar and service leader.

Kyuree Kang

Pianist Kyuree Kang is not only a performer, but also an enthusiastic educator and a sincere volunteer for the community. As a performer, Ms. Kang appears widely as a soloist and a collaborative pianist in Korea, Vietnam, and the United States. She actively participates in charity and volunteer works with music as the medium, in addition to her performance, teaching, and accompanying career. Ms. Kang believes that music is a social phenomenon: teachers cannot exist without students, musicians cannot exist without audiences, and a future cannot exist without children who love music. Ms. Kang has been teaching privately since 2011, with students ranging from five years to adults. She always listens to students’ opinions in a welcoming environment, adapts to each individual’s style of learning, and, most importantly, helps students fall in love with the music making process. To effectively engage in community activities, Ms. Kang chose to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Cornell while studying piano under Xak Bjerken. Ms. Kang is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under Brian Ganz.

Lindsey Paradise

Mezzo-soprano Lindsey Paradise has performed as a soloist with numerous choral and opera companies, including Knoxville Opera, the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, Bel Cantanti, the Washington Master Chorale, and the New England Conservatory Light Opera Company. She premiered at the Kennedy Center as a soloist in Janacek's Diary of One Who Disappeared with Toby Spence. Her favorite operatic roles include Miles in The Turn of the Screw, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Olga Olsen in StreetScene, Annina in La Traviata and Olga in Eugene Onegin. Ms. Paradise was the winner of the Mabry Music Award in voice and was a semi-finalist in both the National Orpheus vocal competition and the Long Leaf Opera vocal competition. While an Apprentice with the Knoxville Opera, she participated as a finalist in the University of Tennessee Concerto Competition, and was later chosen as a semi-finalist in the annual Meistersinger competition in Graz, Austria. Recently, Ms. Paradise was a winner of the district NATS competition. She is also interested in concert performance and sang Mendelssohn's Elijah as a soloist and performed in the World Premiere of Joseph Santo's Visperasde la Santa Cruz in Washington, D.C. Ms. Paradise also performed Vivaldi's Gloria as a soloist with the Washington Women's Chorus and Mozart's Requiem under Thomas Beveridge and J. Reilly Lewis.

Lisa Chang

After graduating from Tunghai University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance, Lisa Chang went on to earn her Master of Music degree, also in Piano Performance, from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where she received an IU Music Merit Scholarship to study under Professor Shigeo Neriki. Over the years, Lisa has had the opportunity to broaden her musical horizons with musicians from around the world, studying with pianist Paul Badura-Skoda during the 46th Weimar Master Classes as well as winning a scholarship to the 2010 Brevard Summer music festival where she studied under Professor Craig Nies. Professionally, Lisa has served as an accompanist for the violin Professor Wyrczynski and clarinet Professor Eban Klug at the Jacobs School, where she also worked as an assistant piano instructor. Lisa's love for teaching and inspiring developing pianists led her to serve as a supervisor for high school students during national piano competitions in Taiwan as well as establish her own private piano school while in Shanghai, where she taught students of all levels.

Madeline Belknap

Madeline Belknap hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America, where she concentrated in flute, piano, and voice. She participated in the CUA wind ensemble for four years, where she was a soloist and principal player. Her experience teaching includes providing private lessons, leading small ensembles, conducting full bands. Her musical background began at the age of 5 when she first took piano lessons, and soon extended to the flute. Additionally, her passion for musical theatre lead her to pursue a dual degree in Music and Drama, which she achieved in May of 2017. Her musical tastes span from classical, to musical theatre, to alternative, and everything in between.

Dr. Margarita Glebov

Dr. Margarita Glebov DMA, MM, BM has completed studies at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Maryland. She made her recording debut in 2010 with Impromptu, a CD on the Music and Arts label, which has been described by the International Record Review as an "auspicious debut, strongly recommended for its unusual repertoire and its impressive level of pianism." Margarita's following CD of Sergei Lyapunov's piano music released on Toccata Classics in 2013 has also received numerous positive reviews. Fanfare writes: "Glebov lives and breaths the style of this music with an ease that is a delight," while American Record Guide describes her as having "complete technical mastery." In addition to making recordings and performing live, Margarita has also been active as a piano teacher for over ten years. She joined ISM faculty in 2008.

Matthew Palumbo

Accomplished pianist and teacher, Matthew J. Palumbo made his solo debut with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra at age thirteen as the winner of the Seattle Young Artists Music Festival. Mr. Palumbo has won top prizes in over fifty national and international piano competitions, including the Chopin Foundation of the United States International Competition (first prize), Steinway and Sons International Bach Competition (first prize), Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition (first prize), and the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition. Mr. Palumbo performs extensively throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States as a chamber musician and soloist, having appeared with the Port Gardner, Everett, and East Side Symphonies. During the 2015-2016 concert season, Mr. Palumbo was selected as the representative for the state of Maryland at the Music Teachers National Association where he performed the works of Beethoven and Charles T. Griffes. Mr. Palumbo continues to maintain a strong performing and teaching presence in the United States, and has appeared as a guest artist for the Sherman Clay Recital Series, Artists of Tomorrow Concert Series, and from 2005-2007 was the pianist for “Tiny Tots,” a program designed to engage very young children with interactive musical games, stories, and songs. Each weekend of the series, he performed seven programs for some 3,000+ children. In the summer or 2015, he made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall, the Times describing his playing as “magical… daring… brilliant… seemingly effortless… “ and “powerful!”. Mr. Palumbo is in high demand as a guest master class teacher and adjudicator. In 2013, he presented a series of masterclasses in Seattle, Washington, focusing specifically on the works of Mozart, Liszt, and Ravel. From 2003-2007, Mr. Palumbo was the assistant to Ms. Judy Baker, where he completed his teaching certificate and became registered with the Music Teachers National Association and Maryland State Music Teachers Association. He has since been the assistant for Ms. Yong Hi Moon, Dr. Leonard Richter, Dr. Susan Weiss, and Dr. Elizabeth Tolbert at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He has appeared as faculty at the Baltimore School of Music, Peake Music Studio, Marc Donnelley Studio, and Harmonia Music School. As a teacher, Mr. Palumbo believes that great technique stems from concrete musical understanding. He strives to help his students develop an approach to the piano that fits their unique physical structure and is determined by sincere artistry derived solely from the score. Since it is imperative that one is taught “correct” technique at a young age, he constantly articulates why and how technical issues relate to the score. While studying with Ms. Yong Hi Moon at the Peabody Conservatory, he learned resilience. Ms. Moon would not give up until Mr. Palumbo met her expectations and understood the musical “why” behind her method. This approach has deeply influenced Mr. Palumbo’s own teaching method and is reflected in his students’ growth and progress. A student of Ms. Yong Hi Moon, Mr. Palumbo studied at the Peabody Conservatory where he graduated with highest honors and received the Irving Lowens Award. His musical education is a continuing priority as he continues to take lessons from distinguished artists such as Andre Watts, Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, Douglas Humpherys, Nelita True, John Perry, Alexander Kobrin, James Giles, Robert Shannon, Haewon Song, and Peter Takács. Mr. Palumbo is constantly grateful to his teachers, who continue to guide and inspire his work.

Dr. Michael Angelucci

American pianist Michael Angelucci enjoys a multi-faceted career as soloist, collaborative artist, and educator. Dr. Angelucci has appeared in major cities across the continental United States including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Reno, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Baltimore, and New York, and has been a featured soloist in notable venues such as Northrop Auditorium and Carnegie-Weill Hall. Under the auspices of Foundation La Gesse, Dr. Angelucci made his European debut in France, performing solo and chamber recitals at the historic Bemberg Museum in Toulouse and Auditorium de la Salle du Dome in Carcassone. Recent orchestral appearances include concerti by Grieg and Saint-Saëns with the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (TOCCATA). Dr. Angelucci's dynamic playing has garnered an impressive array of accolades. Most recently, he won first prize in the 2016 Bradshaw and Buono International Competition, and was named the 2015 winner in the Solo Piano-Professional Division of The American Prize, a national competition recognizing the best performing artists, ensembles, and composers from across the United States. Additionally, Dr. Angelucci holds top prizes in Mu Phi Epsilon, San Jose Music Club, Santa Clara Piano Festival, California International Young Artist, Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and numerous other state and regional competitions. He is also the recipient of various artistic awards including the Foundation La Gesse Fellowship, the Helen McGraw Chambers Endowed Scholarship in Piano, and the Peabody Career Development Grant. A gifted teacher, Dr. Angelucci's students participate regularly in student recitals, certificate programs, and exams. In addition to private lessons, Dr. Angelucci was a graduate assistant in aural skills at the Peabody Conservatory, and taught class piano, piano sight-reading, and piano minors at the University of Maryland School of Music, where he was appointed class piano coordinator in 2012. For his service and dedication, he was named a Distinguished Teaching Assistant by the Center for Teaching Excellence. A much sought-after clinician, Dr. Angelucci served on the jury of the inaugural William Knabe Institute and Competition in 2016, and was on faculty for the 2016 Ivy International Piano Festival, a cultural collaboration featuring students from the iPiano Music School in Beijing, China. Dr. Angelucci holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. His pianistic background has been shaped by an impressive legacy of artist-teachers including Bradford Gowen, Benjamin Pasternack, Ann Schein, Hans Boepple, Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Robert MacDonald, Dr. Paul Wirth, and Brian Ganz. Dr. Angelucci joined the faculty at ISM in 2006.

Michelle Madasamy

Michelle Madasamy holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Western Washington University, and a Master’s degree in music education from Long Island University. She is a New York State certified music educator. Notable teachers include Lorraine Min, Carol Honigberg, and Yuri Kim. As a member of the U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes, Michelle performed for millions of audience members throughout her time touring the Midwest Region. More recently, she performed at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, and the Mannes Beethoven Institute. While based in the NYC area, she worked as a collaborative pianist for musicals, choirs, and instrumentalists. Being a music educator is Michelle’s passion. She enjoys getting to know her students and figuring out how to best help them achieve their goals. She has over eight years of experience, and has taught group piano classes at the Pre-K level, and applied music theory at the university level. Her students have won state competitions and achieved highest marks at state festivals.

Milica Sekulic

Milica Sekulic has performed as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles in Serbia, Japan, Sweden, England, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and France, also she appeared as a soloist with the Royal Swedish Philharmonic, The Belgrade Philharmonic, Yugoslav Military Orchestra, the Stockholm Academic Orchestra, Colegium Academicum Orchestra, conducted by Angel Šurev, Helena Söderman, Mats Rondin ...She completed her Baccalaureate and Magisterial piano studies at the Academy of Musical Art in Belgrade. She continued her post-graduate studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where she earned her soloist diploma in 2005 in the class of Professor Anders Kilström. In 2007 she completed a specialty in piano pedagogy study program. She has attended masterclasses instructed by Dmitry Bashkirov, Olivera Ðurdjevic, Michel Dalberto, Peter Topercer and Aleksandar Madžar. As a scholar of Sweden, she has represented the Royal College of Stockholm (KMH) across Europe: in Gotland, in Dubrovnik (masterclasses of professor Peter Lonenberg in modern and baroque music for harpsichord), Paul Roberts Piano Summer School in Castelfranc (Professor in Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London), and also in various seminars including; Michel Beroff (France), Stefan Wojtas (Poland), Erik Tawaststjerna (Finland), Yonty Solomon (London), Håkon Austbø (Norway – Oliver Messiaen music), Greta Erikson (Sweden), Emanuel Krasovsky (Russia), Margareta Fjodorova (Russia), Arne Torger (Weimar, Germany), Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi (Japan) and Altenberg Trio (Vienna)... Since, 2011, Milica has collaborated with distinguished musicians and composers, from Serbia and Japan focusing on contemporary music from the two nations. This collaboration culminated in a concert held at Yumeria Hall in Tokyo. The compositions in the program were from Serbian and Japanese composers such as Ivan? Stefanovic, Srdan Hofman, Ljubica Maric, Djuro Živkovic, Miloj? Milojevic, Haruyuki Suzuki, Satoshi Sekiai, Kyoko Yamaguchi, Hideki Kozakura. Milica gave a seminar on Serbian piano compositions and music in the Embassy of Serbia in Tokyo, which was attended by Japanese composers, critics, and modern music enthusiasts. The concert and seminar were supported dually by Yugoconcert and the Japanese Society of Composers. In 2002 Milica and Aisa Ijiri began playing piano duo at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Since then they have performed in Serbia, England, and Sweden. From 2013 until currently Milica has played in the trio Classica Aeterna, and as an accompanist in the Washington D.C. area since 2016.

Natalie Ormsby

Natalie Ormsby holds a B.M. in Piano Performance and Music Theory from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, TX, and MM in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland. She has won many competitions and merit prizes, including the Herbert B. Rogers, Jr. Scholarship in Piano, Raiza Piano Prize, Santa Barbara Foundation Pillsbury Award, Santa Maria Arts Council Competition, and Leni FéBland Competition. She has spent summers studying in Italy and Austria and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina. She loves to perform and is regularly involved in community concerts as a soloist and chamber music pianist.

Patricia Lam

Patricia Lam dedicated her passion to music since childhood. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Australian National University School of Music, and Master of Music in Conducting and Master of Arts in Education from the University of Queensland School of Music, Australia. Patricia received a prize in the China International Piano Competition in 1994, and awarded a Wesley Scholarship in 1999. Patricia also studied violin and viola under Patricia Pollett, the principal violist of Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. During the studies, Patricia acted as a violist and assistant conductor of the Queensland University Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Patricia was awarded the scholarship to take the advanced conducting course with Maestro Harold Farberman and Eduardo Navega at the Conductors Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. Patricia was the music director and conductor of Hong Kong Symphonic Band, Sha Tin Symphonic Band, and conductor of Hong Kong Sha Tin Philharmonic Orchestra. She conducted bands, orchestras and choirs and taught voice, violin, and viola at a number of schools and colleges in Australia and Hong Kong. Her students performed successfully in competitions and passed the examinations with good results. She presently works as the choir conductor and organist at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, MD, private instrument teacher, and accompanist with several choirs and ensembles.

Sayora Akhrarova

Sayora Akhrarova graduated from the Gliera National Musical School and received her M.A. Degree from the Ashrafi State Conservatory in Tashkent. Her teachers in the conservatory were professional Uzbek, Russian, Jewish and Polish music professors who had been evacuated from Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev conservatories during World War II. Being a student, Sayora has been invited to work as Concertmaster for ballet classes to the Uzbek State Musical Theater named after Mukimi; as moderator of music programs to the Tashkent City TV Channel IV and as intern to the Uzbek Radio Channel "Toshkent". After graduation from the Tashkent State Conservatory, she was offered a job of piano teacher and musicologist from her first "alma mater" - Gliera National Musical Academic Lyceum. From 1984 to 2009, she served successively as a piano teacher, a senior piano teacher and a music program manager. While working and living in Tashkent, she quite frequently was asked by American diplomats to teach piano lessons for their children and spouses.

Sofya Vulfson

Sofya Vulfson. MA- Ms. Vulfson completed studies in piano performance, accompaniment and chamber music at the Moscow Academy of Music. She has served on the faculty of the Irkutsk Central School, and the Novosibirsk Academy of Music, Riga Conservatory of Music in Latvia. Currently, she teaches at the ISM in addition to being an accompanist at the School of Classical Ballet in Potomac. Ms. Vulfson is a member of MTNA and National Piano Guild sponsored by the American College of Musicians.

Dr. Stefan Petrov

Distinguished by his insightful interpretations and musical versatility, pianist Stefan Petrov performs regularly as a soloist and collaborative pianist in Eastern Europe and North America. His recitals have been broadcasted on TV and radio stations across Eastern Europe, the United States, and Canada. In addition, his strong interest in modern music has compelled him to actively collaborate with contemporary music performers and composers. Stefan began his piano studies at age six in his hometown of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He played his solo debut at age nine and made his first orchestral appearance at age fourteen. After moving to the United States in 2000, he continued his piano studies with Neil Rutman and later, Ellen Mack. In addition, Stefan has had the opportunity to work with renowned musicians including Eric Heidsieck, Vladimir Feltsman, Benjamin Pasternack, and Pamela Frank. Stefan holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, where he continues his studies as a Liberace Foundation Scholar and a Doctoral Candidate in the studio of Ellen Mack.

Dr. Sungah Kim-Medwin

Dr. Sungah Kim-Medwin studied piano performance at Seoul National University before coming to the United States in 1991. She received her B.M. from Ithaca College and her M.M. and D.M.A. in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate. She maintains an active schedule as a performer in the Washington D.C. area, whose repertoire exhibits her keen interest in late Romantic piano compositions by Alexander Scriabin and Nicholas Medtner as well as 20th century music; she has premiered new compositions with the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble and Duke University New Music Ensemble. Her teachers include Natalya Antonova for whom Dr. Kim-Medwin was a Studio Teaching Assistant, Thomas Schumacher, masterclasses with Malcom Bilson, Simone Pedroni, Phiroze Mehta, and Mary Ann Covert. Prior to her teaching activities at Montgomery College, Dr. Kim-Medwin served as a piano faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Victoria Naneyshvili

Victoria Naneyshvili holds Masters in Music. Her teaching experience includes music schools in the Republic of Georgia, the Tblisi College of Music and Art, and the European Academy in Silver Spring. As pianist she has worked with the School of Classic Ballet and Painting, Interdance School of Ballet, and the Metropolitan Ballet Theater and Academy. She is a member of MTNA, the National Piano Guild, & the American College of Musicians.

Yelena Rodovskaya

Yelena Rodovskaya holds Masters in Music. Her teaching experience includes the Norilsk College of Music and Jelgava College in Russia, and the European Academy of Music in the United States. Ms. Rodovskaya was an accompanist at American University and the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts. She is a member of the Music Teacher National Association and an adjudicator for MTAI.

Dr. Woobin Park

Praised for her commanding stage presence and elegant musicianship, pianist Woobin Park has appeared throughout the United States and Korea with concerts in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Indianapolis, Washington D.C, Houston, and Baltimore with various types of solo and chamber recitals as well as collaboration with renowned orchestras. She has performed in distinguished concert venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York and the Kumho Art Hall, and the Seoul Arts Center, which is the most prestigious Hall in South Korea. In the 2009-2010 seasons, she performed two piano concerts with acclaimed pianist Lydia Artymiw at Steinway Hall New York and Recital Hall, the Seoul Arts Center. In 2011, she presented a solo recital dedicated to Liszt's bicentennial celebration at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul and Fort Washington Harmony Hall in Washington D.C. She also made a special appearance in a program of piano trios at the KAIST University Auditorium in South Korea. For the 2012-2013 season, her engagements include new recording project "The 23 greatest solo piano works" with professor Robert Greenberg of U.C. Berkeley, a solo appearance at the 2013 Rising Star Award Concert sponsored by the Howard County Arts Council in Maryland at Peter & Elizabeth Horowitz Performing Arts Center. She also performed a solo recital on July 2013 at IBK Hall, the Seoul Arts Center. Recently, Dr. Park won the 2013-2014 Montpelier Arts Center Recital Competition in Maryland .Her engagements include Solo recital at Montpelier Classical Recital Series on April 26th 2014. In addition, She will perform two solo recitals at PAC Recital Hall of Winona State University on NOV 5th, 2013 and FEB 26th, 2014. Other engagement includes solo performance with Winona Symphonic Wind Ensemble in March 2nd 2014 at PAC Main Stage in WSU. Dr. Park has appeared in numerous recital series including the Schubert Club's Courtroom Concert Series at the St. Paul Landmark Center, the American Composer Forum's Zeitgeist salon series, and the Schuessler Piano Recital Series at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. In addition, she has performed in gala concerts and as first prize winner in numerous competitions in such prestigious halls as Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis, the Recital Hall at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, Seully Hall in Boston, and Kim Young Recital Hall at Ewha Womens University in Seoul, South Korea. Dr. Park completed her D.M.A. in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota in 2009, studying with pianist and Distinguished McKnight Professor Lydia Artymiw. She received both the Ude(full scholarship) and Berneking scholarships as well as the Bell fellowship from the University of Minnesota. Park completed her M.M at the Indiana University Bloomington with Professors Shigeo Neriki and Edward Auer in 2006. While she was studying at IUB, she served as the principal collaborative pianist for the studio of Janos Starker, Distinguished Cellist and Professor at Indiana University. At Indiana, she was awarded the Dean's Scholarship and Music Merit Award. Born in Seoul, Korea, Dr. Park developed her professional piano studies at the Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School with pianist Sae-Kyung Park. Dr. Park completed her B.M at Ewha Womens University with Professor Younglim Ham. Prior to her appointment as a full- time faculty in piano and piano accompaniment at Winona State University, she was on the faculty of Harford College, Gilman school and collaborative pianist at Towson University. Dr. Park also served as a Graduate Instructor in the piano department at the University of Minnesota and taught undergraduate courses including Class Piano and applied piano lessons.

 

Preschool Faculty:

 

 

Cara Stuart

Cara Stuart has held Early Childhood Music and Summer Camp Director position since 2008. Ms. Stuart earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Greensboro College. She has been teaching Early Childhood Music since 1995, and her training included Kindermusik, Musikinesis and Dalcrose methods. In addition to teaching piano, Cara also directed numerous children's choirs festivals and musicals. Her teaching experience includes Kindermusik in Boyds, ELF preschools, Early childhood music program and summer camps at the International School of Music and many others. Cara was the recipient of numerous music awards including the Beta Music Award, the Knott music award and the Fletcher & Brown Fletcher Scholarship. She is a member of the American College of Musicians and The Music Teachers National Association.

Heidi Littman Brown

Heidi Littman Brown was born in Sunnyvale, California and began musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Heidi is an active freelance musician in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to her performances with Brass Quintet concerts, , New World Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Littman performs regularly with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. Heidi has taught at Chevy Chase High School, DC Youth Orchestra, and the International School of Music.

 

Saxophone Faculty:

 

 

Andrew Frankhouse

Washington DC saxophonist Andrew Frankhouse studied with legendary jazz pedagogues George Garzone and Charlie Banacos, as well as Boston Symphony saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky and music theorist Dr. Peter J. Evans. In addition to jazz, Andrew worked as a freelancer and doubler in a variety of musical settings including pit orchestras, wedding and function bands, classical wind ensembles, and club dates with singer-songwriter, blues, R&B, hip-hop, funk, and neo-soul acts. Andrew’s first album as a leader, Gray/Slate/Yellow, was released in December of 2011. The ensemble includes outstanding Boston bassist Sean Farias and New York-based drummer Ignacio Rivas Bixio, and includes seven of Frankhouse’s original compositions. In 2010, Andrew was hired to create a new 5-12th grade music program for the Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, MA. His work there has included creating new coursework in musicology, electronic music, aesthetics, and African American music, conducting high school musical productions, and laying the groundwork for school-wide vocal and instrumental performance programs. His primary curricular focus was around creating curriculum for teaching musical analysis to non-musicians at the secondary level, using concepts rooted Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics. He has given presentations on this curriculum to graduate students at the Longy School of Music and at the Creative Learning Exchange Conference at Babson College. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He received his Master of Music degree with distinction in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music.

Anna Brashears

Anna Brashears received a BM from Grove City College in clarinet performance and is currently pursuing master's degree in musicology at the Catholic University of America, where she currently plays with the CUA Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Brashears served as Assistant to the Director of Advancement at the Rockbridge Academy from 2010 to 2013. In addition to that role, she was also employed at the Rockbridge Academy as a music teacher for grades K-6. From 2013 to 2014 she served as Instrumental Music Community Specialist at St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, MN where she taught beginning band as part of extended day of learning program. Anna also has taught clarinet and saxophone at MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis during that time.

Dr. Christopher Raifsnider

Christopher Raifsnider holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Instruments (clarinet performance) from the Catholic University of America, a Master of Music degree in Woodwind Instruments from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. An active soloist and chamber music performer in the Washington D.C. area, he currently serves as clarinetist, audition supervisor, and career counselor with the U.S. Navy Band. Since 1992 he has performed in more than 1200 concerts on clarinet and saxophone throughout 44 states and abroad. Prior to his time in the Navy, he taught instrumental music in public schools for two years. As a teacher and clinician, Dr. Raifsnider has provided positive and enthusiastic instruction to thousands of students, having taught woodwinds, music theory, and improvisation at all levels. His teachers include Ricardo Morales, Steven Barta, Fred Ormand, Thomas Thompson, and Timothy Roberts. Dr. Raifsnider is a founding member of the Arundel Winds Woodwind Quintet and has performed with the Anne Arbor and Westmoreland symphonies. A patient, mature, and well rounded musician and educator, he draws from the rich tradition of teaching fundamentals first, but also incorporates a variety of new approaches and music technology. A note from the author... improving as a musician takes patience and practice, but let's never forget that music is fun and there is nothing in the world like the rewards we get from learning to express ourselves through the language of music!

Denis Malloy

Denis Malloy is a versatile clarinetist, bass clarinetist, saxophonist and composer happily making diverse music in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area. He records and performs in a wide range of styles including classical, jazz, middle-eastern, cabaret and rock. Denis has performed with the Summer Opera Company in Washington, D.C., the AIMS Symphonie Orchester in Graz Austria, and the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. In the non-classical vein, he has performed with his own jazz duo, trio and quartet for various events and functions at venues including the Library of Congress, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Peabody Library. As a composer and improviser, he has composed music for several Silent Era films, both as an individual and in collaboration with the band Boister. He has performed live accompaniment to silent film at the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute (Silver Spring, MD), Charles Theatre (Baltimore, MD), Patterson Theater (Baltimore), Avalon Theater (Easton, MD), Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), and the Virginia Film Festival, among others. Denis appears on more than a dozen CDs, including two with Boister produced by respected producer Jim Dickinson. Recordings by Persian Flamenco group The Roya Ensemble, Boister, and his independent project TreeHouse Quartet, are available at CDBaby and iTunes. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Denis teaches with the Washington D.C. Youth Orchestra Program, Olenka School, and International School of Music.

Dimitri Kostaras

Dimitri Kostaras MM, BM. Mr. Kostaras has maintained an active career as both a performer and educator. His honors and awards include being named the winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, a finalist in the Chamber Music Division of the Chesapeake Competition, and serving on the Artist Roster with VIM Saxophone Quartet at Strathmore Music Center. During his undergraduate studies at Eastman School of Music, he performed with several outreach ensembles and given a number of master classes and recitals in the Rochester area.

Emily Robinson

Emily Robinson, active performer and teacher of clarinet and saxophone, is currently a DMA Candidate in Music Performance at UMD in College Park, MD. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Ms. Robinson was a member of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band stationed in Washington, DC. As a member of "The President's Own", she performed extensively across both the DC area and the US, as well as The White House. She holds a MM from the University of Minnesota and a BM from DePaul University, where she studied with Burt Hara of the LA Phil and John Bruce Yeh of the Chicago Symphony. Ms. Robinson has over fifteen years of private studio teaching experience and enjoys working with students of all ages and levels.

 

Trombone Faculty:

 
 

 

Heidi Littman Brown

Heidi Littman Brown Heidi Littman Brown was born in Sunnyvale, California and began musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Heidi is an active freelance musician in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to her performances with Brass Quintet concerts, New World Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Littman performs regularly with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. Heidi has taught at Chevy Chase High School, DC Youth Orchestra, and the International School of Music.

Dr. Katie Thigpen

Dr. Katie Thigpen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a performance certificate. While at USC, Katie studied trombone with Dr. Brad Edwards and received the Robert Van Doren Award for the Most Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. In 2009, she earned a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she studied trombone with Tim Anderson. She also graduated with Doctorate of Musical Arts program at CCM in 2014. Katie has enjoyed her summer work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI, serving both as a counselor in 2007-2008 and then as the Director of Camp Bernstein in 2009-2010. She has performed with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This past summer Katie was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with Per Brevig and performed with The American Academy of Conducting Orchestra. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the International Trombone Association.

Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee received his B.M. from CSU, Sacramento and a M.M. degree from University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Steve Hendrickson, and Gary Dilworth. He is a member of the Wammie-award winning Great Noise Ensemble and is second trumpet in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR. He has performed with the Virginia, Richmond, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, the New York Opera Society, at various regional theaters in the D.C. area, and has also appeared with The O'Jays. Kevin has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Music Masters Course in Kasusa, Japan. As a composer his music has been performed extensively throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America by groups such as the National Symphony Brass Quintet, the Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet, the Navy Brass Quintet, U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, Tromba Mundi and the All-Star Brass Quintet featuring brass greats Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman and Patrick Sheridan. His music has also been recorded, some pieces by multiple artists. He has enjoyed several commissions by individuals/groups around the country. Kevin is a member of ASCAP. As an educator Kevin teaches brass at the Spencerville Adventist Academy and the International School of Music.

Michael Lowe

Michael Lowe received his B.M. in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University and his principal studies were with William Scarlett, Vincent Cichowicz, Luther Didrickson, and Dr. Joyce Davis. Michael has performed with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, London Brass, Pyramid Brass, Elmhurst Symphony, and National Orchestral Institute Orchestra. In 1995 Michael was the Florida International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition Winner. Michael Lowe is currently on the teaching faculty of the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD.

Tyler Castrucci

Tyler is currently the Assistant Principal/Second Trombone in the York Symphony Orchestra, Principal Trombone of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and a member of the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, McLean Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Castleton Festival Orchestra and internationally with the Franco-American Vocal Academy Orchestra. An avid educator, Tyler is a faculty member at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland, where he maintains a private studio of over 25 students. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther

Described by Gramophone Magazine as "eloquent," Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther is an international soloist, orchestral trombonist, chamber musician, and educator. As a soloist she has been invited on several international stages, including performances with the Athens City Symphony Orchestra in Greece, Croatian Military Wind Orchestra in Zagreb, Altena Brass of the Netherlands, Brass of Peace, and most recently with the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra on their performance of Berlioz' Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony. She has given numerous solo recitals, including several appearances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington D.C. Zenas was also a finalist of the International Trombone Association’s Gagliardi, Smith, and Alto Competitions. With a passion for expanding the solo repertoire for trombone, she has commissioned cutting-edge solo and chamber pieces from composers Osnat Netzer, Norman Bolter, and Ji-sun Yang. As an avid chamber musician, Zenas is a core member of the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, touring across the United States, and world wide. She has performed at various chamber music festivals, including the Storioni Festival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, performing with principals from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and members of the Storioni Trio. Equally at home as an orchestral player, she was appointed Principal Trombone of Daegu Symphony Orchestra in South Korea, as well as appearing with various orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic. She has performed under the baton of conducting legends such as James Levine, Kurt Masur, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nezet Seguin, and Ludovic Morlot. She was also a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Centre’s Orchestra Residency Program and National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program. With a passion for music education, Zenas was on faculty at the Kye Myung University School of Music as adjunct professor of trombone. She has also held masterclasses at international brass festivals, including in Zagreb and Sao Paulo, and at universities across the United States, including George Mason University, Millersville University, and Penn State Eerie. She received a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory, studying with Norman Bolter with a double degree in music history. She earned her Master of Music degree from Rotterdam Conservatoire, studying with Jörgen van Rijen of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Pierre Volders and Remko de Jager of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She is obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, studying with Craig Mulcahy.

 

Trumpet Faculty:

 

 

 

Heidi Littman Brown

Heidi Littman Brown was born in Sunnyvale, California and began musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Heidi is an active freelance musician in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to her performances with Brass Quintet concerts, , New World Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Littman performs regularly with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. Heidi has taught at Chevy Chase High School, DC Youth Orchestra, and the International School of Music.

Dr. Katie Thigpen

Dr. Katie Thigpen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a performance certificate. While at USC, Katie studied trombone with Dr. Brad Edwards and received the Robert Van Doren Award for the Most Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. In 2009, she earned a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she studied trombone with Tim Anderson. She also graduated with Doctorate of Musical Arts program at CCM in 2014. Katie has enjoyed her summer work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI, serving both as a counselor in 2007-2008 and then as the Director of Camp Bernstein in 2009-2010. She has performed with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This past summer Katie was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with Per Brevig and performed with The American Academy of Conducting Orchestra. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the International Trombone Association.

Kevin Businsky

Kevin Businsky is an active performer and teacher in the Washington metropolitan area. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Kevin was a member of the New World Symphony trumpet section from 2009-2012. While in New World, Kevin participated in masterclasses given by Michael Sachs, David Bilger, Tom Rolfs, Joseph Alessi and many other outstanding musicians. He also had the chance to play under Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Sir Neville Mariner, and John Adams. Kevin is currently a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Prior to New World Symphony he lived in Los Angeles, CA, while completing a Professional Studies Certificate from The Colburn School of Music. While living in Los Angeles he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and won the top prize in the Pasadena Showcase Competition in 2008. Kevin earned a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Maryland. During his time at UMD he performed with the Richmond and Harrisburg Symphonies as well as many other local groups in the Washington metro area. Kevin has participated in many summer music festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, AIMS in Graz, the National Orchestral Institute, Banff Summer Arts Festival, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. His teachers include Jim Wilt, Chris Gekker, Steven Hendrickson, Phil Snedecor, and Donald Tison.

Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee received his B.M. from CSU, Sacramento and a M.M. degree from University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Steve Hendrickson, and Gary Dilworth. He is a member of the Wammie-award winning Great Noise Ensemble and is second trumpet in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR. He has performed with the Virginia, Richmond, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, the New York Opera Society, at various regional theaters in the D.C. area, and has also appeared with The O'Jays. Kevin has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Music Masters Course in Kasusa, Japan. As a composer his music has been performed extensively throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America by groups such as the National Symphony Brass Quintet, the Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet, the Navy Brass Quintet, U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, Tromba Mundi and the All-Star Brass Quintet featuring brass greats Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman and Patrick Sheridan. His music has also been recorded, some pieces by multiple artists. He has enjoyed several commissions by individuals/groups around the country. Kevin is a member of ASCAP. As an educator Kevin teaches brass at the Spencerville Adventist Academy and the International School of Music.

Michael Lowe

Michael Lowe received his B.M. in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University and his principal studies were with William Scarlett, Vincent Cichowicz, Luther Didrickson, and Dr. Joyce Davis. Michael has performed with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, London Brass, Pyramid Brass, Elmhurst Symphony, and National Orchestral Institute Orchestra. In 1995 Michael was the Florida International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition Winner. Michael Lowe is currently on the teaching faculty of the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD.

Tyler Castrucci

Tyler is currently the Assistant Principal/Second Trombone in the York Symphony Orchestra, Principal Trombone of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and a member of the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, McLean Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Castleton Festival Orchestra and internationally with the Franco-American Vocal Academy Orchestra. An avid educator, Tyler is a faculty member at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland, where he maintains a private studio of over 25 students. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther

Described by Gramophone Magazine as "eloquent," Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther is an international soloist, orchestral trombonist, chamber musician, and educator. As a soloist she has been invited on several international stages, including performances with the Athens City Symphony Orchestra in Greece, Croatian Military Wind Orchestra in Zagreb, Altena Brass of the Netherlands, Brass of Peace, and most recently with the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra on their performance of Berlioz' Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony. She has given numerous solo recitals, including several appearances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington D.C. Zenas was also a finalist of the International Trombone Association’s Gagliardi, Smith, and Alto Competitions. With a passion for expanding the solo repertoire for trombone, she has commissioned cutting-edge solo and chamber pieces from composers Osnat Netzer, Norman Bolter, and Ji-sun Yang. As an avid chamber musician, Zenas is a core member of the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, touring across the United States, and world wide. She has performed at various chamber music festivals, including the Storioni Festival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, performing with principals from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and members of the Storioni Trio. Equally at home as an orchestral player, she was appointed Principal Trombone of Daegu Symphony Orchestra in South Korea, as well as appearing with various orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic. She has performed under the baton of conducting legends such as James Levine, Kurt Masur, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nezet Seguin, and Ludovic Morlot. She was also a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Centre’s Orchestra Residency Program and National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program. With a passion for music education, Zenas was on faculty at the Kye Myung University School of Music as adjunct professor of trombone. She has also held masterclasses at international brass festivals, including in Zagreb and Sao Paulo, and at universities across the United States, including George Mason University, Millersville University, and Penn State Eerie. She received a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory, studying with Norman Bolter with a double degree in music history. She earned her Master of Music degree from Rotterdam Conservatoire, studying with Jörgen van Rijen of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Pierre Volders and Remko de Jager of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She is obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, studying with Craig Mulcahy.

 

Tuba Faculty:

 
 

 

Heidi Littman Brown

Heidi Littman Brown was born in Sunnyvale, California and began musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Heidi is an active freelance musician in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to her performances with Brass Quintet concerts, , New World Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Littman performs regularly with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. Heidi has taught at Chevy Chase High School, DC Youth Orchestra, and the International School of Music.

Michael Lowe

Michael Lowe received his B.M. in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University and his principal studies were with William Scarlett, Vincent Cichowicz, Luther Didrickson, and Dr. Joyce Davis. Michael has performed with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, London Brass, Pyramid Brass, Elmhurst Symphony, and National Orchestral Institute Orchestra. In 1995 Michael was the Florida International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition Winner. Michael Lowe is currently on the teaching faculty of the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Katie Thigpen

Dr. Katie Thigpen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a performance certificate. While at USC, Katie studied trombone with Dr. Brad Edwards and received the Robert Van Doren Award for the Most Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. In 2009, she earned a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she studied trombone with Tim Anderson. She also graduated with Doctorate of Musical Arts program at CCM in 2014. Katie has enjoyed her summer work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI, serving both as a counselor in 2007-2008 and then as the Director of Camp Bernstein in 2009-2010. She has performed with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This past summer Katie was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with Per Brevig and performed with The American Academy of Conducting Orchestra. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the International Trombone Association.

Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee received his B.M. from CSU, Sacramento and a M.M. degree from University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Steve Hendrickson, and Gary Dilworth. He is a member of the Wammie-award winning Great Noise Ensemble and is second trumpet in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR. He has performed with the Virginia, Richmond, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, the New York Opera Society, at various regional theaters in the D.C. area, and has also appeared with The O'Jays. Kevin has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Music Masters Course in Kasusa, Japan. As a composer his music has been performed extensively throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America by groups such as the National Symphony Brass Quintet, the Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, the Dallas Symphony Brass Quintet, the Navy Brass Quintet, U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, Tromba Mundi and the All-Star Brass Quintet featuring brass greats Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman and Patrick Sheridan. His music has also been recorded, some pieces by multiple artists. He has enjoyed several commissions by individuals/groups around the country. Kevin is a member of ASCAP. As an educator Kevin teaches brass at the Spencerville Adventist Academy and the International School of Music.

Tyler Castrucci

Tyler is currently the Assistant Principal/Second Trombone in the York Symphony Orchestra, Principal Trombone of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and a member of the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, McLean Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Castleton Festival Orchestra and internationally with the Franco-American Vocal Academy Orchestra. An avid educator, Tyler is a faculty member at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland, where he maintains a private studio of over 25 students. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther

Described by Gramophone Magazine as "eloquent," Dr. Zenas Kim-Banther is an international soloist, orchestral trombonist, chamber musician, and educator. As a soloist she has been invited on several international stages, including performances with the Athens City Symphony Orchestra in Greece, Croatian Military Wind Orchestra in Zagreb, Altena Brass of the Netherlands, Brass of Peace, and most recently with the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra on their performance of Berlioz' Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony. She has given numerous solo recitals, including several appearances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington D.C. Zenas was also a finalist of the International Trombone Association’s Gagliardi, Smith, and Alto Competitions. With a passion for expanding the solo repertoire for trombone, she has commissioned cutting-edge solo and chamber pieces from composers Osnat Netzer, Norman Bolter, and Ji-sun Yang. As an avid chamber musician, Zenas is a core member of the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, touring across the United States, and world wide. She has performed at various chamber music festivals, including the Storioni Festival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, performing with principals from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and members of the Storioni Trio. Equally at home as an orchestral player, she was appointed Principal Trombone of Daegu Symphony Orchestra in South Korea, as well as appearing with various orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic. She has performed under the baton of conducting legends such as James Levine, Kurt Masur, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nezet Seguin, and Ludovic Morlot. She was also a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Centre’s Orchestra Residency Program and National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program. With a passion for music education, Zenas was on faculty at the Kye Myung University School of Music as adjunct professor of trombone. She has also held masterclasses at international brass festivals, including in Zagreb and Sao Paulo, and at universities across the United States, including George Mason University, Millersville University, and Penn State Eerie. She received a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory, studying with Norman Bolter with a double degree in music history. She earned her Master of Music degree from Rotterdam Conservatoire, studying with Jörgen van Rijen of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Pierre Volders and Remko de Jager of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She is obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, studying with Craig Mulcahy.

 

Viola Faculty:

 

 

Eva Mondragon

Originally from Chicago, Eva began her violin studies at the age of 9 in public school and advanced quickly. She studied Suzuki Method on violin with Debbie Edwards and then switched to viola while studying with Drew Lecher and Peter Slowik, the Head of the String Department and professor at Oberlin Conservatory. After graduating from high school, Eva moved to Baltimore, MD to begin her undergrad at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She studied primarily with violist and pedagogue Victoria Chiang, in addition to Li Kuo Chang, Assistant Principal of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Steven Wyrczynski, violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also collaborated with Maria Lambros, Alison Wells, Jeff Sharkey, and Michael Kannen, as well as participated in masterclasses for Heidi Castleman, the Miró Quartet and members of the Juilliard Quartet. In 2010, Eva began her Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Cleveland Orchestra violist Mark Jackobs. She performed regularly with a multitude of orchestras in the area, including the Canton Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Firelands Symphony, Ohio Philharmonic, and Opera Circle Cleveland. After completing her MM and freelancing for some time, Eva decided to return back to school and successfully auditioned for the University of Maryland College Park Doctoral of Musical Arts program where she is currently in her second year. Eva spent the summer in Aspen, CO at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she performed weekly with the Aspen Chamber Symphony, as well as performing a private concert with Joshua Bell, and participated in masterclasses with James Dunham, Catharine Carroll, and the Pacifica Quartet.

Hyunji Lee

Ms. Hyunji Lee, violin, has concertized throughout North America and Asia as a chamber musician and soloist. She holds a BM from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and an MM from the Université de Montréal. She has studied with legendary violinists, such as Vladimir Landsman, and pedagogy with Rebecca Henry. Under the tutelage of Jutta Puchhammer and Amit Peled, she became an experienced chamber musician. As a student, she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival, where she had the opportunity to perform in both orchestral and chamber music settings. Ms. Lee has performed in many of the DC area's concert venues and has played with the Annapolis Symphony. As a teacher, Hyunji has many years of experience teaching children and adults of all ages, and has a very motivating and detailed approach. She has been teaching both beginning and advanced levels for over ten years in both group and individual settings.

Irina Garkavi

Ms.Garkavi has been a concertmaster of the Arlington Symphony Orchestra, Mount Vernon Orchestra, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, and Azerbaijan State Symphony. She has performed also with Fairfax Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Washington Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Garkavi recorded for Melodia Records Company, and she was consistently selected for National television broadcast in Moscow where she received advanced musical training at the Moscow Conservatory. Currently she is a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the International Teacher Association. Ms. Garkavi's pedagogical experience includes Azerbijan State Music Conservatory, European Academy of Music and Art, Gaithersburg Violin Studio, Mt. Vernon Music Festival and ISM.

Dr. Joelle Arnhold

Dr. Joelle Arnhold has appeared as a featured young artist at the Kennedy Center, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Rome Chamber Music Festival. She is the recipient of both the Olga Von Hartz and Israel Dorman Memorial Award for Strings from the Peabody Conservatory, where she also served as the head Humanities Department teaching assistant, and as a Music Theory faculty associate. Dr. Arnhold has taught violin and viola students at The GreenMount School, Baltimore Bows, Baltimore Talent Education Center, and the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra Bridges program. She holds degrees from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University (B.M., summa cum laude), and the Peabody Conservatory (M.M. and D.M.A.) where she studied with Victoria Chiang.

Patricia Lam

Trumpet performer and educator Traci Nelson has performed with numerous ensembles across the country including The Denver Brass, the Oistrach Symphony, the Youngstown Symphony, and internationally, as principal trumpet of the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo and Rome, Italy. Traci performs locally with her brass quintet, Vitality Brass, the Cleveland Winds, and as soloist with the Cleveland Messiah Chorus. Traci received a Bachelor's Degree in Trumpet Performance from DePaul University of Chicago, IL in 2009, graduating Summa Cum Laude. During her time in Chicago, Traci performed with countless ensembles in and outside of school, including The Wheaton Band, DePaul's Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, the Classical Orchestra of Chicago, and several brass quintets. Traci next headed west to Denver, Colorado where she trumpeted her way toward a Master's Degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, studying with Alan Hood and serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the brass department. While in Denver, Traci regularly performed with The Denver Brass and taught throughout the Denver Metro area. Traci holds an active teaching studio and her past and present students have achieved accomplishments such as auditioning into all-state ensembles, Denver School of the Arts, and the elite Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, as well as finding joyful success as an adult "comeback" player. In addition to belonging to the International Trumpet Guild, Traci is also a proud member of the International Brass Women's Conference.

Sarah Hedlund

Sarah Hedlund holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, where she studied with Renata Artman Knific as a violin major. Sarah has recently relocated from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she held several regional orchestra positions, including principal second violin for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, section violin for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and concertmaster for the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. Sarah maintained a large studio of violin and viola students at the Crescendo Academy of Music for ten years; she also founded and directed the Crescendo Fiddlers, a student group actively performing in the folk music community throughout Michigan, including the Wheatland Festival of Music. She has performed in Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s Around the Town chamber music series with both the Bach to Bacharach String Trio and the Crescendo Piano Trio; she has also been a member of the Vireo String Quartet, which was featured for two years at Festival South in Hattiesburg, MS.

Slavica Ilic

Ms. Ilic has made appearances with the orchestras at Lincoln Center New York, Kennedy Center, Lyceum, and Constitution Hall DC, in addition to performances throughout Israel , Italy, former Yugoslavia, and France. A graduate of Music Academy of Sarajevo, Ms. Ilic was a member of the Opera Orchestra of Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Sarajevo Chamber Orchestra. In addition to several awards from string and chamber competitions, she was a recipient of the Fellowship Award for Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, Colorado, where she did her studies with Dorothy DeLay and became a member of Aspen Symphony and Opera Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Ilic is the principal second violin of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra , and also on the faculty at the International School of Music and Columbia Institute of Fine Arts, where her students earned numerous awards at competitions, auditions, and juries.

Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska

Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska has established her musical career as both a successful performer and an experienced instructor in violin, viola and piano. She is an International Laureate Award recipient in classical and folk music performance. Dr. Gorokhivska toured internationally, including Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Poland, Serbia, China, and the USA. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Ternopil State College of Music and her Master Degree at Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. In addition, Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska received her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Cultural Studies from the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy", Ukraine. From 2006-2010 she was a musicologist, journalist, author, and senior editor for the TV program "Along With The Music" on the National Broadcast Company of Ukraine. Dr. Gorokhivska is currently performing as a soloist and a collaborative artist locally, around the United States and Europe. She is a member of Manhattan Symphonie (New York) and Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (Baltimore).

Sophie Genevieve Lowe

A native of South Dakota, Sophie Genevieve Lowe is an American violinist who recently returned to the USA after five years in London, England. Sophie studied at the Royal Academy of Music to earn a master’s degree in Baroque violin. She also received a master’s degree in London at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in modern violin. She soloed in various concerts, including a performance at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelle (Brussels, Belgium), a four-violin concerto solo with Laurence Cummings at the Duke’s Hall (London), and a concerto on a Landolfi violin on loan from the National Music Museum (USA). Sophie appeared on a variety concert stages, including the Royal Festival Hall (London), Wigmore Hall (London), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium), Holland Performing Arts Center (Omaha), le Salle Françoys-Bernier (Québec), and the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.). In London, she was part of the celebrated Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series, which is highly reviewed by the London Times. She appeared live on the radio internationally, including on the BBC (UK) and on KVNO (Omaha). Sophie was a founding member of the Keats String Quartet in London, which performed extensively across the UK. The quartet frequently performed at Cambridge University, and accompanied various Cambridge college choirs. She was a member of the early music group, Risonanti, which was the only ensemble in the United Kingdom to perform early Italian music solely at high pitch (A=465). Due to the technical demands and historical integrity of the music, Risonanti’s repertoire included many manuscripts that have not been performed for hundreds of years. In addition to her UK studies, Sophie studied at the Starling-Delay Symposium at the Juilliard School of Music in NYC and l’Académie du Domaine Forget in Québec, Canada. At the Royal Academy of Music, she was a student of Matthew Truscott and Margaret Faultless. She worked and studied with Rachel Podger, Midori, Laurence Cummings, Chi-chi Nwanoku, Lisa Beznosiuk, Nicolette Moonen, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Daniel Brüggen, Pamela Thorby, Adam Woolf, Pawel Siwczak, and Elizabeth Wallfisch. She performed with conductors including Masaki Suzuki, Edward Gardner, Steven Divine, and Jane Glover. Sophie taught violin and viola to the students of all ages and levels in London, UK and for the Yankton School District, South Dakota before joining the International School of Music in Bethesda.

Sue Waters

Sue Waters graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelors of science degree in music education. She has a masters degree from East Carolina University. Sue has taught for decades not only in her private music studio but in the public schools in Maryland and North Carolina. She also taught at Texas A&I University, Montgomery College and the College of the Albemarle. Besides teaching Sue has played the violin and viola in the Virginia, Maryland, Frederick, Warren, Friday Morning Music Club and Corpus Christi Symphonies. She plays in a chamber group called the Trio La Mer. Besides classical, Sue played in both bluegrass and celtic groups.

 

Violin Faculty:

 

 

 

Alison Konopka

Alison Konopka teaches violin at the International School of Music and is an orchestra teaching artist for the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program with the Children' s Strings Department. With her private lessons, she incorporates general musicianship, singing/solfege, and theory. Alison is passionate about teaching all ages and grade levels on violin, in addition to beginning viola and cello. Alison has recently received her Master's degree in Violin Performance at the University of Alabama . During her time at UA, Alison was the Concertmaster for the University of Northern Colorado Symphony Orchestra and taught with the University’s Community Music School. Alison was also the Principal Violin for the University of Alabama, Contemporary Ensemble and the Concertmaster for the Longmont Chorale Orchestra. She is passionate about teaching and believes it is vital that children are exposed to music in a conductive environment that fosters a love for all types and genres of music. Her Bachelor of Music was awarded from the University of Northern Colorado and her Master’s Degree is from the University of Alabama.

Eva Mondragon

Originally from Chicago, Eva began her violin studies at the age of 9 in public school and advanced quickly. She studied Suzuki Method on violin with Debbie Edwards and then switched to viola while studying with Drew Lecher and Peter Slowik, the Head of the String Department and professor at Oberlin Conservatory. After graduating from high school, Eva moved to Baltimore, MD to begin her undergrad at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She studied primarily with violist and pedagogue Victoria Chiang, in addition to Li Kuo Chang, Assistant Principal of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Steven Wyrczynski, violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also collaborated with Maria Lambros, Alison Wells, Jeff Sharkey, and Michael Kannen, as well as participated in masterclasses for Heidi Castleman, the Miró Quartet and members of the Juilliard Quartet. In 2010, Eva began her Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Cleveland Orchestra violist Mark Jackobs. She performed regularly with a multitude of orchestras in the area, including the Canton Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Firelands Symphony, Ohio Philharmonic, and Opera Circle Cleveland. After completing her MM and freelancing for some time, Eva decided to return back to school and successfully auditioned for the University of Maryland College Park Doctoral of Musical Arts program where she is currently in her second year. Eva spent the summer in Aspen, CO at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she performed weekly with the Aspen Chamber Symphony, as well as performing a private concert with Joshua Bell, and participated in masterclasses with James Dunham, Catharine Carroll, and the Pacifica Quartet.

Heather MacArthur

Ms. MacArthur graduated with Bachelors of Music degree at the University of Maryland as a student of David Salness and has since established herself as an active freelance violinist and violist in the DC area. This past summer 2013, she was a member of the AIMS Festival Orchestra, which performed concerts across Austria. Heather has been involved in numerous projects that bring innovative musical events to the public. Most notably, she is a violinist in the hip and forward-thinking DC based chamber collective All Points West. She also performs with String Poets Quartet, Pop Culture Strings, Great Noise Ensemble, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. Recent performance venues have included the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center. Heather MacArthur began playing the violin at the age of 4 in southern California. She continued her studies during high school at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. In 2005 she moved to Maryland to pursue her Bachelors of Music degree at the University of Maryland as a student of David Salness and has since established herself as an active freelance violinist and violist in the DC area. This past summer 2013, she was a member of the AIMS Festival Orchestra, which performed concerts across Austria. Heather has been involved in numerous projects that bring innovative musical events to the public. Most notably, she is a violinist in the hip and forward-thinking DC based chamber collective All Points West. She also performs with String Poets Quartet, Pop Culture Strings, Great Noise Ensemble, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. Recent performance venues have included the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center.

Hyunji Lee

Ms. Hyunji Lee, violin, has concertized throughout North America and Asia as a chamber musician and soloist. She holds a BM from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and an MM from the Université de Montréal. She has studied with legendary violinists, such as Vladimir Landsman, and pedagogy with Rebecca Henry. Under the tutelage of Jutta Puchhammer and Amit Peled, she became an experienced chamber musician. As a student, she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival, where she had the opportunity to perform in both orchestral and chamber music settings. Ms. Lee has performed in many of the DC area's concert venues and has played with the Annapolis Symphony. As a teacher, Hyunji has many years of experience teaching children and adults of all ages, and has a very motivating and detailed approach. She has been teaching both beginning and advanced levels for over ten years in both group and individual settings.

Irina Garkavi

Ms.Garkavi has been a concertmaster of the Arlington Symphony Orchestra, Mount Vernon Orchestra, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, and Azerbaijan State Symphony. She has performed also with Fairfax Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Washington Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Garkavi recorded for Melodia Records Company, and she was consistently selected for National television broadcast in Moscow where she received advanced musical training at the Moscow Conservatory. Currently she is a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the International Teacher Association. Ms. Garkavi's pedagogical experience includes Azerbijan State Music Conservatory, European Academy of Music and Art, Gaithersburg Violin Studio, Mt. Vernon Music Festival and ISM.

Jesse Munoz

Jesse Munoz holds Masters of Music in violin from the University of Maryland and Bachelor of Arts from the Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Currently, Jesse is working on his Doctorate of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park. Jesse is recipient of the orchestral assistantship, and leads sectionals in both Symphony and Repertory Orchestras, and is Violin coach for the University of Maryland Repertory Orchestra. Jesse's teaching experience includes teaching music in multiple Montessori schools and private lessons in College Park, Nashville, TN, and New York. He has taught student of all ages, and successfully prepared numerous students for NYSSMA auditions.

Dr. Joelle Arnhold

Dr. Joelle Arnhold has appeared as a featured young artist at the Kennedy Center, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Rome Chamber Music Festival. She is the recipient of both the Olga Von Hartz and Israel Dorman Memorial Award for Strings from the Peabody Conservatory, where she also served as the head Humanities Department teaching assistant, and as a Music Theory faculty associate. Dr. Arnhold has taught violin and viola students at The GreenMount School, Baltimore Bows, Baltimore Talent Education Center, and the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra Bridges program. She holds degrees from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University (B.M., summa cum laude), and the Peabody Conservatory (M.M. and D.M.A.) where she studied with Victoria Chiang.

Kelly Rhode

Kelly Rhode holds a Master of Music from Central Michigan University and Bachelor of Music from Grand Valley State University, where she performed in master classes with Rachel Barton Pine, Robert Chen, Nick Kendall, and Terje Moe Hansen. She has held concertmaster positions with both universities. Her mentors include Christopher Martin, Dylana Jenson, Fangye Sun, Bill Ryan, and Gregory Maytan. During her studies Rhode was a part of the critically-acclaimed GVSU New Music Ensemble, the Battle Creek Symphony, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra, and the innovative new music concert serie "sight/sound." She has performed as a soloist with the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad Project and the Grand Valley State University Symphony Orchestra. Rhode is currently a member of the Baltimore Orff Chapter and a violin instructor at the International School of Music.

Mia Laity

Mia Laity is a violinist dedicated to creating eclectic avenues for music to intersect with everyday life, infusing the classical music tradition with young electricity. She is an active performer in the New York City area, appearing regularly in Groupmuses and also in performance with conductor-less string ensemble Shattered Glass. Mia graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied violin performance with Laurie Smukler and chamber music with Sylvia Rosenberg, and is an alumna of Kneisel Hall, Aspen Music Festival and School, New York String Orchestra Seminar, From the Top, and the National Orchestral Institute. Mia was a violinist in New York's new orchestra, The Orchestra Now during 2015-16 season. Her teaching experience includes private violin lessons to students of all levels and ages while she resided in New York city. Mia also taught masterclasses in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and she was also a KBAQ School Outreach Ambassador.

Olivia Ren

Olivia Ren: Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, violinist Olivia Ren first began playing when she was 8 years old. She started her violin studies at the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory Program, and later studied with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra assistant concertmaster, Hong-Guang Jia. Olivia moved to Cleveland in 2011 to begin her undergraduate studies with Dr. Carol Ruzicka. She subsequently received her Bachelor of Arts degree in violin performance, summa cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University, in association with the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was also the recipient of the prestigious Charles E. Clemens Prize. Olivia moved to the greater DC area in 2015 to freelance and establish her career. During her high school years, Olivia performed with, and was the assistant concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, and participated in international tours to China and Italy. She also maintained a large private violin studio, with several of her students successfully auditioning for Pennsylvania Music Educators Association festivals. Olivia is also an avid chamber musician, appearing in masterclasses with the Pacifica Quartet and studying with the Cavani Quartet in Cleveland. Summer orchestra festival appearances include the Brevard Music Center Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, the Pierre Monteux School, and most recently, the 2015 AIMS Festival, where she performed in concerts throughout Austria.

Patricia Lam

Patricia Lam dedicated her passion to music since childhood. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Australian National University School of Music, and Master of Music in Conducting and Master of Arts in Education from the University of Queensland School of Music, Australia. Patricia received a prize in the China International Piano Competition in 1994, and awarded a Wesley Scholarship in 1999. Patricia also studied violin and viola under Patricia Pollett, the principal violist of Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. During the studies, Patricia acted as a violist and assistant conductor of the Queensland University Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Patricia was awarded the scholarship to take the advanced conducting course with Maestro Harold Farberman and Eduardo Navega at the Conductors Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. Patricia was the music director and conductor of Hong Kong Symphonic Band, Sha Tin Symphonic Band, and conductor of Hong Kong Sha Tin Philharmonic Orchestra. She conducted bands, orchestras and choirs and taught voice, violin, and viola at a number of schools and colleges in Australia and Hong Kong. Her students performed successfully in competitions and passed the examinations with good results. She presently works as the choir conductor and organist at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, MD, private instrument teacher, and accompanist with several choirs and ensembles.

Sarah Hedlund

Sarah Hedlund holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, where she studied with Renata Artman Knific as a violin major. Sarah has recently relocated from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she held several regional orchestra positions, including principal second violin for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, section violin for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and concertmaster for the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. Sarah maintained a large studio of violin and viola students at the Crescendo Academy of Music for ten years; she also founded and directed the Crescendo Fiddlers, a student group actively performing in the folk music community throughout Michigan, including the Wheatland Festival of Music. She has performed in Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s Around the Town chamber music series with both the Bach to Bacharach String Trio and the Crescendo Piano Trio; she has also been a member of the Vireo String Quartet, which was featured for two years at Festival South in Hattiesburg, MS.

Slavica Ilic

Ms. Ilic has made appearances with the orchestras at Lincoln Center New York, Kennedy Center, Lyceum, and Constitution Hall DC, in addition to performances throughout Israel , Italy, former Yugoslavia, and France. A graduate of Music Academy of Sarajevo, Ms. Ilic was a member of the Opera Orchestra of Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Sarajevo Chamber Orchestra. In addition to several awards from string and chamber competitions, she was a recipient of the Fellowship Award for Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, Colorado, where she did her studies with Dorothy DeLay and became a member of Aspen Symphony and Opera Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Ilic is the principal second violin of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra , and also on the faculty at the International School of Music and Columbia Institute of Fine Arts, where her students earned numerous awards at competitions, auditions, and juries.

Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska

Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska has established her musical career as both a successful performer and an experienced instructor in violin, viola and piano. She is an International Laureate Award recipient in classical and folk music performance. Dr. Gorokhivska toured internationally, including Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Poland, Serbia, China, and the USA. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Ternopil State College of Music and her Master Degree at Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. In addition, Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska received her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Cultural Studies from the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy", Ukraine. From 2006-2010 she was a musicologist, journalist, author, and senior editor for the TV program "Along With The Music" on the National Broadcast Company of Ukraine. Dr. Gorokhivska is currently performing as a soloist and a collaborative artist locally, around the United States and Europe. She is a member of Manhattan Symphonie (New York) and Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (Baltimore).

Sophie Genevieve Lowe

A native of South Dakota, Sophie Genevieve Lowe is an American violinist who recently returned to the USA after five years in London, England. Sophie studied at the Royal Academy of Music to earn a master’s degree in Baroque violin. She also received a master’s degree in London at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in modern violin. She soloed in various concerts, including a performance at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelle (Brussels, Belgium), a four-violin concerto solo with Laurence Cummings at the Duke’s Hall (London), and a concerto on a Landolfi violin on loan from the National Music Museum (USA). Sophie appeared on a variety concert stages, including the Royal Festival Hall (London), Wigmore Hall (London), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium), Holland Performing Arts Center (Omaha), le Salle Françoys-Bernier (Québec), and the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.). In London, she was part of the celebrated Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series, which is highly reviewed by the London Times. She appeared live on the radio internationally, including on the BBC (UK) and on KVNO (Omaha). Sophie was a founding member of the Keats String Quartet in London, which performed extensively across the UK. The quartet frequently performed at Cambridge University, and accompanied various Cambridge college choirs. She was a member of the early music group, Risonanti, which was the only ensemble in the United Kingdom to perform early Italian music solely at high pitch (A=465). Due to the technical demands and historical integrity of the music, Risonanti’s repertoire included many manuscripts that have not been performed for hundreds of years. In addition to her UK studies, Sophie studied at the Starling-Delay Symposium at the Juilliard School of Music in NYC and l’Académie du Domaine Forget in Québec, Canada. At the Royal Academy of Music, she was a student of Matthew Truscott and Margaret Faultless. She worked and studied with Rachel Podger, Midori, Laurence Cummings, Chi-chi Nwanoku, Lisa Beznosiuk, Nicolette Moonen, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Daniel Brüggen, Pamela Thorby, Adam Woolf, Pawel Siwczak, and Elizabeth Wallfisch. She performed with conductors including Masaki Suzuki, Edward Gardner, Steven Divine, and Jane Glover. Sophie taught violin and viola to the students of all ages and levels in London, UK and for the Yankton School District, South Dakota before joining the International School of Music in Bethesda.

Sue Waters

Sue Waters graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelors of science degree in music education. She has a masters degree from East Carolina University. Sue has taught for decades not only in her private music studio but in the public schools in Maryland and North Carolina. She also taught at Texas A&I University, Montgomery College and the College of the Albemarle. Besides teaching Sue has played the violin and viola in the Virginia, Maryland, Frederick, Warren, Friday Morning Music Club and Corpus Christi Symphonies. She plays in a chamber group called the Trio La Mer. Besides classical, Sue played in both bluegrass and celtic groups.

 

Voice Faculty:

 

 

Dr. Angela Marchese

Dr. Angela Marchese, soprano, earned her DMA at the University of Maryland studying with Delores Ziegler. She is originally from New Orleans, LA where she received a Bachelors of Music degree from Loyola University. Angela earned a Masters in Opera Performance in 2005 at the University of Maryland where she sang The Governess in Turn of the Screw, and Mimi in La Boheme. Other roles she has performed include Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, While touring in Italy Ms. Marchese performed the role of Serpina in La Serva Padrona, participated in masterclasses with Giuseppi Taddei and Luciano Pavarotti, and gave concerts as part of the I Malatesta Centro di Lingua e Cultura. Upcoming engagements include the Mozart Requiem and Vespers with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Countess in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Bel Cantanti and the title role in Gluck's Armide with the Maryland Opera Studio.

Audrey Kline Frieberg

Audrey Kline has most recently performed with Bel Cantanti Opera in their production of Le Cendrillon. Further roles and performances in 2014 include Gretel from Hansel and Gretel with the Main Street Opera Theater and as the featured soprano soloist with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, singing Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. She has previously sung at the Michigan Opera Theater in their productions of Verdi's La Traviata and Aida under the direction of Suzanne Mallare Acton. Ms. Kline received her Master degree in voice performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College where she studied with Ms. Sally Wolf. While at Westminster Choir College, she sang the role of Morgana in Handel's Alcina with the Westminster Opera Theater. She has sung the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte also with Westminster Opera Theatre as well as singing in the chorus of Die Zauberflöte at the Spoleto Festival USA. Additional opera credits include the roles of Cobweb in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Mellise in Glück's Armide with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, where she received her Bachelor of Music Degree in voice perfomance. Ms. Kline has been a featured soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Fort Street Chorale and as well as the soprano soloist in Faure's and Rutter's Requiem and Carmina Burana. Audrey is currently singing and teaching voice in the Metro Washington D.C. area.

Brandi Diggs

American Soprano Brandi Diggs is a versatile vocalist who sings operatic and solo repertoire throughout the United States and recently appeared as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony and recitalist at the Kennedy Center. She has received numerous prizes in numerous competitions. In 2016, she was a semifinalist in the Annapolis Opera vocal competition and a finalist in the Concorso Lirico International Opera competition. She holds a Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory where she studied with Denyce Graves, a Master of Music Degree from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Spelman College. She has performed the roles of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Frasquita in Carmen and Katherine in Dream Lover's as well as others. Brandi was a young artist at the Martina Arroyo Foundation and has studied at the New York Foundation for the Arts Music and Mentorship program. An avid performer of contemporary opera, Ms. Diggs has collaborated with renowned modern composers, most recently singing the role of The Princess in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art commissioned operetta Qadar composed by Tony Small. Upcoming performances include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Lily in Porgy and Bess, First Touriere in Suor Angelica and the Lover in Il Tabarro with the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.

Christie Dashiell

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Greenville, NC, jazz vocalist Christie Dashiell returned to hone her skills at Howard University and, later, The Manhattan School of Music. Dashiell's history includes performances with Howard's premiere vocal jazz ensemble, Afro-Blue. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C, and as a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People program. She is the recipient of Downbeat magazine's Best College Graduate Jazz Vocalist and Outstanding Soloist awards in the jazz vocal category. Most recently, Dashiell appeared on season three of NBC's "The Sing-Off," as a member of Afro-Blue. Dashiell currently performs and travels with her own quartet, Marcus Strickland's Twi-Life, and drummer Otis Brown, III. She can be heard on several nationally released recordings including, Revive Music's Supreme Sonacy (Vol. I), John Blake's Motherless Child, and as a Kennedy Center Discovery Artist on NPR's "JazzSet" with Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Dr. Daisy Han-Ying Hsieh

Dr. Daisy Han-Ying Hsieh, originally from Taiwan, has enjoyed a rich and diverse career as an active soloist, musician and teacher throughout North America and Asia. Ms. Hsieh is a classically trained singer, and she is a recent graduate of the Catholic University of America, where she earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance. During her time there, she studied extensively with tenor Rick Christman and soprano Fabiana Bravo. In 2011 she received Graduate Performance Diploma at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in voice performance. Previously, she obtained Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree from Taipei National University of America in voice performance. Her past operatic performances include Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Despina (Così fan tutte), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief) and Morgana (Alcina). Ms. Hsieh’s spanning genres are from opera, art songs to contemporary style in multiple languages. Additionally, Ms. Hsieh is not only an enthusiastic musician but also a dedicated teacher with in-depth knowledge of music theory. Currently Ms. Hsieh’s students range from as young as 5-year-old to adults at all ability levels. With an interactive teaching style, she embraces different approaches to meet the individual needs of students’ various learning goals. Her teaching philosophy is that nothing is more important to make each student love music because it is a helpful way to unlock students’ full potential. Moreover, communication and trust between parents and teacher is a crucial part of teaching young students since she believes teaching is about building lasting relationships with each family. Ms. Hsieh really enjoys the learning journey with her every single student.

Emily Sobieski

Emily Sobieski is an established musical theater performer in the Washington DC metro area. An alumna of The Catholic University of America’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, she earned her degree in Musical Theatre and performed under the direction of Paata Tsikurishvili in the Annunciation. Most recently she performed as Jessie in Elmo Rocks at Sesame Place , produced by Sea World Parks and Entertainment. Past roles include Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. With her background in Musical Theatre, she likes to incorporate different acting techniques to help her students grow as both a singer and a performer. As a teacher, she believes in making each lesson unique to the individual needs of the student to unlock their full potential. In addition she has extensive experience teaching voice to children with special needs.

Janan Hincal

Janan Hincal, mezzo-soprano, a native of Washington, DC, recently completed the Artist Diploma program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Through the program, she studied extensively with Claudia Pinza, daughter of famed basso Ezio Pinza. She has spent two summers concertizing and coaching in Northern Italy. Since returning to Washington, she has performed most recently at the Library of Congress through the Bulgarian Embassy, and St. Matthew's Cathedral where she has been a soloist as well as a member of the Capilla Musical Iberoamericana. Ms. Guzey's roles include Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Mrs. Herring in Britten's Albert Herring, and Dinah, Trouble in Tahiti.

Jenny Anne Flory

Jenny Anne Flory received her Masters in Opera Performance at the University of Maryland Opera Studio. She holds a BM in Vocal Performance from James Madison University. With MOS, she sang Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Cupidon in Orphée aux enfers, and the title role Lucretia in the Benjamin Britten opera. Last season, she sang Flora in Ash Lawn Opera's La traviata, chorus in Regina and Don Giovanni, and sang in the MOS New Work and Opera Scenes. At JMU, some of her roles were Musetta/La bohème, Buttercup/HMS Pinafore, and Third Lady/Die Zauberflöte. She also enjoys singing with her church choir at Bradley Hills Presbyterian in Bethesda, along with learning and performing oratorio works. Ms. Flory was recipient of the MOS Scholarship, and studies with Linda Mabbs.

Julia Park

Mezzo soprano, Julia Park recently appeared as the alto soloist for Mozart's Requiem and as a soloist with the Washington Soloist Ensemble. Past operatic performances include the title role of L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night's Dream), the Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), the Mistress of Novices and Suor Dolcina (Suor Angelica) and the Maid (Hin und zurück). In 2013, she appeared as Ljubica in the U.S. premiere of Ana Sokolovic's Svadba with the Peabody Opera. Julia appeared as the alto soloist for Schubert's Mass No. 6 with the Peabody Singers, Peabody-Hopkins Chorus and Peabody Concert Orchestra. In competition, she was a semi-finalist in the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition and placed Second place in Mid-Atlantic Regional and the CNYFL chapter of NATS competition. Julia was selected as a recipient of George Castelle Memorial Award in Voice and was selected to receive Howard County Arts Council Scholarship. Julia received her Bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, receiving the Howard Hanson and George Eastman Scholarship and Master's degree at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Kate Weber-Petrova

Inspired by her passion for music, teaching, and history, Kate Weber-Petrova unites these three disciplines in her professional life as a performer, teacher, and music historian. She holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland in College Park, where she studied musicology, and a B.M. from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she majored in both piano and vocal performance. For over a decade, Kate has taught piano and voice students of various ages with the aim of instilling a love and respect for music, a disciplined approach to practicing, and a solid technical and theoretical foundation. In addition to teaching studio lessons, she has taught both graduate and undergraduate music history classes at the University of Maryland, including the History of Western Music, the History of Popular Music, Nineteenth-Century Music, and a Seminar on the Music of Johannes Brahms. Presently, Kate holds the position of music director at Christ Church in Stevensville, MD, where she plays organ and piano, and directs the choral and instrumental ensembles. She has performed as a soloist and/or collaborative musician at the Peabody Institute, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Chicago Institute of Music, Wisconsin Conservatory, St. John's Cathedral of Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Museum of Wisconsin Art, University of Wisconsin-Washington County, and Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

Dr. Katie Baughman

Katie Baughman, lyric soprano, is a versatile and multi-faceted artist. After her professional debut as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Bellingham Festival of Music the Bellingham Herald proclaimed her "delightful". Katie recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree as a member of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland. She is a staff chorister and soloist in the 22-member professional choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Last season, Katie sang the soprano solos in Bach's Kaffee-Kantate and Cantata 140 and Roy Harris' Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight and Earl Kim's Where Grief Slumbers with UMD's TEMPO ensemble. Additional recent performances include solo roles in Beethoven's Mass in C Major with the Johns Creek Symphony and Michael O'Neal Singers, Bach's Magnificat at UMD and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and cover of Mussetta in La Boheme with the Maryland Opera Studio. Previous performance experience as a professional chorister and soloist include multiple appearances with the Johns Creek Symphony, soloist with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, educational outreach through Young Audiences of Atlanta, and frequent performer (in principal roles) with Capitol City Opera (Atlanta). She was winner of the Encouragement Award at the Georgia District Met Auditions, was a semi-finalist in the Orpheus National Vocal Competition and won the Gail Robinson Musicianship Award at the University of Kentucky's Alltech Competition. Katie was a core member of the prestigious Atlanta Opera Chorus for 5 seasons and performed in the professional chorus for two Carnegie Hall workshops and concerts led by Peter Schreier (Bach's B Minor Mass) and Andre Previn (Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem).

Laura Davis

Laura Davis is a singer and voice teacher passionately committed to authentic artistry. As a singer she is known for her spontaneous and intuitive musicianship. As a teacher she is innovative in her approach, developing a language and a method specific to the needs of each individual. Laura believes that everyone has a unique and authentic voice, and as a teacher she strives to uncover this within each of her students. She combines her knowledge of the physiology of the voice and her background in solo and choral singing with her perspective as a yoga practitioner/teacher to create an approach to singing that is holistic and accessible to everyone. It is her belief that when a singer is grounded in a sense of self and an understanding of the physical instrument, that he/she finds confidence and freedom both as a singer and as an individual. Ms. Davis holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy from the Catholic University of America and a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College. After spending 10 years in New Jersey and Maryland directing choirs in various churches, performing, and teaching voice and piano privately, Laura decided to commit herself to a full time teaching career. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and is a certified yoga instructor. Laura has a deep love for music of all kinds, including early baroque and classical, choral, musical theater, country, and alternative.

Lindsey Paradise

Mezzo-soprano Lindsey Paradise has performed as a soloist with numerous choral and opera companies, including Knoxville Opera, the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, Bel Cantanti, the Washington Master Chorale, and the New England Conservatory Light Opera Company. She premiered at the Kennedy Center as a soloist in Janacek's Diary of One Who Disappeared with Toby Spence. Her favorite operatic roles include Miles in The Turn of the Screw, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Olga Olsen in StreetScene, Annina in La Traviata and Olga in Eugene Onegin. Ms. Paradise was the winner of the Mabry Music Award in voice and was a semi-finalist in both the National Orpheus vocal competition and the Long Leaf Opera vocal competition. While an Apprentice with the Knoxville Opera, she participated as a finalist in the University of Tennessee Concerto Competition, and was later chosen as a semi-finalist in the annual Meistersinger competition in Graz, Austria. Recently, Ms. Paradise was a winner of the district NATS competition. She is also interested in concert performance and sang Mendelssohn's Elijah as a soloist and performed in the World Premiere of Joseph Santo's Visperasde la Santa Cruz in Washington, D.C. Ms. Paradise also performed Vivaldi's Gloria as a soloist with the Washington Women's Chorus and Mozart's Requiem under Thomas Beveridge and J. Reilly Lewis.

Louisa Waycott

Louisa Waycott is a mezzo-soprano from Sun Valley, Idaho. Ms. Waycott has a deep love with music that started with her studies of cello, piano, and musical theater at a young age. She continued to study both instruments and played cello for The Sao Paolo Youth Symphony Orchestra in Brazil and was the principal cellist at The University of Mississippi. She was a collaborative pianist for voice students in both Undergraduate and Graduate School. She recently returned from the Sun Valley Summer Music workshops where she was the coach and pianist for the Opera Workshops. She recently graduated from The Maryland Opera Studio with her Master of Music. She is a mezzo-soprano whose recent credits have been Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Prague Summer Nights Festival, Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the third lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and the title role in Blitzstein's Regina with The Maryland Opera Studio. Other opera credits include, Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon, the Shepherd in L'enfant et les sortileges, Lady Saphir in Patience, Meg in Falstaff, Martha in Iolanta, La Zia in Madama Butterfly, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Mercedes in Carmen, and Estrella in La Perichole. Her musical theater credits include, Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Luisa in The Fantiasticks, Mrs. Walker in The Who's Tommy, Mama Rose in Gypsy, as well as smaller roles in Boys from Syracuse, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat, Annie, and The Wizard of Oz. She studied with Opera in the Ozarks where she performed Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte, The International Lyric Academy, The American Institute of Musical Studies, The Neil Semer Vocal Institute, CAP21, Idyllwild, and Songfest. She is currently enjoying her new life in the DC area as both an energetic performer and a passionate teacher!

Madeline Belknap

Madeline Belknap hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America, where she concentrated in flute, piano, and voice. She participated in the CUA wind ensemble for four years, where she was a soloist and principal player. Her experience teaching includes providing private lessons, leading small ensembles, conducting full bands. Her musical background began at the age of 5 when she first took piano lessons, and soon extended to the flute. Additionally, her passion for musical theatre lead her to pursue a dual degree in Music and Drama, which she achieved in May of 2017. Her musical tastes span from classical, to musical theatre, to alternative, and everything in between.

Matthew Osifchin

Baritone Matthew Osifchin, originally from Doylestown, PA, has enjoyed a rich and diverse career performing opera and oratorio throughout North America and Asia. At Carnegie Hall, he debuted the role of Pontius Pilate in the world premiere of Marcos Galvany's Oh, My Son. With the Washington National Opera, Mr. Osifchin has performed the role of Minister of the Sanctuary in Iphigénie en Tauride alongside legendary tenor Placido Domingo. His repertoire includes Count and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Belcore (L'Elisir d'amore), Escamillo (Carmen), Sulpice (La Fille du Régiment) Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), and Lindorf, Coppelius, Miracle, and Dapertutto (Les Contes d'Hoffmann). In addition to performing, Mr. Osifchin maintains a vigorous teaching schedule and is an active member of NATS. His students have been very successful in National Vocal competitions and he has produced national finalists in both the Classical Singer and the NFAA competitions. Mr. Osifchin, who received his MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland at College Park, teaches at the Suitland High School for the Visual and Performing Arts and Gettysburg College.

Dr. Nakia Verner

Nakia Verner holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Winthrop University and Masters degree in Voice from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In 2004 she received a Graduate Performance Degree in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. While at Peabody, she received the George Woodhead prize for voice. Ms. Verner is the recent winner of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music Concerto Competition. Verner has sung the title role in Madama Butterfly for the Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore, to rave reviews by the Baltimore Sun. She has also sung the First Lady in Die Zaü berflote, with the Rome Festival Opera; Dove in the new operatic work, Kitchen Talk; Magda in La Rondine; and the title role of Puccini's Suor Angelica with the Peabody Opera. Verner has also sung the role of Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, with the Bay Area Opera Institute and the title role in Ariadne Auf Naxos with Metropolitan opera conductor, Kazeem Abdulla. Nakia has been soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and chorus, Brahms Requiem with members of the Baltimore Symphony, and the Bach Magnificat. Ms. Verner was one of fourteen singers that were chosen to attend the 2006 Renata Scotto Opera Academy. Nakia has performed the role of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Brooklyn Conservatory Community orchestra and has been presented in recital at the Brooklyn Conservatory and Music Conservatory of Westchester. She has most recently the title role in La Voix Humaine with the CUA Opera Theatre and Dottie in CUA's production of Finian's Rainbow. Nakia is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at Catholic University where she studies with Sharon Christman.

Patricia Lam

Patricia Lam dedicated her passion to music since childhood. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Australian National University School of Music, and Master of Music in Conducting and Master of Arts in Education from the University of Queensland School of Music, Australia. Patricia received a prize in the China International Piano Competition in 1994, and awarded a Wesley Scholarship in 1999. Patricia also studied violin and viola under Patricia Pollett, the principal violist of Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. During the studies, Patricia acted as a violist and assistant conductor of the Queensland University Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Patricia was awarded the scholarship to take the advanced conducting course with Maestro Harold Farberman and Eduardo Navega at the Conductors Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. Patricia was the music director and conductor of Hong Kong Symphonic Band, Sha Tin Symphonic Band, and conductor of Hong Kong Sha Tin Philharmonic Orchestra. She conducted bands, orchestras and choirs and taught voice, violin, and viola at a number of schools and colleges in Australia and Hong Kong. Her students performed successfully in competitions and passed the examinations with good results. She presently works as the choir conductor and organist at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, MD, private instrument teacher, and accompanist with several choirs and ensembles.

Stephanie Kruskol Batchelder

Soprano Stephanie Kruskol Batchelder received her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, studying in the studio of Steven Rainbolt. At the young age of twelve, her passion for musical stage performance was sparked when she played the role of Mary Lennox in an intensive, fourteen-performance summer stock production of The Secret Garden at the Papermill Theatre in Lincoln, NH. “It is easy to fall in love with Stephanie Kruskol, who in her role as Mary is a total delight… she perfectly captures Mary’s willful, headstrong, irrepressible personality,” wrote Ruth Bossie of the Littleton Courier. Since then, she has sung solo vocals for television ads for Public Service of New Hampshire, and received numerous awards within the state, including reaching the finals for several NATS competitions in her division. She studied voice with Peggo Horstmann-Hodes at the Concord Community Music School in Concord, NH, where she also studied piano with Peggy Senter and Heather Forsha for twelve years. After a year at Plymouth State University, where she studied vocal performance with Kathleen Arecchi, she was awarded a four-year merit scholarship to study at the Peabody Conservatory. She received her BM in Voice Performance at Peabody under the instruction of Dr. Stanley Cornett in 2009. She was a finalist in the 2008 Capital Region Opera Idol competition, and thenceforth was awarded the role of Mabel in the Lakes Region Opera Company’s 2009 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. In December 2009, she was the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Jerry Ascione’s piece entitled One Hundred Eighty Seven with the New England Wind Symphony. Roles with the Peabody Opera Theater include Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, the Frog in Janacek’s The Adventures of Vixen Sharp-Ears, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Stephanie has taught private voice and piano lessons to students of all ages for several years now.

Victoria McGrath

Soprano, Victoria McGrath, recently earned her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Conservatory where she studied with both Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Steven Rainbolt. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado where she studied with Lesley Manring. Operatic repertoire includes Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park, Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Mary in Norton: A Civil War Opera, Ginnie in Gettysburg: Lost in Fire, and Annina in La Traviata. Victoria has been featured as the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rutter’s Gloria, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. She performed the National Anthem for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and appeared on NPR’s show Midday with Dan Rodrick’s with the dean of Peabody to discuss the performances. Fluent in Italian, Victoria studied at the Florence University of the Arts with Cristiano Manzoni. Victoria toured Southern Germany with professional opera company “Opera Classica Europa” as a soloist, a member of the chorus and a stage manager for 11 main stage productions throughout two summers. Currently she is working at ISM, as a singer in the Baltimore and DC Metro areas and teaches private voice.

 

Administration:

 

 

Anne Friend

Benjamin Peck

Cara Stuart

Inja Stanic

Jennifer Reeves

Kyle Johnson

Michelle Musgnug

Morgan Mentzer

Victoria McGrath