Cellist Avery Waite is an active performer, educator, blogger, and composer. In addition to being involved in a wide range of education programs, social justice initiatives, and cultural diplomacy projects, he is the artistic director of Music Feeds Us, a concert series designed to promote hunger relief and awareness. Originally from California, Avery has appeared in concert at Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, MoMA, Carnegie Hall and has performed solo in Europe, Asia and North America. Avery has been a featured performer on Sesame Street and was also recently selected to perform in concert with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program. Avery is also an active composer and arranger. Inspired and moved by his most recent experience teaching in Afghanistan, he has done extensive arranging of traditional Afghan folk music. Selections from these arrangements were recently performed at the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston (SC) and at The Juilliard School. Avery completed his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory in 2010 and received a Masters degree from The Juilliard School in 2012.
Clara Engen is a rising senior Oberlin College and Conservatory where she studies violin performance with Professor Gregory Fulkerson. Clara served as both concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and Southwest High School orchestras. She has recently attended the Madeline Island Music Festival in 2012 as well the Brevard Music Festival 2013, where she was a contemporary music fellow for the itch ensemble. In January of 2013 Clara toured with the Oberlin Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This past winter, Clara traveled to Panama City in conjunction with Oberlin Conservatory and the National Concert Association of Panama, where she taught with the National Youth Orchestra and performed with fellow Conservatory students. Outside of violin, Clara is also pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Originally from Naples, Florida, bassoonist Elizabeth Mee lives in Vancouver, BC. She received her Master of Music at McGill University and Bachelor of Music at New England Conservatory. Her primary teachers include Richard Ranti, Martin Mangrum, Greg Henegar, Stephane Levesque, Jeffrey Kessecker, and Kristen Sonneborn. Elizabeth has played extensively in professional orchestras in the Boston area. She now freelances in Vancouver, performing with numerous ensembles including the Vancouver Symphony, Turning Point Ensemble, Ventos Wind Quintet, and the Kamloops Symphony. Elizabeth has participated in festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and Round Top International Festival. After moving to Vancouver, Elizabeth began training to become a band repair technician, apprenticing with Howard Lee. Elizabeth has been repairing instruments at Tom Lee Music for the last two years and is passionate about creating the best musical experience for young musicians by ensuring instruments work optimally. Elizabeth loves birds, running and hiking.
Craig Hubbard has performed extensively for 14 years as an orchestral, chamber and solo hornist. He has performed with the Orquestra Sinfonica da Bahia, the Qatar Philharmonic, and under such conducting luminaries as Bernard Haitink, Loren Maazel, and David Robertson. He has performed with the Aspen Music Festival and School, Music Academy of the West, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Castleton Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared with The AXIOM Ensemble, The New Juilliard Ensemble, The Delphi Chamber Orchestra, and Cantata Profana. Craig performed several tracks on the recently released album of newly discovered works by jazz composer Gil Evans which earned several Grammy nominations, including “Best Large Jazz Ensemble”. He is currently faculty at New Haven’s Educational Center for the Arts (ECA) and a doctoral candidate at Yale University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School.
French born violist Kim Mai Nguyen is an avid performer of music ranging from Baroque to new music. Involved in several community programs and an enthusiastic advocate of music education, she has been working in several El sistema-inspired programs. She worked this past fall in Kingston, Jamaica with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica and was invited on cultural diplomacy visits to Guatemala, Mexico and Afghanistan. An active orchestral musician, she has substituted in the Paris Opera Orchestra and has participated in the Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival. Kim Mai just completed her M.M. degree at Juilliard. For more information, please visit her website: kimmainguyen.com
Heather has established herself as one of the leading freelance flutists in Vancouver, BC. She maintains vibrant teaching studios at the Vancouver Academy of Music and Saint George’s School, and is an extra flutist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In Heather’s first three years on faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music, she has been named the Head of the Suzuki Flute Department and Director of the Junior Proteus Winds Ensemble. In addition to performing with the VSO, Heather is a Health Arts Society Artist and regularly presents chamber music concerts in hospitals and care centres with her flute and harp ensemble Luminara Duo and flute and guitar ensemble Duo Trovador. In addition to music education and performance, Heather is passionate about supporting local arts organizations and presenting music in alternate venues.
In 2009 Alyssa graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She later completed her Master’s of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Since finishing graduate studies in 2012, Alyssa has been teaching private violin lessons and string groups at a College-Prepatory school in the Milwaukee area. She also maintains her own private violin/piano studio with roughly 35 students throughout the school year. Between teaching, Alyssa keeps up her performing in several part-time orchestras in the area.
Double bass/guitar player, composer, and teacher. Experience in solo, chamber, opera, and orchestral performance, as well as performing in other styles (bluegrass, jazz, rock, metal, funk, musicals). Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and currently attending Yale University pursuing a Master’s in music performance. Performed with the Round Top Festival Orchestra in both 2012 and 2014; performed Nino Rota’s “Divertimento Concertante” for double bass and orchestra in November 2012 with the Rutgers Sinfonia; currently performs in smaller community orchestras. Other interests include cooking, running, screenwriting, reading, karate (both training and teaching), and brewing beer.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Andrea is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Yale University under the tutelage of Don Palma, and in 2013 she graduated from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Thomas Sperl. Andrea has toured in Central and South America as a member of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and is an alumnus of the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra and the Hot Springs Festival. In addition to performing, Andrea enjoys teaching and taking part in musical outreach programs. In 2012 she participated in the Youth Orchestra of the America’s Global Leaders Program, with which she travelled twice to Puebla, Mexico to teach in an afterschool music program. She currently teaches numerous students in New Haven public schools, as well as undergraduate bass students at Yale. Outside of her musical endeavors Andrea enjoys cooking, running, and waterskiing.
Susanna Johnson is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied viola performance with Atar Arad. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Susanna has performed and collaborated with world-renowned conductors and musicians
from orchestras such as the National Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Nashville Symphony. In addition to her orchestral performance experience, Susanna has been featured in chamber and solo performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in
Nashville, Tennessee, the Kennedy Center, and the Senate Hart Building in Washington, D.C., among others. Susanna was a finalist in the concerto competitions of several summer festivals, and in 2009 she won first prize in the Middle Tennessee Bach Festival competition. Susanna is also an enthusiastic music educator and has extensive pedagogical training and teaching experience. In the fall, she will begin a Master’s degree in viola performance at the University of Maryland where she will study with Katherine Murdock.
Born in Colombia in 1989. He completed his Bachelor’s in Music Degree (Summa Cum Laude) at the Corpas University Music School in Bogotá where he studied with Fabio Santana. He began studying the violin at the age of eleven under the guidance of Nana Nikolova. He has studied with Maritza Pacheco and Mauricio Echevarría, and received masterclasses with Joel Nieves and Camilo Acosta (Venezuela), Andrew Zaplatynsky (USA), Federico Hoyos (Colombia), Eva León (Spain), Jennifer Koh (United States), Weigang Li and Yi Wen Jiang (China-USA). He served as Concertmaster of the Accordanza Camerata under the direction of Leonardo Hoyos and the collaboration of Dutch cellist Detmar Leertouwer, as well as Concertmaster of the Juan N. Corpas Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2012, orchestra which received a masterclass with Yuli Turovsky (Former artistic director of “I Musici de Montréal”) in 2008. He participated as Concertmaster of the Youth Colombian Symphony playing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the 27th International Choir Festival in Bogotá. In 2010 he was invited to play in Venezuela as a representative of Colombia with the Iberoamerican Youth Symphony and the Caracas Youth Symphony, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the CAF, where he played under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in the first violin section. He is the winner of the Young Talent Award of the Alliance Colombo-Française (2009), the Auditorio Fabio Lozano Youth Musician Award (2009 and 2011) and the Music Talent Award from the Colombian Central Bank (2011). He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Violin Perfomance at Indiana University studying with Prof. Simin Ganatra. He is also active as a teacher, studying violin and viola pedagogy with Prof. Mimi Zweig.
Rachel Harlos Richardson is an expressive musician and a dedicated music educator who has performed and taught in the United States and internationally. She has been an artistat the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Manchester Music Festival and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. As a Baroque cellist, she was the bass section leader of the University of North Texas Collegium Musicum Baroque Orchestra, and plays with the Denton Bach Players and the Dallas Bach Society. Ms. Richardson has performed with such talents as Edgar Meyer, Bernadette Peters, Sidney Poitier and played under the batons of Craig Jessop, Claus Peter Flor, and Lawrence Loh. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Brigham Young University and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas.