2019 Special Guests
If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare


Aznavoorian has performed throughout the world as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.  She made her professional debut at the age of 13 performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 with the Chicago Symphony.  She has worked with many renowned conductors and has won numerous awards including first prize at the Stravinsky International Competition. She has performed at the White House and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as a Presidential Scholar.  She is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio, which tours regularly throughout the world. She is in strong demand as a festival musician, including Tanglewood, Aspen, Caramoor, Hornby Island, Green Lake, and Ravinia.  A champion of new music, she has worked with leading contemporary composers including William Bolcom, Joan Tower, and Jennifer Higdon.   She received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her master’s from the New England Conservatory.
EMMANUELLE BOISVERT, violin, concertmaster

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

As a third-generation artist in a long line of incredible jazz musicians, Bradford has truly contributed to the perpetuation and preservation of the great American art form called jazz. She was discovered and hired by William “Count” Basie and was the featured vocalist in his orchestra for nine years.  She has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Shelly Berg, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, numerous symphony orchestras, and countless other artists around the world.  In her current work with symphony orchestras, she pays tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald in her show called A Century of Ella. She has never stopped performing with the Count Basie Orchestra, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for her performance from the album All About That Basie. Her love of teaching has been recognized by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s RJAM (Roots, Jazz, and American Music) program, where she IS the Jazz Voice Department.

Michael Brown has been described by The New York Times as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers.”  Winner of a 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he has performed with the Seattle, Grand Rapids, North Carolina, Maryland, and Albany symphony orchestras, among others. His 2018-19 season includes debuts with the National Philharmonic and the Mostly Mozart Festival, and in 2020 he will perform his new Beethoven-inspired piano concerto co-commissioned by the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Poland’s NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra. Brown is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and regularly performs recitals with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis. Recipient of a 2018 Copland House Residency Award, he has received commissions from a variety of symphony orchestras, instrumental soloists, and other pianists.  He earned dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and composition from The Juilliard School. 
Guest Conductor

Acclaimed conductor JoAnn Falletta was named Performance Today’s2019 Classical Woman of the Year.  Hailed as a “leading force for the music of our time” as a conductor, recording artist audience builder, champion of American composers, and distinguished musical citizen, Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center, and Music Advisor to the Hawaii Symphony.  She has guest conducted over one hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic she became the first woman to lead a major American ensemble, bringing it to a new level of national and international prominence.  She has introduced over 500 works by American composers, including well over 100 premieres.  Her recordings have won three Grammys and 13 nominations.  She received her undergraduate degree from the Mannes School of Music, and her master’s and doctorate from The Juilliard School.

Flores recently made her debut in the role of Maria in Bless Me, Ultima, a new opera commissioned by Opera Southwest, and as Maria in West Side Story with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. This year she also made a debut appearance with the The Dallas Opera as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.  With the Palm Beach Opera she has appeared as Musetta in La bohème and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro and as Mimi in La bohème at the Ashlawn Opera.  She has also sung the role of Adele in Strauss’s Die fledermaus.  She has been a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Charles Singers, the Central New Jersey Symphony, and the Orpheus Chamber Singers, among others.  She was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions semi-finalist and is a graduate of Indiana University. 
Guest Conductor

Conductor Heuser is Music Director of both the Idaho Falls and the San Juan Symphonies.  He previously served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, and has been a guest conductor with the Illinois, Flagstaff, Missoula, Grand Junction, Vallejo, and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestras, among others, and with orchestras in Canada, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Estonia.  Heuser was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Orchestral Conducting in Germany while serving as a Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College and earned the Master of Music from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.  In 2013 he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestra Conducting from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. 

Kanamaru is currently Associate Professor/Keyboard Area Coordinator for the College of New Jersey. She first appeared with a professional orchestra at the age of nine in Tokyo.  She made her US concerto debut with the Savannah Symphony in 2000, performing Grieg’s Concerto in A minor.  Since then she has made solo appearances with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the Binghamton Philharmonic, and has performed concertos by Liszt and Tchaikovsky with other orchestras.  As a chamber musician, she has performed with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles Series and the Philharmonic Quintet of New York.  She has co-edited more than 30 volumes of pedagogical piano music for the Yamaha Music Foundation.  She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo.  In the US, she studied at the Eastman School of Music, and received an Advanced Certificate from The Juilliard School and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Guest Conductor

Kaufman has devoted much of his life to conducting and supervising music for film and television. He began his musical life at the age of seven as a violinist. By age eleven he began conducting at the Peter Meremblum California Junior Symphony. As a violinist he performed on numerous film and television scores including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and others.  He joined the Music Department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1984, and for the next 18 years supervised music for all MGM television and animation projects, winning two Emmy nominations. He regularly appears as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and around the world.  In addition to conducting for many major musical performers, Kaufman has coached various actors in instrumental, vocal, and conducting roles including Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, and Susan Sarandon. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from California State University at Northridge.  While a student at CSUN, he composed the University’s Alma Mater and Fight Song.
DREA PRESSLEY, mezzo-soprano

Pressley is a financial advisor in Durango and also has extensive experience as a professional musician, having performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Operafestival di Roma among others.  She toured Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, performing the world premiere of John Adams’ work The Gospel According to the Other Mary and has twice been a guest artist with Santa Fe Pro Musica on their Baroque Christmas series. Pressley is also a Hollywood studio musician and can be heard as part of the choir on soundtracks to films that include Avatar, Godzilla, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse, Transformers: The Last Knight, and others. 

Quint is a multi-faceted artist with a wide range of interests. His formidable discography has led to several Grammy nominations.  He is consistently re-engaged domestically and internationally as a soloist with the orchestras of Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, Indianapolis, Houston, and Bournemouth, among many.  He has performed with the Weimar Staatskapelle, China National Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Cape Town Philharmonic on their US tour.  He has given many solo recitals and chamber performances at major festivals such as Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Lincoln Center, and Chautauqua, to name a few.  He has explored the tango music of Astor Piazzolla with his ensemble The Quint Quintet. He branched out into acting in the indie film Downtown Express. He plays on a 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the Stradivari Society ® of Chicago.  He is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Roe has been named as one of the classical music world’s “Six on the Rise: Young Artists to Watch” by Symphony magazine.  She made her concerto debut at age 15 with the Chicago Philharmonic.  She has since appeared as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative musician at major venues worldwide, including Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Seoul Arts Center, the Ravinia Festival, and many more. An avid chamber musician, Roe has collaborated with an array of esteemed artists and is a member of Decoda (Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall) and Trio Ariadne (ensemble-in-residence at the Green Music Center). She co-founded the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, whose concerts, compositions, and Emmy-nominated music videos have been heard and seen by millions.  In recognition of her educational and leadership endeavors, she was awarded the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Robert Sherman Award for Education and Community Outreach.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. 
ADRIAN SMITH, baritone

Smith was heard most recently as the baritone soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the Santa Fe Symphony, as Monterone in Rigoletto, and Owens in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain with the North Carolina Opera.  Previous seasons’ performances include Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Zuniga in Carmen, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. As an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera, his roles included Larkens in La fanciulla del West and the Major Domo in Strauss’ Capriccio. His concert engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the baritone soloist in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Mozart’s Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B Minor.  Other engagements include Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, and Händel’s Messiah and Dettingen Te Deum.  A native of Hickory, NC, Mr. Smith holds degrees from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Boston University. 
Guest Conductor

Stripling currently serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.  His heartfelt tribute to Louis Armstrong has become one of America’s most popular orchestral pops programs.  With his engaging rapport, jazzy vocals, and virtuosic trumpet sounds, he celebrates the spirit of New Orleans.  His signature version of “When the Saints’ Go Marchin’ In” closes his show and leaves audiences dancing in the aisles!  Stripling made his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops.  He has soloed with the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and the Seattle Symphony, to name a few.  He has been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and on the PBS television special Evening at Pops, with conductors John Williams and Keith Lockhart.  He earned his stripes as a lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra and has played and recorded with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, and many others.

Tischhauser returned to Fort Lewis College in 2016 after a two-year stint with two-time Grammy Award winning ensemble Chanticleer. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and as Professor of Music at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the New Mexico School for the Arts, and the College of Music at Florida State University. He previously served as principal flute of the Santa Fe Symphony and Cincinnati Civic Orchestra, as well as singing with the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. While enjoying a classical background, Tischhauser also enjoys a spicier side, having worked as a stage performer, and was last seen in Santa Fe Reps production of Company (2010) and Follies (2014). Turning completely toward popular idioms Tischhauser, in association with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, created New Mexico’s first professional vocal a cappella ensemble, Voasis. He received his education from Wichita State University, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and Florida State University.
HELEN WELCH, vocalist

Welch is an internationally-acclaimed vocalist, producer, arranger, and band leader.  A native of England, she began her career on TV’s Romper Room. After that, she headlined with the BBC Big Band, Glenn Miller Europe, Opus One, and others at many prestigious UK venues.  She held starring roles in a variety of popular musicals including Hello, Dolly!, Carousel, and 42nd Street, to name a few.  She relocated to the US to guest star in the Broadway musical Smoky Joe’s Café.  She then became a fronting vocalist for The Cleveland Orchestra, The Breckinridge Summer Orchestra, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Florida Symphony, and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, whose Artistic Director is Byron Stripling.  Since then, Welch has been producing her own shows for Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, the Akron Civic Theater, the Chautauqua Institution, and other theaters and performing arts centers around the country. 
Boyd Meets Girl pairs Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd with American cellist Laura Metcalf.  The duo performs an eclectic and engaging range of repertoire, from Baroque through modern day, including many of their own arrangements.  Both are acclaimed soloists, chamber musicians, and educators in their own right.  Boyd Meets Girl has toured throughout the US, Australia, India, and Nepal, including appearances at the Newport Music Festival, the Gharana Music Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the Monsoon Music Festival in Kolkata, India.  In 2017 Boyd Meets Girl released their debut album in conjunction with a 40-concert world tour.  Boyd holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Australian National University School of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Mahnattan School of Music, where he won the Andres Segovia Award, and an Artist Diploma from Yale University.  Metcalf graduated from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and received her Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music.
Colorado’s FY5 is composed of artists Mike Finders, guitar; Erin Youngberry, bass; Aaron Youngberry, banjo; Rich Zimmerman, mandolin; and Ryan Drickey, fiddle.  Their original trademark story songs are influenced by country and bluegrass traditions.  While their sound evokes timelessness, it is decidedly contemporary. Their strong singing and musicianship and thoughtful arrangements connect to listeners with stories of “common struggles and big ideas”.  They released their fourth full-length album in 2018, The Way Things Go.  The band was selected as the official showcase artists for the 2017 International Bluegrass Association Conference, including a songwriter showcase with Mike Finders. 
Returning Festival favorite Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today. Nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, she has performed with over 40 orchestras, with Hall and Oates, The Chieftains, Sting, “Fiddlers Three” with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, to name a few.  She was an original Musical Star of Riverdance, and has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times.  She has been rooted in Irish traditional music since the age of eight, growing up in the culturally diverse neighborhood in the Bronx. She graduated magna cum laude in mathematics from Iona College and did post-graduate work in mathematics while immersing herself in the different genres of music which she experienced growing up in New York.
Self-described as “born in a distillery in Durango, CO”, Stillhouse Junkies play a mixture of original roots, blues, funk, swing, and bluegrass music.  “With all three band members sharing vocal duties and swapping instruments, the Junkies conjure a wide range of tonal landscapes that pay tribute to the sounds of Gillian Welch, the Allman Brothers, Tim O’Brien, the Wood Brothers, John Hiatt, and countless others, while breaking new ground with their genre-bending original material.”  The group is composed of:  Alissa Wolf, vocals, fiddle and guitar; Cody Tinnin, vocals, bass and banjo; Fred Kosak, vocals, guitar, and mandolin.
2019 Festival Musicians

Violinist and violist Matt Albert is the Chair of Chamber Music at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. He previously served as the Director of Chamber Music and SYZYGY at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. He was a founding member of Eighth Blackbird, with whom he received numerous awards, including first prizes at the Naumburg, Concert Artists Guild, Coleman, and Fischoff Competitions, and three Grammy awards for their recordings on Cedille Records. He has performed with Alarm Will Sound, Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, Seraphic Fire, ICE, the Shreveport Symphony (as concertmaster), the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. His summer festival experiences include performances with the Eastern Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Ojai Music Festival, and three years as the Artistic Director of the Music in the Mountains Conservatory.  He holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Northwestern University School of Music.
Barnes joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2016.  Prior to that she held a temporary appointment with the CSO since 2012.  She was an Adjunct Instructor of Viola at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music from 2011-2016.  Prior to joining the CSO, she was a violist with the Louisville Orchestra.  She received her Bachelor of Music degree and completed graduate studies at the CCM, and was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival.
LINDA MACK BERVEN, harpsichord, piano, pre-concert lecturer
Mack Berven currently serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Durango Choral Society, which has twice been awarded the Chorus America Alice Parker/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. She was a long time music faculty member at Fort Lewis College.  She also conducts the Durango Women’s Choir, and is a former Music Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Her appearances as a conductor, pianist, and harpsichordist have included the San Juan Symphony, Fort Lewis College faculty recitals, Third Avenue Arts Recital Series, Showcase Concert Series, and the Durango Bach Festival, and she regularly performs with C. Scott Hagler as part of the Vivace Piano Duo.  Mack Berven has conducted choirs and orchestras at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and 2018, as well as in in Prague, Greece, Zagreb, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Linz. Mack Berven earned her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.
AARON BOYD, violin
Boyd currently serves as Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Practice in Violin at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He has established an international career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, lecturer, and educator.  Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has appeared at many prestigious venues throughout the US, Europe, Russia, and Asia and collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Emerson quartets.  As a chamber musician, Boyd has appeared at the Marlboro and Aspen festivals, among others, and is an artist of The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, where he was a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.  Interested in the violin and its history, Boyd has lectured on the golden age of violinists and their violins, and is a contributing writer to The Strad magazine. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he plays on the “ex Stopak” Matteo Goffriller violin, crafted in in Venice in 1700.
Christensen’s career has revolved around chamber music and education.  Retired from the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts in Missouri, where he was a tenured professor of violin, he has also been on the faculties of Dickenson College, the Harrow School in Beijing, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Music.  He has given extensive international clinics and master classes throughout China, in Italy, and in Sweden.  Christensen has performed as a soloist with many chamber orchestras in the US and China, and was active in regional period ensembles in the Midwest.  In Italy, he was on the faculty of the Festival Suoni d’Abruzzo for three years, and has also performed in Bologna, Ascoli Piceno, and in Tuscany.  At home in all genres of classical music, he has given more than a dozen world premieres, including the Doppelgänger Concerto for Two Violins by David Dzubay and, most recently, Zephyros, for violin and chamber orchestra, by Enrico Blatti.   
Clay has held the position of principal double bass of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 1995.  Prior to that, he was the principal of la Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Spain), and was a charter member of the New World Symphony. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Texas Wesleyan University and has served on the faculty of University of North Texas.   He has performed with the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas Symphonies, and most recently as a guest principal with the Oregon Symphony.  An active chamber musician, Clay has performed as a guest artist with Spectrum Chamber Music Society, Fine Arts Chamber Players, Mount Vernon Music, and Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth.  He has also appeared as a soloist, performing concertos with the Fort Worth, New World, Colorado, and Metropolitan State University Symphonies.  He holds the Master of Music degree from Indiana University and the Bachelor of Arts from Metropolitan State University.
JAMES DOYLE, percussion
Doyle serves as Associate Professor of Music at Adams State University, where he teaches percussion, world music, and directs the Brazilian, steel pan, and percussion ensembles. He has performed and presented clinics throughout the U.S., Australia, Japan, and on tours in Southwest Asia and East Africa. James previously served as percussionist with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, was a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, and performed with orchestras throughout the West Coast. He currently performs with the San Juan Symphony and as a freelance and recording artist in the Rocky Mountain region and Las Vegas, NV. Doyle earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Duissen is currently a first violinist with the Fort Worth Symphony.  Prior to that he was assistant concertmaster with the Dallas Opera Orchestra.  Born into a family of renowned musicians in Kazakhstan, he began studying the violin at the age of 7.  He had his debut with an orchestra at the age of 10, and a year later, he won First Prize at an international competition in Central Asia and former Soviet Union republics.  He has participated in many music festivals as soloist, concertmaster, and chamber musician all over the world. He was the first violinist in his native country to perform all 24 of Paganini’s Caprices in the course of one concert. He graduated from the Kazakh National Academy of Music and subsequently received a full scholarship to continue study at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Dunn is Associate Professor of Trumpet at Northern Arizona University. He has performed with the Utah, Eugene, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras, and performs regularly with the Elden Brass Quintet and as a soloist. Dunn has composed several pieces for trumpet ensemble, trumpet with electronics, and trumpet with percussion.
Dvorak joined the cello section of the Houston Symphony in 1978.  He studied with cellist and mentor Lev Aronson, and has appeared as a soloist with the Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland-Odessa, and Houston Symphony Orchestras.  An ardent chamber music lover, he has performed in Houston chamber series and frequently presented benefit concerts in his home with other symphony musicians.  More recent musical activities include score reconstruction, orchestration, and arranging for his MusicaNeo site.  He now resides in Silver City, New Mexico
Eisfeller is the principal harp of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Symphony, as well as adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico. She has also performed with the symphonies of San Antonio, El Paso, Hartford, and Opera Southwest. Summers have taken her to Oregon for the Coast, Britt, Cascade, and Sunriver festivals, and also to Italy to perform with the Assisi Performing Arts. She often plays with Durango's San Juan Symphony. She is a frequent performer for Arts in Medicine, UNM's integrative medicine program that provides music, visual arts, massage, and creative writing to patients and staff at University Hospital in Albuquerque. She is an honors graduate of Indiana University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and taught harp and music theory
Elias is currently Professor of Music and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at Cedarville University in Ohio. He has performed in solo recitals and in orchestras in the United States, El Salvador, Argentina, Bulgaria, Japan, and Korea, and has represented El Salvador at the World Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lorin Maazel. Before joining Cedarville in 2013, he was the Director of Strings and Orchestra at Colorado Mesa University. In addition, he was Concertmaster of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony in the Valley in Glenwood Springs.  He and his wife, pianist Andrea Arese-Elias, gave their New York debut at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2002. He holds degrees from Biola University, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and Duquesne University.
Fabian joined the clarinet faculty at the University of North Texas in the fall of 1990. She is concertmaster of the Dallas Wind Symphony and is the principal clarinet of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. Fabian has also been featured as a soloist with other ensembles, including the Texas Chamber Orchestra. She has performed frequently with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. In demand as a teacher and clinician, several of her former students have gained international recognition for their achievements in music competitions as well as positions in major symphony orchestras. Fabian earned a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from the University of Buffalo and a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance/Woodwinds from Michigan State University.
DON FABIAN, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Fabian is principal saxophone and soloist with “America’s Premier Wind Band,” the Dallas Wind Symphony. Fabian is part of the Artist Faculty and Adjunct Associate Professor of Saxophone at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He concurrently holds the position of personnel manager for the Dallas Wind Symphony.
He is the soprano saxophonist with the award-winning Texas Saxophone Quartet. A graduate of the Crane School of Music, S.U.N.Y. at Potsdam, New York, he earned his bachelor’s degree in both performance and music education. His master’s degree was completed in multiple woodwinds and saxophone performance at Michigan State University.
An Atlanta native, Ferree is the newly-appointed principal horn of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Formerly principal horn of the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, Ferree has also been a member of the New World Symphony, and has performed as guest with the orchestras of Atlanta, Virginia, Florida, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With the LA Philharmonic, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, he performed as Guest Associate Principal on their 2016 NY-European Tour. Solo appearances include the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings with the RSO, Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Ètoiles at Juilliard, Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns with the Richmond Philharmonic, and Glière’s Horn Concerto with New World Symphony. As an active festival performer, he has appeared at Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Verbier Festivals.  A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ferree is married to conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin.
The seventh in a “full octave of musical siblings,” French is the associate principal cello of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the orchestra in 1986, he held titled positions in both the Shreveport and Honolulu Symphonies. He has appeared in concerto performances with the Houston Symphony and in the Chamber Players series, Da Camera of Houston, Greenbriar Consortium, and the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. He teaches orchestral repertoire at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and teaches cello to younger students, including coaching the Youth Orchestra of the Americas as they prepare for their international tours.
Currently the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Maryland, Frisof serves as principal flute with the Dallas Wind Symphony.  Frisof has attended the Verbier, Tanglewood, Pacific, and Aspen Music Festivals, and she has substituted with the Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Detroit, Boston, Kansas City, and Fort Worth Symphonies. She was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Kobe International Flute Competition and the 2nd prizewinner of the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition. She has maintained a private studio for over 20 years, and her interests in humanitarian outreach and education have taken her to Zimbabwe and Brazil. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Michigan and she also received degrees from The Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music.
Larson Garver has been principal flute with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1971. She has also been Adjunct Professor of Flute at Southern Methodist University since 1971. Her career with the DSO has included several tours of Europe, Asia, and South America, and performances at Carnegie Hall. She is a founding member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, where she has spent the last thirty-two summers. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Fine Arts Chamber Players, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Woodwind Quintet, and the Mainly Mozart Festival. Larson Garver studied at the University of Texas in Austin, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance.
Hadeka is currently a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  Prior to that, she held the position of associate principal horn in the Omaha Symphony.  She is a former member of the New Mexico Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. She has also performed with the Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and New World Symphony.  In 2008, she was the University Division Concerto Competition winner at the Northeast Horn Workshop.  In addition to performing, Hadeka has taught at Loyola University in New Orleans and the University of Nebraska in Omaha.  She has attended summer festivals including Lake George, Sarasota, Aspen, Spoleto, and Lucerne Festival Academy.  In 2016 she was the Library Apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera.  She completed her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music and her master’s at Southern Methodist University under Gregory Hustis.
Bio still to come!
Hawkes is an active musician in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and is on the brass faculty with the world-class drum corps, the Troopers.  She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2019, where she studied under Gregory Hustis.  She completed her bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy.
Heinonen is currently principal bass with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. Prior to that he was the principal bass with the Indianapolis Symphony for 22 years, where he was also a soloist, recitalist, and conductor.  He has also played principal bass with the Kansas City Symphony and played with the Honolulu Symphony.  He recently performed as bass soloist in his own adaptation of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy.  He has had a long association with the Aspen Music Festival, where he played as principal bass and was featured as soloist.  He has performed in the Grand Tetons Festival and Colorado Music Festival, and is regularly engaged with the Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Baltimore Symphonies, and various chamber groups.  He is playing on instruments made in 1761 by Domenico Busan of Venice or Antonio Pedrinelli, ca. 1820. 
Herrington has performed with and occasionally conducted the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra for 30 years until 2011. He holds a degree from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied with Dr. Irvin Wagner. Herrington is a founding member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and is principal trombone with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Avery Heuser is a member of the San Juan Symphony, under the direction of her husband, Thomas Heuser.  She has performed with the Berkeley Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic, the Napa Valley Philharmonic, the Marin Symphony, the California Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the Cabrillo, Spoleto, and Castleton Festival Orchestras.  She holds degrees from Vassar College and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
NANCY HUNT, violin
Hunt has been a violinist with the Rochester Philharmonic since 1977. She previously held posts in the Dayton Philharmonic and the Filarmonica de las Americas (Mexico City). She was Lecturer of Strings at Nazareth College of Rochester for 24 years. She currently has a private teaching studio. She holds a degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Hunt has been a member of the first violin section of Rochester Philharmonic since 1975 and concertmaster of Penfield Symphony Orchestra since 1988. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and the University of Rochester.
Kramp currently freelances in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area.  He frequently performs with the Baltimore Symphony, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.  He is also a regular substitute with the St. Louis Symphony.  Prior to moving to the DC area, he performed with the Kansas City Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has attended the Marlboro, Yellow Barn, and Ravinia Festivals, among others, where he collaborated with great artists including members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. Kramp studied at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory.
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Kustanovich immigrated with his family to the U.S. at age 5, settling in Worcester, MA. He joined the viola section of the Fort Worth Symphony in 2005. Kustanovich has also played with the Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Seattle Symphonies, touring much of the US and Europe. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a violinist, later graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music as a violist.
JONATHAN LATTA, percussion
Latta is an educator and performer from the Northern California area. He regularly performs with the Stockton Symphony and Modesto Symphony, as well as timpanist for the Stockton Opera Association. Previously, he has held teaching positions at Fort Lewis College and University of the Pacific. Latta performed with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, the San Juan Symphony, and the North State Symphony. He is an active performer in both classical music and jazz drumset.  He holds degrees from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, East Carolina University, and the University of Arizona. 
Leisring is principal bassoon of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she served for 14 seasons as principal bassoon in the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in Spain, where she performed the European Premiere of Ellen Taaffe-Zwillich’s Concerto for Bassoon. She has also performed with the Milwaukee and Barcelona Symphonies. She studied at The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, and the University of North Texas.
Lewis is in her 14th season with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She gave the U.S. premiere of Malcolm Forsyth’s Eclectic Suite, for cello and piano. Prior to joining the SPCO, she was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony, and performed as a substitute musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has performed solo and chamber recitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities. She holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and The Juilliard School.
KE MAI, violin
Ke Mai began violin studies in China at the age of four under his father’s influence.  Before joining the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2018, he was a violinist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and principal second violin with the Des Moines Metro Opera.  After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the National Music Academy of Ukraine, he was a first violin with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine.  In 2011, after a global audition, he was selected as principal second violin for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia. As an active chamber musician, he was a founding member of the Cezanne Quartet, which was awarded the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in 2014.  The Cezanne Quartet won second prize at the Coltman chamber music competition in Austin in 2015.  Ke Mai plays a rare fine violin made by Carl Becker in 1919.
Mann is a Professor Emerita at Fort Lewis College, where she served as Chair of the Music Department as well as Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. She holds degrees from Indiana and Arizona State Universities, and has a record of outstanding service to the music education profession as an author, teacher, and mentor. Mann has served as principal flute of the San Juan Symphony since 1983, and continues to perform as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. In 2012 she was honored as one of Durango’s Sweethearts of the Arts.
Moran started playing bassoon at the age of eleven, and in two years earned a position in his local youth orchestra in Dallas. Prior to performing with Music in the Mountains, he spent summers with the National Orchestral Institute and the National Repertory Orchestra and has played under numerous conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Marcelo Lehninger, Carl St. Clair, and JoAnn Falletta, to name a few.   He completed a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from Southern Methodist University.  He will begin his master’s studies in August at the Eastman School of Music.
SCOTT NGUYEN, bass trombone
Nguyen has been a member of the Festival Orchestra since 2013 and is currently an active freelance musician and private trombone instructor in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In addition to performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Dallas Wind Symphony, New World Symphony, and National Repertory Orchestra, and has collaborated with the multi-Grammy Award winning contemporary ensemble, Eighth Blackbird. In 2015, Nguyen was selected as the winner of the International Trombone Association Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition. Additionally, he was selected as a finalist in the 2010 ITA George Roberts Solo Bass Trombone Competition. Nguyen earned a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Methodist University where he was a recipient of the Norman L. Jacobs Memorial Award.
JOHN O’NEAL, percussion
O’Neal is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Music at Fort Lewis College and is the principal timpani with the San Juan Symphony Orchestra.  Additional professional experience includes performances with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony, Missouri Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.  O’Neal holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, and additional degrees from Florida State University and the University of Kansas.
ANDREW PARKER, oboe, English horn
Parker is currently Assistant Professor of Oboe at Butler University and principal oboe of the Quad Cities Symphony. He has taught master classes throughout the country at the University of Michigan, Temple University, Rice University, and many other institutions.  He maintains a career as an orchestral musician, soloist, and chamber player, and has appeared as guest artist and a player with many orchestras in North America including the Florida Orchestra, and the Richmond, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Santa Fe Symphonies.   He recently performed the world premiere of Rob Deemer’s oboe concerto Pillars of Creation, with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble.  He plays and coaches chamber music at various international music festivals.  He received his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, his master’s degree at Yale University, and his doctorate at the University of Michigan. 
Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer, and conductor. He is currently a Professor of Music at Augustana College. Pennington is the associate principal timpani with the South Dakota Symphony and is currently a Cultural Envoy for the State Department in the Middle East. With performances on four continents and over twenty-five states, he has performed on Prairie Home Companion and has been a featured performer at four Percussive Arts Society international conventions.  He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Arizona, and Arizona State University.
Peterson is an active performer and teacher in the Dallas and San Antonio areas.  In addition to performing as principal trombone with the San Antonio Symphony, he often performs with the Dallas Symphony and has also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras.  He is a member of many chamber groups including DFW Brass, Bishop Arts Brass, and the Dallas Symphony “Yes” Brass Quintet.  Prior to moving to Dallas, Peterson played in jazz and commercial ensembles on cruise ships, which allowed him to travel extensively.  He is also a videographer, and creates original satirical and documentary videos that can be found on his YouTube channel: stevepetersonproject. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music from Southern Methodist University. 
MARC REED, trumpet
Reed currently serves as Associate Professor of Trumpet and Music Department Chair at Fort Lewis College, where he teaches applied trumpet and horn, brass ensembles, and brass methods.  He is the principal trumpet of the San Juan Symphony Orchestra, Artist Faculty at the National Trumpet Competition, and is an Artist/Clinician for the Bach Trumpet Division of the Conn-Selmer Corporation.  Reed is an active member of the International Trumpet Guild and serves as Youth Competitions Chair.  He is also the column editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal’s Trumpet in the Wind Band Column, is a contributing member to the ITG Journal’s Recording Review and Book Review staffs, and an annual conference reporter. Reed holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance and Brass Pedagogy from the University of North Texas, Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from The University of North Texas, and bachelor’s degrees in both Music Education and Trumpet Performance (with a jazz emphasis) from Drake University. 
JOHN ROMERO, trombone
Romero is the new principal trombone of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  He has been an active and successful solo competitor, winning the Larry Wiehe competition in 2012 at the annual International Trombone Festival in Paris, as well as ITF’s Marstallar competition in 2013. In addition, he won the Big XII Trombone Conference Tenor Competition and Baylor University’s Concerto Competition. He has been a featured soloist at Blast of Brass’s summer festival.  Romero teaches privately in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and his students have been successful in placement auditions and competitions.  He has a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Baylor University, and a Master of Music from Rice University.
Schreiber joined the St. Louis Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster in September 2008, at the age of 20. She has appeared in recital throughout the U.S., as well as in London, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, and toured with jazz legend Chris Botti in Shanghai, Mexico City, and Eastern Europe. She made her St. Louis Symphony solo debut in 2011 and has appeared as a soloist with the Richardson, Gateway, Alton, and Missouri Symphony Orchestras. In the summers, she has performed at Festival Mozaic in California, Olympic Music Festival in Washington, and for the past six years, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Schreiber attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
LESLIE SHANK, viola, concertmaster emerita
Shank is busy as a soloist and chamber musician.  She was a member of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for 30 years, 24 of them as assistant concertmaster. Soloing frequently with The SPCO, she also performed with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Seattle Symphony, and the National Orchestral Association, among others.  She has performed at leading festivals, including Aspen, Grand Teton, Mainly Mozart, and Marlboro, and has served as concertmaster at Music in the Mountains and Britt (Oregon). She was for four seasons a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. In 2014-15 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Shank is a founding member of the Isles Ensemble, composed of the Twin Cities’ foremost chamber musicians. With her husband, classical guitarist Joseph Hagedorn, the Shank-Hagedorn Duo has performed on Minnesota Public Radio’s nationally distributed Saint Paul Sunday.  Shank earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School.
Sherman joined the Fort Worth Symphony as principal trumpet in 2016.  He has appeared with the Dallas Symphony and as a soloist with the Garland, Arlington, and Las Colinas symphony orchestras.  He has also performed on the Broadway national tours of the Book of Mormon, Porgy & Bess, and Matilda, among others. Sherman  is a Yamaha performing artist.  An active educator, he regularly appears as a clinician and recitalist at universities throughout Texas and the United States. He is an alumnus of the Yale School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Round Top Festival. 
JAN SIMIZ, cello
Simiz is assistant principal cello of the Phoenix Symphony and principal cello of the Phoenix Symphony Sinfonietta. A native of Romania, he studied at Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest and received a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Simiz is a faculty member at Arizona State University.
Simiz is a cellist with the Amabile String Quartet and head of the string department at the Arizona School for the Arts since its inception in 1995. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and her master’s from California State at Long Beach.
Since 2012 Steele has held the FortePrincipal Oboe Chair of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.  Prior to that, she was principal oboe of the Florida Orchestra, where she appeared frequently as soloist and collaborated on the orchestra’s multi-year cultural exchange with musicians in Havana, Cuba.   Since 2008, she has been co-principal of the Eastern Music Festival and has performed at Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Banff festivals and with the National Repertory Orchestra. She currently serves on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has previously taught at the University of Tampa, St. Petersburg College, and the New World School of the Arts in Miami.  Steele holds a Bachelor of Music and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School. 
Stern is returning to the Music in the Mountains orchestra after an 11-year hiatus.  She was a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for 17 years, and still performs as an extra musician with friends and colleagues there on a regular basis. A native of Boise, Idaho, she earned music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Miami before joining the New World Symphony in Miami.  Stern now has a second career in massage therapy, specializing in massage for people living with cancer.
Sudweeks is the associate principal viola of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of that orchestra since 1976. She also teaches viola, chamber music, and orchestral repertoire at SMU.   Before coming to Dallas she was principal viola of the Hamilton Philharmonic in Ontario, Canada.  She has been a concerto soloist with the Dallas Symphony, Shanghai Radio Symphony, Latvian Chamber Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the New Philharmonic of Irving, TX, and Music in the Mountains. She is a member of the contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change and a former member of the original Dallas String Quartet.  She has participated in summer festivals such as the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and San Diego’s Mainly Mozart.  In addition to playing the viola, Sudweeks loves Chinese music, and plays the ehru, a two-string bowed instrument.  She has been an ehru soloist/recitalist in several cities in China, Taiwan and the US. 
Sulyga is a violinist with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and a frequent chamber musician. He was a member of The Moscow Virtuosi, with which he performed in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and a participant in numerous international festivals. He began his studies in his native Moscow, and continued them at SMU in Dallas, Paris, and the University of Houston.
Turner is a native New Yorker who has appeared with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States. She has performed with New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, and Albuquerque Chamber Soloists. She is co-founder (with husband, Guillermo Figueroa) and Artistic Director of Festival de Musica Rondeña in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ukens, born and raised in Tulsa, OK, is currently second horn in the New Mexico Philharmonic and principal horn of the Santa Fe Symphony. Ukens has also performed with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He has been featured as a soloist with the Albuquerque Philharmonic and was a featured soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony in the 2016-2017 season. He also regularly performs with local Albuquerque chamber music organization Chatter where he is operations manager. He graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2010 with a Master of Music where he studied with Gregory Hustis. He received his Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma State University.
White is in his fourth season as a founding member and principal tuba of the New Mexico Philharmonic. He serves as Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of New Mexico. White has performed with the Canadian Brass Quintet, Malaysian Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and Indianapolis Symphony, and has recorded with film composer John Williams. Recently, Richard has been traveling around the world putting his passion for motivational speaking into action.
Wilson started playing horn at the age of 9.  He joined The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the 2017-18 season, after playing as a guest musician for many years. He has been principal horn of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra for the last 5 seasons. He acted as associate principal horn with Minnesota Orchestra on their 2016 European tour and has been a frequent guest principal horn as well as a regular sub with them and the SPCO since 1999. He has also been guest associate principal horn with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, guest principal with the Florida Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony, among other engagements. He was principal horn of the Crested Butte Musical Festival for several years. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota and his Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota.