The National Music Festival Mentor Faculty consists of many of the finest musicians in the world. They have been selected not only for their superb performing and teaching abilities, but because they are people who have established themselves in the music field as well as managed to create a meaningful, well-rounded life. Read the impressive biographies of our mentors and guest artists below.
National Music Festival Mentors
Jennifer Parker-Harley, Flute
Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute, is Associate Professor of Flute at the University of South Carolina, has been with the National Music Festival since its inaugural season in 2011. An experienced orchestral flutist, she was a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio for eight years before moving to South Carolina.
Jennifer has a special interest in the music of our time and has premiered or commissioned works by composers including Reginald Bain, Cynthia Folio, Stephen Gorbos, Payton McDonald and Valerie Coleman. She spent the spring semester of 2016 on sabbatical to study jazz improvisation.
Teaching is an especially important part of Dr. Parker-Harley’s musical life. She has an accomplished studio at USC; recent graduates have gone on to study at such prestigious institutions as the Cincinnati College-Conservatory, the Peabody Institute, the University of Texas, the Cleveland Institute, Northwestern University and the Manhattan School of Music. Her students have also been prizewinners in competitions of the National Flute Association, the Florida Flute Association, the Kentucky Flute Society, the Central Ohio Flute Association and the South Carolina Flute Society.
Dr. Parker-Harley is an honors graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, holds a bachelor’s degree and a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati. She is privileged to have studied with wonderful teachers: Kay Borkowski, Jaqueline Hofto, Bonita Boyd, Richard Sherman, Dr. Bradley Garner and Jack Wellbaum.
Past teaching posts include positions at Wright State University, Goshen College, Otterbein College, and Ohio University. In the summers, after leaving Chestertown, Jennifer is on the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Vianden Festival in Luxembourg. Her first solo CD, Words and Music, which includes flute music inspired by poetry, was released by the Titanic label in April, 2016.
Jared Hauser, Oboe
Jared Hauser, oboe, has been described as “melodious and spontaneous” by ArtsNash, and as a “sensitive, elegant soloist” with a “subtle refined style” by Gramaphone Magazine. Appointed to the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Hauser maintains an international stature as performer and teacher. He has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by many of today’s brightest composers., including the premier of Monk’s Oboe by Libby Larsen, Stan Link’s Dispatches from Devereux Slough, a consortium premier of Crossroads by John Harbison, and Paul Moravec’s new Trio. Hauser is currently on the teaching faculties at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the National Music Festival; performs with the Blair Woodwind Quintet, and the Nashville based contemporary music group INTERECTION; and performs on period oboes with Music City Baroque and other early music groups across the southeastern United States.
An active recording artist, Hauser has released several highly acclaimed CDs for BGR and Naxos, and can also be heard on recordings from Koch International, AUR, Gemini and Eroica Records. Upcoming releases include concerti by J.S. Bach, works by Robert Schumann, and contemporary works for oboe and string quartet.
Prior posts include principal oboe of the Orlando Philharmonic and the Palm Beach Opera; faculty at the Lynn Conservatory of Music, SUNY-Potsdam, and the Hot Springs Festival; and he has performed with the orchestras of Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, and Nashville. With degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University, Hauser’s principal teachers were James Caldwell, Alex Klein, Robert Atherholt, Dan Stolper and Harry Sargous. He is a Yamaha Artist and a founding board member of the National Music Festival.
Thomas Parchman, Clarinet
Thomas Parchman, clarinet, studied with the finest clarinet faculty in the country, including Robert Marcellus, Clark Brody and Larry Combs. As a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, he had weekly sectionals with members of the CSO section, as well as masterclasses. Mr. Parchman’s first full-time orchestra position was as Bass Clarinet for the Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, Mexico. One of the oldest orchestras in Mexico, it performed 42 weeks a year mostly programs of large symphonic works, broadcast nationally. The orchestra toured nationally and made several recordings. After a short time in the orchestra, he was promoted to Assistant Principal and Bass Clarinet. Mr. Parchman left Xalapa to become of member of the Long Beach Symphony and the Long Beach Grand Opera. During this time he was accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Southern California, where he studied clarinet with Mitchell Lurie and saxophone with Douglas Masek. He moved to Maine in 1984 as a result of a joint search between the University of Southern Maine and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Parchman holds the rank of Professor at USM, and has been the Principal Clarinetist with the orchestra since his arrival. As Principal Clarinet, he has performed the Mozart Concerto, Copland Concerto, Brahms opus 120 [arr. Berio], and the Bassi Rigoletto Fantasy. Dr. Parchman also holds the Bass/3rd Clarinet position in the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and is a member of the Opera Maine orchestra. Dr. Parchman is active in developing music in the Portland community, taking part in joint projects between the Portland Symphony and Portland schools, performing in small ensemble concerts, and giving demonstrations, clinics and master classes. His students are active performers and teachers in their communities, ranging from teaching in the schools of northern Maine to performing as a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Jeffrey Keesecker, Bassoon
Jeffrey Keesecker, bassoon, is a native of Sarasota, Florida. He is currently Professor of Bassoon at Florida State University, and is Principal Bassoon of the Tallahassee and Pensacola Symphonies. He received his Master’s degree from The Juilliard School and Bachelor of Music from the Florida State University, College of Music. He has served as principal bassoonist of the Florida West Coast Symphony (now the Sarasota Orchestra), The Florida Orchestra, I Solisti New York, The Dorian Consort, and the Saint Gallen Sinfonie and Saint Gallen Opera (Switzerland). He has held teaching positions at the University of South Florida, the Jugendmusikschule der Stadt Saint Gallen, as a Valade Fellow at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and at the Utah Music Festival. He is featured on a number of recordings, including his solo compact dics, Bassoon Music of the Americas with pianist Hélène Grimaud. His major teachers include Steven Maxym, William Winstead, Sol Schoenbach, and Trevor Cramer.
James Rester, Horn
James Rester, horn, a faculty member of Washington College, holds the principal horn position with the Annapolis Symphony and third horn with the Delaware Symphony. Mr. Rester has established himself as a national clinician and soloist, teaching students about musicianship, professionalism, the fundamentals of brass playing, audition preparation, and how to use psychology to empower music making and performance. When he is not performing or teaching music, he enjoys conducting routine maintenance, customization, and repair work on horns for his colleagues and students.
A native of Monroeville, Alabama, Rester began playing horn at the age of 12. He received a full scholarship to attend the University of Alabama and soon began performing with Tuscaloosa and Macon Symphonies. He subsequently accepted a position with the Army Field Band in Fort Meade, Maryland. Over the next four years, he served as principal hornist with the concert band receiving the Army Achievement Medal for “outstanding performance” and the Army Good Conduct Medal. He performed across the country with several chamber ensembles including brass and woodwind quintets and a horn quartet, and also taught master classes. The Field Band’s Horn Quartet received accolades performing at the International Horn Workshop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They also performed an arranged version of Richard Strauss’ First Horn Concerto on several Field Band tours.
Mr. Rester left the Army Field Band in 2008 to pursue an orchestral career and has won many regional positions as well as being called to regularly substitute in nearby major orchestras including an appointment as substitute Third Horn with the Baltimore Symphony. He is frequently called to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philly Pops, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Symphony, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. He can be heard playing Assistant Principal Horn on Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and playing Principal Horn on Delaware Symphony’s Grammy-nominated album, Interchange, with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
Paul Neebe, Trumpet
Paul Neebe, trumpet, is highly accomplished across classical music genres as a soloist, orchestral musician and chamber player. The International Trumpet Guild praises his “crystal clear sound” and “ringing articulation,” and the Slovak music magazine Hudobný život sums up his playing in one word: “virtuosity.”
Neebe performs widely as a soloist across the Eastern United States and throughout Europe, where he has appeared with the Goethe Institute Cultural Program in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, as well as in Norway and Slovakia. He is the principal trumpet of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Neebe has been praised for his commitment to the commissioning and recording of contemporary American works for the trumpet. Neebe’s CD Te Deum includes the first of his commissions from American Composer Roger Petrich, Prayer and Epilogue, a work for trumpet and organ, premiered and recorded in Germany. His CD American Trumpet Concertos with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra consists of all world premieres of trumpet with orchestra compositions. For his latest CD, 21st Century American Trumpet Concertos with the State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice, Neebe commissioned, recorded and premiered each of the compositions.
Paul Neebe holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Catholic University of America. He has taught at the University of Virginia, James Madison University, Elon University and the Summer University in Bayreuth, Germany. His teachers have included Bernard Adelstein, Barbara Butler, John Harding, Steve Hendrickson, Arnold Jacobs, Doug Myers, Vincent Penzarella and William Vacchiano.
Michael Kris, Trombone & Tuba
Mr. Kris is an active soloist and clinician performing and teaching internationally. Most recently, he presented concerts and master classes in London at Kings College Chapel, Universität Mozarteum in Austria, and at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany. At the University of North Carolina, Mr. Kris is a Senior Lecturer in Music teaching low brass and chamber music, and he is also part of the teaching faculty at Duke University. His research focuses on the use of trombone in ensemble music of the late Renaissance and chamber music of the early Baroque. He has worked with Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, and has been invited to perform with the Cincinnati Symphony and Charlotte Symphony.
Mr. Kris attended McNeese State University earning a Bachelor of Music Education followed by a Master of Music in Trombone Performance at the Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers are William G. Rose and Tony Chipurn, Principal Trombone (retired) of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Gurt, Collaborative Piano
Michael Gurt (Collaborative Piano) is Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University. He won First Prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in 1982, and was a prize winner in international competitions in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia. He has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Panama, and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. He has made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey. He recently completed a tour of four cities in Brazil. Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet and the Cassatt String Quartet, and has performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland, the Park City International Chamber Music Festival, and the Affetti Music Festival in Anchorage, Alaska. He has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur, and Redwood labels.
Professor Gurt served for eight years as Piano Mentor at the Hot SpringsMusic Festival, and was the chair of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival from 1987 through 2007. He has served as Piano Chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School.
Susan Bennett Brady, Harp
Susan Bennett Brady served as the faculty harpist at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina from 1991 to 2001. Her responsibilities there included performing as principal harpist in the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, teaching and coaching the harp students in solo and orchestral literature, performing chamber music, directing the harp ensemble and delivering numerous harp related workshops.
Ms. Brady has toured Europe extensively, performing as a soloist, and in chamber and orchestral capacities. She continues to work in the Atlanta area as a free-lance harpist, with an emphasis on choral accompaniment and orchestral playing. She is founder and director of the Atlanta Harp Ensemble, for which she writes and arranges music. As a teacher, Ms. Brady coordinates more than twenty students with weekly lessons, harp ensembles and informational harp workshops, making her studio one of the highest regarded private harp studios in the country. Ms. Brady is highly sought after as a teacher and workshop technician for her innovative ideas and great success with students of all ages. Her students have participated in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, regional and school orchestras; won regional and national competitions and have
attended some of the most prestigious music schools in the country. Many of her former students are now well-regarded professional harpists and teachers in their own right. A member of the American Harp Society, Mrs. Brady has delivered numerous master classes, workshops and solo recitals within the harp community in the Atlanta area and nationally. The Atlanta Harp Ensemble, under her direction, presented at the national AHS conference in New Orleans in 2015, selected by audition one of the top three harp ensembles in the country
Ms. Brady is also co-founder and artist faculty for the highly successful Young Artist’s Harp Seminar and Competition which began in 2002. YAHS is a two-week annual summer program open to harpists nationwide, age 12 to 26 who want to focus entirely on the harp without distraction. This program is designed to improve performance skills and practice habits
and intensify preparation for solo performances, orchestra auditions and competitions and is currently in its fourth year. Through her work at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar, Ms. Brady has impacted the lives of countless ambitious young harpists, now realizing their dreams as acclaimed harp professionals.
Camilo Carrara, Guitar
Camilo Carrara, guitar, holds a degree in classical guitar from the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo. He also studied at the Department of Linguistics where he is presently finishing a Masters Degree in Strategic Marketing Management at the São Paulo University School of Economics and Administration.
His diverse career includes being conductor and music producer, performer on guitar, mandolin and other strummed instruments, arranger, composer and teacher. His impressive discography consists of more than sixty solo and collaborative ensemble compact discs recordings.
Since 2011 Mr. Carrara has been the producer and arranger of the CD and DVD of the “HSBC Christmas” show–an event that brings together thousands of people around the Palace Avenue, in the city center of Curitiba, state of Paraná, in Brazil.
Carrara holds a professorship at the Faculty Cantareira in São Paulo, and at the Music in the Mountains Festival, in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais. For five years he has been the guitar teacher at the National Music Festival in Maryland where he debuted in 2012 his Cadence and Dance for Guitar and Orchestra with the baton of Richard Rosenberg. Camilo Carrara has a stellar reputation performing many different genres of music–from classical to popular, contemporary music, jazz and pop. he has performed in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, USA, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, and throughout Brazil.
In 1989 he was an itinerant musician, travelling for nine months throughout Europe, celebrating the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Paris, wintessing first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall and busking in parks and subways. Carrara has produced the soundtracks for major advertising agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey, Taterka, Ferraz and Bullet, Carrefour, Vivo, Advil, Leroy Merlin, P & G, Gillette, Unilever, Hyundai, to name but a few.
He has been a guest artst and soloist with some of the foremost Brazilian orchestras with Eleazar de Carvalho (Brazil), Filip Rathe (Belgium), Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Russia), Heinz Holliger (Swiss), Ira Levin (USA), Isaac Karabtchevsky (Brazil), John Neschling (Brazil), Marin Alsop (USA), Olaf Henzold (Germany), Peter Maxwell Davies (England) and Yan Pascal Tortelier (France).
As a result of his affiliation with the National Music Festival, he collaborated with Sue Matthews in 2015 to create the compact disc, Foolish Hearts., recorded in Washington, D. C..
Michelle Humphreys, Percussion
Michelle Humphreys, timpani & percussion, teaches at Towson University, where she will advance to the position of Assistant Professor of Percussion this fall. She is principal percussionist with Opera Lafayette of Washington, D.C. and performs regularly with many of the region’s top early music and modern ensembles including Washington Bach Consort, New Music Ensemble at Towson University, Folger Consort, National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, Tempesta di Mare of Philadelphia, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, National Music Festival Orchestra and Chesapeake Orchestra at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Highlights of recent seasons include Michael Daugherty’s Concerto for Timpani and Wind Ensemble, Raise the Roof, and a performance with the Maryland Band Directors Band of James Curnow’s Concertino for Solo Percussionist. Also a versatile performer on early music percussion, Humphreys was recently featured on several Spanish Baroque chamber music programs, including The Bach Sinfonia’s Nuevo Mundo Barroco and Harmonious Blacksmith’s Music of the Iberian Peninsula.
Recent seasons have included performances at Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Royal Opera at the Palace of Versailles, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Washington National Cathedral, Cornell University, and Kenyon College, where she performed for the biennial meeting of the American Bach Society. She has recorded seven French Baroque operas with Opera Lafayette for the Naxos label, including several modern-day premieres. Notable releases include Rebel’s 1745 Zelindor, Roi de Sylphes and Monsigny’s 1762 Le Roi et le Fermier, which required creating percussion parts based on historical performance practices. She also can be heard on recent Chandos recordings with Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare, as well as DC-based Cantate’s 2012 release of Andrew Simpson’s Crown of Stars, and Patrick Roulet’s 2012 CD, Michael Colgrass Percussion Music 1951-1957.
Michelle is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, a frequent clinician, and a proud endorser of Grover Pro Percussion and Zildjian cymbals.
Elizabeth Adams, Violin
Dana Goode, Violin
Dana Goode, violin, began touring and performing at age 16 as a member of a chamber ensemble under the direction of the brilliant Latvian cellist Lev Aronson. Early concert locations included the amphitheater at Carthage in Tunisia, St. Cecilia’s in Rome, and performances in Athens, Greece. The group also toured Israel and Jordan. Ms. Goode relocated to Germany to study with Dr. Guenther Kehr, founder and conductor of the Mainzer Kammerorchestor. While a member of the Staedtisches Orchester Mainz, she continued her studies at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. After returning to the U.S., she completed a Bachelor of Music degree while studying at the Peabody Conservatory with Berl Senofsky, and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance in 1986 with Mitchell Stern of the American String Quartet.
Ms. Goode also holds an M.A. degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, (’91). She currently teaches and conducts at The College of Notre Dame and at Stevenson University in Brooklandville, where she is concertmaster and assistant conductor of The Greenspring Valley Symphony, led by Dr. Robert Suggs. A member for many years of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra, Ms. Goode’s extensive experience includes performing with Annapolis Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, National Chamber Orchestra and Opera Vivente in addition to several local chamber ensembles. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Music Festival.
Jenny Gregoire, violin
Upon leaving Québec, Grégoire attended Northwestern University, where she received a Master’s degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy with Dr. Myron Kartman. She was also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons and worked with conductors Cliff Colnot, Mistlav Rostropovitch, Neemi Jarvi and Pierre Boulez, among others. One of the highlights of her tenure with the Civic Orchestra was a performance at Carnegie Hall in March 2000, under the direction of Maestro Daniel Barenboim. Grégoire left Chicago to play one season with the New World Symphony, a professional training orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, in Miami, FL. The following year she was appointed concertmaster of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and she has been holding this position since 2001. Jenny Grégoire is extremely sought-after in the southeast, as she is also concertmaster of the Tuscaloosa and Meridian Symphony Orchestras.
In addition to her orchestral career, Grégoire remains active as a soloist and recitalist. She was first featured as a soloist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in 2002 in Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending. In 2004, she was invited by Maestro Speck to give the Southeastern premiere of the Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Kenji Bunch, a rising young American composer. Since then, she has appeared numerous times as a soloist with the Mobile Symphony.
In April 2012, Grégoire performed Zigeunerweisen with the Meridian Symphony, under the direction of Robert Trevino. In 2006, she founded in collaboration with the pianist Konstantza Chernov the duo “Jouvence” and since then, the duo has performed in New York, Alabama and Mississippi. Grégoire can be heard on recording in a duo by Koetsier with the renowned tubist Michael Forbes, under the Summit Records label.
Jenny Grégoire is very involved as a teacher. She served on the faculty of the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival for two summers and in 2011 and is on the faculty of the National Music Festival. Grégoire also maintains a successful private studio through the Community Music School of the University of Alabama. She regularly acts as a judge and leads sectionals for the Alabama All-State Festival. In June 2014, Grégoire began her eleventh season with the Eastern Music Festival, where she plays in the faculty orchestra (as the assistant principal second violin), performs in the chamber music series and teaches violin and chamber music. She resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with her husband, euphonium soloist Demondrae Thurman.
Maureen Yuen, Violin
Active in chamber music collaborations and coachings, she was a founding member of the English Bay String Quartet, which toured North America and the Caribbean for many years. Her active schedule also includes performances, adjudication and master classes worldwide, including the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, the University of Nairobi (Kenya), and across Japan as a mentor with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. She is also a member of the Bellingham Festival Orchestra, whose recordings can often be heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Her interest in new music has led to collaborations with composers Chen Yi, Augusta Read Thomas and Adrienne Elisha, as well as being a featured performer at the Composer’s Workshop at the annual New York State School Music Association Winter Conferences in 2010 and 2011. Ms Yuen is also co-founded the annual composition competition at the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2011 with Rob Deemer.
Canadian-born Ms. Yuen joined the faculty of the School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2004. She is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, selected from a pool of nominees from the 64 campuses that compose the State University of New York.
In her free time, Ms. Yuen is on the quest to perfect dairy free cooking and baking. She also volunteers at the local dog shelter. Ms. Yuen lives in Fredonia with her husband Sycil, an endlessly-practising professional trumpet player.
Kimberly Sparr, Viola
Sparr has performed with the National Symphony, Washington National Opera, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in numerous festivals including Verbier (Switzerland), Sarasota, Mozaic, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and Lake George and was also a fellow at Aspen and Tanglewood. Kimberly has toured Europe and Asia with both the Verbier and National Symphony Orchestras. She previously served on the faculty of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Her chamber music collaborations include performances with Lara St. John, Boris Allakhverdyan, Simone Dinnerstein, New Music Raleigh, Festival Mozaic, Lake George Music Festival, and Washington Musica Viva. Dr. Sparr was a recipient of a three-year New Horizon Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Victoria Chiang. She also was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Sarasota Festival.
Kimberly Sparr studied at The Shepherd School of Music, the New England Conservatory and the University of Maryland, where she studied under Daniel Foster.
An advocate of contemporary music, Kimberly is actively commissioning and collaborating with composers to expand the viola repertoire. She has worked on commissions while in residence at the Avaloch Institute and has recently collaborated with artists in conjunction with Expressions for Justice in the Netherlands.
Natasha Farny, Violoncello
Natasha Farny, violoncello, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale Collegeand completed her master’s and doctoral degrees at the Eastman School of Music and at the Juilliard School, she received a fellowship at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.” While still a teenager, she won three Boston-based concerto competitions with the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 and the Dvorak Concerto, resulting in performances with both the Boston Symphony and the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Farny was also a concerto winner while at Juilliard, where she performed Dutilleux’s Tout un Monde Lointain with Robert Spano. More recent performances have included concertos with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Abilene Philharmonic, and the Greeley Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Longwood Symphony, Orchard Park Symphony, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Farny performed at the American Spring Festival in the Czech Republic in 2011, and she toured Brazil in 2013. Ms. Farny was a 2012 winner of the American Composers Forum “Encore Grant,” which resulted in concerts at New York City’s Bargemusic “Here and Now” series. She learned to play the Theremin Cello for a project that involved the Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, the London Sinfonietta, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Her performances with these groups of Edgard Varèse’s rarely heard Ecuatorial were held at the Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Festival d’Automne, the Southbank Centre, and at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City. This August brings a residency at the Avaloch Music Farm, performing with violist Kimberly Sparr and composer Caroline Mallonee.
In addition to teaching her Studio at SUNY Fredonia, Ms. Farny oversees the Fredonia Cello Choir and coordinates chamber music. She has given numerous master classes and participated in summer music festivals in Sewanee, Boulder, Anchorage, and Sweden. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, and swimming, cooking with fresh vegetables, and traveling to exotic locales.
Robert Stiles, Double Bass / Librarian
Robert Stiles, double bass/librarian, was appointed Principal Librarian of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and has worked in as Librarian since 1999. He is also the Principal Librarian of the Grand Teton Music Festival.
A musician and a scholar, Dr. Stiles maintains active connections to both areas of his professional life. In his dissertation for his Doctoral Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Serge Koussevitzky: Recently Discovered Compositions for Double Bass and for Large Ensembles within the Context of His Life and Career, Robert presented his discovery of 29 lost compositions by Serge Koussevitzky, the great double bass virtuoso and conductor of the Boston Symphony. Other publications include “Lass uns das Lied des Schiller:” Musical and Philosophical Unities in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” which examines the concept that the famous Ode to Joy is the basis for every thematic area in this work and served as a unifying force not only in the Ninth Symphony but also in every aspect of Beethoven’s later years.
Dr. Stiles is a busy composer, arranger and double bassist. His arrangements have been performed by the DSO as well as the Baltimore and Columbus Symphonies. He performs regularly with the Detroit Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He joined the San Angelo Symphony at age 15 and played with Louisiana Philharmonic and the Albuquerque Symphony. He has also performed with the Spoleto Festival in Italy and at the American String Teacher’s Association convention in Norway.
He previously served as Principal Librarian of the Florida West Coast Symphony and the Sarasota Music Festival. Dr. Stiles designed the new orchestra library in the Max Fischer Music Center, where he reorganized of the DSO’s vast collection and re-discovered over 500 works donated to the Orchestra from the Works Progress Administration. He is reconstructing the Orchestra’s musical history and creating a model orchestra library.
Stiles’ hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and brewing beer. He lives in Huntington Woods with his wife, Gwen, a speech pathologist, and one super son age 7, and their awesome Labrador retriever, Sherman, age 10.
Alan Rothschild, Piano Maintenance
Alan Rothschild is a certified piano technician and teacher who specializes in tuning, repair and keyboard regulation. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and apprenticed and worked at the Tanglewood Music Festival. In addition to a plethora of private clients, his corporate clients include the Boston Conservatory of Music, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Wellesley College and Wheaton College.
Arts Laureate, Recording Engineering
Arts Laureate, recording engineering. Arts Laureate is a record label and recording team specializing in chamber and orchestral recordings. Arts Laureate has produced recordings throughout the United States for groups such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Richmond, Orpheus, Imani Winds, Stradivari Quartett, and Acis Productions, as well as schools like Rice, Concordia, Lee, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Maryland.
Kevin Bourassa, senior recording engineer at Arts Laureate, produces CD sessions as well as live concert recordings. Kevin has been found frequently in the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has recorded projects with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, New Orchestra of Washington, Choralis, Acis Productions, University of Delaware, University of North Carolina, and others. Kevin manages the Arts Laureate recording rigs, including the cutting-edge network-audio system.
Christian Amonson, recording engineer, won his first full-season recording contract at age 20, selected after Virginia’s only professional vocal ensemble auditioned the most experienced classical engineers in the mid-Atlantic. Since that time, Christian has provided audio and video recordings for ensembles and festivals throughout the US, as well as England, Germany, Italy, and Poland. Christian cataloged tens of thousands of CDs for the Classical Music Library Online, developing the ability to identify recording engineers and techniques by ear. Christian is an auditioned member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, providing recordings and live sound for the ensemble.
Philip Rosenberg, explication/Festival Photographer
Philip has directed stage productions at the Hot Springs Music Festival, Art of the Early Keyboard, the Seacrest Theater Ensemble in Naples, FL, Maplewood Music Festival and the Hunter Theater Ensemble, and he has composed numerous scores for the Roundabout Theater in New York. He has also composed works for the Hot Springs Festival, Pennsylvania Ballet, Riverside Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp, RESONANCE and the Composers’ Conference as well as commercial scores for IBM, Lifetime Cable, Exxon, Pepsi, Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact.
His principal teachers have included Bulent Arel, Mario Davidovsky, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Chou Wen-Chung, Charles Dodge, Fritz Jahoda, Miriam Gideon, Jacques Monod and Felix Galimir. Philip has served as the President of the League of Composers–International Society of Contemporary Music and has been the recipient of the Columbia University Rapoport Award in Composition, the Broadcast Music Incorporated Award in Composition and the Brunswick Awards in Composition. The 2013 National Music Festival included a workshop production of Philip’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (re-imagined as a 1930s musical in the style of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers movies) entitled A Merry War. He is the co-founder of the Fiddlesticks! Program.
Nikolay Lalov, guest conductor
Maestro Lalov continues to work with young musicians and is regularly invited to conduct master classes of chamber music and violin. He is a great supporter of young artists at the beginning of their artistic career and his students have included winners of prestigious competitions. He is a jury member of national competitions in Portugal and Bulgaria and the author, together with his wife, of the first children’s opera composed in Portugal, Magic Dream. He has been awarded the Medal of Cultural Merit (Oeiras 2003 Portugal) and the Diploma of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria (2003). In 2004 he was awarded the Academic title of the Academy of Music in Valencia ( Spain). In 2009 he was awarded the title “ Professional of the Year” by the Rotary Club – Portugal. In 2012 the Orchestra Cascais and Oeiras created by Lalov was awarded the Medal of Cultural Merit by the Cascais Town Council.
Mladen Tarbuk, guest conductor
As a composer he appeared very early on the international scene. 1990th the International Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam has premiered his piece Martyr d’un jongleur, and, at the first International Composers Competition in Vienna 1991st, which was chaired by Claudio Abbado, his composition Medida del tiempo received a recommendation for performance. Then in 1993. won two first prizes in international competitions Ernst Vogel and Tolosa, and later many Croatian awards (Šulek, Slavenski, Papandopulo, Academy Award KD Lisinski). His compositions have been performed in major festivals of contemporary music (Europamusicale Munich, Musicora and Le Temps de soufflé Paris, Trieste Prima, World Music Days Manchester 1997, the World Saxophone Congress Glasgow, Musikprotokoll, Hörrohr and Erasmus Graz, Moscow Autumn, Music Biennale Zagreb). His works appear in many recordings (HoneyRock, Orpheus and Cantus). His ballet Streetcar Named Desire opened the World Days of Music 2005th in Zagreb. His opus consists of 75 songs, from solo and chamber music to large symphonic and theatrical forms.
Douglas D. Cox, director, Chester River & Frederick Chorales
Under the direction of the late Maestro Erich Kunzel, Douglas has performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Pops and the London Symphony and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras. With Maestro Albert-George Schram he was soloist with the Charlotte and Nashville Symphony Orchestras. Other notable collaborations were with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra, and George Manahan with the Richmond Symphony.
Douglas holds the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Wichita State University, and the Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree from Goucher College. He retired from military service as a Sergeant Major. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals and five Army Achievement Medals. He resides in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife, soprano Janet Hjelmgren, a former Sergeant Major in the Soldiers’ Chorus.
Sammy Marshall, director, “Sonic Rebellion”
Caitlin Patton, Executive Director
Caitlin Patton, executive director, received her Master of Public Administration degree at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where she focused her studies in Arts and Nonprofit Administration. Upon her graduation, she was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the national public administration honor society, and received the MPA program’s Outstanding Student Award in recognition of her 4.0 cumulative GPA and involvement in the MPA community.
Caitlin grew up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she developed a passion for reading, writing and music as well as animal rescue and equestrian pursuits. She was admitted to Washington College at the age of 15 and graduated magna cum laude four years later with majors in Humanities and Music and minors in Creative Writing and English. Both during and after college, she taught violin and horseback riding and trained horses professionally.
Her arts administration experience includes positions with Spoleto Festival USA, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (at the Tanglewood Music Center) and as the first Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Her training includes a Professional Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Arts Extension Service, and the Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar at the League of American Orchestras.
In addition to her work with the National Music Festival, she is a violin teacher and Director of the Fiddlesticks! Program. She performs regularly as a violinist and violist with the Union Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina. Her first book, How to Build Capacity in Your Small Nonprofit, was published in 2012.
Caitlin lives with her husband, NMF Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg, on a small farm in Galena, MD, with three goats, five dogs, four cats, three horses, sixteen turkeys, one duck, five geese and a growing number of chickens–all endangered heritage breeds. An active animal rescue advocate, she also fosters horses for the Arabian Rescue Mission, has volunteered for rescue organizations including the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (UT) and Lowcountry Animal Rescue (SC), and serves on the board of the Humane Society of Kent County as well as the Chester River Chorale.
Richard Rosenberg, Artistic Director
Richard Rosenberg, artistic director & conductor, is one of a handful of American conductors whose experience ranges from contemporary music to historical performance practice. Under his baton, Richard’s editions of music by the 19th-century Louisiana composers Edmond Dédé, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Lucién Lambert, as well as music by Jerome Moross, are available on five compact discs on the Naxos/Marco Polo label as well as his best-selling recording of jazz-inspired concerti including music by George Gershwin, James Price Johnson, Harry Reser and Dana Suesse.
Earlier in his career, Richard was for fifteen years the Artistic Director of the Hot Springs Music Festival, Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of California in San Francisco, the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet and RESONANCE, a New York contemporary music ensemble. He also served on the conducting staffs of the Baltimore Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, the London Classical Players, the Michigan MozartFest and the Aspen Music Festival and as Acting Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is also the artistic director of the Union Symphony Orchestra,
Richard has performed as guest conductor throughout the Americas and Europe. With the violist Yizhak Schotten, Richard recorded a disc of works for viola and chamber orchestra for Crystal Records, and he directed American contemporary music for the Opus One label. Richard conducted the groundbreaking collaborative concert of an American orchestral ensemble and an ensemble of traditional Japanese instruments, Pro Musica Nipponia, in Detroit’s Orchestra Hall. The concert included music written for this cooperative experiment by Minoru Miki, one of Japan’s preeminent composers.
On two weeks’ notice, Richard led the critically-acclaimed European tour of Arleen Auger and The Classical Band, a New York-based early instrument orchestra. Richard conducted two performances of Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 3 with the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione “Tito Schipa” di Lecce in Italy, and was invited to return for additional concerts to lead the premiere of Nicola Scardicchio’s Mosé and music of Dave Brubeck. He has led residencies at Oberlin College, the University of Kansas at Lawrence and Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. His recent engagements include concerts with the Acadiana Symphony, Prince George’s Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bahía Blanca, Orkestra Academic Başkent, Orquestra de Câmara de Cascais e Oeiras and the Orquestra de Camara Eleazar de Carvalho.
Richard’s experience includes study with composers Mario Davidovsky, Krzysztof Penderecki and Carlos Surinach; clarinet with Gervase De Peyer and Georg Hirner; theory with Charles Burkhardt, George Perle, and Carl Schacter; opera staging with Roger Brunyate and Boris Goldovsky; choral conducting with Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Robert Shaw and Elmer Thomas, and conducting apprenticeships with Eugen Jochum, Friedrich Cerha, Gunther Herbig, Julius Herford, Carlos Kleiber, Giuseppe Patané, Wolfgang Sawallisch (Bavarian State Opera), Jerzy Semkow and Leonard Bernstein (New York Philharmonic). He was an active participant in master classes with Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Jussi Jalas, Lorin Maazel, Julius Rudel, Sir Georg Solti and Walter Weller.
In 1988, he was awarded a Rackham Fellowship to work in Europe with Sir Roger Norrington and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. His training also includes studies at Yale University with Otto-Werner Muller, the Peabody Institute-Johns Hopkins University with Frederik Prausnitz, the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan, the Aspen Music Festival with Paul Vermel, at the City University of New York with Fritz Jahoda, Cincinnati College-Conservatory with Gerhard Samuel and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Franco Ferrara.
He is an honorary Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation, an honorary National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Henry Mancini Institute and a member of the Alice Rich Northrop Memorial Foundation. On a Yale AluminiVentures Grant, he traveled to Cuba in 2010 to research lost works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, returning with over 1100 pages of music. Also in 2010, he rediscovered the lost opera by New Orleans composer Edmond Dédé, Le Sultan d’Ispahan, which was written in 1887 and never performed. Rosenberg conducted the world premiere of the overture in 2011 and is transcribing and editing the entire work for future performance. Several years ago he rediscovered Cole Porter’s last musical, Aladdin, which he premiered in 2006.
In addition to his work as a conductor and teacher, Richard is also a recording producer, chansonnier, editor and arranger. He has given several performances of H. K. Gruber’s pandemonium, Frankenstein!! as both conductor and chanssonier to critical acclaim.
Richard’s numerous orchestrations and his corrected editions of J.S. Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion, George Gershwin’s A Rhapsody in Blue, Arnold Schonberg’s Verklärte Nacht (which he will record in 2017 with NMF for the Naxos label) and the complete orchestral music of Gottschalk (which he has just prepared for publication) have received numerous performances. In addition to his work as a conductor, Richard has produced two compact discs of music with jazz legend Dave Brubeck, and two discs of Mozart piano concerti, all for the Naxos Records label.
His students presently hold positions as assistant conductors to the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchèstre Radio France and Nashville Symphony, cover conductor to the Saint Louis Symphony and music director of the Arkansas Symphony.