For Musicians

Mentors & Guest Faculty

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 isProfessor of Flute at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Formerly a member of the Columbus Symphony (OH) and prizewinner in two NFA Young Artist Competitions, she brings a breadth of experience as an orchestral flutist, recitalist and chamber musician to her performances and studio at UofSC. She has a keen interest in contemporary music and has premiered and commissioned numerous pieces that feature the flute in solo and chamber settings, including new works for flute and bassoon with her husband, bassoonist Michael Harley. She also maintains a deep commitment to the standard repertoire: her CD with pianist Lydia Brown and actress Robyn Hunt, Words and Music ((Titanic label), includes masterworks by Debussy, Schubert and Reinecke, and incorporates readings of the poetry that inspired each piece.

Jennifer is actively involved with the faculty at UofSC in creating curriculum and experiences that address the unique concerns of 21st century musicians. She has an interest in helping her students develop a mindful approach to music-making and has worked closely with psychologist Todd Kays ( to address the mental and emotional aspects of performing and practicing. She has held leadership roles on campus and in national events, including the College Music Society Summit on 21st Century Music School Design. She is the faculty advisor for Fuse, UofSC’s graduate wind quintet, an ensemble dedicated to providing innovative and immersive concert experiences to the UofSC community. She is also faculty advisor for the South Carolina Flute Society, a student organization that holds national competitions and stages a yearly flute festival, all while giving UofSC flute students important experience in event planning, fundraising and community engagement. Graduates from the UofSC flute studio pursue successful and varied careers in music, including orchestral playing, college teaching, chamber music, music education, and the music industry.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Jennifer graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Eastman School of Music (BM), where she was awarded the Performance Certificate, Michigan State University (MM), and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (DMA). In the summers she teaches at the National Music Festival in Chestertown, MD and the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Jennifer was featured in the October 2019 cover article of Flute Talk magazine.  Please visit


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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 Gramophone Magazine. Appointed to the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Hauser performs with the Blair Woodwind Quintet, and maintains an international stature as performing, teaching, and recording artist. He also performs as principal oboe with the Nashville Opera, and with Music City Baroque.

Passionate about music of all time periods, Hauser is equally at home performing works of the 17th-century on period-authentic instruments , to music of the 21st-century for modern oboe. Hauser actively engages with composers in the creation of new works. Recent notable premiers include works by Augusta Read Thomas, Libby Larson, Nailah Nombeko, Lowell Liebermann, John Harbison, Peter Schickele, and Elizabeth Hoffman. 

Prof. Hauser has spent the past several seasons developing skills as a multi-genre improvisor. In an attempt to push the boundaries of the oboe’s traditional catalog, his recent repertoire has included works involving interactive electronic media and improvised oboe, and performance in genres outside of the classical realm such as jazz, and popular music of the world.

Prior posts include serving as principal oboe of the Orlando Philharmonic and the Palm Beach Opera; artist faculty at the Lynn Conservatory of Music, SUNY-Potsdam, the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Hot Springs Music Festival. Other orchestral credits include performing with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, Nashville, the Orchestra Camerata Ducale (Turin, Italy), and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, among others. He was afounding member of the Board of Directors of the National Music Festival.

Jared Hauser holds degrees from Michigan State University, Rice University, Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, where he studied with Daniel Stolper, Robert Atherholt, James Caldwell, and Harry Sargous respectively. His other teachers include Alex Klein and Mark Dubois. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


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Thomas Parchman, Clarinet/Director of Operations

Thomas Parchmanclarinet & director of operations, 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 Chicago Civic Orchestra 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. He then became a 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. 

Prof. Parchman 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 concerti by Mozart, Copland, Krommer, Brahms/Berio’s opus 120, and Bassi’s Rigoletto Fantasy. Dr. Parchman also holds the bass/3rd clarinet position with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and is a member of the Opera North, Green Mountain Opera and Opera Maine. 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 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 playing in the Philadelphia Orchestra.


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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.


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Michelle Stebleton, Horn

Michelle Stebleton, horn, is the Professor of Horn at Florida State University.  Her musically centered solo and chamber performances can be heard on four compact discs with MSR Classics: Harambee: The Horn Works of Paul Basler; Marathon, a groundbreaking recording of unaccompanied music for horn; and MirrorImage at the Opera and MirrorImage on Safari, recordings of her horn duo with Lisa Bontrager.  MirrorImage has revived the Classical tradition in this century through dozens of commissions and premieres for two horns and piano.  

At FSU, Professor Stebleton maintains a studio of c. 30 horn students.  She has been awarded the Teaching Incentive Program Award, two Undergraduate Teaching Awards, and five large research grants.  She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society and the Advisory Board of the International Horn Competition of America (IHCA).

Ms. Stebleton, a Holton-Leblanc Artist Clinician, is a six-time prize winner in various divisions of the American Horn Competition (now the IHCA). She has traveled the globe as a chamber artist and clinician, having performed regularly as a soloist and clinician in The Dominican Republic, Paraguay and the Czech Republic.  She is in demand as an artist-in-residence for her artistry, her superb teaching, and her outgoing demeanor.  The fact that she speaks enough (terrible) Spanish to conduct a clinic also helps!

Professor Stebleton received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Louis J. Stout and Lowell Greer. She holds a diploma from the Prague Mozart Academy.

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Daniel Egan, Trumpet

Daniel Egan, trumpet, is a member of the Richmond Symphony. Originally from Verona, New Jersey, Mr. Egan has performed with the New York Philharmonic, National, Houston, Alabama, Jacksonville,  and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. He served as interim principal trumpet of the Iceland Symphony, and regularly performs with the Houston Grand Opera. Previous engagements have included  performances with Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, and Fabio Luisi. Mr. Egan attended Indiana University and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He is a founding member of Loop38, a Houston-based new music collective. A passionate educator, Mr. Egan has been on the faculty at the Luzern Festival, and is a sought after clinician and and pedagogue throughout Texas. Daniel Egan maintains an active studio in the greater Houston area and, in his spare time, enjoys playing jazz, reading, and exercising.

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Michael Kris, Trombone & Tuba

Michael Kris, trombone & tuba, is a Teaching Professor at the University of North Carolina and is also part of the teaching faculty at Duke University. An active performer, he is Bass Trombone with the Eastern Music Festival, Low Brass Mentor of the National Music Festival, Bass Trombone with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and Principal Trombone of the North Carolina Opera Orchestra and Carolina Ballet Orchestra. He is a former member of the North Carolina Symphony, serving as Principal Trombone and Second Trombone, and has performed with chestras throughout the eastern United States.

Apart from his ensemble work on the modern trombone, Mr. Kris is an active soloist and clinician on historic trombone, performing and teaching internationally. Recently he presented concerts in London with Kings College, London, and Universität Mozarteum in Austria. At the University of North Carolina, he teaches low brass and chamber music. His research concentration is historic trombone and ensemble music of the late Renaissance and the early Baroque.

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.

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Camilo Carrara Guitar Workshop

Camilo Carrara, guitar, holds a degree in classical guitar from the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo and has a Masters Degree in Strategic Marketing Management at the São Paulo University School of Economics and Administration. His diverse career includes being a music producer, performer on guitar, mandolin and other strummed instruments, arranger, composer and teacher. His discography consists of more than eighty solo and collaborative ensemble compact disc recordings.

Since 2011 Mr. Carrara has been the producer and arranger of the CD and DVD of the “Bradesco 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 seven years he has been the guitar mentor at the National Music Festival where, in 2012, he premiered his Cadence and Dance for Guitar and Orchestra under the baton of Richard Rosenberg. Performing in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, USA, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, and throughout Brazil, he has a stellar reputation performing many different genres of music–from classical to popular, contemporary music, jazz and pop. 

In 1989 he was an itinerant musician, travelling for nine months throughout Europe, celebrating the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Paris, witnessing first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall and busking in parks and subway stations.

Camilo Carrara has produced the soundtracks for major advertising agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey, Taterka, B/Ferraz and Bullet, Carrefour, Vivo, Advil, Leroy Merlin, P & G, Gillette, Unilever, Hyundai, to name but a few. He has been a guest artist 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, Carrara collaborated with Sue Matthews in 2015 to create the compact disc, Foolish Hearts.

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Minji Nam, Collaborative Piano

Minji Nam, collaborative piano, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is an energetic pianist, chamber musician, vocal and chamber coach. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she has worked for Yale University School of Music, the Washington National Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the McDuffie Center for Strings, the Seaside Violin Intensive Program, Florida State University, and the MTNA competition.

Ms. Nam was Head Coordinator and Collaborative Pianist at the Yale School of Music. She was Music Director of the Tallahassee Opera Outreach, where she created programs designed for underserved children and as vocal coach with the Florida State Univeristy Singers for Don Giovannni, Béatrice et Bénédict, Alcina, and Carmen. At Aspen, Nam regularly performs with all four of the festival orchestras and the Contemporary Ensemble, and has presented recitals with many of their visiting artists – most recently with Catriona Ryan of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.

Ms. Nam has appeared in recital with Hsin-Yun Huang, Demarre McGill, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Eric Silberger, Ignace Jang, Annie Fullard, Daniel Tosky, Amy Schwartz-Morreti, Evan Jones, Robert McDuffie, and Walfrid Kujala. Some of her recent residencies include the Atlanta Chamber players, the Hawaii Chamber Music Festival, and the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival. She has collaborated with Emmanuel Pahud, Hilary Hahn, Augustin Hadelich, Anne Sophie-Mutter, Kyung-Sun Lee, Midori, Robert Lipsett, Lambert Orkis, Renée Fleming, and Jessye Norman. Nam just presented a concert at Carnegie Hall, “The Connected Musician,” with longtime duo-partner, Jacqueline Cordova-Arrington. A commercial recording of this project will soon be available. Her teachers have included Jean Barr, Rita Sloan, Andrew Harley and Ji-eun Han.

In her “spare time,” Minji Nam enjoys playing the violin, painting, and cooking with her husband, violoncellist Atticus Mellor-Goldman.

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Eric Sabatino, Harp

Eric Sabatino, harp, is a professor in the Performing Arts department of the American University in Washington. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in orchestral performance.
Originally from New York, Senior Master Sergeant Eric Sabatino is harp soloist for The United States Air Force Band. Prior to joining the Air Force, Sabatino was a freelance performer and harp teacher at the preparatory division of the Manhattan School of Music and principal harpist with the orchestras of the Empire State Opera, Amato Opera Company and the Island Lyric Opera of New York City.
Mr. Sabatino has also served as principal harpist with the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Opera, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the Washington National Opera. He was the featured soloist with the Saint Petersburg Chamber Symphony (Russia) for the Diaghilev Festival, where he also gave several recitals.

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Diana Loomer, Percussion

Dr. Diana Loomer is the director of the “Steely Pan Steel Band” and a Percussion Instructor at Appalachian State University. She is an active percussionist and music educator, based in the Asheville, NC area. Diana also teaches Percussion Methods classes and has private lesson studios at Western Carolina University and Livingstone College.

Dr. Loomer has a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.M. from Indiana University and a B.M. from Appalachian State University in Percussion Performance. She was the timpanist for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-12, and has since developed a passion for “melodic timpani” playing. She is currently working to expand both the potential of the instrument, and the repertoire for this new field. She has since been teaching front ensembles, including the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016, and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017. She was an apprentice at the National Music Festival in 2016 and 2017, and is the first alumnus to join the Festival’s Mentor Faculty.

Diana Loomer has performing experience in many different areas of percussion. She has performed with the Western Piedmont Symphony, Johnson City Symphony, Austin Symphony, and Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. She has an extensive background in world percussion, including steel pan, tabla, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African percussion. She traveled to Ghana in 2014 to study gyil and djembe with Bernard Woma. She is a current member of Zabumba Asheville Samba, and a former member of the Austin Samba School, Maracatu Texas, and the Inside Out Community Steel Band. Diana and her partner, Morgan Tao, form the Blue Iron Percussion Duo. Together, they perform and teach steel drums across Western North Carolina and Tennessee.


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Elizabeth Adams, Violin


Elizabeth Adams, violin, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe as violinist, violist, and pianist; in settings from solo to chamber music to orchestra. Since moving to Washington, Elizabeth has been in demand as a versatile performer, teacher, adjudicator, and clinician. As a freelance orchestral musician she performs regularly with the Richmond, Annapolis and Maryland Symphonies, Virginia and Baltimore Operas, Washington Concert Opera, the New Orchestra of Washington, and the National Philharmonic. More recently she has been accompanying and training young violinists and violists, because as a string player herself, she has a highly specialized knowledge of the literature.

Recent performance highlights include the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Mason Symphony Orchestra; Ravel’s Tzigane and Stravinsky’s l’Histoire du soldat at National Music Festival; Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at Catholic University’s International Piano Series; recitals at the Church of the Epiphany and University of Maryland, and chamber concerts with Kassia Music at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and the Resonance chamber music series in Chestertown.

She holds both a Master of Music in violin and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian studies from Yale. She has studied violin and pedagogy extensively in both Russia and North America and holds a doctorate in violin from l’Université de Montréal. Elizabeth has studied chamber music with members of the Borodin, Tokyo, and Colorado String Quartets. Her primary teachers include Ani Kavafian, Ricardo Cyncynates, Mikhail Gantvarg and Vladimir Landsman.

Elizabeth has taught at the McGill Conservatory in Montréal, the Levine School in Washington, Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and Orfeo Festival in Italy. Upon completing her DMA, she joined the faculty of the George Mason University School of Music as professor of violin. At Mason she taught violin, viola, pedagogy, and coached chamber music, and served as head of strings.

She is currently on the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore and has a boutique private teaching studio. She coaches sectionals for the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (of which she is an alumna) and is the pianist for their Music Buddies mentorship program. Her students are regular prizewinners in competitions and have been accepted everywhere from the Montreal Conservatoire to Harvard, Brown, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Maryland. Elizabeth is pleased to be returning as a mentor at National Music Festival.

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Emily Daggett Smith, Violin

Emily Daggett Smith, violin, is emerging as one of the most compelling artists of her generation–described as playing “gorgeously” and with “gracefulness and easy rapport” (Boston Globe). 

She has shared the stage with many renowned musicians including current and former members of the Cleveland, Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets, as well as pianists Claude Frank, Joseph Kalichstein, and Gilbert Kalish. Her performances have taken place at some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Vienna Konzerthaus, and have been featured on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, NPR’s From the Top, Classical King FM in Seattle and WWFM The Classical Network in New York and Pennsylvania.  

As a soloist, Ms. Smith made her New York concerto debut at the age of 21 in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra.  Since then she has performed concerti with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, Mozaic Orchestra, New Amsterdam Symphony, and the New York Classical Players.   As a concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra she has worked with many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson-Thomas, Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan.

Emily is dedicated to education and maintains various teaching and outreach activities. She served on the Violin faculty of Stony Brook University and has given masterclasses and educational outreach performances wherever her violin takes her. Her teaching style is one that blends and deepens the traditions of her great teachers Soovin Kim, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler, Masuko Ushioda, and Donald Weilerstein, with a deep understanding of what it takes to be a well-rounded musician in the 21st-century.

Ms. Smith is a winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in the junior division.  She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School and is in the final stages of the Doctor of Music and Arts degree at Stony Brook University.  She plays on a Johannes Cuypers violin and a Vuillaume bow, both generously donated by Dr. Marylou Witz. 

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Jessica Mathaes, Violin

Jessica Mathaes, violin. Hailed “a violinist like no other” (New York Times) and “a master of the Khachaturian violin concerto” (Austin Chronicle), Jessica Mathaes enjoys an international career as a soloist, recording artist, educator and concertmaster.

As a guest concertmaster, Mathaes has led the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She has also been engaged with the Rochester Philharmonic, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, San Antonio Symphony, and Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestras. In 2005, Mathaes was appointed concertmaster of the Austin Symphony, becoming both the youngest and first female concertmaster of the orchestra in its over 100-year history.

As a soloist, Mathaes has been broadcast live on Performance Today and Chicago Public Radio, and has performed throughout Singapore on a solo and masterclass tour sponsored by the US Embassy. She has also performed as a soloist with the Austin, Victoria, Bismarck-Mandan, Round Rock, and Northwest Iowa, Masterworks. She has premiered works by many American composers including Pierre Jalbert and Paul Reale, and has released solo albums on the Naxos and Centaur labels to critical acclaim in Gramophone. She has served on the faculty of the Credo Music Festival, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, and the Masterworks Festival, and her students have gone on to earn spots at top music schools in the United States.

Born in Chicago, Mathaes grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she was concertmaster of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra and made her solo debut at age 16 playing the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3. She was also an award-winning pianist in her youth. Mathaes holds performance degrees from Rice University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

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Dana Goode, Violin

Dana Goode, violin, began touring and performing at age 16 as a member of a chamber ensemble  directed by 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 Kammerorchester. 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 at the Peabody Conservatory, as a student of Berl Senofsky, and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance (’86) with Mitchell Stern of the American String Quartet.

Ms. Goode also holds an M.A. degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis). A former faculty member at Morgan State University, Loyola University, and Notre Dame of Maryland, she continues to teach at Stevenson University, where she is concertmaster and assistant conductor of The Greenspring Valley Symphony, led by Dr. Harlan Parker.

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 and  National Chamber Orchestra in addition to several local chamber ensembles,  She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Music Festival, and has been mentoring in the festival since its inaugural season in Floyd, Virginia.


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James Stern, Violin

James Stern, violin, a passionately devoted teacher, has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. He is professor and coordinator of the String Division at the University of Maryland School of Music. In summers he has performed and taught at the National Orchestral Institute, the Orfeo International Festival, the Schlern International Festival, ASTA International Workshops, California Summer Music, the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program, the Master Players Festival and the Starling/Delay Violin Symposium at the Juilliard School.

He is a multi-faceted musician whose violin playing has been heard worldwide and cited by the Washington Post for “virtuosity and penetrating intelligence.” He has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Banff and Bowdoin festivals as well as at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. He did all of his formal training at the Juilliard School where his teachers were Louise Behrend, Joseph Fuchs and Lewis Kaplan.

Stern is a member of two critically acclaimed ensembles, the Stern/Andrist Duo with his wife, pianist Audrey Andrist, and Strata, a trio in which they are joined by clarinetist Nathan Williams. The duo has performed throughout the United States, Canada and China, with additional recitals in Munich and Paris. The trio has received enthusiastic repeat engagements at San Francisco Composers Inc. (for which they were listed as one of San Francisco Classical Voice’s “highlights of 2005”), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and New York’s historic Maverick Concerts. Strata has recently commissioned new works from Kenneth Frazelle and the late Stephen Paulus, giving the world premieres at, respectively, the Secrest Artist Series in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.

Well-known to Washington, DC audiences, Stern has performed as a member of VERGE ensemble, the 21st Century Consort, the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Axelrod Quartet, at such venues as the Corcoran Gallery, the German and French Embassies, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, Strathmore Mansion and the White House. In frequent appearances at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, he has brought innovative programming that includes performing in multiple capacities (as violist, pianist, conductor, reciter and arranger), and providing program annotations that are integral to the performance. His numerous chamber music and new music recordings can be heard on Albany, Bridge, Centaur, CRI, Dorian/Sono Luminus, Enharmonic, New Focus and New World. His recording of the Sonatas and Partitas by Bach was released on Albany Records.

James Stern performs on a violin by Vincenzo Panormo built in 1781.

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Renate Falkner, Viola

Renate Falkner, viola, is equally at home on both modern and baroque viola. She performs regularly with groups such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, the Yale Collegium Players, Baltimore’s Pro Musica Rara, and Artis-Naples. Summer appearances have included the Verbier Festival, the Spoleto Festival, a faculty appointment at the Carvalho Festival of Music in Fortaleza, Brazil, and annually at the Bellingham Festival of Music. Falkner completed her graduate studies at the Yale School of Music as a scholarship student and assistant to the Jesse Levine, and holds a doctorate from the Florida State University, under the direction of Pamela Ryan. Her treatise examining York Bowen’s viola music in the context of the English Musical Renaissance was the first to focus entirely on his compositions for viola. Dr. Falkner is an active board member of the American Viola Society, where she has served as Chair of the AVS’s Orchestral Audition Competition and Seminar, the Dalton Research Competition, and presented lectures, and panel discussions. After nearly a decade at the University of North Florida, she and her husband, violoncellist Steven Thomas, she joined the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory. Previously on faculty at the George Mason University School of Music, she is  an Artist Affiliate at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Falkner  records for the Chandos, Nimbus, and Rezound music labels.

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Joseph Gotoff, Violoncello

Violoncellist Joseph Gotoff is recognized as a thoughtful and passionate performer, scholar, and teacher. With a repertoire that spans from the Baroque to the modern era, Dr. Gotoff works closely with a number of composers working today, with premiers including Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Trio (2013) and Binna Kim’s Shibboleth for solo cello (2016). A sought-after chamber musician, Dr. Gotoff’s reputation as an intense and compelling communicator has brought him wide acclaim both in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Gotoff, Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at Towson University, appears frequently as a soloist and chamber musician in concert across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Recent performance highlights include a 19-city concert tour of China with the award-winning Petrucci String Quartet, of which he is a founding member, and a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Thames Valley Youth Orchestra. He gives frequent solo and chamber recitals throughout New England, and recent concerto appearances include performances of the Beethoven Triple Concerto and Monn Cello Concerto with the New England Conservatory Chamber Players, as well as Lalo’s Cello Concerto with the Williamsport Symphony.

An ardent opera fan, Dr. Gotoff has served as principal cellist for the Prague Summer Nights Festival Orchestra, performing at the Estates Theater and Esterhazy Palace in Prague. He is the principal cellist of the Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to promoting music from South and Latin America, and serves as the assistant principal cellist of The Orchestra of Indian Hill, based in Littleton, MA.

In addition to his professorship at Towson University, Dr. Gotoff serves on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Merrimack College, teaches ‘cello in Arlington public schools, and was recently appointed faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. His awards include a prestigious fellowship from NEC to study Beethoven’s string quartet manuscripts, a project which developed into his doctoral dissertation on staccato articulations in Beethoven’s manuscripts.  Dr. Gotoff is also a prizewinner of NEC’s Guest Artist Award, which afforded him the opportunity to share the stage with the renowned Borromeo String Quartet.

Born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Prof. Joseph Gotoff began playing the cello at age 10. His former teachers include Ann Kindig, Orlando Cole, Tom Kraines and Barbara Stein-Mallow. Now based in Washington, D.C., Dr. Gotoff recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from New England Conservatory, studying with Yeesun Kim.

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Yoshiaki Horiguchi, Double Bass

Yoshiaki Horiguchi , double bass, now on the faculty of Towson Univeristy, has served as guest principal bass for the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and the New Orchestra of Washington. Mr. Horiguchi is currently the bassist for the National Chamber Winds and a founding member of the award-winning Trio Jinx. He has collaborated with a broad range of artists such as Zuill Bailey, Judith Ingolfsson, Hal Robinson, Alex Fiterstein, Michael Kannen, Wendel Patrick, Shodekeh, Don Vappie, Tony Arnold, Lauren Ruth Ward, and more. Yoshi, not being a stranger to life on the road, has also performed around the United States at the Sitka Summer Music Festival, Mesa Arts Center, Iowa Great Lakes Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica, the Kennedy Center, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and more.

In addition to being an active performer and educator, he is also a sought after pedagogue and string specialist. Mr. Horiguchi has served on the faculty for the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore Symphony’s, El Sistema inspired, ORCHkids program, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bass Works, the Peabody Preparatory, American Music System Camps, York College of PA, UMBC, the International Society of Bassists Young Bassists division, and more. He has presented pedagogy research at the International Society of Bassists convention, and is certified in the Mark O’Connor string method; and has studied string pedagogy under Christian Tremblay and Bai-Chi Chen from Peabody. His passion and drive for students to study pedagogically beneficial and accessible music has inspired him to arrange works that are being performed around the world.

Yoshiaki Horiguchi graduated with honors as a Linehan Artist Scholar at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in double bass performance and music education. From UMBC, he also earned his teaching certificate and won the 2011 concerto competition. He then graduated as an Aegon USA scholar at the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University for his Master’s Degree in double bass performance and pedagogy and he is finishing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Peabody. He has attended the Hot Springs Music Festival, National Music Festival where he worked with Robert Stiles, the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, and WaBass Festival. Yoshi proudly hails from the studios of Ed Malaga, Jeff Koczela, Laura Ruas, Paul DeNola, and Paul Johnson. In his free time, Yoshi enjoys wearing primary colors, playing ultimate Frisbee, swing dancing, and expanding his sock collection.

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Daniel Meza, Library

Daniel Meza (Librarianship Mentor) is a librarian at the New England Conservatory of Music and a woodwind specialist actively freelancing and teaching in the Boston area.

As a woodwind specialist, Mr/ Meza has performed in a variety of settings including ballets, operas, musicals, jazz ensembles and many more. In the Boston area, he is Principal Oboe of the New England Film Orchestra and regularly performs with ensembles across New England such as the Vista Philharmonic, Cape Ann Symphony, Company Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company.

Daniel Meza has held library positions for most of his career. At Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, he served as the wind ensemble’s Music Librarian before moving to Boston and working at the performance library of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He loves working behind the scenes to prepare music and has had the great fortune of working with a plethora of groups and composers, such as Viet Cuong, Ricardo Lorenz and Julia Wolfe.

Originally from Memphis, TN, Mr. Meza holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Master of Music from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

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Alexander Humala, guest conductor

Maestro Alexander Humala, guest conductor, is Music Director of the Krakow Philharmonic. He studied choral conducting at the Belarusian State Academy of Music in Minsk, and symphonic conducting at the Rotterdam Conservatory.with Collin Metters, Yuri Simonov, and Jorma Panula. In 2010, he received the prestigious Huygens scholarship. As part of the L. Kirkland scholarship programme he also studied culture management at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (2019–2020).

He made his debut in 2003, alongside the chamber orchestra of the Belarusian Academy of Music. In the same year, he appeared with the Symphony Orchestra Young Belarus, followed by an international debut performance with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and invitation for guest appearances with the Italian Orchestra Giovanile della Saccisica.

In the years 2009 and 2012, as part of the “Gaude Polonia” scholarship programme, he completed his conductor internships at the Wroclaw Opera and at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. In 2014–2016, he was assistant conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, and in the years 2013–2019, he held the post of principal conductor of the Belarusian ensemble Capella Sonorus. From 2017 until 2021, he acted as conductor of the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

He cooperated, inter alia, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, Baltic Philharmonic, Lodz Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra in Haifa, Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra, Belarusian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian National Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Saratov and Samara Philharmonic Orchestras. In the artistic season of 2013/2014, he was Martin Brabbins’s assistant during the production of Alexander Raskatov’s opera Dog’s Heart at the Lyon Opera.

He appeared during the Lucerne Festival (2012, alongside the Festival Orchestra of the Lucerne Academy directed by Péter Eötvös), Summer Festival in Pärnu (2011), where he studied under Neeme Järvi and Paavo Järvi, St Magnus International Festival in Orkney Islands (2011), where he collaborated with ensembles such as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and London Sinfonietta. In 2014, he was Lorin Maazel’s assistant at the Castleton Festival. In 2007, acting in the capacity of the music director of the Minsk Festival Orchestra, he organized several music festivals, including a baroque music festival dedicated to A. Vivaldi, and contemporary music festival, dedicated to young Belarusian and European composers. In 2013, he was principal conductor of one of the most prestigious music festivals in Belarus, Magutny Boza (God Almighty) in Mogilev. In 2017, he was apprentice and assistant conductor to Richard Rosenberg at the National Music Festival in Maryland.

He performed with many outstanding soloists, including Boris Berezovsky, Geneviève Strosser, Marco Blaauw, Szymon Nehring, and others. He conducted concerts with the involvement of world-renowned jazz soloists, including Chick Corea, Brandford Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval and Jamie Cullum.

He was the first prize winner of the J. Vitol International Conducting Competition in Riga in 2009, where he appeared with the Latvian State Academic Symphony Orchestra , with the Latvian National Choir and Radio Choir. During the International Choral Conducting Competition Towards Polyphony, held in 2011 in Wroclaw, he won the first prize as well as all of the additional prizes (audience prize, special prizes awarded by the Italian and German embassies, and special prize for the best interpretation of Polish music). In 2013, he was a finalist of the Young Conductors Competition in St. Petersburg. He received a number of state awards in Belarus, Poland and in the Netherlands.

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Mindaugas Piečaitis, guest conductor

Mindaugas Piečaitis, the Nora The Piano Cat, LLC. guest conductor, is the conductor of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, he graduated from its M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts, and attended the Lithuanian Music Academy where he received a diploma in choir conducting and another in orchestral conducting, then earning a Master`s degree in opera conducting. He was awarded third prize at the 1992 International Youth Choir Conductors’ Competition in Tallinn, Estonia, leading to his conducting debuts in Palanga, Lithuania, and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater. 

In 1996/1997 Mindaugas Piečaitis recorded two compact discs, including three symphonic works of the American composer Meyer Kupferman. He conducted at the Young Performers’ Festival Atžalynas, the New Music Festival Marių klavyrai, Jauna Muzika, Iš Arti, the Festival Percussion Days in Lithuania, Teatrai vaikams, Kaunas 98, the Modern Music Festival in Druskininkai, the Baltic Music Festival Gaida. Piečaitis has led concert tours in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal—during a tour in Holland, he conducted performances with the Byelorussian National Ballet. From 1994-1999 he was the second conductor for the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting the Lithuanian National Opera Theater, the Klaipėda and Kaunas Music Theaters. From 2002 to 2005 he completed postgraduate studies in contemporary music at the Karlsruhe High School of Music under Peter Eötvös. In 2003 he participated in the New Music Festival Klangriffe in Karlsruhe and led performances in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. In 2005 he conducted at the Kultur Am Rande festival in Reutlingen and was an active participant of the International Kurt Masur Conducting Course in Wroclaw.

Since 2006, Piečaitis has been collaborating on projects for children and organizing performances by young performers. At his all mater, the M. K. Čiurlionis College of Arts, he leads courses for young conductors and initiates first performances of newly written works by young composers. He regularly offers lectures at the International Music Education Conference in Vilnius as well as at the Klaipėda Music Academy. Mindaugas Piečaitis is the author of many arrangements for symphony and chamber orchestra and also childrens’ scores, including the Catcerto, featuring Nora the Piano Cat. He is co-author of the book Musical Child’s World, published in 2009 by the Vilnius publishing house Kronta.

Mindaugas Piečaitis has conducted the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, the Klaipėda Music Theater Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Archi Vilnensis, the Vilnius Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater Orchestra and the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Ensemble Gaida, the Latvian State Choir Latvia, the Freiburg Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Reutlingen Symphony Orchestra.

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Caitlin Redding, soprano

Caitlin Redding, guest soprano, grew up in Galena, Maryland, north of Chestertown. She has been hailed for her “touching” ( and “no holds barred” (Qonstage) performances in a wide spectrum of repertoire, covering Purcell, Mozart, Massenet, Tchaikovsky, and more. Since her studies at The Juilliard School, she has been a sought after performer for both traditional works and modern music on American and European stages, interpreting the title roles in Carmen and La Cenerentola, as well as Charlotte, Dorabella and Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), among others. Ms. Redding also has a passion for performing new works, collaborating with composers (especially modern female composers in the classical music world), and creating her own interdisciplinary performances with fellow like-minded singers, dancers, acrobats, and actors.

Initially trained as a classical artist, Caitlin Redding has spent the many years focused on experimental music and contemporary performance. Her contemporary repertoire spans a wide range of styles and includes works such as Gubaidulina’s PerceptionCantata, George Crumb’s River of Life Songbook, Jeffrey Ching’s Die wahre Geschichte von King Kong  (world premiere with Theater Magdeburg in 2019), Jakob Druckman’s Animus II, and Jakob Ullmann’s Voice, Books, and FIRE series, as well as collaborations with various contemporary music groups such as the New Juilliard Ensemble (USA) and Phoenix16 (Berlin). Her most notable concerts include performances at Carnegie Hall, Nuremberg Serenadenhof with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona) and Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center, NY), as well as Smetana Hall (Prague), Megaron Mousikis (Athens) and the Berliner Festspielhaus.​

Also an aerial singer, her first trapeze dance productions began with Australian composer Chloé Charody in 2021. This included 2 new circus operas shot in Berlin (Homeplay) and the subsequent premiere of a new work, JINGAH!, in Nottingham, UK. Caitlin will make her Australian premiere in February 2024 with Charody’s newest work for acrobatic soprano, Truth in the Cage, a song cycle based on the poetry collection of the same title by Manus Prison survivor Mohammad Ali Maleki. Other future premieres include Charody´s next circus opera, The Devil’s Tiger.

Ms. Redding is a member of the physically disabled community (with Erb’s palsy of the right arm and shoulder) and is passionate about disability advocacy and representation, particularly in the world of performing arts. She especially enjoys working and creating with other physically disabled artists, exploring narratives and spaces from which disabled artists are typically excluded.

Caitlin Redding was a resident young artist at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie with Edith Wiens and Tobias Truniger, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Crested Butte Opera Festival, and the Castleton Festival with the late Maestro Lorin Maazel.

​She holds a graduate degree (M.Mus) from The Juilliard School where she was a recipient of the prestigious Novick Grant, and bachelors degrees from the University of Maryland in voice and Italian Literature. Caitlin Redding speaks English, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and French, and currently splits her time between Barcelona and Berlin.

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Alan Rothschild, Piano Technology

Alan Rothschild, piano maintenance, is also a member of the Board of Directors of the  National Music Festival. He is a certified piano technician who specializes in tuning, repair, regulation, and action rebuilding. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Earlham College and was certified in piano technology by the New England Conservatory, where he studied with long time Boston Symphony technician Frank Hanson. Following his graduation from NEC, he held an apprenticeship at the Tanglewood Music Festival. He attends classes often in order to hone his skills, and has participated in the Steinway at Oberlin piano technology program. In addition to his full-time position at Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, he has private clients in D.C., New York, and Boston, and he works for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New England Conservatory, and Wellesley College. Mr. Rothschild lives in Jamaica Plain, MA, where in his free time he enjoys cooking, reading, exploring new cuisines, and singing as a tenor in Boston Cecilia. 


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Kevin Bourassa, Recording Engineering

Grammy-Nominated Recording Engineer Kevin Bourassa hates writing self-aggrandizing statements and lists about himself. Won’t someone just do it for him? He’s not that important yet? Well, I guess he’d better figure something out then.

Kevin has had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of ensembles during his very fortunate career, including the New York Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestra of St Luke’s, Virginia Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, New Orchestra of Washington, the Choir and Orchestra of Trinity Wall Street in New York City, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Choral Arts Society of Washington DC, the National Music Festival, ensembles at the universities of Illinois, Delaware, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Massachusetts-Amherst, among many others. He has engineered critically-acclaimed commercial releases of music from instrumental and vocal ensembles of many sizes and eras of focus, featuring conductors including Jo-Ann Falletta, Thierry Fischer, Leonard Slatkin, and Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, composers including Ricky Ian Gordon, George Walker, Lori Laitman, William Bolcom, John Musto, and soloists and ensembles including Piers Lane, Juliana Soltis, the Attacca Quartet, NOVUS NY, Stephen Tharp, Jeremy Filsell, Moye Chen, Rex Richardson, Timothy Ehlen, Michael Kris, and Marcus Thompson, on record labels including Deutsche Grammophone, Hyperion, Naxos, Acis, Bright Shiny Things, MSR, Centaur, Albany, Azica, Blujazz, and PARMA. 

Kevin gained his first Grammy nomination in 2020 for his engineering and editing work on bass-baritone Stephen Powell’s debut album “American Composers At Play”, featuring works and performances by Powell accompanied instrumentally by several of America’s most prolific living composers in their own works. He has also enjoyed a long and successful partnership with pianist Samuel Gingher in a project to record many rediscovered works by composer Carl Czerny, with several discs of a variety of chamber repertoire available on the Naxos label. He has felt incredible gratitude to legendary Decca engineer John Dunkerley, under whose tutelage Kevin has honed his technique and gained a thorough understanding of and appreciation for the history of classical recorded sound from the so-called Golden Age of Stereo; it has become a large part of his vocation to advocate for the immediacy and care given to recordings of that era, in his work with his clients and students today.  

In addition to his freelance engineering work, Kevin works on the staff of Manhattan School of Music’s Orto Center, which produces, records, and streams more than 500 concerts, recitals, and sessions for students, faculty, and guest artists annually. He is also the recording engineer and mentor for the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland, and works as Chief Engineer and Technical Director for record label Acis Productions. 

In addition to his engineering work, Kevin is also an unrepentant trumpeter, appearing on multiple commercial releases and performing live, most recently with the Bushwick Big Band. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his significantly better half, soprano Aani Bourassa.

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Philip Rosenberg, Explication

Philip Rosenberg, explication. Philip Rosenberg’s passion for theater and music, combined with his love of teaching, have been the core of his professional life. At Hunter College High School in New York City, he started both the Instrumental Music Program and the Theater Ensemble, his students including Cynthia Nixon, Judd Greenstein, Lin Manuel-Miranda and Robert Lopez. As Music Director and Resident Composer of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, he composed the incidental music for twenty-seven productions. Other teaching positions have included the Seacrest School, Walden School, Harlem School of the Arts, Temple University, Jersey City State College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and the City College of New York.

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.

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Jeffrey Padgett, Stage Management

Jeffrey Padgett, stage management, is a native of North Carolina and currently resides in New York City, where he has worked in theatre, film, and TV.
Mr. Padgett studied technical theatre at Western Carolina University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Stage & Screen, with a focus on theatre design and production.

Mr. Padett’s technical experience includes scenic carpentry, technical direction, scenic design, electrician, rigging and orchestra production. He currently works on the television series Law & Order: Organized Crime in their art department. Previously, he was the Master Carpenter for Playwrights Horizons in New York City, an off-Broadway theatre that specializes in new works.

Mr. Padgett has also built sets for the Lincoln Center and worked on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Prior to moving to New York, he worked for regional theatres and also for Royal Caribbean Cruise onboard Rhapsody of the Seas in the ship’s Broadway Melodies Theatre. Mr. Padgett got his start stage managing for orchestras at Brevard Music Center during their summer season in 2016.
He is excited to return to the National Music Festival for the third year!

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Caitlin Patton, Executive Director

Caitlin Patton, executive director, is a Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant. She 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 teaches violin, viola, and cello, and is the director of the Fiddlesticks! Program. Her first book, How to Build Capacity in Your Small Nonprofit, was published in 2012.

Caitlin is also a singer and recently gave her first solo voice recital, with NMF Collaborative Piano Mentor Sammy Marshall at the piano. She sings in the Chester River Chorale as well as its two auditioned ensembles, the Chester Chamber Singers and River Voices. She serves as president of the Chester River Chorale.

Caitlin lives with her husband, NMF Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg, on a small farm in Galena, MD, with a herd of goats, five dogs, four cats, three horses, and a flock of turkeys, ducks, geese, and chickens–all endangered heritage breeds. An active animal rescue advocate, she has fostered 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 Animal Care Shelter for Kent County.


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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.  

Richard has performed as guest conductor in Asia, 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, and he will co-direct the First International Orchestral Conducting Academy & Competition in Estoril, Portugal this October. His recent engagements include concerts with the Torun Symphony (Poland), 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 Rosenberg’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.

He received a Rackham Fellowship to work 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 had never been performed. Rosenberg conducted the world premiere of the overture in 2011 and is transcribing and editing the entire work for future performance. He rediscovered Cole Porter’s last musical, Aladdin, which he then premiered in its original version.

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.

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, for the Naxos Records label. 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 will be released in 2021 with Richard Strauss’ “Metamorphosen” for Centaur Records) and the complete orchestral music of Gottschalk (which he has just prepared for publication) have received numerous performances. 

His students presently hold positions with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Union Symphony, Hot Springs Music Festival, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchèstre Radio France and the Nashville, Saint Louis Symphony and Savannah Symphonies.


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