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, 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.


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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 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.


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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.


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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 an Associate Professor of Horn and member of the Florida State Brass Quintet and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Since joining  FSU in 1990, she has been awarded the Teaching Incentive Program Award, an Undergraduate Teaching Award, and several large research grants. Through these grants she recorded two compact discs available on MSR Classics: The Horn Works of Paul Basler and MirrorImage at the Opera, a recording of her horn duo with Lisa Bontrager. The Florida State Brass Quintet’s CD Strophes of the Night and Dawn is available through Crystal Records.
Ms. Stebleton, a Holton-Leblanc Artist Clinician, is a six-time prize winner in various divisions of the American Horn Competition. She has traveled to twenty-six countries as a chamber artist and clinician and performs regularly as a soloist and clinician in Paraguay, The Czech Republic, and under the baton of Philipe Entremont in the bi-annual Music Festival Orchestra in the Dominican Republic.
At FSU Professor Stebleton maintains a horn studio of about thirty students. She offers daily Fundamentals Class, weekly Studio Classes, and Horn Choir. In addition, she teaches the Horn component of Solo Brass Literature. Actively performing, she is regularly featured at the International Horn Society Symposiums and Southeast Horn Workshops. She currently serves as on the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society.
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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Joe Burgstaller, Trumpet

Joe Burgstaller, trumpet, is perhaps best known in the brass world as a former full-time trumpeter and arranger for the famed Canadian Brass. He joined The Peabody Institute as Distinguished Visiting Artist in 2007, and now resides in Baltimore as a full-time faculty member teaching trumpet and brass chamber music. 

Mr. Burgstaller tours worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician, guest orchestral musician (most recently including Guest Principal of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchestra-Hamburg, Guest Principal of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and in the section of the New York Philharmonic).

Mr. Burgstaller’s extensive discography includes solo CDs (License to Thrill and The Virtuoso Trumpet) and three Top-10 Billboard hits. He and his latest solo CD License To Thrill were recently the subject of an hour-long feature on Sirius-XM Classical Radio. His last two Classical/Jazz-Hybrid crossover CDs with Grammy-nominated pianist Hector Martignon were Top-50 on the JazzRadio charts and the Roots Radio Report (under Paul Simon but right above the Beastie Boys).

In addition to his years with Canadian Brass, Mr. Burgstaller was also a member of the avant-garde Meridian Arts Ensemble as well as one of the all-time most popular soloists at Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts, performing 60 solo concerts every year. As a member of Canadian Brass and as a soloist, he has performed in front of more than 45 major orchestras, in more than 50 music festivals, and has performed and taught at over 100 conservatories and colleges. 

As an educator, Mr. Burgstaller’s teaching emphasizes creativity, connection, versatility and entrepreneurship, and he combines the best of traditional techniques with an innovative mental training. His Change Your Mind, Change Your Playing classes have been met with great success by thousands of participants across the world as he has demystified efficient learning, peak performance, stage fright, and human connection. His studio at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University builds the total player, with a focus on artistic development, versatility, entrepreneurship and career growth. 

Mr. Burgstaller is a founding member of the New York Brass Arts Trio and a member of New York City’s Meridian Arts Ensemble, which received the ASCAP “Adventurous Programming Award.” Gramophone Magazine heralded his original work Lullaby as “an understated gem.” A Yamaha Performing Artist, he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Arizona State University (studying with Regents’ Professor David Hickman). Other teachers and mentors include Anthony Plog, Stephen Carlson, Jonathan Greenburg, Gary Gompers and David Fedderly.  

Joe Burgstaller is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

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Michael Kris, Trombone & Tuba

Michael Kris, trombone, is a Teaching Professor at the University of North Carolina and he is also part of the teaching faculty at Duke University. An active performer, he is Bass Trombone with the Eastern Music Festival, Principal Trombone of the North Carolina Opera Orchestra, Carolina Ballet Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and has played with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra for 24 years serving in multiple instrumental roles.He is a former member of the North Carolina Symphony, serving as both Principal Trombone and Second Trombone and has performed with several orchestras throughout the eastern United States. Additionally, Mr. Kris is Artistic Director and Trombonist with the early music group Ensemble Collina. Mr. Kris has been a mentor at the National Music Festival since 2016.

Apart from his ensemble work, Mr. Kris is an active soloist and clinician performing and teaching internationally. Most recently, he presented concerts in July at the prestigious Salzburg Festival was a guest clinician in November at the Universität Mozarteum in Austria. At the University of North Carolina, he teaches low brass and chamber music and his research focuses on the use of trombone in ensemble music of the late Renaissance and chamber music of 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 (on leave, 2020), holds a degree in classical guitar from the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo and a Masters Degree in Strategic Marketing Management at the São Paulo University School of Economics and Administration.

His diverse career includes being 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 discs recordings.

Since 2011 Mr. Carrara has been the producer and arranger of the CD and DVD of the Natal do Palácio Avenida show–an event that brings together thousands of people in the city center of Curitiba, state of Paraná, in Brazil. Event sponsored by the Brazilian major bank Bradesco.

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 six 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, witnessing first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall and busking in parks and subways.

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).

Carrara has produced the soundtracks for major advertising agencies and brands such as Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey, Taterka, B/Ferraz and Bullet; Carrefour, Vivo, Advil, Leroy Merlin, P & G, Gillette, Unilever, Hyundai, HSBC, Bradesco, to name but a few.

As a result of his affiliation with the National Music Festival, he collaborated with Sue Matthews in 2015 to create the compact disc, Foolish Heart

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David Brooks, Collaborative Piano

David Brooks, collaborative piano, enjoys a busy musical life as a pianist, violinist, violist, composer and teacher.  He has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and was recently a featured artist at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris.    

Dr. Brooks has participated in premieres of works by over 50 composers.  A composer himself, his song cycle First Steps (2013) was premiered in Romania, and his ‘Metamorphosis’ Variations in New York. His opera, Urban Legend, was premiered eariler this season.  An enthusiastic proponent of the art of transcription, he has transcribed a wide array of works for solo piano by composers ranging from Bach to Penderecki.

In 2014, Dr. Brooks joined the faculty of Wingate University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is an Assistant Professor of Piano and Music Theory.  At Wingate, he founded the new music group ensemble243, which performs extended-techniques-works for “bowed piano. David previously taught at Adelphi University, and at the Pre-College Academy of Stony Brook University in New York.

Dr. Brooks graduated from Western Washington University with degrees in piano and viola, where he studied with Jeffrey Gilliam and Eric Kean.  He also studied with Robin McCabe at the University of Washington and completed his doctorate at Stony Brook University with Christina Dahl. 

In his spare time, David Brooks enjoys studying graphology, statistics, architecture and interior design. In 2019, he continued his lecture-recital series What Makes It So Damn Good?!, perform brand new chamber and solo works at the Charlotte New Music Festival, and learn how to build timber frame houses by hand at the Shelter Institute in Woolwich, ME.

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Susan Bennett Brady, Harp

susan-headshot-2-300x300Susan Bennett Brady (harp, on leave 2020) received her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance (1983) and a Certificate of Special Studies (1984) from the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her major teachers include Marilyn Costello, former principal harpist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Marjorie Tyre, former principal harpist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Kathryn Case Holm and Frances Miller.

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.


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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.


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Elizabeth Adams, Violin

AdamsElizabethElizabeth Adams, violin, has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Russia. She holds both an Masters of Music degree in violin and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian studies from Yale University and a doctorate from l’Université de Montréal. As an undergraduate student, she had the opportunity to study violin and Russian language in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Prof. Adams has studied chamber music with members of the Borodin and Tokyo String Quartets. She also studied piano and chamber music with Anna Balakerskaia and performed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Piano 300 exhibition. In addition, she has participated in summer festivals such as Meadowmount, Orféo, Schlern, and Sösterberg as both a violinist and pianist. Her teachers have included Mikhail Gantvarg, Vladimir Landsman, Ani Kavafian, and Ricardo Cyncynates. Elizabeth Adams has studied pedagogy extensively in both Russia and North America. Her doctoral thesis compares the approaches of pedagogues Yuri Yankelevich and Ivan Galamian. In Montréal, she was on the faculty at the McGill Conservatory of Music; in New Haven she taught at an underprivileged public school and at the Neighborhood Music School. Her students have been accepted at the Montréal Conservatoire, received highest marks on McGill/Royal Conservatory examinations, and been prize winners in numerous competitions. She specializes in injury prevention and recovery. Prof. Adams has been in demand as a performer, coach, and clinician. She is a frequent coach for the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and is pianist for their Music Buddies mentorship program. As a freelancer, she has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Opera, Baltimore Lyric Opera, National Philharmonic and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Elizabeth joined the George Mason University School of Music as Professor of Violin in 2013 where she is the head of strings, teaches violin, viola, pedagogy, and coaches chamber music. She is a faculty member at the Levine School, at the Orféo Festival in Italy, and maintains a private studio.

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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” (The Boston Globe) . Her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia, and she has been described as playing with a “very beautiful tone” (The Gathering Note) and “irrepressible élan” (The Seattle Times).

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Smith performs regularly at numerous festivals and series around the country such as the Concordia Chamber Ensemble, Festival Mozaic, Lenape Chamber Ensemble, Mainly Mozart Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society.  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 national broadcast 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 and conductor Emmanuel Villaume.  Since then she has performed concerti with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, Festival Mozaic Orchestra, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Classical Players.  Growing up in the Boston area, she has also appeared as soloist with various orchestras in New England including a performance at the Hatch Shell in Boston as part of the Landmark Orchestra Series.  As a concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra she has worked with many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson-Thomas, Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan.

In addition to performing the masterpieces of the 17th through the 20th century, Emily is also a strong advocate of new music. She has premiered dozens of new works, including the world premiere of Dan Visconti’s Silvertone which was commissioned for her debut recital in Chicago at the Music in the Loft series.  As the founding first violinist of the Tessera Quartet, she has worked closely with composer and pianist Lowell Liebermann, performing his Piano Quintet with the composer at the piano, and has recorded a world-premiere album of Harold Brown’s complete works for String Quartet on Albany Records. She is currently working on performance practice research on Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Théâtre (1994).

Despite her busy performance schedule, Emily is dedicated to education and maintains various teaching and outreach activities. She served on the Violin faculty of the undergraduate department of Stony Brook University and has given masterclasses and educational outreach performances wherever her violin takes her.  One of the most rewarding musical experiences of her life was teaching, giving masterclasses, and performing with young musicians in the la Red music program in Medellin, Colombia over two consecutive years.  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 has received numerous awards and scholarships.  She is a winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, the Brockton, Newton and Waltham Symphony Concerto Competitions, and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in the junior division.  Ms. Smith holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, and as a recipient of the prestigious Staller Scholar Award, she 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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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.


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Simon Smith, violin

SIMON SMITH is a violinist of wide ranging interests. He has been active as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher worldwide for 30 years.

After his London debut recital he was hailed in The Times as “a virtuoso who is at once darkly cool and immensely persuasive” and for “selfless playing, devoted to making the music exist as fully as possible” and praised in The Guardian for “startling talent”. An encore at a subsequent London recital was described in The Strad magazine as being “played with the characteristic poignancy and expressive power which made this concert so enchanting” 

Recently his disc of solo violin works by Kurtag and Bartok drew praise in The Strad Magazine as a “luxuriantly detailed reading” and in Gramophone Magazine for “his thoughtful, sympathetic performances”

He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Philharmonia, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Recitals have included the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. He has performed extensively across Russia with recitals and concerto performances from Moscow to Vladivostock, and played concertos in Hong Kong and Beijing. His repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary and has a number of ongoing projects to expand the violin repertoire through commission and rediscovery of lost works.

A committed chamber musician, Simon was a member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Octet, performing in concert halls and broadcasts worldwide. Other projects have included the release of a CD of duos and trios by Kodaly and Dohnanyi

In 2018, Simon Smith joined the mentor faculty of the National Music Festival. In 2019 he joined the staff of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, having previously taught at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from 2004. He teaches specialist young musicians at the Royal College of Music Junior Department in London and is Co-ordinator of Strings Studies at Wells Cathedral School.

In addition to masterclasses throughout the UK he has visited and taught in institutions such as Central Conservatoire, Beijing; Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong; Zhiganov State Conservatoire, Kazan, Russia, and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and School of the Arts in Singapore. In 2018 he gave a recital and masterclasses at the Moscow Conservatoire. He has been on the jury for international competitions, including as chair of a new competition in Kazan, Russia.

He plays on a Rogeri violin, made in 1708. He acts as a consultant to Viaduct Violins in Paris.

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Francesca Anderegg, Violin

Hailed by the New York Times for her “rich tone” and “virtuosic panache,” violinist Francesca Anderegg (on leave, 2020) delivers insightful accounts of contemporary and classical music. Through her inventive programming, active composer collaborations, and precise yet impassioned interpretations, Anderegg has earned renown as a musical explorer of the first order. “This was playing that had it all — taste, mastery, sensuality.” – Norman Lebrecht, The Arts Journal.

As a recitalist, Francesca Anderegg explores a personal interest in diverse musical traditions through the creation of concert programs with deep cultural and narrative threads. Upcoming concerts include performances of contemporary Latin American works drawing inspiration equally from folk heritage and the European avant-garde, traditional Russian repertoire, and a “Canciones Populares” program of works inspired by popular music ranging from jazz and blues to folk dances. Anderegg brings her exploration home with a program of recent compositions and commissions from a new generation of U.S. composers, including Clint Needham, Hannah Lash, and Andrew Norman. With her husband, the noted Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya, Anderegg has performed a series of his original works exploring magical realism and other fascinating elements of Latin American literature and imagination.

Anderegg’s performances of contemporary music have led to collaborations with some of today’s most prominent composers. At the Lucerne Festival, she has had leading roles in works by Tristan Murail, Bruno Mantovani, Ivan Fedele, and Kaija Saariaho, and performed Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes II for Solo Violin and Electronics in collaboration with IRCAM. At New York’s (le) Poisson Rouge, she performed John Adams’s Shaker Loops and Road Movies. She also worked with New York Philharmonic composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg, performing his Clarinet Quintet throughout New York.

A recent highlight was a tour of Brazil, in which Anderegg performed as soloist with orchestras, taught master classes at Brazilian universities, performed in chamber music venues throughout the country, and taught at a social music project in the northeastern city of Recife at the invitation of the U.S. Consulate. Other highlights include recitals at the Arts Club of Washington, DC, all-Elliott Carter concerts at the Miller Theatre, performances with Itzhak Perlman and members of the Perlman Music Program, and more. Anderegg has performed the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with the St. Olaf Orchestra, Daniel Schnyder’s Violin Concerto with Orchestra for the Next Century and, as winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Ligeti Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra. Her second album of contemporary music Wild Cities was released on New Focus Recordings in 2016 and was featured in The Strad magazine.

Anderegg holds degrees from Harvard and Juilliard, where her teachers included Robert Mann, Ronald Copes, and Naoko Tanaka. In 2016, Ms. Anderegg was awarded a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, given to artists with a “distinctive musical voice.” She is a past recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts. Committed to education and outreach as well as performing, Anderegg is a professor of violin at St. Olaf College, and has taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

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Molly Gebrian, Viola

Molly Gebrian (Viola, on leave, 2020has distinguished herself as an outstanding performer, teacher, and scholar throughout the US and Europe. Her love of contemporary music has led her to collaborate with many composers, often in premieres of works written for her, and she has worked closely with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez for performances at the Lucerne Festival. She spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Paris to undertake an intensive study of contemporary music with the violist/composer Garth Knox. In 2010, she designed a performance project entitled “Trios for Two,” which resulted in seven brand new works for viola and piano/percussion (one player) with pianist/percussionist Danny Holt. This music has been performed throughout the United States, and the project was recently featured in Los Angeles at REDCAT (in Walt Disney Concert Hall). In the 2016/2017 season, they toured the U.S. to celebrate the release of their Trios for Two CD on the Innova Recordings label. 

In addition to Garth Knox, her principal teachers include James Dunham, Carol Rodland, and Peter Slowik. Molly completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in viola performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and also holds a Masters of Music and Graduate Diploma in viola performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and Bachelors degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, in both viola performance and neuroscience. One of her biggest passions is understanding how people learn and experience music, which has led her to collaborate on neuroscience research with leading scientists on music and the brain. She served as the Assistant Director for two interdisciplinary conferences on music and the brain while at Rice, has published papers dealing with music and neuroscience in the Journal of the American Viola Society, Frontiers in Psychology, Flute Talk Magazine, and The Strad, and teaches an honors course on music and the brain at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Her background in neuroscience gives her unique insight into how the brain learns and how musicians can best use this information to their advantage in the practice room.

Given this expertise, she is a frequent presenter on topics having to do with music and neuroscience at conferences, schools, and universities around the country. As a teacher, she has taught recent masterclasses at Interlochen Arts Academy, Ithaca College, Lawrence University, the University of Michigan, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and Vanderbilt University, and was invited as a guest artist/teacher/lecturer to the Polish Viola Forum in Poznan, Poland in April 2017. In addition, she has been a faculty member at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Montecito International Music Festival, and the International School of Stuttgart. Since 2014, she has been the Assistant Professor of Viola and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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Susanna Mendlow, Violoncello

Susanna Mendlow, Guest Violoncello Mentor, has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Central Asia. A versatile musician, she enjoys playing a variety of styles, including classical, ethnic folk, pop, and improvisation. Her projects have brought her to such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Miller Theatre, Symphony Space, Le Poisson Rouge, the Verizon Center, the National Gallery, the National Cathedral, and the Kennedy Center.

Also an accomplished vocalist, Susanna integrates multiple genres into her teaching, playing improvisation games with her students on a regular basis. She has taught undergraduate students at SUNY Stony Brook and currently serves on the faculty at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD. Additionally, she is a teaching artist for the Washington Performing Arts Capital Strings Program and conducts weekly cello sectionals with the George Washington Middle School Orchestra in Alexandria, VA. Her students receive favorable marks in their assessments and share a love of music-making and exploration.

Susanna received her DMA from SUNY Stony Brook, her MM from Michigan State University, and her BA in both psychology and music from Columbia University. She studied cello with Suren Bagratuni, Misha Quint, and Colin Carr. She currently plays in the Kassia Music Collective (with whom she has twice performed in Kent County), QuinTango, the Artelion Trio, and Noam Faingold’s Burning City Orchestra.

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Sarah Rommel, Violoncello

Sarah Rommel (violoncello) is a top prizewinner of the 2014 George Enescu International Cello Competition. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants including a Williamson Foundation Grant, Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant, Anna Sosenko Trust Grant, and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists Award, which led to a subsequent appearance on NPR’s “From the Top”.

Sarah has given solo recitals at Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars Showcase and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in addition to performances in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, France, Italy, England, and Romania. She has actively participated in classes at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Academie Musicale de Villecroze, and IMS Prussia Cove where she has worked closely with distinguished professors such as David Geringas, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, and Paul Katz.

An enthusiastic chamber musician, Sarah was a founding member of the ‘cello quintet SAKURA and has appeared with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble and SHUFFLE Concert. She has also recently toured with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has performed at Music from Angel Fire, NM, Music in May Festival, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, Chamber Music Palisades, Chamber Music Sedona, as well as Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars Series, Chamber Music New Zealand, Yellow Barn, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Marlboro Music Festival. Sarah has collaborated with composers John Adams, Sofia Gubaidulina, Jennifer Higdon, Steve Mackey, and Kaija Saariaho, pianist Jonathan Biss and Gil Kalish, violinists Lucy Chapman, Pamela Frank, Joseph Lin, Scott St. John, and Don Weilerstein, violists Atar Arad, Kim Kashkashian and Nobuko Imai, and cellists Peter Wiley and Ralph Kirshbaum. 

She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Peter Wiley. Previous teachers include Efe Baltacigil and Hans Jørgen Jensen. She recently received her Master’s Degree from the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles studying under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. 

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Ian Hallas, Double Bass

Ian Hallas, double bass, (on leave, 2020) is originally from Northbrook, Illinois.  He  joined the Chicago  Lyric Opera Orchestra at the start of the 2016/17 season. Mr. Hallas holds a Bachelors Degree with Distinction in Research and Creativity from Rice University where he studied with Paul Ellison as well as a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California under David Moore. He has also been heavily influenced by Tim Pitts, Todd Seeber and Chris Hanulik. Prior to winning a position with Lyric, he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and the Grant Park Orchestra.

Ian Hallas is an award-winning fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He was also an invited guest chamber musician at Spoleto Festival USA where he performed with the St. Lawrence Quartet and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Additionally, he has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy.  This season is his second season at NMF.

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Yoshiaki Horiguchi, Double Bass

Yoshiaki Horiguchi, guest double bass mentor, has been acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun for his ability to perform with a “dazzling display of dexterity and panache.” A proponent of music accessibility, Yoshi is an active double bassist, collaborator, pedagogue, and educator who brings music to numerous communities in the DMV region and beyond. Although classically trained, his endeavors span across a broad spectrum of genres having performed in concert halls with the National Philharmonic and Alarm Will Sound, hip-hop clubs with the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, dance halls with The Hungry Monks Swing Band, smoke-filled bars with Classical Revolution, and more. Yoshi 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 has also performed at the Sitka Summer Music Festival, Mesa Arts Center, Iowa Great Lakes Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica, the Kennedy Center, and more.

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

Yoshi 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. During his time at UMBC, he also earned his teaching certificate and won the 2011 concerto competition. Yoshi 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 currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Peabody. He has attended the Hot Springs Music Festival, National Music Festival (five seasons), 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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Robert Stiles, Double Bass / Librarian

Robert Stiles, double bass/librarian (on leave, 2020), 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.


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Karen Slack, guest soprano

Soprano Karen Slack (guest artist, 2021) has been hailed by critics for possessing a lustrous voice of extraordinary beauty and artistry of great dramatic depth American soprano Karen Slack has performed with major conductors in opera houses and concert halls around the world.  She was most recently seen in Verdi’s Aida with Austin Opera,  Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with Arizona Opera and in the West Coast premiere of  Terence Blanchard’s Champion as Emelda Griffith with San Francisco’s Opera Parallele,  Litton’s Porgy and Bess Suite at the Bergen Festival in Norway,  Mahler  Symphony No. 2 with Lexington Philharmonic, Beethoven’s 9th with both Quad City Symphony and Alabama Symphony and a house debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Serena in  Francesca Zambello’s production of  Porgy and Bess which she has performed at both Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera. She can be seen reprising the role of Serena in San Francisco Opera’s production that was released on DVD in 2015. 

 Other recent engagements include: Puccini’s Tosca and Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore both with Arizona Opera, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 on the Curtis Institute of Music Alumni Series,  Sister Rose in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with both Madison Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera and Guest Soloist with the Lexington Chamber Music Festival. She has  also appeared in Verdi’s Aida with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and West Bay Opera, Cilla in Richard Danielpour’s Margret Garner with Michigan Opera Theater, Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with San Francisco Opera and at Carnegie Hall, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with both Sacramento Opera and West Bay Opera and in 2006 Karen stepped in to make her Metropolitan Opera debut and International broadcast debut in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller
 Equally at home in concert repertoire she has been seen in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Spokane, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Italy, Gibraltar (Spain), Munich, Germany and in Australia as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello with the Melbourne Symphony, Mahler Symphony No.2 with Latvian National Symphony, Verdi Requiem with both Madison Symphony and the Sacramento Choral Society, Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with both Albany ProMusica Symphony and Sacramento Choral Society and a guest artist recital at Jackson State University. A 2004 graduate of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program  she was awarded a Schwabacher Debut Recital and was seen as Madame Arkadina in Pasatieri’s The Seagull and as Madeleine in the final scene from Strauss’ CapriccioAfter her summer with the Merola Opera Program in 2002 she was invited to sing Mimi in Western Opera Theater’s National Tour of La Boheme. A native of Philadelphia, PA and a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music she is also and alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program and the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival.  
  At age 18, Karen was the youngest winner in the history of the Rosa Ponselle International Competition for the Vocal Arts held in New York’s Alice Tully Hall. Since then she has gone on to win numerous competitions and  receive many vocal awards including the George London Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Montserrat Caballe International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Liederkranz Award, Astral Artist, Florida Grand Opera Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Competition and the grand prize in the 1st annual Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice held in Los Angeles, CA.
 Upcoming engagements include:  Nashville Opera (debut) as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Serena in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Sydney Symphony (Australia), Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital with flutist Julietta Curenton, Sister Rose in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Verdi Requiem with Canton Symphony and Anna in Puccini’s Le Villi with Scottish Opera (debut). 

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Adrian Rosas, Voice Mentor

Adrian Rosas (voice mentor, bass baritone) has been hailed by the New York Times as “a stalwart bass-baritone with a burnished voice” and in Opera News as a “mellifluous bass-baritone [with] theatrical flair”, Adrian Rosas is an artist with “impressive experience and talent” (The Boston Globe). Adrian has performed with the Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Saratoga, and the Detroit Opera House. As a champion of new and modern music, he has had the opportunity to work on newly written works, including Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket, Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida, Petr Kotik’s Master-Pieces, Matt Aucoin’s Whitman, newly written operas with the American Lyric Theater, American Opera Projects, and the Ostrava Center for New Music in the Czech Republic. Equally versed in concert repertoire, he has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School.

In addition to his career as a singer, Adrian has a passion for education and entrepreneurship. He is the Co-Founder of Arts On Site NYC (, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to supporting the development of artists and encouraging community collaboration,, which offers artists of all disciplines affordable rehearsal studios, classes, and events. As an educator, Adrian is on the voice faculty of the California State Summer School for the Arts, the National Children’s Chorus, and teaches private voice lessons in New York City.

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Alan Rothschild, Piano Technology

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.


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Arts Laureate, Recording Engineering

Arts Laureate is an elite recording team offering second-to-none audio recordings in conjunction with HD video.  Projects include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, NPR’s JazzSet at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Master Chorale, Virginia Opera, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Brevard Festival, Bach Sinfonia, and many others.

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Philip Rosenberg, Explication/Festival Photographer

Philip Rosenberg, explication/Festival Photographer. 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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Marzena Diakun, Guest Conductor

Award-winning conductor MARZENA DIAKUN came to international acclaim in Paris in the 2015/16 season after several concerts with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Her prizes and awards include second prize at the prestigious 59th Prague Spring Competition for Conductors in Czech Republic and at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland (2012), “Polityka Passport” for the best artist in the classical music in 2016 and nominee for the Classical Best Innovation Award in 2019. With the new season 2020/21 she becomes First Invited Guest Conductor with the Orchestre de Chamber de Paris.
Recent engagements include Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, National Warsaw Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquestra Sinfónica do Estado de São Paulo, Jeaner Philharmoniker, Deutsche-Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Göteborg Opera, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Lubljana, Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Istanbul Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.
Maestro Diakun has been mentored by international conductors including Howard Griffiths and Colin Metters in Zurich (2003), Kurt Masur in Wroclaw (2004), Andrey Boreyko in Bern, Pierre Boulez at the Luzern Festival (2011), and Richard Rosenberg at the National Music Festival (2012/2013). In 2015, Diakun was a recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, and won the Taki Concordia Fellowship. Diakun received „Kreatywni Wrocławia” award, and she was nominated to the „Wrocław Music Award” in 2015. She was „The Artist of the Year” in 2013 and obtained „Koszalin Eagle” ~ President of Koszalin award.
In 2010 Marzena Diakun completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Cracow Academy of Music. She is a conducting professor at the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, leading her own conducting class since 2013.
Marzena Diakun will be, in 2021, the first NMF Conducting Apprentice to return as Guest Conductor.

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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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