THE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA                               Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director

FO La Casa photo

The Festival Orchestra 2019

The Festival Orchestra is a major destination for the nation's finest orchestra musicians. Arizona Musicfest is uniquely positioned as the only winter music festival of its kind, offering a superlative ensemble of "all-star" orchestra players for one week each February.  The ensemble performs five concerts over nine days.  The Festival Orchestra is comprised of musicians from the following distinguished institutions:

New York Philharmonic ** Chicago Symphony ** Cleveland Orchestra ** San Francisco Symphony ** Boston Symphony ** Philadelphia Orchestra ** Saint Louis Symphony ** National Symphony ** Toronto Symphony ** Atlanta Symphony ** Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal ** Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ** and many other fine ensembles of North America.

To view individual musician bios, click on photos below. To view the complete 2019 Orchestra Roster click here.

  • First Violin
    Justin Bruns
    Concertmaster
    Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • First Violin
    Charles Dimmick
    Associate Concertmaster
    Portland (ME) Symphony
  • First Violin
    Barrie Cooper
    Memphis Symphony
  • First Violin
    Robert Uchida
    Edmonton Symphony
  • First Violin
    Shannon Nance
    Rochester Philharmonic
  • First Violin
    Kenneth Liao
    New World Symphony
  • First Violin
    Randall Weiss
    Symphony Silicon Valley
  • First Violin
    Marcin Arendt
    IRIS Orchestra
  • First Violin
    Yefim Romanov
    New World Symphony
  • Second Violin
    Yun-Ting Lee
    Principal
    The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Second Violin
    Jennifer Ross
    Associate Principal
    Pittsburgh Symphony (ret.)
  • Second Violin
    Paloma Griffin Hébert
    FearNoMusic
  • Second Violin
    Steven J. Lubiarz
    Calgary Philharmonic
  • Second Violin
    Adelaide Federici
    Atlanta Opera Orchestra
  • Second Violin
    Daga Suchon
    Phoenix Symphony
  • Second Violin
    Caroline Slack
    Elgin Symphony
  • Viola
    Chiara Kingsley Dieguez
    Principal
    Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
  • Viola
    Jacob Shack
    Associate Principal
    Baltimore Symphony
  • Viola
    Ben Geller
    Charlotte Symphony
  • Viola
    Melissa Matson
    Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Viola
    Jennifer Puckett
    Memphis Symphony
  • Viola
    Matthew Dane
    River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
  • Viola
    Ames Asbell
  • Cello
    Brian Thornton
    Principal
    The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Cello
    Jeff Hood
    Associate Principal
    Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Cello
    David Heiss
    Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Cello
    Noriko Kishi
    Utah Symphony
  • Cello
    Charles Tyler
  • Cello
    Brooks Whitehouse
    Winston-Salem Symphony
  • Cello
    Jake Hanegan
    Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Double Bass
    Robin Kesselman
    Principal
    Houston Symphony Orchestra
  • Double Bass
    Tim Dilenschneider
    Associate Principal
    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Double Bass
    Timothy Spears
    Symphony Silicon Valley / California Symphony
  • Double Bass
    Paul Sharpe
    Winston-Salem Symphony
  • Double Bass
    Eric Shetzen
    Jacaranda / Westside Chamber Players
  • Flute
    Christina Jennings
    Principal
  • Flute
    Matthew Roitstein
    Houston Symphony Orchestra
  • Flute
    Rachel Braude
    Boston Ballet Orchestra / Boston Philharmonic
  • Piccolo
    Rachel Braude
    Boston Ballet Orchestra / Boston Philharmonic
  • Oboe
    Erin Hannigan
    Principal
    Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Oboe
    John Hammarback
    Winston-Salem Symphony
  • Oboe
    Rebecca Kemper Scarnati
    Flagstaff Symphony
  • English Horn
    Rebecca Scarnati
    English Horn
    Flagstaff Symphony
  • Clarinet
    William Hudgins
    Principal
    Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Clarinet
    Steve Hanusofski
    Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
  • Bass Clarinet
    Steve Hanusofski
    Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
  • Bassoon
    Glenn Einschlag
    Principal
    Buffalo Philharmonic
  • Bassoon
    Miles Manor
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • French Horn
    Mark Houghton
    Principal
    Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • French Horn
    Jamie Leff
    Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
  • French Horn
    Stephanie Blaha
    Grant Park Orchestra / Pittsburgh Opera
  • French Horn
    Jessica Valeri
    San Francisco Symphony
  • Trumpet
    William Gerlach
    Principal
    National Symphony Orchestra
  • Trumpet
    Michael Walk
    St. Louis Symphony
  • Trumpet
    Wesley Nance
    Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Trombone
    Matthew Vaughn
    Principal
    Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Trombone
    Donna Parkes
    Louisville Orchestra
  • Bass Trombone
    Darren McHenry
    Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Tuba
    Alan Baer
    Principal
    New York Philharmonic
  • Timpani
    Jonathan Haas
    Principal
    American Symphony Orchestra / New York Pops
  • Percussion
    Steve Fitch
    Principal
    Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
  • Harp
    Allegra Lilly
    Principal
    St. Louis Symphony
  • Keyboard
    Lawrence Loeber
    Principal
    Phoenix Symphony Orchestra

Justin Bruns

Justin Bruns

Justin Bruns, Concertmaster,  began violin studies at three and made his solo orchestral debut at nine. He has appeared as soloist and recitalist throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Bruns currently serves as Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, which he joined in 2006; he is also Concertmaster of the Cabrillo Festival. Before moving to Atlanta, he was Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony and Concertmaster of the Boulder Bach Festival. Bruns has been Guest Concertmaster with the Memphis Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Louisville Orchestra, and São Paulo Symphony. He has appeared with the Atlanta, Georgia, and Michigan Chamber Players, and at the Lake Tahoe and Savannah Music Festivals, San Miguel Chamber Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall. He has an affinity for the Brahms, Beethoven, and Mozart sonata cycles. In addition to recording with Pearl Jam, Faith Hills, and Bruce Springsteen, he has premiered works by Michael Gandolfi, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Kurth, Seyed Safavynia, and DJ Sparr. Bruns earned his master’s at Rice University. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest

Charles Dimmick

Charles Dimmick

Charles Dimmick is Concertmaster of the Portland (ME) Symphony. He studied at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music with former Tokyo String Quartet violinist Peter Oundjian and Won Bin Yim. After moving to Boston, he studied with former Boston Symphony Concertmaster Joseph Silverstein and joined the Portland Symphony. He was appointed Concertmaster in 2002. He also serves as Concertmaster of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Assistant Concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Mr. Dimmick appears frequently as soloist with orchestras throughout New England. In January, he was featured in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade in a performance with the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra. He is also highly sought after as a chamber musician and teacher. Charles lives in the Boston area with wife, piccolo player Rachel Braude, and young daughter, Chloe. Now in  his tenth year at Arizona Musicfest, he is serving as Sinfonia Concertmaster and Associate Concertmaster for the Festival Orchestra concert on February 19th. 

Barrie Cooper

Barrie Cooper

Barrie Cooper is Acting Concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony. She started violin studies at four with John Kendall at the Suzuki program of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Later on, she served as Kendall’s assistant, traveling across the US and Japan to workshops and conferences. Barrie studied viola (because none of her friends would) in order to join the Più Mosso Quartet, which gave numerous concerts in the Midwest and East Coast. After attending Ithaca College, Barrie graduated from the Peabody Conservatory, where she won the Marbury Violin Competition and the Josef Kasper Prize for excellence in violin performance. Barrie has spent the last 14 summers as Principal Second Violin at the American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra in Graz, Austria. A die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, she shares her home with two beautiful dogs and five wonderful cats.  This is her third year at Arizona Musicfest, where she is also serving as Associate Concertmaster of the Sinfonia. 

Robert Uchida

Robert Uchida

Robert Uchida, violin, is Concertmaster of the Edmonton Symphony. He held the same position with Symphony Nova Scotia and previously was Associate Concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He has performed with Edgar Meyer, Ksenija Sidorova, Sarah Slean, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Tianwa Yang, and Pinchas Zukerman. Robert has served as Concertmaster for such conductors as Valery Gergiev and Kurt Masur. Other engagements as guest leader include the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and the Vancouver Symphony. He serves on the faculty at the University of Alberta and has held positions at Acadia University, the Manhattan School of Music and the National Arts Centre of Canada’s Young Artists Program. Robert has given masterclasses across Canada and works with the students of the ESO’s YONA-Sistema program. His teachers include Patinka Kopec, Heratch Manoukian, David Stewart, and Pinchas Zukerman. His recordings include the award-winning Requiem 21.5: Violin Concerto by Tim Brady.  [An active volunteer, he has been inducted into the Ronald McDonald House’s Character Club in Edmonton. Delete if Rbt is sponsored] Robert performs on an 1820 Lorenzo Ventapane violin made in Naples. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he is serving as Associated Concertmaster for the Festival Orchestra concerts on February 21st-24th.  

Shannon Nance

Shannon Nance

Violinist Shannon Nance is Assistant Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, having joined the orchestra in 1993. She holds two degrees from the Eastman School, where she studied with Catherine Tait and Zvi Zeitlin. Shannon has appeared as soloist with the RPO, the SUNY Geneseo Orchestra, the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic, and the Lincoln (NB) Symphony. An active chamber musician, she is the violinist of the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues from the RPO and faculty members from Eastman. Shannon is a dedicated teacher and currently has students of varying ages in her violin studio. She also directs the String Intensive Study Program at the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake. In this, her fifth year at Arizona Musicfest, she is also serving as Sinfonia Principal Second Violin. 

Kenneth Liao

Kenneth Liao

Kenneth Liao, violin, is a second-year Fellow at the New World Symphony. He made his solo debut with the National Philharmonic at Maryland’s Music Center at Strathmore. He has since soloed with the National Orchestral Institute, Diamond Bar Symphony and Janaer Philharmonie. Mr. Liao has served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, the University of Southern California’s Thornton Symphony, and National Orchestral Institute. He has appeared as a substitute violinist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and in ensemble and solo performances at numerous venues, among them Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, Kennedy Center, and Suntory Hall. Mr. Liao began playing violin at eight. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Midori Goto, and recently completed his master’s at The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of David Chan. Mr. Liao plays a Nicolo Amati violin, on loan through the generosity of the Stradivari Society of Chicago. This his first year at Arizona Musicfest.

Randall Weiss

Randall Weiss

Randall Weiss, violin, made his solo debut after winning the Victoria (BC) Concerto Competition. In high school, he appeared in the Rice Krispies commercial, Music Camp. His principal teachers include Paul Kling (University of Victoria), Tadeusz Wronski (Indiana University), and Sylvia Rosenberg (Peabody Conservatory). Assistant Concertmaster of Symphony Silicon Valley since 1985, he has also played with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras. Randall has been Assistant Concertmaster at Music in the Mountains (CA), Concertmaster with the Santa Cruz County Symphony, and Acting Concertmaster of the Modesto Symphony. He has been a faculty member at Eastern Music Festival since 1989, where he serves as Principal Second Violin. Randall is Founder and Music Director of the series Music in the Mishkan, now in its 19th season. His Tales from Terezin, recorded with his chamber ensemble, the Bridge Players, is a featured CD at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. In this, his 21st year at Arizona Musicfest, he will also perform in the February 26th concert, A Silenced Legacy. 

Marcin Arendt

Marcin Arendt

Marcin Arendt, violin, is a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Currently Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis and on the faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp. he is a member of the Ceruti String Quartet. Marcin also serves as Concertmaster of the IRIS Orchestra. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Memphis in Poland summer festival, which features music in a wide mix of styles, including blues and jazz. Marcin has performed alongside renowned artists, among them Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Clay Aiken, Dawn Upshaw, Corky Siegel, and Joshua Bell. He earned a master’s and doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Performer’s Certificate from the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in his native Poland. He plays a Jan van Rooyen violin, modeled after the Guarneri “Carrodus”; his bow was made by David Forbes. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he will also perform in the February 26th concert, A Silenced Legacy. 

Yefim Romanov

Yefim Romanov

Yefim Romanov, a Russian-American violinist, is a first-year Fellow at the New World Symphony. He made his solo debut at nine with Camerata of Kazakhstan and has given solo performances with orchestras throughout the United States. Mr. Romanov has been Concertmaster of the Miami Music Festival, Ocala Symphony and Gainesville Symphony. He has also performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. His festival experience includes Bowdoin, Colorado College, and Banff. As a chamber musician, Mr. Romanov has worked with members of the Brentano Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and Ying Quartet. He has performed alongside Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and Valery Gergiev. Mr. Romanov received a career grant from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation and the Henry and Lucy Moses Fellowship at Yale University. Mr. Romanov holds an Artist Diploma from Yale and a master’s from Indiana University. His primary teachers have been the Ilya Kaler, Kevork Mardirossian, and Hyo Kang. Aside from music, Mr. Romanov enjoys tennis, ballroom dancing and playing in chess tournaments. This is his fourth year at Arizona Musicfest

Yun-Ting Lee

Yun-Ting Lee

Taiwanese-American violinist Yun-Ting Lee is a member of the Second Violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Lee holds Bachelor and Master degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where his principal teacher was William Preucil, David Cerone, and David Updegraff. He has also worked extensively with Phyllis Skoldberg and Ming-De Zhang. A Grand Prize winner of the Phoenix Symphony Guild Young Artist Competition, Mr. Lee has also been a winner of the Music Academy of the West concerto competition, the CIM concerto competition, and the Music Teacher’s National Association competitions. In addition, he has appeared as soloist with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra,  McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony. Mr. Lee’s performances have been heard on WCLV 104.9 and NPR’s “Performance Today”. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Lee received the Dr. Bennett Levine Memorial Award in Chamber Music from CIM. His chamber groups have performed in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. He has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Cavani, and Tokyo String Quartets. Yun-Ting has performed as guest concertmaster for Symphony Orchestra Augusta. He has also played in concerts with the San Diego Symphony, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Yun-Ting won a position with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2012, and has been a member of Canton Symphony Orchestra and CityMusic Cleveland. He is an alumnus of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Holland International Music Sessions, Encore School for Strings, and the Pacific Music Festival. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest. 

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross, Associate Principal Second Violin, has a varied career as orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. She began as Associate Concertmaster of the Honolulu Symphony at 19, graduated from the Curtis Institute, and became a member of the Cincinnati Symphony. Ms. Ross then spent nearly 20 years as Principal Second Violin of the Pittsburgh Symphony, with whom she toured worldwide, recorded extensively (including two Grammy Awards), and performed as soloist. She has been a guest artist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Currently, she is Principal Second Violin of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Ross has collaborated with great artists, among them Pinchas Zuckerman, Johannes Moser, Denis Kozhukhin, Lynn Harrell, Jaime Laredo, and Orli Shaham. Her festival experience includes more than 35 summers at Grand Teton Music Festival; she is a founding member of Jackson Hole Chamber Music. Ms. Ross coaches regularly at the New World Symphony and the National Youth Orchestra, and gives masterclasses, audition clinics, and lectures across the US. This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest.   

Paloma Griffin Hébert

Paloma Griffin Hébert

Paloma Griffin Hébert, violin, is a member of FearNoMusic, a modern classical ensemble based in Portland (OR). Formerly Assistant Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony, she has also served as Guest Concertmaster of the Eugene Symphony and tutti violinist in Norway’s Kristiansand Symfonieorkester. Her solo appearances include performances with the Oregon Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, and at Arizona Musicfest. As a member of Pink Martini, Paloma performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and l’Orchestre de Paris, and appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, on The Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. During the summer, Paloma is a guest artist at the Oregon Bach Festival and a faculty member at chamber music programs hosted by Oregon State University and Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts. She studied with Charles Castleman at the Eastman School and Ian Swensen at the San Francisco Conservatory. This is her 13th year at Arizona Musicfest

Steven J. Lubiarz

Steven J. Lubiarz

Steven Lubiarz, a native of Troy, MI, joined the Second Violin section of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003. He began musical studies at five and received his bachelor’s from DePauw University, studying with Dan Rizner and Stephen Boe as well as Sebastian Gürtler during his semester study in Vienna. He earned his master’s at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts as a student of Cyrus Forough and Joseph Golan, while also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Before moving to Canada, he was a member of the New World Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician and soloist, Steven has performed in the Czech Republic, Austria, and throughout Japan. He is a member of Ensemble Resonance, a contemporary chamber ensemble, and managing member of Bell’arte Strings. Mr. Lubiarz was founder of the Port Elizabeth Chamber Music Festival in Caseville, Michigan. Steven has taught in New York, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona; and continues today at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary. He also volunteers as a mentor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Calgary. Lubiarz performs on an 1897 Leandro Bisiach, a gift from his first teacher, the late Anne Dodge. This is his ninth year at Arizona Musicfest

Adelaide Federici

Adelaide Federici

Adelaide Federici is Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Johns Creek Symphony, and a member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. A frequent substitute with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she also performs with the Atlanta Chamber Players, and the contemporary music ensembles Bent Frequency and Sonic Generator. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, Ms. Federici has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Colorado, Austria, The Netherlands, and Germany. This is her 11th year at Arizona Musicfest.   

Daga Suchon

Daga Suchon

Dagmara Suchoń-Hobbs, violin, was born in Poznań, Poland. Following family tradition, she began music studies early (at three), taught by her father, Stanislaw, Assistant Concertmaster of the Poznań Philharmonic. A student of Michal Grabarczyk, Dagmara graduated with honors from the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Conservatory. She has also studied with Wanda Wilkomirska, Marina Jashvili, Abram Stern, Alexander Treger, Jeremy Cohen, and Murray Adler. Her performing experience has ranged from early music ensembles, symphony orchestras, and film score recordings to jazz groups, flamenco guitarists, and corporate shows. Daga was the artist behind Space Violins, an electric violin duo founded by her sister, Joanna. She has appeared internationally with musicians such as Joshua Bell, Antonio Meneses, Garrick Ohlsson, Andrzej Ratusinski, Sarah Chang, Ruggero Raimondi, James Galway, and John Williams. Since moving to the US, she has taught, given recitals, and appeared with orchestras, including The Phoenix Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Symphony, New West Symphony, The Phoenix Opera, The American Youth Symphony, and MusicaNova Orchestra, where she served as Concertmaster. Dagmara is also a member of Duo Polonaise, formed with organist Ilona Kubiaczyk-Adler to promote refined, brilliant and obscure music for violin and organ. This is her third year at Arizona Musicfest.   

Caroline Slack

Caroline Slack

Caroline Slack, violinist, is originally from Vashon Island (WA), has now established an active career in the Chicago area. She performs frequently with the Elgin Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera, Britt Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lake Forest Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Caroline appears with the Grant Street String Quartet and has collaborated with the International Chamber Artists, Fifth House Ensemble and the Q Ensemble. Previously, she also performed regularly with the Kansas City Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, Victoria Bach Festival. She was a founding member of the Quartus Chamber Players in Houston. Caroline holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin. This is her second year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Chiara Kingsley Dieguez

Chiara Kingsley Dieguez

Chiara Dieguez, Principal Viola, serves in the same role for the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the McLean (VA) Orchestra. She holds a bachelor’s from Arizona State University and a master’s from the University of Maryland. Her major teachers include Daniel Foster, William Magers, and Michael Tree.  She has been a member of the Sonore String Quartet, Phoenix’s Downtown Chamber Series, and San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival. Ms. Dieguez has appeared as soloist with the McLean Orchestra, Maryland Chamber Symphony, University of Maryland Symphony and the ASU Chamber Orchestra. She performs regularly with the National and Baltimore Symphonies, and spends the summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival. A member of the IBIS Chamber Ensemble in Arlington, she has appeared on the Sundays at Three chamber series in Baltimore. Ms. Dieguez was Associate Principal Viola of The Phoenix Symphony for seven years. This is her seventh season at Arizona Musicfest.

Jacob Shack

Jacob Shack

Jacob Shack was appointed Fourth Chair Viola of the Baltimore Symphony in 2016. He earned his master’s at The Juilliard School as a student of Misha Amory and Heidi Castleman, and frequently performed as Co-Principal of the Juilliard Orchestra. He has toured the world as a chamber and orchestral musician, most recently in Hong Kong at Bright Sheng’s Intimacy of Creativity Festival and in Colombia at the Medellín International Music Festival. His festival experience includes Aspen, Sarasota, Spoleto USA, and Tanglewood Music Center. Jacob has also been recognized in competitions, among them the Washington International Competition for Strings and the Stulberg International String Competition. He has performed with artists such as James Buswell, Steven Doane, James Dunham, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert Levin, and Joseph Silverstein. In 2015, Jacob was violist of the New Fromm Players, an ensemble-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center devoted to contemporary music performance. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he is serving as Associate Principal Viola.

Ben Geller

Ben Geller

Benjamin Geller is Principal Viola of the Charlotte Symphony. He began playing violin at age three. At Butler University, he continued violin studies with Larry Shapiro and was a viola student of Michael Isaac Strauss. He also studied jazz with trumpeter Mark Buselli and pianist Gary Walters. Ben earned his master’s at The Juilliard School, studying with Toby Appel. He has been a member of the New World Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and Rochester Philharmonic. His festival experience includes the National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and New York Strings Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. This is his fifth year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he will also perform in the February 26th concert, A Silenced Legacy. 

Melissa Matson

Melissa Matson

Melissa Matson is Principal Violist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, where she is often a featured soloist. Since 1987, she has frequently performed as a chamber musician with Chamber Music Rochester and the Skaneateles (NY) Festival. Ms. Matson is Artistic Director of First Muse Chamber Music and a member of the Amenda Quartet. As a founding member of the Chester String Quartet, she performed throughout the US and won top awards at the Munich and Portsmouth (England) Competitions. A faculty member at the Eastman School, she teaches orchestral repertoire for viola and mentors the violists of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Ms. Matson received her bachelor’s, master’s, and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman, studying with Martha Katz. She also studied with Heidi Castleman and Karen Tuttle. Now in her fourth year at Arizona Musicfest, she is also serving as Sinfonia Principal Viola.

Jennifer Puckett

Jennifer Puckett

Jennifer Puckett has served as Principal Viola of the Memphis Symphony for 12 years. Previously, she spent three years with the New World Symphony and also played with the Colorado Symphony and the Alabama Symphony. Mrs. Puckett received her bachelor’s as a violinist from the University of Alabama and, after switching to viola, her master’s from the University of Colorado. A dedicated teacher, she founded the East Memphis Music Academy in 2008. Currently, her private studio includes violin and viola students of all ages. Summer festivals include Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA, and the Brevard Music Center. She has been on the faculty at the Eastern Music Festival since 2005. This is Mrs. Puckett’s ninth year at Arizona Musicfest, during which she is also serving as Sinfonia Associate Principal Viola.   

Matthew Dane

Matthew Dane

Matthew Dane serves as Principal Viola of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston and Opera Colorado. He is also a member of the Boulder Piano Quartet and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. His chamber music festival appearances include OK Mozart, Portland (ME), Chamber Music Quad Cities, Ruby Mountains, Calgary’s Land’s End, Snake River, and Tanglewood. Matt recorded quintets of Lowell Liebermann with the Boulder Piano Quartet and Jon Manasse for Koch Records. He has appeared as soloist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, ROCO, BCOC, and St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, among others. He spends summers teaching at Greenwood Music Camp in Massachusetts and his own Boulder Violist Sessions. Dane co-founded the Brightmusic Ensemble in Oklahoma City and maintains a private teaching studio in Boulder. He is also an avid violist d’amore and has worked with composers to create several new works for the unusual instrument. This is his ninth season at Arizona Musicfest

Ames Asbell

Ames Asbell

Ames Asbell, viola, has performed classical, tango, and popular music in venues ranging from concert halls to clubs on five continents. She appears on CDs, film scores and broadcasts, including the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy-winning Home, Richard Linklater’s arthouse hit Waking Life, plus five appearances on Austin City Limits. From 2001 to 2005, she toured globally with rock legend David Byrne. After earning her doctorate from The University of Texas, Ames put down roots in Austin, where she is the violist of the classical crossover Tosca String Quartet, Principal Violist of the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, a member of the Austin Symphony, and on the faculty at Texas State University, San Marcos. A passionate teacher, Ames has twice taught the top high school violist in All-State competition; former students have gone on schools such as Eastman, Rice, Oberlin, Peabody, Interlochen and Idyllwild. In 2010, she launched the Texas State String Project, which offers string instruction to local elementary students. This is her seventh year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Brian Thornton

Brian Thornton

Brian Thornton, Associate Principal Cello, has been a member of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1994. A musician of many interests, he has performed as cellist and conductor in venues ranging from The White House to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. As soloist, he has performed with over 30 ensembles throughout the country. Brian has premiered works of lesser-known (Donald Erb) and well-known (John Adams) composers, and helped introduce over 100 new works. He has given masterclasses from California to Germany,  passing on knowledge given him by his teachers Lev Aronson, Lynn Harrell, John Sharp, and Steven Geber. He especially relishes performing to benefit special causes, such as the Red Cross concerts for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. He spends his days enjoying time with his wife, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Woda, and daughters, Maya and Madelyn. In this, his eighth season at Arizona Musicfest, he will also perform in the February 26th concert, A Silenced Legacy.  

Jeff Hood

Jeff Hood

Jeffrey Hood began playing the cello at two using a toy guitar and a chopstick for a bow; he began real lessons a year later. A native of Portage, MI, he graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, then received his bachelor’s and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School and a master’s from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His primary teachers include Steven Doane, Stephen Geber and Crispin Campbell. He spent two years as a Fellow with the New World Symphony, and was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Hood joined the Dallas Symphony in September, 2011. This is his first season at Arizona Musicfest, during which he is also serving as Principal Cello for the Sinfonia. 

David Heiss

David Heiss


David Heiss, cello,  is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and performs as cello continuo soloist in operas of Mozart and Handel. In past seasons, he has joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the same capacity for performances of Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Heiss is Principal Cellist of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and a founding member of the OMNI Piano Quartet. He has premiered numerous works, including concertos by Theodore Antoniou and Irving Robbin, and a cello sonata dedicated to him by Robert Manno. On Broadway, he was featured in the Tony Award-winning production of The Elephant Man as on-stage solo cellist, performing his own arrangements of incidental music.  His television credits include n The Today Show and Late Night with David Letterman; his career has been profiled in 2010 and 2013 on Expressions, a series produced by the PBS station in his hometown of Binghamton, NY. He studied with famed cellist Leonard Rose at The Juilliard School and plays a John Betts cello, dated 1789. This is his ninth season at Arizona Musicfest.  

Noriko Kishi

Noriko Kishi

Noriko Kishi, cello, earned her bachelor’s at the Eastman School of Music and her master’s at the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers were Irene Sharp, Robert Sylvester, and Bernard Greenhouse. She has been Principal Cello and featured soloist with the New World Symphony and a member of the Sacramento Symphony; from 2001-2015, she performed regularly with the Utah Symphony. Noriko has appeared with notable conductors, including Bernstein, Solti, and Ozawa, and participated in masterclasses with Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the Quarneri and Cleveland Quartets. An advocate of contemporary music, Ms. Kishi has dedicated more than two decades to performing works of living composers. For the past three years, she has been artist-in-residence for the Salty Cricket Composers Collective, premiering solo and chamber works by Utah composers. She also served as general manager for the Nova Chamber Music Series from 2004-2010. A native of San Francisco, Noriko taught at the San Francisco School of the Arts, the San Francisco Community Music Center, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Preparatory Department. Currently, she is on the faculty of the University of Utah Preparatory Division and teaches privately. A member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (CA) for 22 years, this is her 21st year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Charles Tyler

Charles Tyler

Charles Tyler, cello, has a varied career as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. As a student, he won the Concerto Competition at the Cleveland Institute, was top prizewinner of the Osaka International Music Competition, and winner of the Atwater Kent Strings Competition. Charles served as Co-Principal Cello of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan for three seasons, where he also appeared in chamber music and solo recital concerts. His festival experience includes Tanglewood, Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra. Principal teachers and mentors include Richard Aaron, Tanya Carey, Joel Krosnick, Antonio Lysy, and Michel Strauss. He holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute, The Juilliard School, and the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. A dedicated pedagogue, Charles was the teaching assistant in chamber music and cello while at UCLA and currently maintains a private studio in Los Angeles. Now in his seventh year at Arizona Musicfest, he is also serving as Sinfonia Associate Principal Cello. 

Brooks Whitehouse

Brooks Whitehouse

Brooks Whitehouse, cello, has performed and taught throughout the country and abroad.  As founding members of The Guild Trio, he and his wife, violinist Janet Orenstein, won both the USIA Artistic Ambassador and Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competitions, and toured extensively in the US, Europe, Canada and Australia. He is the co-creator with Paul Sharpe of the popular Low & Lower, a cello/bass duo that has developed a whole new genre in answer to the question, “Cello and bass... seriously?” Whitehouse has appeared as guest artist with the American Chamber Players, Villa Musica (Germany), the Ciompi Quartet, The Apple Hill Chamber Players, and the New Zealand String Quartet.  He recently performed in Carnegie Hall with the Garth Newell Piano Quartet as part of their Fortieth Anniversary Celebration. Whitehouse is on the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Previously, he held professorships at the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Jake Hanegan

Jake Hanegan

Cellist Jacob Hanegan is joining the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra for the first time this season. A 2018 alum of The New World Symphony, Jacob spent his time there working with leading cellists and conductors from around the world under the direction of music director Michael Tilson Thomas. As a lover of opera, Jacob spent two seasons performing with the Des Moines Metro Opera along with serving as principal of the Aspen Opera Center Orchestra, the Shepherd School Opera Orchestra, and the Eastman Opera Orchestra. Jacob has performed chamber music collaborations with members of the Cleveland Quartet, Emerson Quartet, along with many contemporary music performances in Florida, Texas, and New York. Mr. Hanegan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Steven Doane (BM), and Rice University Shepherd School of Music where he studied with Desmond Hoebig (MM). Jake is currently enjoying time in his home of Seattle performing with the Pacific Northwest Ballet along with musical collaborations with his much-acclaimed harpist partner Julia Coronelli. 

Robin Kesselman

Robin Kesselman

Robin Kesselman, Principal Bass, was appointed to that same position for the Houston Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada in 2014. He has performed as Guest Principal Bass with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic, travelled internationally with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and appeared with the National, Atlanta, and Baltimore Symphonies. Kesselman frequently performs as a soloist and chamber musician, and has presented recital programs at various universities across the country. He was featured in Krzysztof Penderecki’s Duo Concertante during the composer’s Carnegie Hall residency in collaboration with the Curtis Institute. Upcoming engagements include leading the bass sections of the Grand Teton and Mainly Mozart festival orchestras. He has given masterclasses at the Universities of Southern California and Michigan; Northwestern, Indiana, and Baylor Universities; and the North Carolina School for the Arts. Kesselman holds a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California and an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute. His primary teachers include David Allen Moore, Harold Robinson, Edgar Meyer, Paul Ellison, Chris Hanulik, and Virginia Dixon. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Tim Dilenschneider

Tim Dilenschneider

Tim Dilenschneider, Associate Principal Bass, was recently appointed to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was a member of the New World Symphony and a frequent substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra, touring with them across Europe and Asia. Mr. Dilenschneider began playing double bass at eight and studied with Time for Three bassist Ranaan Meyer. He graduated from the Curtis Institute as a student of Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer. While at Curtis, he performed with the Allentown, Lancaster and Harrisburg Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Dilenschneider has been a Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Among his numerous recitals are the “Curtis on Tour” around New England and on their “East Coast 2×4” Grammy Award-winning CD. Mr. Dilenschneider has performed in notable venues, including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. In 2016, he joined the New York Symphony Ensemble tour in Japan, where he performed and worked with students participating in local youth orchestra side-by-sides. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest

Timothy Spears

Timothy Spears

Timothy Spears, bass, is a member of Symphony Silicon Valley and California Symphony. He also appears frequently with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet Orchestras, and other Bay Area ensembles. He performed with Philharmonia Baroque in the East Coast debuts of Acis & Galatea and Teseo at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood. His interests range from early to contemporary music, and include premieres of works by composers from John Adams and Olivier Messiaen to Mason Bates and Chris Thile. Mr. Spears enjoys a longtime association as Principal Bass with Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra. For 25 years, he was Principal Bass with Music in the Mountains (CA), resigning to serve as Assistant Librarian and Orchestra Manager with San Francisco Opera. He has been a member of the Filarmónica de Caracas and the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, following studies with Diana Gannett Mizelle and C. Dee Moses. This is his 26th year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he is also serving as Principal Bass for the Sinfonia. 

Paul Sharpe

Paul Sharpe

Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has presented recitals and masterclasses internationally, including at Brazil’s International Double Bass Encounter, France’s Bass2008, the World Bass Festival in Poland, the Cleveland Institute, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy, among many others. He has been featured soloist with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony, Brazil’s Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. Paul also enjoys performing with the eclectic bass quartet Bad Boys of Double Bass, and in the duo Low and Lower with cellist Brooks Whitehouse. He has been a faculty member at Texas Tech, University of North Texas, and Augustana College. His principal teachers are Jeff Bradetich and Diana Gannett. This is his tenth season at Arizona Musicfest.  

Eric Shetzen

Eric Shetzen

Eric Shetzen, bass, earned his bachelor’s and master’s at The Juilliard School as a student of New York Philharmonic bassists Orin O’Brien and David Grossman. He has served as Principal Bass of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Osaka, the Castleton Festival, and the Juilliard Orchestra. He also was a Double Bass Fellow in the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. Eric has collaborated with members of the Juilliard String Quartet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, violinist Jennifer Koh, and conductors Lorin Maazel and James Conlon. He was the first bassist to be invited to the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill (ME), and has performed at Italy’s Incontri in Terra di Siena Music Festival. Currently a freelance bassist in Los Angeles, Eric performs on stage in ensembles such as Jacaranda and the Westside Chamber Players, and also in studios, recording soundtracks. This is his seventh year at Arizona Musicfest

Christina Jennings

Christina Jennings

Christina Jennings, Principal Flute, earned her bachelor’s and master’s at The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Carol Wincenc, Leone Buyse, George Pope, and Jeanne Baxtresser. Ms. Jennings has appeared as soloist with over 50 orchestras, including the Utah and Houston Symphonies, Mexico’s Orchestra de Camera, Orchestra 2001, the Spokane Symphony, and the UK’s Pro Musica. In 2009, she premiered concertos written for her by Carter Pann and Laura Elise Schwendinger. Recent chamber music festival appearances include Strings in the Mountains, Cascade Head, OK Mozart, and the Bowdoin International Festival.  Ms. Jennings is Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a summer faculty member of the Panoramic Flutist Seminar, Greenwood Music Camp and Sarasota Music Festival. This is her ninth year at Arizona Musicfest

Matthew Roitstein

Matthew Roitstein

Matthew Roitstein joined the Houston Symphony in 2014 as Associate Principal Flute. Previously, he was a member of the Honolulu Symphony, Sarasota Opera Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. Roitstein has served as Guest Principal Flute with the Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. His festival experience includes Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Aspen, and Sarasota. He can be heard on recordings with the Houston Symphony, New World Symphony, and on Gloria Estefan’s album The Standards. An enthusiastic educator, Roitstein has taught extensively in the US, and throughout South and Central America. He earned his bachelor’s in both architecture and music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied flute with Seta Der Hohannesian and also won the Concerto Competition. He received his master’s from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Leone Buyse. Other influential teachers include Mark Sparks, Stephen Kujala, Gary Woodward, Pedro Eustache, and his mother, Rosy Sackstein. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.     

Rachel Braude

Rachel Braude

Rachel Braude, flutist and piccoloist, currently holds positions in the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Opera Boston. She also performs as a guest with the Boston Pops, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony. Rachel is the former Principal Piccoloist of the St. Louis Symphony. She teaches at the New England Conservatory (Prep Division) and is the newly appointed Instructor of Flute at Dartmouth College. A graduate of New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, her principal teachers include Trevor Wye, Geralyn Coticone, and Lois Schaefer. Rachel’s debut solo recording can be heard on the album In Media Res in a piece written for her by Lisa Bielawa, long time BMOP collaborator and Prix de Rome winner. This is her ninth year at Arizona Musicfest, during which she is also serving as Sinfonia Principal Flute.  

Rachel Braude

Rachel Braude

Rachel Braude, flutist and piccoloist, currently holds positions in the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Opera Boston. She also performs as a guest with the Boston Pops, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony. Rachel is the former Principal Piccoloist of the St. Louis Symphony. She teaches at the New England Conservatory (Prep Division) and is the newly appointed Instructor of Flute at Dartmouth College. A graduate of New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, her principal teachers include Trevor Wye, Geralyn Coticone, and Lois Schaefer. Rachel’s debut solo recording can be heard on the album In Media Res in a piece written for her by Lisa Bielawa, long time BMOP collaborator and Prix de Rome winner. This is her ninth year at Arizona Musicfest, during which she is also serving as Sinfonia Principal Flute.  

Erin Hannigan

Erin Hannigan

Erin Hannigan, Principal Oboe, joined the Dallas Symphony in 2001 and currently serves as Principal Oboe. She has been Guest Principal Oboist with the Chicago Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms. Hannigan has performed as Principal in summer festivals, including San Diego’s Mainly Mozart and Durango’s Music in the Mountains. Her first solo CD, From Hafiz to Firewing (and Beyond), was released in 2008. Ms. Hannigan is Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University; in the summer, she teaches at the Festival Institute at Round Top. Formerly, she was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic and a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music. Ms. Hannigan is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with James Caldwell; she received her master's and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Richard Killmer. This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest

John Hammarback

John Hammarback

John Hammarback, oboe, joined the Winston-Salem Symphony as Principal Oboe midway through the 2010-2011 season. He holds a bachelor’s from Stony Brook University, where he studied with Stephen Taylor (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center) and Pedro Diaz (Solo English Horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra). The concerto winner in 2008 and 2009, he also won the Elizabeth Ball Kurz Music Award. John went on to graduate studies with John Snow at the University of Minnesota, performing the Mozart Oboe Concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra as the concerto winner in March, 2010. Summer Fellowships and festivals include the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival and Panama Double Reed Festival. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest, during which he will also serve as Principal Oboe for the Sinfonia. 

Rebecca Kemper Scarnati

Rebecca  Kemper Scarnati

Rebecca Scarnati is Principal Oboist of the Flagstaff Symphony. She teaches at Northern Arizona University and also at NAU’s Curry Summer Music Camp. A member of the Kokopelli Ensemble, Ms. Scarnati received her bachelor’s, master’s and Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, and her doctorate from the University of Arizona. Her principal teachers include Jerry Sirucek at Indiana and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra. She has been a member of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Wagner Festival Orchestra (Arizona Opera), and the Desert Symphony (Palm Springs). She performed in the US and Europe with the Con Spirito Wind Quintet, and has been a faculty member of Binghamton University and Ohio University. Ms. Scarnati regularly gives recitals at the Chautauqua Institution. This is her twenty-third year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Rebecca Scarnati

Rebecca Scarnati

Rebecca Scarnati serves as Principal Oboe of the Flagstaff Symphony and is a member of the Kokopelli Ensemble. She is Professor at Northern Arizona University and also teaches at the NAU Curry Summer Music Camp. Ms. Scarnati received her bachelor’s, master’s and Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, and her doctorate from the University of Arizona. Her principal teachers include Jerry Sirucek at Indiana and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. Scarnati has been a member of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Wagner Festival Orchestra (Arizona Opera), and the Desert Symphony (Palm Springs). She performed in the US and Europe with the Con Spirito Wind Quintet, and regularly gives recitals at the Chautauqua Institution. Ms. Scarnati has been a faculty member of Binghamton University and Ohio University. This is her 25th year as a member of the Festival Orchestra.  

William Hudgins

William Hudgins

William Hudgins, Principal Clarinet, was appointed Principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by Seiji Ozawa in 1994, having joined the orchestra two years earlier. He has been heard as a soloist with the BSO on numerous occasions, including performances of works by Mozart,  Copland, Bruch, and Martin. As a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, he can be heard on their BSO Classics CDs of Brahms and Dvořák Serenades; the Grammy-nominated "Profanes et Sacrées: 20th-Century French Chamber Music, to name only two. Recent appearances outside Boston include performances and recordings with the Saito Kinen Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra in Japan, chamber music at Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and recitals and masterclasses throughout the United States. Before joining the BSO, Mr. Hudgins served as Principal with the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal in Caracas and the Charleston Symphony. Mr. Hudgins received his bachelor’s from Boston University, studying with former BSO principal clarinetist Harold Wright. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest

Steve Hanusofski

Steve Hanusofski

Steve Hanusofski is Assistant Principal and Bass Clarinet for The Phoenix Symphony. He began playing the clarinet in junior high, then added flute, bassoon and saxophone in high school. At 15, Steve also took up the piano. He received his bachelorʼs from North Park University in Chicago, his master’s from Florida State University, and has done doctoral work at FSU and Arizona State University. His principal teachers include Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Fred Ormand, and Frank Kowalsky. Prior to joining TPS in1986, he performed with the Florida Philharmonic and the Miami Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Steve has appeared often as soloist and a member of the Bel Canto Players. He is a faculty member at the Arizona Community School of the Arts and the Arizona School of the Arts. Now in his ninth year at Arizona Musicfest, Steve is also serving as Principal Clarinet for the Sinfonia.   

Steve Hanusofski

Steve Hanusofski

Steve Hanusofski is Assistant Principal and Bass Clarinet for The Phoenix Symphony. He began playing the clarinet in junior high, then added flute, bassoon and saxophone in high school. At 15, Steve also took up the piano. He received his bachelorʼs from North Park University in Chicago, his master’s from Florida State University, and has done doctoral work at FSU and Arizona State University. His principal teachers include Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Fred Ormand, and Frank Kowalsky. Prior to joining TPS in1986, he performed with the Florida Philharmonic and the Miami Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Steve has appeared often as soloist and a member of the Bel Canto Players. He is a faculty member at the Arizona Community School of the Arts and the Arizona School of the Arts. Now in his ninth year at Arizona Musicfest, Steve is also serving as Principal Clarinet for the Sinfonia.  

Glenn Einschlag

Glenn Einschlag

Glenn Einschlag, Principal Bassoon, has served in the same role for the Buffalo Philharmonic since 2009. In addition, he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. Mr. Einschlag has been featured soloist with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. A frequent recitalist, he has also participated in many festivals, among them Aspen, Tanglewood, Spoleto USA, and Domaine Forget, where he was influenced by the noted bassoon pedagogue Norman Herzberg. Mr. Einschlag studied at The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he received his master’s under the tutelage of Benjamin Kamins. This is his tenth year at Arizona Musicfest

Miles Manor

Miles Manor

Miles Maner, bassoonist and contrabassoonist, joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Prior to his CSO appointment, he served for the three seasons as Associate Principal Bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the Kansas City Symphony in their new home, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. At the same time, he was also Principal Bassoonist of the Breckenridge Music Festival. His other festival experience includes the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and the National Repertory Orchestra. Maner’s former teachers are Benjamin Kamins of Rice University and Kristin Wolfe Jensen of the University of Texas. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Mark Houghton

Mark Houghton

Mark Houghton, Principal Horn, was appointed Third Horn with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Previously, he served as Principal of the Harrisburg Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony and, most recently, the Fort Worth Symphony. Raised in Keller, TX, he began playing horn at age 12, taught by his parents, both of whom are professional hornists and teachers. Advanced studies yielded a bachelor’s and a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music as a student of W. Peter Kurau. Other notable teachers and mentors include Gregory Hustis and William VerMeulen. He has been a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and Phoenix Symphonies, among others. Houghton has performed as Principal with the Dallas Symphony, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He was recently appointed an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University, and has appeared as an artist or guest clinician at multiple International Horn Society symposia and numerous music schools. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest

Jamie Leff

Jamie Leff

Jamie Leff joined the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as 2nd horn at the beginning of the 2018 season.  Prior to joining the LPO, Jamie was the 2nd horn of the Houston Ballet Orchestra and was an active freelancer and teacher in the area. She has also performed with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, the San Antonio Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony.  Jamie received her Bachelor's degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Dale Clevenger, principal horn of the Chicsgo Symphony and Jeff Nelsen, hornist of the Canadian Brass.  While there, Jamie had the opportunity to study abroad in Vienna, Austria, where she worked with Wolfgang Vladar, 3rd horn of the Vienna Philharmonic. She received her Master's degree from DePaul University, under the tutelage of Jim Smelser and Oto Carrillo of the Chicago Symphony.  Having been accepted as an associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she was afffores the opportunity to work alongside Yo Yo Ma, Jaap van Sweden, and Carlos Miguel Prieto. During her time in Houston, she studied with Robert Johnson, the Associate Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony.  This is her first year playing in the Arizona Musicfest

Stephanie Blaha

Stephanie Blaha

Stephanie Blaha is Asssistant Principal Horn of the Grant Park Orchestra, as well as Principal Horn of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and Third Horn of the Pittsburgh Opera. She held the position of Third Horn with the Winston-Salem Symphony from 2009-2014 and Fourth Horn with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 2005-2009. Stephanie has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cleveland Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  Originally from the Chicago area, she is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she was a student of Gail Williams.  This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Jessica Valeri

Jessica Valeri

Jessica Valeri has served as Fourth Horn with the San Francisco Symphony since 2008. Previously, she has been a member of the St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet. A Minnesota native, Ms. Valeri started playing the horn at age nine. After studying with Doug Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she earned a graduate degree and Performance Certificate from Northwestern University as a student of Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and Norman Schweikert. Ms. Valeri is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and coaches the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has participated in many recording projects, including the Grammy Award-nominated Sound the Bells with the Bay Brass, and several albums with the Millar Brass Ensemble. During the summers, she frequently performs with the Grand Teton Music Festival. This is her second year at Arizona Musicfest.  

William Gerlach

William Gerlach

William Gerlach, Principal Trumpet, was appointed as Principal Trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra by Christoph Eschenbach in 2014. He has also performed with the Milwaukee Symphony and New World Symphony. Raised in in Menomonee Falls, WI, he studied with Mark Niehaus of the Milwaukee Symphony throughout high school. Gerlach attended Indiana University for his undergraduate degree under the instruction of John Rommel, and spent time working on his master’s at Northwestern University and Rice University with Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Christopher Martin. As a student, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and School twice: as a New Horizons Trumpet Fellow and with the Third Street Brass Quintet. Gerlach currently serves on faculty at DePaul University School of Music. He has been a faculty member at the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Curtis Summerfest. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest

Michael Walk

Michael Walk

Michael Walk, trumpet, joined the St. Louis Symphony in 2007, after serving as Second Trumpet in the Tucson Symphony for more than a decade. Previously, he was a member of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and former Principal of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Tucson Pops. Walk has performed as soloist with the Orchestra of San Dieguito, Sierra Vista Symphony, Tucson Pops, and Arizona Symphonic Winds, among others. With his wife, Claudia, he was a founding member of Music from Greer, performing chamber music with varied ensembles in the White Mountains. Walk has taught widely, including at New Mexico State University, University of Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, San Diego State University, and the University of Rochester. He has also maintained a private studio, which has included students ranging in age from seven to 85. Walk received his master’s and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers included Alan Siebert, John Wilds, Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Charles Lauer. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.   

Wesley Nance

Wesley Nance

Wesley Nance, Principal Trumpet for the Sinfonia, is currently Second Trumpet of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, having joined the RPO in 1986 at 17. He is frequently called on to serve as Principal Trumpet and has been featured as a soloist on several occasions. Wes is also a composer, several of whose works have been commissioned and premiered by the RPO. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Eastman School, where he studied with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer. A faculty member at the Eastman Community Music School for over 20 years, he directs a trumpet ensemble, comprised of the area’s finest pre-college players.
Wes is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Brass Quintet and a frequent collaborator in the Rochester area. He has performed with the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, the Skaneateles Festival, and the Canandaigua Lake Chamber Music Festival. This is his fifth year at Arizona Musicfest

Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn, Principal Trombone, has been a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1999 and Co-Principal Trombone since 2014. Previously, he was Principal of the San Antonio Symphony and served in the US Air Force Concert Band in Washington, DC. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Israeli Philharmonic, and the “Super-World” Orchestra in Tokyo. Mr. Vaughn earned his bachelor’s and Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University and did graduate work in education and conducting at Indiana and George Mason Universities. He credits most of his success to his teachers, including David Brumfield, M. Dee Stewart (formerly with The Philadelphia Orchestra), and the late Milton Stevens (former Principal Trombone of the National Symphony.) An accomplished educator, he teaches trombone and coaches brass chamber music at the Curtis Institute and Temple University. He founded Bar Harbor Brass Week, an intense summer festival for high school and college brass players. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest

Donna Parkes

Donna Parkes

Donna Parkes has been Principal Trombone of the Louisville Orchestra since 2008, and also serves as Principal of the Colorado Music Festival. She has performed with the Utah Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Virginia Symphony. She was a member of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas for two years. Other orchestral associations include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. A native of Australia, Ms. Parkes has won numerous competitions, including the Australian National Trombone Competition, and has appeared as a soloist and clinician at the Melbourne International Festival of Brass. She received her master’s studying under Charles Vernon at DePaul University; other primary teachers include Michael Mulcahy and Ron Prussing. This is her 11th year at Arizona Musicfest

Darren McHenry

Darren McHenry

Darren McHenry joined the Dallas Symphony as the Bass Trombonist in 1995. After beginning musical training under the guidance of William Hill, he received his bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, studying with John Kitzman, and his master’s from The Juilliard School, under Don Harwood  At SMU, he was awarded the Presser Scholarship and the Norman Jacobs Memorial Award; he also won the school’s Concerto Competition. Darren has toured with the American/Soviet Youth Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Before joining the Dallas Symphony, he performed with the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and the Chattanooga Symphony. He has also taught at the University of Texas at Arlington. For the past seven summers, Darren has attended the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho with his wife Jenny and their sons, Bryce and Grant. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest.  

Alan Baer

Alan Baer

Alan Baer, Principal Tuba, joined the New York Philharmonic in that same role in 2004, having served as Principal with the Milwaukee Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. He has recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy and performed with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, and Los Angeles Concert Orchestra. Festival appearances include Ojai and Wisconsin’s Peninsula Music Festival. He has toured as featured soloist in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and France. Mr. Baer studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with Gary Bird, then earned his bachelor’s at the Cleveland Institute under Ronald Bishop. He has done graduate work at the University of Southern California, Cleveland Institute, and California State University, Long Beach, where he studied with Tommy Johnson. He also taught at CSU and directed the University’s tuba ensemble and brass choir. Formerly, Mr. Baer was Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin and directed the tuba-euphonium ensemble. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest

Jonathan Haas

Jonathan Haas

Jonathan Haas, Principal Timpanist, is known worldwide as a soloist, orchestral musician, conductor, teacher, clinician, and entrepreneur. He has garnered international acclaim for his performances of Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, which he commissioned and has performed widely. Mr. Haas is Principal Percussionist of the American Symphony, Principal Timpanist of the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He is president of Gemini Music Productions, the largest employer of musicians in New York. Haas is Professor of Music, Director of Percussion Studies, Co-Director of the orchestra program and conductor of the Contemporary Music Ensemble at New York University. He also teaches at the Juilliard Pre-College Division, where he conducts the JPC Percussion Ensemble. Haas continues to showcase the timpani in unusual musical settings through his Hot Jazz Timpani performances, with his nine-piece Latin/jazz ensemble Johnny H. And The Prisoners of Swing. Haas is the author of a ground-breaking timpani method book, Jazz Virtuostics for Timpani distributed by Bachovich publications. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest

Steve Fitch

Steve Fitch

Steve Fitch, Principal Percussionist, received his bachelor’s from the Oberlin Conservatory, where he was the first percussionist to win the Senior Concerto Competition. He earned his master’s at the Eastman School. Steve taught for seven years at Bayreuth’s Festival junger Künstler, and played, toured, and recorded extensively with the NDR Radio Philharmonie. He has performed or toured with many stars, including Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, and Bobby McFerrin. A prolific writer, his fourth book is Flam Pathways to Drumming Fluency. Steve is also a composer whose works are published by C. Alan Publications and Musikverlag Zimmermann. He is currently Assistant Principal Timpani and drum set soloist for The Phoenix Symphony. A Yamaha Performing Artist, he can also be heard in various Phoenix area jazz constellations, including the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. This is Steve’s 11th year at Arizona Musicfest

Allegra Lilly

Allegra Lilly

Allegra Lilly, Principal Harp,  joined the St. Louis Symphony in the same role in 2013. She has appeared as Guest Principal with the Chicago, Houston, Toronto and Charlotte Symphonies, Boston Pops, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, and All-Star Orchestra. A frequent substitute with the Boston Symphony, she acted as Guest Principal for the 2015 Tanglewood season and European tour. Lilly has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and numerous ensembles in New York. On the faculty of Brevard Music Center since 2017, Lilly has given masterclasses at Northwestern University, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston University, and the University of Ottawa. She has also coached orchestral and chamber music for New World Symphony and the preparatory divisions of The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory. Having begun her harp studies with Ruth Myers at seven, Lilly went on to join the studio of New York Philharmonic Principal Harpist Nancy Allen at The Juilliard School, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s. This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest.     

Lawrence Loeber

Lawrence Loeber

Pianist Lawrence Loeber attended Case Western Reserve/ The Cleveland Institute of Music, earning degrees in music and German. He received a master’s in Chinese Linguistics from The Ohio State University, while continuing piano studies and working as coach/accompanist for the opera department. Now in his 17th season as freelance Principal Pianist for The Phoenix Symphony, he has appeared as piano soloist in works by Gershwin and Saint-Saëns, harpsichord soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and kazoo soloist in Michael Dougherty’s March of the Metro. Larry has also been piano soloist in Stravinsky’s Five Movements for Piano and Orchestra for Ballet Arizona. He is Music Director and pianist at Congregational Church of the Valley, and maintains a private piano studio. This is his tenth year at Arizona Musicfest, where he is also rehearsal pianist for the Festival Chorus. In 2010, Larry appeared as soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. 

Orchestra Roster
First Violin
Justin Bruns
Concertmaster
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Charles Dimmick
Associate Concertmaster
Portland (ME) Symphony
Barrie Cooper
Memphis Symphony
Robert Uchida
Edmonton Symphony
Shannon Nance
Rochester Philharmonic
Kenneth Liao
New World Symphony
Randall Weiss
Symphony Silicon Valley
Marcin Arendt
IRIS Orchestra
Yefim Romanov
New World Symphony
Second Violin
Yun-Ting Lee
Principal
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jennifer Ross
Associate Principal
Pittsburgh Symphony (ret.)
Paloma Griffin Hébert
FearNoMusic
Steven J. Lubiarz
Calgary Philharmonic
Adelaide Federici
Atlanta Opera Orchestra
Daga Suchon
Phoenix Symphony
Caroline Slack
Elgin Symphony
Viola
Chiara Kingsley Dieguez
Principal
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Jacob Shack
Associate Principal
Baltimore Symphony
Ben Geller
Charlotte Symphony
Melissa Matson
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Jennifer Puckett
Memphis Symphony
Matthew Dane
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
Ames Asbell
Cello
Brian Thornton
Principal
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jeff Hood
Associate Principal
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
David Heiss
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Noriko Kishi
Utah Symphony
Charles Tyler
Brooks Whitehouse
Winston-Salem Symphony
Jake Hanegan
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Double Bass
Robin Kesselman
Principal
Houston Symphony Orchestra
Tim Dilenschneider
Associate Principal
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Timothy Spears
Symphony Silicon Valley / California Symphony
Paul Sharpe
Winston-Salem Symphony
Eric Shetzen
Jacaranda / Westside Chamber Players
Flute
Christina Jennings
Principal
Matthew Roitstein
Houston Symphony Orchestra
Rachel Braude
Boston Ballet Orchestra / Boston Philharmonic
Piccolo
Rachel Braude
Boston Ballet Orchestra / Boston Philharmonic
Oboe
Erin Hannigan
Principal
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
John Hammarback
Winston-Salem Symphony
Rebecca Kemper Scarnati
Flagstaff Symphony
English Horn
Rebecca Scarnati
English Horn
Flagstaff Symphony
Clarinet
William Hudgins
Principal
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Steve Hanusofski
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
Bass Clarinet
Steve Hanusofski
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
Bassoon
Glenn Einschlag
Principal
Buffalo Philharmonic
Miles Manor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
French Horn
Mark Houghton
Principal
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Jamie Leff
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Stephanie Blaha
Grant Park Orchestra / Pittsburgh Opera
Jessica Valeri
San Francisco Symphony
Trumpet
William Gerlach
Principal
National Symphony Orchestra
Michael Walk
St. Louis Symphony
Wesley Nance
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Trombone
Matthew Vaughn
Principal
Philadelphia Orchestra
Donna Parkes
Louisville Orchestra
Bass Trombone
Darren McHenry
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Tuba
Alan Baer
Principal
New York Philharmonic
Timpani
Jonathan Haas
Principal
American Symphony Orchestra / New York Pops
Percussion
Steve Fitch
Principal
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
Harp
Allegra Lilly
Principal
St. Louis Symphony
Keyboard
Lawrence Loeber
Principal
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra