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Principal oboist of the Erie Chamber Orchestra since 2013, Hilary Philipp is a freelance musician living in Erie, PA who is also a member of the Butler County Symphony and the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra in Binghamton, NY, as well as the reed trio “Reed ‘em and Weep”. A frequent substitute with the Erie Philharmonic, Ms. Philipp has also played with groups such as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Allentown Symphony, and the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. Hilary studied oboe performance with Wayne Rapier at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, and with Fred Cohen at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she completed her Masters in Music degree. While at UMass, Ms. Philipp performed twice as soloist with the University Orchestra, playing the Marcello and Vaughan Williams oboe concertos, but she made her debut as soloist right here in Erie, PA with the Erie Jr. Philharmonic as the 1999 winner of the Eiji Oue concerto competition. Hilary was also the 2008 winner of the Ralph Gomberg Oboe Merit Award competition in Boston, MA.
As a child in upstate NY, Hilary chose the oboe at the tender age of 8, in order to join the 4th grade band, inspired by a movie version of The Three Little Pigs, starring Billy Crystal as the third, smart pig, who also played the oboe. Of course, oboe was not an option offered by the school, but her excessively supportive parents found her an oboe and a private teacher, Cheryl Bishkoff, and the rest is history. Ms. Philipp is on the faculty of Allegheny College, Grove City College, and Mercyhurst University, and teaches privately in Erie. She can be seen most Sunday mornings performing at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Millcreek
Critically acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho has established herself as one of the most vibrant, engaging and charismatic violinists of her generation. Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of the Indianapolis, Jinjoo made her first appearance on the international music scene when she garnered the First Grand Prize and Radio Canada’s People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Montreal International Musical Competition at age 17. Times Argus of Montreal proclaimed her performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto as possessing “an undeniable charisma and depth…with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.” Since then, she has won numerous international awards including the First Prize and Orchestra Award at the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition in 2010, 2nd Laureate at the 2011 Isang Yun International Music Competition, First Grand Prize at the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition, and the Dorothy DeLay Award at Aspen Music Festival.
Jinjoo has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe, performing as a soloist with such prestigious orchestras as The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Argentina) among many others. She has been privileged to perform with renowned artists Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi, James Gaffigan, Robert McDuffie, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping and Anton Nel. She has appeared in international venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, the Herkulessaal of Munich, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Seoul Arts Center, Aspen Music Festival, Schwetzingen SWR Festipiele, Festival de Lanaudière, Cleveland Chamberfest, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Spring Chamber Music Festival, and Tongyeong International Music Festival.
Recent and upcoming engagements include her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium concerto debut with the New York String Orchestra in addition to appearances with the Greensboro, Grand Junction, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Vermont, Phoenix, KBS (Korea) and Orquestra Sinfônica de Minas Gerais (Brazil) symphonies. Jinjoo’s recitals at Bard College, Brattleboro Music Center, Dame Myra Hess, Indiana University, Mercyhurst University, La Jolla Music Society, Linton Chamber Music, Chamber Music International, Rockefeller University and the Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami will culminate in a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut in June 2016.
Jinjoo’s biggest passion is arts education and audience engagement. As a result, she is the founder of a new chamber music program for high school and college students in Cleveland, Ohio named the Encore Chamber Music Institute. The institute will have its inaugural season in the summer of 2016. Starting with the 2015-16 school year, Jinjoo has also accepted a part-time appointment at Oberlin Conservatory teaching violin and coaching chamber music. Another project of hers on the opposite side of the globe is Classical Revolution Korea, where musicians travel all across Korea to give free concerts and meet audiences in cafés. The programs in 2015 include performances in Seoul and Jeju Island. Recently, she also started writing a column in the performing arts magazine, Auditorium, titled “The Art of Practice.”
Born in Seoul, Korea, Jinjoo moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Young Artist Program student. Within a few years of arriving in the United States, she had won most of the local competitions for both high school and collegiate level students, including the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s collegiate level concerto competition. One of the jurors at the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra competition was the legendary oboist John Mack, who later became very closely tied to Jinjoo’s musical development. At age 16, she was awarded the Gold Medal at the Stulberg International String Competition. Additionally Jinjoo served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and later, the New York String Orchestra Seminar. The New York Times described her concertmaster solos as “rich and open…finely polished, (and) focused.”
A passionate advocate for community outreach and education, Jinjoo has performed at over 100 venues, giving master classes, presenting showcases, and delivering lecture recitals. Her ties to the Cleveland community are especially apparent as she performs often for local organizations such as the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, the Beachwood Arts Council, the Cleveland Clinic, the Women’s Committee at CIM, Arts Renaissance Tremont, the Tuesday Musical Association of Akron, CityMusic Cleveland, and more.
Jinjoo finished her Bachelor of Music degree both at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Paul Kantor, who has been her mentor since 2001. She also received her Master of Music and Professional Studies from CIM, having studied with Jaime Laredo. She has coached with the Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff, Gilbert Kalish, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, David Finckel, Wu Han, and Mark Steinberg, and participated in masterclasses given by the Takács Quartet, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, Samuel Rhodes and Zakhar Bron, with whom she worked at Kronberg Academy’s Masterclasses Program. Jinjoo has spent the summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Music@Menlo and the Chamber Music Residency Program at The Banff Centre with her pianist Daniel H.S. Kim as Duo Istas. Duo Istas regularly tours in North America with intensely creative programs that features seldom played works and contemporary repertoire.
Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Grammy-nominated Andrés Cárdenes parlays his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. An intensely passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his compelling performances as a violinist, conductor, violist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and recording artist.
Since capturing Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cárdenes has appeared as a soloist on four continents with over 100 orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Sinfonica Nacional de Caracas, Sinfonica de Barcelona, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jaap van Zweden, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.
This year and next Mr. Cárdenes continues his project to record many standard and contemporary concerti. Released in 2009 are recordings of concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barber and David Stock on the Artek and Albany labels. A recording of the complete works for violin by Leonardo Balada was released on Naxos in January 2011. The complete Sonatas by both Hindemith and Brahms, along with the Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius Violin Concertos and the complete Schubert Sonatinas and Fantasie are to be released on Artek in the summer and fall of 2015. Plans to record the complete Beethoven violin and piano sonatas with Ian Hobson are slated for 2015/16. Cárdenes’s discography includes over two dozen recordings of concerti, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Albany, Sony, Arabesque, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodya and Enharmonic labels.
As an ambassador for music of our time, Mr. Cárdenes has commissioned and premiered over 70 works by American, Turkish and Latin American composers such as David Stock, Mike Garson, Erberk Eriylmaz, Leonardo Balada, Ricardo Lorenz, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Roberto Sierra, and Marilyn Taft Thomas. His concerto repertoire includes over 100 works, ranging from the Baroque era to the present.
Mr. Cárdenes has thrice served as President of the Jury of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition and in 2011 joined the jury of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.
A Cultural Ambassador for UNICEF from 1980-1991 and an indefatigable spokesperson for the arts, Mr. Cárdenes has received numerous awards for his teaching, performances, recordings and humanitarian efforts, most notably from the Mexican Red Cross and the cities of Los Angeles and Shanghai. He was named Pittsburgh Magazine’s 1997 Classical Artist of the Year and received the 2001 “Shalom” Award from Kollell’s International Jewish Center and the 2013 Chesed-Kindness Award from the Chabad Foundation for promoting world harmony and peace through music.
Mr. Cárdenes was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Lorin Maazel in 1989 and departed after the 2010 season to concentrate on his conducting, solo and chamber music careers.
Born and raised in the heart of Mexico, Maureen has embraced many styles and genres from classical and tango to rock and light jazz. She is a member of the tango ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA, AquiTango, and violinist for the cross-genre ensemble Forest of the Americas in Mexico. Her improvisational skills have led to recordings with Vineyard Music on their Spanish CD and with the acclaimed Latin rock band ROJO.
As a solo concert violinist, Conlon has performed to much acclaim on many stages throughout Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. Many of her performances have been aired live on radio and television including a special for the Telemundo channel in 2003. She has appeared as soloist with various orchestras and chamber ensembles through Mexico and the U.S. including the renowned Orquesta del Estado de Mexico (OSEM) and the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato.
Due to her passion for chamber music she co-founded the Trio Nova Mundi in 2001 with whom she has performed throughout various concert venues in Latin American, Africa, and the U.S. including appearances as soloists with the Atlanta Virtuosi orchestra in Atlanta, GA. While at Rice University they were awarded the Ralph A. Anderson music scholarship award.
Maureen has garnered many first prizes and placed at many competitions nationally and internationally including a first place at the National Violin Competition “Hermilo Novelo” in Mexico and the “Hermilo Novelo” award at the International Henryk Szeryng Violin Competition. While studying at Penn State University she also won the Concerto Competition as well as first place at the Graduate Exhibition in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 she was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Sphinx Competition. Conlon was also a recipient of the CONACULTA scholarship for the performing arts from 2006-2007 allowing her to pursue further studies in the U.S.
As an avid orchestral musician she is member of the Erie Philharmonic and Wheeling Symphony and has been a member of the Sphinx Symphony, Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Penns Woods Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. She has also played with the Civic Orchestra in Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, National Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony among others.
Her keen interest and devotion to music and especially the violin began at a very early age but it was several years later that she would begin lessons with Pedro Gasca and later with Gilberto Nunez in her hometown of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico. She earned her Bachelors in Music Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, TX with Kenneth Goldsmith and her Masters in Violin Performance as a graduate assistant to Jim Lyon at the Penn State University where she was concertmaster of the Penn State Orchetras and Baroque Ensemble in addition to playing first violin of the graduate string quartet. She recently completed a Performance Residency at Carnegie-Mellon University studying with the former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster, Andres Cardenes.
Among her many mentors and coaches are David Mallory, Max Zorin, Violaine Melancon, Norman Fischer, Paul Katz, Paul Ellison, James Dunham, Steve Ansell, Daniel and Todd Phillips from the Orion Quartet, Ida Kavafian, Rachel Barton-Pine, and members of the Ying, Lark, Emerson, and Tokyo Quartets.
Ms. Conlon is Adjunct Professor of Violin/Viola at Grove City College since 2012. Maureen continues to actively perform as soloist and with Trio Nova Mundi. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with husband, Michael Dorosh and loves dancing, watching movies, and eating great food when she isn’t making music.
CHRISTOPHER RAPIER received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and studied with Laura Klock(principal horn with Springfield, MA Symphony) and Ralph Pottle (utility horn with the Boston Symphony) while attending. Chris studied with Richard Solis (principal horn with the Cleveland Orchestra) and Alan DeMattia (2nd horn with the Cleveland Orchestra) after being accepted at Cleveland Institute of Music to work toward a master’s degree in Performance. He is also principal horn for Erie Philharmonic, Erie Opera Theater, and Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra. Chris has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Opera Cleveland, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, the former Cleveland Ballet, the faculty woodwind quintet with the Fine Arts Association, Chautauqua and with the Praise Team at his church on Sunday mornings. He has toured New England and performed on a live broadcast on Cleveland’s classical radio station WCLV with the Metropolitan Brass Quintet (from Cleveland, OH). Mr. Rapier teaches French Horn at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, OH and Pfabe’s Music in Painesville, OH as well as teaching privately.
David M. Graham has been hailed as a “most award winning flute soloist” by the Voice of Carolina Journal and is nationally recognized as a flutist and teacher. Dr. Graham has performed solo recitals, chamber music, composition premiers, and concertos across the United States. Among other ensembles, David Graham has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony, Tallahassee Ballet, the Alia Musica Contemporary Ensemble and is currently Principal flutist of the Erie Chamber Orchestra.
At home on the concert stage, David Graham has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in various performances associated with national competitions and awards. Mr. Graham was the 2006 North Carolina School of the Arts Concerto Competition winner, a semi-finalist in the National Frank Bowen Young Artist competition, a finalist in the Silbermann Chamber Music Competition at Carnegie Mellon University, the first prizewinner of the Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition in 2011 and was a participant in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition in Las Vegas, NV.
Active as an instructor at both the high school and collegiate levels, David has taught masterclasses and clinics in both Pennsylvania and Florida at Florida State University, The Florida Flute Association Convention, and as a guest artist at Slippery Rock University. His articles on flute pedagogy have been published by the Pittsburgh Flute Club, the Washington D.C. Flute Society, and the Flute Association at Florida State.
As an avid proponent of new compositions and chamber music, Mr. Graham has performed in concert venues across the country including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Project, Flute and Strings Chamber Music tour to the Clarke Theatre in Lincoln Center, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble and is a founding member of the Arioso Trio based in Pittsburgh, PA. Recent performances include the Friday Musicale Recital Hall in Jacksonville, FL, the 2012 Florida Flute Association Festival, and the 2012 and 2013 National Flute Association Conventions.
As a native from Butler, Pennsylvania, David Graham received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Dr. Tadeu Coelho. Graduate studies took Mr. Graham to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA completing a Master of Music degree with world-renowned teachers Alberto Almarza, Jennifer Conner and former Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic, Jeanne Baxtresser. Currently, Mr. Graham is pursuing his Doctorate of Music at the Florida State University College of Music as a graduate teaching assistant studying with Eva Amsler. Former teachers include Stacey Steele, Dr. Tadeu Coelho, Alberto Almarza, Jeanne Baxtresser and Jennifer Conner. David Graham is a member of the National Flute Association, the Atlanta Flute Club, the Florida Flute Association, and the Flute Association at Florida State. David plays on a 14K gold Brannen-Cooper flute.
2016 Senior Division 1st Place Laureate and winner of Robert Frederick Smith Prize
THOMAS MESA is a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher in New York City. As the cellist in St. Petersburg Piano Quartet, he has played sold out concerts at Barge Music, Doheny and Kohl Mansions. He has toured with Itzhak Perlman both nationally and internationally and has collaborated artists such as Roger Tapping, Andres Diaz, Barry Shiffman, Miguel da Silva, and Paul Katz. Additional collaborations have been as soloist with The Crossing Choir (Margaret Hillis Award winner in 2015) in venues around NYC and Philadelphia, most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the U.S. Premiere of “Astralis” by Wolfgang Rihm for solo cello and choir. He has performed either in ensemble or as soloist in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, WMP Music Hall, Arsht Center in Miami, Sandler Center in Virginia, Jordan Hall, and on PBS’s From the Top.
Thomas’ orchestral experience includes being principal cellist for Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra. He has performed under the batons of James Levine, Tan Dun, David Afkham, Alan Gilbert, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot, Franz Welser-Most, Joel Sachs, Benjamin Zander, Victor Yampolsky, Donald Nally, and Timothy J. Robblee.
Last month, Thomas was a semi-finalist at Naumburg International Cello Competition and has won first place in the Thaviu Competition for String Performance in Chicago, first place in Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Ray Millette Young Artist’s Award, Certificate of Merit in Music from the City of Miami, and received an Outstanding Musicianship award from New World Symphony. He has attended summer festivals and institutes that include the Perlman Chamber Workshop (with additional residencies in Stowe, Vermont), Heifetz International Music Institute, Banff Masterclasses, Kronberg Academy, Royal Danish Academy Masterclasses, and Kneisel Hall.
As a passionate teacher, Thomas is currently on faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, St. Petersburg International Music Academy, was the teaching assistant to Hans Jensen at Meadowmount School of music for two years, and has a private teaching studio in New York City where he currently resides.
Thomas began his musical studies on cello at the age of eleven and is a graduate of The Juilliard School (B.M. 2012); and Northwestern University (M.M. 2014) where he was the recipient of the Richard and Helen Thomas Fellowship and Graduate Program Honors for extraordinary contributions to the String Department. Currently, Thomas is a D.M.A candidate at Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Julia Lichten. His principal teachers have been Hans Jorgen Jensen, Timothy Eddy, Mark Churchill, Ross Harbaugh, and Wells Cunningham.
Thomas currently plays on a cello made by Richard Tobin in 1826.
Hailed by Strad Magazine for his “effortless, envy-provoking technique… sweet tone, brilliant expression, and grand style”, Michael Ludwig enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, recording artist, and chamber musician. A highly sought-after soloist, he has performed on four continents, including appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, KBS Symphony in Seoul, Korea, Beijing Symphony, and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, collaborating with such conductors as JoAnn Falletta, Sir Georg Solti, and John Williams among others. He has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Virginia Symphony. In addition to the United States, Ludwig has performed throughout Europe and Asia, including concerts in Germany, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Israel, China, and South Korea.
Ludwig’s discography includes recordings of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, Bruch Scottish Fantasy, and Dvorak Romance with the Virginia Symphony, as well as the Wieniawski Concerto No. 2, Corigliano Red Violin Concerto, and Suk Fantasy with the Buffalo Philharmonic. Ludwig’s recording of the Corigliano Red Violin Concerto with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic is “hot, sharp, and close to the edge” writes critic Norman Lebrecht. His recording of the rarely performed Dohnanyi Violin Concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has received extraordinary reviews worldwide, and has revived interest in these neglected romantic works. Ludwig’s discography has drawn critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. Fanfare magazine writes: “His phrasing is so sensitive–it could serve as an object lesson to every budding violinist.” And BBC Music Magazine praises his “persuasive playing, silky tone, sensitivity to colour and flair for golden-age’ style.” Ludwig’s new recordings released in 2014 include the works of Joseph Achron for violin and piano, as well as the Bartok Portrait No. 1 with the Buffalo Philharmonic, both for the NAXOS label.
As a chamber musician, Michael has shared the stage with numerous acclaimed artists, such as Christoph Eschenbach, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yefim Bronfman, Sarah Chang, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. His recording of the world premiere of Marcel Tyberg’s Piano Trio in F Major was released by NAXOS in August 2010. His chamber music performances include appearances at the Prague Spring Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, and a benefit appearance for the Terezin Music Foundation at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Michael Ludwig has been featured numerous times on Performance Today, a program that reaches approximately 1.2 million listeners on 230 radio stations nationwide. Ludwig’s media credits include live broadcasts at WRTI (Philadelphia) and WAMC (Albany, NY), as well as an appearance on the program “From the Top.” He has been featured on Bulgarian National Radio, Balkan Bulgarian Television, and the Korean Broadcasting System.
Michael studied violin with his father, Irving Ludwig, who was a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra.
Ruth Ann Scanzillo, pianist, is an Erie native. She began her piano studies at the age of 6 under Helena Hoffman of the Erie School of Music, with whom she remained for 7 years, adding one memorable month with studio master Florence Wagner. At age 15, accepting her first opportunity to serve as accompanist with a violin student of Salvatore Cresce, Ms. Scanzillo commenced what would become a lifelong commitment to collaborative piano. After completing the Bachelor of Music in Music Education at SUNY Fredonia in 1981, with a concentration in cello under Dr. Louis Richardson, she continued locally as pianist across various genre, from classical to pop to theater, winning the local S.A.D.I.E. in 1984 as “Fats” Waller for “Ain’t Misbehavin‘ “. In 1989, the late Canadian cellist, Shaun Pomer, provided her debut as professional collaborator in duo recital at Mercyhurst University.
For the past nearly three decades, Ms. Scanzillo has performed as both vocal / instrumental recitalist and rehearsal pianist for faculty, graduating students, and guest artists of Fredonia State University, Edinboro University, and Mercyhurst University; competition accompanist for the Erie Jr. Philharmonic Eiji Oue Concerto Competition, COYO Concerto Competition at Severance Hall, Young Artist’s Debut Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Erie Music Teacher’s Scholarship Competition; and, as orchestral pianist/celeste with the Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber, and Lake Erie Ballet Orchestras. She credits master pianists Dr. Lucille Richardson, Anne Epperson, and Madeline Bruser for invaluable piano coaching sessions. Her piano trio performances to date have included collaborations with the Chautauqua Amateur Chamber Music Society, the Luther Memorial Concert Series, the Faculty Series at Mercyhurst University, and faculty audition recitals at Fredonia State University.
Currently, Ms. Scanzillo enjoys leading the cello section of the Erie Chamber Orchestra and, as private SAA registered Suzuki cello and violin instructor, both teaching, rehearsing and performing with her studio ensemble, the Erie Suzuki String Chorale. She anticipates devoting the rest of her life to musical collaborations with professionals and students, and joyfully anticipates this evening’s performance with her ECO-based friends, colleagues Hilary Phillip and Amber Rogers.
As an avid chamber musician, advocate of modern music, music education, Amber has performed across the United States.
Amber’s interest lies primarily in performing chamber music, working with composers to premiere their work, and getting the community involved in classical and new music. She has had the opportunity to work with and premiere works by many composers including; Carson Cooman, Hannah Lash, Steve Reich, Alan Tormey, David Gerard Matthews, Chris Massa, Ash Madni, and Ryan Stewart.
Also experienced as an administrator, Amber has produced and directed chamber and new music productions, and community and education outreach programs and performances in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Amber was a founding member of Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra and a founding member and director of Black Orchid String Trio. In addition to her small ensemble endeavors, Amber freelances with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, Music On The Edge, OvreArts, Resonance Works, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Erie Philharmonic, and many other ensembles.
Christina Brice Dolanc, violinist, vocalist, and composer, is steadily joining the ranks of today’s most innovative writers for vocal ensemble. Her choral music, which has been performed internationally, has been described as neo-Impressionistic and emotionally enchanting. With a BM (Missouri State University, 1999) and MM (Miami University, 2002) in violin performance, Christina resided in northern California for 12 years where she was a member of seven professional symphonies, led a full violin lesson studio, and coordinated The Dolanc String Quartet. During this time she also worked as a professional transcriber in the San Francisco bay area while writing a personal collection of over 100 compositions and arrangements for string quartet. As of 2014, Christina currently resides in Erie, PA, where she performs with the Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and continues her musical endeavors with her string quartet, lesson studio, and composing.
Christina’s choral compositions are influenced both by her career experience as a string musician and her extensive training as a choral singer. She began her formal University choral training in 1994 under the direction of Dr. Guy B. Webb. She was later a founding member of The Vocal Art Ensemble of Davis, CA, and is currently a member of the Erie Renaissance Singers of Erie, PA. Christina was inspired to begin writing choral music in 2012 and since has been greeted with great success including: 9 premieres, 5 commissions, winner of the 2014 Mary Bussman Emerging Female Composer Competition for the Twin Cities Women’s Choir in Minneapolis, MN, semi-finalist (2014) and finalist (2015) for The American Prize in the professional choral composer category, and awarded as a “Recommended Work” for the C7Prize in Canada. In 2015, Christina also had work on display at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national convention and was selected to have a new piece featured in an internationally live-streamed workshop by Musica Intima of Vancouver, B.C. In 2016 Christina has 4 premieres scheduled, and 2 commissioned pieces are in the works for 2017. She is also very honored to have been commissioned by the Erie Chamber Orchestra for her work, Stars Alone for choral ensemble and strings, that premiered in April of 2016. More about Christina and her works can be found at www.cbricedolanccomposer.com.
Composer STEPHEN COLANTTI began his career as an opera singer. After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania majoring in Voice, he continued his vocal studies in New York where he was an active performer in the city’s thriving opera scene. After serving an apprenticeship with the Central City Opera in Colorado he was chosen as a finalist in the Chicago Lyric Opera Competition. He was later awarded the prestigious Opera/Music Theatre International Fellowship, having been chosen from a thousand singers by the famous basso, Jerome Hines. He subsequently studied voice with opera great, Franco Corelli and acting with director Frank Corsaro of the Actor’s Studio. As a dramatic tenor he appeared in leading roles with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, the Dallas Opera, the Arizona Opera, and at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center opposite Jerome Hines, as well as with the Metropolitan Opera and opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the United States.
He has served on the faculties of Grove City College and Mercyhurst University where he taught voice and related subjects and was the conductor of the University Orchestra and Opera Orchestra in which capacity he conducted full productions of “The Marriage of Figaro”, “Don Giovanni”, “Falstaff”, “Hansel and Gretel”, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward’s “Roman Fever” with Mr. Ward in attendance, and two gala “Opera Pops & Sizzles” concerts. A long time music teacher at Harding School in the Erie School District, he oversaw its renowned “Creating Original Opera” program initiated under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera where he collaborated with students and staff to develop, compose, arrange, orchestrate, and conduct seven original student operas. In May 2014, his opera, The Selfish Giant was premiered by the Erie Opera Theatre at the Erie Playhouse. It was subsequently recorded by the Erie Chamber Orchestra and released on CD in April 2016. A largely self-taught composer, his compositions also include songs, choral works, and instrumental pieces for the guitar, piano, and strings. In addition to being a composer, Mr. Colantti is a classical guitarist and violist.
Dr. Elizabeth Etter holds a Master of Music as a double major in Collaborative Piano and Harpsichord performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Harpsichord performance also from C.I.M., where she studied with Anne Epperson and Doris Ornstein. She graduated from Allegheny College with a B.A., where she subsequently served as an Instructor in Music while maintaining a thriving independent studio from which many students were launched with illustrious careers. She founded the Summer Music Festival and Music Outreach Program at Allegheny College and served as Executive and Artistic Director of the international festival for young chamber musicians through 2006. She has performed on many stages throughout the United States including the Chautauqua Institution, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Carnegie Music Hall. She has mentored and taught hundreds of young performers, and has served as a juror for national and international competitions, presented arts-in-education workshops for preschool through college audiences, and moderated as a panelist for national music conferences. Her performances and interviews have been aired on WQED, WCLV, and WQLN. Specializing in early keyboard performance and chamber music, her passion lies in the collaboration and communication involved in playing chamber music. Her performances include the Erie Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble, Cleveland Camerata, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and the Holter Chamber Music Festival in Italy during summers of 2012 and 2013.