Catherine Beeson (Artistic Director, Viola) has served as a Teaching Artist and as a performer with the Colorado Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Friends of Chamber Music - Denver, Lenape Chamber Ensemble (PA), Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra (San Diego) and Loon Lake Live. In addition to her artistic administrator role with Loon Lake Live, Catherine has served in administrative roles with the Colorado Symphony, Ensemble Faucheux, and most recently as Executive Director of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra. She also curates community based performances with Ensemble Faucheux, and leads programs on performing arts supporting social change - most recently as Social Justice Performing Artist in Residence at Chicago's Roosevelt University. Catherine is a proud advocate for inclusion practices in the musical arts, lately focusing on concert and performance opportunities for the neurodiverse community. She comes from a family of musicians, educators, and community builders. She enjoys connecting diverse groups of people through community and school residency programs that encourage music composition and performance. In service to this, Catherine has designed and published teachers' guides and lesson plans to support the education and outreach endeavors of the New York Philharmonic, Up Close and Musical orchestra (Denver) and Friends of Chamber Music (Denver). Catherine has also been a facilitator for adult lectures through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, led workshops at the Colorado Music Educators' Association conference, and presented panels at Denver Comic Con. Catherine serves on the board of The Primavera Fund, a Philadelphia based organization offering support to develop young musicians into agents of change in communities as future performers, teachers, leaders, and role models. Catherine is currently a member of the inaugural cohort of the Anne Parsons Leadership Program, a mentorship and training program led by the League of American Orchestras. Believe it or not, Catherine has spare time and enjoys being outside, playing board games, reading, and having random adventures. You can find Catherine on Saturday mornings at the Saranac Lake Farmers Market probably salivating over a Triple Green Jade Farm cardamom raisin bun.
Jordan Gunn is a cellist from Champaign, Illinois. She is currently freelancing in the New York area, performing with Buffalo Philharmonic and Symphoria among others, and has held the position of principal cello in The Orchestra Now, The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra. An enthusiastic chamber musician, Jordan was a founding member of the Lilac String Quartet which in 2019 won 2nd prize in the MTNA competition, served a residency in Lake Placid, and performed in Eastman Honor's concerts as well as faculty Sunday Morning Chamber series. During her studies at Eastman, with Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott, Jordan won the prestigious Performer's Certificate along with her Bachelor's degree, as well as the John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music and the Glenn and Francis Harris Cello Prize. Jordan is an avid promoter of modern classical music, and has performed works by living composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Carlos Simon, and Arvo Pärt to name a few. She also co-created a podcast called Class Half Full, to promote informed listening of classical music for new listeners. Jordan is particularly inspired by musicians such as Daniel McDonough, Yo-Yo Ma, and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
Cellist Heidi Hoffman made her debut as soloist with the Seattle Symphony at the age of 17. She received her Bachelors of Music and Performers Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, and an MM and DMA from Stony Brook University. As a fellowship student at the Tanglewood Music Center, Heidi performed under conductors Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. She has performed in North and South America, Europe, and Japan with such diverse groups as the American Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the new music group Ensemble X, as well as rock bands Paige and Plant, and Heart. Ms. Hoffman is principal cellist of Symphoria (formerly the Syracuse Symphony) and was a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago from 1997 to 2005. She has served on the faculties of Ithaca College, Wells College, and Cornell University. Heidi has recorded for the Albany and Fleur de Son labels. Her teachers have included Alan Harris, Timothy Eddy, and Julius Levine. Heidi is an avid equestrienne and is the dressage instructor and trainer at If Only Farm in Freeville, NY where she has her two horses, Manny and Freddy. She lives in Freeville with her husband Rick Faria, and dog Ziggy.
Alexander S. Kolliasis a clarinetist devoted to exploring the multitude of characters within the clarinet voice. As a chamber musician, he is the principal clarinetist with the Hartford Independent chamber Orchestra (HICO), as well as a founding member of Kalmia Ensemble. He also has appeared multiple times as a featured guest soloist with the string ensemble, Cuatro Puntos. The group featured Kollias on their most recent album, Through The Eyes of Children. Kollias is a founding member of the traditional jazz ensemble, French 75, and performs regularly with the Juniper Hill Jumpers and Corinthian Jazz Band. He also regularly performs with multiple Klezmer musicians and ensembles.
Kollias is also a founding member of HuaTian Ave, a trio of musicians dedicated to creating a new wave of unispherical jazz. Each member brings a unique voice, rooted in their own cultures, by melding jazz, klezmer, and Chinese music traditions. HuaTian Ave, is a group dedicated to playing and improvising together to create something original and honest, and is comprised of guzheng, clarinet, and guitar. Kollias has performed across the world in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Winter Garden, in the World Financial Center, in New York, the Yokosuka Arts Theatre in Japan, and Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland. Kollias has recorded on two previously released CDs with the GVSU New Music Ensemble, Music for 18 Musicians and In C Remixed, both receiving much critical acclaim. He has premiered multiple works by composers such as Susan Botti, David MacBride, Jessica Rudman, Thomas Schuttenhelm, and Ken Steen. Kollias is a previous winner of the Paranov Concerto Competition, Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, and the Grand Valley State University Concerto Competition.
Along with performing, Kollias has a continuous commitment to pedagogy. His students range from young beginners to university students. He is on faculty at The Hartt School Community Division, The Hotchkiss School, Miss Porter’s School, and Holyoke Community College. His young students are competitive at the district and state levels, and many continue their clarinet studies at the collegiate level.
Kollias holds both a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA 2018) and a Master of Music (MM 2013) degree from The Hartt School, where he studied with Ayako Oshima.
Aaron Packard holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from SUNY Stony Brook, both in Violin Performance. He is a founding member of Cuatro Puntos, a chamber music ensemble whose mission is to bridge cultural gaps through performance and teaching worldwide. Aaron is currently a faculty member at the Groton School and the Joy of Music Program in Massachusetts. He can be heard on The Rosegarden of Light, a Toccata Classics release.
Debra Sherrill-Ward, French horn, is the proud founder and director of the Charleston Horn Camp. She is the Principal Horn of Chamber Music Charleston, the North Charleston Pops, and plays 3rd horn for the Savannah Philharmonic and the Hilton Head Symphony. During the summers she plays for the St. Augustine Music Festival and Loon Lake Live. In May 2018, she will be a featured artist for the Musica En Segura Festival in Spain. Before moving to the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Debra held the positions of Associate Principal Horn of the Barcelona Symphony and Principal Horn of the South Dakota Symphony. Debra studied with Froydis Ree Wekre in Oslo, Norway, Jerome Ashby at the Juilliard School, Erik Ralske at the Manhattan School of Music and Roger Collins at Western Illinois University.
John Sipherhas been the principal trombonist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra since 2015. Prior to his current position, he has held principal trombone positions with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and was a fellow at the New World Symphony.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, he received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a minor in Jazz Studies from James Madison University and his Master of Music in trombone performance from Yale University. In addition to his orchestral appointments, he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra.
As an educator, John has served as a trombone instructor at Hamilton College and the University of Northern Colorado, and has presented masterclasses and recitals across the country. John is an active contributor of music to the trombone repertoire, composing and arranging music primarily for trombone ensembles and for trombone and loop pedal. When not playing trombone, John enjoys the majesty of the Colorado outdoors, the yeasty warmth of sourdough bread, the sound of a camera shutter, and the plink of a ukulele.
Sonya Stith Williamshas been playing the violin since the age of five. Many practice years later she earned a BM in performance and an MM in performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music where her primary teachers were Zvi Zeitlin and Ilya Kaler.
Sonya is the Associate Concertmaster of Symphoria where she has also served as Acting Concertmaster. She has had the privilege of soloing with Symphoria on multiple occasions. Prior to her current orchestral position, she was a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for ten years and has performed in many orchestras in the area including the Buffalo Philharmonic.
While at the Eastman School of Music, Sonya participated in two string quartet rural residencies in Kentucky. This experience of connecting with a small community was a memorable one and something that has proven to always be relevant, no matter the size of the town. In Syracuse, besides playing chamber music with many of her Symphoria colleagues in concerts and educational settings, other chamber experiences have been with the Skaneateles Festival, the Society for New Music, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, and many other excellent organizations. She is also a member of the Finger Lakes Piano Trio which have performed many concerts in the region together. Sonya teaches at LeMoyne College and SUN Oswego.
When Sonya is not playing her violin, and possibly sometimes when she is, she is raising her three young children Makenna, Caden, and Rowen with her husband Matt.They have revived an old farmhouse together, which is a process that is always “nearly” completed, in a location where they have ample space for their dogs, cats, chickens, and a large vegetable garden.
Annie Trépanier'sviolin playing has been hailed by The Boston Globe as "supercharged, clear-headed, yet soulful." As a founding member of the acclaimed Avery Ensemble and an active member of the Hartford based chamber music collaborative Cuatro Puntos, she has performed throughout North and South America, and Europe. Ms. Trépanier has been heard regularly in national broadcasts on Radio-Canada, CBC and NPR, and has recorded for Toccata Classics, Navona, Ablaze, Arkadash, and Metier labels. Those recordings have won critical acclaim from highly regarded publications such as The Strad "The Avery Ensemble's musicians' great love for this music shines through in every bar, thanks to the eloquence of their tone and phrasing", and Fanfare Magazine "Here are four musicians whose techical perfection and polish are equally matched by the sumptuous sound they produce and the depth of interpretive insight they exhibit." Ms. Trépanier has been concertmaster of the Salisbury Sinfonietta since 2015 and has performed at Wintergreen Music, a summer festival in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, since 2007. She holds degrees from McGill University, the University of Ottawa, and The Hartt School.
Violinist Asher Wulfman is a performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral works for violin currently based in Ithaca NY. He is a first violinist in Symphoria and performs regularly with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and as concertmaster of Opera Ithaca. As a soloist, Asher has performed with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra and the Oberlin Sinfonietta. He has performed in summer music festivals including Spoleto Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival YAP, Round Top Festival Institute, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival.
Asher is a frequent interpreter of new music, and has enjoyed collaborating with and premiering works by young composers such as Seare Farhat, Ashlin Hunter, Uri Kochavi, Aliya Ultan, and Tara Valkonen. He is regularly featured in Cornell University’s contemporary music concert series, Ensemble X, and has also enjoyed collaborations with DMA composers in the Cornell music department. In 2022, Asher was invited to participate in Creative Dialogues, an international composer-performer workshop sponsored by the Sibelius Academy. In 2018, Asher was a featured artist with the Oberlin Sinfonietta, playing Four Portraits for Solo Violin by Grammy-winning composer Billy Childs.
Asher also enjoys studying and performing early music. As a member of the Thornton Early Music Ensemble, he performed many chamber and solo works on the baroque violin. He now performs regularly as a bass with his early music vocal chamber ensemble.
Asher holds a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Violin Performance and English from Oberlin College and Conservatory. His former teachers include Lina Bahn, Marilyn McDonald, and Richard Amoroso.
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