Artist Bios, January 2024

Madeline Beery (Jan 10), M.Ed., was a music major, and worked as a Music Therapist for several years before pursuing public health professionally. Since moving to Seattle in 1985, she has studied with Zart Dambourian-Eby, SSO, Wendy Wilhelmi, Vancouver Symphony and Pam Mooney, SSO. She has played in the Dubuque, Alexandria, and Kuala Lumpur Symphonies, and now plays in the Rain City Symphony. She was the co-founder and President of AIDS Impact for 20 years that educated health professionals on AIDS, prevention, and infection control in over 42 countries. Her final public health project for WA State was to lead the planning for a pandemic.

Jane Hoyt Buckner, M.D. (Jan 10) studied clarinet under Joseph Longo, principal Clarinetist at the Minnesota Orchestra and was a member of the Minnesota Youth Symphony during her middle and high school years. She attended Carleton College she was principal clarinetist in the Carleton Orchestra, studied voice and was a member of the Carleton Choir. While attending the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine she was a member of the JHU Chamber Music Society, she continued to play chamber music throughout her Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Jane moved to Seattle 30 years ago and has been a member of Rain City Symphony for over 15 years. She is a practicing rheumatologist at Virginia Mason and the President of the Benaroya Research Institute. As a physician and immunologist, she works to understand and treat autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. She is a scientific co-founder of Gentibio, a company developing cell-based therapies to treat autoimmunity.

Lawrence Chu (Jan 14) is a native of the Seattle area, and currently resides in Bellevue with his family. His former instructors include Phyllis Allport, Frances Walton and Eva Heinitz. After completing 34 years of practice in Emergency Medicine locally, he has begun to reexplore the cello under the guidance of Nathan Chan. He is delighted to have been accepted as an official member of the Ladies Musical Club.

Selina Chu (Jan 14) has been a part of the music community in the Pacific Northwest for almost 40 years, as a master teacher and performer. She has served as an adjudicator and visiting artist as well as Board member for such organizations as Washington State Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs, and LMC’s Frances Walton Competition. Selina holds advanced degrees in piano performance, from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Washington, as well as national certification as a teacher of music through MTNA. Thirteen years of experience as Alaska Dance Theatre’s Principal Accompanist taught her to play well with others, and she has a special place in her heart for all types of ensembles. She is known for her sense of humor and unfortunate ability to carry a tune.

Inspired by his grandmother and singing “The Sound of Music” in middle school choir, Michael Housley (Jan 16) began teaching himself piano before studying with Dr. David Brunell at the University of Tennessee. Since moving to Seattle to pursue a career in Architecture, Michael collaborates regularly with Melet Whinston (cellist), accompanies the Seattle University Chapel of St. Ignatius Choir and has participated in several Chamber Music Madness retreats with various chamber ensembles.

Andrew Kam (Jan 20) received his BM in Music Education from the University of Miami and an MM in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon. Mr. Kam currently serves as the Orchestra Director at Bellevue High School and conductor for the Cadet String Orchestra with Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kam regularly adjudicates for both small and large ensemble festivals and has served as guest conductor for honors orchestras in the Puget Sound region. As a professional violinist, Mr. Kam is a violinist with Symphony Tacoma. He is one of the recording violinists heard on Kesha’s 2018 Grammy nominated single “Praying,” and has performed on other movie and popular music productions. Each year, Mr. Kam and his wife Angie (violin) tour with Trans-Siberian Orchestra during the band’s stops in Seattle and Portland. Mr. Kam is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. He enjoys rock climbing, skiing, cooking, and traveling. Mr. Kam also loves hiking with his dog Burt.

Violinist Angie Kam (Jan 20) is an established teacher and performer in the Seattle area. As an orchestral musician, Angie plays with the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Tacoma, and the Tacoma City Ballet. As a pop violinist, Angie has performed with many artists including the Eagles, Andrea Bocelli, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, The Who, Ramin Djalwadi, Amy Grant, Il Divo, Idina Menzel, Evanesance, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah Brightman, and Michael Buble. She is also an active studio-recording musician for movies and video games. Angie maintains a successful violin studio of over 30 wonderful students in Bellevue. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon, and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy from the Boston Conservatory. In her spare time Angie enjoys mountaineering, skiing, trail running, yoga, and eating.

Mia HyeYeon Kim (Jan 10) is a doctoral student in piano performance at the University of Washington under the guidance of Craig Sheppard. She received her Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory under Victor Rosenbaum, then the Artist Diploma on full scholarship at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music under Soyeon Kate Lee. Kim won many competitions including the Metropolitan International Piano Competition, Texas International Piano Competition, Memphis International Piano Competition, Seoul Philharmonic Competition, and the UW Concerto Competition. Also, she presented at masterclasses for Richard Goode, John Perry, Julian Martin, and Gary Graffman. She is an avid performer within her community. In 2021, she performed as a collaborative pianist for Lowbrow Opera Collective’s successful production of Dana Kaufman’s opera, the Diary of a Madman in Seattle. Also, she has done volunteer performances at University House Wallingford and she will be doing an additional volunteer performance at Empress Senior Living.

Monica Kessler (Jan 16) earned her BM in piano performance from Western Washington University and MM in piano performance from Central Washington University. She has extensive teaching and accompanying experience, having taught on faculty at Wenatchee Valley College, Woods House Conservatory, Northshore Christian Academy as well as her own private teaching studio. While continuing to perform she also has a career as a full-time real estate broker.

Peter Klein (Jan 10) grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. He earned a BFA in Theater and Music from Emerson College in Boston, also studying at the Longy School of Music. His bassoon teachers include Louise Cavalieri Goni, Dan Welcher and Francine Peterson. He currently plays in the Rain City Symphony and in several informal chamber groups. Peter has composed several chamber and choral pieces, incidental music for theatrical productions, and musicals for children. Now retired from a career in information technology, he also announced classical music at public radio stations and wrote about music for newspapers and magazines.

Clarinetist Dallas Neustel (guest artist, Jan 14) is a principal teaching artist of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, a founding member of the Agermos Chamber Music Project, and a former US Air Force clarinetist. Dallas has performed with the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the North Corner Chamber Orchestra, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, his children’s composition “Incidental Music to the Tale of Peter Rabbit” was performed in the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival Family Concert. Dallas holds the Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Washington State University. He has toured in concert throughout Europe and the United States, has appeared as a guest-clinician in 65 university master-classes, and has maintained a private clarinet studio for over 20 years.

Erika Pierson (Jan 20) earned her bachelor’s in Cello Performance from Indiana University and her master’s in Performance from the University of Michigan. Between her degrees, Erika studied in Berlin, at the Hochschule der Kunste, and in London under Eileen Croxford, FRCM. Her other teachers included Richard Aaron, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Markus Nyikos, and Erling Blondal Bengtsson. Erika has given solo recitals in England, Germany, Spain, and in the United States, and has soloed with orchestras in Berlin, Ann Arbor, and Everett, WA. On the less classical side of things, she has also performed with Mannheim Steamroller, Rod Stewart, The Walkmen, and Deltron 3030. Currently Erika performs regularly as the cellist in NOCCO Chamber Orchestra, and freelances and teaches in the Seattle area.

Ann Rackl (Jan 14), violinist, is the former assistant concertmaster of Philharmonia Northwest chamber orchestra, where she has been a member since 1976. She holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Montana, and has studied violin with Emanuel Zetlin and Martin Friedmann in Seattle. Formerly a private violin instructor, these days she especially enjoys playing chamber music.

Rob Toren (guest artist, Jan 14) has been a professional singer for most of his musical life, including most recently undertaking several small roles at Seattle Opera 1998-2014. After retiring from both singing and as a non-profit executive, he has returned to his first love, the piano. Because of his background as a singer and his earlier career days in NYC, he now gravitates towards the art song literature, with programs focusing on both the French (Debussy and Faure) and German traditions (Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Strauss). He most recently studied with Joyce Gibb.

Melet Whinston (Jan 16) studied under Maria DeRungs, and was first chair in the Portland Junior Symphony and Princeton University Orchestra. She has presented school performances as a member of the Leschi Trio and as a duo with Michael Housley, pianist. She has many years of experience as a chamber musician and solo performer, and performs regularly at St Andrew Presbyterian Church and local recitals.

Dhanushi Wijeyakulasuriya (Jan 14), originally from Sri Lanka, holds a Licentiate Diploma in Singing from Trinity College of Music, London. She began voice lessons in 2004, in Sri Lanka with Menaka Sahabandu and also studied with Asitha Tennekoon. At age 17, she made her debut with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, performing selections from operas and operettas. Dhanushi has performed extensively in Sri Lanka. Some highlights include soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Chamber Music Society of Colombo, scenes from The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna) and The Barber of Seville (Rosina) with the Menaka Singers Opera Ensemble and The Phantom of the Opera (Christine Daae) by the Workshop Players. After moving to the U.S. in 2015 she studied voice with Timothi Williams and Dr. Rachel Copeland at Penn State. Dhanushi has since presented several solo recitals in the U.S. She currently continues her vocal studies with Rachel Anne Moore and Barbara Bonney. In addition to her musical pursuits, she holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Penn State and works as a Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft.