Performing Artists, October 2021

Katie Hochman (Oct 29), soprano, can be heard regularly giving recitals with Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. She has also enjoyed singing opera and oratorio with Puget Sound Concert Opera (PSCO), Opera Theater Oregon, Portland Opera, Utah Opera, Columbia Chorale and Southwest Washington Symphony (SWS). Highlights include the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Héro in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Bénédict performed with PSCO and Exultate, jubilate performed with SWS.

Sharon Jung (Oct 16) was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She is a nurse practitioner, and works in a neurology practice in Tacoma, Washington. She freelances for numerous ensembles in the local area. She has been an LMC member since 1999. She is a former student of LMC member Gail Perstein and is also a former student of Bernard Shapiro.

Joan Lundquist (Oct 29) has served as a collaborative pianist for Seattle area musicians and organizations for 30 years. Since moving to the area from Humboldt State University in northern California, where she was staff accompanist, Joan has worked with the Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Choral Company, has taught at Seattle University and Northwest University, and has worked with several area private music teachers. Currently, Ms. Lundquist is the Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Seattle and rehearsal accompanist for the Seattle Choral Company.

Pianist Dr. Minju Kim (Oct 15), a native of South Korea, has established herself as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. Dr. Kim holds degrees in Piano Performance from Seoul National University (B.M.), Indiana University (M.M./P.D.), and University of Texas in Austin (D.M.A), and in Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory (M.M.). She has won numerous awards, including the Sidney Wright Accompanying Competition, Korean Music Association Competition, and Korea-Germany Brahms Association Competition. She joined Bowdoin International Music Festival and Music Academy of the West as a fellow in collaborative piano. Currently, Minju is a collaborative pianist at Shoreline Community College, Seattle University and Odle Middle School Choir, and works with several private studios for instruments and voice.

Karin McCullough (Oct 15) took the less-traveled road to a music career. A serious pianist while growing up in Illinois, she suppressed her aspirations and instead became a paralegal. One day she was asked to accompany opera singers at a Fremont Bistro—a weekly engagement lasting 5 years. By then her popularity as an accompanist, soloist & piano teacher let her trade her life as a paralegal for that of a full-time musician. Karin is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano. Karin maintains a flourishing piano studio in Ballard and performs frequently in the Seattle area. She is an active volunteer and member of Seattle Music Teachers Association (SMTA), Principal Organizer for the local chapter of Bach in the Subways, of which she is on the Board of Directors, and has served on the boards of SMTA and Musical Experiences, a nonprofit classical music education organization. Karin is the pianist for Third Church of Christ, Scientist, and is also the program Director for Haller Lake Music Series, a neighborhood classical music series featuring local musicians in recital.

Gail Perstein (Oct 16) has a Bachelor of Science from Springfield College, a Bachelor of Music from P.L.U., a Master of Music from U.W. (both in oboe performance) and a Master of Arts in Historical Musicology, also from U.W. She splits her time between teaching oboe privately, performing on oboe/English horn, and performing early music. She played in both early and classical music groups at P.L.U. and U.W., and continues performing in various settings, ranging from Tacoma Opera to local church services. Ms. Perstein performed for many years with her own medieval group, Chansonnier, using period instruments. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle for 22 years and chair of the Frances Walton Competition Committee for 23 years.

Bernard Shapiro (Oct 16) was principal oboe of the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera from 1961-2004, participating in over 80 Seattle Symphony recordings. He appeared as soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Quartet, Balamian Quartet, Seoul Symphony, Korean Broadcast Symphony, and Bellevue Symphony. He was co-founder of the New York Baroque Quintet, English horn with the Royal Ballet Touring Orchestra (London), and received the Fromm foundation Fellowship for Contemporary Music Performance at Princeton University and Tanglewood (1960). Mr. Shapiro has been a member of the faculty at University of Washington, Cornish School, Pacific Lutheran University, Western Washington University, and Seattle Pacific University. At PLU, he participated in many programs as a member of the faculty wind quintet, the Camas Quintet. He graduated from the Music and Art High School of New York City, and holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education from Manhattan School of Music. In addition to oboe, he also enjoys playing cello.

An outstanding member of the Northwest musical community for over 20 years, Regina Thomas (Oct 29) has performed with a variety of companies including Kitsap Opera, Willamette Concert Opera, Bellevue Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Seattle Opera, and the Seattle Opera Guild. Currently LMC’s trustee of concerts and Artistic Director of Puget Sound Concert Opera, Regina has served as Seattle Opera Guild’s VP of Education and is a past President of LMC. Favorite operatic roles include Adriana Lecouvreur, Suor Angelica, Tosca, and Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle). Concert work includes Schumann’s Frauenleibe und-leben, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, and Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder; soprano solos in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Fauré Requiem, and Berio’s Folk Songs for voice and chamber ensemble.

Kathryn Vinson (Oct 15) is a mezzo-soprano known for the warmth and richness of her voice. She appears frequently in recital in Seattle in venues ranging from Town Hall to Saint Mark’s cathedral. She has an extensive repertoire of German Lieder and has appeared internationally in operas in Europe and the Middle East. Ms. Vinson is equally at home with oratorio and has been a soloist with Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers. Her voice can also be heard on the soundtracks of a number of major motion pictures. Ms. Vinson has been a featured singer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the annual Christmas production of The Nutcracker.

Virtual Happy Hour Artists, June 2021

Annie Chang Center (June 4 & 11), violist/pianist, started performing in her native Taiwan for foreign dignitaries when she was six years old. Since coming to the U.S., Annie has performed in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. As a piano soloist, she performed with San Francisco Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. As violist, she performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Olympic, Utah, Prague, and Red Rocks Festivals, and has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Emerson, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Quartets. For ten years, she was the assistant principal violist of the Phoenix Symphony, for which she performed regularly as a viola soloist. She has also played in the AZ Musicfest Orchestra, Black Pearl Orchestra, South Florida Symphony, and Seattle Opera. Currently, she plays in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

Pianist Xin Chang (June 4 & 18) is originally from China. She has performed and taught throughout North America and Asia. As an active collaborative pianist, chamber musician and piano teacher, Dr. Chang was a full-time collaborative pianist at the University of Wyoming. She has also been on faculty at the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy, Texas Low Brass Academy and the International Violin Festival and Competition in Singapore. Dr. Chang attended prestigious summer festivals including Interlochen Center for the Arts, SongFest, Brevard Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, Banff Centre and the Castleman Quartet Program. Dr. Chang has performed with violinist Charles Castleman, baritone David Small, tubaist Charles Villarrubia, saxophonist Toshikazu Nagase and recorded with double bass player DaXun Zhang. As a soloist, Dr. Chang won 2nd prize in the Colorado International Piano Competition at Northern Colorado University. She has also performed with the Jiangsu Orchestra of China. Dr. Xin Chang enjoys teaching piano to all levels of students. She currently maintains a private studio in Seattle and works as a piano instructor at the Yamaha-authorized La Belle Music School in Bellevue, WA. Dr. Chang completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She also received a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree from Renmin University of China. Her principal teachers were Colette Valentine, Anne Epperson, Jean Barr and Fang Zhang.

Lin Chen (June 11) keeps herself busy singing and playing the violin as a freelance musician in the Greater Seattle area. Her vocal adventures started at the age of 16 when she started taking singing lessons out of her love for musical theatre. It wasn’t long before she started to discover a new interest for opera and has been singing and learning the classical repertoires ever since. Growing up in Australia, she was fortunate to study with a number of teachers from the Griffith and the Sydney conservatoriums and was an active participant in the local performance scene. Lin is excited to be a part of LMC and looks forward to sharing her music with the LMC community!

Lawrence Chu (guest artist, June 11), cello, 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. He has been practicing Emergency medicine locally for the past 32 years. He would like to thank Ann and Selina for this opportunity to rekindle his passion for making music together.

Selina Chu (June 11) holds a special place in her heart for all types of ensemble playing, from duo-piano recitals to choral works, chamber music, and dance collaboration. During her association with Alaska Dance Theatre as their Principal Accompanist, Selina developed a lifelong interest in the expressive relationships between movement and music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington, a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and permanent National Certification from MTNA. Selina maintains an independent piano studio in Issaquah and has served as an adjudicator, clinician, and master teacher throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is known for her sense of humor and creative approach to learning and performance.

Violinist Angie Kam (June 18) is an established performer and teacher in the Seattle area. She enjoys playing regular recitals as a performing chamber musician and soloist with the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. As a professional orchestral violinist, she is assistant principal second violinist of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and a section player in the North Corner Chamber Orchestra. Angie has performed with many major pop groups including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones composer), Il Divo, Idina Menzel, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah Brightman, and Michael Bublé. She is also an active studio recording musician for movies and video games. When she’s not playing, practicing, or teaching, Angie enjoys mountaineering, skiing, hiking, running, eating, and spending time with her family (husband and dog).

Joan Lundquist (June 11) has served as a collaborative pianist for Seattle area musicians and organizations for 30 years. Since moving to the area from Humboldt State University in northern California, where she was staff accompanist, Joan has worked with the Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Choral Company, has taught at Seattle University and Northwest University, and has worked with several area private music teachers. Currently, Ms. Lundquist is the Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Seattle and rehearsal accompanist for the Seattle Choral Company.

Ann Rackl (June 11), 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.

Mezzo-soprano Katie Stevenson (June 4 & 18) has performed in numerous concerts in Seattle with the Puget Sound Concert Opera, including Anna Bolena, Cavalleria Rusticana, and their annual gala. While living in NYC, Katie worked with Dicapo Opera, Amato Opera, and Opera Collective, performing roles such as Romeo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, and Henrichetta in I Puritani. In Philadelphia she sang the title role in Carmen, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Emilia in Otello. While living in Europe, Katie travelled to perform in concerts and festivals in England, Ireland, and Germany. She now lives in Seattle with her husband and puppies and works as a church music director and private voice instructor, while still enjoying life as a performer. www.katiehstevenson.com

Virtual Happy Hour Artists, May 2021

Annie Chang Center (May 21), violist/pianist, started performing in her native Taiwan for foreign dignitaries when she was six years old. Since coming to the U.S., Annie has performed in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. As a piano soloist, she performed with San Francisco Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. As a violist, she performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Olympic, Utah, Prague, and Red Rocks Festivals, and has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Emerson, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Quartets. For ten years, she was the assistant principal violist of the Phoenix Symphony, for which she performed regularly as a viola soloist. She has also played in the AZ Musicfest Orchestra, Black Pearl Orchestra, South Florida Symphony, and Seattle Opera. Currently, she plays in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

Molly Knight Forde (May 14), pianist, is an acclaimed performer and recording artist whose attention to subtle nuance and color have ranked her among the finest musicians. She has performed as a solo pianist across the U.S. and in Europe, and has broadcast live on Radio France, Antenne 2, National Public Radio and regularly on KING FM. Ms. Knight was the recipient of the Diplôme de Virtuosité at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where she studied with the late Gaby Casadesus. She also holds Performance degrees from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the University of Washington. Her teachers include Bela Siki, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Frank Heneghan. Ms. Knight currently serves on the faculty of the Seattle Girls’ Choir, freelances as a professional collaborative pianist, and maintains a private teaching studio in Seattle. She is a certified member of the NMTA, WSMTA, and performs regularly for the Ladies Musical Club. With her husband, she facilitates a global meditation school, regularly performing the music of Thomas de Hartmann and Gurdjieff. Her CDs, The Art of Dance and French, are available at Amazon.com, CD Baby, and iTunes.

Andrew Kam (guest artist, May 7) 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 (May 7) is an established performer and teacher in the Seattle area. She enjoys playing regular recitals as a performing chamber musician and soloist with the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. As a professional orchestral violinist, she is assistant principal second violinist of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and a section player in the North Corner Chamber Orchestra. Angie has performed with many major pop groups including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones composer), Il Divo, Idina Menzel, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah Brightman, and Michael Bublé. She is also an active studio recording musician for movies and video games. When she’s not playing, practicing, or teaching, Angie enjoys mountaineering, skiing, hiking, running, eating, and spending time with her family (husband and dog).

Emily Riesser’s (May 14) diverse experience encompasses opera, oratorio, theatre, and new works. She recently portrayed Elle in a staging of Poulenc’s one-voice opera, The Human Voice (Ladies Musical Club), sang Frasquita in Carmen (Kitsap Opera), and played a nun in Sister Act (Tacoma Musical Playhouse). In concert, Emily is known for her interpretation of Bach cantatas, including Wedding Cantata, which she sang recently in several venues. Favorite experiences include singing Iphigenie in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (Seattle Opera Guild), Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata (Kitsap Opera), Tamiri in Mozart’s Il re pastore (Off-Center Opera), and soprano chorus at Seattle Opera. Emily is a graduate of Goshen College (Goshen, IN) and past participant in Bel Canto Northwest (Portland State University).

Valentina Rodov (May 7 & 21) was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and received her music education as a concert pianist from the famous Moscow Conservatory. She performed solo and in chamber groups prior to emigrating to the United States. Once in the U.S., Valentina decided to become a lawyer, which she successfully accomplished upon graduating from law school in Los Angeles and passing the California Bar. Valentina practiced law as business litigator in Southern California for over twenty years until she and her husband moved to Seattle. With great support and encouragement from the Seattle music community, Valentina came back to piano playing, and soon became a frequent and critically acclaimed recitalist and chamber music performer at various venues in the Seattle area.

Virtual Happy Hour Artists, April 2021

A recent transplant from Chicago, Il, soprano Clarice Alfonso (April 30) received her master’s degree in voice performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Past feats this season have included her Orchestra Hall debut as the soloist in the North American premiere of Jacob TV’s Mountain Top, First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Chicago Chamber Opera, and Julia Jellicoe in The Grand Duke. Clarice has sung with the Grant Park Chorus and Chicago Symphony Chorus, is a part of the VOX3 Ensemble, and often gives concerts featuring musical theater, jazz, and opera.

Vicki Boeckman (April 9) has been performing and teaching since the 1980s. She is embracing the new virtual world with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a sense of awe, finding it to be positive and rewarding amidst the challenges we are all facing. Pre-pandemic she was an internationally acclaimed performing and recording artist who traveled all over the US and to many other countries to perform and teach. Vicki resided in Denmark from 1981-2004 and had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the finest musicians of the day including Jaap ter Linden, John Holloway, René Jacobs, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Pedro Memelsdorf and Markus Zahnhausen. Her Danish recorder trio Wood’N’Flutes had a fantastic 15-year run performing all over Europe and working with contemporary composers in addition to doing children’s theater. She was an adjunct professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen for 12 years and taught at the Ishøj Municipal School of Music for 23 years. Many of those students are now professionals, performing and teaching in conservatories in Denmark and around Europe. Locally Vicki has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, The Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Medieval Women’s Choir, Gallery Concerts, Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra, and the Skagit Symphony. She is currently music director for the Seattle Recorder Society, co-director for the Recorder Orchestra of Puget Sound (ROPS), and Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop. She dearly hopes that these organizations can withstand the challenges of separation and continue to thrive.

Lin Chen (April 9 & 23) keeps herself busy singing and playing the violin as a freelance musician in the Greater Seattle area. Her vocal adventures started at the age of 16 when she started taking singing lessons out of her love for musical theatre. It wasn’t long before she started to discover a new interest for opera and has been singing and learning the classical repertoires ever since. Growing up in Australia, she was fortunate to study with a number of teachers from the Griffith and the Sydney conservatoriums and was an active participant in the local performance scene. Lin is excited to be a part of LMC and looks forward to sharing her music with the LMC community!

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Abigail Habegger (April 9) is new to the Seattle area. She started playing the piano at 5 years of age and enjoyed playing in competitions and accompanying concerts while growing up. She is known for her teaching, solo work as well as her collaborative work, including opera, chamber music, juries, and competitions. Abigail has accompanied rehearsals for La Traviata in Urbania, Italy, Broadway shows such as Cabaret, touring children's choirs, and members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She holds a Bachelor in Music from DePaul University and a Master’s in Music from Northern Illinois University. She is currently the piano accompanist for Puget Soundworks Chorus of Seattle. Abigail also loves hiking, running, baking, and keeping up with her 3 young children Alyse, Arakel, and Anya, as well as her husband Steve.

Katie Hochman (April 16), soprano, can be heard regularly giving recitals with Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. She has also enjoyed singing opera and oratorio with Puget Sound Concert Opera (PSCO), Opera Theater Oregon, Portland Opera, Utah Opera, Columbia Chorale and Southwest Washington Symphony (SWS). Highlights include the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Héro in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Bénédict performed with PSCO and Exultate, jubilate performed with SWS.

Joan Lundquist (April 9, 16, 23 & 30) has served as a collaborative pianist for Seattle area musicians and organizations for 30 years. Since moving to the area from Humboldt State University in northern California, where she was staff accompanist, Joan has worked with the Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Choral Company, has taught at Seattle University and Northwest University, and has worked with several area private music teachers. Currently, Ms. Lundquist is the Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Seattle and rehearsal accompanist for the Seattle Choral Company.

Karin McCullough (April 23) took the less-traveled road to a music career. A serious pianist while growing up in Illinois, she suppressed her aspirations and instead became a paralegal. One day she was asked to accompany opera singers at a Fremont Bistro—a weekly engagement lasting 5 years. By then her popularity as an accompanist, soloist and piano teacher let her trade her life as a paralegal for that of a full-time musician. Karin is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano. Karin maintains a flourishing piano studio in Ballard and performs frequently in the Seattle area. She is an active volunteer and member of Seattle Music Teachers Association (SMTA), Principal Organizer for the local chapter of Bach in the Subways, of which she is on the Board of Directors, and has served on the boards of SMTA and Musical Experiences, a nonprofit classical music education organization. Karin is the pianist for Third Church of Christ, Scientist.

Valentina Rodov (April 16, 23 & 30) was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and received her music education as a concert pianist from the famous Moscow Conservatory. She performed solo and in chamber groups prior to emigrating to the United States. Once in the U.S., Valentina decided to become a lawyer, which she successfully accomplished upon graduating from law school in Los Angeles and passing the California Bar. Valentina practiced law as business litigator in Southern California for over twenty years until she and her husband moved to Seattle. With great support and encouragement from the Seattle music community, Valentina came back to piano playing, and soon became a frequent and critically acclaimed recitalist and chamber music performer at various venues in the Seattle area.

New Works for a New Year: LMC Celebrates Northwest Composers

Matthew James Briggs (Radiant Light, January 22) received his Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Indiana University Jacobs School of music where he studied composition with Sven-David Sandström and percussion with Anthony Cirone. Matthew has performed original compositions at LMC concerts with his wife and LMC member Candice Chin. Matthew is currently studying composition with John Muehleisen.

Heidi Fivash (Keeping Afloat, January 8) completed her Bachelor’s of Music in Composition at Western Washington University, where she earned several awards and scholarships including the prestigious Presser Scholarship, awarded to one outstanding music major each year. In 2016 she released an indie rock EP titled “Out With The Old.” She has also had several concert pieces performed in the Seattle area, including two works for string quartet that were finalists in the Seattle Composers Alliance Call For Scores concerts. Heidi currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula where she performs solo concerts for voice and piano at local retirement communities and is studying with the Music for Healing and Transitions Program to become a Certified Music Practitioner in Therapeutic Music.

John Muehleisen’s (Apparitions, January 15) 150+ vocal and choral works have been described as “masterful …imaginatively harmonized…beautifully realized…and brilliantly crafted.” He has been Composer-in-Residence for Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble since 1996, for the Dale Warland Singers (2003-2004), and for Choral Arts Northwest (2011-2012 and 2016-2017). He has also received commissions from Conspirare, The Esoterics, Harvard Glee Club, Northwest Girlchoir, Seattle Girl’s Choir, Seattle Pro Musica, and Volti. More than 80 of his compositions have been recorded commercially, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia by esteemed conductors including John Alexander, Anton Armstrong, and Craig Hella Johnson, and his oratorios about compassion (Pietà) and WWI (But Who Shall Return Us Our Children – A Kipling Passion) have received more than 20 performances. Awards include the 1988 Louisville Orchestra Composition Prize, Third Place in the 2013 American Prize in Professional Choral Composition, and the 2014 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award. 

Jeffrey Moidel’s song cycle— Neruda Love Sonnets (Jan 22) received “First Place for the Nation: USA” representing Washington State in the International Ravel Composition Competition held in Bergamo, Italy in 2015 and was advanced to the Semi-Finals. The song, “And now you’re mine…” was singled out by the NATS Art Song Composition Award panel of judges and given the award of “Stand-Out Song,” the first song ever to receive such mention in the ASCA competition’s history. Actually, they created the category specifically to honor this song! The Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Aspen Dance Connection have featured his compositions with Jeff at the piano. As both piano soloist and collaborative pianist Jeff has performed throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He also gave a private concert at Gracie Mansion in New York City for Mayor Koch and his guests. In addition, Jeff has performed and recorded with popular artists including Ann Hampton Calloway and John Denver. A graduate of the Mannes College of Music in New York City, Jeff has been a vocal coach and instructor for Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, the Aspen Music Festival, the Vocal Institute at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Peter Harrower Opera Program at Georgia State University, the Perry Mansfield School for the Performing Arts in Colorado, the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, Washington and was an Assistant Professor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. In addition, Jeff has served as the Assistant Music Director and Chorus Master for Tacoma Opera and Skagit Opera and has also been chair of the music department at the Washington Academy for the Performing Arts. He believes it is important for children to develop an early appreciation for the arts and has written six children’s musicals and other concert works for young audiences.

Karen P. Thomas (Jan 8), composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS, and Cathedra. Recipient of the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Award (Seattle), she was also awarded the 2015 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America and the American Composers Forum. She has received grants from the NEA, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Her compositions have been awarded numerous prizes, and her commissions include the Grand Jubilee 2000 in Rome, American Guild of Organists, Goodwill Arts Festival, Association of Anglican Musicians (for the Washington National Cathedral chamber choir), among many others. Ms. Thomas is an active conductor, with guest appearances in the US and Europe. She has produced ten critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award.

Nicole Truesdell (Paris Sonatina for violin and piano, January 15) is a pianist and composer living in Seattle, Washington. She chairs the Ladies Musical Club Composers’ Group and enjoys cultivating community and creating performance opportunities for past and present LMC composers’ works. While in college, Nicole became intrigued with the audible and visual relationship possibilities of composing for a smaller, chime-like toy piano and a larger, dynamic full-sized piano. She has written several pieces for this duo including the pieces on this program. Nicole graduated summa cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts in 2007 with an emphasis in music composition. She currently studies composition privately with composer John Muehleisen.