Performing Artists, Composers, and Others, February 2023

Diana Gao (Feb 21) began studying piano at age 4. She moved to the U.S. from China in 2013 to pursue her MBA at the University of Washington (UW), and she’s currently a Senior Marketing Manager at Microsoft. Although she has pursued a career outside of music, the piano has remained a significant mainstay in her life. She has consistently cultivated her passion through regular lessons and performances. She’s been studying with Dr. Robin McCabe from UW and is a prizewinner in many competitions, including Gold Medalist of the Seattle International Competition and First Prize of the “Golden Classical Music Awards” International Competition. She also performed at the prestigious Piano Texas International Festival. Since 2020, she has presented annual fundraising recitals through the Microsoft Give campaign, raising thousands of dollars in support of local organizations. Those events reinforced her belief that music has the power to inspire change and make the world a better place.

Joyce Gibb (Feb 8) was born in Sri Lanka and started her early piano studies with the admired, but feared music critic Elmer DeHaan. After surviving his rigorous training, she moved to London for further studies with Swiss pianist Albert Ferber, whose teachers included Rachmaninoff. Studying both piano and cello, she was awarded a gold medal for performance by the Royal Schools of Music. Joyce teaches and performs regularly and has been the concerto soloist with the Cascade Symphony, Seattle Philharmonic, Rainier Symphony, Port Angeles, Thalia, and Philharmonia Northwest Orchestras. Her performances have included concertos by Beethoven, Poulenc, Grieg, Addinsell, and Chopin, and the 1st and 2nd piano concertos by Rachmaninoff.

Whitney Henderson (Feb 21) received her PhD in Music History from the University of Washington in 2018, with her dissertation on Women, Place, Repertory, Race, and The Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, 1891-1950, and is finishing an MLIS program. Before stepping into her current role as LMC’s Executive Director, she served as LMC’s Archives Trustee from 2014 to 2021, where she curated, digitized, and expanded the LMC’s substantial archives. She is publishing an LMC-commissioned book, The Ladies Musical Club of Seattle: 130 Years of Cultivating Music in Seattle (forthcoming), and has presented on LMC’s history at national musicology conferences. An experienced and trained grant writer, editor, and educator, Whitney has also designed various works and websites. She spent four years at in Strategic Planning, and taught at UW for eight years while completing her music studies. Her research interests include: Pacific Northwest music history; American popular and art music; women’s music clubs; music archiving methods; music and genre; sheet music; reception history.

Katie Beisel Hollenbach (Feb 10) received a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Denver, twice placing in the Boulder Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition, as well as traveling to Assisi, Italy as a finalist in the International Clarinet Association’s annual research competition. She received her PhD in musicology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently the assistant director for admissions and lecturer at the University of Washington School of Music. An active musicologist, Katie’s research on 1940s music fandom will soon be published by Oxford University Press, and she is currently serving as the Trustee, Archives for the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle.

Sharon Jung (Feb 18) 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.

Violinist Angie Kam (Feb 10) 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.

Lisa Lanza (Feb 21) has been performing as a solo artist and collaborator for over thirty years on the Olympic Peninsula and in the greater Seattle Area. She has studied with the pianist Maria Joao Pires at Belgais, Portugal and Paul Roberts at The Guildhall School of Theater and Arts in London. She holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Accompanying from The University of Redlands. As a guest artist she has performed on the Music at St. Leonard’s concert series, Hythe, England, the Young Concert Artists Competition, at Weill Hall, NY, the Olympic Music Festival, Quilcene, WA, Sierra Opera Institute’s chamber music series, Mammoth, CA, the Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA. As an opera and musical theater accompanist she has worked with companies from Orange County to Seattle Opera, to Issaquah’s Village Theater and Key City Players in Port Townsend. She holds 1st and 2nd prize medals from the Greater Spokane Music & Allied Arts Festival for her interpretations of Beethoven and Chopin.

Joan Lundquist (Feb 8) 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.

Laura Martin (guest artist, Feb 10) has always had a tender place in her heart for chamber music; especially of the Baroque. She owns a period instrument and bows, and was a member of two professional Baroque orchestras in New England and an early music consort in Texas. In Seattle, Laura is a professional private studio teacher and maintains a strong studio of violin and viola students from 4 to adult. She has been a freelance musician for many years; playing with shows and religious groups. Her educational experience includes a Master’s Degree in violin performance from the University of Oregon, many classes and private study with internationally known Suzuki Method teachers, and summer sessions at Indiana University with Mimi Zweig. For more information, please visit LinkedIn at

Karin McCullough (Feb 10) 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, 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.

Patrick O’Keefe (Feb 10) retired from a decidedly non-musical career (computer programmer/analyst) in 2010, providing time to pursue his life-long interest in classical music. Since 2011 he has been studying music theory and composition with instructor, composer, and bass player Brian Cobb, D.M.A. His compositional style tends to be modal with somewhat nontraditional harmonies. Most of his works are for small chamber ensembles but he occasionally writes for orchestra. In addition to classical music, he also has a deep interest in Balkan folk music and recreational Balkan folkdance.

Katie O’Rourke (Feb 10) found her way to composing in 2018 after a decade of playing piano professionally. As a lifelong creative, Katie was drawn to the endless possibilities and the process of blending her favorite sounds, often experimenting with jazz, impressionism, and classical forms, to make something new. Composing has become a much loved endeavor. Katie works as a music educator and Feldenkrais® Practitioner in the Seattle area. She frequently presents Feldenkrais workshops to local music teachers groups and conferences. Katie also runs the Awareness Through Music Blog, which is dedicated to providing free resources on injury prevention, musicians’ wellness, breathwork, and mindful pedagogy. Katie is a graduate of Western Washington University where she studied piano with Milica Jovanovic and Jeffrey Gilliam. As a pianist, Katie has collaborated with groups such Whatcom Symphony, Skagit Opera, and Whatcom Wind Ensemble, and Bellingham Chamber Orchestra and has been a Ladies Musical Club member since 2015.

Gail Perstein (Feb 13, 18) 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.

Erika Pierson (Feb 10) 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.

Stephanie Read (guest artist, Feb 10) is a native of Seattle, participating in the SYSO training orchestras as a child. Starting on violin, she switched to viola in college. She was a charter member of George Shangrow’s Broadway Symphony/Orchestra Seattle. After taking a hiatus while raising her children, she rejoined OS (now known as Harmonia Orchestra and Chorus) and enjoys playing under Music Director William White. She regularly plays with her organist husband Ed Walker at Assumption Church, and enjoys playing more chamber music since she retired.

Soprano, Tiina Ritalahti (Feb 8), holds degrees in music and vocal performance from the University of Washington. She has performed throughout Washington with Northwest Opera in Schools Etcetera (NOISE), Puget Sound Opera, Ladies Musical Club and Puget Sound Concert Opera, as well as being a featured soloist for the Finlandia Foundation. She has sung such roles as the First Spirit and Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Lisa in Bellini’s La sonnambula, Änchen in Der Freischütz by Weber, Cis in Britten’s Albert Herring, and Olympia in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman. Further, she has performed in multiple operas by Menotti: Lucy in The Telephone, Monica in The Medium, and Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief. Her passion for singing also extends to art song repertoire, which she performs regularly in recitals around Western Washington. Tiina has created unique breathing classes for young singers that combine her knowledge and experience as a massage therapist, certified yoga teacher and singer.

Eric Shankland (Feb 13, 18) has been playing bassoon since age 15. He played in the NCR band and the Youth Philharmonic in Dayton, Ohio. He studied with Arthur Grossman and played in the University Symphony at the University of Washington, and currently studies with Paul Rafanelli of the Seattle Symphony. He was principal bassoon in the Eastside Symphony (Redmond) for fifteen years. Eric is a research scientist at the University of Washington.

Julie Shankland (Feb 13, 18) has played clarinet since marching band in the Ohio snow. Since moving to Washington, Julie has played in the UW Concert Band, Eastside Symphony, West Seattle Community Orchestras, Rain City Symphony, and various chamber music camps. Julie is an adult student of Jennifer Nelson and recently learned to play bass clarinet. Julie works in the Office of General Counsel at the Washington State Bar Association.

Bernard Shapiro (Feb 18) 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.

Susan Strick (Feb 13), soprano, has appeared with the Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Village Theater (Maria in The Sound of Music), and as a soloist with the Seattle Bach Festival, The Northwest Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Choral Company. She earned her B.A. in music at Stanford University, M.A. in music at UCLA, and an Opera Diploma at the University of Toronto. A passionate and devoted voice teacher, she is on the faculty at Music Works Northwest and has her own vocal studio in Seattle.

Nicole Truesdell (Feb 10) is a pianist and composer living in Seattle, Washington. She is a member of the Ladies Musical Club Composers’ Group and enjoys cultivating community and creating performance opportunities for past and present LMC composers’ works. Nicole often turns her observations and imaginations of the world around her into music. The Paris Sonatina was inspired by a week-long trip to Paris which included a stay in the Marais and a Rick Steves self-guided walking tour of the arts-centered Montmartre neighborhood. 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.

Frances Walton (Feb 10), founder of the Frances Walton Competition of LMC, grew up studying piano. She earned her BA in applied piano at Washington State University, studied at the Los Angeles Conservatory, and later completed the requirements for her Master’s in Music in Conducting at the University of Washington, the first woman to do so. She is the founder of the Bellevue Youth Symphony which she conducted for many years, as well as Philharmonia Northwest. She founded and ran the Olympic Music Camp for 25 years. She began studying the cello when she was 27, and has performed extensively since then. She has studied with Eva Heinitz, Gordon Epperson and Cordelia Miedel, and plays string quartets with Kathryn Zufall, Ann Rackl, and Janice Gockel weekly. It is the longest running LMC quartet that we know of. In August 2015 she performed with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.

Sharon Wong (guest artist, Feb 13) is a pianist passionate about playing chamber music with instrumentalists and singers. She began her collaborative piano journey during high school while serving as the organist and choir accompanist for her church. During her university years Sharon studied with Margaret Fabrizio on an 1812 fortepiano (twin to the piano Broadwood sent to Beethoven) while gratifying her inner nerd, earning a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. Recently retired after serving as a technology executive at multiple startups and major software companies, Sharon now happily plays with many chamber ensembles and subs at various churches around Seattle.

Kathryn Zufall (Feb 10) grew up in New Jersey playing string quartets with her sisters. She graduated from Barnard College in mathematics, and then received her MD from Harvard Medical School. After moving to the Northwest, she studied violin with Emanuel Zetlin and Martin Friedmann while still practicing internal medicine and raising 3 sons. She plays chamber music with friends in the Seattle area, and hosts chamber music weekends at her summer home near Snohomish.