KMM Studio Artists
Incredible musicians. Remarkable people.
Learn about Sara
Sara Sasaki, violinist based in Dallas, Texas, has a multi-faceted performing and teaching career. She recently became a graduate of The University of Texas Butler School of Music with an Artist Diploma degree, studying primarily with Sandy Yamamoto. Previously she has earned her Master of Music degree from The University of Texas Butler School of Music and Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sasaki has leadership experience performing Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin in several orchestras and contemporary ensembles in the Dallas and Austin area. In addition to playing classical music, she enjoys playing bluegrass fiddle with bands Ioni Creek and The Quibble Brothers, and performs frequently in the DFW area. Currently, Ms. Sasaki is a faculty member at the Lakewood Conservatory of Fine Arts in Dallas with a full studio, and enjoys spending time with her fiance Charles and cats Kikko and Yoshi.
Learn about Emilio
Emilio Vazquez, graduated from Arizona State University in 2018 with a M.M. in Violin Performance and in 2016 with a B.M. in Violin Performance where he studied with Dr. Jonathan Swartz. During his time at ASU, Emilio participated in the Visitng Quartet Residency Program where he was able to coach and perform with renowned string quartets such as Julliard String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, and the Shanghai String Quartet. Summer festivals Emilio has attended include the Innsbrook Institute, Domaine Forget, Bowdoin International Festival, the St. Lawrence Quartet Seminar, and the Red Rocks Winter Chamber Music Institute. Currently, Emilio teaches a large studio of violin and viola students in Chandler, AZ and freelances around the valley.
Learn about Jonathan
Jonathan Echevarria received his Masters in Music degree on full scholarship at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University studying with Ivo-Jan Van der Werff. His previous teachers include Honggang Li of the Shanghai Quartet, Kathryn Lockwood of the Lark Quartet, and Kerri Ryan. Mr. Echevarria has held principal and assistant principal positions in The Latin Philharmonic, The Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, The Shepherd School of Music Symphony Orchestra, The Shepherd School of Music Opera Orchestra, and The Maine Chamber Music Seminar Orchestra. His versatile performance career has led him to record for both film and studio albums, collaborate with classical artists such as Sir James Galway, and Colin Carr, and share the stage with mainstream artists including Sarah McLachlan, Andy Montañez, and legendary music group, Eagles. He has performed in masterclasses for Ettore Causa, Cynthia Phelps, CJ Chang, Paul Neubauer, and Carol Rodland, and has been invited to festivals including The Interlochen Center for The Arts, The Aspen Music Festival and School, The Maine Chamber Music Seminar, and Spoleto Festival U.S.A.
Learn about Everardo
Everardo was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He first started on flute at the age of 11. Then at the age of 15, he switched to cello and started studying under Cynthia Magaña. Everardo is now a passionate teacher and performer in the Chicago area. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance in 2019 at Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University studying under Dr. Tanya L. Carey, former president of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Everardo is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCPA with Dr. Tanya L. Carey. He has finished his training in Suzuki Cello Books 1- 4 under Dr. Carey as well.
Away from the cello, Everardo loves to read, cook, going on runs, and going on very long bike rides around the city.
Dr. Benjamin Hedquist
Learn about Ben
Ben Hedquist is a double bassist and composer based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017 he graduate with a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Arizona State University(ASU). Currently, he is the clinical assistant professor of jazz bass at ASU. Hedquist is known for his versatility and feels at home playing classical or jazz music. As a classical musician, he has performed with the West Valley Symphony, Phoenix Opera, and as principal bassist in the Musica Nova Orchestra. Hedquist has also performed in chamber concerts with the ASU String Faculty as part of the Stradivarius Concert Series at the Musical Instrument Museum, with violinist Mark Fewer (University of Toronto) as part of the Lotus Land Project and performs solo recitals throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan area. In 2016, he was placed as runner-up for the Arizona State University’s Concert of the Soloists Competition.
As a jazz bassist, Hedquist was a finalist in the 2016 European Double Bass Congress jazz bass competition held in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a top call bassist in Phoenix and has performed with a growing number of jazz notables, including Joe Locke, Peter Bernstein, George Garzone, Miguel Zenon, Glenn Zaleski, John Hollenbeck, Chris Cheek, Harold Maybern, John Clayton, and Lewis Nash. In 2019, Hedquist released his first album titled “The Mists of Uncertainty” featuring all original compositions.
Learn about Quentin
Indianapolis native, Quentin Beverly recently obtained his bachelor’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music studying vocal performance with an outside field in psychology. During his time at Indiana University, he had the opportunity to draw knowledge from a top tier faculty, put on recitals, and perform with Jacobs’ world-class opera theatre. He is ecstatic to be part of this ensemble and make music with fellow musicians in this virtual world of ours!
Learn about Page
Page Stephens is a mezzo soprano, voice teacher and arts administrator based in Austin, TX with a soft spot for new music. Notable recent premiere performances include: Dana Lyn’s A Point on a Slow Curve with Lyn’s band Mother Octopus; Adrienne Inglis’ Innocent Blood as Mary Esty with Inversion Ensemble; Mark Kilstofte’s The White Album with Copland House in New York; and Russell Podgorsek’s operetta The Two of Swords with Invoke String Quartet. Page serves as the Assistant Director for Operations at the Butler School of Music and is working towards her doctorate in vocal performance and pedagogy at UT Austin. She has a M.M. from UT Austin and a B.A. from Duke University.
Learn about Tislam
A Native of Brooklyn, New York, Tislam Swift has performed on a wide array of concert stages, theaters and opera houses. In 2007, Mr. Swift was a background vocalist for Elton John’s 60th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. He was also a member of the 2013-2014 season of the Atlanta Opera chorus, under the direction of Maestro Walter Huff. In 2014, he participated in the Princeton Opera Festival’s production of Porgy and Bess. He has made Indiana University Opera Theater appearances in La Boheme, South Pacific, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Parsifal, Die Fledermaus as Dr.Blind, as the Comic Marcellus Washburn in Meredith Wilson’s The Music man, as Scaramuccio in Strauss’ Ariadne Ariadne Auf Naxos and most recently as a street singer soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. As a Young Artist, he has spent a summer at the Utah Festival Opera Musical Theater performing in productions of Ragtime, Porgy and Bess and Peter Pan. Mr. Swift has been a World-Premier Artist with the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation. He is very passionate about bringing music to the community and was recently a featured artist in the City of Bloomington’s annual Black Y Brown arts festival, highlighting art songs and spirituals by Black composers. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Morehouse College and a Masters of Music from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he is currently a Doctoral student under the tutelage of Mezzo Soprano Patricia Stiles. He is also a proud member of both Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Learn about Tiffany
Tiffany Williams is a classically trained soprano born and raised in Jackson MS. She received a dual bachelors of music in piano and voice performance from Jackson State University. She is a recent graduate from Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN with a masters in voice performance. Whether it’s at an opera house in Germany, Carnegie Hall in New York, a cathedral in Spain, or a church in Nebraska, she has shared her gift of music all around the world. Tiffany is most known for her beautiful, sparkly, shimmering, warm, and expressive voice. She has wowed many audiences with her versatility and artistry in singing classical, gospel, soul or jazz. Her goal in life is to continue to share her light and voice around the world.
Chelsea de Souza
Learn about Chelsea
Chelsea de Souza is a Steinway Young Artist from Mumbai, India. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in politics, piano performance and vocal accompanying from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a Master’s degree in piano from the Peabody Institute. She is currently working towards her doctorate at the Shepherd School of Rice University in Houston, where she performs regularly as a Young Artist Fellow for the DACAMERA Chamber Music and Jazz Series. A musician of varied interests, both solo and collaborative, Chelsea has performed with the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, the Peabody Modern Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the Shepherd School Contemporary Ensemble. She is a committed performer of music by living composers, and has premiered numerous works for solo piano and small ensemble by composers at the Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Institute and Shepherd School. As a singer, she was co-director of Oberlin’s longest-running all-female a cappella group ‘Nothing But Treble’.
Learn about Joel
Joel Tucker has been featured in various local and national publications for his guitar playing, including NUVO, The Indianapolis Star and Downbeat magazine. He is an active performer with The Tucker Brothers Group, Clint Breeze and The Groove, Shipwreck Karpathos, Eliot Bigger, and Prime Vintage, among other projects. Joel has traveled around the United States with Michael Spiro for performances as well as clinics centered around the progression of the jazz and Latin American jazz tradition. Joel has been featured on 9 different albums as a side man and 3 albums as a bandleader, exemplifying his extensive versatility on the guitar. The albums he is featured on range from straight ahead jazz, Latin jazz, post-rock, shoegaze, hip hop, and commercial music. Joel received both his BM and MM in jazz studies from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and is currently the guitar instructor at Ball State University.
Learn about Chaz
Mexican-American flutist Chaz Salazar employs “classical” music as a catalyst for social justice as an orchestral musician, teaching artist, and musical activist. He works to ensure that students who are part of marginalized communities, specifically those of socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and people of color, have equitable exposure and access to music and music education.
As a performer, Chaz was a founding member of the in-home chamber music series, An Evening of Music, where he has made appearances on over 30 concerts. Along with performances at churches, hospitals, community centers and retirement homes, Chaz has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony as a substitute musician.
A first-generation college graduate, he earned both his BM and MM from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).
Dr. Chelsea Tanner
Learn about Chelsea
Chelsea Tanner has a vibrant and active career as a performer and educator. She has most recently served on the faculties of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, and the Penn State School of music. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Texas at Austin studying with Marianne Gedigian. Her Master of Music was earned at Carnegie Mellon University, while studying with Jeanne Baxtresser. She has been an active orchestral musician performing with orchestras around the country such as the San Antonio Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, as well as having held the position of Second Flutist of the Central Texas Philharmonic.
Learn about Zach
Zach Warren enjoys an exciting and diverse career as an orchestral flutist, chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Zach joined the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in the position of Second Flute and Piccolo in September, 2019. He also performs as a member of the Tucson Symphony Wind Quintet. Zach recently completed a Master of Music Degree in flute performance at The University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music. Prior to that, Zach earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from The University of South Carolina. Mr. Warren has been awarded fellowships with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center Institute, the Marrowstone Music Festival, and the National Music Festival at Washington College. Zach has been featured as a performer in masterclasses with Paula Robison, Robert Langevin, Leone Buyse, Lorna McGhee, Göran Marcusson, and Sharon Sparrow and has had the privilege of studying with distinguished flutists and pedagogues Marianne Gedigian, Jennifer Parker-Harley, and Jennifer Dior.
Learn about Sara
Sara Morales recently graduated from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, with a B.M in Music Performance. During her studies, she performed in numerous groups and ensembles, such as the UT Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, Butler Opera Center Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival Faculty Orchestra, and the Robert Reynolds Conducting Institute. Her primary teachers have been Dr. Andrew Parker and Mark Ackerman.
Learn about Ben
Benjamin Stevenson (b. 1995) writes with the goal of inviting audiences to evaluate their understanding of the world, whether related to deeply held beliefs or simple experiences in our daily lives. His music has been showcased by groups including the UT New Music Ensemble, Density 512, the Cohen New Works Festival, and the Sound in Sculpture series. He has written for virtuosic soloists including flutist Marianne Gedigian and oboist Katherine Needleman. Stevenson has a wide variety of artistic interests, often creating works alongside poetry, visual artists, choreographers, and film creators. He has been recognized with awards including the George H. Mitchell Award and the Prix Nadia Boulanger from the Écoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau. He earned his Masters in composition and oboe at Peabody Conservatory, studying in the composition studio of Kevin Puts and Du Yun, and the oboe studio of Jane Marvine. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin, where his teachers included Donald Grantham and Yevgeniy Sharlat. Stevenson was a member of Andrew Parker’s oboe studio; frequently premiering new works and performing works from the standard repertoire.
Learn about Katia
Katia Osorio is a Honduran-American bassoonist and active freelancer from Houston, Texas. A passionate advocate, she aims to challenge and broaden the standards that systemically exclude marginalized artists and achieves it through performance, curating concerts, and other creative projects.
Katia is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Exposure—a digital database that focuses on filling the void of available resources for works by minority composers. Launched in June 2019, Exposure hosts a video concert series that features performances, biographies, and access to similar resources of these works. Katia is the 2018-19 recipient of the Richard E Rainwater Innovation grant and the runner up recipient of UT’s President’s Award for Global Learning grants for her pioneering work with Exposure. Katia holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from The University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen, and will begin her Master of Music in Performance at Yale University this fall under the tutelage of Frank Morelli.
Learn about DaJuan
Award winning soloist, chamber musician, film studio artist, teacher, and conductor; DaJuan Brooks is from Rancho Cucamonga, California. After his time there, Mr. Brooks went on to receive his Bachelor’s of Music from The University of Arizona and Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University. DaJuan Brooks now serves as the Head Band Director in the Fine Arts Department at John B Connally South High School.
He has performed as a clarinetist or conductor in the Northshore Concert Band, Northwestern Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, Arizona Symphony, UA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, UA Theatre and Film department, Nation Band Association’s Young Conductor and Composer Mentor Project, The United States Air Force Band, and The United States Pershing’s Own Army Band. He also was on the music staff and is the lead woodwind technician at Chromium Winds, the three time WGI Independent Open Champions.
Learn about Julian
Julian enjoys numerous solo, chamber, and orchestral engagements across the U.S. He currently serves as clarinetist with Houston-based wind quintet, WindSync. He previously served as principal clarinetist of the Fayetteville Symphony from 2014-2016 and performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony (SC). Festival appearances include: New York String Orchestra Seminar (NYSOS), Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), and Texas Music Festivals. He is a graduate of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas’ Global Leaders Training program that aims to build social music programs in the most remote and dynamic parts of the world. Through Global Leaders, Julian has had the privilege to present masterclasses and build educational residences in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname’s Nationale Volksmuziekschool. As a full-time chamber musician with WindSync, he has had the privilege to travel the world performing recitals and giving master classes at venus such as: Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. When not obsessing over chamber music, Julian can be found teaching indoor spin or rowing classes or binging on Netflix TV shows. Julian attended Baylor University, the University of Michigan, and the Eastman School of Music. His primary teachers include: Dr. Richard Shanley, Alan Olson, Dan Gilbert, and Kenneth Grant.
Learn about Ben
Ben Hughes received his Bachelor’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Texas in 2019. During his final semester he won an audition for the United States Air Force Band of the West, and is currently performing with them in San Antonio, Texas.
Learn about Jessica
Jessica Hughes received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 where she studied with Jonathan Gunn. She is currently a member of the US Air Force Band of the West, stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Luz Sarmiento
Learn about Luz
Dr. Luz Sarmiento is a dedicated artist and educator with a successful career as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer. She has performed in several venues in Europe, North and South America including the Krzyztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Poland, the Boston Symphony Hall, Sanders Theater and the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Auditorium in Bogota Colombia. In 2012, Dr. Sarmiento was invited to perform in the prestigious Radio Show “From The Top” hosted by Christopher O’Riley, which features the most talented young musicians in the US and the world and it is the America’s largest national platform celebrating extraordinary talents. As a celebration of their first international show, Luz was featured as guest performer in a soloist recital in the Faculty Club at Harvard University in Cambridge MA. Additionally, she performed and was interviewed in the NPR broadcast together with the Youth Philharmonic of Colombia. Dr. Sarmiento has performed with prestigious institutions in the US including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Civic Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Austin Local Opera, Symphony Pro Musica, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Bogota Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Youth Orchestra of Americas, Youth Philharmonic of Colombia and Bogota Symphony Orchestra, among others. As a soloist, Dr. Sarmiento has appeared with the Symphony Pro Musica of Boston in concerts in Hudson and Westborough, MA, starring the premier of Montilla’s Fantasia Concertante for two clarinets and Orchestra, a virtuosic piece dedicated to her and commissioned by the Symphony Pro Musica in 2015. She also performed as guest soloist with the UT Lab Orchestra at the Bates Recital Hall in Austin TX, as well as with the National Conservatory Orchestra of Colombia as the winner of the National Performance Competition Award in one of the most important music theaters in Colombia, the Leon De Greiff Auditorium in Bogota. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the the AAUW (American Asociation of University Women) International Doctoral Fellowship 2017-2018, the prestigious Presser Foundation Music Award 2017 and the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Award. Other honors include the first prize at the National Performance Competition “Ciudad de Bogota” in Colombia 2011, the Luis Angel Arango Young Performers Series in 2010, the Annual Student Performance Competition 2011, the Concerto Competition UNAL 2010 and the Longy School of Music Honors Competition 2014, as well as the second prize in the ClarinEafit National Clarinet Competition 2009, among others. Dr. Sarmiento has taught master classes and workshops in several schools in Latin America and the United States. She finished her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 with Steve Cohen and Jonathan Gunn, where she served as the Clarinet Teaching Assistant for two years, teaching college level students and performing as a collaborative faculty. She earned her Master of Music at the Longy School of Music of Bard College with Jorge Montilla and her Bachelor degree from the National University of Colombia with Hector Pinzon. Additionally, Dr. Sarmiento was awarded with a full scholarship to study a performance certificate at the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon, France with Nicolas Baldeyrou and Robert Bianciotto.
Dr. Ivan Valbuena
Learn about Ivan
Dr. Ivan Valbuena is a versatile performer and an experienced educator. He is the winner of the competitive Matthew Ruggiero International Clarinet Competition 2017, a rigorous competition with dozens of applicants around the world, worldwide acclaimed judges and a $10,000 prize. Ivan is also the winner of the Harold Wright Clarinet Award organized by the Boston Woodwind Society in 2014, second prize of the National Performance Competition “Ciudad de Bogota” in 2011, winner of the Concerto Competition and the Honors Competition at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA 2013 and winner of the Bogota Philharmonic Soloists Competition in 2010 among others. Ivan has been featured as a soloist with the Symphony Pro Musica Orchestra of Boston in concerts in Hudson and Westborough, MA, starring the premier of Montilla’s Fantasia Concertante for two clarinets and Orchestra, a virtuosic piece dedicated to him and commissioned by the Symphony Pro Musica in 2015. He also performed as guest soloist with the Lab Symphony Orchestra at the Bates Recital Hall in Austin TX and the Longy Chamber Orchestra, performing the Copland Concerto at Pickman Hall Auditorium in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Valbuena is also an active orchestra player. He performs regularly with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra as principal and section clarinet and he has appeared with the Austin Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Civic Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Orchestra conducted by the worldwide acclaimed Gustavo Dudamel, the Grammy winner Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Americas, Bogota Symphony, Symphony Pro Musica and St Mark’s Symphony Orchestra among others. He has also performed as guest artist in renown ensembles such as Density512 Collective, Pale Blue Ensemble, Subito Ensemble, Cadenza clarinet quartet and A Dos Music Project Ensemble. Ivan has also recorded music sessions for KUTX 89.9 Eklektikos Radio Show hosted by John Aielli. Ivan graduated of his Bachelor degree at the Conservatory of Music of the National University of Colombia and he also got his Masters of Music in Clarinet performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston, MA with Professor Jorge Montilla. He recently graduated from his Doctor of Musical Arts program in clarinet performance with Professor Jonathan Gunn at the University of Texas at Austin where he was appointed as the Clarinet Assistant Instructor.
Learn about Oswaldo
Oswaldo De Jesús Garza is a Mexican-American concert saxophonist and educator from Houston, Texas who is currently based out of Austin, Texas. In addition to his private teaching, Oswaldo maintains an active performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. Past engagements include an interdisciplinary collaboration and performance of Felipe Lara’s “Vocalise II” at the Blanton Museum of Art for the “Words / Matter” series, an art exhibit which features Latin American Art and Language, as well as collaborations with the UT percussion studio for performances of Steven Mackey’s “Blue Notes & Other Clashes”. Upcoming collaborations include Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Duo Sonata”, originally for two bassoons and repurposed for one bassoon and one baritone saxophone, date TBD.
Oswaldo graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (MM ‘19), where he studied with Dr. Stephen Page, and most recently served on the faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies with Dr. Nathan Nabb (BM ‘17). Oswaldo is currently an Applied Private Instructor at the Austin, Dripping Springs and Eanes Independent School Districts, where he maintains a private studio averaging 60 students, and will be returning to SFASU as Adjunct Professor of Saxophone in Fall of 2020.
Learn about Sarah
Sarah Hetrick, a Pennsylvania native, is a saxophonist, educator, and arts administrator based in Austin, TX. Sarah enjoys maintaining an active performing career as a recitalist throughout the United States and has been invited to teach and perform at universities including The University of Iowa, Duquesne University, Youngstown State University, The University of Texas San Antonio, among others. Sarah is also a member of the Austin-based Density512 chamber orchestra, the MODUS saxophone quartet, and the Khroma Quartet and has performed in the Fusebox Festival, the multidisciplinary festival Ears, Eyes, and Feet, FastForward Austin, prismatx ensemble’s concert series, the Oh My Ears Festival, and with the Black House Collective. As a dedicated advocate and performer of new music, Sarah has commissioned and worked with composers Susanna Hancock, Angélica Negrón, Gemma Peacocke, Alexandra Gardner, David Gompper, Jean-François Charles, Tonia Ko, James Parker, Andrew Koss, Shelley Washington, Alexis Bacon, Evan Lawson, Roger Briggs, and more. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed additional study at Université Européene de Saxophone in Gap, France. Sarah’s primary teachers are Dr. Keith Young and Dr. Stephen C. Page. When not performing or working towards becoming Dr. Hetrick, Sarah can be found making coffee, cuddling with her cat, Margot, or kayaking (though, not usually all at the same time). More information about Sarah and her work can be found at www.sarahhetricksaxophone.com.
Learn about Kyle
Jessica HuKyle Jones, saxophonist, is a performer, teacher, and new music advocate whose natural curiosity towards music leads him to challenge the parameters of his craft. Kyle is continuously working to make his art more approachable by seeking out unusual performance venues, collaborating with artists in other mediums, and dismantling long-standing barriers between performers and audience-members. Recently, he has been involved in a commissioning project with Dr. Nathan Mertens, centered around Queer identity with composers Anthony R. Green and Michael Gilbertson. Kyle was also chosen as the winner of the 2018 Sarah and Ernest Butler Winds, Brass, and Percussion Concerto Competition, held at the University of Texas-Austin. In addition to his performing activities, Kyle serves as a Co-Director for Fast Forward Austin and publicist/core member of Less Than <10. He holds degrees from The University of Texas-Austin, Peabody Conservatory, and East Tennessee State University. ghes received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 where she studied with Jonathan Gunn. She is currently a member of the US Air Force Band of the West, stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
Learn about Darwin
Darwin McMurray is a current masters student at UT-Austin Studying with Dr. Stephen Page. He received his BM from Grand Valley State University under Dr. Dan Graser.
Learn about Austin
“Austin Ali understands the point of the bass trombone. This’ll be fun.” –Satisfied bass trombone player
Austin Ali (b. 1997) is an award-winning composer, trumpet player, and conductor based in Texas. Musicians from Washington, DC to Costa Rica to Valencia, Spain have performed Austin’s music, including symphony orchestras, brass bands, jazz ensembles, chamber groups, wind ensembles, and choirs. In addition to the concert stage, Austin composed, orchestrated, and conducted the score to a feature-length film entitled Dear Leo (dir. Emma Rappold) in Austin, TX in 2019. Austin holds degrees in Music Composition and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and in the fall, he will begin graduate studies in composition at University of California, Los Angeles with Ian Krouse and Richard Danielpour.
Learn about Austin
Austin is a 2020 graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Music degree. Some of his primary professors include Ray Sasaki, Ryan Anthony, and Marie Speziale, among others. He will be pursuing a Masters in Music at the acclaimed Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in the fall of 2020 under the direction of Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra. CIM recognized Austin as a distinguished Directors choice Scholar and will provide the opportunity to continue his studies toward becoming a Professional Classical Musician.
Learn about Kenken
John Kenneth C. Gorder (Kenken), is a highly versatile trumpeter and music educator based in Austin, TX. His skill and expertise have allowed for opportunities to perform in a multitude of ensemble settings including sinfonietta, brass quintet, brass trio, orchestra, wind ensembles, and jazz bands. He enjoys collaborating with both musicians and artists in all the artistic disciplines.
Kenken is an active member of the Density512 and Black House music collectives. This year, he has performed and premiered new works for both collectives at the 2020 Oh My Festival in Phoenix, AZ, and in Austin’s (TX) Big Medium gallery. As an educator, he maintains a large studio of 58 students in Austin and the surrounding area. Students of his have performed at the regional, state, and national levels.
Gorder has also commissioned and premiered works by composers Jacob Pallo, Andrew Koss, Tyler Katz, and Helen Hé in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 respectively. Outside of performing new music, he has performed with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, the HoodleBug Brass Quintet, and the Iowa Brass Quintet. Kenken was a semi-finalist in the 2012, 2017, and 2018 National Trumpet Competition.
Kenken Gorder earned his Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance studying under the tutelage of Dr. Amy Schendel at the University of Iowa (UI). Prior to his time at UI, he earned a bachelors of science degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Previous trumpet teachers include Dr. Kevin Eisensmith, Ken Brader, and Kyle Fleming.
For more information, visit www.kenkengorder.com
Learn about Joe
Joe is currently located in New York City and is from Winter Haven, Florida. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a BM and The University of Texas at Austin with a MM in trumpet performance. Joe maintains an active freelance career in New York City and the surrounding areas. He enjoys the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings in the city from Opera, Musicals, Orchestras, Chamber Ensembles, Big Bands and even a Russian Punk Band. His primary instructors include Brian Shaw (Louisiana State University), Ray Sasaki (University of Texas at Austin), Marie Speziale (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; retired) and Billy Hunter (Metropolitan Opera). Joe is also an active arranger and orchestrator. When not playing music, Joe often enjoys playing a round of golf, painting or creative writing.
“I’ve never missed a gig yet. Music makes people happy, and that’s why I go on doing it – I like to see everybody smile.” – Buddy Guy
Learn about Kevin
Kevin Kwaku is currently an assistant band director at Belton High School in Belton, TX. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 with a degree in Music Studies, where he studied trumpet with Ray Sasaki and participated in the Longhorn Band as a section leader and drum major. He also performed as a trumpet soloist with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in the summers of 2013 and 2015, and has been a member of the Bluecoats brass staff since the summer of 2019.
Learn about Rachel
Rachel Spencer is trumpet player and band director residing in Austin, Texas. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she earned her Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capital University and a Master of Music in Music and Human Learning from the University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT, she served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the University Bands which included teaching Longhorn Band, Longhorn Pep Band, and directing the Longhorn Jazz Ensemble. As a performer, Ms. Spencer has had many elite experiences spanning all genres and styles, including but not limited to: The UT Wind Ensemble, UT Symphony Orchestra, and UT New Music Ensemble; the Bluecoats Drum Corps (which she performed with for 5 seasons, won Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals and was a featured multi-year soloist); the National Trumpet Competition (Graduate Solo Semifinalist); the Hong Kong 2016 Chinese New Year Parade; and has shared the stage with: The Austin Symphony, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Grace Kelly, and the late Bill Watrous, to name a few. Ms. Spencer is an active jazz musician and clinician as well, having co-founed Jazz Girls Texas while serving as an active member of the Jazz Education Network. Currently, Ms. Spencer is a band director at Dahlstrom Middle School and spends her summers as a freelance trumpeter and DCI brass instructor.
Dr. Sarah Au
Learn about Sarah
Hornist Dr. Sarah Au regularly performs with various orchestras and ensembles in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Recent highlights include competing in the Fischoff Competition, performing as the winner of the Mid-South Horn Solo Competition in Oklahoma and as a soloist with the CTM Orchestra. Sarah was a fellow of the Atlantic Music Festival, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Round Top Festival Institute, and has been a member of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Committed to arts education and advocacy, Sarah has worked as Teaching Artist in the public school system in Connecticut, New York, and Texas. Sarah holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was the Teaching Assistant of the horn studio. She also holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music and a Performance Certificate in Orchestral Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Her musical mentors have included William Purvis, Michelle Baker, and Patrick Hughes.
Learn about Ben
Ben Carroll is a hornist and music educator living in Dallas, Texas. Graduating from the University of Texas at Austin(BM and MM), Ben studied horn under the instruction of Patrick Hughes. Playing the horn has taken Ben around the world to include performances in Japan, China, Taiwan, and England. Mr. Carroll has also performed in the Cactus Pear Music Festival in Fredericksburg, Texas, and the Hot Springs Music Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As a freelance musician, Ben has worked with numerous orchestras throughout the central Texas region including the Central Texas Philharmonic, Brazos Valley Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. Ben is also a founding collective musician of the Austin based contemporary chamber ensemble, Density 512.
Learn about Lauren
Lauren Casey-Clyde is an international performer and music educator residing in Austin, TX. Her performance career on both trombone and euphonium has brought her across the globe and has given her the opportunity to perform with Orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors such as Andris Nelsons and Bernard Haitink. She maintains a low brass private studio in Austin TX, and San Jose, CA, in which her students have consistently received the highest accolades and performed with state County and All-State ensembles. She also works as an instructor at the seven-time World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, and is also a marching instructor with the 2019 BOA Grand National Champion Vandegrift Viper Marching Band. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Music Degree in Trombone Performance at the University of Texas at Austin, under the tutelage of Dr. Nathaniel Brickens. She is a member of the University of Texas Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jerry Junkin, and serves as a Teaching Assistant for the Longhorn Band and Longhorn Pep Band.
Dr. Sterling Tanner
Learn about Sterling
Performer, educator, and clinician, Dr. Sterling Tanner is the Lecturer of Trombone at Ohio State University. Formally, he served as Adjunct Professor of Trombone at Texas A&M University Kingsville.
An S.E. Shires Performing Artist, Dr. Tanner, has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States and abroad, including performances in Hong Kong and Valencia, Spain. Dr. Tanner has been appointed as the principal trombonist of Project Opera Columbus since 2020 and is a member of the Ohio Trombone Consortium; a group consisting of collegiate trombone professors across Ohio that were invited to perform at the 2020 International Trombone Festival in Osaka, Japan. Dr. Tanner also performs each summer with the Professors Trombone Choir at the Southeast Trombone Symposium in Columbus, GA.
Dr. Tanner is also an accomplished soloist and was named the winner of the 2016 and 2018 American Trombone Workshop Division III Bass Trombone Solo Competition, the 2015 Southeastern Trombone Symposium S.E. Shires Solo Competition, and was a finalist in the 2016 International Trombone Festival’s Donald Yaxley Solo Competition. He has also shared the stage with trombone greats such as Jim Markey, Charlie Vernon, Denson Paul Pollard, George Curran, Joseph Alessi, Bill Thomas, Brian Hecht, and Gerry Pagano. From 2010-2014, he collaborated in a unique recording project at Columbus State University, where various trombone artists recorded solo works with trombone ensemble. The culmination of the collaboration resulted in a disk released by Summit records entitled, “A Beautiful Noise”.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama; Dr. Tanner earned his bachelor’s in music education from Columbus State University. He holds both MM and DMA degrees in trombone performance from the University of Texas at Austin. His teachers include Bradley Palmer and Nathaniel Brickens. Dr. Tanner currently holds memberships with the American Federation of Musicians, the International Trombone Association, Ohio Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the National Association of Music Education.
Learn about Ogechi
Ogechi Ukazu is a doctoral candidate in wind conducting, under Jerry Junkin, at the University of Texas at Austin where she also serves as a teaching assistant for the UT band program. Prior to this position, she acted as Visiting Instructor of Instrumental Music at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. Ms. Ukazu spent 8 years as a Band Director in both middle and high schools in the Houston area. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Houston and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from Sam Houston State University. In 2011, the Claughton Middle School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Ms. Ukazu, performed at the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic. Ms. Ukazu is an avid proponent of quality music education for all students and has presented on music education advocacy at workshops and clinics around the state of Texas.
Ms. Ukazu’s professional affiliations include College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma, and honorary membership in Kappa Kappa Psi.
Learn about Kevin
Kevin Fenske is a music educator and performer residing in Austin, Texas. A native of Houston, Texas, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Houston and a Master of Music degree in euphonium performance from the University of Texas at Austin. He maintains a private studio of over 60 low brass students in the greater Austin area and is frequently in demand as a clinician and adjudicator. As a performer, Kevin has won prizes at various regional, national, and international euphonium competitions, including the bronze medal at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival and 1st place at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference mock military band competition.
Learn about Drew
Drew Bonner is a composer, educator, and performer. He holds degrees in euphonium performance from The Pennsylvania State University and The University of Texas at Austin. He performs with the professional quartet, FivE. His compositions have been played by the Fountain City Brass Band, the National Youth Brass Band of America, and the Stiletto Brass Quintet. He also regularly writes music for nationally recognized marching bands. His arrangements have been played at the Rose Bowl and the Holiday Bowl. Drew is a Besson performing artist.
Dr. Genevieve Clarkson
Learn about Genevieve
An accomplished knitter, bundt pan aficionado, and Arlington, Virginia native, Dr. Genevieve Clarkson joined the faculty of Oklahoma City University in fall of 2018. Genevieve has been featured as a soloist and clinician at a variety of conferences and workshops, including the Texas and Arizona Music Educators’ Conferences, the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, the International Women’s Brass Conferences, and the Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Workshop. Genevieve received her DM in tuba performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (2017), her MM in tuba performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (2011), and her BM in music education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA (2009) where she graduated Magna cum laude and served as banner bearer for the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Her past teachers have included Daniel Perantoni, Timothy Northcut, Kevin Stees, John Cradler, and John Mueller.
Learn about Vivi
Vivi Kung is a second generation Taiwanese American tuba player studying at the Yale School of Music. She obtained dual bachelor degrees in music education and tuba performance from UCLA and graduated with honors.
Most recently, Ms. Kung was a winner in the brass division of the 37th Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental competition. In 2019, Ms. Kung was the national winner of the Music Teacher’s National Association brass division, placing first out of an initial 600 competitors. In 2018, she was the Young Artist winner of the Northwestern Tuba and Euphonium conference solo competition.
Her teachers include Aubrey Foard, John Rojak, and Carol Jantsch.
Dr. Diana Loomer
Learn about Diana
Dr. Diana Loomer is an active percussionist and music educator, currently teaching and performing in the Asheville, NC area. In addition to her private lesson studio, she is the director of the “Steely Pan Steel Band” at Appalachian State University and a percussion instructor at ASU and Western Carolina University. She has developed a passion for “melodic timpani” playing, and is currently working to expand both the potential of the instrument, as well as the repertoire for this new field. Diana has performing experience in many different areas of percussion from all over the world. In addition to her orchestral background, she also has an extensive background in world percussion, including steel pan, tabla, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African percussion. She is a current member of Zabumba Asheville Samba, and she regularly teaches and performs with her steel pan duo, Blue Iron Percussion.
Learn about Lucy
Lucy Ritter is studying percussion and music education at the Jacobs School of Music. Growing up playing drumset, she spent her time performing in jazz combos around New Jersey and New York. As a drummer, she loves playing all types of music. In her two years at IU, she has performed with the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Ensemble, Brass Choir, and Percussion Ensemble. She is also active in the marching arts and toured with Spirit of Atlanta as their drumset player in 2019.
Learn about Morgan
Morgan Tao is a freelance percussionist and educator in the greater Asheville, NC area. He holds a M.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a B.M. in Music Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has an eclectic passion for steel pan and samba batucada, with experience teaching the world percussion ensemble at UTK, and performing with the Austin Samba School and Inside Out Steelband in Austin, TX. He is also an avid educator, having taught applied lessons and percussion methods, and has worked as a marching percussion technician for several schools across the country.
Learn about Nathan
Nathan attended the University of Texas at Austin earning a degree in Music Education. While at The University of Texas, he was a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Opera, Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Percussion Ensemble, Longhorn Band, and Marimba Band. He studied percussion under Dr. Thomas Burritt & Tony Edwards. He was a member of the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition winning collegiate ensemble with The University of Texas at Austin. He also has experience performing with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corp.
Learn about Chris
Chris Parker is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator based in the Midwest. Growing up in Bloomington, IN, he attended the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and began his professional music career performing throughout the Midwest. He has performed or recorded with Dave Stryker, Rich Perry, Scott Wendholt, Chris Potter, Jim Ridl, Tim Armacost, Charlie Ballantine, Jamey Aebersold, Frank Glover, Greg Abate, Jim Snidero, Monika Herzig, Roger Pemberton, Rob Dixon, and many others. He is on music faculty at Olney Central College in Illinois, maintains a private teaching studio, and is on the board of the Jazz Education Network JENerations Jazz Festival. His debut album as a leader, “Moving Forward Now”, is available on all major online music platforms.
Learn about Mallory
Mallory McHenry is a Doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin where she also obtained her Master of Music degree with concentration in Harp Performance in 2018. A proud HBCU graduate, Mallory attended Oakwood University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016.
As an avid performer, Mallory has had the opportunity to be a part of several ensembles. Most recently she has made appearances with the Austin Civic Orchestra, Laredo Philharmonic and Valley Symphony Orchestra. Mallory was also afforded the opportunity to perform on both ‘ABC’ and ‘NBC’ Television programs. Mallory was named a Young Artist in Residence with American Public Media’s program, Performance Today in 2019. She was the first harpist to air on the show. The program was recorded at Minnesota Public Radio and aired on local National Public Radio stations nation-wide. MPR has turned into a second home for Mallory. She will be returning with her chamber group, e(L)ement for the academic school year 2020-2021 as a concert artist with their Class Notes series.
Passionate about increasing diversity in the classical field of classical music, Mallory serves as a performing artist with the non-profit organization, Challenge the Stats and has devoted her doctoral research to the music of African American female composers, transcribing beautiful works to accommodate the harp repertoire.
Mallory now operates out of Austin, Texas where she works for the Austin District Music Teachers Association and runs the McHenry Suzuki Studio where she offers both harp and piano lessons.