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Samantha Brenner • USA
(b. 12/6/84), from Brooklyn NY, is a graduate student at the University of Maryland, studying with Susan Heineman. Summer festivals include Sarasota Music Festival and Banff Centre for the Arts where she studied with Stephen Maxym and Stephane Levesque. Samantha was a winner of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Young Artist Chamber Music Competition. Special awards include the Ira Gershwin Award for Excellence in Music and the Hadar Foundation Scholarship. She received her B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Frank Morelli and Whitney Crockett.
Joycelyn Eby • USA
(b. 10/20/87) has completed two years at the Oberlin College and Conservatory, pursuing a B.M. in bassoon performance under the tutelage of George Sakakeeny, and a B.A. in East Asian Studies. A native of Seattle, Washington, she began studying bassoon at age eight with Francine Peterson, with whom she continued to study until 2005. From 2004-2005, she also studied with Seth Krimsky. Joycelyn has performed as a principal player in the Oberlin Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble, as well as the Seattle Youth Symphony. She is a founding member of the Oberlin Bassoon Quartet.
Ingrid Hagan • USA
(b. 5/16/85) from Perkinsville, Vermont, is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Whitney Crockett. Summer festivals include The National Repertory Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Institute,and Interlochen Arts Camp. She was a winner of the annual Concerto Competition at Arizona State University while a student of Jeffrey Lyman, an honorable mention in the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and has performed three times on NPR's “From the Top”. She held principal chairs with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony, and New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic which toured to Panama, Guatemala,Cuba and Venezuela.
Julie Ann Link • USA
(b. 3/21/87) recently completed her sophomore year as a music performance major at Arizona State University studying with Dr. Albie Micklich. She began her bassoon studies in Plano, Texas under the instruction of Peter Unterstein and also studied with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman. Julie is currently principal bassoonist of the ASU Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Theater and is also a member of the ASU Wind Symphony Band. In high school, Julie was a participant of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras program under the direction of James Frank and placed 2nd in the Philharmonic Concerto Competition. Upon graduation from ASU, Julie plans to pursue a graduate degree in bassoon performance.
Kerry Philben • USA
(b. 4/22/85) is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern University, having received a B.M. in bassoon performance and a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. While at Northwestern, she studied with Robert Barris and Lewis Kirk. A native of Redding, California, she spent 2005-6 in St. Petersburg, Russia, studying Russian at Hertzen University and conducting independent research. This fall she plans to begin work on a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University.
Sofía Almanza-Saavedra • Panama
(b. 12/31/84) began her musical studies at the “Conservatorio Nacional de Musica de Panama” with James Hansen (bassoon) and Cynthia Cripps (saxophone). She studied with Nicolasa Kuster at Wichita State University from 2003-2005, and now studies in Italy at the “Conservatorio Lucio Campiani di Mantova” with Stefano Canuti. She attended the Aspen Music Festival and School 2004 (working with Nancy Goeres, Steve Dibner and Per Hannevold), and toured with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas to South America (2005) and Europe (2006). Sofia appears in the DVD recorded by GlorClassics: Verdi’s Messa Da Requiem. Conducted by Placido Domingo Munich, 8/2006.