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Sandra Bailey — USA
Sandra Bailey is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and a junior at Northwestern University, where she studies with Christopher Millard of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, and Lewis Kirk of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera.In 2011 she was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Artist Scholarship, providing her the opportunity to appear on the nationally syndicated radio show From The Top. She has participated in various musical outreach projects and fundraising performances with From the Top's host, pianist Christopher O'Riley, as well as with violinist Joshua Bell.Sandra has performed in master classes taught by Carl Nitchie, Bob Williams, Jeff Keesecker, Roger Soren, Richard Svoboda, Suzanne Nelsen, William Winstead and Kristin Wolfe Jensen.She is currently a Fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta and performs with both the orchestra and it's Project Inclusion Ensemble. In the summer of 2012 she attended the Castleton Music Festival under the direction of Lorin Maazel. In the summer of 2013 Sandra attended the Brevard Music Festival where she won the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition, performing Hummel's Concerto in F Major. She also attended the 'Musik Akademie Westfalen 2013', which toured Europe under the direction of noted composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki.
Bianca Chambul — Canada
Bianca Chambul of Toronto, Canada, is currently in her second year of undergraduate studies in music performance under the tutelage of Nadina Mackie Jackson. As an orchestral musician, Bianca trained with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for four seasons from 2008 to 2012, having the opportunity to work side by side with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She performed extensively with the Winderful Wind Quintet, comprised of TSYO members, and was one of the winners of the TSYO Concerto Competition in 2011. Bianca has toured Canada with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and was honored to be a recipient of the Award of Excellence for both seasons. As a substitute bassoonist, she has performed with the Pardis Orchestra and the Group of 27. As a soloist, Bianca has been involved with the University of Toronto's annual Vivaldi Bassoon Recital, having performed two concerti while directing the string orchestra. For the late Canadian composer John Weinzweig's Centenary Celebration in March 2013, she was called upon to perform his Divertimento for Bassoon with orchestra. In October 2013, Bianca performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto in Bb, K. 191 with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the university's concerto competition.
Catherine Chen — Taiwan/USA
Catherine Chen, born in Taipei, Taiwan, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2010 and studies with Daniel Matsukawa of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has been hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "assured and startlingly lyrical." She is the Anderson and Daria Pew Fellow. She also studied at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division from 2007 to 2010, where she was a pupil of Marc Goldberg. Catherine is currently Second Bassoon of Symphony in C, under the music director Rossen Milanov. She has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Juilliard School's Pre-College Orchestra, and "The President's Own" United States Marine Band. She was the winner of the 2012 Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Concerto Competition and she was a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) YoungArts 2010 finalist. She has participated as Principal Bassoon in the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, New York String Seminar, Juilliard School's Pre-College Symphony and Pre-College Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, and Youth Band for the United Nations. She has also worked under world-class orchestral conductors including Yannick Nezet-Séguin, Charles Dutoit, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Rossen Milanov, Krzysztof Urbanski, Michael Stern, Matthias Pintscher, Stephane Deneve, James Judd, Otto-Werner Mueller, Juanjo Mena, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. In February 2011, she took part in the Berlin Philharmonic Workshop at Carnegie Hall. During her summers, Catherine has attended festivals such as the Castleton Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Kinhaven Music School.
Emeline Chong — USA
Emeline Chong studied violin, piano, harp, and trombone before taking up the bassoon. She was a bassoonist in the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra from 2003 to 2005 and a bassoonist in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra from 2005 to 2011; during this time she studied under Mark Gigliotti of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2007, Emeline was privileged to tour Brazil with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Emeline won first place in the Tri-County Annual Youth Festival, Junior Winds Division, in 2005. In 2007, she was the first place winner in the senior winds division of the same competition. Additionally, she performed Concerto for Bassoon in F Major by Johann Hummel with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra (2009) and the Ambler Symphony Orchestra (2010), after winning first place in both Young Artists Competitions. From 2008 to 2009, Emeline was selected to play in the Rosalie Magen Weinstein and Matthew B. Weinstein Woodwind Quintet at the Settlement Music School. She participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute bassoon workshop in 2009. Emeline has studied bassoon with Daniel Matsukawa since 2010, first at Temple University and since fall 2013 at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2011 at Temple University, Emeline was selected to play in the Temple Woodwind Quintet. The following year she was asked to play in the New School Woodwind Quintet. The past summer, Emeline was a member of the 2013 National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Katie Clark — USA
Katie Clark was born in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to California where she studied with Valentin Martchev of the San Diego Symphony. She continued her studies in college with John Hunt at the Eastman School of Music and with Kristin Wolfe Jensen at the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed the degree of Bachelor of Music in August 2013. Katie has attended summer festivals including Aspen Summer Music Festival and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute. She has been accepted into bassoon programs at multiple graduate schools, including Northwestern University where she is deferring enrollment until August 2014. Currently teaching and freelancing in Austin, Texas, she has also started a Pop/Rock band for which she composes and plays bassoon. Katie has also had three semesters of jazz training, and in 2013, gave the world premiere of a rock and roll piece, None More Black, that was written for her by Ben Stonaker (find it on YouTube or through Katie's bassoon blog Escondido Bassoon Teacher). Though classically trained, she also has a passion for non-classical styles of music, improvising on the bassoon, composing, and searching for ways in which to play styles uncommon to the bassoon.
Jessica Findley — USA
Jessica Findley, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is a senior pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance under Dr. Eric Stomberg at the University of Kansas. She spent her first two years of college study at Bowling Green State University in Ohio studying with Nathaniel Zeisler and Maya Stone. Jessica is an enthusiastic chamber musician and she enjoys collaborating with a variety of unique instrumental combinations, including renaissance and contemporary ensembles. She is currently a member of Ensemble L'Aube, a vocal chamber music ensemble formed in 2013 at KU. Jessica can be heard on Landscapes (Naxos), the KU Wind Ensemble's most recent CD. In 2011/12, Jessica was selected as a finalist in the BGSU Chamber Music and Concerto Competitions. In 2013, Jessica was the winner of the KU Concerto Competition, performing the Mozart Concerto for Bassoon in Bb Major, K. 191. She was also the first-prize winner of the collegiate bassoon division of the Midwest Double Reed Society Young Artist Competition. In June 2013, Jessica won the Cynthia Woods-Mitchell Concerto Competition at the Texas Music Festival in Houston, and performed the Mozart Concerto with the festival orchestra. This March, Jessica has been invited to perform the same piece with the Akademisches Orchester Leipzig in the Gewandhaus under Maestro Horst Förster. Jessica has performed with the Neue Eutiner Festspiele Oper Orchester in Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany as well as the Perrysberg Symphony Orchestra in Ohio and the Ottawa Symphony in Kansas. Jessica currently holds the position of Second Bassoon with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Missouri. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and playing with her two cats, Daphnis and Chloé.
Nicole Haywood — USA
Nicole Haywood, a native of San Antonio, Texas, began her bassoon studies with Mark Rogers. She is currently pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance at The University of Texas at Austin under the tutelage of Kristin Wolfe Jensen. Nicole performs in The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, UT Wind Ensemble, and for the Sarah and Ernest Butler Opera Center, where she most recently performed in the premiere of Daron Hagen's A Woman in Morocco. Her summer music festival appearances include Texas Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific and Le Domaine Forget. During her time at Brevard Music Center, Nicole performed with itch, a contemporary music ensemble that presents world premieres of Brevard's composition students. Her orchestral engagements have led her to play under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, Matthias Bamert, and Keith Lockhart. She has also performed in master classes under Christopher Millard, Gustavo Núñez, Richard Beene, William Ludwig and Marc Goldberg. As an active chamber musician, Nicole has been coached by Steven Cohen, Colette Valentine, and Anton Nel. Nicole is currently Second Bassoon of the Round Rock Symphony in Round Rock, Texas
Ivy Ringel — USA
Ivy Ringel is currently pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance at the Eastman School of Music with John Hunt. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, she began violin studies at age five and began studying the bassoon in 2006 with Michael Burns. She has also studied bassoon with Jeff Robinson, John Beebe, and Leah Plimpton. In 2011, Ivy won the North Carolina Governor's School concerto competition. She was the winner of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra concerto competition in 2012 and was Principal Bassoon during the orchestra's tour of Germany and Austria. Ivy has attended summer programs including the Chautauqua Music Festival in 2013, North Carolina Governor's School, and Cannon Music Camp. She is devoted to music education and is a private teacher in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. Ivy has performed in master classes for the New York Woodwind Quintet, Marcus Schoon, Nathaniel Zeisler, and Erich Heckscher. Ivy performs regularly with the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and Eastman Wind Orchestra. She is also a member of numerous chamber groups at Eastman, including Ossia, Eastman's student-run contemporary music ensemble, and The Eclectet Woodwind Quintet.
Cornelia Sommer — USA
Cornelia Sommer, from Seattle, Washington, began her studies of the bassoon with Francine Peterson. Now in her fourth year at Indiana University, Cornelia is pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance with a minor in math, and she studies with William Ludwig. At Indiana University, she received the full tuition Barbara and David Jacobs Scholarship. She regularly performs with the university orchestras, opera theater, and her woodwind quintet. Cornelia also enjoys arranging music for her bassoon quartet, The Burning Reeds. Passionate about new music, she has premiered several solo and chamber works and is committed to expanding the bassoon repertoire. During the summer of 2013, Cornelia attended the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, where she studied with Barrick Stees, and Sarasota Music Festival, where she played in master classes with Frank Morelli, Eric Stomberg, and Richard Svoboda. Cornelia has also attended Brevard Music Festival and Marrowstone Music Festival in previous summers. She has recently performed in master classes with John Clouser, Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Ted Soluri, Jonathan Sherwin, and the Calefax Reed Quintet. Also an accomplished pianist, Cornelia has competed in the Simon-Fiset Piano Competition and twice received the Loran Olsen Award for Exceptional Musicality. She frequently accompanies her colleagues, especially other bassoonists. Cornelia plans to pursue a graduate degree in bassoon performance.
Naho Zhu — USA
Bassoonist Naho Zhu is pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Patricia Rogers. At Juilliard she has performed as Principal Bassoon in the Juilliard Orchestra as well as Axiom, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra. She freelances in various orchestras including Symphony in C and the New York Chamber Players. Naho is equally passionate about orchestral and chamber music performance, and has participated in the New York Woodwind Quintet program at Juilliard and performed in Prades, France as a participant of the Pablo Casals chamber music festival. In the summer of 2013 she was invited to the final round of the International Double Reed Society's Young Artist Competition in Redlands, California where she received an Honorable Mention. She has also participated in the National Orchestral Institute, and the Banff Festival Orchestra. Born in Kyoto, Japan and raised in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Naho's musical life began at the early age of three on the piano, which she studied in New England Conservatory's preparatory program. Within several months of taking up the bassoon, she was a member of the Boston Youth Symphony's premier ensemble and toured with the orchestra to Spain, Portugal, Germany, and England. When she is not musically engaged, Naho enjoys photography and reading the works of writers such as Rilke, Proust, and Camus.