Alumni News: Where Are They Now?
As AYPO celebrates 49 years of music making, we ask that alumni please share their memories and stories of their time in the orchestra program. These will be included on our website and in future issues of Vivace! Click here to send your information to AYPO!
(Alumni are listed in alphabetical order by last name)
Adato, Sivan (AYSO, 2003-2005, french horn). Sivian just graduated from Florida State University, Summa Cum Laude, with a degree in Music Performance. After a summer with the Aspen Music Festival, she will attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for graduate school to continue her studies. Her time with AYPO, and her love of performance, has never waivered. In addition to her studies, Sivan performed with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and was the principal in the University Symphonic Orchestra. She continues to build a strong résumé and apires to perform with a major symphony. Click here to read about Sivan on the FSU website.
Allen, Claire (AYP, 2005-2006, violin) graduated summa cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace College and graduated in May 2013 with a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory. Claire is now living in Arlington and started her own violin studio [www.claireallenviolin.com]. She recently joined the faculty of Potomac Arts Academy in Fairfax, Virginia, and is working on building a studio there, accepting students from all over the Northern Virginia region.
Baez-Page, Socorrito (NVYS, 1969-1973, violin and viola). We traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland for a music festival summer 1971. We traveled for about 3 weeks. James Christian Pfohl was the conductor. Jay Martin Pinner was concertmaster. Since then, I went to Georgetown University, then Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, married, did a stint in the Public Health Service, and returned to Northern VA with a husband who plays guitar and sings, and 2 daughters. Both of my girls play violin. One also plays flute and viola, the other plays oboe and cello and has private students. I played viola 25 years in the McLean Orchestra and have been the Exec Asst there for 7 years. I still play viola and violin in chamber groups and teach a violin and viola once a week.
Blakeslee, Miranda (AYP, 1998-2004, viola). Miranda was the Emerging Artist in Residence at the Strathmore in February 2008.
Booth, Gwynne L. (AYP, 1998-2000, trumpet). Gwynne received a B.S. degree in English Literature from Vanderbilt University in 2004. She earned a J.D. from Wake Forest University in 2008 and is now an attorney at Law at the Law Firm of Hutchens, Senter & Britton in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Gwynne married in June 2005.
Bowie, Kristie (AYP, 1990-1992, viola). After AYP, Katie went on to study music and received a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and a Master of Education Degree. She is currently teaching students with special needs at Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia. She teaches violin and viola privately and plays with the Manassas Community Orchestra. Katie writes, "I really miss NVYSA! It was the most exciting and fulfilling two years I had playing."
Chang, Roger (AYP, 1998-2000, Principal cello). "AYP has a very special place in my heart. I was in the group from 1998 to 2000 and was one of the principal cellists under Luis Haza. I went on to be one of the principals in the MIT Symphony and am now a principal with a leading architecture firm, where we’re actually now working on the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap!"
Cho, Daniel (AYP class of 1995, cello). As a musician in AYP, Daniel Cho played in a string quartet with Ji Bae, Phil Oh and Terry Kim. After graduating from AYP, he went on to study at Berklee College of Music. Besides playing the cello, Daniel was also a talented keyboard and piano player. Over the past ten years he built a successful career as a touring and studio musician, playing both cello and keyboards for a number of well-known artists, including John Mayer, Ellie Lawson, Regina Spektor, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. He also appeared on a number of TV shows, including "Saturday Night Live" and "The Ellen Degeneres Show". In addition, he had his own rock band called Cooper, and he released an album with his wife under the name Nonfiction. Daniel Cho tragically passed away on July 6, 2010 at Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He is survived by his wife Julia and his daughter Audrey. A website has been set up for friends and family to share their memories of Daniel, as well as to contribute to his memorial fund, the proceeds of which will go towards funding his daughter's education: http://fordanielcho.wordpress.com. There will also be a benefit concert on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, 7:30 PM at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia. Click here for details.
Choe, Michael (AYSO & AYP, 1994-1998, viola). Michael graduated from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science and minors in Music and Communication. He played in the RPI Symphony Orchestra as Principal violist and was manager as well. He was a consultant for Erdman Anthony - working with the City Engineer of Troy, New York - before moving to Pensecola, Florida in February 2003 to train to be a pilot in the United States Navy. Michael writes, "I remember many great experiences - particularly performing at the Kennedy Center under Leonard Slatkin. It's good to see that the AYP is still thriving."
Christensen, Elisabeth (NVYS, 1987-1988, first violin). Elisabeth lived in Virginia for just six months when she was a member of NVYS as an 8th grader. She then moved to Guatemala and France. Elisabeth earned a B.A. degree at Stanford University and a M.M. degree in viola performance at New England Conservatory (NEC). She is currently the Director of the NEC Preparatory School, where her responsibilities include overseeing a whole system of youth orchestras.
Citron, Wesley (NVYSA, 1993-95, trombone). Wesley is a freelance musician in New York City. Since graduating from high school, Wesley has performed with the Hudson Valley Symphony, the Albany Symphony, Prometheus Orchestra, DeCapo Opera Orchestra, has won the VanHaney Trombone Competition in 2002, and has attended Tanglewood, National Reperatory Orchestra, and National Orchestral Institute. Wesley was accepted to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Tufts University School of Dentistry and began pursuing his dental degree in the fall of 2008.
Clement, Anna (AYP, 2005-2006; AYSO, 2004-2005; AYCO 2003-2002; violin) graduated from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY with a B.M. in Music Education in May 2010. She currently teaches 4th grade and 9th-12th grade string lessons and orchestra in the Brockport Central School District in Brockport. NY. She also teaches privately in the Rochester, NY area. She is a member of the Greater Rochester Women's Philharmonic and the Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra. She is also the new orchestra general manager for the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra in the city of Rochester.
Cueva, Karen (AYP, 2002-2007, violin). Karen currently attends The Juilliard School in New York City. She previously studied at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. The Walnut Hill School is affiliated with the New England Conservatory where Karen was in the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in the New England Conservatory Preparatory Program under the direction of Benjamin Zander. Cueva performed at the Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory for National Public Radio's (NPR), "From the Top" show on October 5, 2008. She performed "Graceful Ghost Rag" by William Bolcom for violin and piano along with From the Top's host, Christopher O'Riley, in celebration of American composer William Bolcom and his prolific career as both a composer and pianist. This recording aired on NPR on Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 6:00pm. At the taping of the radio show on October 5th, Karen was also be the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation honors each of the 25 Young Artists with $10,000 for advancement in their musical studies. Karen writes, "I have only the best memories from my years with the American Youth Philharmonic and playing under the various directors (Bonnie Hudson, J.D. Anderson, Jeff Bianchi and Luis Haza). Have a fantastic season".
Dunlap, Elliot (AYP, class of 1991, cello). Elliot lives in San Francisco and writes, "I have fond memories of Luis Haza and many of my fellow students. Currently I have piano students but I no longer play cello. I've just decided to focus on one instrument". Visit his website at www.mdhit.com/music.
Faulkner, Wendy Hill (NVYC, 1970-1974, violin). As a musician in NVYC, Wendy participated in the Reston summer music program, traveled to Switzerland with the International Festival of Youth Orchestras, performed at Wolf trap, and performed at the Washington Cathedral. After living in Virginia since the age of 27, she moved to Germany for three years while working for the United States Army, moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia, and then finally worked for United States Aviations Systems Command in St. Louis, Missouri. Wendy currently lives in Effingham, Illinois with her four sons. Two of her sons now live in Florida, one is stationed in Korea in the Army and the fourth is in high school. Wendy has worked for a doctor's office for 13 years doing insurance billing among other duties. She and her husband are adult youth leaders at their local church along with 13 other couples. Wendy continued to play the violin off and on until just recently. She writes, "I have played at our church, and throughly enjoyed it. I had a frozen shoulder and had to do therapy for several months, and have not picked the violin back up yet. I still love music - it has always been a huge part of my life, as my father was a music educator at George Mason University and the conductor of the Fairfax City Band for at least 25 years. His love for music was born into each of us! My youngest son has gotten the "other side" of the arts, as he is very artistic, and has a love for the arts, and one of our sons graduated from the College of Film and Cinematography at Southern Illinois University".
Fellenbaum, James (NVYSA, 1987, cello). James is Resident Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra; in this capacity he serves as cover conductor for all classical concerts, as well as conducting the KSO's annual Young People's Concerts and several runout concerts throughout the season. Fellenbaum, who joined the orchestra as a guest conductor during the 2006-2007 season, is Director of Orchestras at the University of Tennessee, where he directs productions of the UT Opera Theater and conducts the UT Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble he founded in 2004. He has guest conducted such orchestras as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Symphony of the Mountains (Kingsport, Tenn.), the Johnson City (Tenn.) Symphony Orchestra, and Bulgaria's Rousse Philharmonic and Vidin State Philharmonic. Fellenbaum holds a Bachelor's degree in Cello Performance from James Madison University, and a double Master's in Cello Performance and Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University.
Forschler, Sean (NVYSO, 1985-1988, violin). Sean graduated in 1993 from the College of William & Mary with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Biology. Sean attended George Mason University where he received a Masters in Early Childhood Education in 1996. He currently works as a realtor in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Sean continues to pursue musical interests by playing in local orchestras and freelancing and he volunteers weekly at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a tour guide.
Fortune, Heather (NVYSA, 1990-1992, flute). Heather graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's Degree in Flute Performance in 1996 and with a Master's Degree in Flute Performance in 1998. During her undergraduate years she studied with Doriot Antony Dwyer and during graduate school she studied with Jacques Zoon. Heather pursued additional studies with Carol Wincenc. She lives in Philadelphia where she is an active freelancer as an Orchestral and Chamber musician. Heather also teaches part time at Friends Select School, where she conducts Ensembles. She is married to jazz bassist David Brodie. Heather writes, "I remember my years with Mr. Haza as wonderfully engaging and enriching times! Thank you for the work that you do".
Getz, Daniel (AYP, 2005-2007, viola). Daniel will join the viola section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2013-2014 season. He received his Bachelor of Music at the New England Conservatory, and is currently working toward a Master of Music at The Juilliard School.
Gigante, Julie (NVYS, 1979, violin). Since her Carnegie Hall debut in 1981, Ms. Gigante has been in demand as a chamber musician, soloist, and recording artist. Her solo appearances include performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opus Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, New York String Orchestra, Music Academy Festival Orchestra, and the Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax symphonies in Virginia. She was also selected to perform on the "Young Artists Series" on the New York City radio station WQXR. She graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree as well as the prestigious Performer's Certificate. She is an active chamber musician and her former piano trio was the first prize winner at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, California. Previously a member of the Rochester Philharmonic, she was also Assistant Concertmaster of the Phoenix Symphony, Concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and Concertmaster of the Opus Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles. Now residing in Los Angeles, Ms. Gigante is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of both the Angeli Duo and the Capitol Ensemble. She is also currently active in the motion picture and recording industry, having performed on over a thousand movie scores and hundreds of records and CDs.
Gray, Lisa (Davenport) (AYP, 1995-97, violin). Lisa received a Bachelor's of Music from the Eastman School of Music in 2001. Currently she plays with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London, CT, and teaches private lessons at home and as a faculty member of the Community Music School in Essex, CT. Lisa also gives recitals at various retirement communities and made a CD from her performance for the Old Saybrook Woman's Club. Lisa is married to Jason Gray and has two children, Holly and Justin.
Grimes, Alex (AYP, 2005-2008, viola). Alex performed for National Public Radio's (NPR) "From the Top" show while attending summer camp at the Heifetz International Music Festival in 2008. The show aired Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 6:00pm channel 88.5 WAMU-FM and can also be found on the NPR website.
Hudson, Rob (AYP, 1999-2000, percussion). Rob was appointed Principal Timpanist with the Chattanooga Symphony Opera after an audition in September 2008. He received a Master of Music Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2006, and a Bachelor of the Arts from the Boston University School of Music in 2004.
Hughes, Jack (AYSO, 2006-2009, trumpet). Jack attends the Cleveland Institute of Music as a composition major and studies trumpet with Michael Miller of The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2010, he won the Friday Morning Music Club Neva Greenwood Memorial Student Composition Competition, received 2nd place in the international Penfield/Wegmans Music Commission Project for wind ensemble, received 2nd prize in the choral category in the Pikes Peak Young Composers Competition, was awarded the Mark McGinly Memorial Scholarship for Achievement in the Arts, and won the National Band Association's biannual Young Composers Competition (as a college freshman and the contest goes to age 40.)
Hunt, Rachelle (AYP, 2001-2004, violin). Rachelle graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Rice University in 2008, after which she began her studies in Germany with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship. In the spring of 2008, Rachelle placed first in the Senior Solo Competition at the Kingsville International Competitions for Strings. In March she performed Vieuxtemp's Fifth Violin Concerto with the Rice University Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, as the winner of the string department concerto competition. Rachelle frequently substitutes with the Houston Symphony.
Johnson, Luke (AYP sectional leader 2006-2007; AYSO 2005-2006, bass). Luke attends Penn State University and has a partial music scholarship to study bass with Robert Nairn. He is also studying computer science and taking other science courses.
Kendall, Yumi (AYP, 1996-99, Principal cello). Yumi graduated from the Curtis Intitute of Music in 2004. In her last year of school, Yumi became Assistant Principal cello in the Philadelphia Orchestra where she continues to play. She writes, "I have the fondest memories of Mr. Haza and AYP, and I also couldn't dream of a better high school foundation for my professional music career. I often think when I meet a piece that I first played in AYP how fortunate I am to have had that foundation--and fun!"
Kim, Alison Bazala (NVYSO, 1989, cello). Alison is married to Jay Bazala and has a daughter named Elena Claire Bazala Kim. She is currently teaching at Columbia Union College, Hood College and St. Andrew's Episcopal School in addition to her private studios in McLean and Rockville. Alison also performs with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and various other ensembles.
Kitchen, Judy (AYP, 1995-1996, flute). After high school, Judy attended Louisiana State University on full scholarship in flute performance. She writes, "I enjoyed my time with AYP and have fond memories of Luis Haza." Currently, she has returned to college and is majoring in Social Work. Reconnect with Judy Kitchen at firstname.lastname@example.org. She currently resides in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Logan, Sue (NVYS, 1969-1974, oboe). Sue is Principal oboist of the Billings Symphony Orchestra. She also teaches oboe at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. She writes, "I learned a lot of the major symphonic repertoire during my years of playing with NVYS. Our summer trip in 1971 to the International Festival of Youth Symphonies in Lausanne, Switzerland is one of my happiest memories. In addition to repertoire and musicianship, NVYS educated me in the interpersonal dynamics of performing groups. This education has been valuable to me in all my subsequent music/business/personal contacts."
McCommon, Brian (NVYSA, 1980-1986, trombone). Brian performed as soloist on several occasions and as a trombonist, he performed a thrilling medley of Beatles tunes with The Band of the Nation's Capital” in Maryland and Texas. The performances brought down the house on each occasion. McCommon is also a member of the ensemble "Quadrille", a Washington, D.C. based tuba & euphonium quartet. Quadrille is comprised of military musicians and was featured at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria as guest artists with the NVCC College / Community Band. They appeared at the invitation of the band's conductor, Dr. Wendy Matthews. The performance featured "The Angelic Host Proclaims" composer/tubist Martin Tousignant. McCommon also appeared as trombone soloist with the NVCC Band on May 9, 2008.
Matt McKay won the percussion auditon with the Oregon Symphony in August 2010 and joined the orchestra in January 2011. This past January he took the audition for the Boston Symphony. There were two openings. Matt won one of the openings, and Kyle Brightwell, also a percussionist in AYP at the same time won the other opening. Michael Roberts, an AYP alum, was a strong finalist in the audition. Matt will begin his season this summer at Tanglewood for Tanglewood's 50th aniversary concert.
McKay, Tim (AYP, 1997-1999, percussion). Tim lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, as a freelance percussionist and percussion teacher. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2003 with a Bachelors degree, and in 2005 from the University of Maryland with a Masters degree. His wife, Amanda (Walker) McKay, is a violist and also a former AYP musician (1995-2001). They did not know they were both in AYP until after they started dating. Amanda is an elementary and middle school orchestra teacher for Howard County Public Schools in Columbia, Maryland, as well as a freelance musician. Amanda and Time went to the Kennedy Center a few years back to see AYP play with the Master Chorale of Washington during a Christmas concert. Tim writes, "this was one of my favorite concert experiences to this day; my brother Matthew, a percussionist with AYP at the time was also playing in the concert. Afterwards we met my brother by the stage door and he said he could get us backstage as "special alumni" and that Mr. Haza would be happy to see us. Honestly I didn't think Luis would remember me or Amanda but as soon as we turned the corner into his dressing room his eyes got big and his face lit up and he yelled 'Amanda! Tim!' He gave us both big hugs and after talking with us for a while he said something along the lines of 'now you can tell everyone that AYP brought you together'. I guess it did. It still touches us that he remembered us both so well! He's one of the greatest people we've ever met."
Meyer, Stephen (AYP, 1999-2001, violin; Concertmaster of the 2000-01 season). Stephen studied privately with Maestro Haza from 1996-2001. Afterwards, he attended Yale College of Yale University, where he graduated with B.A. in French Literature and Music in 2005. Inspired by a junior year study abroad in Paris, France, upon his graduation from Yale he returned to Paris, where he completed a Master's degree in violin performance at the Paris Conservatoire. In February 2007, he won the position of Assistant Principal second violinist at the National Belgian Opera (Theatre Royal de la Monnaie) in Brussels, Belgium. Stephen currently divides his time between Paris and Brussels. He'd also like to thank Mr. Haza for his years of dedication and support.
Moghissi, Jasmine (1977-1978, viola). Jasmine currently is in a solo family practice in Vienna, Virginia. She is playing piano in a trio with two other physicians.
Mulligan, Erin (NVYSA, 1996-1998, violin). Erin received a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Vanderbilt University in 2002. She teaches 7th grade English at The Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama.
Murday, Kimmaree (AYP, 1986-90, French horn). Kimmaree earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in 1994 and a Doctorate in Second Language Acquisition from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. Dr. Murday then took a job as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis teaching advanced Spanish and linguistics.
Park, Jeeho (NVYSA, 1990-1999, cello). After graduating from high school Jeeho went across the river to Georgetown University, where he graduated in 2003. He lives in London, England with his wife (who is a violinist) and he works in private equity and mergers & acquisitions. Heeho writes, "I have such fond memories of Monday night rehearsals and our weekend concerts, as well as trips around the country with NVYSA to places such as the Eastman School of Music. I can't wait for my next trip back to Northern Virginia where I hope to catch an AYP concert!"
Ramey, Lynne (NVYSO, 1969-1972, viola). Lynne has gone on to a very fine professional career as a violist.
Reinfeld, Greg (NVYSA/AYPO, 1995-2001, viola). Greg sings and plays guitar in The Mostly Bad Virus. He has recorded 14 solo albums which can be downloaded free of charge at his website, www.gregreinfeld.com.
Richardson, Edward Rex (NVYSO, graduated 1987, trumpet)Rex has become one of the busiest crossover trumpet virtuosos on the international scene. Having toured around the world with the critically-acclaimed Rhythm& Brass, the late jazz legend Joe Henderson's Quintet, and the all-star Brass Band of Battle Creek, Rex maintains a busy globe-trotting schedule as a recitalist and soloist at festivals and with orchestras, wind and jazz ensembles. He is Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Trumpet at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and Artist-in-Residence at London, England's Trinity College of Music. He was given the 2008 Brass Herald International "Brass Personality of the Year" Award; Brass Herald is arguably the premiere brass music trade magazine, published in Cambridge, England, the award encompasses all brass-related genres including symphonic, chamber, jazz, solo, brass band, etc. and in the words of the editor, "It's the brass performer who in the Editor's opinion has carried out pioneering work, been at the cutting edge of original concepts and through his or her personality has done much to further the art of brass performance."
Richardson, James (AYP, 1999-2001, french horn). James has made guest appearances on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman", the BBC's "Later with Jools Holland", and NBC's "Saturday Night Live", performing as a member of the rock band MGMT. For more information on the band and video clips, visit www.myspace.com/mgmt.
Risby-Jones, Andrea Mani (NVYSA, 1984-1988, viola). Andrea is a mother of three, including twins, and she plays in orchestras and theater groups in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland, Australia. Music has been a companion and a bridge to friendships in a country to which she emigrated.
Roberts, Elizabeth "Ibby" (NVYSA, 1985-1988, bassoon). Ibby was selected through a national search as the Lecturer in Bassoon at the University of Virginia, and Principal Bassoon of the Charlottesville Symphony, positions she has held for many years. She was also chosen as Principal Bassoon of the Roanoke Symphony.
Roberts, Eric (AYP, 2000-2003, percussion). Eric is currently studying at The Juilliard School where he is taking part in the Focus! festival. The New York Times wrote a feature on the festival, and gave Eric's performance a great review.
Sewell, Ada (DeGoyler) (NVYS, 1971-75, violin). Ada is a private violin & viola teacher of 45 students, many of them graduating and becoming professional musicians themselves. Ada majored in Music Education and Orchestra and currently plays in two civic orchestras. She lives in Oklahoma and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota (international music fraternity) and the Violin Society.
Siegfried, Bill (NVYS, 1977-1978, trumpet). Bill is working as a pilot, freelance trumpet player, and teacher in Fairfax, Virginia. He graduated from Indiana University with a BME in 1983. Bill writes, "the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony was a great way to meet and work/play with musicians from other schools in the area. It was excellent preparation for future studies in college."
Siegle, Brian (1983-1987, bass). After moving from the Northern Virginia area, Brian continued playing the bass, joining the Virginia Youth Symphony in Norfolk while finishing high school (1987-1989). While completing an Electrical Engineering degree at Virginia Tech, he played with the New River Valley Symphony (1989-1995). Since graduation, Brian lived in Charleston, Sout Carolina for seven years and then moved back to Northern Virginia. He writes, "I'm looking forward to being able to attend concerts of the symphony again - it was such an enriching experience!"
Sileo, Lauren (AYP, 1999-2002, flute). On November 8, 2009, flutist Lauren Sileo was featured with Washington's Capital Wind Symphony (CWS) performing a Washington D.C. premiere of Anthony Plog's Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble. Recently returned Virginia native Lauren Sileo attended The Juilliard School where she was accepted with the highest honor of Presidential Distinction, and was the only undergraduate flutist worldwide to be accepted for the 2002-2003 academic year. More information on Lauren Sileo at www.laurensileo.com.
Simonton, Lara (AYP, 2000-2003, double bass). Lara graduated from Oberlin College in May 2007 after returning from a six month study abroad in Irkusk, Siberia. Lara, a Russian studies major and Fulbright Scholar, is presently in Bishkek, Kirkistan for a year doing research for her Fulbright.
Sinsap, Cynthia Mineart (NVYS, 1968-1970, 1st trumpet). Cynthia was in the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony under the baton of Dr. James Phol, and also participated in the Summer orchestra at Reston. She also played with the National Youth Orchestra at Wolf Trap Farm Park in the summers of 1971-72. She has a Bachelor of Music Education (1974) from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Masters of International Education (Framingham State College). Cynthia returned to Northern Virginia to work and play with the Fairfax County Symphony from 1974-1976. Since 1978, she has resided in Thailand with her Thai husband and three children. She is currently an English teacher and the curriculum coordinator of The American School of Bangkok. Cynthia writes, "in the '60's, Fairfax County did not yet have a string program in the schools. NVYS was my introduction to orchestral performance. It shaped my love of orchestral music and my choice of field in college. My experiences with the orchestra are among my most memorable. I'm thrilled to see that the program has grown and thrived."
Smith, Pamina (AYP, 2001-2007, violin). Pamina was selected for the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra (one of America's only undergraduate early music orchestras). She will be playing on an authentic period violin and bow donated to Harvard University.
Stang-McCusker, Stephani (NVYS, 1070-1971, flute). Stephani was also a member of the NVYS summer orchestral program, the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony at Reston, for summers 1969 through 1971. She is now the Assistant Principal Flutist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Washington National Opera Orchestra, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. She teaches flute as a member of the Music Faculty of George Washington University, in addition to private flute instruction at her home studio in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Stephenson, Ed (NVYSO, 1989-1992, cello) graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a B.M. in Violoncello in 1998. He performed as a section cellist in the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, freelance performer in the D.C. area, and private studio teacher prior to working as an orchestra teacher in the Stafford County Public Schools. After earning a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia, he served as a high school dean and assistant principal while completing a Ph.D. in Education from George Mason University. He currently works as principal of Bull Run Middle School and resides in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife and four daughters.
Stephenson, Stuart (AYP, 2006-2007, trumpet). Stuart attended The Juilliard School where he studied with Raymond Mase and Mark Gould. He performed at the Bachauer Scholarship event for the second year in a row with his ensemble, the Vandalay Brass Quintet. His quintet has played throughout New York City, including philanthropic events at hospitals, hospices and rehabilitation centers - their most recent performance was at the United Nations Building. He performed regularly with The Juilliard Orchestra in New York City at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and has performed with the Brooklyn College Orchestra. His instructors in the Washington, D.C. area include Adel Sanchez (NSO), Thomas Cupples (NSO) and Jim Bittner (USAF Band). Stuart has also attended the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado. He recently graduated from Northwestern University with a Masters of Music and is now principal trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony.
Stoddard, Brooke Robert (Junior Orchestra 1997-1998, Virginia Youth Orchestra 1998-1999, AYP 1999-2001; violin). Brooke received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Princeton University in June 2005. While at Princeton, he performed with the orchestra for four years and enjoyed tours to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Portugal. He currently resides in New York City and works in Fixed Income Sales & Trading at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Brooke writes "I loved every year of rehearsals, concerts, and commaraderie".
Stuckey, Michael (NVYSA, 1983-1984, principal trumpet). Unlike principal trumpet players before and after hime who chose a professional music career, Michael took a much different path. After graduating from Virginia Tech with an engineering degree, he worked in business for eighteen years. In November 2004, Michael accepted a position as the President of Douglas Quikut (a Berkshire Hathaway company). He writes, "I have many fond memories of my symphony experience with Mr. Haza and Colonel Mitchell. It is such a joy to see the symphony continuing today. While music is not part of my everyday life, the ethics and values taught by Mr. Haza and Colonel Mitchell have become a vital part of who I have become."
Turner, Amanda (Weik) (AYPO, 1992-1994, viola). Amanda earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education from UNC-Greensboro in 1998 and a Masters degree in Music from UNC-Greensboro in 2005. She is currently teaching high school orchestra in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System in Charlotte, North Carolina. Amanda got married in December 2001 and her husband, Chad, is a band director in Stanley County, North Carolina. Amanda and Chad had their first child in May 2008.
Turner, J. David (NVYS, class of 1986). J. David played under the direction of Luis Haza and graduated from Madison High School in 1986. He graduated from James Madison University in 1990 with a B.S. Degree in Finance. J. David is now married with two sons and employed by the University of North Carolina as Senior Director of Planning and Systems in the Human Resource Department.
Walters, Ashley (AYP, 1999-2001, cello). Ashley is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Contemporary Cello Performance as a fellow at the University of California, San Diego, where she has been twice awarded for excellence in teaching for her work with undergraduate students. She graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Cello Performance. In 2005, Ashley graduated from Vanderbilt University, Magna Cum Laude. Cellist Ashley Walters has gained attention as an interpreter of new music, a prodigious performer in chamber music, and a dedicated teacher. After a performance in Los Angeles of the Berio 'Sequenza', Mark Swed of the LA Times said: "Ashley Walters, a cellist finishing her doctorate at UCSD, played Berio's late Sequenza XIV with the kind of brilliance that beckons a major new performer on the new music scene." She had her solo debut in 2006 performing Sciarrino’s ‘Melencolia I’ at the REDCAT hall in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2008, Ashley worked with the great Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho performing her work ‘Spins and Spells’ as part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ashley is a founding member of the Formalist Quartet, a Los Angeles based new music string quartet that tours in the U.S. and internationally and that focuses on adventurous contemporary repertoire. In addition, she is a member of inauthenita, a Los Angeles new music ensemble. Ashley has served on the cello faculty of the California State Summer School, and currently serves as faculty at the Oakwood School, the Academy of Creative Education, and as an Associate-in-Music at UCSD. Ashley's primary teachers have been Charles Curtis, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Felix Wang, John Kochanowski, and Barbara Van Patten. In October, Ashley presented a solo recital featuring the music of Rachmaninoff, Berio, and Renaissance composers. In addition she has recently recorded a solo album with works by Luciano Berio, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, and Nicholas Deyoe.
Walters, Jeff (AYP, 1992-1996, percussion). An article co-authored by AYP alumnus, Jeff Walters, was published in the April 2010 issue of Forbes Magazine. The article, based on a study by the Boston Consulting Group, addresses the implications of the rapid growth of China's middle class and the growth of household disposable income on the sustainability of business models of companies in China. The article further details the need for businesses to approach planning on a fact-based process before making decisions about expansion. Click here to read the article. Jeff is a Principal in the Shanghai office of the Boston Consulting Group. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Dartmouth College, and Stanford University.
Weiss, Scott (NVYS, 1984-1986, Principal trumpet). Scott earned degrees from the Schools of Music at Indiana University and the University of Illinois. He is now on the conducting faculty at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where he conducts the Lamar University Wind Ensemble, the Beaumont Youth Wind Symphony, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses, and performs in the faculty brass quintet. Scott writes, "being in the program was one of the pivotal experiences in my musical education, and it helped prepare me for a career in music performance. I was so glad to see the youth symphony is still thriving!"
White, Alexander (AYP, 2002-2004, trumpet) is now in Seoul, Korea. Alexander won the Associate Principal position with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) in January 2011. He had been a guest performer with SPO for the past year including concerts all over Korea and 3 weeks in Europe in 2010, playing principal and other trumpet parts. He completed his BM (2008) and MM (2010) at The Juilliard School studying principally with Raymond Mase and Mark Gould. When back home in Burke during school breaks, he competed in the National Trumpet Competition as a soloist and with The Juilliard Ensemble. His summers were spent giving lessons to local trumpet students and working band camps with his long time private instructor, Jim Bittner (USAF retired and Curtis School of Music). His 3 years with AYP Orchestras are remembered as his awakening to be an orchestral performer by trade and honing his musical skills under the direction of Music Director Luis Haza and Assistant Director Adel Sanchez - both long time prominent members of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Wilke, Christina (AYP, 2002-2003, alternate Assistant Concertmaster violin). Christina graduated in 2007 from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Bachelors degree in Music Performance and achieved a Masters of Music degree in 2009 from Rice University. She has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra (2005 and 2006) and with the Canton, Mansfield, and Woodlands Symphony Orchestras. She is currently the Music Director for YES! Prep West, a charter school in Houston that prepares under-priveleged and low income students for college. This year is the first year the school system has tried a music department. There are 120 sixth graders participating in three different orchestras and will expand the program to include 6th and 7th grade next year. Christina writes, "AYP taught me much about leadership, professionalism, and musical etiquette. It helped to take me from a high school violinist unsure about what to become, into a professional musician. Thank you AYP!"
Williams-Martinez, Elizabeth Anne (JYS, 1988-89; YSO, 1989-1993; viola). Elizabeth played in the orchestra program under the direction of Mr. Brubecker and Maestro Haza. She moved to New York to become a recording engineer and looked at prospects of going back to school for viola. She worked for the Woodwind & Brasswind of New York as their Stringed instrument coordinator, taking her into the professional musicians' world and where she met her husband, who was a professional Trumpet player out of Louisiana. They have a beautiful daughter named Leila who has taken up the cello. After 15 years, Elizabeth has started back into school at the University of Texas at San Antonio, majoring in Viola Performance and Public Relations, and will also be finishing her recording certificate.
Wilson, Steve (1988-1990, horn). Steve attended Duquesne University for three years, studying piano performance with a minor in horn. He then transferred to Ithaca College and completed his Bachelor's degree in voice performance. Steve joined the Air Force in November of 2001 went to basic training for 7 weeks, right along with all of the other Air Force recruits. He is currently a singer and member of the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, a part of the Air Force Band stationed at Bolling Air Force Base. He performs all over the DC area, around the country, and around the world. The ensemble supports the Air Force at state functions, public events, and state funerals. Steve is also a professional church musician, with 10+ years of religious performance experience in worship services, high Anglican mass, Catholic mass, and funerals of all denominations. He currently sings at Christ Church in Georgetown in a small early-music ensemble of professional singers.
Work, Jeffrey (NVYSA, 1981-1983, trumpet). Jeffrey is Principal trumpet of the Oregon Symphony following auditions in late 2005. He moved to Portland for the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, leaving an active freelance career of 13 years in the Boston area. The orchestra's schedule allows him to continue spending summers as Principal Trumpet of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, a position he has held since 1999.
Young, Regan (AYP, 2002-2004, oboe). Regan first started with AYPO in 1998 when it was NVYSA. Since then, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Upon completion of boot camp he was recruited into the Marine Corps Band. He performed for Presidential State funerals, NFL games, and numerous other ceremonies, parades, and exhibitions. In 2007 he volunteered to attach to an infantry battalion, leaving the band, where he then deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since his return, he has served as a Marine Guard at U.S. Embassies around the world.
Zoeter, Garrick (1989-1990, clarinet) currently performs around the U.S. and the world as a clarinet soloist and chamber musician. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale University. Since winning the Concert Artists Guild competition in 2002, his quartet Antares (violin, clarinet, cello, and piano) has premiered over 30 new works written for them by America's most prominent young composers. Mr. Zoeter has recorded for the Bridge, New Focus, Innova, CRI, and Newport Classics CD labels. Since 2007 he has served as the Ann Lee Van Buren Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. Mr. Zoeter married his wife Mariana, a Romanian soprano, in 2002 in Belem, Brasil. They currently reside in Winchester. Mr. Zoeter is glad to be back in Virginia where many of his most wonderful musical memories were made including his time in AYPO!
Stay Connected with AYPO
E-mail AYPO with updates for "Where Are They Now?"
Graduates of AYPO's programs constitute some of the most accomplished and multi-talented students from the Washington metropolitan region and now they can be found all over this nation and the globe. Send us an update of your goals, accomplishments, and fondest memories of AYPO! We will post the information on the "Where are they now?" section of the website, where it will inspire current and future AYPO musicians!
Support AYPO Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today!