Aliento Chamber Players - Artist Biographies

Amira Acre
Amira Acre Amira Acre began her piano studies at the age of three in Montreal. At four, she had her first professional engagement on CBC radio, and at five she won her first piano competition. She studied with Abbey Simon at the Juilliard School where she received her bachelors and masters degrees. She earned her doctorate at Rutgers University.

Dr. Acre has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards including Canada Council Grants and Fellowships to Tanglewood, Fountainebleau, and Banff. She won first prize at the Artists International Auditions in New York leading to her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. Ms. Acre has performed both solo and chamber music in Canada, the United States and across Europe. Locally she has been a soloist with the Civic, Waltham, Brockton and Wellesley symphony orchestras.

Amira has a private studio and is on the faculty at the Brookline Music School. She resides in Massachusetts and enjoys walking her dogs Kiran and Kaia.

Jessica Amidon
Jessica Amidon Originally from Maine, violinist Jessica Amidon performs regularly throughout New England in the Lexington Symphony, Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Cape Symphony, ALEA III, and the New England Chamber Players. She has also performed with The Who, The Eagles, Michael Buble, Weird Al, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Hanson, Sarah Brightman, 2Cellos and Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Jessica has taught in public and private schools, both in group settings and individual lessons. She received her Bachelor of Music in String Performance from Boston University and holds licensure in Music through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Mary Towse-Beck
Mary Towse-Beck Pianist Mary Towse-Beck has been a performing artist for the past twenty-five years. Equally at home as both soloist and collaborative artist, she has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. She has been a featured artist on Australian National Radio and her 2013 release of The Impressionists not only received critical acclaim but also extensive airplay throughout North America. Recently, she gave a solo recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and appeared as soloist with the Portsmouth Symphony.

Mary received her master's and bachelor's of Music from Indiana University where she studied with James Tocco and Edward Auer, and also received coaching from many renowned teachers including Josef Gingold, Janos Starker and Gyorgy Sebok. She attended Eastman School of Music as an undergraduate studying with Rebecca Penneys, after having studied with Jerome Rose in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio. After completing her master's, she continued her studies in London with Norma Fisher and Benjamin Kaplan.

After having lived in England for twenty years, Mary returned to the United States in 2007 and now resides in New Hampshire. She maintains a large teaching studio in her home in Kensington, NH, and also continues to perform chamber music and solo recitals.

Zoia Bologovsky
Zoia Bologovsky Zoia Bologovsky is an active musician in the New England area. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Zoia has had many adventures touring as first violinist with the Arden String Quartet around America and Europe. She has held positions with the Portland and Springfield Symphonies and Rhode Island Philharmonic as well as Symphony New Hampshire. Currently, Zoia is Concertmaster of North Shore Philharmonic and the Portsmouth Symphony. She is also Principal 2nd violin of PORTopera, and can be found teaching at St Paul's School in Concord, NH, and her studio in Stoneham, MA. Some of her favorite work involves Musical Theater. Zoia is a frequent performer at Providence Performing Arts Center, North Shore Music Theater, Hanover Theater in Worcester and the Boston Opera House playing touring and local Broadway shows.

Dorothy Braker
Dorothy Braker Primarily a soloist and chamber musician, cellist Dorothy Braker performed extensively across the United States before settling in New Hampshire. As the founder and Artistic Director of Aliento Chamber Players, she has been performing with them since 2008. Dorothy is a gifted video editor and music arranger, performs regularly with Orchestra on the Hill, Lowell Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Philharmonic, Portsmouth Pro Musica, and many other orchestras, chorus groups and chamber groups. As principal cellist and Outreach Director with The Portsmouth Symphony, she helped to create the Concerto and Aria Competitions, served as Personnel Director, created and directed the youth program MyPSO and the "Get Cozy" chamber series, built their online video library, and was instrumental in creating and maintaining a successful educational concert outreach program for area schools. She maintains a rich and varied studio for online and in-person chamber music coaching and private cello students, and teaches at the Concord Community Music School.

Dorothy's studies in cello were with Lois Yopp, Phil Blum, Karl Fruh, culminating at the Juilliard School where she earned master's and bachelor's degrees in music performance, studying with Harvey Shapiro. She and her husband Scott have four children, two beautiful grandchildren, and a multitude of cats and dogs.

David Cabral
David Cabral A versatile musician, David Cabral attended the Boston Conservatory of Music as a viola major, but also performs frequently on cello. In demand throughout New England as a chamber and orchestral musician, he also plays the fife and is a member of the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums as well cellist and harpist for the Boston based Celtic music ensemble Fellswater. He has performed on fife with the Boston Camerata, the Boston Pops, the National Guard Gala as well as many other large and prestigious events and parades. In 2018 Dave performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland as a fifer with the Middlesex County Volunteers and as cellist with Fellswater and more recently as a fiddle player with Hjaltibonhoga (Shetland Fiddlers).

In addition to his work as a free-lance musician, he is chief echocardiographer (ultrasound of the heart) at Boston Medical Center’s department of Pediatric Cardiology.
Claire Conroy

Claire Conroy Claire Conroy has always felt connected to the written word and its effects on people. Late nights of dedicated soul-diving, anguish and enthusiasm; she has self-published her books, “Listen” and "Silent". Claire has also been a contributing writer to four other poetic anthologies; "Poetry as a Bridge to Japan", "Goddess Anthology", "New Generation Beats", and "Remembering Jack Kerouac". Claire has had choice poems translated into Hindi, is involved with the National Beat Poetry Foundation and is a current member of the board of the Portsmouth, NH Poet Laureate Program. Claire invites you to share in her emotional emancipation through her words.

Amy Dinsmore
Amy Dinsmore When Amy Dinsmore is not coordinating the Music Department at UMass Lowell, she is performing in orchestras or as soloist around New England. She has maintained a private teaching studio for many years and has also taught at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore, MD, the Community Music School of Springfield, and the Joy of Music Program in Worcester, MA. Ms. Dinsmore currently plays principal oboe with the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and has played with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony (PA), Baltimore Choral Arts, Delaware Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony (PA), Pioneer Valley Symphony (MA) and others. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory and Smith College, Ms. Dinsmore has studied with Louis Speyer and Peter Bloom. Additional teachers have included Joel Timm, Fred Cohen and Joe Turner.

Ms. Dinsmore has performed as oboe and English horn soloist with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra, Holyoke Symphony, Lakes Region Symphony and Waltham Symphony.

John Ferraro
John Ferraro Clarinetist John Ferraro has performed and taught extensively throughout New England. He is equally at home performing orchestral and chamber music. He studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he obtained both his bachelors and masters degrees in music education and clarinet performance. While at UMass, he studied clarinet with Michael Sussman and visiting professor Allan Meyer of the West Australian Symphony in Perth, Australia. In addition, he studied with clarinetists Douglas Metcalf, Julia Frothingham, and Rebecca Leonard. He has performed with the Avanti Wind Quintet of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Keene State Faculty Recital Series, Monadnock Chorus Orchestra, Waltham Symphony, Smith College Orchestra, Tufts University Orchestra, The New England Philharmonic, and the PARMA Orchestra. He is featured on two Navona recordings, Percipience and Voyage. Currently, he is the principal clarinet of the Portsmouth Symphony (NH) since 2011 and is a high school music educator at Boston Public Schools. When not playing clarinet or teaching, John spends his time with his wife Erica and their two children, Isaac and Rebekah.

Jill Fratianne DiSaverio
Jill Fratianne DiSaverio Violist Jill Fratianne DiSaverio currently lives in Portsmouth, NH. At the age of 17, she became the youngest violist to receive a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival, and was also awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. Jill received her undergraduate and master's degree from Northwestern University where she studied with Roland Vamos and was awarded the Civic Fellowship of Northwestern, a full tuition scholarship while performing as Principal Violisit of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony. Currently she performs regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Her song, "For Hands, One Heart", written for violin and guitar was rated the "Most Requested Song At Guitar Center" and can be heard in Guitar Centers nation wide as well as downloaded on iTunes.

Oksana Gorokhovskiy
Oksana Gorokhovskiy Bulgarian born violinist Oksana Gorokhovskiy started her journey in the field of music at the age of six. She received a bachelor Degree in Violin Performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a master's degree from Boston University, USA. Her private teachers and coaches were Professor Yuri Mazurkevich, members of the Shanghai String Quartet, Kronos String Quartet, and Muir String Quartet.

While living in Europe, she was a soloist of the State Academy Orchestra, and second violin in String Quartet "Slavyani", with which she performed actively and won the First Prize at the International Competition "Music and the Earth". Mrs. Gorokhovskiy has toured with several orchestras throughout Europe. Currently she lives in United States and actively performs as a chamber musician and orchestra player. She is assistant concertmaster at Cape Ann Symphony, co-principal second violinist at Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, and performs with Symphony by the Sea, Symphony New Hampshire, and Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nancy Hair
Nancy Hair Nancy Hair, cellist, lives in the Boston area where she keeps herself busy as a teacher, and a performer as well as having a family. Nancy is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, the Suzuki School of Newton, and has a home studio. In addition she can be heard frequently playing in many of Boston’s orchestras as well as solo and chamber music. Nancy has been a teacher trainer since 1988 and enjoys traveling and teaching at institutes, workshops, conferences, and festivals. She attended Indiana University, Hartt School of Music, and Ithaca Talent Education. Her teachers include Janos Starker, Raya Garbousova, George Neikrug, and Timothy Eddy.

Jan Heirtzler
Jan has performed with Keene State College orchestra, Apple Hill, and Night Shift (a chamber orchestra for community members who could no longer play in the UNHSO). In 2010, the siren song of the C string finally led to Jan's conversion to violist. She has played with the Portsmouth Symphony for 10 years and peformed with many area chamber groups, choirs and orchestras. When not digging into that sweet, sweet C, Jan is the doer of everything at Sleeping Baby Productions LLC (producing baby carriers) and tries to make sense of the arcane world of music publishing as the PSO's librarian.

Jessica Helie
Jessica Helie holds a bachelor of music degree from Syracuse University and a master of music degree in violin performance from the Longy Conservatory. She studied violin and viola with Laura Bossert-King, Muneko Otani of the Cassatt String Quartet, and James Dickenson of the Degas and Villiers String Quartets. Jessica is an avid performer throughout New England, with groups such as Symphony NH, Cape Cod Symphony, Great Bay Philharmonic, Dartmouth Handel Society, the Vermont, New Bedford, and Granite State Symphonies, Granite State Opera, and Occasional Brass and Strings. In addition to running a private studio, she teaches orchestra, grades 3-12, in the Timberlane Regional School District in southern New Hampshire.  Jessica has conducted festivals throughout the northeast, including New Hampshire’s Stringfest and the Ulster County District Festival in Kingston, NY. Jessica lives in Hooksett, NH with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Louise Kandle
Louise Kandle - A native of Sweden who got her musical training from Malmö conservatory, Sibelius Academy, and Hartt school of music. She has a thriving violin studio in NH since 1998. She has taught in the Oyster River School District since 2014 and at Phillips Exeter Academy as of fall 2019. She performs regularly with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, New Hampshire Philharmonic, many and varied chamber groups and New Hampshire seacoast choruses, and Dansk Amator Orkester Samvirke in Denmark. Her true passion is to play chamber music. She lives in Durham with her 3 beloved boys - husband Mike, guitarist son William and black cat Batman.

Bill Kirkley
Bill Kirkley Bill Kirkley is in demand as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and chamber performer, and his playing has been labeled “emotional, committed, and intensely exciting” by the Boston Globe. The Boston Musical Intelligencer called him “a musician in total command of his instrument”. Bill’s orchestral playing has been heard in some of the world’s great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Symphony Hall Boston, Orchestra Hall Chicago, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London. He is principal clarinetist and one of the founders of the Lexington Symphony, principal clarinetist of Cape Ann Symphony, solo bass clarinetist with Orchestra of Indian Hill and the Albany Symphony. As a guest clarinetist, he can often be heard performing with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and City Ballet in NYC.

Bill is sought out as a concerto soloist and has been featured with the North Arkansas Symphony, Mesquite Symphony, North Shore Philharmonic, Gordon Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony, and the Lexington Symphony. An avid proponent of new music, Bill is the clarinetist for Triage New Music and Boston Musica Viva, the oldest contemporary music ensemble in the United States. He has worked with many of the leading composers of our era to realize their music, including Joan Tower, Martin Bresnik, Michael Gandolfi, Gunther Schuller, Donald Martino, Yehudi Wyner, and John Harbison. Bill’s recording of Camarata IV, a concerto for all the clarinets, was written for him by the esteemed New York composer Bernard Hoffer and was released in summer 2020 to rave reviews.

Bill has recorded extensively on such labels as CRI, SEAMUS, New World, Albany, Naxos, and Centaur. His playing has been heard on WGBH Boston and the BBC from London. If you play SimCity BuildIt! you’ve heard his playing behind the game. A performer dedicated to educating, Bill has served on the music faculties of University of Southwestern Louisiana, Brandeis University, UMass Boston, and is currently on the music faculties of Gordon College, Berklee College of Music, the College of the Holy Cross, and Indian Hill Music. He is in demand as a teacher. clinician, and adjudicator. Maintaining a busy teaching studio of beginners through adults, he has also taught masterclasses for district, region and all state competitions. As a long time member of the International Clarinet Association, he has presented at ClarinetFest, the summer festival of the ICA. Bill attended the University of Arkansas, Northwestern University and Southern Methodist University, where his major teachers were Robert Marcellus, Anthony Gigliotti, and Robert Umiker.

Matthew Liebendorfer
Matthew Liebendorfer Matthew Liebendorfer is a Boston-area violinist and violist with a special love for chamber music. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, he's appeared on many stages throughout New England as a string quartet- and piano trio-violinist. Matthew plays numerous concerts per year in several of Massachusetts' professional choral and orchestral ensembles, as well. Each summer for the past dozen years in the Finger Lakes region of New York (and now southern New Hampshire), Matthew has directed the highly regarded summer chamber music-reading festival, "Heaven", a week-long foray into playing all possible things related to string and piano chamber music. Matthew's the proud father of four accomplished and talented children (aged 29-38), an avid cyclist, runner, and skier, and a resident of Newton, Mass. By day, he's also a database and application integration consultant and programmer.

Kevin G. Kindsay
Kevin Kevin G. Lindsay has been the Organist and Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Rochester NH since January 1999. He plays the organ and for most of the services, directs the choirs, the Circuit Ringers' hand-bell choir and supervises the adult volunteer directors of the Witherell Ringers. Kevin began playing piano at the age of four and has been involved in playing and singing church music since childhood. He began studying organ at age eleven in Worcester MA with Ed Laliberte'. Kevin was accepted as a Music Major at Barrington College in 1984, prior to the school's merger with Gordon College in 1985. Kevin continued organ study at Gordon with Dr. Roy Brunner. In 1996 Kevin became the first recipient of the Collins Organ Scholarship at Plymouth State University, Plymouth NH. (A full 4 year tuition grant for organ study.) He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts Music degree in Organ Performance. His instructor for 4 years was Katherine Buckley, with additional tutoring from Dr. Robert Swift Chair of the Music Department, and a 2 week study with Roger Sayer; (At the time, the Organist and Choirmaster at Rochester Cathedral, Rochester England.) While at Plymouth State, he sang in the College Chorale under Dr. Perkins for 3 years, and performed his Sr. year Choral internship under the direction of Dr. Kitty Beller-McKenna with the Granite State Choral Society. Kevin continues to sing with GSCS in his spare time and is a Past-Dean of the NH chapter of the American Guild of Organists, where he is still active in planning chapter events and promoting the Pipe Organ's use in worship and for concerts.

Karen Luttik
Clarinetist Karen Luttik has recently relocated to New Hampshire after performing and teaching in the Netherlands for 20 years among others with Trio Aleotti, the Kurios Klarinet Kwartet and Musicaleren.

Karen has served for years as Solo Clarinet for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and currently performs regularly in New England with groups such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony, Symphony NH, Granite State Symphony, Aliento Chamber Players, the Longfellow Festival Orchestra and Sound Icon.

Karen teaches enthusiastic clarinetists of all ages at the Nashua Community Music School, Boston University (as teaching assistant) and at her private clarinet studio.

Karen's musical studies took her to Manhattan School of Music, New York, the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague, the Sweelink Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam, Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston, and Boston University. She has worked with wonderful teachers such as George Pieterson (Concertgebouw Orchestra), Charles Russo (NY City Opera), Jonathan Cohler (soloist), Jorge Montilla (Simon Bolivar Orchestra), Michael Wayne (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Stephen Bates (Kennedy Center Opera and Ballet Orchestra), Ethan Sloane (Boston University) and David Martins (Boston University.)

Karen performs on Wurlitzer clarinets (Eb, Bb, A; Reform Boehm) using a Viotto N1+3 mouthpiece and Benno Kruger reeds. Her bass is a Schwenk & Seggelke Reform Boehm and goes to low C :-)

Morgan McCurdy
Soprano Morgan McCurdy received her BA and BFA in Music and Voice from University of Washington, Seattle, where she studied with Mary Curtis-Verna, Monserat Alavedra, and Carol Webber, and was a preview artist with the Seattle Opera. She earned her MFA in Voice at the New England Conservatory, studying with Patricia Craig and Irma Vallecillo. She has participated in masterclasses with John Wustman, Martin Isepp, and Sherrill Milnes. She has taught adult education voice classes in Brookline, MA and Kittery, Maine, and teaches privately in Kittery, Maine.

Karen McConomy
Karen McConomy (viola), presently enjoys being a freelance musician in Boston area. She regularly appears with the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and is principal violist with Symphony by the Sea, The Orchestra on the Hill, and Lowell Chamber Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Fin de Siecle Quartet, a period instrument string quartet that performs works from the 18th and 19th centuries. Karen is the founder of the White Spire Concert Series, a concert series based in Hamilton, MA that brings local history to the concert stage.

Karen has previously held positions with the The Netherlands Philharmonic and Radio Chamber Orchestra in The Netherlands, Baltimore Opera Orchestra and National Opera Orchestra, and has appeared with The Concertgebouw Orkest, The Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony. She performed, recorded, and toured through Europe with the Mirecourt string quartet and was principal and solo violist on the Grammy-award-winning CD of Samuel Barber’s opera “Anthony and Cleopatra”. Additionally, Karen spent a year of her life touring in the orchestra of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Karen studied at The Julliard School, The Eastman School of Music, and received her master’s degree in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in The Netherlands. She also holds a master’s degree in Museum studies from Georgetown University and continues to be an insatiable learner and connector of music and history.

Ashley Offret
Ashley Offret A native New Englander, violinist Ashley Offret is a full-time freelance musician in the greater Boston area. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Maine in violin performance followed by a master's degree in music history from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and has performed throughout much of the US and Italy.

In addition to her work with the Essex Piano Trio, some of Ashley’s recent career highlights include engagements with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Symphony NH and Boston’s Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society, as well as guest concertmaster appearances with Opera51 and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. More recently, with the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, she was involved in a recording project of the complete Milhaud chamber symphonies and newly commissioned companion works. The collection of works will be released next year by PARMA Recordings. Ashley is also looking forward to the March 2022 premiere of Essex Piano Trio’s commissioned work When Blessings Brighten by Ian Weise at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum.

In addition to her performance obligations, she maintains a violin, viola, and piano studio in Salem, Massachusetts for students of all ages, nurturing appreciation for live performances of music.

Katharina Radlberger
Katharina Radleberger Katharina Radlberger grew up in Austria, where she received her master degrees in violin performance and in violin pedagogy. Before moving to the US in 2003, Katharina was a freelance violinist in Austria and toured throughout Europe, China, Japan, Singapore and the Feroer Islands. After moving to the US, Katharina co–founded the ‘Vienna Waltz Ensemble’, the piano trio ‘Trio Orione’ and the string trio ‘Trio Kylix’ in Boston. Katharina co-founded the string quartet, ‘Fin de Siècle’, focusing on performing music from the early romantic area on, on period instruments in 2017. Since then, ‘Fin de Siècle’ has had four successful concert cycles in and around the Boston area. Katharina is also a vivid performing recitals with violin and piano. With her passion for the music of Johannes Brahms Katharina created a three – part concert series called ‘The Brahms Trilogy’, including all three Brahms sonatas for violin and piano and music by contemporaries. The Brahms Trilogy is a concert – talk – experience performed on her 1879 Streicher&Söhne piano, leaning on the house concert tradition from that time. Katharina also performs together with her brother, opera singer Rupert Bergmann from Vienna/Austria in a concert program written for the two musicians, ‘High Strings – Deep Voice’, which specializes in music with Austrian background for bass-baritone, violin and piano. Together, they toured the US and Canada. Around the Boston area, Katharina also gives solo recitals with piano accompaniment.

Katharina’s most recent work includes combining her performance background with her passion for supporting the health and lives of the elderly. She is the founder of ‘The Healing Violin – The Alzheimer’s Project’ where she plays for persons with severe memory loss and their loved ones in an intimate and private setting.

Katharina also is very active as an orchestra musician and member of several orchestras in the Boston area serving in leading positions. She is concertmaster for the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and a member of and playing with the Symphony New Hampshire, Lexington Symphony, Plymouth Philharmonic amongst others, and Grand Harmonie in Cambridge, a period instrument orchestra focusing on the classical period.

Amy Ripka
Amy started playing the violin at age 6, after her parents joined an itinerant bluegrass band. After playing with such banjo greats as Ben Eldridge from The Seldom Scene, she went on to study more classical pursuits. Her teachers have included Blair Milton, Margaret Pardee and Charlie Castleman from the Eastman School of Music. After attending Northwestern University for violin performance, she took a slight detour and received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Finally recovered from this indiscretion, she has once again returned to the violin, and has performed with a variety of groups in the area including the Nashua Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Granite State Symphony, Portsmouth Symphony, Portland Ballet, PORTopera, North Shore Music Theatre and the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. In her spare time, she is also working on a lounge piano act, oh and is the CEO of her company Lucy Therapeutics.

Nicholas Roy
Nicholas Roy Nicholas Roy, pianist, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Piano Interpretation from McGill University and l’universite de Montreal, and a bachelor of music education from the University of Ottawa. In Montreal, he received coaching from many internationally recognized pianists, including Marc Durand, Jean Saulnier, Louis-Phillippe Pelletier, Marina Mdivani, and Michael McMahon. He is a recipient of the William Chatfield Piano Senior Prize at Bay Chamber Music Festival in Rockport, Maine. In his early years, Nicholas began his musical studies in Edmundston, N.B. with Maureen Pelletier and later at the University of Moncton with Daniel Boulanger. During his formative years, he has won top honours in various music festivals in New Brunswick including the Restigouche Festival in Campbelton, N.B., and the CMC music competitions in St. John and Moncton. Currently, Nicholas organizes and executes a 4-concert chamber music series at the Musee Historique et Culturelle du Madawaska in Edmundston, New Brunswick. His primary aim is to feature local, talented, and seasoned artists. Nicholas is pleased to be in the Seacoast area and plans to be a vital and active member in the musical arts community.

Beverly Soll
Beverly Soll Beverly Soll holds degrees in piano from the University of Illinois and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. She has been a faculty member at the State University of New York-Geneseo, George Mason University, and Wayne State College in Nebraska. Performing as both soloist and collaborator throughout the U.S. and in Germany, her work has been described by the Washington Post as “beautifully atmospheric” and “very dramatic.” Scholarly publications include articles on Aaron Copland and Max Reger, a collection of arias from the operas of African American composer William Grant Still, and a 2005 book on Still’s operas, I Dream a World. Actively involved as a member and officer of the College Music Society, she has presented papers and performances on topics ranging from art song, contemporary solo piano music, and African American studies at many regional, national, and international CMS conferences. Dr. Soll is a member of the music faculty at Salem State University, where her very popular “History of Women in Music” course explores the history of and celebrates the breaking down of ethnic and gender barriers in music.

Soll also works throughout coastal Massachusetts as a freelance pianist, coach, and teacher. Presentation of purposeful, thematic programs with one or more singers and with instrumentalists continues to be a hallmark of her work as a collaborative pianist, including five seasons as the founding director of the Boston Singers Resource Recital Series.

As pianist and curator of programming for the Essex Piano Trio (established in 2017), she and colleagues Ashley Offret, violin, and Dave Cabral, cello, have adapted a signature “Conversation among Friends” concert format to encourage audience-friendly accessibility to excellent chamber music and to explore the full gamut of works by well-known and less well-known composers, male and female, of this beautiful genre.

Noralee Walker
Violist Noralee Walker is a versatile artist whose various collaborations have included touring North America with the multi-media show Star Wars in Concert, soloing with Paul Henry Smith's digital Fauxharmonic, and improvising with blues guitarist Chris McDermott. She has performed with many of New England's finest ensembles, such as the Boston Classical Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Vermont Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. An ardent chamber musician, Noralee has performed as guest artist with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Players, South Coast Chamber Music Society, The Boston Viola Quartet, and the acclaimed Musicians of the Old Post Road. Noralee Walker is a graduate of Wellesley College, The HARID Conservatory of Music, and the Yale University School of Music.

She currently teaches at the Winchester (MA) Community Music School and the Tufts University Community Music Program, as well in her home studio. When not performing on her 1780 Cuypers viola, Noralee enjoys practicing yoga and Nia, cooking, gardening, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

Eileen Yarrison
Eileen Yarrison Eileen Yarrison was the first flutist to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Nebraska. She also holds a MM from The Pennsylvania State University, and a BM from the University of New Hampshire. She is most proud of standing in for each of her teachers at her three collegiate alma maters while they went on sabbatical leaves. Eileen is principal flute of The Orchestra on The Hill (Ipswich, MA), and has performed in the flute sections of the Orchestra of Indian Hill (Littleton, MA), the Omaha and Lincoln Symphony Orchestras (Nebraska), the Altoona Symphony, Centre Country Chamber Orchestra, and Music at Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestras (Pennsylvania). Dr. Yarrison was awarded the Ruby Sword of Honor by the international women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota for her work with the Eta Phi Chapter at Penn State University.

Dr. Yarrison is on the faculty of Salem State University, Gordon College, and the Groton Hill Music Center, works with the young flutists of the Beverly and Hamilton-Wenham school systems, and maintains a private studio at her home on the North Shore. Eileen enjoys coaching flutists of all ages and at all places on their music-making journey.

Dr. Yarrison is nationally known for her work conducting flute ensembles. She has been the conductor of the New England Flute Orchestra (fka the Nashua Flute Choir) since 1997. This ensemble has commissioned and premiered several works, performed for four National Flute Association conventions, has recorded three CDs, and can be seen on YouTube.

She is also the conductor of the Me2/Boston Flute Choir, which is a member of the Me2/Orchestra family, the world’s only classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them. Along with clarinetist Bill Kirkley and saxophonist Amy McGlothlin, Eileen is a member of Triage, a contemporary woodwind chamber music ensemble, which is another subset of the group known as The Collective. Founded in 2018, The Collective is a circle of local wind and string musicians who combine and recombine to play many genres of music.

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