Faculty Artists

DANIEL VELASCO, FLUTE2024-03-27T09:46:48-04:00

Daniel Velasco is an award-winning flutist whose “standout” and “vibrant” performances (Miami Herald) have taken him around the world. He is the first-prize winner of the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, WAMSO Minnesota Orchestra Competition, MTNA Young Artist Competition, and Claude Monteux Flute Competition. A Yamaha performing artist, his first solo album, Flauta Andina, with Ellen Sommer (piano), was released in 2022 under the Naxos label.

As a soloist, he has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador, Salina Symphony, and several student ensembles. He has been featured as a guest performer at recital series and flute events across the United States. Internationally, he has been invited to perform at the Swedish Flute Association Convention, the Guadalajara-Mexico Vientos de Otoño Festival, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Festival Internacional de Flautistas en la Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador, the Milan Conservatory, and the Instituto Cervantes in Paris, among others. Orchestral festivals include the Latin American Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival, Orchestra de la Francophonie, Utah Festival Opera, as well as tours through Chile and Central America with the Orchestra of the Americas. He has performed under Carlos Prieto, Gustavo Dudamel, Claudio Abbado, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Jacomo Bairos, Cristian Macelaru, Carl St. Clair, Matthias Pintscher, Michael Stern, and others. He is a founding member of the Miami-based NuDeco Ensemble. Velasco earned a doctoral degree from the University of Miami – Frost School of Music, and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Northern Iowa. His main teachers include Angeleita Floyd, Marianne Gedigian, Amy Porter and Trudy Kane. He served on the faculty at the University of Akron from 2016–2018 and is currently the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Kansas.

RODERICK GEORGE, TENOR2023-12-13T11:31:55-05:00

Tenor Roderick George made his New York Lincoln Center debut in Handel’s Messiah at David Geffen HallRecent engagements have included Messiah in Dallas for the Highlander Concert Series, Lili Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène with New York Repertory Orchestra, Messiah with North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Alabama Symphony, Carmina Burana with Huntsville Symphony, Mozart Requiem with Northwest Florida Symphony, and Hailstork’s I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes with Nashville Symphony and Vocal-Essence in Minneapolis. He has been heard in numerous performances of Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee, most recently at the University of Maryland and on the self-titled recording of the Oakwood Aeolians. Internationally, he has concertized in Spain, France, Austria, Ireland, the United Kingdom and throughout Russia. On the operatic stages, he has sung a diversity of leading lyric tenor roles in operas such as Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Romeo et Juliette, Lakmé, Porgy and Bess, and The Merry Widow. Recent seasons have included Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Birmingham, Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Wilmington, and the Leader in Lost in the Stars with Union Avenue Opera. Championing American art song, he specializes in songs of H.T. Burleigh and settings of texts by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes. He sang the world premiere performance of Adolphus Hailstork’s “Four Romantic Love Songs” on poems of Dunbar. A featured artist with the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers, he has made recent appearances at Chorale Canada in Toronto, the National American Choral Director’s Association Conference in Cincinnati, Kennedy Center with Jacob Collier, and on NBC’s Saturday Night Live with British rock sensation Coldplay. He has also toured with the American Spiritual Ensemble. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. George heads the voice program at the University of Montevallo and holds a doctorate in performance from The Florida State University, a master’s degree in opera and music theater from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, with advanced study in Austria at the American Institute of Musical Studies. He is also an alum of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program. www.roderickgeorge.com

KELLY GUERRA, MEZZO SOPRANO2023-12-13T12:18:48-05:00

Lauded as “exquisite” in the SF Chronicle for her summer 2023 performance as Renata in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Peruvian-American mezzo soprano Kelly Guerra continues to light up stages as a versatile and passionate performer. Recent work includes Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Princeton Festival, the title role in Astor Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with Kentucky Opera,  Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg with Chautauqua Opera Company and the title role in Luisa Fernanda with Opera Williamsburg. Other notable past engagements include work with Opera Omaha, Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Symphony, Lucerne Festival, and a national tour with Esperanza Spalding for Wayne Shorter’s (Iphigenia).Upcoming engagements include Carlotta in Zorro with Opera Santa Barbara and the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center.

Guerra won first place in Santa Barbara’s Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition  in 2018, prior to her residency as a Young Artist with the Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman studio,  where she prepared the roles of Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Donna Rosa (ll Postino) and  Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette). Also in 2018, Kelly was a recipient of a travel grant to Germany  for language study from the Max Kade Foundation while completing her DMA at UC Santa  Barbara. There Guerra “created a sensation” (BravoCalifornia) singing the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro

As a recitalist, Guerra has been featured at the Lucerne Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center,  and the Bard Music Festival. Guerra has performed as a soloist with several ensembles  including the Albany Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Hispánica, Garden State Philharmonic, The  Orchestra Now, Contemporaneous, Opera Parallèle and BluePrint. 

She holds a D.M.A from UC Santa Barbara, her master’s in music from the Bard College Conservatory, and her bachelor’s from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an award of Vocal Excellence.

A first-generation American and native of Southern California, Kelly champions Spanish language repertoire to welcome more diverse audiences into the concert hall.

BRUNO SANDES, BARITONE2023-12-13T12:25:07-05:00

An exciting and versatile singer, Brazilian-American baritone Bruno Sandes has captivated audiences in different continents, and has been hailed by critics for his “ability to engage deeply with any audience” (Herald Times), his “warm, refined, and mature voice” (NUVO), and for being “a remarkable singer, with an expansive stage personality, whose vocal power and range is formidable” (Tom Alvarez). Bruno earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Jacobs School of Music and is currently in the final stages of his doctorate in Voice Performance, under the mentorship of American soprano Carol Vaness. Sandes has sung a vast and diverse number of operatic and musical theater roles, including Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Sergeant Sulpice in La Fille du Regiment, Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, Doctor Falke in Die Fledermaus, Emile de Becque in South Pacific, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algieri, Sùng Ông in the world premiere of P. Q. Phan’s The Tale of Lady Thi Kính, among others. Along with his stage work, Bruno is an avid recitalist and concert performer. He has been featured as a soloist in venues in the United States, Europe, and South America. Bruno has received many prestigious awards, including a Joshi International Fellowship from the Georgina Joshi Foundation, first place in the XI Maracanto International Voice Competition, one of the winners of the 2013 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, semifinalist in the IX Maria Callas International Voice Competition, and selected as one of six singers from around the world in the 42nd International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão. As the grand winner of the IU Latin American Music Center Recording Competition, Bruno has recorded a highly praised album on rare Brazilian Art Songs (“Minha Terra”) and was a semifinalist of the 2018 Liszt International Competition. He served as an Associate Instructor of Voice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and was the assistant director of both Carol Vaness and Heidi Grant Murphy’s Graduate Opera Workshops. Sandes is currently an Assistant Professor of Music (Voice) at DePauw University, and the Associate Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis). 


Dominican-American Mezzo-Soprano, Melisa Bonetti Luna’s recent performances include soloist at Carnegie Hall for Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio with Cecilia Chorus of NY, soloist at Lincoln Center and Kimmel Center with iSING! and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Echoes of Ancient Tang Poems, Carmen in Carmen with the Hogfish festival, Stephano in Romeo et Juliette with Opera San Jose, and new opera premieres; A Marvelous Order by Greenstein and K. Smith, and Paraíso by Sokio and Tiniacos at National Sawdust. Upcoming performances include Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Helena Symphony and Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera San Jose. Previous seasons include Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Eva in An American Dream with Virginia Opera, Tyler in the premiere and grammy-nominated recording of Three Way with Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Anita in West Side Story with the Brott Music Festival, and a Naxos recording of Granados Tonadillas. Melisa is committed to education in the arts, particularly serving minority communities, having taught at various arts organizations including The Brooklyn Music School, The Bronx School for Music, The Point CDC, as well as other community centers

BRIAN BUERKLE, TRUMPET2023-11-28T12:13:28-05:00

Brian Buerkle currently serves as Principal Trumpet of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast (FL) and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KY), and has previously held positions as Acting 4th/Utility Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2006-2007), 2nd/Sub-Principal Trumpet with the West Virginia Symphony (2007-2010), 2nd Trumpet with the Lexington Philharmonic (2000-2001), and 2nd Trumpet with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1999).

As an active freelance musician, Brian has traveled the world performing and recording with some of America’s finest orchestras; including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Columbus Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Dayton Philharmonic.

Brian is also a member of several innovative chamber ensembles; including the Spectrum Brass, Canterbury Brass, Pittsburgh Brass, and the Queen City Brass. His recordings can be heard on the Telarc, PentaTone, BrassJar, Exton, Centaur, Albany, Summit, PSO, CD Baby, and AWSO record labels. Brian is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival and is a former faculty member of the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI).

In addition to his skills as a trumpeter, Brian is also an accomplished conductor and arranger. His publications have been performed and recorded by groups worldwide, and his conducting experience ranges from brass ensembles to vocal choirs to symphony orchestras. Over the years, Brian’s guest conducting appearances have been with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Suburban East Coast Music Festival Honors Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Brass of the Spectrum Brass Seminar, Sinfonia Chamber Brass, and in 2018, he made his overseas conducting debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Brian received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Duquesne University. In 2010, he was featured in an article of the International Trumpet Guild Magazine, recognizing his many achievements as a professional musician. He is a former music critic for the American Record Guide, and the current Owner/President of the Southern Ohio Music Company. During his free time, Brian can be found doing a number of activities including playing tennis, racquetball, golf, baseball, darts, billiards, and ping-pong. He is also an avid audiophile and maintains an extensive collection of classical music recordings. Brian resides in Cincinnati, OH, where he enjoys an active and diverse musical career.

HEE-KYUNG JUHN, PIANO AND ORGAN2023-11-17T16:09:38-05:00

Dr. Hee-Kyung Juhn was born in South Korea, lived her teenage years in Paraguay, South America, and was later trained at Rutgers University (BM), The Juilliard School (MM), University of Michigan, and Indiana University (DM). Her summer training included Tanglewood Music Center in Boston, Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin, Yale Summer Piano Institute, and International Summer Institute in Brasilia. Her teachers include Leonard Hokanson (a pupil of Artur Schnabel), Arthur Greene, Martin Canin, and collaborative pianists Martin Katz and Jonathan Feldman. A versatile pianist, Hee-Kyung Juhn has worked as opera coach/repetiteur, harpsichordist/organist, and collaborative pianist at several summer institutions (Music Academy of Santa Barbara, Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea, Martina Arroyo Foundation, Inc. in NYC, and Bay View Summer Festival in MI). She is currently the music director at Trinity UMC in Little Rock. As an academic, Dr. Juhn has taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Henderson State University, and as artist-in-residence at University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff. She has taught piano masterclasses at University of Georgia in Atlanta, University of Texas in Arlington, Baylor University, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Daegu Catholic University, JoongAng University, Eastern China Normal University, etc., and has served as a judge/adjudicator at several music competitions in the states of Alaska, California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, etc.

Her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on MSR Classics, which was reviews by Gramophone and Santa Barbara News Press, is currently available at www.amazon.com as well as digital download sites.

LEI CAI, GUEST PIANIST2023-12-13T12:28:09-05:00

Recently inducted into the “Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame” (2023), a designation recognizing America’s most committed and passionate piano educators by Steinway, Dr. Lei Cai was born in Shanghai, China. His music training began at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at age six, and continued his training in the United States. His degrees are from University of Tennessee (MM), and Florida State University (DM). Dr. Cai joined the music faculty at Ouachita Baptist University in 2001, and serves as Professor of Piano.

Cai has collaborated with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on CD. He has premiered and recorded solo works by famous Chinese composers for Radio Shanghai; those critically acclaimed recordings have been broadcast in China. He has presented numerous recitals in China, Europe, and the United States. His performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1 was described as “one of the finest performances of this work…Cai displayed a power and crispness of technique that would make any soloist proud” (Knoxville News-Sentinel). Radio Shanghai described his playing as “clear, colorful, and poetic.” He has judged national competitions, performed in the music halls such as Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room, Schumannhaus, held master classes in the United States, Korea and China, and Portugal.


Jennifer Allor is a Chicago-based pianist from Chapel Hill, NC. This year, she joined the faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where she serves as music director for the undergraduate opera and vocal coach. In the spring, she will be presenting recitals with soprano Elizabeth Shuman as a Vocal Chamber Music Fellow with Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. 

Jennifer is a graduate of the Chicago Opera Theater/Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University Professional Diploma and Young Artist Program. During the 2021-2023 seasons, she worked on productions of Carmen, The Cook-Off (Shawn Okpebholo), Becoming Santa Claus (Adamo), The Beekeeper (Wang Lu), Król Roger (Szymanowski), and the world premieres of The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing (Justine F. Chen) and Quamino’s Map (Errollyn Wallen) with COT. She has also been an apprentice coach with Prague Summer Nights (Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte), served as pianist and coach for Soo Opera Theatre (La Traviata, La Bohème, Tosca) and recently was principal pianist/coach for Chicago Summer Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. 

She holds a Professional Diploma in opera from Roosevelt University, a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


LAUREN LENZ, STAGE DIRECTOR (MUSICAL)2024-02-07T13:26:44-05:00

Lauren Lenz is an opera director, stage manager, and intimacy choreographer based in Detroit, MI. She is passionate about creating provocative and unique productions that are accessible to audiences of all kinds. Her background has led to an appreciation for contemporary opera and modern adaptations of classic works. Much of her experience has been working on site-specific productions and she strives to approach directing as a collaborative, consent-based practice. Ms. Lenz has done directing work with companies including Opera NexGen (Director, Cosi fan tutte, 2021), Pittsburgh Festival Opera (Assistant Director, Lysistrata, 2021 and Associate Director, Opera Without Walls, 2020), and Opera MODO (Assistant Director, Don Giovanni, La Cenerentola, The Consul, Three Decembers, and more, 2017-2021.) She has performed stage management work for companies including Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, Opera Omaha, Dayton Opera, Opera Steamboat, and more. Upcoming credits include directing work with Opera Orlando (Stage Director, The Secret River outreach performances) and Opera NexGen (Director, Orfeo ed Euridice) and stage management work at Opera Grand Rapids and Opera Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Oakland University in 2016, was a Directing Young Artist at Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2020 and 2021, and has completed training in intimacy choreography through Theatrical Intimacy Education.

AMY HUTCHISON, STAGE DIRECTOR (OPERA)2024-05-17T09:42:35-04:00


Director Amy Hutchison stages “wildly imaginative” opera and theater productions throughout the US and worldwide, including William Bolcom’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Washington National Opera, Portland Opera); HANSEL & GRETEL (Opernhaus Zürich, Canadian Opera Company, The Juilliard School, televised Live from Lincoln Center); PORGY AND BESS (Milan, Paris, Tokyo, Düsseldorf, et al.); CARMEN (Kansas City, Milwaukee, Columbus), AS ONE (Chicago, Santa Barbara, San Antonio, Pensacola, Duluth); TURANDOT (Orlando), LA TRAVIATA (Costa Mesa), DON PASQUALE (Indianapolis), and many more. 

From Verdi’s swashbuckling epic IL CORSARO for Opera Festival of Chicago to her “brilliantly mounted double bill” of Donizetti’s IL PIGMAGLIONE & RITA for Chicago Opera Theater, Amy’s work has been hailed as “an opera lover’s dreams on a golden platter.” As director for Chicago Opera Theatre’s Vanguard Initiative, Amy has helped the development of new works by Wang Lu and Kelley Rourke (THE BEEKEEPER) and Stacy Garrop and Jerre Dye (THE TRANSFORMATION OF JANE DOE).  Hutchison’s historic production of William Grant Still’s epic masterwork TROUBLED ISLAND for South Shore Opera Company of Chicago was named the number one classical music event of 2013 by the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago area audiences have also delighted in her productions for Chicago Fringe Opera, Folks Operetta, DePaul Opera Theatre, Music By the Lake, DuPage Opera Theatre and more. 

Amy has served on the directing staffs of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera and on the faculty of The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.  She proudly serves on the board of directors for About Face Theatre and on the advisory board of South Chicago Dance Theatre.


RISA RENAE HARMAN, SOPRANO2023-10-26T10:41:56-04:00

Head of Vocal Programs, Mainstage Opera and Musical and American Spirituals Intensive

Artist-in-Residence, Soprano

Voice Faculty, Hofstra University and Suffolk County Community College

American soprano Risa Renae Harman, celebrated for “her exquisite voice and spunky acting,” has been widely acclaimed for her technical virtuosity and communication skills as an artist. For her recital at Trinity Church, The New York Times noted, “But she is that rare creature among singers, a really good recitalist, she seemed to have something to say in all five languages she was singing in.”

Noted for her diverse repertoire, Miss Harman is a versatile singing actress distinguished for performances in opera, oratorio, concert and recital repertoire. Not only appearing as principal artist with opera companies such as New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Opera Saratoga, she has been a featured soloist and recitalist with orchestras and concert series across the country and abroad, having appeared in prestigious concert halls Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, National Cathedral, and Kimmel Center among others. Miss Harman has been a frequent collaborator with noted composer Sheila Silver and regularly workshops, premieres and champions new works as a member of Random Access Music, a New York-based new music ensemble. She appears on the recent 2-CD recording of Miss Silver’s vocal music, Beauty Intolerable, A Songbook based on the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay, available on Albany Records. She is the recipient of numerous awards and career grants, including the Lee Schaenen Foundation, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, Shoshana Foundation, Palm Beach Opera, Liederkranz Foundation, Washington International, winner of the Dalton Baldwin prize in the Lotte Lehmann Vocal Competition and completed a concert tour of Sweden as a winner of the American Jenny Lind Competition.

As a teaching artist and clinician, she has presented masterclasses and music business seminars at the University of Kentucky, Georgia Southern University, New York University Steinhardt School of Music, Stony Brook University, Virginia Commonwealth University and various NATS and MTNA chapters. She served as Teaching Artist for New York City Opera introducing opera to hundreds of inner city school children and being a featured artist on teaching material recordings. Miss Harman currently serves as Head of Vocal Programs and Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival and on the voice faculty at Hofstra University while maintaining an active performing career.

From Richmond, Virginia, Risa received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Masters of Music degrees from Stony Brook University, an Artist Diploma in Opera from the Hartt School of Music and a Diploma with Distinction from the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria. She presently calls New York City home.

PROFESSOR EVIE CHEN, VIOLIN2023-10-26T10:56:45-04:00

Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Director, University of Tennessee String Project

Evie Chen is on the faculty of the University of Tennessee Knoxville. A passionate educator, she has instructed music theory at Rice University and given violin masterclasses on musicianship, performance preparation, injury prevention, and pedagogical ways of approaching contemporary music. In her private practice, she fosters independence and autonomy of learning with ergonomic versatility as key trademarks of her studio.

Evie made her debut with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at age 8 after being the youngest to win the Nafisa Taghioff Award in the FSO’s Young Artists Competition. Since then, she has received recognition at several competitions and performed concertos with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, California Youth Symphony, Eastman Philharmonia, Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, the Houston Symphony Orchestra where she premiered Erberk Erylmaz’s Second Violin Concerto.

As a collaborative artist, Evie also values the importance of bringing novel musical genres to diverse audiences, particularly through the evolving communication of chamber music. As a result, she has been a member of many ensembles and enjoys the collective efforts required of such organizations.

Evie earned her master’s degree with Paul Kantor at Rice University and continues working towards her DMA. She received a BM and performer’s certificate in violin performance with Mikhail Kopelman, and a BA in psychology through the University of Rochester.

ANDREW MITCHELL, TROMBONE2023-10-26T11:16:52-04:00

Assistant Professor of Trombone, Youngstown State University

Second Trombone, Canton Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Mitchell has appeared as a soloist and clinician throughout the United States and Europe. He joined the faculty of Youngstown State University in 2018. Mitchell is a member of Spectrum Brass, and is Second Trombone of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. He frequently performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and many other ensembles in his native Detroit area, including the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, and the Motor City Brass Quintet. He has previously held positions in the Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and the Midland Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Brass Band of Battle Creek, CityMusic Cleveland, and the orchestras of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Toledo, Tallahassee, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Youngstown. Summers, he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival. Mitchell earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He was previously Assistant Professor of Trombone at Ball State University.

MATT MCFARLANE, PIANO2023-10-26T11:22:55-04:00

A musician of diverse abilities and interests, Matt McFarlane has been a part of the Bay View Music Festival since 1998. McFarlane studied Music Education at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA and dual majored in Piano and Trombone. After teaching instrumental music at the Lamoni School District, he pursued a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Coaching from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. New York performances have included choral performances in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center as a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir. As a member of the Minnesota Chorale, McFarlane has performed with the Minnesota Chorale at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and The Ordway in Saint Paul. His teachers have included Dalton Baldwin and JJ Penna. Conductors have included Osmo Vanska, Joseph Flummerfelt, Kurt Masur, and Colin Davis. Matt has accompanied in many voice studios, including those of Martha J. Hart and Sharon Sweet. Master Classes have included Diana Soviero, Virgina Zeani, George Shirley, William Preucil, and the Scholars of London. When not at Bay View, he spends time as the co-director of music with his wife Molly at Discovery Methodist Church in Chanhassen and spends his school year at the Main Street School of Performing Arts wrangling high school musicians.


(231) 225-8877 • chris@bayviewassociation.org

Newly named Associated Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College and Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, Chris has served as Artistic Director of Bay View Music Festival since 2007. Prior to his appointment in Kalamazoo, he served as Director of Performing Arts and Ensembles for Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH before accepting the position of Music Director for The Federated Church from 2014-2017. He also served for 10 years as Artistic Director of Encore Vocal Arts in Indianapolis, Conductor of Bloomington Pops and Bloomington Symphony, and is founder of Kaleidosong, a professional vocal sextet.


Peter Sparling is the Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus of Dance at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company. As Graham’s assistant, he coached Rudolf Nureyev and collaborated with her on many new works. He has performed and staged Graham’s works all over the world and has appeared with the company twice on PBS Dance in America. His video curtain warmers, Beautiful Captives: Martha Graham and the Cinematic IdVariations of Angels and Sacred/Profanehave opened three of the company’s New York seasons.

Sparling has had extensive experience as artistic director, (Peter Sparling Dance Company 1979-1983 NYC, 1993- 2007 Ann Arbor), choreographer, performer, teacher (U-M Distinguished Faculty Award and 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award), lecturer, video artist, writer (Ballet Review, Choreographic Practices, Michigan Quarterly Review, and the recent anthology, Dance’s Duet with the Camera), collaborator, administrator (former chair, U-M Dance Department), dance/arts consultant, and activist (co-originated U-M Gay Faculty Alliance in 1993 to secure partner benefits). Sparling was a resident at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2010. He has presented papers at Society of Dance History Scholars and European Association for Dance History; he co-chaired the groundbreaking conference Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance at U-M. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the 2007 & 2020 New York Dance on Camera Festivals, the 2008, 19 & 20 American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festivals, Lisbon’s InShadow Festival 2010 & 2019, DANCE:FILMS Glasgow and 2017 & 2020 Ann Arbor Film Festival. His made-for-TV work, Climbing Sainte-Victoire, was broadcast on Michigan Television in 2009. His screendance, The Snowy Owl, was featured in the Court Métrage of the Cannes Film Festival 2015. In 2014, he created a five-screen installation, the Pop-Up Projection Pavilion, featured as the centerpiece of U-M’s 2017 Third Century Screens Competition and Symposium. Sparling sustained a ten-year residency at the U-M Life Sciences Institute, where he collaborated with cell biologist Dan Klionsky and maintained a painting studio. Since retiring from U-M in June, 2018, Sparling has completed his memoir, Confessions of a Dancing Man, and continues to create videos and paint at his home studio. He will present his third solo show of paintings at Gallery 22 North in Ypsilanti, MI in October, 2021. His cycle of 24 short videos to Schubert’s Winterreise isslated for its premiere with live musical performance in June 2021. He is presently organizing solo shows of his paintings in support of various LGBTQ organizations in Michigan. His paintings have been included in group shows at Ann Arbor Art Center and Buckham Gallery in Flint, MI. Sparling is currently collaborating with New Theater of Medicine on a production dealing with physician suicide. 

DR. SPENCER PREWITT, CLARINET2023-10-26T10:40:05-04:00

Associate Professor of Clarinet, Austin Peay State University

Principal Clarinet, Nashville Scoring Orchestra

Principal Clarinet, Gateway Chamber Orchestra

Spencer Prewitt currently serves as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Austin Peay State University and beginning in the summer of 2020 he joined the faculty at Bay View Music Festival. Prior to BVMF, Spencer was on faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in for six years. Prewitt earned his B.M. from the University of Oklahoma and his M.M. and D.M.A. from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.

As an orchestral musician Spencer has performed with the symphonies Nashville, Detroit, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra and performed for six seasons with the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra and recorded 11 CDs with the company. Additionally, he is also an active studio musician in Nashville and can be heard on the soundtracks for movies such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Harriet, My Little Pony and the video game scores for Destiny 2, Minecraft, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.

In demand as a recitalist and clinician, Spencer has given recitals and masterclasses throughout the United States and abroad. On recent trips to China he visited Hangzhou, Suzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, and Zhengzhou to perform recitals and give lectures and masterclasses.

Dr. Prewitt is a Buffet Crampon performing artist and clinician.


ELISE DESCHAMPS, MEZZO SOPRANO2023-10-26T10:42:35-04:00

With elegant, polished vocalism, and committed dramatic portrayals on stage, Mezzo-Soprano Elise DesChamps appeals to audiences and critics alike as a compelling and charming artist in opera, oratorio and concert. She has been praised by Opera News for her “ability to handle coloratura effusions while bouncing with exhilaration about the stage”, her latest Carmen was described as “rich, powerful, sensuous…the audience who observed her actions and heard her control her lovers with her dark, rich mezzo-soprano voice admired her vocal and dramatic skills”, and her debut with Opera Columbus was celebrated as “vocal brilliance and radiant beauty…the warmth of her voice and the fragrance of her beauty lend themselves to her sprite-like believability”.

Up next, Ms. DesChamps debuts with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as Mercedes in Carmen, returns to Linworth United Methodist Church in Vivaldi’s Gloria conducted by Grammy Award-winning conductor William Boggs, and joins the Bay View Music Festival as an Artist-in-Residence. Recent engagements include portrayals of Carmen with Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Operanauts and Asheville Lyric Opera; a feature in Distant Worlds: Final Fantasy with Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth; a debut with Opera Project Columbus as La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica; a return to Opera Columbus as Stephano in Roméo & Juliette and to Southminster Concerts Ottawa as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; concerts of French songs and arias, including Viardot’s mélodies with MDA Québec and Saurel Festival, Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio with Linworth United Methodist Church, and collaborated work with Ballet Met Columbus and Columbus Dancer Theater. Other engagements have included returns to Asheville Lyric opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto and Gertrude in Roméo & Juliette, and to Opera Columbus as Thisbe in La Cenerentola, Annina in Traviata, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and as Iolanthe in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. During her Young Artist residencies, Ms. DesChamps sang Zinnia in L’Étoile of Chabrier and a Handmaiden in Turandot with Cincinnati Opera, toured as La Cenerentola in La Cenerentola, and performed several recitals and scenes throughout Ohio with Opera Columbus.

In Concert, Ms. DesChamps sang Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Columbus State College and Ohio Christian College, Pergolesi’s Stabat mater with Capital Chamber Orchestra, as well as recitals in repeat engagements for Opera Columbus, Cincinnati Opera, Southminster Concerts Ottawa, Piedmont Opera, Capital University, St-Joseph’s Cathedral Scola Ensemble, MDA Québec, Saurel Music Festival, Bon Pasteur Historical Chapel, SRC Radio Young Artists’ series, and La Maison Alcan.

Ms. DesChamps studied vocal Performance at The Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where she received a Master of Music in Voice with legendary Soprano Virginia Zeani. She is a grateful recipient of numerous grants, scholarships and awards, including those of the Canadian Music Competition, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Robert Bourassa Foundation, the Charles-Émiles Gadbois Competition, the Académie Internationale d’Été De Nice and was invited by the Vermont Opera Theater to the Foliage Art Song Master Class with Dalton Baldwin. She is originally from Montréal, Canada. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Montréal Conservatory with degrees in Cello and Musicology. She is currently on the voice faculty of The Capital University Conservatory of Music and the Alto Soloist at Linworth United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio.

DR. JOSH HOLRITZ, VIOLIN/VIOLA2023-10-26T10:57:09-04:00

Concertmaster, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

Associate Concertmaster, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra

Adjunct Instructor of Violin and Viola, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Hailed as “particularly outstanding” (Chattanooga Times Free Press), violinist and violist Josh Holritz enjoys an exciting and varied career spanning the gamut of performing and teaching. Recently appointed as Concertmaster of the Hunstville Symphony Orchestra, Josh began his tenure with the HSO in September of 2022. Josh also serves as the Associate Concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, a position he has held since 2014.

Dr. Holritz is dedicated to training the next generation of musicians and currently serves as Adjunct Instructor of Violin and Viola for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Adjunct Instructor of Violin at Southern Adventist University, and Adjunct Professor at Covenant College where he teaches violin, viola, and chamber music. He is also currently a faculty artist for the Bay View Music Festival.

Josh holds a B.M. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a M.M. from the University of Minnesota, and a D.M.A. from the University of Georgia.


SCOTT THORNBURG, TRUMPET2023-10-26T12:23:17-04:00

Trumpeter Scott Thornburg has performed as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. Following undergraduate and graduate study at the University of Miami and the Juilliard School, Mr. Thornburg lived in New York City where he was principal trumpet with the New York City Symphony, the Summerfare Opera Orchestra, Philharmonica Virtuosi, the Stamford Symphony, Musica Sacra, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He performed at the Caramoor Festival as principal trumpet with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and toured South America, Europe, and the U.S. with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Thornburg is a member of the New York Trumpet Ensemble and has performed with the Canadian Brass, Parnassus, and the New York Brass. He was invited to fill in for one of the regular members of the American Brass Quintet who was on leave during the fall 1997 season. Mr. Thornburg spent two months performing around the country with the group and conducting masterclasses and chamber music coachings at the Juilliard School where the American Brass Quintet is in residence. For four years he toured the U.S. and Canada for Columbia Artists with the trumpet and organ duo Toccatas and Flourishes. He has also appeared as soloist with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble, the Juilliard Symphony, the Brass Band of Battle Creek and, most recently, on U.S., European, and South American tours with the New York Chamber Soloists. 1996 held performance and master class tours in Spain and Russia and in the Spring of 2000, a tour with the Summit Brass.

Mr. Thornburgs recording with pianist Silvia Roederer was released in 2001 and he has recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, and with the organist Richard Morris.

Since the fall of 1989, Mr. Thornburg, his wife Sue Larsen and their three children, Laura, Lee and Eric, have lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he is a Professor at Western Michigan University as well as a member of the acclaimed Western Brass Quintet and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. In the summer he teaches and performs at the Bay View Music Festival in Bay View, Michigan.

ANTHONY PATTERSON, PIANO2023-10-26T12:12:41-04:00

Artist in Residence, Composer in Residence, Minister of Music – Bay View

Principal Keyboardist, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra

Educational Consultant, Casio US Division

Anthony Patterson enjoys a multi-faceted career as a solo and collaborative pianist, composer/arranger, and educator. In April 2022, he premiered his Gloria with the National Chorale at the DiMenna center in NYC.

Patterson was Artist-in-Residence at Alma College from 1995-2020, Choir director at The First Presbyterian church in Alma from 1998-2020, and has been on the faculty of the Bay View Music Festival since 1989. Anthony began classical piano lessons at age three with his father, Richard Patterson, a jazz pianist and bandleader. He made his solo debut at age eight, playing Mozart’s Concerto No. 28 with the Lima Symphony, and four years later joined the LSO in the premiere of “The Anthony Concerto,” composed for him by his teacher, Don Hurless. Patterson later studied with Richard Syracuse, Jerome Rose, and Earl Wild.


TIM GOCKLIN, OBOE2023-10-26T13:05:17-04:00

Known for his “remarkably beautiful oboe playing” (Fanfare Magazine), Tim Gocklin is oboist of the Akropolis Reed Quintet and serves as Artist-in-Residence in Oboe and woodwind chamber music coordinator at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. Prior to his present position in Colorado, Tim lived in New Haven, CT and performed in a wide variety of settings with ensembles such as The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Le Train Bleu, New York Chamber Soloists, Mozart Orchestra of New York under the direction of Gerard Schwarz, the Argus String Quartet, and The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. 

 Tim is a two-time winner of the Yale School of Music’s Chamber Music Competition. In 2013, he performed works by Hindemith in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall as part of the Yale in New York series. He has performed at Chamber Music Northwest with David Shifrin and oboist Allan Vogel in a program of Dvorak’s Wind Serenade, Op. 44 and Mozart’s Gran Partita in B-flat, KV 361. He has appeared at the Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Cape Cod Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival under the direction of Peter Oundjian, and held fellowships at the Norfolk and Sarasota Chamber Music Festivals.

Tim can be heard on the NAXOS and Block M record labels, including two recordings with the University of Michigan Symphony Band. These works were taken on a tour to China where the band performed at Beijing’s National Centre for the Arts and Shanghai’s Grand Theatre. 

 In 2012, Tim received his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Michigan where he studied with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. He subsequently completed his Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma at Yale University studying with Stephen Taylor.


Executive Director, PIM Arts High School, Minneapolis, MN

Music Director, Discovery United Methodist Church, Chanhassen, MN

A musician of diverse abilities and interests, Matt McFarlane has been a part of the Bay View Music Festival since 1998. McFarlane studied Music Education at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA and dual majored in Piano and Trombone. After teaching instrumental music at the Lamoni School District, he pursued a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Coaching from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. New York performances have included choral performances in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center as a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir. As a member of the Minnesota Chorale, McFarlane has performed with the Minnesota Chorale at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and The Ordway in Saint Paul. His teachers have included Dalton Baldwin and JJ Penna. Conductors have included Osmo Vanska, Joseph Flummerfelt, Kurt Masur, and Colin Davis. Matt has accompanied in many voice studios, including those of Martha J. Hart and Sharon Sweet. Master Classes have included Diana Soviero, Virgina Zeani, George Shirley, William Preucil, and the Scholars of London. When not at Bay View, he spends time as the co-director of music with his wife Molly at Discovery Methodist Church in Chanhassen and spends his school year at the Main Street School of Performing Arts wrangling high school musicians.


Robin Pettersen is a freelance choreographer who also offers workshops in dance composition. She was the Dance Program Coordinator at the Theatre/Dance Department, University of Wisconsin -Whitewater where she taught for 26 years. She also taught at UW-Madison and Alfred University. Pettersen was commissioned to create work for the Thompson/Trammell and Kanopy Dance Companies and Kent State, James Madison, Northern Iowa and St. Cloud State Universities. She was a visiting artist teaching Composition at University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin – Madison and Alma College. Her choreography has also been performed at Beloit College, University of Chicago and Mankato State University. Robin received the honor of having her work adjudicated and chosen for American College Dance Association (ACDA) Gala Concerts in 2009, 2008, 2004 and 2000. She coordinated and participated on choreography feedback panels at ACDA for nearly a decade.

Robin was the Dance Program Director at the Bay View Music Festival summer conservatory in Michigan from 2004 to 2006, where she currently teaches adult ballet. She has created work for the Crooked Tree School of Ballet in Petoskey, MI on five different occasions. A mentor for student choreographers, she presented THE CREATVIE PROCESS: DEVELOPING STUDENT RESEARCH IN DANCE at the National conference on Undergraduate Research, Missoula, MT. Pettersen received the Wisconsin Dance Council Distinction Award in October of 2003. Actively involved in arts funding, she has served on numerous Wisconsin Arts Board grants panels, been a member of the Overture Center Arts Access Fund panel, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission Arts Grants Panel and was Vice President of the Madison Civic Center Foundation for five years

SARA FRAKER, OBOE2023-10-26T13:36:37-04:00

Associate Professor of Oboe, University of Arizona

Oboist, Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Oboist, True Concord Voices & Orchestra

Sara Fraker designs innovative performance collaborations that often explore intersections of music and ecology, including projects with ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass) and the UArizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. Her latest commission, Pine Chant for reed trio and electronics by Lachlan Skipworth, has been released on Soundset Recordings. Sara served as executive producer, score editor and oboist for two recent recording projects, Johanna Beyer: Music for Woodwinds (New World Records, 2022) and Hans Winterberg: Chamber Music (Toccata Classics, 2018). Her discography includes Botanica (MSR Classics, 2019), a collaboration with pianist Casey Robards, and projects for Naxos, Summit Records, and Reference Recordings. Sara has performed in festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, Chautauqua, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Schleswig-Holstein Orchesterakademie in Germany. She has presented recitals and masterclasses across the US and in Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the Tohono ‘odham Nation. Raised in New Haven, Connecticut, Sara is a graduate of Swarthmore College (BA), New England Conservatory (MM) and the University of Illinois (DMA).




Everett McCorvey, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama where he received his degrees including a Doctorate in Musical Arts. He has given performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall, Teatro Comunale, Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England, and in over 23 countries. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a professional Ensemble dedicated to the performance and preservation of the American Negro Spiritual www.americanspiritualensemble.com and he is the Conductor and Artistic Director of the National Chorale and Orchestra of New York City, a professional organization dedicated to performing the titans of the classical choral repertoire. www.nationalchorale.org He was recently appointed as the inaugural Principal Guest Conductor at Opera Columbus. Opera Columbus (Ohio, USA).

DR. LIBOR ONDRAS, VIOLIN/VIOLA2024-03-11T10:56:47-04:00

Music Director, Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra

Music Director, Kent Philharmonic Orchestra

Professor and Orchestra Director, Grand Rapids Community College

Libor Ondras is an award-winning violist and a conductor. He has worked with leading artists and conductors and performed with major orchestras in the US, Europe, and Japan including Houston Symphony, Utah Symphony, Carnegie Hall Project with Sir George Solti, Vienna Philharmonic, and Bernstein’s Pacific Festival Orchestra. Ondras has given lectures and played recitals for the American Viola Society and International Viola Amore Society and his research and scholarly writings were published in the Journal of American Viola Society.

Recipient of the Slovak Ministry of Culture Fellowship, Dr. Ondras began his studies at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory with Yuri Bashmet, continued at the Academy of Arts in Prague, and completed his DMA at the University of Houston.

His recent engagements include a visiting artist at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, featured artist for the National Conference of League of American Orchestras, solo appearance with the Northwest Sinfonietta of Washington, research project at the Belle Violinmaking School in Bilbao, Spain, and most recent masterclasses at the University of Costa Rica, San Jose.

Passionate recitalist and chamber musician, he serves as an artist-in-residence and string faculty at the Bay View Chautauqua Music Festival, founder of the Quartet de Minaret (FL) and Hummel Trio (MI), and a frequent chamber ensemble coach and lecturer (most recently for the University of Nortre Dame, GVSU, CMU). Dr. Ondras is a Music Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Kent Philharmonic Orchestra (MI), guest conductor for the Slovak State Opera and a Director of Orchestras and professor at the Grand Rapids Community College.



Assistant Professor, University of Illinois

Chair, Sacred in Opera Initiative, National Opera Association

Conductor/Head of Collaborative Piano, Bay View Music Festival

Korean adoptee, Casey Robards is a music director, pianist and vocal coach known for her sensitive musicality, stylistic versatility, and expert collaboration. She has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South America and Asia. Recent CDs with Sara Fraker, John Dee, Bernard Scully, and Fangye Sun celebrate ecomusicology and newly composed music.

Recent music directing projects include “Three Decembers”, “The Gift”, “Die Zauberflaute”, “La Boheme”, “La Traviata”, “Carmen” and the Afro-surrealist “Water Riot in Beta: A Cyberpunk Rock Opera” created by Derek McPhatter for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

A sought after recital partner and vocal coach, Robards’ 2022-23 programs with Ollie Watts Davis, LaToya Lain and Karen Slack around the U.S. as well as the Carnegie Hall debut of emerging baritone, Ethan Neal, promote justice and historical understanding through spirituals and art song of Black composers. Robards was a coach/pianist for Santa Fe Opera’s production of “This Little Light of Mine”, spotlight on Fannie Lou Hamer.

Dr. Robards is Asst. Professor (Vocal Coaching and Accompanying), University of Illinois. Professional memberships include IKCAS, NATS, Maestra, MUSE, and NOA (Chair, Sacred in Opera Initiative). She was a recipient of the Henri Kohn award at Tanglewood.



KARI LANDRY, CLARINET2023-10-26T13:04:55-04:00

Kari Landry is a Backun Artist and clarinetist of the Akropolis Reed Quintet, as well as the Marketing and Development Manager of Akropolis’ 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. She manages the organization’s branding, marketing, web design, advertising, social media, fundraising, and more. Since 2016, Kari has been an intermediate lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance where she teaches music entrepreneurship courses. 

For six years, Kari served as the Marketing & Programs Manager for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, a month-long arts and music festival that presents over 175 free concerts and events. She oversaw the organization’s annual $100,000 marketing budget, created its digital and print content, managed press and advertising efforts, and programmed over 50 artistic, educational, and community events. While working in Ann Arbor, Kari received a Michigan EMMY for best historical documentary for her work on A Space for Music, A Seat for Everyone, showcasing 100 Years of University Musical Society Performances in Hill Auditorium. She has also been an intern at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Kari received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan, studying with Cleveland Orchestra clarinetist Dan Gilbert. Committed to increasing arts access within communities, Kari earned an additional Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Eastern Michigan University. 

Kari attended the Aspen Music Festival for two summers during college and was the E-flat clarinetist in the University of Michigan Symphony Band’s 2011 tour to China, performing in “The Giant Egg” National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Kari owes her musical success to her instructors Dan Gilbert, Chad Burrow, Ted Oien, and Suzy Dennis-Bratton.

JILLIAN HOPPER, DANCE FACULTY2024-01-29T12:22:38-05:00

Jillian Hopper is assistant professor of dance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and is Artistic Director of The Dance Legacy Project at Michigan alongside creative partner Prof. Christian Matijas-Mecca. She specializes in the dance technique of Doris Humphrey with the aim of preserving the technique for future generations as a Trustee of the Doris Humphrey Foundation, UK (England). Hopper also focuses her physical practice around methods of embodiment for the purpose of increasing empathy and sensitivity in practice and performance. These skills have assisted Hopper as a director of the DLP and a regular rehearsal director for U-M for many guest works. She has taught professionally for Hillsdale College, Eastern Michigan University, Middlesex University (London, UK) The Place (London, UK) and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds, UK). As rehearsal director for U-M, Hopper has had the pleasure of rehearsing guest works by Ohad Naharin, Richard Alston, Lucinda Childs, Urban Bush Women, Alessio Silvestrin, and Shannon Gillen (Vim Vigor) among others.

Hopper received her BA (hons) choreography from Middlesex University London, UK (2007) and her MFA Dance Performance from the University of Michigan (2012). She is on the board of directors for ConteXture Dance Detroit. In her own work, Hopper explores ritualistic movement concepts with an emphasis on nature’s powerful spirituality. She has performed in works by Monica Bill Barnes, Sidra Bell, Danny T. Reid, Tracy Halloran, and many of her own compositions throughout the Midwest and Europe.

DR. MARGARET TUNG, HORN2024-03-27T09:50:12-04:00

Horn Professor, University of Kentucky

Horn Faculty, Interlochen Arts Academy

Advisory Council, International Horn Society

Dr. Margaret Tung is the Assistant Professor of Horn at University of Kentucky. She has also served on the faculties of CCM and Indiana University. Hailed as “masterly” in the Chicago Classical Review, she has performed with the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Dr. Tung has presented at several clinics including The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, OMEA in Cleveland, and KMEA in Louisville. She has also performed at several International and Regional Horn Symposiums throughout the years including the 2016 International Horn Symposium in Muncie, IN where she commissioned and performed the world premiere performance of John Cheetham’s Sonata for Horn and Piano. Her most recent recording release was Grammy nominated with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra entitled Concertos for Orchestra. Dr. Tung is an education enthusiast and recently published an article in the journal for the International Horn Society, The Horn Call: The Benefits of Adding a Horn Choir to Your Program. Dr. Tung is honored to be serving on the International Horn Society’s Advisory Council and also as the Kentucky Area Representative. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Ohio State University and holds a Master of Music from Rice University and a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University. Her teachers include world renowned Dale Clevenger, William VerMeulen, Oto Carrillo, Jon Boen, David Griffin, and Bruce Henniss.


KENNETH OVERTON, BARITONE2023-10-26T10:45:03-04:00

Guest Artist: Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House Copenhagen, L’Opera de Montreal, Palacio Bellas Artes, New York City Opera, Welsh National Opera

Guest Vocal Clinician: N.A.T.S., University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Kenneth Overton is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic, varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” Kenneth Overton’s symphonious baritone voice has sent him around the globe, making him one of the most sought-after opera singers of his generation. Kenneth is a 2020 GRAMMY AWARD WINNER for Best Choral Performance in the title role of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

This season, Overton will lead two productions for the Welsh National Opera’s new season. The new work Migrations, and in the world premiere of The Shoemaker. Overton will reprise his most celebrated role in Porgy and Bess as Porgy, co-produced by Opera Carolina and North Carolina Opera. Concert engagements will include Handel’s Messiah at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel, a concert staging of Porgy and Bess with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg, a solo recital for the African American Music Festival at Pennsylvania State University, a solo recital with the Howland Chamber Music Circle, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for the Spartanburg Philharmonic, and a return to The Kennedy Center with The Washington Chorus as the soloist for Durufle’s Requiem and Undine Smith Moore’s Scenes from the Life of a Martyr.



Last season’s operatic engagements included Kenneth’s Metropolitan Opera debut in the fall of 2021 as Lawyer Frazier in Porgy and Bess.

KAITLYN VEST, CELLO2023-10-26T10:58:08-04:00

Visiting Instructor of Cello, Sewanee: The University of the South

Adjunct Instructor of Cello, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Section Cello, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

Kaitlyn Vest is a section cellist with the Huntsville Symphony and substitutes with the Nashville Opera Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Memphis Symphony, and other regional ensembles. As a dedicated instructor, Ms. Vest has taught and given masterclasses in China, Indonesia, and throughout the U.S.

Currently Ms. Vest teaches cello at Sewanee: The University of the South and The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, as well as holding a private studio in the Chattanooga area. She was the Chamber Music Coordinator for the String Academy at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and is now a faculty teaching artist at the Bay View Music Festival, where she is a member of the Bay View String Quartet.

Ms. Vest holds a B.M. from the University of Memphis, and her M.M. from Carnegie Mellon University with Anne Martindale Williams.


KATY AMBROSE, HORN2023-10-26T11:20:12-04:00

Katy Ambrose is the Assistant Professor of Horn at the University of Iowa beginning in Fall 2023. Previously, she held teaching positions at the University of Virginia and Drexel University, and administrative positions at the Curtis Institute and Yale University Recording Studio.

An active performer, Ambrose is currently Fourth Horn of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Solo Horn of the New Orchestra of Washington. She was Solo Horn of Victory Hall Opera from 2016-21, Principal Horn of the Charlottesville Symphony (2015-21), Second Horn in the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic (2006-2017), Low Horn in Philly Pops (2010-2015), Interim Assistant Principal Horn of the Albany Symphony (2006-08), and Assistant Principal Horn of the Lexington Philharmonic (KY) (2004-05). She has made substitute appearances with numerous orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hawai’i Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic (South Korea), Vermont Symphony, New Haven Symphony, and the Richmond Symphony. Commercial highlights of Ambrose’s career have been playing for Adele’s 2016 World Tour and recording for NFL Studios from 2010-2015.

Ambrose is dedicated to the performance of chamber music and has created and cultivated several chamber ensembles, including Seraph Brass, Izula Horns, and the natural horn quartet Conica. She recently served as interim Operations Coordinator for the Boulanger Institute, an organization working to promote music written by and for women, helping to launch their inaugural festival in March 2019.

Dr. Ambrose received her Doctor of Musical Arts from Temple University, Artist Diploma from Yale University, Master of Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

MATT LANDRY, SAXOPHONE2023-10-26T13:04:23-04:00

Matt Landry is the Akropolis Reed Quintet’s saxophonist and Executive Director of Akropolis’ 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Matt was selected by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as a 2018/19 Rising Leader among arts and cultural organizations in Michigan. He is a former middle school band director and worked as a community engagement specialist for the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce for four years. He teaches two courses for music majors at Michigan State University on entrepreneurship and fundraising and leads dozens of arts entrepreneurship workshops each year at universities nationwide.

Matt has been featured on several concerts with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, including Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, which he also performed in Portland, OR with eminent chamber musicians including Jennifer Frautschi and Tara Helen O’Connor. He has also performed Bernstein’s On the Town with the Dearborn Symphony. As well as Akropolis’ three studio albums, he can be heard on two CDs produced by the UM Symphony Band under the Equilibrium Records label, Raise the Roof and Classic Structures. He was also an adjudicator for the 2019 Chamber Music Yellow Springs National Chamber Music Competition.

Matt received his Bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude in Music Education and Saxophone from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Donald Sinta. He was a James B. Angell Scholar and commencement flag bearer.


Kate Klassa (she/her), from Dearborn Heights, MI, is a junior at the University of Michigan pursuing degrees in Organizational Studies and Theater Arts with a minor in Dance. She hopes to continue down the path of performing arts management and arts organizing as she is passionate about expanding the reach of art to new communities and audiences. Kate is not only an administrator, but she is also an artist and an educator in dance. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and continues to perform with her lyrical and jazz dance group at her university. As a teacher at local dance studios in her hometown and now her college town of Ann Arbor, she is dedicated to building community and empowering dancers to make connections within themselves, their bodies, and others in the classroom.

Outside of her love for dance, she has become drawn into the worlds of theater and musical theater in recent years while volunteering for run crew and ushering for student groups and university productions at U-M. Kate found that musical theater combines her love for music and movement and storytelling and pushed her to pursue her current role as a producer of musical theater productions through MUSKET, a student organization on campus. As she moves into the professional art world, she hopes to intertwine her experiences within the performing arts community and use this knowledge to inspire further change toward creating a more equitable and just, arts-filled society.

DR. MIDORI SAMSON, BASSOON2023-10-26T10:39:50-04:00

Instructional Assistant Professor, Illinois State University

Section Bassoon, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

Dr. Midori Samson サムソンみどり(she/her) is thrilled to join the faculty at the Bay View Music Festival! Currently, she is an Instructional Assistant Professor at Illinois State University and Section Bassoon of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. As an orchestral bassoonist, she previously performed with the Chicago, Charleston, Omaha, South Dakota, and New World symphonies, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Boston Festival Orchestra, New York String Orchestra, and National Orchestral Institute. As a chamber musician, she has performed with the Banff Centre (Canada), Caroga Arts Collective, LunART, Maryland Chamber Winds, and Norfolk and Bowdoin International music festivals.  

Having minored in social welfare during her doctoral studies, Dr. Samson’s ongoing research explores how musicians can utilize social work principles as anti-racist, anti-oppressive action in music teaching and performing. As an educator, her applied and classroom teaching emphasizes trauma-informed and healing-centered approaches. Her commitment to the social justice aspects of music is demonstrated in her recent work as Artistic Director of Trade Winds Ensemble (a group of teaching artists that lead youth composition workshops with community organizations in Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma, and Nairobi) and as a teaching artist with Artists Striving to End Poverty (where she led multidisciplinary arts workshops at a residential school that aims to eradicate India’s caste system). Other recent activities include residencies at the Flying Carpet Festival (a touring circus that performs for refugee children on the Turkey-Syria border), Ubumuntu Festival (at which she co-created a play with local artists that commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide), Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and Youth Music Culture Guangdong (China), by invitation from Yo-Yo Ma.

Dr. Samson earned degrees in bassoon from The Juilliard School, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed a fellowship with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training program of the Chicago Symphony). Currently, she is pursuing a second master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan.

BRIAN BANION, BASS2023-10-26T10:51:08-04:00

Bass-Baritone Brian Banion’s combination of physical and vocal acting combined with his versatile, warm, well-projected bass-baritone voice are demonstrated in a variety of roles including Leporello in Don Giovanni, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Figaro and Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Escamillo and Zuniga in Carmen, Baron Douphol, Marquis and the Doctor in La Traviata, Doctor in Vanessa, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Nourabad in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette.

This season includes a return to Piedmont Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Handel’s Messiah with The Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach and The Boise Philharmonic, as well as recitals in Philadelphia and Montreal. Recent engagements include Zuniga in Carmen with Asheville Lyric Opera, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Columbus, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro and Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore with Piedmont Opera, and a debut with The Princeton Festival as Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Future engagements include a return to The Princeton Festival as Simone in Gianni Schicchi. Brian joined the faculty of the Bay View Music Festival in 2012.

Mr. Banion recently created the role of Reverend Arthur Baines in the world premiere of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, making his Nashville Opera debut. He reprised Baines in Montclair, New Jersey. Additional engagements include a debut with the Spoleto Festival USA as Leporello in the internationally acclaimed Gunter Kramer production of Don Giovanni, Verdi’s Requiem on tour throughout France, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain with The Robert Page Festival Singers, a debut with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City as the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as returns to Opera Columbus in La Traviata, The Merry Widow, and as Leporello in Don Giovanni. Brian returned to kick off the finals of The 2010 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Competition, singing the National Anthem for the fourth straight year.

Brian has collaborated with a number of major opera companies, symphony orchestras and has been a featured soloist at festivals here and abroad. These include the Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Columbus, Kentucky Opera, Greensboro Opera, Nevada Opera, Berkshire Opera, Opera Roanoke, Columbus Light Opera, the Cincinnati May Festival, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Halle Symphony Orchestra, the Mansfield Symphony, the Carmel Symphony, and the Anderson Symphony. His concert performances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Fauré Requiem, Bach Passions, and Schubert Mass in A-flat and G.

DR. PHILIP ALEJO, BASS2023-10-26T10:59:39-04:00

Associate Professor of Music, Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona

Dr. Philip Alejo is the Associate Professor of Music, Double Bass at the University of Arizona and Artist Faculty at the Bay View Music Festival. Previously he served as Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony and Visiting Professor of Bass at the University of Michigan. A former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Philip has additionally performed with the Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flint Symphony, and Ann Arbor Symphony.

As a chamber musician, Philip collaborates regularly with harpist Claire Happel in River Town Duo. RTD has premiered many newly commissioned works by living composers, including Caroline Shaw, Stephen Andrew Taylor, and Hannah Lash. His numerous music festivals residencies include Spoleto Festival USA, Lucerne Festival, Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, Mackinac Island Music Festival, Oaxaca Instrumenta, Aldeburgh Festival, Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.

Philip teaches at the Arizona ASTA Bass Jams and the Richard Davis Bass Conference at the University of Wisconsin. Philip holds degrees from Oberlin College (BA, BM), Yale University (MM), and the University of Michigan (DMA), where his principal teachers included Diana Gannett, Donald Palma, Peter Dominguez, and Thomas Sperl.

MATTHEW LYON, TUBA2023-10-26T11:20:46-04:00

Matthew Lyon is Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium and Brass Area Coordinator at Ball State University. Previously the Instructor of Low Brass at the University of Windsor, he holds degrees from DePaul University, The University of Michigan, and the Interlochen Arts Academy. He was the first tuba player to receive the New Horizons Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and the Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award at Ball State University

Professor Lyon has performed recitals and held master classes in South America, China, Canada, Austria, and throughout the United States. He has been a featured soloist with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and is a regular guest artist at various national and international music conferences. As a chamber musician, he has performed with MusicNOW, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, the Motor City Brass Quintet, Today’s Brass Quintet, the Da Camera Brass Quintet, and the Great Lakes Brass Quintet. He is a founding member of the Peninsula Brass.

As an orchestral player, he was Principal Tubist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons and has performed with the orchestras of Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, the Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. He is currently Principal Tuba of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to teaching at Ball State University, Professor Lyon is summer faculty at the Interlochen Low Brass Institute and the Yamaha Music for All Summer Symposium. 2018 will be his first summer at the Spectrum Brass Seminar in Bay View.

RYAN REYNOLDS, BASSOON2023-10-26T13:03:25-04:00

The Akropolis Reed Quintet’s bassoonist, Dr. Ryan Reynolds, is Lecturer of Bassoon at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. He received his education at the Interlochen Arts Academy (‘08), University of Michigan (BM ‘12, MM ‘14), and Florida State University (DM ‘17) where he studied with Eric Stomberg, Jeffrey Lyman, and Jeff Keesecker.

As a performer, Dr. Reynolds has won many awards with Akropolis, and in 2018, his collaboration with legendary clarinetist David Shifrin on the studio recording of a new chamber music version of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto was released on Delos Records and nominated for an International Classical Music Award. Additionally, Reynolds has performed on occasion with orchestras throughout the United States including the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra.

An educator, Dr. Reynolds is on the summer faculty of the Renova Music Festival, and has given masterclasses and lectures in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and at many top American universities, including the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern University. Reynolds was a judge for the junior level at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and was Akropolis’ representative to judge the Barlow Endowment’s first prize for a reed quintet commission the same year.

Reynolds contributes to the International Double Reed Society as the Lead Bassoon Recordings Reviewer for the quarterly journal The Double Reed, and as an officer on the IDRS Commissioning Sub-Committee. At the Society’s conference at Granada, Spain in 2018, he premiered composer Ethan Wickman’s Cuatro Escanas del Cante Jondo for bassoon and piano, Per Bloland’s Asemic Patterns for oboe and bassoon, and Chiel Meijering’s the green reed which blows in the wind for 12 bassoons and string orchestra. At the Society’s 2019 conference in Tampa, FL, Dr. Reynolds performed a set of masterworks for the reed quintet to a full house with Akropolis.

ANDREW KOEPPE, BASS CLARINET2023-10-26T13:03:58-04:00

The Akropolis Reed Quintet’s bass clarinetist and an Ann Arbor, MI native, Andrew Koeppe majored in clarinet at the University of Michigan and studied with Chad Burrow, Deborah Chodacki, and Monica Kaenzig. Andrew can be heard on two University of Michigan Symphony Band albums, including interactions with acclaimed soloists Nancy Ambrose King and Adam Unsworth, as well as the premiere of William Bolcom’s Symphony for Band. He was the featured clarinet soloist in Bolcom’s band orchestration of “Graceful Ghost Rag” on the University of Michigan Symphony Band CD release, Artifacts. He has also performed with the Final Fantasy Symphony in Ann Arbor and with New Music Detroit, performing Annie Gosfield’s Detroit Industry at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

Andrew also attended the Buffet-Crampon USA Clarinet Academy in Jacksonville, FL in 2009 where he studied with clarinetists Eugene Mondie, Dan Gilbert, Andre Moisan, and Ixi Chen. In 2009 he played principal clarinet and bass clarinet in a small orchestral ensemble of select University of Michigan students in a weeklong multimedia workshop and final performance of Ask Your Mama with composer Laura Carpman, curator Jessye Norman, and conductor George Manahan. This new work later premiered at Carnegie Hall.

Andrew enjoys teaching a large and exuberant studio of clarinet and bass clarinet players in Ann Arbor, MI.


Everett McCorvey, tenor, is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. He has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music hall, Birmingham Opera Theater, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England, as well as performances throughout Spain, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Austria, Japan, China, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Hungary, Mexico, Peru and France.  He joined the Tony Award winning Sherwin Goldman Production of PORGY AND BESS at Radio City Music Hall in 1982 and was also part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Debut Production of Porgy and Bess in 1985.

Dr. McCorvey is the founder and Music Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of 24 professional singers performing spirituals and other compositions of African-American composers dedicated to keeping the American Negro Spiritual alive.  In its 25-year history, the group has presented over 500 concerts including 20 tours of the United States and 17 tours of Spain. Presently the American Spiritual Ensemble is the only professional ensemble of its kind dedicated solely to the American Negro Spiritual. Dr. McCorvey is also in his sixth season as the Artistic Director of the National Chorale of New York City.  

Dr. McCorvey has served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York where he was Artist-in-Residence and Associate Conductor and is also a frequent advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts Opera/Musical Theatre program. He is currently on the summer faculty of the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, Michigan, and a frequent guest conductor with the Ocean Grove Choral Music Festival in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Dr. McCorvey is of the belief that every citizen in the country should find ways to give back to his or her community, city or country.  He has been active working to keep the arts as a part of the civic conversation and currently serves on many local, regional and national boards including his recent appointment by the Governor of Kentucky as the Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Arts Council. He is married to soprano Alicia Helm and they have three children. www.everettmccorvey.com

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