As a music educator and cellist, ROXANNE KIEME works to instill the joy of music in the greater Los Angeles area. Besides working as a cello coach for Academy Strings and Elemental Strings, Roxanne has coached for the Stairway to the Stars Honors Orchestra, and maintains a private studio. Her past experiences includes teaching as a cello and bass coach for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, teaching a beginner strings class for Harmony Project, and starting a beginner strings program in Mato Grosso, Brazil for the Pantanal Music Exchange. Originally from Michigan, Roxanne completed her undergraduate degree in music education from Michigan State University before moving to Los Angeles.
As an active cellist, Roxanne has enjoyed performing with the Santa Monica Symphony and playing gigs in the area. She is currently finishing a master’s degree in cello performance from California State University, Long Beach, under the tutelage of David Garrett, cellist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Paul Curtis, Bassoon and Contrabassoon, is a freelance musician who performs throughout Southern California. He has recently performed with the LA Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and many other symphonies throughout Southern California. In addition to his orchestral work, Paul enjoys playing chamber music and collaborating with other performers and composers.
Paul earned both his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the USC Thornton School of Music while studying with Judith Farmer and Rose Corrigan. Since his graduation he has studied with Patricia Kindel on Bassoon and Contrabassoon. Paul also enjoys teaching his many middle school and high school bassoon students privately.
Morgan Lee Gerstmar is a Los Angeles based violist/violinist, composer, and educator from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She holds an MFA in the Performer/Composer program from the California Institute of the Arts; a BA in Neuroscience, Musical Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Southern California and precollege training from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Morgan's diverse career in Neuroscience and Music has provided her with unique tools for teaching her violin and viola students.
Education is the focal point of Morgan's career as an artist. Her private students have won concertmaster and principal chairs in school orchestras as well as seats in SCSBOA and CODA orchestra competitions; in addition her student placed 1st in Beginning Fiddle at the 2015 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest. Morgan is a member of the Suzuki Institute of America and the Royal Conservatory of Music Development Program. As a performer she has had the privilege to tour cities across the world from Berlin to Guatemala City and has appeared on countless recordings for rock bands, TV shows and independent films. She also enjoys a career as a performance artist and composer, premiering original works in Los Angeles at venues such as the wulf., LACE, Human Resources and SPACE.
JOHN CROSS was raised in Southern California in a family of musicians and began playing trumpet at the age of ten. Throughout high school, John received many awards including a music scholarship from Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach, CA. He then attended California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music. While an undergraduate at CSULB, John received the Tom Talbert Jazz Scholarship and was accepted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a music honor society. As a graduate student at CSULB, John was a finalist in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition with the Bob Cole Conservatory Brass Quintet.
John holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he was also a teaching assistant. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Long Beach Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Rio Hondo Symphony, Patriot Brass Ensemble and the Orange County Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, among others. In addition to Young Musicians Foundation, John is a Teaching Artist with the Bergmann Project in Santa Monica. He has also taught privately and coached chamber music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and was on the faculty of the Mason Gross Extension Division. John has been fortunate to study with many great teachers including David Krauss, Christopher Still, Rob Frear, David Washburn and Charles Davis. This has made John a well-rounded trumpet player and private teacher, as he has been exposed to many different approaches to the instrument.
Aaron T. Smith has been active as a freelance percussionist in Southern California since the early 1990s. During that time he has performed with many of the area’s leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, New West Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He served one year as the principal timpanist of the New Mexico Symphony. When the Los Angeles Philharmonic was without a regular timpanist, Mr. Smith served as a substitute in subscription concerts, family concerts, new music concerts and in performances at the Hollywood Bowl during the 2007-2008 season.
Since 1996, Mr. Smith has served as Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the Chamber Orchestra of Saint Matthew’s in the Pacific Palisades, where he has performed twice as a concerto soloist. The orchestra regularly commissions new works, and Aaron was pleased to be part of a recording with the orchestra of some of those works which was released in 2013.
In addition to playing the Western, orchestral percussion instruments, Mr. Smith has been a long-time student of the frame drum, specifically the Arabic tambourine known as riq. In 2010 Aaron performed on stage in a solo role for riq in the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, with the Los Angeles Opera.
Mr. Smith is on the faculty of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Loyola Marymount University; he maintains a private teaching studio in West LA, and serves as a clinician and adjudicator. Mr. Smith attended the University of California at Los Angeles (BA, MFA). His primary teachers were Mitchell Peters, Principal Timpanist (ret.) and Raynor Carroll, Principal Percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Violinist, teacher, and producer, Reina Inui, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is from Los Angeles, where she studied with Robert Lipsett and Sheryl Staples at the Colburn School. Miss Inui won Grand Prize at the 1995 Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards and Second Prize at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Bronislaw Kaper Awards. She was a finalist at both Schadt and Julius Stulberg International String Competitions. She has participated in summer music festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Sarasota, Saito Kinen, Verbier, ORFORD, Mozarteum, Princeton, Ishikawa Music Academy, Kneisel Hall, ARTOSPHERE and ENCORE. She was Principal Second Violinist of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during their residency in Verbier, Switzerland. In Japan, she has worked extensively with Seiji Ozawa and his opera project.
Miss Inui has previously held positions with the Buffalo and Virginia Symphony Orchestras. Upon returning to Philadelphia, she has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philly POPS, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Performance highlights in Philadelphia include the Opera Philadelphia’s gala concert to commemorate the premiere of Kevin Puts’ 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning opera, ‘Silent Night,’ and a collaboration with the BalletX on their sold-out Fall Series. She has also been presented at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with the Los Angeles Dance Project in a trio composed by Nico Muhly. On a slightly different note, Miss Inui has played in concert with the late Frank Sinatra, Jr., Johnny Mathis, Il Divo, Jackie Evancho, and Seth MacFarlane.
In her spare time, she loves to run, travel, and to study French. Sponsored by scholarships from the Alliance Française, she has gone abroad to France to study in intensive immersion classes. Miss Inui was featured and chosen by the Alliance Française de Philadelphie to welcome Yannick Nezét-Séguin to the City of Brotherly Love.
SUSAN RISHIK, violin, joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1999 and made her Carnegie Hall debut on the Orchestra's east coast tour in 2001. As a member of LACO, Susan has been featured both as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to her appearances with LACO, Susan performs regularly with the LA Opera, and other local orchestras and chamber music groups. She also performs and coaches chamber music every summer as a faculty member of the Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival, and has been a coach for the Junior Chamber Music program for the past two years.
Before joining LACO, she was assistant concertmaster for the LA Mozart Orchestra. In 1998, she served as the concertmaster for a two-month run of Matthew Bourne's production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake at the Ahmanson Theatre. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1994, Susan was immersed in the world of string quartets. As a member of the Anacapa and Rider quartets, she performed throughout the United States and collaborated with such distinguished groups as the Colorado and Muir quartets.
Susan has recorded on the Nonesuch label in Steve Reich's You Are and on CRI in William Kraft's Quartet for the Love of Time. She has also recorded with LACO in Ned Rorem's More than a Day featuring Brian Asawa on BMG and in the Bach violin concertos with Hillary Hahn, Margaret Batjer and Allan Vogel as soloists on Deutsche Grammophon. She can be heard on many pop and jazz albums, as well as on the soundtracks of many major motion pictures. Susan holds a bachelor's degree in performance from Indiana University and a master's from UC Santa Barbara, where she was in the Young Artists String Quartet program.
ANNALIESE IPPOLITO REED grew up in the small town of Ripon, California: the almond capital of the world. While studying violin at the Modesto Suzuki Association, Annie decided to add viola to her arsenal when it looked like her violist friends were having more fun. She went on to obtain a Bachelors in viola performance from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA and a Masters in viola performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory at California State University, Long Beach. She continues to perform by playing with the American Youth Symphony and the Young Artists Symphony Orchestra, as well as playing chamber music with her friends as much as possible.
With equal passion for performing and teaching, Ms. Reed has registered extensive training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. In addition to teaching and working with Elemental Music, she manages a private studio and directs the El Segundo Seaside Strings, an after- school strings program.
Angelo Quail grew up in Dexter, Michigan, where he began playing clarinet at age 10. Now a resident of Los Angeles, he has worked as a music educator and professional clarinetist throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and China. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the Los Angeles Symphony, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, South Florida Symphony, Aspen Chamber Orchestra, and Detroit Civic Orchestra. He is also a member of the SpeKtra wind quintet, finalists in the 2014 Coleman National Chamber Ensemble Competition. As an educator, Angelo has maintained private clarinet studios in Los Angeles; Ann Arbor, MI; and Karlsruhe, Germany. He currently performs educational concerts in schools, nursing homes, and homeless shelters with his reed trio, The Roamin' Reeds, who are recipients of a USC Thornton Gluck Fellowship. In 2013, he was awarded a Fulbright Grant for work as an educator in Germany. Angelo received bachelor's degrees in music and German from the University of Michigan. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in clarinet performance at the University of Southern California, where he studies with Yehuda Gilad.
Susan Feldman, violinist, is an active teacher in Los Angeles and performer throughout the United States. Susan holds a Bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master's degree from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Robert Lipsett, and a Doctorate from USC in early music performance where she studied with James Tyler, Ingrid Matthews and Elizabeth Blumenstock. She has devoted much of her professional career to the study of historically informed performance on period instruments from the Middle Ages through the Baroque. In 1999, Susan co-founded La Monica, a period instrument chamber ensemble dedicated to performing music of the Baroque period. Susan has played with Baroque Band in Chicago, Seattle Baroque, Los Angeles Baroque and Musica Angelica. She is an active and founding member of Tesserae and an active member of Bach Collegium San Diego. Susan is currently on the early music faculty at USC, where she coaches the Thornton Baroque Sinfonia and teaches private students, and recently joined the teaching team at Elemental Music.