Joanna began her violin studies at the age of three. She was fortunate to have as models her grandmother, a violinist and teacher, as well as parents who are professional musicians. Her early training included studies with Albert Markov at the Manhattan School of Music, and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with distinction in the major at Yale University, where she studied violin with Kyung Yu. She completed a year-long Suzuki teacher training course at the School for Strings in Manhattan, and also studied musicology at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Joanna recently completed her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she was a student of Sergiu Luca and Ken Goldsmith and served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra.
Joanna has been a member of the violin faculty at the Neighborhood Music School and of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. In 2011-12 she was selected as a Young Artist by Da Camera of Houston. An avid chamber musician and recitalist, she has a particular interest in stylistic performances of Classic and Baroque repertoire as well as contemporary chamber music. Recent international performances include recitals at the International Holland Music Sessions, and a concerto appearance with the National Symphony of Quito, Ecuador. She currently resides in Houston.
Nina Bledsoe is a passionate performer, skilled teacher, and an enthusiastic educator. She is currently Adjunct Instructor of Viola at Sam Houston State University where she teaches viola, coaches chamber groups, and performs with the Kolonneh Faculty String Quartet. Ms. Bledsoe is a fervent and versatile chamber musician and has performed with chamber ensembles in the United States and abroad. In addition to an active teaching and performance schedule at SHSU, she is currently serving as the 2018 President of the Houston Viola Society. Ms. Bledsoe has been the recipient of fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival and School and to the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. She also won the FSU Young Artists Concerto Competition in 2007.
She holds performances degrees from Florida State University, Georgia State University, and also attended the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Bledsoe is a doctoral candidate at University of Houston.
BM University of Houston, MM Juilliard School. Clarinetist and saxophonist Bryan Conger is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow of The Juilliard School, and is an assistant for their music history and theory departments. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Banff Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and the New Juilliard Ensemble, for which the New York Times described his playing as possessing “commanding technique, myriad colorings, and flair.”
As a chamber musician, Bryan has performed with the New York Woodwind Quintet, the AXIOM ensemble, the Houston Symphony’s Greenbriar Consortium, and Da Camera of Houston.
Houston based flutist Douglas DeVries is a Young Artist of DaCamera Chamber Music, guest Principal Flute of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, and Solo Flutist of Loop38, a contemporary music collective based in Houston, TX. Mr. DeVries also performs frequently with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, and the New World Symphony.
Mr. DeVries is the Adjunct Flute Professor at Houston Community College. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City as a student of Jeffrey Khaner, and his Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, TX, where he studied with Leone Buyse.
Jacob joined the University of Texas at Arlington music faculty in the Fall of 2017. He received his Bachelor’s degree from The University of Houston, Master’s degree from The Boston Conservatory, did additional graduate studies at The New England Conservatory, and is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of North Texas. He has studied percussion under Christopher Deane, Will Hudgins, Nancy Zeltsman, Keith Aleo, Mark Ford, Ed Soph, Daniel Bauch, David Herbert, Jose Aponte, Dr. Blake Wilkins and Dr. Paul Bissell. He maintains an active performance schedule as the Principal Percussionist for The Texarkana Symphony, Section Percussionist with The Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, and also plays with The Arkansas Symphony, The Las Colinas Symphony, The Abilene Philharmonic, The Shreveport Symphony, and the Dallas Winds. He has also worked with conductors such as Alan Silvestri, Mei Ann Chen, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Jerry Junkin, and Gustavo Dudamel.
He has served as a faculty member at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, and Texas Woman’s University in Denton. Jacob also new music proponent, performing as a founding member of The Texas New Music Ensemble based out of Houston, TX. He has publication credits with Albany Music Distribution with the University of Houston Moore’s School of Music Percussion Ensemble CD Not Here But There (2009) and GIA Records with the UNT Wind Symphony, Reconstructions and Voicings and several volumes of Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Jacob is also a published writer through the Percussive Arts Society, Percussive Notes, and he is endorsed by Encore Mallets Inc. as well as Grover Pro Percussion.
Max is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig. Before his studies at Rice, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. As former principal cellist and project manager of the conductorless string orchestra KINETIC, Max assisted in building the nonprofit from the beginning and strongly advocated for the ensemble’s communicative chamber music making in the Houston area. He has performed regularly as a part of the new music organization MUSIQA in Houston, as well as alongside Brian Connelly on his chamber music series, Music in Context. Together with Leah Gastler, he co-founded the Kalmia Garden Chamber Music Festival in Durham, Connecticut.
He is a current performer/member of Latitude 49, a dynamic mixed-chamber ensemble exploring new sounds, engaging diverse audiences, and serving as a bridge between the composers and the listeners of today.
Photo by Latitude49
Flutist Meg Griffith has received several awards and honors as a modern and Baroque performer, including first prize at the Chicago Flute Club National Chamber Competition, placement as a semi-finalist in the National Flute Association’s Baroque Young Artist Competition, and Honorable Mention in the Respighi Prize Music Competition. Her Carnegie Hall debut received critical acclaim from the New York Concert Review. Meg’s passion for new music and support of new composers through commissioning projects has led to five World Premieres. She is a founding member and partner of Whole Musician, 501(c)3 which offers unparalleled intensive retreats addressing the mental, physical, and musical demands placed on the 21st century performer. Her work with the flute duo Esperanto supports new music and works to create a bridge connecting the music, dance, and art worlds. She currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Flute at Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Adventist Universities. DMA: Texas Tech; MM: Boston University; BM: University of North Texas.
Nathan received his BM, summa cum laude, from Wichita State University and his MM and DMA from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the Associate Professor of Bassoon at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. He has appeared as a workshop clinician and lecturer at Southern Methodist University, Baylor University, the University of Georgia, and many area middle and high schools. He has also presented at the conventions of the Texas Bandmasters Association and the International Double Reed Society, and was a featured soloist at the Kansas Bandmasters Association convention. He has been on the faculties of the Bocal Majority/Operation O.B.O.E. camps, the Longhorn Music Camp, and the High Plains Band and Orchestra Camp.
Festival appearances include the Round Top Music Festival, the Texas Music Festival, the Pierre Monteux School Orchestra, and the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. He has been on the faculties of the Longhorn Music Camp, Bocal Majority Bassoon Camp, and the High Plains Band and Orchestra Camp.
Dr. Andreea Muţ attended the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. MM Sam Houston State University. DCA University of Houston. She has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout Romania, France, Colombia, Mexico and the United States and won numerous prizes in both national and international competitions.
Between 2012 and 2014, Dr. Muţ held the position of Head Repetiteur and Assistant Conductor at Opera in the Heights Houston. She is currently serving as staff pianist at University of Houston. In addition, she teaches at Virtuoso Music Academy Houston, and plays for the Houston Chamber Choir, the recipient of the American Prize in Choral Performance, 2015.
Ariana completed her BM at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she graduated cum laude, and recently completed her MM at the Juilliard School, studying with Darrett Adkins. At Juilliard, Ariana’s quartet, the Eva Quartet, was part of a year long seminar called Chamber Music and Community Service Seminar led by Natasha Brofsky and Catherine Cho. Her extensive chamber music experience has included coaching with renowned musicians such as Emanuel Ax, James Dunham, David Finckel, John Harbison, Desmond Hoebig, Jon Kimura-Parker, Joseph Lin, and Roger Tapping. In recent years Ariana has attended the Spoleto USA Festival, Fontainebleau Conservatoire Américain, Aspen Music Festival and School, Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, the Olympic Music Festival and the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Italy.
She has received many honors as a soloist, most recently winning third prize at the 2016 Eisemann Young Artists Competition in Dallas, Texas.
Ariana joined the Houston Grand Opera in 2018.
Violinist Emily Osinski holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music.
Since moving to Houston in 2016, Emily has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Bach Society, Divisi Strings, Third Floor Music, and Richard Brown Music. Prior orchestral experience includes the Buffalo Philharmonic, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Oratorio Society, Syracuse Symphony, Symphoria, Binghamton Philharmonic, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony (GA), Laredo Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, and Victoria Symphony (TX). Emily has also performed extensively as a chamber musician with many groups, including Quartsemble, Marini String Ensemble, and the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival.
As a teacher, Emily has taught privately and coached chamber music at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance (NY), the Eastman Community Music School (NY), and at home for the past fifteen years. Emily has recently joined the faculty of The International Music Academy in Houston.
Andrew Schneider received his B. Mus. degree in composition at Rice University (Class of 2013) in Houston, Texas. He has lived in the Houston area all his life. His 5-voice madrigal “On May Morning” won 2nd prize in its division in the 2008 TMTA Young Composers Competition. He has also been a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Competition.
He currently plays harpsichord and chamber organ for the Houston ensemble Mercury in various concerts given by that organization. He is also employed at St. Michael Catholic Church as an organist.