Raised in Negaunee, Michigan, Miranda DeBretto began playing the flute at the age of eleven. Miranda graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University where she studied with Kimberly Risinger. Her degrees were in Music Education and Flute Performance. Currently the principal flutist of the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, Miranda also served as principal flutist in multiple ensembles throughout her tenure at Illinois State University. One of the recordings she played on with the Illinois State Wind Symphony won the 2015 American Prize in Wind Ensemble Performance. Miranda is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Arizona, where she studies with Brian Luce. Awarded the flutist position in the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, the University of Arizona’s premier student chamber ensemble, she is also the graduate teaching assistant for the flute studio and teaches privately.
Amy Shea is a first-year Masters’ student at the University of Arizona. She received her Bachelors’ degree in oboe performance from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, her hometown. Amy has been recognized as a strong solo performer throughout her career. She won the Woodwind Division of the University of Illinois’ Concerto Competition performing the Strauss oboe concerto, and performed the Marcello oboe concerto with the Eastern Illinois Youth Orchestra. During her undergraduate years, Amy was the second oboist for the Sinfonia da Camera Orchestra, and substitute second oboist for the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Amy performed the Martinu oboe concerto among others at the Music Teacher’s National Association State Competition in Phoenix in November and received third place and honorable mention. She is preparing for several orchestral auditions this semester and is enjoying her time playing with the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet this year.
Chase Miller earned his Bachelor’s in Clarinet Performance at the University of Kentucky under the instruction of Scott Wright. He's been awarded the school of music's McCracken award for exceptional achievement in music performance and was the winner of the school of music concerto competition. While attending the University of Kentucky, Miller served as principle Clarinetist and E-flat clarinetist in numerous ensembles such as the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Opera Orchestra, and The Kentucky Intercollegiate Band. He has been a dedicated chamber musician and a private clarinet instructor since high school. With a strong passion for music outreach and teaching, he organized and maintained a private clarinet studio of twenty-eight students during his time in Kentucky. Miller has participated in summer chamber music festivals such as Fresh Inc. and BayView. In addition, he has had the privilege of being a participant of the 2014 National Woodwind competition of Arts and Letters. He's performed for renowned clarinetist such as Alan Kay, Jeremy Reynolds, Cecilia Kang, Robert Turizziani, and Alexander Fiterstein. Miller is now pursuing his Master’s in Clarinet Performance at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona and is a current member of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, as well as the University of Arizona Wind Symphony.
Jason Pfiester is currently pursuing his Master’s of Music degree in Horn Performance under the instruction of Daniel Katzen at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. Raised in Indiana, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire cum laude with degrees in Music Performance and Philosophy. While at UNH, Pfiester studied under Kendall Betts, former principal hornist of the Minnesota Orchestra. He has performed with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Brass Choir, and the Indiana Wind Symphony. He has many years of chamber music training, including 6 years at the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Indianapolis, 4 years in an undergraduate woodwind quintet, and numerous small ensemble configurations. Other notable teachers he studied under include Kent Leslie, Darin Sorley, and Jerry Montgomery. Pfiester is a current member of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet as well as the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
Philip Hill is in his first year of study for a master’s degree in Music Performance at the University of Arizona. He earned a bachelor of music in Music Education at East Carolina University and studied bassoon with Chris Ulffers. During his time at ECU he served as principal bassoon of the ECU Symphony Orchestra. He also performed at times as principal bassoon of the ECU Wind Ensemble and ECU Opera, the latter known for performing a wide variety of works – from Mozart to 21st century premieres. As part of the North Carolina New Music Initiative, formerly known as New Music @ ECU, Hill participated in many premieres, recordings, and new music projects. Most notable is his performance in the world premiere and recording of Travis Alford’s Loose Strands for chamber wind ensemble. In addition to teaching beginning bassoon in his hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia, and touring with the ECU Symphony Orchestra, he has also made an appearance with select members of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Hill also plays with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the Saguaro Bassoon Quartet. He aspires to earn a position in a professional orchestra after finishing his degree at the Fred Fox School of Music. members of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra for a winter holiday concert. Hill is currently a member of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, as well as a member of the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the Saguaro Bassoon Quartet. After finishing his Master’s in Music at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona, he aspires to earn a position in a professional orchestra.
Central Floridian Elsa Kate Nichols is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Arizona, under the direction of Brian Luce. Now a graduate assistant for the Fred Fox School of Music, she previously served as a graduate teaching assistant and member of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, the university’s premier student chamber ensemble. During their time together, the quintet competed as national finalists for the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, and they took a 3-week, 12-concert tour of China in December 2014. Kate has been recognized as an award-winning flutist by organizations such as the Texas Flute Society, where she was a semi-finalist in the Myrna Brown Flute Competition, and the Florida Flute Association, where she placed third in the college young artist competition and had been named finalist in previous years. She has also participated in several summer music institutes including the Round Top Festival Institute.
Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of Central Florida, graduating cum laude and with University Honors after studying with Nora Lee Garcia. She has had the privilege of working with both national and international flutists, performing in masterclasses for artists including Bonita Boyd, Jeffrey Khaner, Susan Milan, Ransom Wilson, and Carol Wincenc. She has served as principal flutist in the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra, Texas Festival Orchestra, the Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Central Florida Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she had the privilege of serving as substitute flutist for the Bach Festival Orchestra of Orlando in 2011. Kate also enjoys performing in pit orchestras, performing for shows such as Arizona Onstage’s summer 2014 production of Les Misérables. Outside of her time spent in larger ensembles, Kate has also performed as a freelance musician in the Central Florida and Tucson area.
Rachel Kamradt is a freelance oboist and private oboe instructor in the greater Tucson area. She most recently held the position of acting assistant principal oboe and english horn for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, and has also played with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet.
Ms. Kamradt's students have played in numerous ensembles in the region, including the UA Outreach Band, Tucson Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, AZMEA South Central All-Regional Band, AZMEA South Central All-Regional Orchestra, and AZMEA All-State Orchestra.
She is an advocate of El Sistema, a Venezuelan music education program that uses free classical music instruction to transform the lives of at-risk youth, and aspires to start an El Sistema-inspired music program in the future.
Natalie Groom earned her bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance and a double minor in Jazz Studies and Entrepreneurship from Kent State University, graduating summa cum laude and with University Honors. While there, she studied with Dennis Nygren, Amitai Vardi, and Joseph Minocchi on clarinet and Jeffery Heisler on saxophone. She participated in Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and chamber groups, served as clarinet soloist on Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs with the KSU Wind Ensemble, and was awarded the Roy D. Metcalf Musicianship Award. An Entrepreneurship minor, she placed second in the 2012 Business Concept Competition for a music-related business called Woodwinds Galore. Also a member of the Honors College, she published a thesis titled Invocation and Spirit Dance: a Piece for Solo Clarinet by Frank Wiley which explored this work written by the composition professor at KSU for her former professor of clarinet, Dennis Nygren.
Ms. Groom just graduated with her Masters in Clarinet Performance from the University of Arizona with Jerry Kirkbride. At UA she served as a graduate teaching assistant for American Rock and Popular Music and clarinetist of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, an audition-only endowed chamber group; their accomplishments include placing in the MTNA Chamber Winds Division National Finals and Plowman Chamber Music Competition Semi-finals. Due to the group's outstanding success, they were invited to perform a three-week tour in China in December of 2014. They performed a series of twelve concerts around the country and engaged in three interviews with the Chinese press. Ms. Groom is currently an MBA Candidate at the Eller College of Management at UA and continues to work as a freelance musician and private lesson instructor of clarinet and saxophone.
Michael Mesner began studying the horn at age fifteen in his hometown of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Michael graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education, where he studied with University of Arizona alumna Denise Root-Pierce. While at EMU, Michael performed with the symphony orchestra, wind symphony, symphonic band, jazz band, marching band, and numerous jazz combos. He recently completed a Master of Music degree in horn performance at the University of Arizona under the instruction of Daniel Katzen
Matthew Kowalczyk is a recent graduate, holding a Master’s of Music Degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Arizona, having studied under Dr. William Dietz. Matthew was a member of the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, an endowed chamber ensemble that serves as a prominent ambassador for the University’s Fred Fox School of Music. The group has travelled throughout the country and internationally, most prominantly in a three week, 12 concert tour of China in December of 2014. The quintet has won the MTNA Southwest Region Chamber Winds Ensemble Division in 2014, and has played throughout their home base of Tucson, AZ, serving the enthusiastic community of music lovers of Southern Arizona.
Matthew’s additional performing experiences include principal bassoon of the Classical Symphony Orchestra, the Palatine Concert Band, and as a freelance performer in Illinois and the Southern Arizona area.
A native of Illinois, Matthew received his Bachelors of Music Education with a double major in Bassoon Performance from Illinois State University, where he studied under Michael Dicker. During his time there, he performed and recorded multiple albums and world premieres as a member of the Wind Symphony, including the albums “Unending Stream of Life”, “O Earth, O Stars”, and most recently, "A Child's Garden of Dreams" (Albany Records). As an educator, Matt has taught at multiple camps and given masterclasses to middle and high school students during his undergraduate and graduate studies including the Music for All Summer Symposium, ISU’s Junior High Band Camp, and the UA Double Reed Day. During Matthew’s student teaching experience in the spring of 2013, he was under the tutelage of ILMEA District 7 Junior Band Representative Kristina Melville at Richard Bernotas MS, who’s Symphonic Band was awarded Honors Status at the IGSMA State Competition in that spring.
In continuation of his passion for teaching, Matthew also maintains a private studio of young bassoonists and has had the honor of serving as the Graduate Assistant to the UA Outreach Honor Band, a weekend ensemble for junior high and early high school young wind and percussion musicians from all over Southern Arizona, overseeing all operations in the fall of 2014. Matthew also assisted Dr. Dietz as coach and librarian with the UA High School Honor Wind Quintet, in its first two seasons, made up of some of the most talented high school musicians in the Southern Arizona region.
Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, Diana Schaible, MM 2013, received a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance from the University of Idaho in Moscow, where she studied flute with Leonard Garrison and classical guitar with James Reid. During her time at the UI, Diana played principal flute in the university orchestra and wind ensemble, and performed with the UI flute choir, jazz choir, guitar ensemble, and Vandal Marching Band. She is also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Women's Music Fraternity. She earned her Master's degree in Flute Performance at the University of Arizona with Brian Luce. Diana is currently teaching guitar lessons at the Tucson Music and Dance Academy.
Hornist Gray Ferris, MM 2013, hails from the great commonwealth of Virginia and is a 2011 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he received his Bachelor's degree in music education and studied horn with Kendall Betts. While attending UNH, he served as principal horn of the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and participated in brass and woodwind quintets, horn quartets, jazz combos, and new music ensembles. He earned a Master's degree in horn performance under the instruction of Daniel Katzen, as well as a Certificate in Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona. Gray is currently second horn of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.
Clarinetist Ashley Knecht, MM 2013, originally from Pelican Rapids, MN, received her undergraduate degree in instrumental music education from Minnesota State University Moorhead where she studied with Catherine Tesch. In addition to playing as principal clarinetist with the MSUM Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, she was a featured soloist with the Wind Ensemble and Lake Agassiz Concert Band for the Trollwood Performing Arts Classical Music Festival. Ashley studied clarinet with Jerry Kirkbride while pursuing her Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance at the University of Arizona. Ashley now holds a position as teacher of music for Kidder County High School and Steele High School in North Dakota.
Rebecca Dixon, MM 2013, began studying the oboe at age ten in her hometown of Vancouver, WA. She received a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance, summa cum laude from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA), where she studied with Michele Kirkdorffer. She has also studied Russian at the University of Washington and Historical Musicology at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned a Master of Music in Oboe Performance at the University of Arizona as a student of Neil Tatman. Dixon has been a finalist in the JMU Concerto/Aria Competition and has competed internationally at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. She has performed in Masterclasses for such renowned oboists as Robert Atherholt, Carol Stephenson, and Ray Still. She is also an avid choral musician. Outside the music world she may be recognized from her winning appearances on the television show Jeopardy!. Rebecca is now serving as interim oboist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet.
Travis Jones, MM 2013, received his undergraduate degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Tennessee, where he studied with Keith McClelland. While at UT, Travis performed as a member of the UT Symphony and Opera Orchestras and the Wind Ensemble in addition to various chamber music ensembles. In 2011, Travis was named a winner of UT's Concerto Competition and appeared as a soloist with the University of Tennessee'Symphony Orchestra. Travis has performed in masterclasses taught by Kristin Wolfe Jensen and Christopher Weait, and he also studied with Saxton Rose at the Quartz Mountain Music Festival. He earned a Master's degree in Bassoon Performance at the University of Arizona studying under William Dietz.
Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Starla Doyal, who holds a BA in English Literature, was part of the 2009-2011 quintet. She received her initial training in flute performance and music theory from Texas Tech University. Ms. Doyal appeared as a soloist with Texas Music Teacher’s Association festival orchestra and performed with the Texas Tech University Chamber Winds Ensemble. She participated in master classes with Carol Wincenc, Trevor Wye, Paul Edmund Davies, and Jill Felber. Her previous teachers include Lisa Garner Santa and Margaret Redcay.
Oboist Liz Knoff (now Liz Knoff Floodeen), MM 2011, is a native of Seattle, Washington and received her undergraudate training at Pacific Lutheran University, where she studied with Shannon Spicciati. In addition to playing principal oboe with the PLU symphony orchestra and wind ensemble, Ms. Knoff has played regularly with groups such as Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, she has performed in Scandinavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and China.
Edwin Quimpo Serrano, MM 2011, was trained at the University of California, Irvine prior to coming to UA. While at UCI, he served as principal clarinet in the orchestra, wind ensemble, and multiple chamber ensembles. Edwin has performed in master classes for Patricia Cloud, Jonathan Davis, Margaret Parkins and accompanied renowned musicians such as Cho-Liang Lin and the Kei Akagi Trio. Before studying at the U of A, he studied with Amanda Walker and Fred Cadiente. Edwin’s passions for music, photography, and recording, coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit have led him to run a musicians consulting service in Arizona and California. A versatile doubler, Serrano also performs on the various saxophones and the drum set.
Lisa Gollenberg, MM 2009 in horn performance, who hails from Southington, Connecticut, received her undergraduate degree in music education from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. While pursuing her degree, Lisa participated in a variety of performing ensembles, both on campus and in the community. During her final year at Gordon, Lisa was a featured soloist with the Gordon College Symphony Orchestra and the Nashua Chamber Orchestra of Nashua, New Hampshire. Before studying at The University of Arizona, her teachers included Peter Iltis and Eli Epstein. Lisa is now a music teacher at BASIS Tucson North School.
Bassoonist Daniel Hursey, MM 2011, received his undergraduate training at the Florida State University College of Music where he served as principal bassoon of the University Philharmonia Orchestra, University Symphony Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. He also performed with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Florida Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, and the Orquestra Sinfónica de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. He has performed in master classes conducted by Monica Ellis of the Imani Winds and Whitney Crockett, principal bassoonist of the Metropolitan Opera. Prior to studying at the U of A, he studied bassoon with Ryan Simmons and Jeff Keesecker.
2007-2009 Inaugural Quintet
Flutist Erica Schiller, MM 2009, received her undergraduate degree in flute performance from Michigan State University, where she studied with Richard Sherman. While at MSU she performed on live broadcasts as a member of the Wind Symphony and traveled throughout Austria performing with the Symphony Orchestra. She performed with the Jackson (Michigan) Symphony orchestra as an undergraduate. Ms. Schiller performed chamber music in Vienna, Austria, where she studied with Barbara Giesler-Haas, at the Univesität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. She has also performed during the International Double Reed Society conference in Ithaca, New York, where she participated in the debut of The Avatar for bassoon and chamber ensemble by Dana Wilson. Before studying at The University of Arizona, her previous teachers included Ervin Monroe and Johanna Beth Sennett. Erica is now stationed in Boston MA, holding positions as Research and Marketing Associate at the Boston Chamber Music Society and as Director of Operations at Flutistry.
Devin Gardner, MM 2009 in oboe performance was a member of the 2007-2009 quintet and received his undergraduate training at George Mason University. Mr. Gardner has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, George Mason Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Philharmonia, and was a substitute oboist for the Maryland Symphony. Mr. Gardner has participated in numerous master classes, most recently with John Ferrillo of the Boston Symphony, Michael Britton of Haworth Oboes in London, and Rudolph Vrbsky of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC. An active pianist as well, Mr. Gardner maintained private pianio and oboe studios in the Washington DC, in addition to teaching at the Potomac Music Festival with conductor Judith Lapple. Mr. Gardner was also a piano accompanist with the Fairfax Christian Church in Virginia. Devin is currently maintaining a private studio consisting of piano and oboe students in Tucson. He is also serving as oboist in the Arizona Opera Orchestra.
Clarinetist Lisa Kachouee, MM 2009, graduated from George Mason University and served as a substitute for the Tucson Chamber Orchestra. While at GMU, she served as principal clarinetist of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and Modern Music Ensemble. As principal of the Levine School of Music Wind Ensemble and co-principal of the Chamber Orchestra, she performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and also performed with the 257th Army Band of Washington, D.C. Ms. Kachouee recorded Gina Biver’s “Skating Still” for her 2006 album, From Where I Sit. Ms. Kachouee performed in master classes conducted by Eugene Mondie, Gervase de Peyer, Sidney Forrest, and Karen Dannessa. Before coming to The University of Arizona, she was a student of Michael Rusinek, Brian Jones, and Lorianne Haddad. Lisa is continuing her graduate studies as a teaching assistant at Florida State University.
Bassoonist Jason Soulière, MM 2009, is a native of Maine and received his undergraduate training at the Eastman School of Music. He appeared as soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia, performed for the Waterloo (Ontario) Chamber Music Society, the Operensemble Salzburg (Austria), and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. In recital, Mr. Soulière has performed at The Kharov Academy for the Arts (Ukraine), Ponce Music Festival (Puerto Rico), the Rockport Opera House, and on a live broadcast of NPR’s "From the Top.” He published an article on Camille Saint-Saens sonata for bassoon in the music appreciation text, Spotlight on Musicians. Prior to his studies at UA, he studied with Kerry Camden and K. David Van Hoesen. Jason is now the Associate Principal Bassoonist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes in Mexico.
J. Gregory Miller, MM 2009, a Colorado native and honors graduate from the Eastman School of Music, performed with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra during his studies at The University of Arizona. He performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Music Society, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Skaneateles Music Festival Orchestra. He recorded Jorge Liderman’s Barcelonazo on the Musica Nova label. He performed in the premier of Remembering 9/11 by Steven Morrell at the 36th International Horn Symposium in Valencia, Spain. A winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, he performed Schumann’s Konzerstuck, Op. 86 with the ensemble Quattro’Hornis. An active composer and arranger, Miller’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by Hermann Baumann, Kerry Turner, David Johnson, and Radovan Vlatkovic. Prior to coming to UA, his teachers included W. Peter Kurau, Kendall Betts, and Erwin Chandler. He teaches high school and college students at Kendall Betts’ Horn Camp each summer. JG is now an active freelancer and teacher in the Baltimore/DC area. He is currently a member of the United States Army Field Band.