Michelle Beauchesne, cello 1993
Performing at the Mendocino Music Festival with members of the San Francisco Symphony was a launching pad for my career.Since 1993, Michelle built her professional career after winning scholarships at the St. Louis and New England Conservatories. She later won the Premier Prix award in Fontainebleau, France, working with Jean Marie Gamard at the Paris Conservatory. She performed with many top recording stars and internationally known symphonies and is currently a recording artist in Los Angeles and Nashville performing a wide genre of music. She has an ongoing musical partnership with singer/songwriter/guitarist Sean McCue and has been showcased in live performances from San Francisco to Los Angeles. http://www.sean-michelle.com/.
Elisa Carlson, piano 1995
The Festival opened my eyes to just how much I enjoy working with other musicians and artists as opposed to solo work.“Putting creative minds together can create great things. The festival also showed me what talent is out there with regards to the featured touring performers. I had never experienced acappella music before witnessing Chanticleer. I later threw myself into that world by joining Ladies First, Indiana University’s first female acappella group in its very first year.”
Elisa went on to receive a BSOF in piano performance/theater at the Indiana University School of Music. She is currently a featured singer/multi-instrumentalist at Howl at the Moon Chicago playing piano, bass, drums, and violin. She is also a dancer/choreographer, and on the artistic board of Innervation Dance Cooperative in Chicago. http://www.innervationdance.org/
Stephanie Chiao, cello 2003
Above all, the Festival gave me the opportunity to network and to meet other wonderful musicians and people, which set the foundation further for my professional life.“My participation with the Mendocino Music Festival gave me not only the unique opportunity to play with other talented professional musicians and to further training in Chamber Music, but also to build dreams for continuing these amazing experiences.”
Stephanie is currently the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Stockton Symphony and the cellist of Les Trois Papillon Trio composed of oboe, flute, and cello which performs classical and more popular music. She is the founder of the Vivace String Quartet, and the Cantabile Cello Quartet. Stephanie is also a music educator currently teaching instrumental music to students from third grade through high school in both public school and private studio settings.
Maxwell Honda Eady, double bass 2009
I’m grateful to the Festival for the exposure to the musical and personal growth opportunities it afforded me.“I know the challenges and performance experiences will benefit any field of work I do pursue, and will be a source for fond, lifelong memories.”
Maxwell is currently a freshman at UC Berkeley where he still plays double bass as a member of the University’s Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph Galamba, violin 2006
The Festival was a very important experience for me as it was the first time I played with people who were studying music at the college level.“Meeting these people and the professionals that the festival brought in gave me the ambition to continue with music more seriously and take the audition for Oberlin Conservatory.”
Joseph is currently studying violin at Oberlin Conservatory and Physics at Oberlin College.
Mary Gregonis, piano 1993
The instruction I received from Karl Goldstein and Susan Waterfall changed my approach as a musician.“Susan brought out passion and musicality. Karl tamed that passion and refined my music. I will always cherish that time in my life.”
Eighteen years after enjoying a seat in the Emerging Artists program, Mary is a stay-at-home mother of two living on the Mendocino coast.
Elizabeth Grunin, cello 2005, 2009, 2010
“My participation with the Mendocino Music Festival helped me to make professional connections with other musicians that resulted in several job possibilities”
Elizabeth is completing her masters at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and planning to continue her education.
Jessica Ivry, cello 1995
“The discipline and precision to technical detail, style and musicality that I learned in chamber music ensembles from my peers and from my coaches, like at the Mendocino Festival, were helpful tools for playing new music, traditional folk music or my own compositions today.”
Jessica’s major music-related work has been forming, and performing in, various non-Classical ensembles although she always using many chamber music skills to execute the music. Currently, she plays cello and sings in Real Vocal String Quartet, an all female ensemble that uses unique arrangements and original songs influenced by many musical genres. She lives in Oakland and teaches strings, chamber music and ear training at the College of Marin, a California Community College.http://www.rvsq.com/
Daniel Jang, violin 2006
I had a wonderful 2 week experience at the Mendocino Music Festival.“I met many wonderful musicians and I learned a great deal from them. Being the summer before attending the Conservatory as a chamber music major, the Festival prepared me in how to handle all the various styles, and the difficulties of performing in many chamber groups at once.”
Daniel graduated from SF Conservatory of Music as a Chamber Music major in violin and joined the Nexus String Quartet in 2008. Since then he has been with them as the quartet in residence at Kent State University.http://www.nexusstringquartet.com/
Julliette Javaheri, violin 1999, 2001
The in-depth coaching sessions we received from Burke Schumann were fantastic.“Burke insisted on a very high level of musical sophistication from all of us. He gave us so much energy and love in those 10 days at the festival. I will always look back on the repertoire I learned there with fond memories. One of the highlights of my time at the festival was performing Brahm’s German Requiem with the Festival Orchestra. It would be fun to play with the Mendocino Music Festival again!”
Julliette earned a Masters of Music in violin performance at Indiana University. She is currently in Indianapolis freelancing, teaching, and taking orchestra auditions. She has recently started an Indianapolis chapter of Classical Revolution. In 2010, Julliette acted as Concertmaster for the Phantom of the Opera National Tour.
Louis Joliat, cello 2002
“I got really good at improvising jazz on cello, and I also taught myself guitar and how to sing. Now I hitchhike around the country playing music and helping people and having fun. I live with very little, but I’m very happy.”
David Kahn, bass 2001
The year that I participated at Mendocino Music Festival was without question the most important in my development as a musician.“I had begun my endeavors in classical music only a few years earlier and the immense amount of practice and education I had in 2000-2001 led to admission at several conservatories. The kind of professional experience and the opportunities afforded in Mendocino had nothing to do with being young and everything to do with preparation for high artistry and consummate professionalism as a musician. It was not just the opportunity, but the intense coaching and musical understanding conveyed in those long rehearsals that has stuck with me. My first professional orchestral playing was with the Festival Orchestra – a thrill in itself.”
In 2001, David began his undergraduate studies at the Juilliard School and went on to complete a Master of Music at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area currently where he is Principal Bass of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Principal Bass with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. David maintains a private teaching studio, and is the Bass Professor at Grove City College (PA). Additionally, he has the pleasure of making music in another beautiful summer location: Breckenridge, Colorado where he plays as Second Bass.
Shmuel Katz, violin 1997 “That summer in Mendocino was the first time I ever visited the West Coast. I flew in from my parents’ home in Israel and it was by far the longest travel day of my life. I had a wonderful time that summer many years ago and always wanted to come back as a visitor, and perhaps as a Performer.”
Bio –Shmuel has been living in New York for the past 15 plus years.
Sophia Kessinger, violin 1995-1996-1997 “I received excellent chamber music coaching from Anne Crowden and Bonnie Hampton, which later helped in my professional life when performing with various chamber ensembles. As scholarship students, we took part in chamber music concerts which gave us the experience of performing for an audience. I learned a lot from playing in the orchestra, as we were able to meet and work with several members of the San FranciscoSymphony who were taking part in the Mendocino Music Festival. It gave me a sense of what playing in a professional orchestra might be like.”
Bio — Sophia is currently a professional violinist, living and working in New York City. She is a member of the first violin sections of both the New York City Opera orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and performs regularly at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
Sharon Lee, piano 2000 “Participating in the Mendocino Music Festival was a wonderful and memorable experience where I had the opportunity to work with other talented musicians. I mainly benefited from the staff who coached our groups: Anne Crowden, Susan Waterfall, and Burke Schuchmann.”
Bio — Sharon is on faculty at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CAwhere she co-directs the Choral Programs. She coaches Chamber Music groups, offers private vocal coaching, and teaches a Music History course. She also teaches piano at the Crowden Music Center in North Berkeley and maintains a private piano studio. Sharon is the accompanist for the Voci Women’s Ensemble and for the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
Ruth Levy, piano 1996 “Mendocino was the first time I acknowledged that what I really wanted to do was sing and write songs, not be a classical pianist! Mendocino marked the end of one musical phase and launched the beginning of a whole new musical adventure that feels much more true to who I am as an artist and musician.”
Bio — Ruth has been actively writing and performing her own songs with some of NY’s most sought after instrumentalists. Her debut CD, ‘My Song Is Out Now’ was a top-seller on http://www.cdbaby.com/ and is available on iTunes. Her new songs are available on www.myspace.com/ruthlevy. In addition to performing and composing, Ruth loves supporting, nurturing and empowering other singers vocally, artistically and spiritually. She is the founder and director of http://www.totalsingersupport.com/, a holistic voice studio where professional and amateur singers and songwriters around the world learn how to sing with more confidence, ease, freedom and joy.
Jannie Lo, pianist 2003 “I was able to establish a connection with the people in Mendocino and have deepened a musical friendship with Burke Schuchmann, the coach at that time in the Festival, whom I now am privileged to play with.”
Bio — Jannie is getting her second masters degree in chamber music at SF Conservatory of Music and continues to work as a musician, with studies at Peabody and in Germany.
Christo Logan, cello 2001 “I’m now an architect; was never good at practicing.”
Bio — Christo lives in San Francisco and is a freelance designer plus teaches architecture at UC Berkeley. He continues to play music.
Amanda Lostritto, violin 2008 “ I had the opportunity to perform with students from Julliard (even though I was very young at the time), and had very intense Orchestral and Chamber rehearsals which got me ready for University level practicing a few years later.”
Bio — Amanda is currently a music major doubling in Violin and Piano performance at Sacramento State University. She is a private violin teacher and takes as many gigs as possible.
Mikaila Powers, viola 2010 “The Festival was a great way to get experience playing with other players who have had much more experience. I learned a lot from those around me. It was a great place for me to grow in my instrument, and my confidence grew as well. It is a beautiful and nurturing environment.”
Bio — Mikaila is currently getting a master’s of music degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago
Anne Rainwater, pianist 2002 “I was fortunate to have wonderful coaches and mentors while at the Mendocino Music Festival. The chamber music experience I got while there was invaluable to my development later on in college. Playing alongside the orchestra members was also. Our performance of Mahler’s 6th Symphony was one of the most exciting orchestral experiences I have ever had.”
Bio — Anne is now a contemporary pianist, living, teaching, and gigging in New York City. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Oberlin Conservatory, she moved to New Yorkfor graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music where she pursued a degree in Contemporary Piano as part of their new Contemporary Performance Program. . She formed a duo with a percussionist friend, Jude Traxler, called futureCities – http://www.futurecitiesmusic.com/. They play a wide variety of music and have had several notable performances throughout the city, including a performance at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio playing on John Cage’s piano. http://www.annerainwater.com/.
Zachary Ragent, violin 2010 “The Music Festival afforded me the opportunity to play great music in a beautiful place, and I still think fondly of all the great musicians with whom I played.”
Bio —Zachary is a music major in violin performance at UC Santa Cruz where he continues his studies with Roy Malan.
Ben Richard, viola 2008 “My experience with the Festival allowed me to meet and interact with a substantial amount of talented professional musicians on the west coast. It also gave me the chance to establish connections and make a lot of new friends in the musical community.”
Bio — Ben is a practicing musician and is focusing on plans for graduate school.
Steven Slaff, horn 2003 “I do think that the Festival experience was very helpful in my overall development as a musician. Playing alongside professionals was enlightening and was a first for me as a young adult, so I do hope that the young musicians still get that opportunity. While my career has shifted towards arts administration, one of the reasons I am able to be successful now is because of the cumulative musical training I have received from places like Mendocino, training that also aided my previous freelance orchestral career. The Emerging Artists program was both fun and an important stepping stone – I hope that it continues to thrive!”
Bio — Steven received a B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory (’06), and then an M.M. while serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Miami (08′). After moving to NYC, he became the Production Coordinator at Bargemusic, a busy Brooklyn concert hall that presents over 220 chamber music concerts each year, while continuing to freelance as both a horn player and arranger. In 2011, he attained his current position as the Music Production Coordinator at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado.
Charles (Chase) Jackson Spruill IV, violin 2004 “I was greatly influenced by the personal access we had to the guest musicians who were invited to perform at the Festival when I was there, such as Kronos Quartet, Mark O’Connor, and also the musicians I was lucky enough to be surrounded by in the orchestra. The members of the orchestra were so gracious with their stories and their time. They wanted to be involved with us and read chamber music with us. A few of those musicians came and supported us at our chamber music concert toward the end of the Festival. That same spirit of openness and professionalism, and all of their patience and humanity, is something I knew I wanted to carry with me into my experiences after the Festival.”
Bio — Chase is the founding violinist of a Sacramento-based New Music Ensemble called “Citywater” http://www.citywatermusic.com/ that has received rave reviews. He is also concertmaster for a few regional orchestras, including the Townsend Opera Players in Modesto.
Jennifer Tzeng, violin 2002 “My participation in the Festival influenced me to do what I do today by allowing me to become a better musician through the wonderful coaches and fellow youth scholarship students. It was an extremely fun program and I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a wide variety of music repertoire.”
Bio – Jennifer still plays chamber music with former colleagues from the San Francisco Youth Symphony as well as other fellow musicians in San Francisco. She teaches violin to a studio of 46 students at the New Mozart School of Music http://www.newmozartschool.com/ located in Palo Alto. Aside from private lessons, she also leads group violin classes and ensemble classes for young violinists, ages ranging from 3-12 years old. Her current endeavors are to keep guiding young musicians in the community as well as gaining insight to perhaps starting her own violin teaching method for young children.
Jennifer Bream, violin 1992, 1993 “My time at the Festival really ignited a passion for chamber music that stays with me even now. I love the anonymity and group energy of orchestral playing, but my true passion lies in chamber playing. My full time job is still as stay at home mom to my four year old, Sam, but I’m always a violinist at heart, and will return to full time work when he starts school.”
Bio — Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy, both from The Hartt School of Music in CT. She is currently Concert Master of the Oahu Civic Orchestra and the Oahu Chamber Orchestra here in Hawaii.