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Pops Series Presented by:



Lawrence Loh, Music Director, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh has established himself as one of the most versatile and exciting conductors on the classical music scene.  He was brought to national attention in February 2004 when he substituted last minute for an ailing Charles Dutoit with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  Conducting Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Loh received enthusiastic acclaim from orchestra players, audience members and critics, alike.

Since his appointment as Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orlchestra has flourished artistically, defining its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country.  His leadership has attracted such artists as André Watts, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jon Nakamatsu, Zuill Bailey and Sharon Isbin.  A champion of early childhood exposure to music, Loh created a family concert series that is dedicated to the youngest of audiences.  He is very active in the region as an arts leader and music advocate, and is constantly in demand as a guest speaker and clinician. 

As Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh works closely with Music Director Manfred Honeck and conducts a wide range of concerts including classical, educational and pops.  He is active in the PSO’s Community Engagement and Partnership Concerts, extending the PSO’s reach into other communities.  Recent notable concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony include performances of Dvorak’s 7th Symphony, Mendelssohn’s 4th Symphony and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony on a concert featuring violinist Sarah Chang.  He made his debut on the main classical series conducting Handel’s Messiah in December 2008.  As the conductor of the enormously popular Fiddlesticks Family Series “Bringing Music to the Lives of Children,” Lawrence Loh plays the part of host and conductor.  In addition to his duties on the podium, he is an audience favorite in the PSO’s Concert Preludes lecture series, edits radio broadcasts, and makes many public appearances.  His association with the PSO began as Assistant Conductor in 2005-2006.  He was promoted to Associate Conductor in 2006-2007 and to Resident Conductor in 2007-2008. 

Lawrence Loh’s recent guest conducting engagements include his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and return engagements with the Dallas and El Paso Symphonies.  Other recent guest conducting appearances include the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony and the San Angelo Symphony.  He has conducted the symphony orchestras of Portland, Cedar Rapids, Colorado Springs, East Texas, Fort Collins, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Plano, Shreveport, Sioux City, Spokane and Tallahassee among others.   He has also led Korea’s Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Yale Philharmonia, Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra.   His summer appearances include the festivals of Bravo Vail Valley, Breckenridge, Las Vegas and Hot Springs, the Kinhaven Music School (VT), the Performing Arts Institute (PA) and the Carnegie Mellon Summer Strings Camp.

Lawrence Loh held the positions of Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony from 2001-2005.  He led the Dallas Symphony in a variety of classical and educational programs throughout each season including classical subscription.  Highlights include impassioned performances of Brahms’ Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and Brahms’ 2nd Symphony.

Prior to his Dallas appointment, Lawrence Loh was appointed by Music Director Marin Alsop to be Associate Conductor of the Colorado lamb

Symphony Orchestra.  From 1998-2001, he conducted more than 50 concerts annually, including classical subscription, pops, education, family and outreach programs. While in Denver, he was also Music Director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, the premiere youth orchestra in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Region.  Additionally, Mr. Loh served as the Interim Director of Orchestras and Head of the Orchestral Conducting Program at Denver University’s Lamont School of Music in 2000-2001.

In May 1998, Lawrence Loh received his Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from Yale University, also earning the Eleazar de Carvalho Prize, given to the most outstanding conductor in the Yale graduating class. During his years at Yale, he was chosen to be the Assistant Conductor of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and Apprentice Conductor of the Hot Springs Music Festival. He received further training at the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and School and has additional degrees from Indiana University and the University of Rochester. A dedicated teacher, Mr. Loh held the position of Associate Instructor in Music Theory at Indiana University and, later, that of Teaching Assistant at Yale University in Advanced Hearing, Conducting and Orchestration.  He was also the Guest Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for “What Makes Music?” an interactive exhibit, offering the opportunity to explore the science of music and sound, as well as the role of music in culture.

Lawrence Loh was born in southern California of Korean parentage and raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Jennifer have a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Hilary. 

Lawrence Loh PR Photo 1       Lawrence Loh PR Photo 2      Lawrence Loh PR Photo 3 


Michelle Merrill, Apprentice Conductor

Michelle Merrill is the newly appointed apprentice conductor of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Prior to this appointment, Merrill most recently worked with Voices of Change, Dallas’s professional contemporary music ensemble, at the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. In addition, her work with the ensemble earlier in the season was part of a program later named as one of Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell’s top ten performances of 2011. Merrill is also a recent winner of the 2012 International Conductors Workshop and Competition, and before this was invited in the summer of 2011 by the Rochester Philharmonic to conduct on a concert program featuring young conducting talent. Over the past two years, she has had the opportunity to conduct numerous other professional orchestras including the Bohuslav Martino Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, and the Round Rock Symphony through various workshops, working with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, JoAnn Falletta, Markand Thakar, Frank Battisti, and Neil Varon, among others. Merrill holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts where she served as assistant conductor of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under Paul Phillips. She currently splits her time between Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida, where her husband serves as principal percussionist of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.




Violin I /  Erica Kiesewetter, concertmaster

 Erica Kiesewetter has been the concertmaster of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 1992, and has appeared frequently as soloist, most recently in the Brahms Double Concerto with principal cellist Alberto Parini. She has also performed solo works of Bach, Mozart, Berg, Chausson and Saint-Saens with the orchestra, and has appeared in a number of recitals with NEPP pianist Steve Ryan. Additionally Ms. Kiesewetter is the concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Northeastern Pa. Philharmonic Opera Orchestra of N.Y., Amici New York, and the Long Island Philharmonic, and appears frequently as soloist with these groups. This past year saw concerto appearances of the Red Violin Chaconne, Brandenburg Concerto 4, Arvo Part's Fratres, and the Piazolla Seasons, and solo and chamber performances on mainland China. Ms. Kiesewetter has also been the concertmaster of the New York Pops and Eos, and has toured and recorded extensively with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Her summers are spent at the OK Mozart, Round Top (Texas) and Bard Music Festivals. 

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kiesewetter is the former first violinist of the Colorado and Dakota Quartets , and a member of the Leonardo Trio for 14 years. She has performed concerts with these and other groups in 49 U.S. States, Canada and many European and South American countries, and can be heard on more than a dozen CDs .Her recording of the Berg Violin Concerto with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra is available now on iTunes, and her appearance on "Song of the Stars", music of Granados, was nominated for a Grammy. 
Ms Kiesewetter is a Visiting Associate Professor at Bard College, where she is the director of orchestral studies at the Bard Conservatory and maintains a violin studio in the College. She has also been on the faculty of Columbia University, and coached orchestra classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Manhattan School, Purchase SUNY, and the School for Strings.. Ms. Kiesewetter was a student of the great violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian at Juilliard. Erica Kiesewetter is the proud mother of Gabriella, 21, and Sebastian, 17.


 Violin I / Alice Hallstrom, assistant concertmaster

Violinist Alice Hallstrom has an active performing and teaching career in Boston, where she resides with her husband Michael. She is currently serving as concertmaster of the Orchestra of Indian Hill, assistant concertmaster of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and principal second violin of Camerata New England. She also performs with the Portland Symphony, where she served as interim assistant concertmaster. Her past orchestral credits include performances with the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and Nashville Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, she has performed concerti with the Southwest Symphony, Juilliard Baroque Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee, and Purchase Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Hallstrom has recorded with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, Train, and The Cartoon Network. She received a bachelor of music degree, summa cum laude, from SUNY Purchase, where she was a student of Laurie Smukler and a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann, founding first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet. Ms. Hallstrom currently studies with Malcolm Lowe, concertmaster of the Boston Symphony.

 Violin I / Bori Choi


 Violin I / Yukie Handa


Violin I / Jonathan Kahn


Violin I / Adda Kridler

Adda Kridler, violinist, serves as the concertmaster of the Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami, and regularly performs with the String Orchestra of New York City, the Iris Orchestra, the Arcos Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Ms. Kridler served as a Visiting Professor of Violin at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and has premiered and recorded many works as a strong proponent of contemporary music. She is a member of Project 440, a non-profit organization presenting classical music to children and adults throughout the east coast. Ms. Kridler has recently made solo appearances with the Charleston Symphony and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and her recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Firebird Chamber Orchestra will be released in 2013. Ms. Kridler is the newest member of the New York-based ensemble, the Momenta Quartet, committed to presenting innovative programs and championing living composers. Ms. Kridler received a Master’s degree in Violin Performance at the New England Conservatory.

 Violin I / Elizabeth Nielsen 


Violin I / Alice Poulson 

Alice Poulson, violinist, is a busy free-lance musician working in and around the New York City area. She is Principal Second Violin for the Long Island Philharmonic, a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Colonial Symphony and Queens Symphony and has performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Stamford Symphony as well as with opera and ballet companies. Her chamber music experience includes the Cremona Quartet, the Bronx Arts Ensemble and several contemporary music ensembles. She was concertmaster for performances by Johnny Mathis and Natalie Cole, and has worked with and recorded with other popular artists including Liza Minnelli, Back Street Boys, Avril Lavigne, Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen. She has played Broadway shows including Oliver!, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Miss Saigon and appeared in the movie The Money Pit. Alice holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Ariana Bronne and Raphael Bronstein.



Violin I / Gabriel Schaff

 Gabriel Schaff, violinist, comes from a strong musical background, beginning his musical studies at age 6. Mr. Schaff studied at Philadelphia’s New School of Music where he coached with the Curtis String Quartet, and at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with violin virtuoso, Erick Friedman. Mr. Schaff is a free-lance violinist in the greater New York area and appears regularly with many of the leading symphony, opera, and ballet ensembles in the region, in addition to frequent chamber and recital collaborations. Mr. Schaff is the concertmaster of the SONOS Chamber Orchestra, and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Englewood Chamber Players. Mr. Schaff has performed in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Holland, Russia, Jordan and Egypt. Many of his performances have been aired on National Public Radio and Television, New Jersey Network, as well as many commercial radio and network television stations. In addition to teaching privately, he has been on the faculty of the Westminster Choir College, Eastern Music Festival, JCC on the Palisades, Far Hills Country Day School, and at Rutgers University as a frequent guest performer and a lecturer. In 2005, Mr. Schaff created the Solo String Quartet, and he is involved in historical research and conservation of bowed stringed instruments. His first full-length book The Essential Guide to Bows of the Violin Family was published in the spring of 2009 and is available world-wide. Mr. Schaff makes his home in northeastern New Jersey with his daughter, Susannah.

Violin I / Fritz Valenches  

Fritz Valenches, named after the famed violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler, was born into an exceptionally talented musical family. His father, local artist, Leon Valenches, started Fritz on the violin at age two and by age ten, he began studying in New York with Inez Lauritano. He later studied with William Kroll of the Mannes School of Music and Ivan Galamian, head of the string departments at both the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music. He began his professional orchestral career as a member of both the Scranton and Wilkes Barre Philharmonics at the young age of eleven. Fritz Valenches is both a Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Member and director of the Valenches Music Company. He currently teaches violin and viola in Scranton, Stroudsburg, and at the Baptist Bible College. He founded the Valenches Music Company (http://valenchesmusic.com) as a nurturing and innovative string-instrument school and professional musician group with his wife Leah Valenches. Together they have a quartet of little Valenches': Juliet, Gisele, Cruz and Giada. Fritz and Leah regularly perform throughout Northeastern PA with the Valenches Music Company. Together they also create young music enthusiasts through the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra and its sub group “Virtuoso." 


Violin II / Katherine Hannauer, principal

Since she began freelancing in the mid-80's, Principal Second Violinist Katherine Hannauer has performed everything from Ballet to Broadway. Ms. Hannauer has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for over 20 years, and since 2000, she has played Principal Second Violin for the Glimmerglass Opera in Upstate New York.  In New York City, she works with such groups as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, and in many Broadway pits. She can be heard on recordings with the Philharmonia Virtuosi, American Symphony, and various Broadway composers/conductors, and has toured with Il Divo, Andrea Bocelli, Skitch Henderson and the NY Pops, and Mikhail Baryshnikov/White Oak Dance Project. In addition to music, she enjoys yoga, cooking, knitting, and almost anything food-related. She lives in New York City with her husband, cellist Roger Shell, and a Border Collie mix named Blue.


Violin II / Linda Howard










 Violin II / Julie Savignon

 Ms. Savignon, violinist, has served as the Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Charlotte Symphony. She has participated is several recordings with the Houston Symphony under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, while serving as a substitute player with the orchestra. She was a regular player with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, currently serves as associate concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Center Orchestra, and is a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Ms. Savignon performs with the Master Chorale of Washington at the Kennedy Center in D.C., as well as the National Cathedral Choral Society Orchestra. Ms. Savignon served on the faculties of both Penn State University and Juniata College, and has maintained a full private studio of students for the past 8 years. Ms. Savignon studied in France, at the renowned Conservatoire National in Dijon, where she was awarded First Prize of the Jury by a unanimous vote. While in Europe, Ms Savignon was profiled on several occasions by National French television and featured in live performances and interviews. She completed her academic Baccalaureate Degree in France with honors. In the United States, she studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, she then completed both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in violin performance at Rice University under the tutelage of Sergiu Luca and Kathleen Winkler. 



Violin II / Jule Supplee

Earning a Bachelor Degree (magna cum laude) from Ithaca College and a Master of Arts Degree in Violin from Queens College, Mrs. Sipler was a winner of the Twelfth Annual Artist International Musicians Auditions, debuting in Carnegie Recital Hall in April 1985. In addition, she can be heard on recordings with both CRI Records and on Musical Heritage Society recordings. She has toured nationally with the Arius Chamber Players, the Queens String Quartet, and was a member of the Wildflower Festival Trio. Her Suzuki Pedagogy includes Ithaca College, Guelph University, The Hartt School of Musk and Washington, D.C.'s Catholic University of America. She has taught at Queens College, Ithaca Talent Education, The Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute, Youth Makes Music in Alabama and at the Kingston Suzuki Institute in Ontario Canada. At present, she performs with Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic.   





Violin II / Mary Ann Thomas

Ms. Thomas is an original member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, serving as a member of the violin section for 40 years. She taught music in Williamsport, PA where she started a string instrument program in the school district, and has also taught string instruments in the Wilkes-Barre school district.  Ms. Thomas has performed with the Wilkes-Barre Oratario Society, Scranton Singers Guild Orchestra, Little Theatre Orchestra, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Old York Road Symphony, and has served as the concertmaster of the Bucks County Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.  She also enjoys teaching private lessons in her studio in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and is an avid tennis player and sports fan.


Viola / David Creswell, Principal

David Creswell, violist, is the Principal Violist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Greenwich Symphony and the Long Island Philharmonic, and also works as an orchestral, chamber and studio musician, soloist, and music teacher in the New York area. Mr. Creswell
frequently performs with the New York Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theater Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and is the former Principal Violist of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra in Florida. As a chamber musician, Mr. Creswell has worked with renowned artists such as Kathleen Battle, Sidney Harth, and Anthony Newman, and is a founding member of the Larkspur Trio. His recordings include numerous film scores and popular releases, as well as chamber music and projects with major musical icons. Mr. Creswell was the violist for numerous Broadway productions, such as The Color Purple and Lincoln Center's South Pacific, and has played several seasons with the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. He continues to collaborate on collegiate teaching projects for students of the Julliard School with renowned teacher, Heidi Castleman. Mr. Creswell studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Robert Vernon and Heidi Castleman.



 Viola / Katrina Smith, assistant principal


After finishing a Master's degree at Yale, Ms. Smith freelanced in almost every orchestra in Connecticut and was a core member of the Hartford Symphony.  She has been Assistant Principal Violist of the Dallas Opera for 19 years and serves as the Assistant Principal Violist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 2001. In the summertime, she works in the pit at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY.  Shortly after graduating from Yale, she received a Fulbright Grant to study baroque music with Sigiswald Kuijken in The Hague, Netherlands and has performed with several groups on period violin or viola including, Arcadia Players, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Dallas Bach Society, and Texas Camerata.  While living in Charleston, SC for 5 years, she was the violist of Chamber Music Charleston, and also performed with the Charleston and Hilton Head Symphonies. In her spare time, Ms. Smith enjoys knitting, gardening, and baking bread and pastries by hand.


 Viola / Valentina Charlap-Evans


Valentina Charlap-Evans, principal violist of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and a member of the Bardavon String Quartet, received her early training on violin from Stephen Clapp.  While studying mathematics and music at the University at Albany, she studied viola with Karen Tuttle.   She served as assistant principal violist with the Calgary Philharmonic and Canadian Broadcasting Orchestras and subsequently returned to New York to study with Harold Coletta.  Valentina is an award-winning fellowship alumna of the Tanglewood Music Center, and spent numerous summers at the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico.   She was principal violist of the Goldovsky Opera Theater in its final years, and has played with the Boston Pops, American Ballet Theater, and Philharmonia Virtuosi.  Valentina currently plays with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Poné Ensemble for New Music, and has recorded for Soundspells, Albany and MCA Records.  She lives in Newburgh, NY with her husband, oboist Joël Evans, and is also a Byzantine iconographer.  



 Viola / Sadie deWall


Sadie deWall began her violin studies at the age of 3 under her mom Pam (deWall) Wiley and switched to viola at the age of 12. Ms. deWall earned her Bachelor's degree from Indiana University and her Master's degree from University of Maryland, both in Viola Performance. Sadie has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 2008 and is currently a freelance musician in and around the New York area. After performing for seven years as Assistant Principal Violist with the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra, Ms. deWall went on to perform regularly with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Delaware Symphony and Harrisburg Symphony. Ms. deWall also plays violin, Baroque viola and Viola da gamba.



Viola / Christine Ims










 Viola / Lucille Windt

Lucille Windt, violist, has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 33 years. Ms. Windt also plays with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Festival Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. In addition to music, she enjoys gardening, travel, reading, and dogs.



Cello / Alberto Parrini, principal

Born in Italy, ALBERTO PARRINI has been principal cellist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 2007 and a member of the American Symphony since 2010; he also performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, 2010 and 2011 he toured Japan as principal cellist of the New York Symphonic Ensemble. As a founding member of the Zukofsky Quartet he has given performances of the complete string quartets of Milton Babbitt in New York and Chicago. He performed throughout the U.S. with the American Chamber Players from 2004 to 2010, was the cellist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 2002-03 and spent one season as assistant principal cellist with the Richmond Symphony. Alberto has toured extensively with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project and performed with Continuum, Proteus Ensemble, Mirror Visions Ensemble, New Jersey Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. His festival appearances include Evian, Tanglewood, Taos, Verbier, Ottawa, Montreal, San Miguel de Allende, Spoleto U.S.A., Music@Menlo, The Weekend of Chamber Music and the Piatigorsky seminar. His principal studies were with Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, David Soyer, Colin Carr and Enrico Egano; he is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School. Alberto teaches cello at Princeton University. 



 Cello / Jeremy Lamb, assistant principal

Jeremy Lamb sits Assistant Principal with the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic. As a student of Alan Stepansky at the Peabody Conservatory, Jeremy worked towards becoming an orchestral musician; he now plays with the New Haven and Eastern Connecticut Symphonies and previously played with orchestras throughout Ohio (Akron, Youngstown, Mansfield). He also enjoys performing on a more intimate scale and is currently programming solo and chamber recitals in New York and Boston. Previously, he was a member of Cachaça di Graçe, a bossa nova trio, and Opus 9 Chamber Ensemble in NYC. When he is not performing or practicing, he tends his bow-rehairing business, Lamb’s Stringed Instrument Bow Repair



Cello / Peter Brubaker

After graduate school, Peter Brubaker spent two years in Georgia playing with the Savannah Symphony.  He then married Jean Supplee, another cellist, and the couple moved to Jean's home town of Wilkes-Barre in 1988.  At that time, both musicians became members of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and also joined Jean’s mother and sister in a newly formed music school, based on the Suzuki teaching method.  Mr. Brubaker has made a living in northeastern PA through a combination of teaching, playing chamber music, playing with local ensembles, and playing with the Philharmonic. His work as a cello teacher at the Suzuki School for Strings has expanded over the years to include conducting the student string orchestra and teaching piano. Mr. Brubaker’s musical influences include his cello teachers, Janet Marshall, Richard Kapuscinski, and Moshe Amitay, great cellists such as Pablo Casals and Mischa Maisky, and composers such as J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. In addition to playing the cello, Mr. Brubaker also enjoys playing the piano and accompanying his students, collecting house plants, and bicycling. 



Cello / Alexander Kang

Alexander Kang, cellist, received a Bachelor of Music at the New England Conservatory in 2008 and recently earned his Masters of Cello Performance at the University of Redlands. He has performed with numerous leading institutions, including the Pacific Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Redlands Symphony where he served as section cellist for two years, the New England Conservatory Symphony where he was the principal cellist, and the National Orchestra Institute where he served as a principal cellist under the direction of Matthias Pintscher. Throughout his musical career, Mr. Kang has performed and toured in several countries in Asia, North and Central America, and Europe. He has also toured the United States with Zade Dirani, performing pieces from his project album, "Roads to You." Mr. Kang has earned top prizes in competitions in the greater Los Angeles area, and has studied with many accomplished musicians including Ben Hong, Kyle Champion, Yeesun Kim, and Bongshin Ko.


Cello / Kate Spingarn

Kate Spingarn joined the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2006/2007 and joined the Brooklyn Philharmonic in the same season. She has also performed with the American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New World Symphony, and the Westchester Philharmonic. Along with her orchestral playing, Kate has actively performed as a chamber and recital musician in the NYC area and across the country, and has performed on numerous Broadway shows. 
A native of Durham, NC, Kate began her musical studies on violin at age 7, and switched to cello when she was 12. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts for high school, received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory, and her Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she received a full merit scholarship. Her major teachers include Andor Toth, Jr., Marc Johnson, and Alan Stepansky. She spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival and four at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. 
Now living in Brooklyn, NY, Kate is married to the noted wine expert Evan Spingarn, and they are the proud parents of their young daughter Nora. 


Bass / Stephen Groat, principal

Stephen Groat, double bassist, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is Principal Bass of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Bethlehem Bach Festival Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, and a member of the bass sections of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Ongoing affiliations include the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Philly Pops, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (formerly Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia), and the Pennsylvania Ballet. He performed for many years as Principal Bass of the Lake George Opera Festival and the Opera Festival of New Jersey, and was a member of the Delaware and Reading Symphony Orchestras, as well as Principal Bass in the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra. Additional activities have included performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.



Bass / Domenick Fiore, assistant principal  









 Bass / Daniel McDougall

A native of California, Daniel McDougall entered the Curtis Institute of Music as a double bass major, studying with Roger Scott. Since receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in 1993, he has built a varied career that has included performing chamber and orchestral music on double bass, serving as an organist and choir director, and playing harpsichord with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra during its 2004 tour of Japan. He joined the Curtis staff in 1993; from 2001 to 2004, he served as director of student services and international student advisor. Dan joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004.He is principal bass of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Bach Festival Orchestras, among others. He has participated in numerous international music festivals, including Rencontres Musicales d'Evian, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Music by the Red Sea, and Festival dei Due Mondi. He has been with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 1999 and enjoys camping in the area during concert week - often returning to the quiet Lackawanna State Park campground after concerts wearing white tie and tails.





 Bass / Mary Javian 


Mary Wheelock Javian (double bass) is an active performing and teaching artist. She performs frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philly Pops, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, Ms. Javian has performed and recorded with Network for New Music, the Bach Choir of Bethleham and the Apple Hill Chamber Players. A Maryland Distinguished Scholar, Ms. Javian has won fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Verbier Festival and the National Symphony. A passionate advocate for music education and community engagement, Ms. Javian has worked as an education consultant for musical groups throughout the country. She is currently the School Partnership Program Coordinator at the Philadelphia Orchestra and is the curator of ClassicAlive for LiveConnections. This year Ms.Javian joins the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music to lead the Community Artist Program. A graduate of Curtis, Ms. Javian studied with Harold Robinson, principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. 




Flute / Laura Gilbert, principal

 Flutist, Laura Gilbert, has performed around the world as chamber musician, soloist, recitalist and guest lecturer. In addition to Aureole, a trio comprised of flute, viola and harp, of which Ms. Gilbert is a founding member, she has performed and toured with Musicians from Marlboro, Alexander Schneider's Brandenburg Ensemble, The Brentano and Saint Lawrence String Quartets, Chamber Music at the 92nd Street "Y", Saint Luke's Ensemble and Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, and Speculum Musicae. Ms. Gilbert also performs frequently in a duo with the Greek guitarist, Antigoni Goni. Ms. Gilbert's extensive discography includes two solo recordings: The Flute Music of Serge Prokofiev, and the Flute Music of Toru Takemitsu. Ms. Gilbert is a member of the ensemble on Dawn Upshaw's Grammy award winning disc, "The Girl with the Orange Lips". Ms. Gilbert has served on the flute and chamber music faculties of Peabody Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Harid Conservatory, Purchase College, The Aaron Copland School at Queens College, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and Saint Ann's School. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of Monadnock Music. Ms. Gilbert studied with Samuel Baron, Julius Baker and Thomas Nyfenger, and received her Bachelor degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, and New England Conservatory of Music, her diploma and Master of Music, from The Juilliard School, and her Doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook, where she was Samuel Baron’s assistant.



Flute / Barbara Hopkins  


Award winning flutist Barbara Hopkins enjoys national recognition for her performances. She has released several CDs including Telemann Methodical Sonatas, Vol. 1, and Short Concert Pieces for Flute and Piano and Andersen Etudes, opus 15. She has appeared as soloist in New York, Boston, Albuquerque, Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, Alaska, Florida, Connecticut, and throughout her home state of Pennsylvania. Composer Edward Diemente has written several works for her, and she has also worked with Joan Tower, Chinary Ung, and Shirish Korde. A cousin of nineteenth century Connecticut flute maker Asa Hopkins, Barbara is very interested in early flutes and music. She has acquired several flutes by Asa Hopkins, and has had them restored to playing condition. She is a member The Rosewood Chamber Ensemble with guitarist Judy Handler, which specializes in performances of early music performed on Baroque, Classical, and Early American flutes with guitar. Barbara was first prize winner in the National Flute Association Orchestral Audition Competition, has been a top prize winner in the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, and was awarded the Belin Arts Scholarship and a fellowship to Tanglewood Music Center, where she had the honor of playing principal flute under Leonard Bernstein. A native of Clarks Summit, she is a long time member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. She currently lives in Hartford, CT, where she serves as assistant principal flute with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestras she has performed with include the Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Sarasota Orchestra. Dr. Hopkins teaches flute at the University of Connecticut and also taught Community Division students at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Dr. Hopkins received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with Samuel Baron. She earned her Master of Music from The Mannes College of Music under Thomas Nyfenger, and her Bachelor of Music at The Hartt School with John Wion. Always seeking to refine her skills, she has also studied piccolo with Geralyn Coticone of the Boston Symphony, new music with Robert Dick, and Baroque flute with Naýama Lion. Dr. Hopkins is an artist/clinician for Avanti Flutes, a division of Conn-Selmer. 


Flute/Piccolo / Patricia Zuber 


Flutist, Patricia Zuber, performs with many orchestras in the New York City area, including the American Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, and has appeared with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Japan. She also performs on Broadway, having performed in the productions of Beauty and the Beast, Candide, Swan Lake, Jekyll and Hyde, Ragtime, and La Boheme. She is piccoloist with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, with which she has appeared as a concerto soloist. Ms. Zuber is an avid recitalist, performing solo recitals as well as chamber music. She performs regularly in a flute/percussion duo with her husband, percussionist Gregory Zuber. In addition to music, Ms. Zuber is an avid swimmer.


 Oboe / Alexandra Knoll 

Alexandra was born in Zimbabwe and emigrated to South Africa at age ten.  After graduating from high school, she worked professionally for two years in the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra before moving to the States. She is an alumna of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Alex enjoys a multifaceted freelance career- she is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and plays frequently with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet,  the New Jersey Symphony and Orpheus. She is the oboist for the Broadway show  Mary Poppins and has been featured on recordings by Rufus Wainwright, Lenny Kravitz and Antony and the Johnsons. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Maxim and daughter Vera.


 Clarinet / Pascal Archer, principal


Canadian clarinetist Pascal Archer leads an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. He is the founder and artistic director of Exponential Ensemble. He is currently Principal Clarinet of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and often invited to perform in the orchestra's chamber music series. Preceding his residency in New York City, Mr. Archer was a full time member of the New World Symphony for four consecutive seasons where he performed under Michael Tilson Thomas. On several occasions Pascal was featured with the New World Symphony either as a soloist or for the NWS chamber music series in Miami, Boston and all over Europe.  Over the past few years, Pascal has been invited to many prestigious music festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, the UBS Verbier Orchestra, Spoleto USA Festival, Pacific Music Festival. In August 2012, he will join members of the San Francisco Symphony at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Mr. Archer is on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, the Hunter College (CUNY), the New York Summer Music Festival and the Sun Valley Music Workshop.




Clarinet / Matthew Goodman  


Matthew Goodman, clarinet, made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1986, as winner of the Artists International Competition.  He has since performed as soloist in Japan and Hong Kong under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and the Hong Kong government, with the National Orchestra of El Salvador, and the Israel Sinfonietta, and at music festivals, including the Scotia Festival, the Jerusalem Music Festival, and at the Teatro Nuovo in Spoleto, Italy.  Mr. Goodman has performed in numerous Broadway productions and is currently solo clarinetist for the Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera.  Mr Goodman has performed with The New York City Ballet, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the New York Philomusica, the Long Island Philharmonic, the Queens Symphony, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Westchester Philharmonic, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.  He also performs with several contemporary music groups, including North-South Consonance, Musical Elements, and the New Music Consort. Mr. Goodman has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 22 years, and his musical influences include Robert Marcellas, Harold Wright, and Leon Russianoff. In addition to music, he enjoys cross country skiing and long distance bicycle touring.


Clarinet/Bass Clarinet / Christine MacDonnell


Christine MacDonnell is a freelance musician and teacher, and has performed with numerous orchestras both home and abroad.  She was the former clarinetist with "The President's Own" Marine Band in Washington, D.C and has also played with numerous Broadway shows and recordings.  She has also recorded two CD's, "Clarinet Rhapsody" and "Enchanted Saint-Saens,” both available on cdbaby.com Ms. MacDonnell has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 11 years. In addition to playing and teaching masterclasses, she enjoys biking and traveling around the world.




Principal Bassoon  /  Maureen Strenge


Maureen Strenge, bassoon, has been a free lance musician in the NYC Metropolitan area and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, the American Symphony Orchestra, and in the orchestra for several Broadway shows. Ms. Strenge has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 28 years and has been influenced by folk and classical music, as well as American standards. In addition to music, she enjoys teaching, knitting, and quilting.





Bassoon  / Gail Ober 





Principal Horn  / Andrea Santana  










Horn / Katy Ambrose





Horn / Sara Cyrus


Currently freelancing in and around New York City, Ms. Cyrus performs with various orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, as well as several Broadway shows.  In addition to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Ms. Cyrus is also a member of the Harrisburg Symphony and the New Haven Symphony.  A native of Michigan, she has held past positions with the Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Grant Park Symphony and the South Dakota Symphony. Ms. Cyrus also plays the natural horn and baroque horn (ancestors to the modern valve horn).  She has recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Rebel Baroque Orchestra.  Ms. Cyrus received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.  Teachers include Philip Farkas, Myron Bloom, Michael Hatfield, Kendall Betts and William Purvis.




Horn /Kimberly Gilman

Kimberly Gilman, horn, has been a freelance musician since the age of 20.  She enjoyed traveling all over the Northeast before being offered a position with the Virginia Symphony in 2008.  She continues to travel up from VA to play with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Phiharmonic because it is always a rewarding experience. Ms. Gilman’s musical influences include the Cleveland Orchestra, Jennifer Montone, and John Cerminaro.






Trumpet  / James Hamlin, principal

Endowed by: The Larry and Dorothy Stetler Endowment Fund

James Hamlin, trumpet, feels lucky to have been able to be a professional musician and teacher for all these years. His musical influences began at home with his mother playing the piano. Mr. Hamlin has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 31 years. In addition to music, he enjoys doing anything with his kids, skiing, tennis, and gardening.




Trumpet /  John Dent 

A native of Tennessee, trumpeter John Dent holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Juilliard School. As a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, he performs regularly at Carnegie Hall and at the Bard Music Festival, and has toured Brazil and Japan with the orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist on Live from Lincoln Center with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and at the OK Mozart Festival. John's career in the New York area includes performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Lukeýs, the New York City Opera, and Encores! at New York City Center. He has been a member of the orchestra for Broadway productions of Man of La Mancha, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Candide, and Billy Elliot: The Musical. 



Trumpet / Benjamin Aldridge


Ben Aldridge, trumpet, is an extensive freelance performer in upstate New York and has done orchestra contracting work for many years.  He also has a varied college instruction experience both performance and academic. Mr. Aldridge’s musical influences include symphonic, chamber, popular, jazz, world, and progressive rock music. He has been a member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 35 years. In addition to music, Mr. Aldridge enjoys driving his ’67 MG roadster and mountain backpacking.




Assoc. Prin. Trombone  / Richard Clark

Richard Clark, has been a proud member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since the Jurassic Period (for example, whilst performing in Scranton in years past, he would stay at the Hotel Jermyn or one occasion, the Casey Hotel, and the Wilkes-Barre concerts were at Irem Temple).  His first concert with the orchestra was then conductor Thomas Michalak's last. He has also served on the players’ orchestra committee and as orchestra Personnel Manager.  When not performing in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Clark can be seen in many varied organizations and venues in the greater NYC area.  He has most recently been the lead trombonist for the hit musical, Billy Elliot, and has played on many Broadway shows, including The Music Man, The Sound of Music, and the King and I.  He is also principal trombonist of the American Symphony Orchestra, The Stamford (CT) Symphony Orchestra, The Mostly Mozart Orchestra, and The New York Pops Orchestra.  Mr. Clark has also performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The London Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque.  Mr. Clark is adjunct professor of trombone and brass chamber ensembles at William Paterson University.  Mr. Clark is married to violist, Shelley Holland-Moritz.  Their brilliant daughter, Marielle, is a senior at Marlboro College in VT.



Timpani / James Thoma, principal












Percussion / Robert Nowak, principal 





Robert A. Nowak, percussion, is a member of the music faculty at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA.  In addition to teaching Introduction to Music classes, percussion, percussion methods, and directing the mallet and percussion ensembles at LVC, Nowak also serves as the percussion consultant for Pottsville Area High School and Tamaqua Area High School.  He is Principal Percussionist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and Principal Percussionist of the Reading Symphony Orchestra.  As a busy free-lance percussionist, he performs at the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre; the Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton; the Sovereign Center for the Performing Arts, Reading; the State Theater, Easton; and the Hershey Theater, Hershey Arena, Giant Center, and Hersheypark, Hershey.  He is a graduate of Mansfield State College, Mansfield, PA and the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. Norwak has performed with:  Al Martino, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Debbie Boon, Natalie Cole, Ann Jillian, Tommy Tune, Regis Philbin, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, and the National Tours of "Grand Hotel", "Chorus Line", "Bye, Bye, Birdie", "Dream Girls", "Big", "Peter Pan", "Ragtime", "The Full Monty", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Light in the Piazza", "Manheim Steamroller", etc.  Despite his very busy schedule, Nowak gives private lessons, and manufactures mahogany log drums, triangle holders and goose neck cymbal holders used by major symphony orchestra and music schools around the world.  He is a member of the Educational Team of Vic Firthy, Inc. He is honored to endorse Musser and to be an educational endorser for Sabian Cymbals.


Percussion  / Steven Mathiesen


Steven Mathiesen is a native of East Stroudsburg in Northeastern Pennsylvania and has played percussion with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 1981.  He also serves as principal timpanist with the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra in Allentown. In addition, he’s performed with the Bethlehem Bach Festival Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, Allentown Symphony and Reading Symphony. He has accompanied many professional entertainers in their appearances at area venues. Mr. Mathiesen has appeared on recordings with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra and the Mainstreet Brass, as well as numerous studio recordings for Shawnee Press and Alfred Publishing.  He played timpani in Don’t Be a Carbon Sasquatch, a part of the recently released Disney DVD Schoolhouse Rock: Earth.  His compositions and arrangements are published by Shawnee Press, Honeyrock Publications, C-Alan Publications and Permus Publications.  Mathiesen received the Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Ithaca College School of Music. His principal teachers were William Youhass and Allen Otte.  He teaches at Marywood University, Moravian College and Lehigh University.  Steve is a graduate of the East Stroudsburg Area High School and was inducted into the school district’s Music Hall of Fame in 2005. He lives in the Poconos with his wife Carla and their three children.



Harp / André Tarantiles, principal

André Tarantiles has been referred to by The New York Times as "an expert harpist", and by the Newark Star Ledger as "clearly a virtuoso". He received his Bachelor of Music Degree with high distinction and his Master of Music Degree with highest distinction from Indiana University School of Music, where he was a student of Peter E. Eagle. He has also studied with Jane B. Weidensaul and Kathleen Bride.  Mr. Tarantiles has concertized throughout the United States and has performed as soloist in all the major concert halls in New York City. He has appeared on national television accompanying opera stars such as Aprile Millo, Benita Valente, Renée Fleming, Jennifer Larmore, Marcello Giordani, Ruth Ann Swenson, Ramon Vargas and Eric Cutler. Formerly Principal Harpist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York City Opera National Company and Opera Orchestra of New York, Mr. Tarantiles is currently Principal Harpist for the Philly Pops, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Arizona Opera Wagner Festival, New Jersey State Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Teatro Grattacielo, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Riverside Symphonia, the Princeton Symphony, the Key West Symphony, Festival Musical de Santo Domingo, and most recently the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has also performed in orchestras backing up headliners as diverse as Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Jones, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Roberta Flack, John Denver, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and Patti Lupone. His multi-faceted career has included stints at The Fantasticks, Radio City Musical Hall, in Broadway pits playing both harp and synthesizer, as staff harpist at the Papermill Playhouse and as a regular substitute for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tarantiles is featured on CDs for several labels and he is also the official harpist of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. He was recently invited to play several concerts as Principal Harpist with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico in San Juan and at the Kennedy Center, and was also asked by New York City Opera to perform for several productions. Mr. Tarantiles is currently a faculty member of The College of New Jersey and Montclair State University.