Lisa Read Wolynec
Lisa Read Wolynec received the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees in Flute Performance from the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Flute Performance from Louisiana State University. She has had additional flute study in Manchester, England at the Royal College of Music with Trevor Wye and in masterclasses with William Bennett.
Wolynec performs regularly at regional and national conferences. She has presented a lecture/recital about flutist Robert Cavally at the National Flute Association convention and was conductor of the National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir. As an orchestral player, she has performed with the Baton Rouge, Knoxville, and Owensboro symphonies and is currently principal flute of the Paducah Symphony. As guest soloist, she had appeared with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and the Paducah Symphony. She has been a winner in various competitions including the Texas Flute Society Concerto Competition, the National Flute Association Orchestral Competition, and the Convention Performers Competition. She was also a semi-finalist in the NFA Young Artist Competition. Wolynec is active in the Mid-South Flute Society having served on the Board of Director, as Competition Coordinator, Program Chair, and President.
Lisa Read Wolynec is currently Professor of Flute at Austin Peay State University.
A Nashville native, Roger Wiesmeyer began playing piano at age 4 and oboe at age 10. Former Nashville Symphony principal oboist Bobby Taylor was his first teacher at the Blair School of Music, where he studied from 1975-82. Upon graduation from Hillsboro High School, he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with John de Lancie and Richard Woodhams. Wiesmeyer played oboe in the Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Honolulu symphonies before returning to Nashville to play English horn in the fall of 2001. In addition to performing oboe and English horn with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra he is a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, teaches pre-college oboe at Blair, is a charter member of the chamber group ALIAS, and presents an annual Mozart birthday benefit concert at Edgehill United Methodist Church.
Lee Levine was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and was educated in the public school system. She joined the band in 7th grade to avoid P.E., and discovered a passion for ensemble music which guided her for the next thirty-five years. A graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Lee played principal clarinet in Bogota Philharmonic and Nashville Symphony. She's been an active studio musician and loves chamber music. She is the Development Manager for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
Dawn Hartley began playing the bassoon at the age of twelve while living in Columbus, Georgia. During her high school years, she enjoyed studying both bassoon and piano and performing in the Columbus Symphony alongside her teacher, Dr. Ronald Wirt. This experience, and the opportunity to play in the orchestra at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina during the summer, were what led to her decision to pursue a career in music.
She received the degree of Bachelor of Music from Florida State University and the degree of Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her teachers during these years were Bill Winstead, John Hunt, Bruce Hammel and Tina Carpenter.
She performed with the Albany (GA) Symphony, the Tallahassee Symphony, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra.
In 1991 she joined the Nashville Symphony, where she holds the position of Assistant Principal Bassoon. She is an adjunct faculty member at David Lipscomb University and a volunteer for the Music in the Clinic program at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. She enjoys playing music with her three children, who are learning trumpet, violin and cello. She is very pleased to be a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra.
Jennifer Kummer was hired in 1997 by contractor Carl Gorodetzky to work as Principal Hornist of Nashville's premier recording studio orchestra "The Nashville String Machine." She previously held principal positions in the Memphis Symphony, the Honolulu Symphony, and the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago. She was appointed Principal Horn of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama by its new conductor Gregory Vadja and was recently hired to join the Nashville Symphony as Assistant 1st horn during the orchestra's 2012-2013 season. She studied at the University of Southern California under studio musician Vincent DeRosa and at Western Illinois University with Roger Collins. She and her musician husband Stephen have two adorable daughters and a beloved Great Dane.
Carolyn Wann Bailey
Carolyn Wann Bailey joined the Nashville Symphony as Principal Second Violin in 1996. She has served as Concertmaster of the Canton (OH) Symphony, Wheeling (WV) Symphony and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Carolyn has also performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Akron Symphony and the Spoleto Festival (Charleston and Italy). She has appeared as soloist with the Nashville, Canton and Westerville Symphonies.
Carolyn holds bachelor's and master's degrees in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her teachers include Linda and David Cerone, Paul Statsky, Bernhard Goldschsmidt and Stephen Majeske. In addition to her work in the NSO, Carolyn teaches privately and is an active studio musician. Some of her recording credits include Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and Michael W. Smith.
When not performing or teaching, Carolyn enjoys spending time with her Arabian-cross horse, Art, and tending to the various animals she and her husband, Jeff, keep at their farm outside of Nashville.
Isabel Bartles grew up in New York City, Stuttgart, Germany, and Cookeville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Mississippi, a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Louisiana State University, and has done further study in Tel Aviv, Israel with Yair Kless. She has participated in master classes with Dorothy Delay and Max Rostal.
Formerly, she taught at the Stuttgarter Musikschule (Germany), the Voelser Musikschule (Austria), and Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. In addition to playing recital and chamber music concerts on three continents, she has been soloist with the Staedtische Orchester Kornwestheim, Corinth Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Missippi Orchestra among others.
She is a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and has also been a member of the Innsbrucker Symphonieorchester (Austria), the Herzliya Chamber Orchetra (Israel), and Vox Artis (Finland). She plays an instrument built by Enrico Orselli in 1910.
Jessica Blackwell completed her studies in 2009 at The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where she received a Graduate Performance Diploma. The previous year, she received her Master’s Degree in Performance/Pedagogy from Peabody, where she was a student of Pamela Frank and studied string pedagogy with Rebecca Henry. Blackwell received her B.M. in Performance in 2006 at Rice University, where she studied with Sergiu Luca. Blackwell has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 2009. She has played with several orchestras including New World, Baltimore, San Antonio, Annapolis and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, where she served as acting concertmaster. In Nashville, Blackwell serves as a co-concertmaster for both the Gateway Chamber Orchestra and the Nashville Philharmonic. She is also honored to be a guest performer with ALIAS chamber ensemble. Music festivals Blackwell has participated in include Tanglewood Music Festival, where she served as a concertmaster in both 2007 and 2008; Britten-Pears Programme in Aldeburgh, England; National Repertory Orchestra Festival; National Orchestral Institute; Bowdoin Music Festival; and ENCORE. Blackwell currently participates in the Grand Teton Music Festival, where she has played for the past five summers. Blackwell serves on the board of the Middle Tennessee Suzuki Association as vice-president. Previously she was on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Program. Since 2009, Blackwell has served as an artist-teacher of violin at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
Emily Hanna Crane
Emily Hanna Crane has performed several solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts across North America, Taiwan, and Europe. Her guest artist appearances include the Valley Symphony Orchestra, the University of Texas-Pan American Chamber Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra Benefit Concert, Fiddle Fest (Converse Pre-College Program), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An avid chamber musician, Crane has performed in several traditional and contemporary music ensembles including the Hanna-Yang Duo, Tango Sur, and Quartet alla Turca. The Hanna-Yang Duo, with pianist Dr. Hui-Ting Yang, specializes in premieres and performances of contemporary works. The Duo recently premiered Metamorphoses II by Clifton Callender (commissioned by the Florida MTNA and the Hanna-Yang Duo). The Duo also premiered and recorded Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (2004) by Korean composer Ju-hwan Yu which appears on a CD featuring contemporary Korean composers (Kum-Sum records) released in 2008.
Crane’s orchestral experience includes playing in the Paducah (KY), Valley (TX), Tallahassee (FL), Jacksonville (FL), and Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestras. A devoted pedagogue of students of all ages, Crane is currently on faculty at Austin Peay State University, and the Clarksville Community School of the Arts. She has also taught at the University of Texas- Pan American and has maintained a private Suzuki violin studio.
Crane earned Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Florida State University and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has studied violin with Eliot Chapo, Gary Kosloski, Karen Clarke, Richard Luby, Kenneth Goldsmith, Kevin Lawrence, Ernest Pereira, and Mary Jane Kirkendol.
Amy Helman is a freelance violinist living in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Helman maintains an active performance schedule, playing with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Opera, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green, and other regional ensembles. She performs for the TPAC Broadway Series in Nashville—performance credits include Shrek, Peter Pan, The Lion King, Chicago, Pippin, Newsies, Cinderella, and Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Helman also enjoys work as a studio recording musician, presents chamber music for all types of special events, and maintains a private teaching studio. Amy Helman holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University (student of Blair Milton) and a Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University (student of Christian Teal) where she earned the Founder’s Medal in 2005 as the top graduate in her class.
Zoya Leybin was born in Riga, Latvia, where her musical life began at age five. By fifteen, she was making solo appearances and performed chamber music throughout the Soviet Union. After graduating from Moscow Conservatory, Zoya played in various ensembles before being appointed a concertmaster of the Latvian State Chamber Orchestra. She left the Soviet Union & emigrated to the United States, where she became a member of the San Francisco Symphony for 27 years. Zoya has always been a dedicated teacher, she coached members of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra, and was on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory for many years. Zoya was a founding member of the Stanford String Quartet. After retiring from the San Francisco Symphony, Zoya & her husband moved to Nashville, where she continues her musical carrier.
Alison McKelvey was born and raised in Clarksville, TN. A freelance musician, she has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green, Paducah Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Bryan Symphony (Cookeville, TN), and Huntsville Symphony. McKelvey was concertmaster of the Austin Peay Symphony Orchestra from 2002-2006, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree. She has had additional studies with Carolyn Wann Bailey (Principal 2nd Violin, The Nashville Symphony) and has maintained a private teaching studio in the Clarksville area since 2001.
Violinist and Arranger Patti Rudisill has performed with orchestras around the world as well as with the Naples Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Gateway Chamber Orchestra in the USA. Originally from Miami, FL, she moved to Nashville in 2010 and maintains a busy schedule as a freelance orchestral, chamber, and commercial recording musician. Frequently in the studio, she can be heard on everything from country music albums to film scores. As a member of the ensemble Nashville Music Scoring, she has performed for dozens of video game soundtracks, including internationally acclaimed franchises such as Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, Dragon Age, Minecraft, Uncharted, Final Fantasy, Ori and the Blind Forest, Ratchet and Clank, Fifa, and Madden, to name a few. She was also a featured soloist on Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe (ep. 30: “Island Adventure”). Equally active as an arranger and composer, her works have been performed by the Nexus Chamber Orchestra, Florida Youth Orchestra, Sociedad Pro-Arte Grateli, Bergonzi String Quartet, and Phoenix Chamber Brass. She holds degrees from the University of Miami and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Violist James Grosjean has been with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra since 2014. He has been a recording musician in Nashville since 1982 and previously was a member of the Nashville, Denver, Canton, and Richmond Symphonies as well as the U.S. Army Band. He has recorded and performed with artists from all genres of music such as Frank Sinatra, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, and Itzhak Perlman. He has taught at Belmont University and Oberlin College and in 1973 gave his New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall. He is married to Nashville Symphony bassist, Liz Stewart and lives in Brentwood with their Spinone Italiano, Wally.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Clare grew up in Indiana and could be considered a Hoosier. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana University where her principal teachers included Abraham Skernick, Atar Arad, and Stanley Ritchie. A member of the Nashville Symphony viola section since 1995, she is also an active chamber and studio musician and has performed over the years with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Music City Baroque, Eastwood Ensemble, and now Gateway Chamber Orchestra. She has served as adjunct faculty at Tennessee Tech, Belmont, MTSU, and Lipscomb Universities.
She is the proud parent of a teenage trumpet playing daughter and enjoys the greenways and blueways of Nashville in her free time.
Recognized for his “shining and expressive” playing (The Tennessean) and “haunting” tone (The Cincinnati Post), Michael Samis is an accomplished solo, chamber and orchestral cellist. He was recently awarded a 2013 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Music for Solo Instrumental Performance. Samis performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 17. Other solo performances with orchestra have included Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Bryan Symphony Orchestra. Samis has performed in numerous music festivals around the world, including the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, where he sat Principal Cello under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas. He plays an Italian cello made in Naples circa 1850.
Other career highlights include performing as Principal Cellist under Helmuth Rilling, at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra, and at the Sarasota chamber music festivals. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1999 with the Ellis A. Feiman Award in Cello. In Cleveland, Samis studied with the Cleveland Orchestra’s longtime Principal Cellist, Stephen Geber. He has also studied with Desmond Hoebig, Jerry Grossman, and Geraldine Sutyak.
Samis has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 1999. He has designed an educational program for string quartet, which he and his colleagues present in schools as part of the Nashville Symphony’s “Ensembles in the Schools” initiative. He believes in the healing power of music and volunteers his time to play for hospice patients and their families.
Kevin Jablonski joined the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in 2013 and has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 2010. He received his Bachelors Degree from Rice University in 2009, studying in the studio of Paul Ellison. Kevin’s hometown is Columbus, Ohio, where he studied with Paul Robinson, Professor of Double Bass at the Ohio State University, and John Pellegrino, Assistant Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Kevin volunteers as a core member of the Eastwood Ensemble in East Nashville, a chamber music organization that brings classical music into the community and supports local non-profits. He has participated in numerous summer festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Britten-Pears Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, and he spent two years as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also competed in various solo competitions, most recently earning second place in the 2008 International Sperger Double Bass Competition in Ludwigslust, Germany. Kevin is also an accomplished pianist and enjoys composing.
Nashville native Tim Pearson has been a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra since 2009. He has served as assistant principal bass for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber and orchestral musician, Pearson has performed with the Nashville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, IRIS Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Stones River Chamber Players. In addition to performing, Mr. Pearson teaches bass at Middle Tennessee State University and maintains a small private studio. Pearson has participated in the Pacific, Spoleto USA, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Aspen, and Domaine Forget music festivals. He holds degrees from the University of Memphis and Indiana University and has done additional studies with Bruce Bransby and Paul Ellison.
Paula Elizabeth Bressman, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enjoys bringing the harp to new audiences through innovative collaborations, educational engagement, and diverse programming. She maintains an active and varied performance career and has played with many orchestras, including the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and is principal harpist of Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green. She has also backed singer-songwriters and added her signature warm and musicallysensitive style to several albums, including Jim Brickman’s 2011 album Romanza. Paula is a vibrant member and arranger of the classical-crossover harp duo Beyond Pluck with harpist Rachel Miller. The two have developed a strong fan base on their YouTube channel and have created multimedia and multidisciplinary programs with astronomers and visual artists. A passionate music educator, Paula is the harp faculty at Belmont University, where she has developed the commercial harp major, teaches undergraduate and graduate classical and commercial harp students, and performs regularly with the Adelicia Trio with flutist Dr. Carolyn Treybig and violist Sarah Cote. Paula is also on faculty at Austin Peay State University. Paula received her Bachelor of Music at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music under the tutelage of Marian Shaffer and her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Gillian Benet Sella. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Cincinnati.
Jeffrey Wood, originally from Winnetka, Illinois, began piano lessons at the age of seven. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, he attended the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied composition under Richard Hoffmann. He pursued his graduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, where he studied piano under Gilbert Kalish and composition under David Lewin, earning Master’s degrees in both piano performance and composition and a Ph.D. in composition.
Wood’s compositions have been performed throughout the country and have received numerous awards including Broadcast Music, Inc., Awards in 1975, 1978 and 1979, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award in 1981, and the 1982 David S. Bates Memorial Prize. He was the highest prizewinner in the 1984 Stroud Festival International Composition Competition in Great Britain, the only American so cited, for his brass quintet In Memoriam Magistri. Wood was named a winner in the 1995 Young American’s Art Song Competition sponsored by G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers, which resulted in the inclusion of his song “The Rear-Guard” from the cycle MCMXIV in “The Art Song Collection” published in 1996. Most recently, Wood’s Four Deadly Serious Songs (1991) and Night (2004) have been performed by baritone Andrew Garland and pianist Donna Loewy in a series of concerts throughout the country during the 2005-2008 and concert seasons. Many of Wood’s vocal works are published through Classical Vocal Reprints, www.classicalvocalrep.com.
Wood is deeply committed to the performance of contemporary music, and has been involved in the world premières of Alan Hovhaness’ Concerto No. 10 for Piano, String Quartet and Trumpet, op. 413 (1988) and Elizabeth Vercoe’s A Dangerous Man (1992), a monodrama based on the life of John Brown for baritone and piano and Frederic Goossen’s Reliquary (1996) for voice and piano. He has worked with such notable composers as Roger Sessions, Ernst Křenek, Thea Musgrave and Mario Davidovsky in performances of their keyboard music.
David Steinquest is an active freelance percussionist in the Nashville area, performing frequently with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra including their Carnegie Hall debut and the gala concerts at the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He served as Acting Assistant Principal Percussionist in the 2005-2006 season. Steinquest is also a studio musician, recording often for Row-Loff Productions, Arrangers’ Publishing Company, and the Nashville String Machine. He is an educational endorser of Ross Mallet Instruments and Vic Firth Sticks and appears frequently as a soloist and clinician. Steinquest has numerous compositions and arrangements published by Row-Loff Productions, Studio 4 Music, and Pioneer Percussion. His works have been performed by the Nashville Symphony percussion section and have bee heard on the PBS children’s series “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Steinquest is a Professor of Percussion at APSU. He is also coordinator of the Mid-South Jazz Festival. Steinquest was a member of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Northeast Louisiana University and a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Michigan.