Alexis Letourneau, flute
Alexis Letourneau is a flutist and educator from Atlanta, Georgia. Interested in collaboration, improvisation, songwriting, and education, Alexis is concerned with creating new works with composers, performers, visual artists, and audience members. She has commissioned and premiered many new works for soloist and chamber ensemble and, with her duo Safety Second, was a performer in residence at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Alexis’ current pursuits involve chamber duo Safety Second, an upcoming solo project, and pursuing a Master of Arts in music in the studio of Nicole Esposito at the University of Iowa. Alexis earned her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Georgia under the tutelage of Angela Jones-Reus.
Jenna Sehmann, oboe
Oboist Jenna Sehmann is a performer and teacher currently located in Iowa City, IA. Ms. Sehmann serves as adjunct faculty at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA) and Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids, IA). She is also the Teaching Assistant for the oboe studio at the University of Iowa, where she is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in performance and pedagogy under Dr. Courtney Miller.
She holds a Master of Music degree in oboe performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in both music performance and music industry from Eastern Kentucky University. In 2013 and 2015, Jenna was a featured concerto soloist with the EKU Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed in orchestral and chamber music settings at the Bay View Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, and Trentino Music Festival. Regionally, Jenna has performed with the Dubuque Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, and the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas.
Ms. Sehmann is also an accomplished soloist and has won several competitions and awards. Most recently, she was the Kentucky chapter winner of the 2018 National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwinds competition, competing nationally in Chautauqua, NY in May 2018. She was also the second place winner of the Mary Ann Starring Memorial Award in Woodwinds/Brass as part of the 2018 Sigma Alpha Iota Triennial Graduate Performance Awards. Other accomplishments include the 2017 MTNA Woodwinds Young Artist Competition (Kentucky division), and the 2016 recipient of the NAfME Carolyn Nelson Double Reed Award. Major influences on Ms. Sehmann's career include Dr. Mark Ostoich, Dwight Parry, and Dr. Julie Smith.
Kim Cassisa, clarinet
Kim Cassisa is finishing her M.A. in clarinet performance as an Austin/Madison fellow at the University of Iowa. She is an active chamber musician; current projects include the Dalriada Trio, Ensemble Vorrh, and Wild Prairie Winds Quintet. She performed with the Dalriada Trio in Broughshane, Northern Ireland and performed as an academy fellow for Talis Chamber Music Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina last summer. Other festival she's participated in include Eastern Music Festival, Mostly Modern Festival, and Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival. Kim teaches private lessons in Iowa City and prioritizes community engagement by playing regularly at churches, retirement homes, elementary schools, and high schools. She received her B.M. in clarinet performance from the University of Mississippi through the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and won the concerto competition her junior year with the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.
Ana Maria Locke, clarinet
Ana Maria Locke is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa and studying clarinet under Professor Jorge Montilla. Locke studied with Dr. Espina-Ruiz while at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts earning her Master of Music degree in clarinet performance. While she was there she performed as a member of the UNCSA Wind Quintet, and Asombro Reed Quintet. Locke had the privilege of performing as a soloist with the contemporary dance program while studying at UNCSA, under the leadership of “America’s Quintessential American Ballerina”, Susan Jaffe. Locke served as an ArtistCorps member for two years in Winston-Salem North Carolina serving high-need students. Locke received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Troy University where she studied with Dr. Timothy Phillips.
Tsz Kiu Kwok, saxophone
Dennis Tsz Kiu Kwok started learning saxophone at 6 and had studied with Mr. Martin Choi, Miss Jennifer To and Mr. Michael Campbell. He studied with leading saxophonist Dr. Kenneth Tse and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Music Performance at University of Iowa in 2016. He attended masterclasses and lessons by Connie Frigo, Julia Nolan, Masato Kumoi and Dragan Sremec. Dennis is also an active chamber musician and his local professional ensemble appearances include performances with the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, Hong Kong Chamber Wind Philharmonia, Diocesan Boys’ School Wind Band, Hong Kong Saxophone Ensemble, Hong Kong Youth Saxophone Choir, and Peninsula Quartet.
In January 2013, Dennis participated in the Young Artist Performance Competition held by Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in Kansas and advanced to the Regional Division as representative of Iowa state. In April 2013, he participated in the Regional North American Saxophone Alliance Conference in Minot and achieved honorable mentioned. In April 2013, he also participated in the 25th Yamaha Young Performing Artist competition and was selected to be the Saxophone Winner. In October 2013, Dennis participated in the 6th Adolphe Sax International Competition. He advanced to the First Round and competed in Dinant, Belgium, in October 2014.
Dennis is currently pursuing a master degree in saxophone performance at the University of Iowa, under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Tse.
Shawn Seguin, bassoon
Shawn Seguin is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Bassoon Performance at the University of Iowa. He is a recipient of the Iowa Performance Fellowship and a winner of the University of Iowa’s 2017 Concerto Competition with Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in Bb Major, K. 191. Prior to starting his doctoral studies, Mr. Seguin was a freelance bassoonist in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. As a freelancer, Mr. Seguin has performed with the Des Moines Symphony, The Dallas Winds, the Allen Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Michigan Philharmonic. He served as Acting Principal Bassoon for the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale and bassoonist for the West Texas Wind Quintet. Alongside his orchestral performances, Mr. Seguin is an active soloist, performing recitals across the nation, as well as at the International Double Reed Society’s annual conferences.
Along with his performing career, Mr. Seguin is an active teacher. He maintained a private studio in Keller, TX of 60 students, and is a Premier Instructor for Bocal Majority’s summer double reed camps. Mr. Seguin has also taught masterclasses at Universities across the nation including the University of Oklahoma, Stephen F. Austin University, Angelo State University, University of Texas-Arlington, and Lawrence Conservatory.
Mr. Seguin is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Michigan where he received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, respectively. During his studies at the University of Michigan, he was the recipient of the Hugh and Nan Cooper Scholarship. His past teachers include Carl Rath and Jeffrey Lyman, and is currently a student of Benjamin Coelho.
Bryan Powell, trumpet
Bryan Powell is a first-year doctoral student from Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.M and M.M degrees in trumpet performance from Bowling Green State University under the tutelage of Lauraine Carpenter, and Charles Saenz. Prior to moving to Iowa he was an active freelance trumpet player and teacher in the Northwest Ohio region.
Ciarra Krist, trumpet
Ciarra is from the Northern Kentucky region and is currently residing in Iowa City, IA. Ciarra earned her Bachelors Degree in both Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Eastern Kentucky University, studying under Joseph Van Fleet. She recently finished her Masters Degree at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music studying under Professor John Rommel for Trumpet Performance and with Kris Kwapis for Natural Trumpet. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa as the Research Assistant for the Trumpet Studio. She works with the Trumpet Ensemble at the University of Iowa preparing them for the National Trumpet Competition and plays in the Faculty Brass Quartet. Ciarra played internationally in Greece in 2013, was a State representative for the Music Teachers National Association in 2015, winner of the Eastern Kentucky University Concerto Competition in 2016 and a finalist in the Indiana University Concerto Competition in 2018. Ciarra enjoys teaching students what she has learned through her teachers since 2012. She also works with local High Schools during the marching band season as a Brass Instructor.
Tom Kelley, trombone
A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, trombonist Tom Kelley is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Iowa where he serves as teaching assistant to the trombone area. Previously, he completed a Master of Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with Carl Lenthe and Wayne Wallace and a Bachelor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Madison Mead-Witter School of Music with Mark Hetzler.
Well versed in a variety of styles, Tom has performed with groups such as the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, Beloit-Janesville and Oshkosh Symphony Orchestras, Madison Jazz Orchestra, Clark Hunt’s Drive-by Big Band, Capital City Band, and has performed alongside members of the Axiom Brass Quintet and Stockholm Chamber Brass. Tom has also recorded with the Nay Palm Bones quartet on the album Sonic Horizons and with the Wilder Deitz Group on the album Child’s Play. As a soloist, Tom was a finalist for concerto competitions at the University of Wisconsin and Indiana University, and was the winner of the 2015 Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
An avid performer of contemporary music, Tom spent two years as trombonist in Indiana University’s New Music Ensemble, a premiere ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Dzubay. This ensemble gave him the opportunity to perform significant ensemble works from the 20th century, premiere many new pieces, and work with established composers such as Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Andrew Norman, and Gabriela Ortiz. While at IU, Tom participated in numerous student and faculty composition recitals and recorded new scores for the film music department.
David E. Mercedes
David E. Mercedes is an active performer and educator in the Iowa City area. He is currently in his second year of his Doctoral studies at the University of Iowa, where he studies music performance and pedagogy with a secondary field in euphonium performance. David serves as a graduate teaching assistant for the tuba-euphonium studio. David has performed in many professional ensembles including the Dallas Millennial Choirs and Orchestra, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Sound Symphony Orchestra, South Shore Symphony Orchestra, Northern Symphonic Winds, and Atlantic Wind Symphony. He has also performed in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, and the Coast Guard Academy.
Enjoying new music, David continues to commission new works for tuba, including Drown 2015 by Matthew Pellegrino (revised in 2016), and Shadow of Sky (2019) by Wenxin Li. An active chamber musician David is a founding member of fLOW Quartet, a tuba-euphonium quartet based in Denton, Texas where the group was formed. Activities with fLOW Quartet have involved performances and master classes at the 2018 Texas Music Educators Conference, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Japan. fLOW released their debut album in 2018, “Four Dreams, The Quartets of Yuji Ono” where you can hear David playing CC tuba. David is also a member of the Backburner Tuba and Euphonium Collective, an ensemble that performs regularly at both regional and international tuba and euphonium conferences. In 2019 David served as “Rehearsal Coordinator” for the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, hosted at the University of Iowa.
David holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music performance from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam where he served as tubist in the Arthur Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet. He received his Master of Music degree in music performance with a related field in conducting at the University of North Texas where he served as teaching fellow and tubist in the Center Brass Quintet. David’s primary teachers include John Manning, Jeff Baker, Don Little, Brian Bowman, Charles Guy, Eugene Corporon and Dennis Fisher. David currently performs on a Meinl Weston 2165 CC tuba and a B&S PT-15 F tuba.
When not teaching or performing David enjoys playing basketball, caring after his two cats, and spending time with his family.
Peter Naughton, percussion
Peter Naughton is a percussionist, composer, and educator. He currently resides in Iowa City, where he regularly gigs with the Pandelirium Quartet. He is a versatile performer, specializing in jazz keyboard improvisation, marimba literature, and contemporary chamber music. Peter holds degrees from The University of Iowa (BM – percussion performance, 2014) and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (MM – percussion performance, 2016). He is currently pursuing a DMA in percussion performance from The University of Iowa.
During his time at The University of Tennessee, Peter served as the drumline instructor for The Pride of the Southland marching band. In March 2016, he presented his clinic “Introduction to Jazz Keyboard Improvisation” at the state-wide Tennessee Day of Percussion. He is currently a teaching assistant at The University of Iowa, where he teaches private lessons and coaches percussion ensemble rehearsals. Since June 2016, Peter has served as a percussion faculty member for Birch Creek Music Performance Center.
Matt Anderson, percussion
Matthew Anderson is a percussionist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is a Senior at the University of Iowa studying Percussion Performance under Dr. Daniel Moore, where he specializes in Contemporary Solo and Chamber literature. He has most recently attended the NYU Broadway Percussion Seminar and Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar. He is also an active member of the Noelridge Christian Church Praise Band based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Luciana Hontila, violin
Luciana Hontilă is a native of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She began her musical studies at age 5 and has toured with orchestras around Europe from age 14. Aside from performing, Luciana is dedicated to teaching music and giving clinics and classes. Luciana has received a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Western Illinois University where she studied with Dr. Julieta Mihai. Currently, Luciana serves as the violin teaching assistant for the studio of Professor Katie Wolfe and is pursuing a Masters degree in violin performance from University of Iowa.
Joshua Palazzolo, violin
Joshua Palazzolo began studying the violin at five years of age after being inspired by his first teacher, Rachael Harding Claus, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He grew up studying with members of several prestigious orchestras including the associate concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and other others including the Nashville, Alabama and Iris Orchestra’s. Joshua has played in master classes for well known violinists such as Almita Vamos, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Gerardo Ribeiro and Frank Almond. An avid chamber musician, Joshua has performed concerts at Ball State University, Vanderbilt University, and the Gerhart Chamber Festival among others, and advanced to the live rounds of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Palazzolo Trio. Joshua has also collaborated extensively with new music and early music ensembles, performing with University of Memphis based Colligium Musicum, the Contemporary Chamber Players with Dr. Kamran Ince, also in Memphis, and the University of Iowa’s Center for New Music. A pre-college honor student at the Blair School of Music, Joshua holds a B.M in Violin Performance from the University of Memphis and an M.A. in violin from the University of Iowa. Joshua is currently the teaching assistant to the violin studio of Dr. Scott Conklin at the University of Iowa pursuing a D.M.A in Violin. Joshua has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra among others, and is currently a tenured member of the violin section with Cedar Rapids Iowa based Orchestra Iowa. Joshua is happily married to his harpist wife Kimberly.
Donghee Han, viola
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Donghee Han earned both her B.M. and M.M. degrees from Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul. During her degrees, Ms. Han was a principal violist of Sookmyung Women’s University Philharmonic Orchestra and a prestigious soloist as a Concerto Competition Winner. After her degrees, Ms. Han was a fulltime viola member of a professional orchestra in Korea, called Cheonan Philharmonic Orchestra. After she moved to the US, she received a Master of Music and Performer’s Certificate at Northern Illinois University working with Prof. Anthony Devroye. During her degrees at NIU, Ms. Han was an outstanding graduate student being a viola principal of NIU Philharmonic Orchestra with the great honor of winning the NIU Chamber Ensemble Competition 2015 with Blossom Piano Quartet. Also, she was a winner of the NIU Concerto Competition 2016. Ms. Han served as a viola principal at the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra for 2016-18. As an active musician, Ms. Han had the privilege to be part of several music festivals in the US with the full scholarship, such as the 2016 Round Top Music Festival Institute, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute for 2017-18, and 2019 Miami Music festival. Also, she was invited by Korean Performing Arts Festival, hosted and sponsored by the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, and performed at the Chicago Harris Theater and St. Louis Touhill Performing Arts Center in 2017. Recently, Donghee Han is pursuing her DMA in Viola Performance at the University of Iowa School of Music under the tutorage of Prof. Christine Rutledge as her Teaching Assistant for 2018-19 and she has been working as a Research Assistant since 2019. She is enjoying at UI String Quartet Residency Program working with Prof. Elizabeth Oakes as her assistant. Also, she is a Viola Faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, MI.
Sarah Hansen, cello
Sarah Hansen began her musical training in her hometown of Cincinnati, and has since performed as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician on stages around the world. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance at the University of Iowa, where she studies with Anthony Arnone.
Prior to coming to Iowa City, Sarah maintained an active teaching and performing career in Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and has played frequently with the Quad City Symphony, the Peoria Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, and the Southwest Michigan Symphony. Sarah is also a founding member of the SomArté Piano Trio, the Douglas Cello Quartet, and Silverwood Ensemble. She has performed as a soloist with the Bradley University Symphony Orchestra and the Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, and as a recitalist throughout the East Coast and Midwest.
In 2015, Sarah joined the music faculty at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where she teaches cello and performs with the faculty new-music chamber ensemble, Peoria Lunaire. She has previously been on teaching faculty at the Chicago School of Music and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Sarah has been a featured speaker for the Montgomery Arts Council, Illinois Symphony Guild, The Bradley Scout, The Rtisan Podcast, and the Peoria Music Teachers Association. A champion for musician health and well-being, she led seminars on injury prevention at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for doctors and medical students looking to better understand the physical demands and challenges facing modern performing artists. Her writing on healthy practice habits has been published in various music education forums, magazines, and blogs.
Sarah is a graduate of DePaul University, where she received her Master of Music degree, and The Hartt School of Music, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree and was a Laureate in the prestigious Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence. Her previous teachers include Stephen Balderston, Mihai Tetel, and Tom Guth.
Will Yager, double bass
Will Yager is a versatile bassist/improviser currently engaged in doctoral study at the University of Iowa. His primary interests are improvisation and collaborating with composers in the creation of new solo and chamber repertoire for the double bass. Yager has worked directly with composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, Miya Masaoka, Mary Jane Leach, Jean-François Charles, and Amy Williams. He is a founding member of both LIGAMENT, a duo with soprano Anika Kildegaard, and the trio Wombat, and experimental improvisation group. In addition to his varied performance schedule, Yager previously held teaching positions at Maryville College and the University of North Alabama. Recent appearances include performances at the Oh My Ears Festival, Big Ears Festival, Feed Me Weird Things, Nief-Norf Summer Festival, New Music on the Point, Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, where he was a Robert Black Double Bass Fellow.
Zack Stanton, conductor
Zack Stanton received his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Dan Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Donald Grantham, and Russell Pinkston. He has written for orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, and chamber ensembles of various sizes, and his work has been increasingly performed throughout the United States. In 2012 his Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble received Honorable Mention in the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Competition.
Recent commissions include works for clarinetist Sarunas Jankauskas, trumpet player Jared Broussard, horn player Anne Marie Cherry, the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber Music Workshop and Line Upon Line Percussion. In 2011 Line Upon Line Percussion released a recording of Echoes of Veiled Light, for percussion trio. During the 2011-2012 season, the Austin Symphony Orchestra premiered the orchestral version of Triple Venti Latté under music director Peter Bay.
Active as a performer, Stanton served as a pianist and conductor for the University of Texas New Music Ensemble and for four years acted as the Assistant Director of the group.
Prior to his appointment at the University of Iowa, Stanton taught at Belmont University and the University of Texas at Austin.