Ensemble Musicians


Daniela Volkovinsky, flute

Flutist Daniela Volkovinsky received her undergraduate degree from Columbus State University, her master’s from SUNY Purchase College and is currently pursuing a doctorate in flute performance at the University of Iowa. She is the flute studio teaching assistant and studying with Professor Nicole Esposito. Her past teachers include Dr. Tara Helen O’Connor and Dr. Andree Martin. Along with her studies, Daniela has enjoyed a varied teaching and performing career. She was a finalist in the Atlanta Flute Club Competition, performed in the finals of the Georgia Philharmonic Young Artist Competition and has had experience performing principal parts in a multitude of university ensembles including symphony orchestra, contemporary ensemble, various chamber groups, wind ensembles and flute choir. Daniela’s passion for teaching has led her to maintain an active studio, teach non-majors and work with groups of flutists of all ages and levels.


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 received her undergraduate degree in music performance from the University of Mississippi, where she studied with Dr. Michael Rowlett. She is a graduate of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and completed her undergraduate thesis, Elements of Late Style in Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata no. 1 in F minor. She is also a recipient of the Taylor Medal, the highest academic award offered at the University of Mississippi. Kim was the winner of the 2016 UM Concerto Competition and performed the Allegro from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the LOU Symphony Orchestra. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Iowa and studying with Prof. Jorge Montilla. She is the Teaching Assistant for the clarinet studio and performs with the symphony band, symphony orchestra, and several chamber ensembles.


Mauricio Silva, clarinet

Born in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Mauricio Silva has excelled both in the Brazilian and international music scene, where he has developed an intense work as soloist, chamber music player and professor.
     Winner of several competitions, the following deserves special mention, which are the first prize of the "II Eduardo Tagliatti Piano and Chamber Music Competition", "I MIMO Instrumental", "V Furnas Geração Musical held into the Festival Villa-Lobos". This last contest is the most important chamber music prize of the Brazil.
     Beyond his actuation in Brazil, Mauricio Silva played in 3 international tours, being 2 tour by France (2010 and 2012) and 1 tour by USA (Chicago 2014). He played on the same stage that the Cuban Grammy winner Paquito D'Rivera and played with great musicians like the pianist nominated to the Latin Grammy Edith Peña.
     Several times in his concertos and show as soloist and alongside of his Omega Clarinet Quartet, he received important reviews like "Mauricio Silva is one of the best revelations of new generation of clarinetists" (Musical Serie Concertos Raros), "The Clarinetist Brazilians that seduced the audience" (Journal Sudoest - France) and "The Brazil is honored with the Omega" (Haute Saintonge - France).
     Mauricio has appeared frequently in TV and Radio Programs, among them, we can cited the TV program "Partituras" and the radio programs "Americas in Concerto" and "Músicas e Músicos do Brasil"
     He was professor of Niterói Music Conservatory, Sergipe Music Conservatory and played with many groups like Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra (OSB), National Symphonic Orchestra (OSN), Rio de Janeiro Philarmonic Band, among others. Also, he was the idealizer and artistic director of "First Sergipe Clarinet Encounter - ENCLASE" (Itabaiana, 2016), as well as of the "Armando Ghidoni Week" (Rio de Janeiro, 2013).
     His partnership with talented composers as Liduino Pitobeira, Tiago Vidal Correa, Armando Ghidoni and etc, thus, he is helping to enlarge the clarinet repertoire. His mainly partnership is with the Italian composer Armando Ghidoni, who has dedicated to him several beautiful and challenging pieces. Mauricio recorded some tracks of CD called "Armando Ghidoni Jazzy Chamber Music" as well.
     Currently, he is Teaching Assistant of clarinet studio at University of Iowa, artist of Devon & Burgani Clarinets and of the ZAC Ligatures.


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 Sequin, bassoon

Shawn Sequin 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. Sequin was a freelance bassoonist in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. As a freelancer, Mr. Sequin 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. Sequin 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. Sequin 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. Sequin 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. Sequin 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.


Katelyn Jahnke Halbert, horn

Hornist Katey Jahnke Halbert is a performer, teacher, and clinician living in Iowa City. At home on the concert stage, Mrs. Halbert has performed with the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus (OH), West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Philharmonic, Central Ohio Symphony, Newark-Granville Symphony, McConnell Arts Center Chamber Players and Opera Project Columbus. As a teacher, she previously served on the faculty of Muskingum University, Marietta College, and Mount Vernon Nazarene University. While teaching at the collegiate level she taught private lessons, ran and organized studio class, and coached chamber ensembles. Mrs. Halbert has also maintained a successful private studio since 2009 and her students have gone on to participate in many prestigious youth symphonies, all-state ensembles, and summer programs including Blue Lake Fine Art Camp, Ohio’s All-State Symphony Orchestra, and the Columbus Youth Symphony. A frequent recitalist and clinician, she has been a performer/adjudicator at the Mid North Horn Workshop at Ball State University, a masterclass clinician at Wright State University, a featured soloist with the Muskingum Collegiate Chorale at the Ohio Music Educator's Conference, and has given and been a part of numerous faculty recitals. Mrs. Halbert received her MM in performance at Ohio State University after attending the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Musical Arts with Jeffery Agrell at the University of Iowa where she is also Mr. Agrell's Graduate Teaching Assistant.


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.




Caleb Lambert, trombone

Caleb Lambert began his musical training at age eleven in Olympia, Washington where he studied euphonium and trombone with Syd Potter and Richard Lopez. In 2007 Mr. Lambert attended Roosevelt University in Chicago, Il where he studied with Jay Friedman and Peter Ellefson. In demand as orchestral musician, Caleb is currently second trombone in Orchestra Iowa, and interim second trombone for the 2017-2018 season in Quad City Symphony. Mr. Lambert also performs frequently with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and Waterloo Cedar falls Symphony. As a freelance musician, he has had the honor to work with the Chicago Symphony, South Bend Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New Chicago Brass, and many others. Mr. Lambert was awarded the Grand Prize at the Chicago Brass Festival’s Solo Competition on euphonium in 2012, and can often be seen performing on euphonium and bass trumpet around the Midwest. During his tenure with the Axiom Brass Quintet Mr. Lambert was awarded the Preis der Europa-Stadt Passau and taught classes in chamber music and trombone pedagogue at some of America’s leading music conservatories including the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, New England Conservatory, University of the Pacific, Southern Oregon University, University of Las Vegas, Western Illinois University, California State University, Sacramento and many more. In addition to his teaching duties at the University of Iowa, Mr. Lambert is a low brass teaching partner at West Music in Coralville, IA and runs a small private studio in Iowa City.


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.


Travis Newman, percussion

Travis Newman is a musician with a diverse percussion background in the marching arts, percussion ensemble, orchestra, wind ensemble, and solo playing. During his time in Boston, he studied with Nancy Zeltsman and Doug Perkins at the Boston Conservatory of Music, earning a Masters. Before that, he earned his Bachelors in Music Education from Missouri State University with Dr. Scott Cameron and worked closely with mentor Dr. Belva Prather.Travis Newman is a musician with a diverse percussion background in the marching arts, percussion ensemble, orchestra, wind ensemble, and solo playing. During his time in Boston, he studied with Nancy Zeltsman and Doug Perkins at the Boston Conservatory of Music, earning a Masters. Before that, he earned his Bachelors in Music Education from Missouri State University with Dr. Scott Cameron and worked closely with mentor Dr. Belva Prather. Travis has spent time as a performer, educator, and designer in the marching arts. He performed with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, including the 2011 Fred Sanford award winning section, and gave clinics with The Cavaliers across the U.S. and Japan. Gateway percussion was his home as a performer for three years, and subsequently an educational staff member for three. Currently, Travis serves with Gateway as a part of the design team: Co-Program Coordinator and arranging the front ensemble music.


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. 



Nicha Pimthong, piano

Graduated with First Class Honour from College of Music, Mahidol University with Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance in July 2014, and a recent graduate with Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University, Ohio in May 2016, a native of Thailand, Nicha Pimthong was born in 1992 and started taking piano lessons at the age of 6. Her career as a pianist has taken her to perform in various countries including France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States, and Thailand. Her major piano teachers in Thailand were Ajarn Asayuch Chamroon Dr. Nopanand Chanorathaikul, and Dr. Eri Nakagawa. An active pianist since a young age, Nicha has received numerous prizes from national and international piano competitions including First Prize winner as well as the Best Compulsory Piece Prize in the Trinity Guildhall National Youth Piano Competition (2007), Third Prize winner in the 7th Bangkok Chopin Piano Competition (2005), Third Prize winner in the Thailand 1st Mozart International Piano Competition (2011), the highest prize in the Kawai Piano Competition (2007), receiving the Royal Trophy from Princess Petcharat Ratchasuda of Thailand, and Special Prizes in the 6th Bangkok Chopin Piano Competition and the AMA Studio Piano Competition (2002). Nicha received First Concert Certificate in Solo Piano (FC) with 2nd highest marks in Thailand in 2004 and Licentiate diploma, LTCL recital in piano performance with the highest score in Thailand from the Trinity Guildhall College of Music, London in 2010. Nicha was invited as a guest pianist to perform in Trinity Award Thailand 2011, and was also invited by UCSI University School of Music to give a debut joint piano recital at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as a winner piano recital in Bangkok, Thailand. A vivid chamber music, performer, Nicha has performed in numerous concerts, masterclasses, and festivals in both solo and chamber music.
     In May 2016, Nicha received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University, receiving an assistantship and full scholarship. She was under the tutelage of Dr. Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu and enjoyed performing her solo repertoire as well as working as a collaborative pianist. Nicha was selected to perform in various concerts, competitions, and masterclasses by Vadym Kholodenko, Prof. Paul Schenly, Prof. Lori Sims; and Jiayan Sun. In August 2016, Nicha is starting her first year of Doctor of Musical Arts program in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Dr. Ksenia Nosikova, receiving Performance Assistantship, working and performing with the Center for New Music. Nicha has also enjoyed serving as a choir pianist at her church as well as playing for Sunday services.


Pam Weest-Carrasco, harp

Pam received her music degrees from Indiana University where she was a student of Peter E. Eagle. In addition, her Suzuki teacher training took place at the Texas Christian University Suzuki Institutes with Mary Kay Waddington, and she has been teaching Suzuki harp since 1992. She plays second harp for the Cedar Rapids and Quad City Symphonies as well as with the University of Iowa Ensembles. Before moving to Iowa City in 1990, she free-lanced in the Washington, D.C. area, playing with the Arlington Symphony and at Ford’s Theatre (“A Christmas Carol”). Her free-lancing has included concerts with Julio Iglesias, Lainie Kazan, Jack Jones, Toni Tenille, Mark O’Conner, the Moody Blues and Josh Groban.


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.


Yixue Zhang, violin

Yixue (Snow) Zhang, originally from Shanghai, China, started her violin career when she was 5 years old. After graduating from East China Normal University with a bachelor’s degree of music performance, she built her violin studio in Shanghai, consisting of about 30 students from all levels. In 2013, Snow started her master’s studies at University of Delaware in violin performance. Now, she is pursuing a doctorate in violin performance at the University of Iowa with a fellowship from the graduate college.
     Snow performed in some major concert halls in Asia as a soloist, including Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Ravel Tzigane, Sarasate Navarra and etc. (accompanied by symphony orchestras), and symphony concerts, including the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Kyoto Concert Hall, Seoul Art Center, Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Taipei National Concert Hall. In 2009, Snow was admitted into the Asian Youth Orchestra, founded by Yehudi Menuhin and Richard Pontzious. In 2011, she got the third prize in the International Competition of 17th Okiden Sugarhall Audition for Debut Concert in Japan and was invited to perform a concert in Japan. In 2016, Snow got the first prize in the Master Players Music Festival, performing the Haydn Violin Concerto in C Major with the MPF Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Snow played “Butterfly Lovers” Violin Concerto as soloist with the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra on a concert tour.


Tyler Hendrickson, viola

Tyler Hendrickson began his studies as a Suzuki Student at age 6. After many years of tutelage at the Preucil School of Music, he went on to receive is BA from Luther College, and his MM from Wichita State University. He has played as a section violist with the Wichita Symphony and LaCrosse Symphony. He has spent summers as a scholarship student at Interlochen and Rocky Ridge Music Center, and was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School. An avid chamber musician, he most recently performed with the Spiritoso Quartet. He is currently pursuing his DMA at the University of Iowa, where he also plays principal viola with the UI Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.


Hui-Hsuan Su, cello

Originated from Taiwan, Hui-Hsuan took her first cello lesson at age of 10. In the meantime, she started to learn about Chinses music. She got to know more different Asian music such as Chinese Yu Opera, Indonesian Gamelan Music, and Taiwanese Nanguan music while she was in college, majoring in Chinese music at Tainan National University of Arts, Taiwan. She holds her master's degree from University of Hartford –The Hartt School, and Professional Performer Certificate from Pennsylvania State University. Now, Hui-Hsuan Su is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance at the University of Iowa.



Will Yager, double bass

Will Yager, originally from Knoxville, TN, is a first-year doctoral student at the University of Iowa. Prior to relocating to Iowa City, he was a regular member of several regional east Tennessee orchestras, an active member of the east Tennessee jazz scene both as sideman and leader of his own ensembles, and an ardent proponent of contemporary and experimental music. In addition to a busy performing schedule, Yager held teaching posts at Maryville College and the University of North Alabama. Yager has performed in masterclasses for Franco Petracchi, Bert Turetzky, Jon Hamar, Geoff Keezer, and more.
     Yager holds an MM from the University of Tennessee and a BA from Maryville College. His primary instructors include David Slack, Bill Swann, Rusty Holloway, Steve Benne, and Volkan Orhon.


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.