Violin

De Ann Letourneau

De Ann Letourneau

Concertmaster

De Ann has been the Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic for over twenty seasons. She has been described as a powerfully warm and emotionally charged violinist with the unique ability to relate her love of music to all audiences. De Ann is also one of the few female concertmasters in the U.S.

The Las Vegas Review Journal said “…she performed not only impeccably but with an exuberant sense of joy.” The Duluth News Tribune raved “… her performance was sensationally vibrant from beginning to end.”

A native of Superior Wisconsin, she began studying with Diane Balko, the former concertmaster of the Duluth-Superior Symphony, at age 14. She quickly became known as one of the outstanding young artists in the U.S., winning her first professional job at age 16 with the Duluth-Superior Symphony. She has been in love with symphonic performing ever since.

Her career, now spanning over 30 years, includes many performances throughout the US and Europe as soloist and chamber musician on violin and viola. Formerly affiliated with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, she has appeared as guest artist with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, National Arts Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Duluth-Superior Symphony, St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Superior Chamber Symphony in addition to soloing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

De Ann has also been a frequent guest artist performing recitals on radio broadcasts including KNPR FM, National Public Radio, WQXR FM in New York City, and Wisconsin Public Radio. She was awarded the Governor’s Excellence in the Arts Award and was a prizewinner at the National Arts Competition in Washington DC. De Ann has also won First Prize at the International Starling Violin Competition in Aspen CO.

De Ann was honored by National Association of Women Business Owners as the first ever recipient of the “Woman of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts” and received the Congressional Certificate of Achievement for her work in helping build performing arts in Las Vegas. In 2012, she received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from her alma mater, Superior High School, for her work with various music programs and young artists where her passion and enthusiasm for developing communities through the arts and youth arts education have had a lasting impact.

Living in Las Vegas, she is sought after by some of the best-selling, popular performers of today in addition to her classical performances. De Ann performed, recorded and traveled with Celine Dion for nine years. She recorded an acoustic album, “Uku-Latte” with her friend, Billboard Chart/Vegas headliner, Frankie Moreno. She has performed for the Billboard Award shows, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, Latin Grammy’s and other productions. De Ann has performed with popular artists including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind and Fire, Deep Purple, Metallica, Vanessa Williams, Natalie Cole and Johnny Mathis. She regularly performs with Andrea Bocelli at the Hollywood Bowl as his Associate Concertmaster and has also served as Concertmaster with Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sarah Brightman and Alicia Keys among others.

Passionate about teaching and coaching to help inspire young musicians to reach their full potential as artists, De Ann owns a private studio where violin & viola students are admitted by audition. She also regularly coaches through Skype lessons around the U.S. and Europe, offering students help in preparing to audition for college, summer festivals and orchestral positions. Many of De Ann’s students now hold positions in various orchestras around the world. She presents masterclasses at various academic institutions on Neuro Linguistic Programming to help identify and address performance issues and make learning faster for artists. In June 2020, she will give a keynote presentation for Nevada Music Teachers Conference on her teaching method and how to get excellent, faster results in every level student.

De Ann attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and studied with Efim Boico & the Fine Arts Quartet. She then attended the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to study with Dorothy DeLay & Kurt Sassmanshaus. She has also had the opportunity to study with some of the world’s best violin pedagogues including Josef Gingold (IU), Jascha Brodsky (Curtis), and David Cerone (CIM). All of these master teachers were her mentors at music Festivals including Aspen, ENCORE, LA PHIL Institute, Symphony School of America and Indiana Summer Festival.

De Ann lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Scott, and their 3 beautiful daughters, Grace, Rose and Faith. They enjoy spending summers in Northern Wisconsin with family and friends.

Martha Gronemeier

Martha Gronemeier

Associate Concertmaster

Shakeh Ghoukasian is an active chamber music and orchestral musician. She is the Principal 2nd Violinist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 1998. Ms. Ghoukasian also performs with the Nevada Ballet and the Las Vegas Philharmonic Principals Quartet, presenting educational outreach and chamber music concerts in the community.

Ms. Ghoukasian the Executive and Artistic Director of the Nevada School of the Arts, and has been the driving force of the school’s new vision, new initiatives and community partnerships. Her vision and passion for NSA’s artistic and educational growth has inspired her to create many innovative programs for students and community alike. Ms. Ghoukasian has established Guest Artists, Musical Crossroads Concert series since 2009. These concerts establish guest artists short term residencies and introduce NSA and Clark County School District students to renowned classically trained musicians and educators who are equally well versed in performing in other genres and introducing students to concepts of jazz, rhythms of the tango and flavors of Latin music.

Ms. Ghoukasian’s own curiosity in film music has also created a program called “Kids2Kids” concerts prepared and performed by students for students. These concerts have been received with great acclaim by administrators and student audiences.

She has performed with many notable classical and pop artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Boccelli, Placido Domingo, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Itzhak Perlman and others. Her solo performances include appearances with Henderson Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Ms. Ghoukasian has received her early music training in Armenia. After moving to the United States she has received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in performance from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has studied with Lori Ulanova, Haik Balian and John Kendall.

Ms. Ghoukasian is an established pedagogue. Consequently she has been invited to present master classes and teach workshops in Arizona, Utah, California, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, Oregon, New York and Las Vegas Summer Music Festival. Shakeh Ghoukasian was one of the presenters at the American String Teachers National Conference in February 2005 and Suzuki National Conference in Minneapolis in 2006. She is a recipient of ASTA’s Studio Teacher Award in Nevada. Shakeh Ghoukasian is the founding member and Program Director of Green Valley Chamber Music Festival.

Ms. Ghoukasian’s students are winners of several local and national competitions and have been chosen to participate in numerous notable summer music festivals and camps. She enjoys working with young musicians and guiding their musical and artistic development.

Kevork Mikaelian

Kevork Mikaelian

Assistant Principal

Ukrainian-American violinist Myroslava (Mira) Khomik is a top-prize winner of international competitions including Remember Enescu Competition in Romania, Ugzhorod Silver Bells in Ukraine, and the New Names of Ukraine. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Ukraine, Spain, US, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and her performances were broadcast on National TV and Radio in Ukraine, the US, and in Vietnam. Ms. Khomik is an avid promoter of contemporary composers, and regularly participates in premieres of new works. Most recent highlights include new premiere of the violin concerto by Ferran Sor with Orquestra de la Societat de Concerts de Barcelona, guest solo appearance and master classes at the 10mo. Festival Internacional de Musica y Musicologia in Mexico, and with the Kyiv Kamerata at the Gulfstream Festival in Ukraine, and completing a weeklong residency at UNASP in San Paolo, and at the Projeto Retreta, an outreach music program for the underprivileged children in Artur Nogueira, Brazil.

A devoted chamber music advocate, Ms. Khomik has performed alongside numerous distinguished artists at home and abroad, such as the members of the Borromeo and Jerusalem String Quartets, Robert Davidovichi, Eugene Friesen, Gloria Cheng, Guillaume Sutre, Movses Pogossian, Antonio Lysy, among others. She frequently appears in prestigious chamber music series such as Jacaranda, LACMA Sundays Live, HEAR NOW New Music Festival, NASUCA concert series in Los Angeles, and has appeared in concerts at the Incontri in Terra di Sienna Music (Italy), Academie de Musique de Lausanne (Switzerland), Aurora Music Festival (Sweden), and Zeist Music Days (Netherlands). Ms. Khomik recently received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also served as the Teaching Associate in the string department. She regularly performs with New West Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, and Divan Consort Ensemble in Los Angeles, and is an adjunct string faculty at Fullerton College and the French Conservatory in Beverly Hills.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Hui is extremely happy to be joining the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Her violin teachers include Oleh Krysa, Koichiro Harada, Ik Hwan Bae and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio. For the past two years, Hui played in the Nightingale String Quartet under the guidance of Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio.

Hui’s professional orchestral experiences include the Greensboro Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. Throughout her years in the States, Hui has played under conductors such as Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Theodore Kuchar, Laura Jackson, Walter Hendl, Neil Varon, David Effron and Gary Sheldon. Most recently, she was invited to be part of the Lancaster Festival String Quartet in Lancaster, Ohio.

Back in her youth, Hui represented her native Singapore at the Asian Youth Orchestra, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival and the Kirishima International Music Festival. Hui has served as concert mistress at the Toho Orchestral Academy and was concert mistress of the Singapore Pops Orchestra from 2012-2013. She was also the solo violin for several prominent Asian artistes, theater productions, film and commercial soundtracks.

Hui will be joining the Fresno Philharmonic as guest associate concert mistress for their first Masterworks concert this season. She resides in Reno, Nevada with her violist husband, Tiantian, and loving, temperamental cat son, Snowbear.

Rebecca Ramsey, violinist and composer, is a first violinist in the Las Vegas Philharmonic and is also currently concertmaster for The Lion King at the Mandalay Bay. She is first chair for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon each year and has played on many nationally broadcasted television shows such as “American Idol” and the “Billboard Awards.” Throughout her years in Las Vegas, she played first chair for many of the musical giants of our time; including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Pavarotti and as concertmaster for Andrea Bocelli’s PBS special at Lake Las Vegas, Under a Desert Sky.

A private teacher, her violin students have been winners of the Bolognini competition, the Silver State, the MTNA at the state level the national Sphinx competition and the Las Vegas Philharmonic Young Artists competition. Rebecca plays several chamber music concerts a year for the Las Vegas Courthouse series and the Reed Whipple Cultural Center as a member of the Glenwillow Trio.Her award-winning recording of The Stone Sanctuary, Silhouettes of Zion, features her own original compositions and has been played frequently on KCNV-FM 89.7 Nevada Public Radio.

Lisa Ratigan, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada is an accomplished Musician on both Violin and Viola. She has seen Las Vegas grow over the years from the time there were no Orchestras in the schools to now where there are Orchestras in almost every school. Her mother, Caroll Berns-Wixom (owner of Berns Suzuki Studio) was a Professional Violinist as well as her Grandfather. She started lessons with her mother at age 12. She had already played Piano, and Flute by this time. She went on to study with Bela Urban, and then Barton Gray who was Concert Master of the Denver Symphony. She also studied with Kathleen Hamil, and Russ Cantor.

Lisa was awarded a full scholarship to Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. At ASU, she studied with Dr. Phyllis Skoldberg and Dr. Frank Spinosa, on Violin as well as Dr. William Magers on Viola. While at ASU, she was also a member of the Honors quartet, and also participated in the Lyric Opera Theater for four years. She was a contracted player with the Biltmore Strings performing 2 shows nightly at the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was also granted a full Scholarship by audition to the Congress of Strings programs in 1978, in Seattle, Washington, and again in 1982 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While in Cinncinati, she got the opportunity to play under the baton of the esteemed James DePreist as well as got to study Violin with Zvi Zeitlin. She was awarded by audition to attend the prestigious Music Academy of the West on Viola where she got to study with Milton Thomas as well as received Chamber Music coaching with Gabor Reijto. (Her mother also studied Chamber music with Mr. Reijto when she was at USC.)

She also played with the Palace Strings on Viola, at Caesars Palace, as well as for the Andre Agassi Foundation for stars such as: Celine Dion, Luther Vandross, Boys II Men, Lionel Richie, Led Zeppelin, and Gloria Estefan. She has performed in show bands for Tony Bennett, Al Martino, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra Jr., Julio Iglesias, Dionne Warwick, Burt Baccarach, and Natalie Cole. She also got to play for the Billboard Awards show with Justin Timberlake on Viola. She has recorded with the Chic Band on their first CD titled Complete Me. She performs on an electric 5 string as well.

While with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, she has played for Clint Holmes, Pavarotti, Andrea Boccelli, Vanessa Williams. She also plays weddings, banquets, V.I.P. events, as well as Classical Chamber Ensembles.

Lisa teaches Violin and Viola and has several students that participate in the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras which is by audition only. Her students are encouraged to attend Violafest and the Solo and Ensemble Festival each year and have gained knowledge and performing experience by doing so. Lisa was a coach for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras from 2007-2009. She is also a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Las Vegas Music Teachers Association (LVMTA) and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and served a term as Secretary for the Las Vegas chapter of that organization.

Lisa has been a contracted member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 2002, and has been tenured since 2004. She is currently the Upper Strings Coach at Clark High School, and volunteers at several of the Middle schools that feed into Clark.

She has two beautiful daughters who are also very involved in Music as well as Cheer. One plays Violin the other plays Flute.

Lisa plays a 1764 Agustin Chappuy Violin, and a 1987 Salvatore Caristo Viola named Gabrial.

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Melanie Schiemer began studying music at Nevada School of the Arts with Mary Straub in 1984. Over the next several years, Schiemer attended private and group classes at NSA and also participated in numerous Suzuki Institutes in the United States. During her time at NSA, Schiemer successfully competed in local and state competitions. In 1996, Schiemer was awarded a full fellowship to the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute in Washington, D.C. After graduating early from the Las Vegas Academy in 1997, Schiemer continued her music training by attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In the summer of 1999, Schiemer was made a member of the Amadeus Chamber Symphony in London. The group embarked on a European tour while featuring soloists such as Steven Iserlis. During the same year, Schiemer became a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and now holds a tenure position in the orchestra. Schiemer has furthered her performing career as a free lance musician. She has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Palcido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Vanessa Williams, Pen and Teller, and Clint Holmes. In January 2007, Schiemer was made a full time member of the Las Vegas production of The Producers playing at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

Soon after joining the Philharmonic, Schiemer began her Suzuki Teacher Training. She has completed training units 1A through 5 (six total) as well as several enrichment courses. Currently, Schiemer is continuing her training by further enrolling in Suzuki Training Certification courses as well as studying child psychology and early childhood development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Schiemer was as a full time teacher for the Nevada School of the Arts for over nine years and still resides as a faculty member for the annual Nevada School of the Arts’ Suzuki Institute. Melanie Schiemer participated in the creation and implementation of successful Suzuki programs at both Sunrise Acres Elementary and The Meadows School. As an extension of the program started at Sunrise Acres Elementary, Schiemer created a Suzuki Outreach Program at the Nevada School of the Arts. The program enriches the community by affording inner city youth the opportunity to study music in the Suzuki Violin Program. Beginning in the fall of 2007 Schiemer launched a full Musikgarten and Kindergarten Music program at the Midbar Kodesh Temple and Early Childhood Development Center. In the Fall of 2008, she will join The Meadows School Faculty as the Kindergarten music teacher. The Suzuki Strings at The Meadows School continues to grow and the 2008-2009 school year is expected to be the biggest year to date.

In addition to teaching and performing, Schiemer is a member of several organizations including the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Las Vegas Music Teachers Association (LVMTA), Suzuki Associations of the Americas (SAA), and Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA). For the LVMTA, Schiemer has served as the String Coordinator and has functioned as the American Federation of Music Junior Festival String Competition Chairperson. Schiemer has also successfully applied for her Level 2 certification with the ECMMA. In 2006, Schiemer has received her Musik Garten TM Qualifications and License. Most recently, Schiemer completed her level 1 Orff certification due to the generous support of The Meadows School.

Lee Schreiber is a native of Washington State. She was introduced to the orchestra through a school field trip to the Seattle Symphony. She started studying violin through school music. Lee was granted a four year full tuition scholarship to the University of Arizona where she earned her Bachelor Music in Violin Performance. Lee continued her studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study Suzuki Pedagogy with renowned teacher John Kendal. While living in Illinois, Lee taught violin as adjunct faculty for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Southeast Missouri State University. After moving to Las Vegas, Lee was a faculty member of Nevada School of the Arts for many years and helped pilot the extension program used by Nevada School of the Arts. Lee now teaches privately in her home studio. She founded a general music program for preschool aged children called Musical Friends. Lee performs locally for area Synagogues. She is a founding member of a klezmer band called the Meshuggina Klezmorim. The band has performed for numerous citywide events such as Israeli Independence day, menorah lighting by Mayor Oscar Goodman, the Folk Life Festival and World Vibration Concert Series. Lee has had the opportunity to perform for a wide range of stars such as, Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Eddie Fisher, Al Martino, Tony Bennett, Jerry Lewis, Elton John, and Dudley Moore, to name a few. Her favorite experience was performing for opera legends Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. Lee performs chamber music for weddings and special events. She is a member of the Nevada Chamber Symphony. Lee is proud to be a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since the orchestra’s inception.

Viola

Jason Bonham’s playing has been heard throughout the US and Europe. As a recitalist, Jason has been deemed “an extraordinary, first-class viola virtuoso” by the St. George Spectrum and his playing has been described as possessing a “full, rich sound, a solid technique with mature musicality” by eminent violin and viola pedagogue,Roland Vamos. Currently, Jason is the Principal Violist with Las Vegas Philharmonic and has been a performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra. In education, Jason is the Director of Instrumental Music at Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts as well as the founder and artistic director of music programs at the Tuacahn Summer Arts institute. He has been a board member of the American Viola Society, Kayenta Arts Foundation and the Chamber Music Society of Southern Utah. His articles (both music and non-music related) have been published and discussed in the Journal of the American Viola Society, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and many others. His viola teachers include Helen Callus, Roland Vamos, Albert Igolnikov, Charles Pikler, David Dalton and Claudine Bigelow. He currently is pursuing is Doctoral degree in Orchestra Conducting with Taras Krysa at UNLV. Currently Jason resides in the St. George, Utah area with his wife, artist Aimee Bonham and 3 children: Billy, Fiona and Kortney.

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Tiantian Lan

Tiantian Lan

Assistant Principal

Hope Bowden began her musical journey at the age of five, on the violin. She was the concertmaster of her school orchestras from sixth grade until her fourth year of college, when she switched to viola. As a teenager, Hope played with the Burbank-San Fernando Valley Youth Orchestras in California. During this time, she studied with Mrs. Bonita Coodley and then Mr. Joachim Chassman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also studied in France for one year with Mademoiselle Robin of the Tours Conservatory of Music. Most of Hope’s summers were spent at music camps such as the Utah State Summer Music Festival, Snowbird Summer Music Festival, and the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.

Full music scholarships paid Hope’s way to a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah. On the way, she performed violin solos as the concertmaster at Los Angeles Valley College in CA and then Southern Utah State College in Cedar City. She switched to viola while at the University of Utah and was the violist for the University Honors String Quartet and a member of the Mormon Youth Symphony. During this era, Hope studied with Mr. Varujan Kojian, then conductor of the Utah Symphony followed by Mr. Mikhail Boguslavsky of the Utah Symphony. She and her friends formed the Zephyr String Quartet and officially became professional musicians. Hope then performed with the Promised Valley Playhouse, Pioneer Memorial Theater, Triad Theater, City Rep Orchestra, Utah Chamber Orchestra, Ballet West, Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, and Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

Upon moving to Las Vegas in 1990, Hope began playing with the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Nevada Opera Theater Orchestra, weddings & conventions, and for shows & performers on the strip. She earned her Masters Degree from UNLV in Educational Psychology and has been a school counselor at Rancho High School since 2002, after teaching orchestra for a year at Bridger Middle School.

Hope is the proud mother of four daughters, three of whom played violin and one who played cello until high school. They studied with Shakeh Ghoukasiann, Robin Reinarz and Sharon Street-Caldwell of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, as well as with Shelley Burger. The youngest switched to flute in middle school and now plays in the University of Utah bands. Hope also has a grandson who loves to play…except his instrument of choice is the PlayStation or iPhone games. When Hope has time to relax, she loves to curl up with a good book, or go camping, or watch movies.

Karl studied at Indiana University, graduating with degrees in Music Education and a Masters High Distinction in both Viola and Strings. His instrumental teachers included former Concertmasters and Principal players of many great orchestras: the NBC Symphony and Beaux Arts Trio, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Fine Arts Quartet, the Cleveland Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony.

As an original assistant principal violist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the predecessor ensembles, the Nevada Symphony, the Las Vegas Symphony, Karl was also a long time member of the Nevada Chamber Symphony. Karl also really enjoys teaching private lessons to students of all ages.

In addition, Karl has taught secondary level orchestra in Indiana and, since 1982, in the Las Vegas Clark County School District. In 87-88 he enjoyed the opportunity of directing the orchestra program at the renowned Punahou School in Hawaii. As a former director in the CCSD youth orchestra program, 1989-2006, Karl led the senior ensemble, the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic, while the organization grew to four orchestras. In his fourteen years as co-orchestra director at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (he is now retired), he was inspired by the school’s excellent students and faculty. The Las Vegas Academy of the Arts’ department of music is the recipient of 12 National Grammy Awards starting prior to and during his tenure at LVA. He was selected Nevada ASTA Orchestra Teacher of the Year in 2006 and in 2011, received the Nevada ASTA Steve Maytan “Service to Music Education Award”.

‘Back in the day’ he played in various showroom orchestras performing with entertainers; Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Natalie Cole and many others.

He met his wife, Robin, in the orchestra teachers’ 1st meeting of the school year in 1982. They married within the year, and are still married and making music together.

A special reward in his life is being a father to his children James and Heather. James is a minister and violinist, and he and his wife recently welcomed Karl and Robin’s first grandchild. His daughter, Heather, is a Nike Headquarters product analyst. For Karl, sharing faith, family, and friendships over these many years has been foundation for inspirational performances with tremendous local musicians along with the fortune of teaching remarkable students each year. 

Cello

Cellist Andrew Smith is an Associate Professor of music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Principal Cellist of The Las Vegas Philharmonic. He is an original member of the Camerata Deiá, a group founded in 2001 to be the resident ensemble with The Festival Internacional de Deiá , a summer festival in Majorca, Spain. He was also a founding member of The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, a summer music program in southern Italy, where he taught and performed from 1998 – 2008. An active recitalist, Andrew has collaborated with pianist Alfredo Oyagüez in cello/piano recitals in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Argentina, and Japan, as well as in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia. Recent recitals include performances at the Emilia Romagna Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Smith/Oyagüez duo recently released a CD entitled, “Spanish Music for Cello and Piano,” on the Delos label in January, 2017. Of the CD, the American Record Guide said the duo plays “with verve and sensitivity,” and recommended the program “without reserve.”

During summers, in addition to The Festival Internacional de Deiá, in Spain, and The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Smith has taught and performed in several music festivals, including the Marrowstone Music Festival, Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA, the Rocky Ridge Music Center, the Blue Mountain Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, The Green Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Tuacahn Summer Arts Institute, and The Las Vegas Music Festival.

Mr. Smith is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the Young Artists String Quartet. He has also earned a Master’s degree from The Mannes College of Music in New York, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT. He has studied cello with Timothy Eddy, Bernard Greenhouse, Leslie Parnas, Ron Leonard, and Geoffrey Rutkowski.

Robin Reinarz, cellist, is one of the original members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic having previously played with the Nevada Symphony, the Las Vegas Symphony and a year with the Honolulu Symphony.

Robin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona where she studied cello with Gordon Epperson, then taught String Education in the Clark County School District for 4 years and coached cello with the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras for 17 years. She has been the Cello Para Professional at the Las Vegas Academy since 1999. She was principal cellist for the 1st 8 years of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and has been assistant principal ever since.

Over 24 years she has been on the faculty of Nevada School of the Arts with a large, thriving cello studio. During her varied career she accompanied many artists including Frank Sinatra, Andre Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Paul Anka, Wayne Newton, Natalie Cole, Sarah Brighton, Alisha Keyes and many others.

She and violist, husband, Karl Reinarz celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. They have 2 grown children and the 1st grandchild is on the way!

Moonlight Tran received her Bachelor of Music, Cello Performance from the University Of Southern California’s Thornton School Of Music. Her teachers included Gabor Reijto and Eleanor Schoenfeld.

Moonlight has been with the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 2000. She is a veteran for several Las Vegas Broadway shows, principally the “the Producers” and currently “The Lion King”. In addition to a live recording with Sarah Brightman, she also toured with Andrea Bocelli and has backed up numerous artists including Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Luis Miguel and Rod Stewart.

Ms. Tran is also a noted teacher with several award winning students.

Jeremy Woolstenhulme currently serves as the orchestra director at Hyde Park Middle School in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Woolstenhulme received his B.M.E. from Brigham Young University in 2000 and an M.A. in Cello Performance from the University of Nevada (Las Vegas) in 2005. His professional affiliations include both MENC (National Association for Music Education), and ASTA (American String Teachers’ Association).

Mr. Woolstenhulme has enjoyed much success as an orchestra director. He has traveled with his school’s chamber orchestra to festivals in London, Washington D.C., Boston, and New York, earning top awards at every venue. The Hyde Park Middle School Chamber Orchestra was honored to have been selected to perform at the 2008 Midwest Clinic in Chicago. The orchestra also played at the ASTA convention in Santa Clara in 2010 and in Kansas City in 2011.

As an author and composer Mr. Woolstenhulme has several published works to his credit. He is a co-author of a new string method series called “String Basics” published by the Neil A. Kjos music company. He has also had several string and full orchestra works, available through Kjos music, published as well. Mr. Woolstenhulme has been busy writing a commissioned symphony and several other works in the last year.

In addition to his role with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, he is the cellist for the Seasons String Quartet, and a freelance musician performing at many venues located on the famed Las Vegas Strip. He is married to his beautiful wife, Taryn, and they have three children, Cadence Belle, Coda Blake and Canon Thomas.

Contrabass

Paul Firak

Paul Firak

Principal

Originally from Chicago, Paul has been a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 2000. Paul is also an active freelance musician who’s credits include among others The Phantom of the Opera, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Mama Mia, Spamalot, Avenue Q and a Canadian tour of Miss Saigon.

In addition to performing Paul is also an educator. He is the Adjunct Professor of Double Bass at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas as well a double bass coach with the Clark County School District, working with both the middle and high school levels. Paul also maintains a private teaching studio.

Paul received a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) where he studied double bass with James Vaughn. Other teachers include Christopher Hanulik (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Thomas Lederer (Dallas Symphony).

In his leisure time Paul enjoys among other things hiking, gym time, meditation and is a big fan of sports.

Chris Davis

Chris Davis

Assistant Principal

Ryan Dudder is a graduate of the University of Portland (1997) where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Upon graduation Dudder moved to Pendleton, Oregon to teach orchestra and was also an active musician within the community and neighboring areas. He served as principal double bass for the Oregon East Symphony, and was an active member in the bass section for the Walla Walla Symphony and Grande Ronde Symphony.

In 2001 Dudder relocated to Las Vegas where he is the orchestra director at Cannon Jr. High School. He has built the string program to include six classes with over 240 students. In 2003 he assumed the responsibilities of chairperson for the school district’s Middle School Honor Orchestra, and in 2007 became the conductor for Sinfonia, one of the orchestras within the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras. In 2003 he completed a Masters of Music degree in music education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dudder has been a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic bass section since 2004 and was principal bass for the Desert Springs Chamber Orchestra. Dudder is also an active member of the American String Teachers Association.

Geoff Neuman studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he received both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees (in Music Education). He is known as a versatile bassist as he plays both electric and string bass in classical, rock, jazz and other music situations. He has been a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic string bass section since the orchestra’s inception in 1998.

Neuman also performs in the Outside In Jazz Trio. They have recorded 2 CD’s live at Osaka Japanese Bistro (in Henderson, NV) where they perform each week. He has also had the opportunity to perform with various artists ranging from Jennifer Hudson, George Benson, Elton John, Joe Williams, Michel Le Grand and Eric Marienthal to Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti and many more. He has performed at major venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Village Vanguard, Jazz @ Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and more. Neuman has also performed as a substitute musician on various production shows in Las Vegas including Lion King, The Producers, Mamma Mia, Forever Plaid and more.

In addition to performing, Neuman is a conductor/music director and educator. He was the orchestra director at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada from 1998 to 2010 and Music Director of the Las Vegas Youth Symphony from 2003 to 2010. In April of 2006, The Green Valley High School Symphony Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall under Neuman’s direction. Green Valley High School was named the National GRAMMY Signature School for the 2000-2001. Geoff has also taken his students on tours to Rome, Italy, Edinburgh, Scotland and various locations around the United States to perform.

Neuman is currently the Instructor of Instrumental Music at The Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas and a part-time professor of music at the College of Southern Nevada.

Flute

Christina Castellanos, MM, is Principal Flutist of The Las Vegas Philharmonic, Principal Flutist of The Salt Lake Symphony, Principal Flutist of The Nevada POPS, Solo Flutist of Sinfonia Salt Lake, and Solo Flutist of Asia/America New Music Institute.  She also regularly plays flute and piccolo in The Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, The Ballet West Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, The Orchestra at Temple Square for the Tabernacle Choir, and The TAD Wind Symphony in Japan.  She had the privilege of playing Principal Flute under the direction of Itzhak Perlman and has played for many artists such as STING, Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra Jr., Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Seth MacFarlane, Ben Folds, Kristen Chenoweth, The Beach Boys, Indigo Girls, Jerry Lewis, Cirque du Soleil, The King’s Singers, Michel Legrand (PBS Broadcast), Luis Fonsi (2009 Latin Grammys), flutist/composer Ian Clarke, Pink Martini, Rita Moreno, Andy Williams, Dionne Warwick, Vanessa Williams, Peter Shickele, Arturo Sandoval, Deborah Voigt, Andrea Bocelli (west coast tour), Il Divo, GENTRI, and KANSAS.

Christina also maintains a full-time private flute studio, of which her students have won many local and national competitions.  She was the Assistant Flute Instructor at UNLV 2002-07, and on the faculty of The Nevada School of the Arts.

She received her Bachelor’s (Magna Cum Laude) and Master’s (Summa Cum Laude) degrees in flute performance from UNLV.  Her primary teachers were Nancy Toone (Utah) and Dr. Richard Soule (UNLV).  Christina lived in Las Vegas for 10 years and now resides in Bountiful, Utah with her husband, Chris Castellanos (French Horn Soloist with The Boston Brass), their daughter Lily, and son Orion.

Oboe

Stephen Caplan has defied the odds with his three decades career as a classical oboist in Las Vegas. What other oboe player has tuned a slot machine, recorded music with a spinning roulette wheel, and performed for Klingons at a Star Trek convention? Principal Oboist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Professor of Oboe at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Caplan’s career is truly multi-faceted. He has travelled internationally as a concerto soloist and chamber musician, and performed with classical music superstars including Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn. He is equally at home accompanying popular music superstars on the Las Vegas Strip. Numerous collaborations with leading contemporary composers have resulted in commissioning, premiering and recording new repertoire for the oboe. Additionally, he is recognized for ground breaking pedagogical work, with published books and journal articles, and a busy international teaching schedule.

For many years, Caplan performed with and directed the award winning Sierra Winds, touring throughout the US and producing numerous acclaimed recordings. After the Sierra Winds’ debut at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, the New York Times reported that the wind quintet “discourages the usual image of Las Vegas as purveyor of sin, bad taste and tough college basketball” and then continued to commend its performance: “it is the sense of style and mutuality of ensemble that makes this such an attractive group.”

Caplan’s devotion to championing new American music for oboe culminated in his highly acclaimed solo recording, A Tree in Your Ear. This 1999 release surveys a wide variety of 20th century musical styles composed for the instrument, including blues, gospel, and electronica; it begins with music praised by the New York Times in which “the oboist Stephen Caplan engages in intricate call-and-response with a chorus of chirping frogs.” His recordings have been featured on NPRs All Things Considered, and Performance Today, and he has played in orchestras for the Latin Grammys as well as other international television broadcasts. Caplan has given solo recital and concerto performances throughout the US and Europe, and was recently awarded the Nevada Arts Council’s Fellowship Project Grant, resulting in a series of online videos of American music for the oboe.

Born in Louisiana, Caplan studied with many of the world’s finest oboists including Ray Still, John Mack and Evelyn Barbirolli. His teaching is profoundly influenced by his work with flutist Marcel Moyse; tuba and breathing expert Arnold Jacobs; and Alexander Technique teacher, Barbara Conable. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance from Northwestern University, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees from The University of Michigan. Dr. Caplan, Professor of Oboe at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, has devoted years investigating ways to make oboe playing easier through somatic work such as Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Yoga, and Tai Chi. He became licensed to teach Body Mapping after extensive private study with the creator of this technique, Barbara Conable. His book, Oboemotions: What Every Oboe Player Needs to Know about the Body, is praised as “the operating manual for oboists,” and his Breathing Book is becoming a staple for oboists internationally. He has presented clinics at many of the world’s finest music schools and conservatories, and his master classes have been featured at conferences of the International Double Reed Society. Caplan is a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist.

For more information, including performance and instructional videos, see: www.oboemotions.com

Living in Las Vegas, Professor Caplan has had the pleasure of working with numerous popular superstars of the past and present, including Tony Bennett, George Benson, Andrea Bocelli, The Captain and Tenille, Ray Charles, Roger Daltrey, Jackie Evancho, Placido Domingo, Luis Fonsi, David Foster, Amy Grant, Kathryn Grayson, Clint Holmes, Il Divo, Gladys Knight, Melissa Manchester, Mannheim Steamroller, Johnny Mathis, Idina Menzel, Dudley Moore, Anne Murray, Patti Page, Luciano Pavarotti, Pink Martini, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams, Joe Williams, Vanessa Williams.

“Stephen Caplan’s tone ranks with the best—pure, beautiful and expressive”–Ray Still, former Principal Oboe, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“Stephen Caplan’s oboe playing is absolutely gorgeous.”–The Double Reed (journal of IDRS)

“Caplan had a keen ear for true pitch and ample finger facility. But more than this, he was an interpreter who shaped phrases musically, kept strong rhythms and employed an expressive range of dynamics.”–San Diego Union

Mika Brunson

Mika Brunson

English Horn

Clarinet

Cory Tiffin

Cory Tiffin

Principal

Cory Tiffin is principal clarinetist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He is a performer and teaching artist on the rise. Educated at DePaul University’s School of Music as a student of Larry Combs, Julie DeRoche, and Wagner Campos, Tiffin continues to reside in his hometown of Chicago.

Tiffin served as the principal clarinetist of the Green Bay Symphony, the Beethoven Festival Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared with numerous other orchestras throughout the country. Nathan Tannenbaum of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) gave “props to clarinet soloist Cory Tiffin’s saucy/sassy note bending” for his take on Rhapsody in Blue and Alan Adams (LVRJ) wrote that Tiffin’s solos in Dvorak’s New World Symphony were “flawlessly executed.” 

As a chamber artist and soloist, he has been featured as a recitalist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and as a collaborator with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Tiffin has appeared on Live from WFMT numerous times in addition to other radio broadcasts, the Pritzker Pavilion’s summer series, Chicago Cultural Center’s Noontime Series, New Music DePaul, and toured throughout the U.S. and Europe as a chamber artist. Tiffin has also performed with The University of Chicago’s New Music Ensemble and is an original member of the Manhattan-based operamission. He has been called a “clarinet maverick” by Time Out New York, commended by Bryant Manning of the Chicago Sun-Times for “boldly showing his chops,” and praised by Lawrence Johnson of the Chicago Classical Review for his “understated virtuosity.”

Tiffin is on the faculty for Loyola University Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts, an adjunct faculty member at the DePaul University School of Music, an affiliated private instructor at The University of Chicago, and maintains a private studio in both Chicago and Las Vegas. He appeared as a guest lecturer on extended clarinet techniques for Lee Hyla’s composition class at Northwestern University and volunteers at the YOURS Project, an El Sistema-style program where he was a regular faculty member for three years. Tiffin continues to present master classes throughout the United States.

Carmen Izzo

Carmen Izzo

Assistant Principal/Bass Clarinet

Bassoon

Janis McKay

Janis McKay

Principal

Janis McKay is the Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Principal Bassoon of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performs as Principal Bassoon for the Classical Music Festival in Austria and as Contrabassoon for the Reno Philharmonic. McKay has held positions and performed with numerous orchestras including the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston (WV) Orchestra, the Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisville Orchestra among many others. As a free-lance musician in Las Vegas, McKay has performed and/or toured with such artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Church, John Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Gloria Estafan, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, and Tony Bennett.
She has twice been a featured soloist with the International Music Festival in the Ukraine, twice with the Classical Music Festival touring Austria and Hungary, and once with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She may be heard on Summit, d’Note, Starkland Records, and First Edition recordings. Her new solo cd, Dark Wind, will be released by Troppo Note Publishing in October 2015.

Janis McKay received her D.M.A. from The Ohio State University, the Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia. Her major teachers were Christopher Weait, Matthew Karr, and William Davis. Dr. McKay previously taught at Baylor University, Capital University, the Ohio Wesleyan University, and Wright State University.

She is the author of a book about Las Vegas casino musicians that will be published by the University of Nevada Press in the spring of 2016.

Alex Rosales Garcia, Mexican-born and San Francisco raised, is a dynamic bassoonist living in Los Angeles, California. An active musician in Southern California, Alex has performed with various groups including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, Golden State Pops Orchestra, the Southeast Symphony Orchestra, and as Principal Bassoon with the YMF Debut Orchestra from 2013 to 2015. He has played under many notable conductors including JoAnn Falletta, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Bramwell Tovey, Carl St. Clair, Keith Lockhart, Christoph König and Matthias Bamert.

Along with the other members of his sextet, Cardinal Winds, Alex was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2015 Plowman Chamber Music Competition held in Columbia, Missouri. That same year they were also named semi-finalists in the Fischoff Chamber Competition and finalists at the Coleman Chamber Competition. The group was also honored with a Max H. Gluck fellowship and performed various community engagement concerts on a weekly basis within underserved communities in Los Angeles.
A passionate educator, Alex is also a music instructor at Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) with the Harmony Project and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is the principal bassoon instructor, beginning musicianship teacher and chamber music coach at the EXPO center where he works with underserved students in South Central Los Angeles. He successfully maintains a vibrant and active bassoon studio and is proud of his many students who have won positions in local youth orchestras and obtained full-ride scholarships to various music schools.

Alex received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of California, Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. While at UC Irvine, Alex studied with Pacific Symphony bassoonist Elliott Moreau and performed with Christopher O’Riley at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in a show based of his famous “From The Top” radio program. He received his Master of Music in Bassoon Performance at the University of Southern California’s Flora L. Thornton School of Music under the tutelage of Los Angeles Philharmonic bassoonist, Shawn Mouser. While at USC, Alex received various awards, including “Most Outstanding Wind Ensemble Musician” (2013) and “Most Outstanding Chamber Musician” (2015). He also won the USC Scholarship Woodwind Quintet position in 2012 and 2013, and performed with various campus groups.

Horn

Bill Bernatis is currently Professor of Horn at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Assistant Director of UNLV Orchestras, Principal Horn with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Assistant Principal Horn with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in New York. Bernatis has been Professor of Horn and Orchestra Director at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, Professor of Horn at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. His performing background includes a wealth of orchestral and chamber music with the Corpus Christi Symphony, the Waco Symphony, the San Angelo Symphony, the Breckenridge Music Institute, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Sierra Winds, Boston Brass, Dallas Brass, Burning River Brass, Ithaca Brass, Ithaca Wind Quintet, Baylor Chamber Players, Baylor Brass Quintet, and the Texas Brass Ensemble.

Recently, Bernatis was asked to perform with the Utah Symphony on a Mahler cycle for a series of concerts that culminated in a recording of Symphony No. 8 with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He has recorded soundtracks for video games and motion pictures such as Eulogy, Step Up Revolution, and Mirror, Mirror. Bernatis studied with John Iltis at Washburn University (BM), Philip Farkas at Indiana University (MM), and Bill Scharnberg at University of North Texas (Doctoral studies).

Over the years, Bernatis has performed solo recitals and studio recordings, judged competitions, and held master classes around the country. He has performed solos with the Corpus Christi Symphony, Waco Symphony, and Victoria Bach Festival to name a few, and recorded for The Masters Symphonic Band Series and Mode Records. He is an active recitalist, clinician, and freelance performer.

Beth Lano

Beth Lano

Associate Principal

Beth Lano, associate principal French horn, was educated at Ball State University and Indiana University, with occasional trips to Northwestern University and the University of Michigan to augment her private studies. A student of Philip Farkas, Dale Clevenger, Louis Stout and Fred Ehnes, Beth began her career at the age of 17 as a traveling and recording musician. She has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Omaha Symphony and “Opera Omaha”, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

After moving to Las Vegas in 1982, Beth spent five years in the traveling orchestra backing Wayne Newton, followed by a two-year stint in the orchestra for Bally’s “Jubilee!” show, where she was also assistant conductor. In 1986, she began playing with Frank Sinatra, and toured with both his East and West coast orchestras. She also toured with Ann-Margret and Johnny Mathis.

In 1989, Beth became Director of Public Relations for the Musicians Union of Las Vegas during a serious labor dispute. Due to her efforts, an estimated $1 million in local, national and international press was garnered for that organization in just eight months’ time.

Beth continued to freelance in music and public relations throughout the 1990s, and during this time became an award-winning voice-actress. She continues to work in this field, and can be heard on television and radio worldwide. She also became a morning radio DJ, hosting a daily lifestyle/entertainment show on KQOL-FM, then on KSTJ-FM; and a nightly show on KJUL-FM. Beth was nominated for a regional Emmy award in 2000 for “Outstanding Achievement” as an actress for an on-camera spot in which she performed for KLAS-TV. In 2003, Beth was featured as herself (in her persona as a DJ) in a six-part miniseries for the BBC titled “Casino”.

In 2007, Beth joined The Firm Public Relations as a senior public relations specialist, while performing at night as solo horn in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Wynn Las Vegas. She left The Firm in early 2008.

Beth appears on several critically-acclaimed jazz recordings, most notably Carl Saunders’ “Eclecticism”, Harry Skoler’s “A Work of Heart”, and Paul Broadnax’ “Here’s to Joe”, a tribute to Las Vegas jazz legend Joe Williams.

Beth is currently principal French horn in “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular”; an announcer at KNPR-FM; teaching on the adjunct faculties of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada; and working as a voice actress. She lives in South Las Vegas, and in her free time (when there is any) Beth enjoys writing, working out, reading and traveling.

Trombone

Born in Platteville, Wisconsin in 1974, Nathan Tanouye began studying music in elementary school, first with piano lessons and later on trombone. At age 11 he moved to Hawaii, where he attended high school and began his college education. While at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Mr. Tanouye studied trombone with members of the Honolulu Symphony, including Jim Decker and Mike Becker. After receiving a performance scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1995, Mr. Tanouye moved to Las Vegas and completed his BM in both applied trombone and jazz studies. As a freelance trombonist, he has performed with artists such as Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, The Temptations, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Donny & Marie Osmond, Bette Midler, and Aretha Franklin. In addition, Mr. Tanouye has been the principal trombonist in the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 1998 and has performed on the Las Vegas Strip in shows such as At the Copa, Storm, Hairspray, and The Producers. Since 2005, Mr. Tanouye has performed and recorded with Las Vegas’ premier horn band, Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, a 14-piece band for which he also writes and arranges.

As a composer, he has written works for many different sizes of ensembles, ranging from jazz trio to concert band. In February of 2004, the UNLV Wind Orchestra premiered Three Steps Forward, a piece written by Mr. Tanouye to feature Eric Marienthal, Will Kennedy, Jimmy Haslip, and Russell Ferrante, later recorded and released on the Klavier label. Since that time, Mr. Tanouye has written three more wind ensemble pieces, two of which were also commissioned by UNLV; Kokopelli’s Dance (2005) and Four Flew Over the Hornet’s Nest (2006).

Mr. Tanouye has also done extensive work as an arranger and orchestrator, including arrangements for a diverse range of ensembles, including 18-piece jazz ensembles and flute and harp duo. One of his biggest arranging credits, “Crossings – The Russ Freeman Project” (Peacock 2006), a collaborative work with Carolyn Freeman featuring the music of pianist Russ Freeman, received rave reviews from the jazz community and helped launch The Las Vegas Jazz Connection, the roaring 26-piece jazz orchestra lead by Mr. Tanouye. Since 2005, Mr. Tanouye has lead the orchestra in numerous concerts featuring his arrangements and compositions. In 2008, he and the ensemble released their second CD for Peacock entitled “Remembering Russ”, which again features Mr. Tanouye’s arrangements of the great Russ Freeman’s music. The LVJC will soon be releasing their 3rd CD, “Eleven Colors”, which will feature more original compositions by Mr. Tanouye as well as his 2010 arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue.

Currently, Mr. Tanouye performs with and arranges and orchestrates music for Celine Dion.

Jeff Stupin

Jeff Stupin

Bass Trombone

Tuba

Zachary Jackson is a fifth generation Las Vegas native. After graduating high school he continued his studies at UNLV under the past Principal Tuba with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Zachary is active in the community, developing young musicians. He has a private studio which has produced multiple students who have won positions in National honor bands and orchestras, including the Yearly U. S. Army All-American Bowl Marching Band. His students can be found in top music schools and conservatories. Zachary Jackson is proud to be a Las Vegas citizen and is committed to community development and reinvesting into the Las Vegas community through performance and music education. He routinely provides master classes to local schools at no cost to the band programs that he serves.

Timpani

George Durkin, a native New Englander, received his Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with the well-known timpanist, Vic Firth. His studies in Boston also included mentoring with Alan Dawson of the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Thomas Gauger of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While living in the Boston area, Mr. Durkin performed with the Arthur Fielder Pops Orchestra, the Boston Opera Company and served as principal percussionist with the Portland Maine Symphony Orchestra for 7 seasons.

Upon relocating to Las Vegas, Mr. Durkin received a Master’s degree from UNLV and has performed in almost every major resort on the Las Vegas Strip. He served as the house drummer/percussionist at Caesars Palace for over 16 years and also performed as percussionist with “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian Hotel for 6 years.

In addition, Mr. Durkin and his wife Sheryl have very successful careers in the real estate business where George is an active Broker Manager for over 30 years, now with Realty Executives of NV. The Durkins enjoy spending time in the Phoenix area visiting with their two sons and also enjoy frequent trips to Brian Head, Utah for skiing, fishing and hiking.

Percussion

Pat Bowen

Pat Bowen

Principal

Patrick Bowen has been the Percussion Instructor at the Las Vegas Academy since 1992, where the Percussion Ensemble or soloists have won the Nevada All State Command Performance numerous times. Mr. Bowen is in his eighth year at the Academy where he teaches full-time the World Jazz Studies area and Chamber Ensembles. He was the percussionist for the hit Broadway show “Mamma Mia” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and is presently the Principal Percussionist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Hartt School of Music (Cum Laude), a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Montana, and a Teaching Certificate from UNLV.

Jazz Bands at the Las Vegas Academy have won “Best in State” at every Reno Jazz Festival in attendance, Downbeats “Outstanding Big Band” and “Best Combo” awards, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festivals “Overall Winner” and first places in the big band and combo divisions, Monterey Jazz Festival finalist, Monterey’s 51st Jazz Festival participant, “Superior’ ratings at CCSD Jazz Festivals, and the fine arts area were six time winners of the Signature Gold Grammy Award, and two Signiture Grammy Awards. Mr. Bowen housed the IAJE Teachers Training Institute and was invited to the IAJE Conference in Long Beach,California.

Mr. Bowen has been a guest soloist with the Hartt Symphony, Henderson Civic Orchestra, and UNLV Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Bowen has performed with the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, Nevada Dance Theater Orchestra, Mahler Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, New Britain Symphony, Las Vegas Pops, Nevada Wind Ensemble, Nevada Opera Theater, and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra. He has extensive ensemble experience premiering works at the Columbia New Music Festival, Yale University New Music Festival, and the Saratoga Springs Festival.

He has been the Dance Accompanist at UNLV accompanying such choreographers as Gus Solomans, Jr., Loretta Livingston, Marcus Alford, Walter Nicks, Judith Moss, Sam Watson, Billy Siegenfield, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He has also played with Celine Dion, Elton John, Clint Black, Sheila E, Wynonna Judd, Lionel Richie, Dudley Moore, Boyz II Men, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Olete Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Tim McGraw, Brian McKnight, Andre Bocelli and David Foster.

Mr. Bowen has served as the President of the Percussive Arts Society for the State of Nevada. He has also published Snares and Sets: A Book of Duets, and Temple: A Timpani Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble. He has written articles for the Percussive Arts Society and many of his original works have been recorded.

Patrick Bowen is a proud sponsor of Bosphorus Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion, and Silverfoxx mallets and sticks.

ROBERT BONORA, percussion – has worked with a variety of entertainers, performing in virtually every hotel and showroom in Las Vegas. A native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, he currently is on the faculty of The College of Southern Nevada (CSN), where he is Lead Faculty for Music, coordinator of Percussion/Steel Drum and Drum Set Studies as well professor of History of Rock Music. Bob is also currently percussionist with Vegas! The Show, at Planet Hollywood. He has performed as percussionist with The Wayne Newton Orchestra, and as a member of the Crimes Against Nature Band for the Emmy Award Nominated Penn & Teller television show “Sin City Spectacular.” He has also performed with Harry Connick, Jr., Alicia Keys, Vanessa Williams, Bernadette Peters, Lyle Lovett, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Charlotte Church, Alan Parsons Project, Dennis DeYoung (Styx), Bill Cosby, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Debbie Reynolds, Wierd Al Yankovic, Joe Williams, Marlena Shaw, Pete Chrislieb. Bob has done work in many of the Broadway shows playing in Las Vegas including The Producers, Mama Mia, We Will Rock You, Avenue Q, Annie, and The Full Monty.

Bob is active in steel drums with PANACEA, his own pan group, as well as starting the Calypso Coyote Steel Drum Band at CSN in 2003. He is active in the Nevada Chapter of Percussive Arts Society, organizing the annual mass steel drum band from around metro Las Vegas. He has also appeared as percussionist with the Nevada Symphony, Nevada Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Wind Ensemble and Nevada Opera Theater.

Bob received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Akron in 1984 and went on to get a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1994. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Percussion at UNLV.

Harp

Kim Glennie, featured soloist and principal harpist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, is one of the city’s most versatile musicians. Her career includes performing in concert with artists as diverse as Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, and Placido Domingo, Celine Dion and Cher, and Martina McBride and Faith Hill. She has recorded soundtracks for movies and television,and has performed for Presidents and royalty. She is also the proud teacher of many very successful students, and is currently the harp faculty at UNLV, CCSN, and Nevada School of the Arts.

Keyboard

Voltaire Verzosa, pianist/countertenor, received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree from the University of Montana and his Master of Music in Voice Performance degree from the University of Colorado. He pursued further studies in piano at the Eastman School of Music and at the Dorothy Taubman Piano Institute. Voltaire has performed at the International Bamboo Organ Festival, the Las Vegas International New Music Festival, s’Hertogenbosch Internationaal Vocalisten Concours, the Bach Aria Festival, the Vancouver Early Music Festival Baroque Programme, Amherst Early Music Festival, Las Vegas Music Festival and Seattle Accademia d’Amore. He has won top prizes at the District Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition. On January 24, 2010, Voltaire made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall as a result of winning first prize in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition. He has been a guest countertenor soloist with the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Chiara String Quartet, the Montana Baroque Ensemble, the Philippine Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Baroque Players, the Boulder Philharmonic and the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society Orchestra, with which he also has performed several times as solo pianist in several piano concertos. Currently, he holds the post of Principal Pianist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Also in demand as a collaborative pianist, Voltaire coaches classical vocal repertoire, with special emphasis on Baroque vocal performance practices. He has served as musical director for several local productions in musical theatre. He is presently the pianist for several classical ensembles locally and throughout the Northwest. Voltaire teaches voice and piano privately at his home as well as at the College of Southern Nevada and at Nevada School of the Arts. An all-around musician, his extensive piano and voice background has enabled him to maintain a dual career as solo pianist and singer.