Violin

De Ann Letourneau

De Ann Letourneau

Concertmaster

De Ann Letourneau is the Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, one of the few female Concertmasters in the US. In Las Vegas she is also Concertmaster for several other groups including the Nevada Ballet Theater and Opera Las Vegas.

Her unique style and approach to music has appealed to many in the field. She has been active in her guest artist capacity as guest Concertmaster, soloist, master classes at various Universities and performance coaching across the US and Abroad.

This past summer she had fun working with the wonderful friends and colleagues at the New Hampshire Music Festival.

As a performer, she has a unique ability to relate her love of music to all audience members. The Las Vegas Review Journal said, “…She performed not only impeccably but with an exuberant sense of joy.” The Duluth News Tribune said “…her performance was sensationally vibrant from beginning to end.”

Native of Superior Wisconsin, she began studying at age 14, and very quickly became noted as one of the up and coming Young Artists through several National Young Artists Competitions. She has appeared as guest artist with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, National Arts Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Duluth-Superior Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Contemporary Arts Ensemble of Ohio, St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, the Lake Superior Chamber Symphony and the Henderson Symphony. She has also been heard on several TV and Radio interviews and concerts including: KNPR FM, National Public Radio (Las Vegas and Minneapolis), WQXR FM New York, Wisconsin Public Radio, Fox 5, channel 14 “Morning Blend” and PBS stations.

Her career officially began at age 16 with the win of a full-time position with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. To date, she is still the youngest full-time member ever to win a position in the organization. She also made her solo debut with the DSSO that same year and from there went on to win many major Competitions and perform recitals throughout the US and Europe, including the first prize at the Starling International Young Artist Competition held in Aspen CO, where Miss Dorothy DeLay heard her and invited her as part of her studio.

Her love of performing went beyond her solo/recital stage experience. She fell in love with the fullness of sound surrounding her within the orchestra. Over many years she has performed in many various ensembles from chamber to major Symphony Orchestras. Through those experiences, she began to hone her leadership ability as Concertmaster. She has been Concertmaster for several orchestras as well as been invited as guest CM.

She has been asked to Guest CM with Duluth-Superior Symphony several times, where she will be Nov 4 as guest CM for a premier of a new work by a local Duluth composer. She has been CM National Arts Chamber Orchestra, CM Nevada Chamber Symphony, Assoc CM for Céline Dion, Assoc CM for Andrea Bocelli Tour, CM Contemporary Arts Ensemble, Co-Concertmaster of the American/Canadian Youth Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, Co-Concertmaster LA Institute at Hollywood Bowl under Sir Simon Rattle

In Las Vegas, she has been instrumental in much of the progression of the Fine Arts culture. Her enthusiasm and dedication to cultivating the Arts and Youth in Las Vegas earned her the honor as the first ever recipient of the “Woman of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts”, the Congressional Certificate of Achievement, a Proclamation from the City of Las Vegas, A Certificate of Achievement from the Senate recognizing all for her work with the Arts and Youth in Las Vegas. In March 2012, she was inducted into the Superior Academic Hall of Fame with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” because of her dedication to working with young people and community arts growth. Next to performing, coaching young artists and inspiring young people through music is a true passion. She regularly visits Various schools across the country to present her personal version of a “Ted Talk” about goals, dreams and possibility (GDP), perseverance through the odds to succeed.

DeAnn trains young players and adults (both professional or recreational ) in her private studio. Her studio consists of young students, college students, professionals and many adult connoisseurs of violin from around multiple States and Abroad. They each set up a weekly or monthly schedule to help prepare their auditions for Competition, College Admissions and Professional Symphonic Jobs.

Her younger school age students, many have gone on to become musicians and have been accepted on scholarship to schools or summer festivals such Juilliard, USC, Colburn, University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music, Meadowmount, Interlochen and Encore. Many of her students have chosen to pursue other careers, but have told her that they have utilized their training with “Miss DeAnn” to help them find success in their non-musical pursuits including Law, Medicine and Entrepreneurship.

The Las Vegas music scene is so diverse, it has also opened up opportunities to explore her other music making abilities. She is sought after in Las Vegas to perform with some of the biggest popular Artists of today. Currently, she is the Concertmaster for Adele at her show “Weekends with the Adele” at Caesar’s Colosseum where she spent over 8 years with Céline and her show. She finished a project during Covid with the Imagine Dragons, recording some string work for their new album and a video for their March 2021 release “Follow You”.

This year she will be performing for the opening of the new Foutainbleu property performing with Paul Anke, who was the first Artist she worked with when she moved to Vegas in 1995.

This year she will be performing several of the candlight concert series held at the Indistrial where she is performing quartet concerts with some of her colleges from the LVP Jason Bonham and Andy Smith. This year she will also be in concert with Johnny Mathis at his Smith Center Show, Mannheim Steamroller in Dec and Seth McFarland before she is back on stage with Adele in January.

A Highlight this season is her Performance of the Shostakovich violin concerto #1 with the Henderson Symphony on Feb 22 at Ham Hall. It is a highlight because this will be her debut on this amazing concerto with all of her friends at the HSO!

De Ann was a member of the “Showstoppers” orchestra at the Wynn for 2 years. She has performed with various artists for the Grammys and MusiCares show over several years. She has also been seen on TV performing with Céline Dion, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Thomas Rhett, for the AMAs, Billboard Award shows, Country Music Awards, Latin Grammy’s and many other production shows. She helped to form a unique music group “Vertex3” where newly composed music is mixed with electronic/DJ sound with composer/DJ Aaron Ramsey and LVP violinist Rebecca Sabine. It was fun to help this group explore the mix of new music with technology.

A few years ago, she recorded her first non-classical solo-violin pop writing work with her good friend and Las Vegas Headliner, Frankie Moreno on his album “Uku-Latte” available on iTunes.

De Ann has always been fortunate in training and working with some the worlds best coaches and pedagogues over many years. She has brought those experiences into her private studio and as a teacher and coach, where she shares that knowledge and passion with new young performers.

Because of her unusually later age beginning on her instrument, she brings a very unique perspective and style of teaching to her students or in her Master Class. Her approach is unique because of the very fast paced learning she had to do to compete by age 15 with those who had trained at a much younger age. She uses this innate ability to describe that very fast, simple process of mastering the instrument to each individual student and she is able to create a program of success for each individual student using their individual sense of learning style.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior with Diane Balko-former Concertmaster of the Duluth-Superior Symphony, UW-Milwaukee with Efim Boico & the Fine Arts Quartet in their Chamber Program, and finally finishing at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to study with Dorothy DeLay (Juilliard, CCM) & Kurt Sassmanshaus (CCM, Aspen). She has also had the opportunity to study with some other great violin pedagogues such as Josef Gingold (Indiana University), Jascha Brodsky (Curtis) & David Cerone (Cleveland Institute).

Besides performing and teaching, De Ann is very active in the arts community of Las Vegas. She has joined the boards of two local important arts groups. She is on the executive board of the Local 369 Musicians Union who helps maintain contracts for all major performance venues and Stars. She has also joined the executive board for Nevada School of the Arts in its growing stages to become even a larger educational center for students of arts for the entire Las Vegas area.

De Ann lives in Summerlin with her husband Scott, The Business Formation Expert. They have 3 unique and diverse children. Lee 22, (UNLV BFA Art major, Art History minor ‘23) Rose 19 UNR Bio major, Honors College ‘26) & Faith 17 (LVA Dance ‘25) and competitive dancer at Studio702

 

Martha Gronemeier

Martha Gronemeier

Associate Concertmaster

Shakeh Ghoukasian is the founder of two pioneering music initiatives launched in 2021: The String Connection, a violin, viola studio for advanced students, and The String Connection Virtual Violin Festival, transformational approach to musical training for advanced students ages 15-20. Connecting world class artist teachers to the students in an intimate and engaging manner.

Shakeh is an accomplished chamber music and orchestral musician, as well as a distinguished teacher and adjudicator. For the last 13 years she was the driving force behind the Nevada School of the Arts. As NSA’s executive/artistic director through 2020, she shaped the school’s vision and launched program initiatives and community partnerships that benefited both students and Las Vegas community. She launched the school’s Jazz Initiative, modeled on the ground-breaking prototype at Lincoln Center, as well as the Musical Crossroads program, that showcases classical guest artists crossing over into Latin and Jazz genres, performing in schools throughout the Clark County School District. Her passion for film music evolved into Kids2Kids concerts performed by students for students, wildly embraced by school administrators and young audiences alike.

Shakeh received her early music training at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Music School in Armenia, a country at that time “behind the Iron Curtain.”  After immigrating to the United States in 1979, she received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  She studied with such string notables as Lori Ulanova, Haik Balian and John Kendall.

Since 1998 Shakeh has held the position of Principal 2nd Violinist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and performs with the Philharmonic’s Principals Quartet, to present educational outreach and chamber music concerts in the community.  She also plays regularly in orchestras supporting ballet and opera performances, as well as in recording sessions with jazz and pop musicians. She has performed with a vast array of classical artists and celebrity entertainers, including Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Boccelli, Placido Domingo, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Itzhak Perlman and others on and off the Strip. Her solo performances include appearances with Henderson Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Shakeh is an established master teacher and adjudicator. She has been invited to present master classes and workshops in Arizona, Utah, California, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, Oregon, New York, Washington and Las Vegas Summer Music Festival. She was a featured presenter at the American String Teachers National Conference, and is a recipient of ASTA’s Studio Teacher Award in Nevada.

She was the Founder and Program Director of the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival from 2006-2014.  Her students have garnered top awards at numerous local and national competitions and have been chosen to participate in prestigious summer music festivals and camps, such as the Interlochen Summer Music Camp, Indian University Summer String Program, Tanglewood Summer Institute and National Orchestra Summer Institute. She is dedicated and passionate about working with young musicians and guiding their musical and artistic development. Many of her violin students have graduated from universities and conservatories around the country.  With her as a mentor, they have become accomplished professional musicians and, most importantly, beautiful human beings.

PRINCIPAL 2ND VIOLIN OF THE LAS VEGAS PHILHARMONIC, CONCERT ARTIST, MASTER TEACHER, PEDAGOGOUE,

FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE NEVADA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS (NSA), FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECOTR OF THE STRING CONNNECTION, Virtual Violin Festival and THE GREEN VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

Kevork Mikaelian

Kevork Mikaelian

Assistant Principal

Ukrainian-born violinist Myroslava Khomik is a top prize winner of international competitions and awards, including the ​Remember Enescu Competition ​in Romania, and the ​New Names of Ukraine​ ​. She has appeared as a soloist and as a chamber music collaborator in concerts and festivals throughout the US, Europe, South America and Asia, and her performances were broadcast on National TV and Radio in Ukraine, Spain, the US, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. In May of 2019 she was named a New Artist 2018 by the Classical Music Critics Association of Argentina after her successful debut in Buenos Aires with the ​Orquesta de Cámara del Congreso de la Nación.

Based in Los Angeles, Ms. Khomik is an avid promoter of contemporary composers, educational outreach, and regularly participates in premieres of new works. Most recent highlights include two new commissions for solo violin and an upcoming release of her debut album; performances with ​Orquestra Sinfonica EAFIT​ in Medellin, Colombia, O​ rquesta Filarmónica de Zacatecas, Sinfonica Orquestra de Barra Mansa, Orquestra de la Societat de Concerts de Barcelona, Kyiv Kamerata, ​as well as residencies in Brazil and Argentina​ ​with music programs for underprivileged children.

A devoted chamber music advocate, Ms. Khomik had the privilege of collaborating and performing alongside many distinguished artists, such as members of the ​Borromeo​, ​Jerusalem​, ​Ysaye ​and ​Tokyo​ String Quartets, Midori Goto, Oleh Krysa, Carol Wincec, Fred Sherry, Ronald Leonard, Robert Davidovici, Michelle Zukovsky, Antonio Lysy, Guillaume Sutre, Movses Pogossian, among others. She frequently appears in chamber music series in Los Angeles (LACMA Sundays Live, Broad Stage Series, Redcat Series, among others), in New York and throughout Europe.

Ms. Khomik received her Performance Diploma from Lviv Krushelnytska School of Music in Ukraine, and after continuing her education in the US she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also held a position of the Teaching Associate of Chamber Music in the string department. Ms. Khomik regularly performs with several orchestras in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and the New West Symphony, she can be heard on various recordings for film and television, and is a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Ms. Khomik served as an adjunct professor at Fullerton College, as is currently on faculty as a violin and chamber music teaching artist at Biola University and at the Montecito International Music Festival.

Hui Lim, a native of Singapore, is a violinist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Berkeley Symphony, the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, and the Associate Principal 2nd Violin with the Boise Philharmonic.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music (B.M, 2006) and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (M.M. 2008), Hui’s teachers include Koichiro Harada, Ik-Hwan Bae, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, Eliot Chapo, and Oleh Krysa.  She has served as teaching assistant to Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, former 1st Assistant Principal 2nd violin of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Eliot Chapo, former Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

Previously, Hui was also a violinist with the Tallahassee Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Reno Philharmonic and the Reno Chamber Orchestra.

During Hui’s schooling days, she won 2nd place at the National Piano and Violin Competition in Singapore, and performed with the Asian Youth Orchestra on a 6-week concert tour.

Hui enjoys squabbling with her cat son, Snowbear, and travels to Las Vegas for Philharmonic concerts with her teddy bears.  She is married to fellow LVPhilian, Tiantian Lan.

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.

Alex joined the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s first violin section in 2022, a native of Russia he has spent his life in pursuit of violin excellence. He came to the US to study at The Julliard School (New York) where he studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Massao Kawasaki, & Eduard Schmieder. Upon receiving his Bachelors of in Violin Performance (2008) and then a Masters of Music (2010), he competed in several competitions while finishing runner up in the 2012 Buenos Aires Violin competition and also the International China Violin Competition. From 2009-2013 he was the Assistant Concert master of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and in 2013 accepted the position as Principal Second Violin in the Aalbord Symphony Orchestra in Denmark. He recently moved to Las Vegas, NV and has been an active member in many of the professional performance ensembles locally.

Viola

Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

Principal

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

Tiantian Lan is the Principal Viola of Oakland Symphony, Berkeley Symphony and Assistant Principal Viola of Las Vegas Philharmonic, Boise Philharmonic and Reno Philharmonic. 

 

Born in Beijing, China, Tiantian began studying violin at age four and viola at age nine. He received his B.M. degree from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing studying under Wing Ho and then earning his M.M. degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music learning under Jodi Levitz in 2009. He has performed with orchestras around the U.S. including Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and at music festivals including Tanglewood Music Festival and Lancaster Music Festival in Ohio. During the most recent season of 2019-2020, Tiantian was offered a viola position with the Rochester Philharmonic following their national auditions and also started performing regularly with the Atlanta Symphony.

 

Tiantian lives in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, Hui, and his cat son, Snowbear.

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.

Omar was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and began playing the viola through a middle school orchestra program at age 11. After graduating from the Las Vegas Academy of Performing and Visual Arts he attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to pursue his undergraduate studies with Jodi Levitz and then the University of Michigan for his masters degree with Yizhak Schotten. In 2014, he won a section position with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, but before permanently moving back to the Las Vegas area was offered to join a training orchestra program at Bard College, New York. As a founding member of The Orchestra Now, he performed in venues all over the New York City area including several times at Carnegie Hall, Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Omar returned to Las Vegas in 2018, and has been performing and teaching in the area ever since, working frequently with local arts institutions like the Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas, the Nevada School of the Arts and the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras program.

Cello

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Principal

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.

Mert is a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and co-founder of the electric cello duo BRIDGE. He has performed with many of the biggest luminaries of the classical, pop, Latin, and country music worlds. He played at the prestigious Carnegie Hall under the baton of the internationally renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim and performed at the Grand Ole Opry with John Rich and Big Kenny of Big & Rich that same year. His Las Vegas performances include The Lion King, Phantom, Cheap Trick, ShowStoppers, and The Frankie Moreno Show. In addition, he has performed with Natalie Cole, Nelly Furtado, Carlos Santana, Smokey Robinson, India Arie, and has recently appeared with Stevie Wonder and tenor Andrea Bocelli.

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.

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 is the Assistant Professor of Flute at Brigham Young University.

A proud native of Bountiful, Utah, Christina’s primary teacher was Nancy Toone, and she later received her Bachelors and Masters degrees, graduating Magna Cum Laude as the Outstanding Senior and Summa Cum Laude as the Outstanding Graduate, with Dr. Richard Soule at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas while also serving as president of Sigma Alpha Iota and the Las Vegas Flute Club.

Since then, Christina has enjoyed a prosperous and diverse musical career.  After becoming 2nd Flutist of The Las Vegas Philharmonic at the age of 22 and later appointed to Principal Flutist, Christina quickly established herself as a top call freelance musician on the Las Vegas Strip, playing hundreds of shows over a 6 year run of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular, as well as backing countless headliners – most notably: Placido Domingo, Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra Jr., Andrea Bocelli, Harry Connick Jr., Weird Al Yankovic, and Seth MacFarlane.  She has had the pleasure of playing under the direction of Itzhak Perlman and Michael Giacchino, and shared the stage with artists such as STING, Ben Folds, Kristen Chenoweth, Renee Fleming, The Beach Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Arturo Sandoval, Il Divo, Gentri, Kansas, The Who, and Journey.

Besides her duties as Principal Flutist the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Christina can be heard as principal flutist of The Nevada Ballet Theater, Salt Lake Symphony, and solo flutist of Sinfonia Salt Lake as well as very frequent performances with the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Ballet West Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra at Temple Square for the Tabernacle Choir, the TAD Wind Symphony in Japan, and many off Broadway musical productions.

While Christina enjoys immensely playing with orchestras and freelancing, one of her biggest passions is solo and chamber music work.  As a soloist, not only has Christina performed many of the great “standard” classic pieces with bands and orchestras alike, but she works hard to contribute building great flute repertoire through commissions such as Stacy Garrop’s “Phoenix Rising”, which she recently performed as a soloist at the National Flute Association Convention.

As an educator, Christina has served as adjunct professor of flute at the Snow College, Horne School of Music, Utah Valley University, and assistant flute instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  As a clinician, Christina has been a guest artist at Utah State University, Salem Youth Symphony, Anna Maria College Music Institute, The Utah Flute Association, and The Blackbird Music Project in California to name a few.  Besides her studio teaching, Christina has published hundreds of instructional videos online for Musician’s Toolkit and Connect Through Music.

Christina has also continued to make community service a priority as past President of The Utah Flute Association and as a facilitator for “The Jed Moss Collaborative Pianist Scholarship”, endowed in perpetuity at The University of Utah.

When Christina isn’t teaching or performing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris, co-owner and solo horn of Boston Brass, and their two beautiful children, Lily and Orion.

John McMurtery is Second Flute in the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He enjoys a varied career as an orchestral flutist, soloist, chamber musician, composer, and teacher. Currently, he is section flutist of the New York City Opera Orchestra, and principal of the School of American Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center, having served as guest principal flutist with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Lyric Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony. He performed with the Chicago Symphony on its 2017 European tour with Maestro Riccardo Muti. Previously, he was principal flutist with the Opera Orchestra of New York, the Peoria Symphony, the Crested Butte Festival Orchestra, the Dicapo Opera, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and as piccoloist with the Oregon Symphony. McMurtery has performed regularly with the New Jersey Symphony and the Amici NY Orchestra at the OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Of a Lincoln Center Festival performance of a Brian Ferneyhough work for solo flute, the New York Times wrote, “Carceri d’Invenzione IIb, a tour de force for flute bristling with invention, was played brilliantly by John McMurtery, exploring the extreme high and low registers of the instrument, zapping back and forth at hyperspeed." As soloist, McMurtery has appeared with the New York Symphonic Ensemble in Japan, the Peoria Symphony, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, and at the Wien Modern festival. He has given many premieres and continues to commission new works.

​As chamber musician, McMurtery is a founding member of Luna Nova and UpTown Flutes. He recorded for the NAXOS, Kleos, Navona, and Albany record labels. At the 2015 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival he performed and recorded Messiaen’s Des canyons aux etoiles… under the direction of Maestro Alan Gilbert. Most recently, McMurtery recorded two CDs of solo and chamber music by Louis Anthony deLise for Bocage Records.

​Prior to his current appointment as Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, McMurtery held teaching appointments at Western Illinois University, the Westminster Conservatory Young Artist Program, and the Lucy Moses School in New York City. He has given masterclasses throughout the US, Japan, and in Shenzhen, China, and has appeared as guest artist at flute festivals in Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. McMurtery is a past president of the New York Flute Club and is currently president of the Las Vegas Flute Club. His compositions include several works for flute ensemble that are
published by Art of Sound Music that are performed throughout the United States.

Dr. McMurtery earned his DMA from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Julius Baker, Robert Langevin, and Jeanne Baxtresser. He received his MM from Rutgers University as a student of Bart Feller, and BM from Central Washington University where he studied with Dr. Hal Ott.

Elvin Schlanger

Elvin Schlanger

3rd Flute/ Piccolo

Southern California native Elvin Schlanger is the newly appointed 3rd Flute/Piccolo of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He is also the Principal Flute of the California Young Artists Symphony and has made appearances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and Symphony San Jose.

Elvin has won and placed in several competitions including the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Competition, the Music Academy of the West Keston MAX Competition, and the Music Academy of the West Duo Competition. Most recently, he was awarded 2nd prize in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with the Inland Valley Youth Symphony, Southern California Philharmonic, Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Academy Festival Orchestra, and the Colburn Orchestra.

Elvin received his Artist Diploma from the Colburn School where he studied with Jim Walker. He is also a graduate of the Yale School of Music where he earned his Master’s Degree studying with Ransom Wilson, and of CSU Long Beach where he received his Bachelor’s Degree studying with Dr. John Barcellona. He has had the honor of working with legendary flutists and teachers such as Denis Bouriakov, Sarah Jackson, Carol Wincenc, Demarre McGill, Jennifer Grim, Philippe Bernold, Emmanuel Pahud, Yubeen Kim, and Sebastian Jacot.

Elvin is a Wm. S. Haynes Young Artist, and plays a Haynes Custom Fusion flute.

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

Mika Brunson, M.M. is a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic (3rd oboe/English horn), a position she won in 2006.  She is also a member of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (2nd oboe/English horn) and was the co-winner of the June 2013 audition for the 2nd oboe/English horn position with the La Crosse Symphony, with which she performs regularly.  During Summer 2015, Mika played oboe and English horn with the New Hampshire Music Festival in Plymouth, NH.  She also plays with the Wisconsin Philharmonic in Waukesha, WI.

Mika has taught Aural Skills, Music Appreciation and Group Piano at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point at- Marshfield and is currently the choir teacher at Columbus Catholic MS/HS in Marshfield.

Mika is a frequent accompanist in Central Wisconsin, and keeps a large private studio of piano and voice students.  She plans to finish her licensure as an Andover Educator (teacher of Body Mapping) soon.

Clarinet

Cory Tiffin

Cory Tiffin

Principal

A “clarinet maverick” (Time Out New York), Cory Tiffin is currently the Principal Clarinetist for the
Las Vegas Philharmonic. Previous positions include Principal Clarinet of Green Bay Symphony,
and Performing Member of the Chicago Philharmonic. He won his first position in an orchestra
at 23 years old, playing second clarinet in the Illinois Symphony.

Cory regularly performs with the San Francisco Symphony and Oakland Symphony, having also
performed with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony, the California
Symphony, and dozens of other orchestras across the country. Summer festival appearances
include performing as Principal Clarinet with the New Hampshire, Mendocino, Bear Valley, and
Music in the Mountains festival orchestras.

Hailed for his “understated virtuosity” (Chicago Classical Review), Cory has given recitals with
the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Grammy-nominated Lincoln
Trio and both curated and performed on numerous programs on Chicago’s WFMT-FM. He has
been a featured soloist multiple times with both the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra and the
Las Vegas Philharmonic. A champion of new music, he collaborated with some of the USA’s
leading new music ensembles, such as Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Left Coast Chamber
Ensemble, Access Contemporary Music, and the University of Chicago’s New Music Ensemble.
He founded and ran the eclectic Anaphora Ensemble for several years in Chicago and has
commissioned chamber music by some of today’s leading composers.

Cory received his Bachelor’s in Music from DePaul University. His primary teachers include
Larry Combs, Julie Deroche, and Wagner Campos in addition to coachings and masterclasses
with Stephen Williamson, Carey Bell, Yehuda Gilad, and many others. As an educator, Cory has
been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University,
University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Chabot Community College. He can be heard on the
Southport and Albany record labels. When away from the clarinet, Cory loves to spend time with
his wife and son, especially during family hikes, camping trips, and beach days.

Carmen Izzo

Carmen Izzo

Assistant Principal/Bass Clarinet

Bassoon

Corbin Krebs

Corbin Krebs

Principal

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, bassoonist Corbin Krebs is the newly appointed Principal Bassoonist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Prior to joining the Las Vegas Philharmonic, he has performed with orchestras from across the country, including the Louisville Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Opera San Antonio, and the Canton Symphony. In 2015 and 2016, he served as principal bassoonist of the National Youth Orchestra USA, where he toured Europe and China under the batons of Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, and Valery Gergiev. With a strong passion for chamber music, Corbin won the bronze medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2019 with the Cleveland-based wind quintet, Catharsis Winds, and currently plays with the Houston-based Kodan Quintet.

Corbin has earned degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy (H.S.), Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M.), and Rice University (M.M), where he studied with Dr. Eric Stomberg, Barrick Stees, and Benjamin Kamins, respectively. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, spending time with his family and cats, and playing the banjo.

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

Bill Bernatis

Principal

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 began her public relations career working as Director of Public Relations for the Musicians Union of Las Vegas during a serious labor dispute. At the end of the strike, she continued her career as an independent publicist for various arts and labor organizations, eventually joining local public relations and advertising agencies.

She continued to freelance in music and public relations throughout the 1990s, and during this time became an award-winning voice actor. She also became a morning radio DJ, hosting a daily lifestyle/entertainment show on KQOL-FM, then on KSTJ-FM; and she hosted a nightly show on KJUL-FM. She later became an announcer for Nevada Public Radio, hosting shows on KNPR-FM and KCNV-FM.

Beth was solo horn in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Wynn Las Vegas, and principal horn in “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian Resort and Hotel. She has performed with many entertainers appearing in Las Vegas, including Tony Bennett, the Who, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Seal, Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Kelly Clarkson, Cheap Trick, and many others. She can be heard 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 Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Music, where she is also an adjunct instructor of horn. She maintains a successful private teaching studio, and works as a freelance voice actor. She lives in South Las Vegas, and in her free time (when there is any) Beth enjoys hiking, writing, reading and traveling.

 

Frank Joyce has been tenured as part of the Las Vegas Philharmonic for over 20 years.  Frank studied in California with George Cable and Gerald Thatcher formally, and has had other instruction from such notables as Jim Thatcher and Rick Todd.  Frank has performed with the San Luis Obispo County Symphony, Santa Maria Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Arizona Opera.

Locally, along with his LVP commitments, Frank has performed with the Nevada Ballet, Opera Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Synphonietta, and many other notable freelance opportunities including Andrea Bocelli, the Who, Journey, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and others.  Also, during the tenure of Phantom Las Vegas at the Venetian, Frank performed in many shows during its 5+ year run.

In 1999, Frank came to Las Vegas as a builder, and has been building the Las Vegas community ever since.  Notable projects include the Las Vegas Municipal Courthouse downtown, Global Community High School and Family Support Center, 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway high-rise Tower and parking structure, numerous healthcare projects at Sunrise Hospital, MountainView Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital, and St. Rose Siena Hospital.

Frank lives in Henderson, and in his free time enjoys spending time with his family and playing tennis whenever possible.

Trumpet

Tom Wright

Tom Wright

Principal

Tom Wright is a founding member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic where he holds the position of principal trumpet.  His music career has spanned 40+ years, performing in both the commercial and classical genres. He began his professional music career at age 14 when he joined the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra in California.  Later, he performed with the Santa Rosa Baroque Symphonia and the Napa Symphony Orchestra.  Tom attended California State University, Hayward and worked his way through college as a staff musician at Marriott’s Great America Amusement Park in Santa Clara, California.

In 1979, he became the Assistant to the Director of Bands at UNLV. In addition, Tom became a member of the Tropicana Hotel House Orchestra under the baton of Joe Castro, where he remained until 1989.  He has played for artists such as Elton John, Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Paul Anka, Andrea Bocelli, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Dudley Moore, Marie Osmond, Jack Jones, Phyllis Diller, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, The Temptations, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and most recently, Hugh Jackman and Weird Al Yankovic. Tom was a designated sub for the long-running Phantom of The Opera at The Venetian Resort and played in the house orchestra for Steve Wynn’s Show-Stoppers.

Tom has been a featured soloist with the Desert Choral and performs regularly with the Nevada Pops, Opera Las Vegas, Nevada Ballet Theatre, and Broadway shows at The Smith Center. He recently retired after a 30-year tenure with a major insurance company where he supervised the Direct Repair Program.

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

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