Judith Ablon is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She holds a Master of Music degree in viola performance from Indiana University where she was a student of Abraham Skernick. While at Indiana, Ablon won the Bartók Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She spent three summers as a fellow at Tanglewood, where she performed as principal violist under Leonard Bernstein and received the Cynthia Busch Award given to the most outstanding violist. Judith joined The Nashville Symphony in 1995. Previously, she was associate principal violist with the Omaha Symphony and principal violist with the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra.
Jessica Blackwell completed her studies at The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University in May of 2009; she received her Master’s Degree in Performance/Pedagogy in May of 2008, and most recently received a Graduate Performance Diploma in May of 2009. Blackwell was a student of Pamela Frank. Blackwell received her B.M. in Performance in 2006 at Rice University, where she studied with Sergiu Luca. Prior to studying with Luca, she studied with David Halen, Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony. Blackwell has played with several orchestras including New World, Baltimore, San Antonio, Annapolis, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, where she served as acting concertmaster. In December 2007, Blackwell performed as Principal 2nd of the Peabody Symphony under Maestro Jaime Laredo at the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center Awards. She also had the privilege of performing as concertmaster under Maestro Leon Fleischer at Peabody in the spring of 2009. Blackwell joined the Nashville Symphony at the start of the 2009-2010 season. Blackwell is a devoted supporter of music outreach; she co-founded the “Shepherd School Medical Outreach Team” while she was a student at Rice. She is also passionate about teaching: previously Blackwell was on the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory, and will be joining Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music faculty as Adjunct Artist-Teacher of Violin this fall.
Clarinetist Emily Wasson Bowland maintains an active career as performer and teacher. She currently holds positions in Orchestra Nashville, Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and the Evansville Philharmonic. Bowland can also be heard as E-flat clarinetist on several NAXOS Records recordings of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. She holds degrees from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Southern California, and currently serves on the faculty of Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
Baritone Jonathan Carle has performed with some of North America’s leading regional opera companies including Opera North, Minnesota Opera, Commonwealth Opera, Opera in Concert (Toronto), Sarasota Opera, Green Mountain Opera Festival and Glimmerglass Opera. Building a comprehensive repertoire of some twenty leading roles, Carle’s resume includes the title roles in Don Giovanni, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Nixon in China and Don Quixote (Telemann), as well as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Dr. Miracle (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Ford (Falstaff), Frank (Die Fledermaus), Escamillo (Carmen), Janusz (Halka), Filippo (Beatrice di Tenda), Count di Luna (Il Trovator), Silvio (Pagliacci), Valentin (Faust), Seid (Il Corsaro), and others. Equally at home in oratorio, Carle’s solo concert credits are Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Brahms, Fauré and Mozart Requiems, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan William’s Five Mystical Songs and Hodie, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, the Bach and Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorios, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. As a recitalist, Carle has performed for Glimmerglass Opera, Radio Canada and the Resident Artist series at the Minnesota Institute of Art. His song repertoire covers the Renaissance to contemporary works including world premieres.
Karen Clarke joined the violin faculty at Blair in the fall of 2007 after retiring as a Professor of Music at Florida State University. She is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player and period instrument violinist and has appeared as soloist with such ensembles as the Buffalo Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. A former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, she has served as concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and is at present the concertmaster of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra and Music City Baroque in Nashville. She performs frequently in Austin, Texas and with Santa Fe Pro Musica in New Mexico. As a founding member of the Rogeri Trio, Clarke performed throughout the United States and held a residency at Yale University. A native of Boise, Idaho, her teachers have included Robert Gerle, Elaine Lee Richey, Joseph Silverstein and Donald Weilerstein.
Deborah Kavasch, composer, soprano, and specialist in extended vocal techniques, became fascinated with music at an early age and sang in choirs as soon as she was allowed. Her violin studies led to a music scholarship at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, where she earned a B.A. in German and a B.M. and M.M in music composition/theory, followed by a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California, San Diego, where she worked primarily with composer Robert Erickson as well as with Roger Reynolds, Kenneth Gaburo, Pauline Oliveros, and Bernard Rands. She was awarded a doctoral research assistantship at the Center for Music Experiment, where she became a founding member of the Extended Vocal Techniques Ensemble, a group of musicians interested in exploring the musically expressive capacities of the human voice through study of other musical cultures and improvisation. Kavasch has received grants and residencies in composition and performance and has had works commissioned and performed in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, and China. She has appeared in concert in major international music centers and festivals, frequently presents on new music and women in music conferences and festivals, and has premiered over 70 new works. She has been described as a “multifaceted, multi-timbral vocalist” with “articulate radiance” (Los Angeles Times) and “astonishing range and agility” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “blew off the balcony…thrilling” (Journal SEAMUS), “exuberant” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Kavasch is published by Fish Creek Music and Edition Reimers of Stockholm, and is recorded by Lovely Records, Composers Recordings, Inc., Cambria Master Recordings, and TNC Classical. Her CDs of original works performed by herself, The Dark Side of the Muse, and Fables & Fantasies, are released under the TNC Classical label. She is currently Department Chair and Professor of Music Theory/Composition at California State University, Stanislaus.
Todd Kemp holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and a Master of Music degree in percussion performance from Belmont University, where he currently teaches classical percussion and music theory. He is also a staple of Nashville’s rock music scene as a multi-instrumentalist with bands The Carter Administration and The Clutters.
Sharon Mabry first received national recognition in the 1980 National Public Radio Art of Song series when she was a featured recitalist. Since then her sensitive interpretation of traditional and contemporary music has placed her in demand as a recitalist, soloist with symphony orchestras and as a master teacher of vocal techniques. As a recitalist, she has presented major performances in venues such as Merkin Concert Hall (New York City), Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), The National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), and three national conventions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Mabry has premiered works by more than thirty composers and continues to have new works written for her. Her eight recordings have received outstanding critical acclaim and airplay on FM stations internationally. Each has showcased works by contemporary composers or music by women composers. Her latest CDs are: Music by Vercoe, Goossen and Barber on the Owl label; Music by Women: A Celebration on the Capstone label and features works by Lili Boulanger, Rhian Samuel, Elizabeth Vercoe and Mary Howe; and Lincoln Portraits, a CD issued by the Naxos label in 2009 on which she is a featured soloist with members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in the Roy Harris “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.” In addition to her concert career, Mabry is professor of music at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN where she received the university’s highest award for creativity (the Richard M. Hawkins Award) and for teaching (the Distinguished Professor Award). Her book Exploring Twentieth Century Vocal Music was published by Oxford University Press in 2002, paperback edition issued in 2009. She holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University, the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from George Peabody College, and a Performance Certificate from the prestigious Franz-Schubert-Institut in Austria.
A member of the music faculty at Tennessee Technological University since 1989, Roger Martin holds degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (BM; Flute Performance) and Florida State University (MM; Woodwinds Performance, DM; Flute Performance). Martin has concertized extensively, presenting solo recitals in Canada, the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. He has been principal flutist with Cookeville, Tennessee’s Bryan Symphony Orchestra (1989-present), the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony (1985-1989), and the Festival Chamber Orchestra of the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado (1987-2001). He has also been a featured solo artist with all three of these organizations. In Nashville, Martin has appeared as principal flutist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, is a regular sub with the Nashville Symphony (with whom he has appeared as guest principal flutist), and does occasional recording session work. Activities with the Cumberland Quintet (in residence at Tennessee Tech University) include numerous yearly concerts, two compact discs, and performances at national conventions. As a clinician and adjudicator, Martin has been active for the past eighteen years throughout the United States. Previous faculty positions include Minnesota’s Moorhead State University (1984-1989) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (1983-1984).
Daniel Reinker has been Principal Viola of the Nashville Symphony and a member of the Blair School of Music faculty since 2002. During the summer months he performs and teaches at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. Formerly he was Associate Principal Viola with the San Antonio Symphony and Principal Viola with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra. He received a B.M. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory, an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, and participated in the Professional Studies program at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Philippine native Sari DeLeon-Reist received her B.M. in cello performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Irene Sharp. She has been a faculty member of Mannes College of Music, School for Strings, and the Children’s Orchestra Society of New York. DeLeon-Reist is an active performer and teacher in Nashville. She divides her time between duties as Assistant Principal Cello with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, teacher at the Allegro School of Music, and cellist of the Trillium Trio. She performs part-time with the Nashville Symphony.
Soprano Terri Richter has impressed audiences with her captivating energy as well as refined artistry onstage. Acclaimed as a “rising star” by The Seattle Times, this accomplished soprano is in demand for recitals, opera and orchestral engagements. A graduate of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, she went on to perform many roles with Seattle Opera, earning critical acclaim for her portrayals of Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Oscar in Verdi’s Masked Ball. Other roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Richter’s guest appearances with Seattle Symphony include the nationally televised 2001 commemorative “Rolling Requiem,” (Mozart’s Requiem), Mahler’s Symphony no. 4, Handel’s Messiah, and Taylor’s Peter Ibbetson, recently released on the Naxos label. Upcoming engagements include Carmina Burana with the Seattle Symphony, Euridice in Seattle Opera’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Sophie in Opera Cleveland’s Werther, Clorinda in Monteverdi’s Tancredi and Clorinda, a Monteverdi Vespers, an evening of Handel chamber music with the Music City Baroque, and the virtuosic 17th century Cari Musici with the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.terririchter.com.
Melissa Rose has performed as a collaborative pianist in Russia, Argentina, and throughout the United States. She is the pianist in residence with the Summerfest Chamber Music Series in Kansas City and has appeared locally with Alias, the Nashville Symphony, and Nashville Ballet. She works extensively in song recital settings and serves as the official accompanist for national and international music competitions and conferences. She received her M.M. in piano performance from Yale University and the D.M.A. in piano chamber music at the University of Michigan. She is Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Piano at the Blair School of Music where she coaches singers and teaches courses in accompanying and chamber music for pianists.
Rebecca Willie joined the Nashville Symphony in 2002. She is also concertmaster of the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, she was a member of the New World Symphony, where she served as concertmaster under Michael Tilson Thomas. Willie has performed as a soloist with the Nashville Philharmonic, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Starling Chamber Orchestra and the Seattle Philharmonic. She also regularly performs chamber music throughout the United States, including a nearly annual recital in Nashville. Willie has served as a member of the faculty at Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Festival in Vermont and Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, WA. She also spent the summer of 2005 performing in Northwestern Italy with the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati.
Candice Zimmermann moved to Nashville in the summer of 2008 and has enjoyed her experience here thus far. Originally from Cardston, Alberta, Zimmermann received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Since graduating, Zimmermann has performed in a variety of capacities, from dinner train cabaret singer in Stillwater, Minnesota, to Andrea Bocelli backup in Anaheim, California, to chorus member in Carmen and Boris Godunov with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. She most recently co-created and performed a concert of Broadway favorites at various venues around Southern Alberta. In addition to performance, Zimmermann has extensive experience teaching and coaching vocal students. She is married to James, the principal clarinetist with the Nashville Symphony, and is currently enjoying being a new mom to baby Caroline, who was born this past May.