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Musicians - Guest Artists - 2008-2009 Season

Master Series IV

Guest Artist: Jeremy Rhizor
May 22, 2009

Jeremy Rhizor

Violinist Jeremy Rhizor is a student of Professor Oleh Krysa at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He is a native of Las Vegas, NV. During the academic year, he performs frequently as concertmaster with various Eastman ensembles including the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor Neil Varon. He extensively performs with various chamber ensembles in recital. He has balanced his musical abilities with a commitment to the community by performing in charitable fundraisers, organizing a benefit concert for his church, and performing with the New Eastman Outreach Orchestra. In past years, he appeared as a guest soloist with the Nevada Chamber Symphony and the Henderson Civic Symphony. He is a former concertmaster of the Las Vegas Academy's Symphony Strings and Philharmonic. He performed at many prominent music clinics with Nevada School of the Arts' National Touring Violin Ensemble, conducted by Mary Straub, his teacher for seven years, and Shakeh Ghoukasian. He received the Emerson Scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Camp where he had the opportunity to perform as concertmaster with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Otto-Werner Mueller. For three consecutive years Jeremy participated in the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute in Washington, D.C.

Second Annual Young People's Concert

Guest Artist: Abigail Varghese
April 30, 2009

Abigail Varghese

Abigail Varghese was born in Las Vegas in 1999. She began piano lessons at the age of 5. Her exceptional talent and love of music became quickly evident in her playing and also in the arrangements and original pieces she began to compose. When she was 6 1/2, she entered the studio of Elissa Stutz Lechnir. Since that time, Abigail has gone on to win various awards and competitions. When she was 7 years old, she won first place for an original composition in the Silver State Competition. At the age of 8, Abigail took one of the top prizes in the CSN Concerto Competition and soloed with the Nevada Chamber Symphony. Later that year, she won first place in performance at Silver State and took first prize in the Liberace Piano Competition. In February of 2009, Abigail took 1st place at the Bolognini Competition. In addition to her regular practice schedule, Abigail continues to enjoy making her own arrangements of hymns which she plays regularly at her church. Plans are currently underway for the recording of her own CD of these works.

Elissa Lechnir, Abigail's teacher

Concert Series II: Young Artists

Guest Artist: Caitlin Stokes
March 29, 2009

Caitlin Stokes

Caitlin Stokes is a junior and attends Nevada State High school. She began studying the Suzuki Violin Method at age 6 and was a recipient of the Liberace Scholarship at the Nevada School of the Arts. Caitlin is also a long time member of the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras, and is presently playing with the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic. Caitlin was also selected to participate with the 2008 Nevada All-State Orchestra.

Caitlin was a first place winner in the MNTA Silver State Competition in 2005 and has received honorable mentions in both the LVMTA Bolognini Competition and the 2007 MTNA Nevada State Competition. In 2008, she received second place in both the MTNA Nevada State Competition and the Nevada ASTA Solo Competition. Most recently, Caitlin was chosen to solo with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra in March of 2009.

In the summer of 2007 Caitlin attended Sound Encounters and was accepted into master classes with Brian Lewis and Won-Bin Yim. She was also accepted into the Indiana University Summer String Academy where she studied with Austin Hartman. In the summer of 2008, Caitlin attended Interlochen Arts Camp as an Emerson Scholar, representing the State of Nevada, where she studied with Javier Pinell and played in the World Youth Symphony orchestra for two of her weeks spent there.

In August 2007, Caitlin was invited to perform in the 8th Annual California Music Festival Whiz Kids Concert and the Summerlin String Festival. Caitlin has also participated in the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival for past three seasons.

Caitlin is currently a member of the Advanced Repertoire Ensemble at the Nevada School of the Arts and is a private student of Mary Straub.

Guest Artist: Samantha Ciarlo
March 29, 2009

Samantha Ciarlo

Sammi Ciarlo is currently a sophomore at Silverado High School. She has been studying with Mrs. Shakeh Ghoukasian of Nevada School of the Arts since she was seven years old. Sammi was a winner of the Silver State Competition in 2005 and 2006, and placed 2nd in the Bolognini Competition in 2005. She has participated in the CCSD Honor Orchestra since 6th grade and was concertmaster this past year for the 9-10 Honor Orchestra. She has played for the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival since it's inception in 2006.

Sammi was very fortunate to have traveled to Europe in the summer of 2008 with the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic and played in Vienna, Salzburg and Prague. Sammi would like to thank her mentors, Mrs. Shakeh Ghoukasian and Mr.Charles Jackson for all their support.

In addition to playing the violin, Sammi loves to work out at the gym, travel and read a good book.

Guest Artist: Aida Badalian
March 29, 2009

Aida Badalian

Aida Badalian was born on February 17, 1996 in Glendale, California. Her mother often says that Aida was playing piano ever since she took her first steps. When Aida was six years old, she moved to Las Vegas and she met her piano teacher, Tamara Saakyan, two years later. Aida has won an assortment of awards including the Silver State Competition and the Bolognini.

Aida Badalian is currently a 7th grader at Rogich Middle School. Aida enjoys drawing and considers book to be her best friends. In her spare time she listens to music. She has also taken swimming lessons and is qualified to join the swim team. Aida plans on going to a good college that meets her ideal, which is music. Her dream for the future is to become a concert pianist or a teacher.

Aida expresses her devotion to music with these words. "Life to me consists of the arts. I love to play piano and when I do I lose myself in the music."

Guest Artist: Ryan Schwartz
March 29, 2009

Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz is a junior at the Las Vegas Academy where he is a performance major in band. Ryan has played the oboe for four years, three of which have been privately. For the past two and half years, he has been studying with Dr. Stephen Caplan at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has participated in the Clark County School District Honor Band for three years, maintaining a position in the top band or wind ensemble, as well as earning a place in the Nevada All State Band and Orchestra. Ryan is the principal oboist in both the Wind Ensemble and the Philharmonic Orchestra at the Las Vegas Academy. In addition, he currently holds the principal position at the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra- Philharmonic touring with the group to Central Europe this past summer. He also performed with the LVA Philharmonic at the ASTA Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2008 where the group placed as a regional winner.

Ryan's aspirations are to major in music throughout college, have a professional career as an oboist with a symphony orchestra and teach the oboe to motivate others as his teachers have motivated him.

Master Series III:

Guest Artist: Virko Baley
February 8, 2009

Virko Baley

Virko Baley, composer, conductor, pianist and writer was born in the Ukraine in 1938 but has spent most of his creative life in the United States. Mr. Baley is the recipient of the 1996 Shevchenko Prize for Music, awarded by the Ukrainian government. He also received the Petro Jacyk Distinguished Research Fellowship at the Ukrainian Research Institute for the academic year of 2006-2007 to continue work on his opera "Red Earth (Hunger)".

Virko Baley has produced a total of over 70 audio CDs since 1996, and in 2007, he was awarded a GRAMMY as recording producer for TNC Recordings for Best Instrumental Performance with Orchestra. He is the author of many articles on Ukrainian music, including many entries for GROVE. As a conductor he has led the Kiev Camerata in recordings of over 15 CD's of orchestral music by composers ranging from Mozart, Beethoven, Ivan Karabyts, Valentin Silvestrov, Bernard Rands to Yevhen Stankovych.

Mr. Baley's composing credits are also extensive. Shirley Fleming, reviewing a concert of his music in the New York Post called his music "vibrant, dramatic, communicative, much of it framed by extra-musical allusions that place it in a solid context." According to Village Voice critic Kyle Gann, the New York premiere of Violin Concerto No. 1, quasi una fantasia was full of "sonic images memorable enough to take home." His Symphony No. 1: "Sacred Monuments" released on TNC Recordings was commented in Classics Today by David Hurwitz as "Powerfully imagined, clearly articulated, and quite moving... It's a very serious ambitious statement by a gifted artist, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it turns out to have more staying power than many other contemporary works by today's trendier composers."

In addition, Virko Baley has several film credits to his name. He co-produced and wrote the music for Yuri Illienko's film "Swan Lake The Zone," which won the international critics prize at Cannes in 1990, and the music for Illienko's last film, "Prayer for Hetman Mazepa." Most recently Virko Baley received the prestigious Academy Award in Music 2008 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Virko Baley is currently Distinguished Professor of Music, Composer-in-Residence and co-director the annual composers' conference NEON at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For additional information about Virko Baley please go to www.virkobaley.com.

Soprano Soloist: Stephanie Thorpe
February 8, 2009

Stephanie Thorpe

Stephanie Thorpe, soprano, is active in opera, recital, and competition. She regularly performs in recital with flutist, Jennifer Kuk. Her many performance experiences in master class settings with renowned teachers and performers include: Dawn Upshaw, George Shirley, Cynthia Munzer, Gabriella Lechner, Dr. Mei Zhong, John Musto, Dr. Clifton Ware, Lori Laitman, and others.

Some of Ms. Thorpe's stage credits include: Die Königin der Nacht, Die Zauberflöte; Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro; Zerlina, Don Giovanni; Adina, L'elisir d'amore; Mariane, Tartuffe; and Gianetta, The Gondoliers. As a winner of the UNLV Concerto Competition, Ms. Thorpe performed John Musto's "Dove Sta Amore" at the opening concert of the UNLV Symphony Orchestra 2007-08 Season.

A winner of the 2006 Nevada District National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award (NATSAA), she was also a 2004 Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Thorpe is a recent participant in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program, where she worked directly with Master Teacher and renowned tenor, George Shirley.

Ms. Thorpe is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate and Adjunct Voice Faculty member at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas where she studies voice with Dr. Tod Fitzpatrick. She is also a member of the voice faculty at The Nevada School of the Arts. Ms. Thorpe received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Briar Cliff University. She is a member of the College Music Society, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key International, and the National Scholars Honor Societies, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Concert Series I:

Guest Artist: Athena Mertes
December 11, 2008

Athena Mertes

Young American soprano, Athena Mertes, is quickly establishing herself as one of our generation's most promising classical singers with a stunning and warm Italianate sound. Having already performed in Graz, Austria, Las Vegas, Nev., Los Angeles, Calif., and Lexington, Ky., Mertes' opera credits include Morgana (Alcina), Musetta (La Bohême), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Abigail (The Crucible), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Little Red (Little Red's Most Unusual Day) and soprano soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria. This is her debut with the Henderson Symphony.

In addition to her success as an opera and concert performer, Mertes has garnered several awards in a very short time. Among these are 1st place in the Dean Allen Scholarship Competition, 1st place (District Winner) for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Encouragement Award, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing 1st place award. Last spring, she performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as a featured artist in Honegger's King David and guest soloist in the December 2007 Holiday Concert. Her voice teacher is Alfonse Anderson, DMA, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Concert Series I:

Guest Artist: Juline Barol-Gilmore
December 11, 2008

Juline Barol-Gilmore

As a frequent concert artist, mezzo soprano Juline Barol-Gilmore has performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, Omaha Symphony, Las Vegas Music Festival, Las Vegas Desert Chorale, Performing Arts Society of Nevada, and the Southwest Symphony. She has performed the Brahms Alto Rhapsodie in Las Vegas and Germany, as well as numerous recitals throughout the country. Her passion for contemporary music has led her to collaborations with several important American composers, including Libby Larsen, Virko Baley, and Lori Laitman.

Her operatic experience includes over thirty leading operatic and musical theater roles for several professional organizations including Opera Omaha, Central City Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Dona Ana Lyric Opera, and the UNLV Opera Theater. As a performer of contemporary opera, Ms. Barol-Gilmore appeared as Lena in the world premiere of Libby Larsen's Eric Hermannson's Soul, and debuted the title role of Randall Shinn's Sara McKinnon on a libretto by Tony award winning playwright and director, Mark Medoff, with the Dona Ana Lyric Opera in New Mexico in 2001. She made her Las Vegas operatic debut in 2002 with the Southern Nevada Opera Association (now Opera Las Vegas) as Catherine Wright in Daron Hagen's Shining Brow. She can also be heard as Samantha in the 1996 recording of The Ballad of Baby Doe on the Newport Classics label.

Awards include national runner-up of the 2004 NATSAA Recital Competition, the Richard F. Gold Career Grant in 1997, the 1996 Central City Opera Studio Artist of the Year, runner-up of the Oklahoma Stewart Awards in 1995, and first place in the New Mexico NATS State Competitions from 1989-1993. Young Artist programs include two seasons with Opera Omaha's Heartland Opera Theater, and summers with Opera Theater of St. Louis and Central City Opera.

Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ms. Barol-Gilmore graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance, followed by a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. She is currently a professor of voice at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she is also pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance. Her voice teachers for each degree respectively were Jon Linford, Inci Bashar, and Carol Kimball. She remains active as a concert artist and master class clinician throughout the United States, and will perform as the mezzo soloist for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in 2009 with the Arkansas Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Concert Series I:

Guest Artist: Dr. Alfonse Anderson
December 11, 2008

Dr. Alfonse Anderson

Dr. Alfonse Anderson, Vocal Area Coordinator and Associate Professor of Voice at University of Nevada Las Vegas received his bachelor and master's degrees in music from Texas Southern University, and DMA in voice and pedagogy from the University of Arizona.

He has taught voice for over 15 years and in that time his students have won regional, national and international vocal competitions with such notable organizations as the Bel Canto Competition, MET Opera, NATS, Leontyne Price, Palm Spring Vocal Competition to name a few. Many of his students have performed in Young Artist Programs such as the internationally famous Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Chautaugua Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Aspen Music Festival, Des Moines Opera, Opera North and Portland Opera.

Dr. Anderson has performed in the United States with such notable organizations as the Houston Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Minnesota Opera, Oakland Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera South, Opera Columbus, Opera North and Chicago Opera Theater.

Dr Anderson has performed in concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, Warsaw Symphony and Krakow Symphony. He also performs frequently in recitals and concerts in many major cities such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City to name a few. Dr. Anderson has also performed throughout Europe, South America and Poland in concerts and operatic performances.

Dr. Anderson performed the role of "the Leader" in the premier recording of the opera Bandanna by Daron Hagen. In Las Vegas he is regularly heard singing with Opera Las Vegas and The Tenors - 3.

Dr. Anderson is a regular member of the internationally famous" American Spiritual Ensemble". This recorded ensemble is made up of opera singers from throughout the United States and Canada. They perform concerts regularly throughout United States and Europe.

Dr. Anderson is frequently engaged as an adjudicator for regional and national competitions. He also performs recitals, masterclasses and lectures on the "Contributions of African-Americans to the World of Music."

Henderson Symphony Orchestra - Master Series II:

Guest Artist: Andrew Smith
October 17, 2008

Andrew Smith

Cellist Andrew Smith is an Associate Professor of music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he performs regularly in the southwest as a member of The Cerberus Trio. He is an original member of the Camerata de Deia, a group founded in 2001 to be the resident ensemble with The Festival Internacional de Deia, a summer festival in Mallorca, Spain. He is also a founding member of The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, a summer music program in southern Italy, where he has taught and performed since its inception in 1998. An active recitalist, as well as chamber musician, Andrew has collaborated with pianists Alfredo Oyaguez, and CarlEPonten in concerts in Spain, Italy, and Sweden, as well as in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia. In February 2006, he performed the world premiere of Linda Catlin Smith's Ballad, for Cello and Piano, with pianist Eve Egoyan at the Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto. In April of the same season he played the Beethoven "Triple" concerto with pianist Mykola Suk, and violinist Byron Tauchi in Chernigiv and Kiev, with the Philharmonic of Ukraine.

Prior to his appointment at UNLV Mr. Smith played with the Nicoletti String Quartet in Santa Barbara where he also performed regularly with the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. For two years he was principal cellist with the West Virginia Symphony, where he was in residence as a member of the Montani String Quartet. He has won several awards and prizes, including first prize in the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition in Santa Barbara, and an Esperia Foundation grant to study with the eminent Hungarian cellist Csaba Oncay at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has studied chamber music with such notable musicians as Felix Galimir, Leon Fleisher and Julius Levine, as well as members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Emerson, Alban Berg, Vermeer, Muir, and American string quartets. He has also participated in numerous chamber music festivals, among them the Taos School of Music, Kneisel Hall, The Quartet Program, and Bravo! Colorado. In the fall of 2005 he performed recitals in Sweden and Italy (with pianist Carl Ponten), and in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia (with pianist Alfredo Oyaguez.) In the summer of 2008 he toured throughout Europe. In the fall of 2008, he begins an appointment as Principal Cello with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

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 also holds 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.

Henderson Symphony Orchestra - Master Series I:

Guest Artist: Molly Murphy
September 14, 2008

Molly Murphy

Molly Murphy is the Manager and the Principal Oboist of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. She has been a member since 2000 and has been the manager for the past three seasons. During her tenure the orchestra has moved from being a part of the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation to a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Nevada Community Foundation. Molly is active in promoting the orchestra within the community.

A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Molly graduated from Chaparral High School. During her school years, she participated in the Clark County Honor Bands for seven years as well as the All-State Band and Orchestras for four years. She was one of the representatives for the State of Nevada in the McDonald's All American Band where she performed with Lionel Hampton and participated in the Macys and Rose Bowl Parades.

For her college career, Molly attended Wichita State University where she majored in Viola and Oboe Performance. She studied under Peter Slowik (viola) and Linda Strommen (oboe). During her time there, she performed at various master classes including one with Thomas Stacy. In addition, Molly played with the Guarneri String Quartet as well as being a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

After college, she was a member of the Corpus Christi Symphony and the American Youth Orchestra with Mehli Mehta.

Molly was employed by KGOU-FM Radio in Norman, Oklahoma where she served as the Music Director for five years. She programmed all of the classical and jazz programs for the station.

Since moving back to Las Vegas/Henderson in 1991, Molly has worked as a Para-Professional for the Clark County School District. She has performed with various chamber groups and of course, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. She has a private studio of over 30 students and is an Instructional Assistant for the Music Department at Schofield Middle School. Currently Molly also is a member of the Board for the League of American Orchestras representing 350 small orchestras from across the country.

Molly is proud of her three wonderful girls - Courtney, Amanda, and Megan and of all of their accomplishments.

Guest Artist: Katherine Mathiasmeier
September 14, 2008

Katherine Mathiasmeier

Katherine Mathiasmeier joined the Henderson Symphony Orchestra in 2005 becoming the group's principal trumpet player. She obtained a Master of Music Performance degree from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The College of New Jersey. Katherine studied the trumpet with Kurt Zimmermann of the New York metropolitan area, Phil Ruecktenwald of the New York City Opera, and Jeffrey Piper of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Before moving to Nevada, Katherine taught middle school band in New Jersey and led clinics for middle and high school band students in New Mexico. She also conducted the University of New Mexico Community Band and the University of New Mexico Basketball Band. Currently, Katherine teaches general music to students in kindergarten through 5th grade in the Clark County School District.

Beyond her participation in music, Katherine is involved in a plethora of outdoor activities. She spends her free time biking, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, running marathons, and rock climbing.

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