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Musicians - Guest Artists - 2009-2010 Season

Concert Series II: Young Artists Concert

Guest Artist: Sarah Wright
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright is a junior in High School and has been home schooled throughout her life. She started playing the violin at the age of eight taking private lessons from Carol Berns. Sarah started at the Nevada School of the Arts her sophomore year and has been studying with Shakeh Ghoukasian ever since.

She has played in her local high school Advanced Orchestra since 9th grade and with the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras for the past five years. Sarah also enjoys playing on the worship team at her church.

Throughout high school, Sarah has been accepted into the Clark County School District Honor Orchestra and Nevada All State Orchestra programs. She won the 2008 Nevada Silver State String Competition, and this past autumn, she received an honorable mention at the Music Teacher's National Association String Competition in Reno.

In November 2009, Sarah won the Las Vegas Philharmonic Young Artist Competition and performed a concerto with the orchestra in early January.

In her free time Sarah loves working with horses. She has been riding at the Eldorado Equestrian Center for five years.

Sarah wishes to continue her musical education through college and is working hard to get ready for college auditions next year.

Guest Artist: Michael Burkhardt
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Michael Burkhardt

Michael Burkhardt is a senior at the Las Vegas Academy for Performing & Visual Arts. He began studying the violin ten years ago with teachers at the Nevada School of the Arts, including 5-1/2 years with Mary Straub, summers with William Harvey and Gwen Chan at Indiana University and currently with Rebecca Ramsey.

Michael performed in the Nevada School of the Art' Advanced Rep Ensemble for 3-1/2 years and is currently concertmaster of the LVA Philharmonic and the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Philharmonic.

He has traveled with K.O. Knudsen Middle School Academy of Creative Arts' Varsity Orchestra to perform at the 57th Annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago (2003) and ASTA Conference in Reno (2005), and with the LVA Philharmonic at the Midwest Conference (2009), Orchestra America National Festival in Indianapolis (2007), and ASTA National Conference in New Mexico (2008).

Michael's competitive participations include: MTNA (Honorable Mention, 2008), Green Valley Chamber Music Festival (2006-2008), superior ratings at local, regional, and statewide Solo & Ensemble Festivals (2004-2010), Honors Orchestras (2005-2009), and Nevada All-State High School Orchestras (2007-2010).

His numerous recital and performance experiences include a live-recording benefit Peace Concert produced by the Center for Creative Therapeutic Arts (2006) and Music for the Soul Concert at St. Rose Hospitals' San Martin Campus (2008).

Michael has been accepted at the University of Texas at Austin to continue his studies.

Guest Artist: Jae Ahn
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jae Ahn

Jae was born in Seoul, South Korea and started taking piano lessons at age 5. He came to Las Vegas, Nevada at age 10 and continued his lessons with Mr. Roger Bushell, whom he is studying with currently. Around the same time, he started writing music as well.

Jae has participated in various music programs such as the Green Valley Chamber Music and Nevada School of the Arts, and also in various competitions such as MTNA state competition and Bolognini Scholarship Competition. He has performed with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra three times previous to this concert.

Jae loves doing chamber music with other young musicians; chamber music has been extremely beneficial to his growth as a musician. It has also influenced his latest compositions which include two duets for piano and violin, 24 preludes for piano, and a piano quintet.

Guest Artist: Brandon Kiss
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brandon Kiss

Sixteen-year-old, Brandon Kiss has been playing the piano since the age of seven. His previous teachers include Polya Bankova, Dr. Enrico Elisi, Jie Bu and Cal State Fullerton's professor of piano Dr. Elison Edwards. Brandon currently studies with Professor Mykola Suk at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

An eleventh grade student at Odyssey Charter School, he has won and placed in many local competitions including Silver State, Bolognini, CSN Concerto Competition and MTNA.

Brandon has previously participated in the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival here in Las Vegas. He plans to continue his music studies throughout college and hopes to pursue his future goals in music.

Guest Artist: Artem Alksanyan
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Artem Alksanyan

Artem Aleksanyan was born in Donetsk, Ukraine in 1995 and began his piano studies when he was 9 years old. Artem has shown a unique passion for music that can be seen not only during his rigorous studies at the piano but also in his general knowledge of music and musicians. He now studies piano under the guidance of Ekaterina Melkamini while completing his academic curriculum through Odyssey Charter School.

Artem has won several musical competitions including the "Bolognini Competition" and the "Music Teacher's National Association State Competition". Success at the state competition allowed him to compete in the Tucson, Arizona regionals where he received the alternate prize. In addition to his passions and studies on the piano, Artem takes solfege and music history classes. Artem has previously attended the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival and is now participating in a chamber music group.

Guest Artist: Darrin Chao
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Darrin Chao

Freshman, Darrin Chao began playing violin at the age of four and has continued for the past ten years. Currently performing in the Green Valley High School Orchestra, he may possibly be going to Carnegie Hall with the group next year. Darrin has been the first alternate for the Music Teacher's National Association competition (state) for the last 2 years. Additionally, he has participated in both the Ottawa, Kansas Suzuki Music Camp and the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival for the last 2 summers.

In addition to his dedication to music, Darrin enjoys the challenge of debate as a member of the Forensics team at Green Valley, helping them win the JV division of Policy Debate at he county level. Beyond all these pursuits, Darrin is also involved in Track & Field and Cross-Country and occasionally participates in Triathlons.

Master Series I: Mozart

Guest Artist: Garth McBride
Friday, September 11, 2009

Garth McBride

Garth McBride has been the Concert Master for the Henderson Symphony Orchestra for two seasons and has played violin with the group for five years now. Garth's childhood training on the violin began with lessons in 5th grade in the suburbs of Chicago. During his mid-teens his family moved to Reno, Nevada where he completed high school and then attended college at the University of Nevada, Reno. He began his collegiate studies majoring in music and later transitioned to a major in accounting. Garth graduated UNR with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and went on to obtain his Masters degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and eventually become a certified public accountant.

At nineteen, Garth married his high school sweetheart. During college he supported his family as a performing musician in the Reno, Nevada and South Lake Tahoe showrooms. As an accomplished violinist, Garth has had the honor of playing with performing greats such as Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Cher, Ann Margaret, Natalie Cole, Wayne Newton, Shirley MacClaine and Kenny Rogers just to name a few. Garth also participated in an HBO show and professional recording with Glenn Campbell.

After college Garth worked for a national CPA firm for 5 years and then moved to Las Vegas in 1987 to head up the tax department in a local CPA firm. Also in 1987, Garth started his own CPA firm, which has developed into 4 partners and 13 professional and support staff members. The CPA firm, Reeves Evans McBride & Zhang, provides public accounting and consulting services to clients primarily located in Southern Nevada. Garth is also a professional registered investment advisor specializing in portfolio and wealth management.

Garth and his high school sweetheart, Dea, just celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary. They have two children, both accomplished violinists - a daughter, Angela who is married and has a degree in Biology with plans on a career in forensic science and a son, Zachary who is currently attending UNLV majoring in health sciences. Garth's own musical resume is varied. In addition to performing in showrooms throughout Reno and South Lake Tahoe, he played with the Reno Philharmonic, the former Las Vegas Symphony, the Las Vegas & Reno Chamber Orchestras, the Sahara Tahoe and Harrah's Reno house bands and various other musical groups. Along with his obvious passions for music, family and crunching numbers, our Henderson Symphony Orchestra Concert Master, Garth McBride, also loves the outdoors and enjoys carving out time for hunting and fishing - when it is not tax season.

Guest Artist: Merietta Oviatt
Friday, October 23, 2009

Merietta Oviatt

At the young age of two, Merietta Oviatt began studying music and her journey as a musician commenced. Though she began her studies on the violin, fate brought her to try the viola at age 12, and she has had a musical love affair with the viola since. Merietta attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California and made her debut at the age of 16 with the Desert Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from Idyllwild, Merietta received a full scholarship to attend Louisiana State University where she majored in viola performance. After her studies at LSU, Merietta accepted a Dean of Arts position with the Uintah School of Music and the Arts in Vernal, Utah. While in Utah, Oviatt completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in History and English from Utah State University. She recently lived in Louisiana where she was the Principal violist of the Rapides Symphony, and violist with the Acadiana and Southeast Texas Symphonies. She taught full-time Suzuki strings at the Acadiana Symphony Conservatory of Music and she was also the full-time Suzuki strings teacher at the J. Wallace James Arts and Technology Academy where she volunteered her time to be the faculty advisor for the Tri-M Music Honor Society as well as the Star Blazing Fiddling Club. Merietta taught Suzuki viola, violin, and cello at Pomco Music Studios and was the Artistic Director at Pomco Records, LLC.

Merietta is an extensive performer/soloist and speaker on issues dealing with music/arts in the schools and arts integration in the classroom. Oviatt moved to Las Vegas two years ago and completed her Master's Degree in Music Performance. She is now a candidate for a Doctorate in Music Performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She continues to teach Suzuki strings in Las Vegas and continues to pursue her solo and chamber performing, speaking, and teaching careers. Merietta's teachers have included Jack Ashton, Allen DeVeritch, Christopher McKellar, David Dalton, Clyn Barrus, Jersey Kosmala, Andrew Duckles, Andrew Smith (chamber), Matthew Johnson, and Karen Ritscher. She has been chosen to participate in master classes held by such notable names as Karen Tuttle, Donald McGinnes, Carol Rodland, Jeffery Irvine, and Kim Kashkashian.

Oviatt has been a registered viola/violin Suzuki teacher for ten years. She has trained with such notable Suzuki teacher trainers as Elisabeth Stuen-Walker, Edmund Sprunger, Dee Martz, Vera McCoy-Sulentic, and master teacher trainer William Pruecil. Merietta is an adjunct board member of the Uintah School of Music and the Arts, which she co-founded, and holds memberships in the American String Teachers Association, American Viola Society, International Viola Society, MENC, National Federation of Music Teachers, National Music Teacher's Association, ASCAP, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas, amongst others.

Merietta has performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in June of 2007, performed for the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards, performed under the baton of Maestro Itzhak Perlman, and has made guest artist appearances with the Desert Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Orchestra, and USOMATA Chamber Orchestra. Oviatt has spoken at the American String Teachers National Convention in Detroit as well as the KIPP School Summit in Arizona on Arts Integration in the classroom. Merietta released her debut CD in December of 2005 and work has just wrapped on her newest CD "Merietta Oviatt - That Old Time Gospel", which is available for purchase on itunes and many other digital agencies as well as hard copy through www.cdbaby.com. Samples of her current CD have brought rave reviews by fellow musicians as well as critics as being "different" and "exciting". In addition to her musical releases, Oviatt is also planning to release her first children's book, which is centered on music education. She hopes that her performing, publications and speaking engagements will help bring more attention to the need and importance of music/art education and integration into the classrooms of both public and private schools.

Master Series II: Fall into the Classics

Guest Artist: Marina Sturm
Friday, October 23, 2009

Marina Sturm

Marina Sturm, clarinetist, grew up in a musical family in Chicago and Milwaukee. Her father, Harry Sturm, was assistant principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner and her mother, Kay Sturm was a singer at WGN Radio Station in Chicago. Her brother Fred is Professor of Jazz at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and her sister Carolyn is the former second hornist with the Frankfurt Opera in Frankfurt, Germany.

Her desire to be an orchestral musician began at an early age and she joined her first orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, at the age of eighteen. She went on to other orchestras including: The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, The Washington Opera/Kennedy Center Orchestra, The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra.

During the summer months she has performed with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, the Santa Fe Opera, the City of Barcelona Symphony, the Caramoor Festival, and for the past 13 years, with the Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Her studies were at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, in Milwaukee, the Chicago Symphony Training Orchestra, Chicago, The Institute de Hautes Etudes Musicales in Montreux, Switzerland, Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her teachers include Russ Dagon, Clark Brody, Keith Stein, and Charles Neidich.

She won first prize in the National Clarinet Competition in Denver, Colorado and was a semi-finalist at the International Competition in Geneva, Switzerland.v She taught at the Hong Kong Conservatory of Music, the Lawrence University Academy, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand, University of New York at Stony Brook as a Graduate Assistant, and Bard High School/Early College in New York City.

She is currently a member of the American Symphony Orchestra and performs with many orchestras and ensembles in New York City, including the New York City Opera, the Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, and The St. Luke's Contemporary Music series, Second Helpings, directed by Joan Tower.

She joined the faculty of UNLV in August 2004.

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