Barbara Altman is originally from Los Angeles. Her early training was with Gretchen Geber. She received her formal training at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. At Eastman, she earned the Bachelor and Master of Music with Honors in cello performance as a student of Ronald Leonard. She spent one year as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony and many years as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently resides in Georgia, where she is principal cellist with the Macon Symphony Orchestra. She also performs with the Hilton Head Orchestra, the Columbus (GA) Symphony and the Valdosta Symphony. In addition, she performs with many chamber music ensembles. She teaches part time at Georgia College and State University and Wesleyan College, She also has students privately at home and loves watching their musical abilities and horizons expand. During the summers, she has served on the faculty of the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana and is currently a cellist with the Bear Valley Music Festival in the high Sierras of California. Barbara is an avid bird watcher, vegetable gardener, and loves to hike in the high Sierras.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Susan Bennett Brady performs extensively in the Southeast and Atlanta area as a classical free-lance harpist and soloist. Ms. Brady is the principal harpist in the Atlanta Opera, Macon Symphony and Columbus Symphony Orchestras. She has performed regularly as harp soloist with the Atlanta Boy Choir, across the US and Europe since 1986. Ms. Brady is also co-founder and artist faculty at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar which meets every summer in Rabun county where 30 of the most talented young harpists from around the world showcase their talents at the Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School every July. www.harpseminar.com In addition to her performance duties, Ms. Brady is the founder/director of the Atlanta Harp Ensemble for which she also writes and arranges music. She is on the faculty at Columbus State Schwob School of Music, Reinhardt and Southern Adventist Universities. She is a prizewinner in the American Harp Society, Young Professional Division and Elizabeth Herbert Hobin Harp Competitions and attended Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. Brady currently has one of the highest regarded private harp studios in the country, and writes regularly for The Harp Column, a national publication for harpists. www.susanbennettbrady.com
Saskia Odisis Nag Chowdhuri has been a member of the Macon Symphony as a violist and violinist since 1991. Bilingual with a Honduran nationality, she majored in Music Education at Columbus State University and has worked for the Fayette County School System for 13 years as an orchestra director. Saskia is an award winner in several chamber music competitions on the regional, state, and national levels and has performed with several symphonies in the state of Georgia.
Clarinetist Staci Culbreth graduated with her Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia. Her clarinet teachers include Kenneth Beard, Bruce Dinkins, Ronald DeKant and Dr. Edwin Riley. Mrs. Culbreth plays principal clarinet in the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra and Macon Symphony Orchestra, as well as bass clarinet in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She has been featured as a soloist with the Macon Symphony Orchestra performing the Weber Clarinet Concerto No.1, LaGrange Symphony Orchestra performing the Sphor Clarinet Concerto No.2, and Newnan High School playing the Sparke Clarinet Concerto.Mrs. Culbreth performed in various ensembles in the Atlanta Metro area, including groups such as the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and the Pandean Players. Mrs. Culbreth is currently the Music Specialist at Arbor Springs Elementary School in Newnan, Georgia. She is married to Bob Culbreth, who is the Band Director at Evans Middle School, currently plays 2nd clarinet in the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and is principal clarinetist in the LaGrange Symphony. She has two children, Hannah and Sarah.
Jason Eklund, Horn, graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance in 1998. While at the University of New Mexico he served as Principal Horn of the Santa Fe Symphony and a substitute for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, he earned a Master of Music in Performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX under the guidance of Gregory Hustis. Currently, Jason resides in Atlanta, GA where he is an instructor of Music Theory at Emory University and adjunct professor of horn at Columbus State University. He is also an active performer in Georgia, serving as Principal horn of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, third horn in the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, fourth horn in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and a substitute with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Bassist Chris Enghauser earned a MM in Music Performance from The University Georgia, a BM in Music Performance from George Mason University and has been a proud member of the Macon Symphony Orchestra since 2007. An avid jazz player and professional bassist for over 20 years, Chris has kept a busy schedule in many musical genres having performed or recorded with artists such as Chuck Leavell, Sarah Evans, Crystal Gayle, Randall Bramblett, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Roy Wooten, Mimi Fox, and Jeff Coffin (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and The Dave Mathews Band) to name a few. Chris has served as principal bass with the Toccoa Symphony (GA) and has performed with the Seattle Mandolin Ensemble, the McLean Symphony (VA), the Boeing Symphony (WA), and the symphonies in Columbus, Gainesville, and Augusta, Georgia. Chris has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada and Bermuda including national Broadway tours of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline”, Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”, and “Pump Boys and Dinettes”. Mr. Enghauser is currently the Director of Bands at Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School in Athens and has served as jazz bass instructor in the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Georgia, clinician for the UGA Jazz Festival, jazz band director for the UGA Summer Music Camp, and co-coordinator of the UGA Bass Symposium.
Candace Keach, flutist, originally from Athens, Georgia has been principal flutist with the Macon Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years. She has been a featured soloist with this orchestra as well as with summer music festivals in Italy, Switzerland and France. Her orchestral experience in the southeast has also included playing with the Atlanta, Birmingham, Columbus and Greenville Symphony Orchestras. She was principal flutist with the National Touring Company’s “Phantom of the Opera” at the Fox. Candace is flute professor at Spelman College. Her own studies were at the University of Georgia and at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Candace is creative director of the Spiral of Sound Crystal Bowl Choir and is a founding board member for the International Sound Therapy Association. She is in great demand as a motivational presenter, leading workshops and presenting concerts which introduce the archetypal elements of sound! In 2010 she was awarded placement on the Georgia Arts Council Touring Artist Roster and the Southern Artistry Registry. Her therapeutic music CD, “As Above So Below”, has been embraced within the healing arts community as well as by mainstream music lovers!
Hollie Lifshey, is Second Trumpet with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, and Principal Trumpet with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Macon Symphony. She was formerly Principal Trumpet of the Savannah Philharmonic and has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and Chattanooga Symphony and other orchestras in the Southeast.Prior to starting her professional career in the United States, Lifshey played in Europe spending two summers playing with the Opera Theater of Lucca Festival Orchestra in Lucca, Italy, and was a guest performer with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal.
She has performed with notable artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Kristin Chenoweth, and the Dallas Brass. Her primary teachers include Marie Speziale (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Larry Black (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), and Brad Ulrich (Western Carolina University). She earned a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Lifshey is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, International Trumpet Guild, and International Women’s Brass Conference. She is on the faculty of the Georgia State University School of Music.
When she’s not performing or teaching, she enjoys running, hiking, mountain biking, cooking, and travel. Lifshey is a volunteer with the National Park Service and spends time as a Trail Ambassador at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
David Morris is currently Principal Timpanist with the Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He has recently been a concerto soloist with the Macon, Albany, and Ocala Symphony orchestras as well as the VSU Wind Ensemble. Most notably, Morris and Atlanta Symphony Timpanist Mark Yancich were featured soloists with both the Albany and Macon Symphony Orchestras in the “Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra” by Philip Glass. and he will collaborate again with Mark Yancich in a performance of the recently composed Dynasty Double Timpani Concerto by James Oliverio during the 2013-2014 season of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Morris has held principal timpani positions with the Asheville Symphony, the Lansing Symphony and has substituted as timpanist with the Atlanta Ballet. He currently also performs as a substitute timpanist and has recorded with the Grammy-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chorus and has performed as a percussionist in orchestras in Charlotte, North Carolina, Savannah, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge. Internationally, Morris has performed the Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion and two solo timpani works by Elliott Carter to great public acclaim in Romania.Dr. Morris holds the Ph. D. in applied percussion, music theory, and music literature from Michigan State University . He is a retired full professor at Valdosta State University where he was a member of the Music Faculty from 1985-2016. At VSU he also served as Head of the Department of Music, Assistant Dean of the College of the Arts, and Area Chair for Percussion. As Head of the Department of Music, Morris oversaw and was responsible for an expansion in the number of music faculty, students, and resources over a five year period that led to expanded offerings and programs in music at the undergraduate and graduate levels including the founding of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, the VSU Steel Drum Band and the VSU Faculty Jazz Quintet, where he served as the group’s first drummer. As Assistant Dean, Morris served as General Manager of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra in its formative years and served as the orchestra’s principal timpanist from its founding until 2016. Dr. Morris has served on the faculty of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, the National Music Camp at Interlochen, and the Governor’s Honors Program of Georgia.
Sergio Rodríguez is native of San Pedro Sula, Hondúras. He began his music studies in violin at the Victoríano López Music School. In December of 1986 Rodriguez came to the US invited by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and as protégée of the Clendeninng’s family in New Hampshire. He received his musical education at Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Kentucky, and the Longy School of Music, Mass. His playing experiences include Concertmaster of the Honduras National University Chamber Orchestra, The Central American Youth Symphony Orchestra, San Salvador. The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Hanover Chamber Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, The Honduras National Symphony Orchestra, and Harvard Radcliffe Symphony Orchestra in which he toured Bangkok, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Atlanta Virtuosi in tour San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has appeared in recitals in Honduras and the US.He is currently an Orchestra Teacher at Grady High School in which he also teaches guitar and music appreciation. His orchestra program is recognized as one of the best in GA with superior ratings for outstanding performances at GMEA. Rodriguez is founder and conductor of the Dougherty County Youth Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly with The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Virtuosi, AtlantiString Quartet, The Macon Symphony, and The Albany Symphony Orchestra. Mundo Hispánico newspaper in GA, has recognized Mr. Rodriguez as one of the ten most outstanding Hispanic citizens of the community for his dedicated work with the Latino children; Héroes de nuestra comunidad.
Award Winner best teacher of the year by the Atlanta Family Award for Excellence in Education 2010!. Winner of Solidarity Award for music performance and education by the Government of the Honduras 2011. Promoted to Master Teacher for the Atlanta Public Schools 2012!
Ulisses Silva, a native of Brazil, received his Bachelor of Music degree from the State University of Sao Paulo. He came to the United States to study in the Master of Music program at the University of New Mexico in 2004. After graduating with his MM degree with distinction in 2006, he came to Athens to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Georgia under the direction of UGA viola professor Dr. Mark Neumann.Mr. Silva has participated in many masterclasses and festivals in Brazil, Argentina and the USA, both as student and viola professor. In 2006 he was awarded a Performance Fellowship by the Aspen Music Festival. He also was awarded the first prize in several concerto competitions in Brazil and the USA. Mr. Silva is currently serving as Principal Viola of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Ocmulgee Symphony Orchestra, and of the UGA Symphony Orchestra, as well as being active in solo and chamber performance in a variety of other ensembles and events. In 2009 he was the feature soloist of the Macon Symphony Orchestra and found the Hodgson String Quartet at the University of Georgia.
Tom Underwood has been the principal oboist of the Macon Symphony since 1981. He received a Bachelor of Music from Georgia State University, studying oboe with Elaine Douvas, and a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Robinson. He has also served as the principal oboist of the Chattanooga Symphony and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Cobb Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Dekalb Symphony, Rome Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Tom has been an adjunct faculty member at Dekalb Community College (now Georgia Perimeter College), the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Agnes Scott College. In addition to playing oboe, he enjoys choral singing and was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus while a student at Georgia State University. He continues his singing as a member of the Men’s Alumni Choir of the Atlanta Boy Choir, with whom he’s been on tour to Italy and St Petersburg, Russia. In his other life, Tom has worked in social services for over 30 years and currently works for the Georgia Department of Community Health. He’s been married to Donna for the 30 years he has played in the MSO and is the proud father of Virginia and Christopher, and he appreciates their love and support of his music making. He also wants to thank his colleagues in the MSO for their camaraderie and wonderful music, Bob and Annette Barnett for their friendship and warm hospitality, and the people of Macon for supporting their orchestra.
Kelly Via received the Bachelor of Music from Drake University and the Master of Music from East Carolina University. He plays piccolo with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Macon Symphony Orchestra. A flute choir enthusiast and arranger, Kelly has been selected to perform with the National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir each year since 2000. His arrangements and compositions for flute choir are available through Nourse Wind Publications. One of his arrangements was named a winner in the NFA 2002 Newly Published Music Competition and another was a finalist in 2004. Most recently he was appointed to serve as Flute Choir Coordinator for the NFA from 2007 to 2012. He conducted the NFA National High School Flute Choir in 2008 and has served as guest conductor for flute choirs in Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. Kelly is currently teaching flute at Mercer University, Agnes Scott College, Carere Music and the Atlanta Music Academy. He also directs the Mercer University, Agnes Scott College and Atlanta Metro Youth flute choirs.
Vadim Volynets is the principal double bass of the Macon Symphony Orchestras and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. Born, raised, and educated in the Ukraine, he earned degrees as a “Soloist, Chamber Musician, Symphony Orchestra Musician and Pedagogue ” and graduated from the most prestigious music schools of the Ukraine: the Ukrainian National Music Academy, named after P. I. Tchaikovsky, the Odessa National Music Academy, named after A.V. Nezdanova, the R. M. Glier Kiev Musical Institute and the Kiev State Music School for Gifted Children. His musical education began at age 7 by studying violin, piano, acoustic guitar, bass guitar and vocal. Finally, at age 14, Volynets began to study double bass at the Kiev State Music School for Gifted Children (pedagogue V. M. Belyakov was assistant principal double bass of the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra ). Also, at this age he performed as a singer and solo guitar player in professional bands for many festivals and events in Ukraine. Just after graduating the R. M. Glier Kiev Music Institute (V.M. Belyakov), Volynets won the audition for principal double bass at the Kiev Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre for Children and Youth and position of 4th chair at the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra. Later, he successfully studied at the Ukrainian National Music Academy, named after P. I. Tchaikovsky (Assistant Professor B. V. Soyko was principal double bass of the T. G. Shevchenko National Academic Opera & Ballet Theatre). During his study at the Ukrainian National Music Academy, Volynets won the audition for assistant principal double bass at the Symphony Orchestra and Opera Studio of the Ukrainian National Music Academy. He continued his education at the Odessa National Music Academy, named after A. V. Nezdanova (Assistant Professor U. M. Mironenko was principal double bass of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra). Later in Volynets’ career, he began playing and teaching cello.
As a soloist, during his third year of the R. M. Glier Kiev Music Institute, Vadim Volynets gave an outstanding debut at the world premiere and recording on National Radio of Contemporary Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra by the Ukrainian composer Y. N. Lapinsky. He performed this concerto many times on different stages in the Ukraine.
Volynets worked with numerous esteemed Russian and Ukrainian conductors, such as Fuat Mansurov, Fedor Glushchenko, Vadim Gnedash, Eujeniy Dushchenko, Alexey Gulyanitsky, Victor Ikonnik, VladimirSheiko and Roman Kofman. As a double bass soloist, he played with the Kiev Chamber Orchestra, chamber orchestra Virtuosi of Crimea, classical trio Riturnel, jazz quartet Black Fan, and as principal double bass with the National House of Organ and Chamber Music of Ukraine, the Kiev Academic Operetta Theatre, the Kiev Symphony Choir and Orchestra, and the Crimea Academic Symphony Orchestra. Volynets played bass guitar with the Crimea Wind Orchestra and the jazz band. Also, he performed with distinguish classical and pop vocal stars, such as Dmitriy Khvorostovsky, Victoria Lukianets, Marina Semenova, Dmitriy Gnatyuk, Anatoli Kocherga, and world famous instrumentalists. Vadim Volynets participated as the principal double bass player at festivals with the Symphony Orchestra “Ukraine” in various cities in Italy and France and with the National Chamber Orchestra in South Korea.
Since 1996, the Volynets have been living in the U. S. A., where his extraordinary talent and skill was accepted by the Government. He has been able to further enrich the lives of music lovers. Volynets performed with the Atlanta Opera, Rialto Center, as well as the Charleston Symphony, Savannah Philharmonic, Greenville Symphony, and LaGrange Symphony Orchestras. Currently, he plays with the symphony orchestras of Columbus, Valdosta, Albany (GA), Beaufort, Hilton Head (SC), and various chamber ensembles. As the principal double bass of the chamber orchestra, he has been participating at the Savannah Music Festival with Daniel Hope and at the Savannah Voice Festival under the leadership of Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves.
Vadim Volynets, a teacher with over 30 years’ experience, successfully teaches double bass, piano, cello, guitar, and bass guitar at his private studio. He taught as Professor at Mercer University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southern University, and Wesleyan College. Also, for 15 years, Volynets has been participating in the Educational Program Artists in the Classroom, sponsored by Macon Symphony Orchestra in Georgia.
His hobbies include composing music, writing poetry, and playing chess.
Raymond Walton has served as principal bassoon of the Macon Symphony Orchestra since 1983. Since 1984, he has also continued to play with the Northwinds Symphonic Band, a volunteer community ensemble based in Gainesville, GA.His debut as a professional bassoonist was in the fall of 1970—just shy of his 18th birthday—as a new member of the Jacksonville (FL) Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of guest conductor Arthur Fiedler, who was, at the time, the legendary conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. He continued to play with the JSO for 12 years, and in 1972, the orchestra commissioned and gave a world premiere performance of “Celebration”, by the great Duke Ellington, which they subsequently performed on tour to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Raymond has been featured as soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Gainesville (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Toccoa (GA) Symphony Orchestra, and the Macon Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he was a Concerto Competition winner while a graduate student at the University of Georgia. He is also a member if the International Double Reed Society, and has performed on programs at their annual conferences on numerous occasions.
Raymond is proud to have a family that is involved in the fine arts. His wife, Dianasue, is a professional clarinetist and a long-time music educator. His son, Steven, is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma, with a degree in Drama/Acting, and his daughter, Sarah, is a student at the University of Alabama, pursuing a degree in Horn Performance. Raymond currently holds the position of Associate Director of Bands at Marianna (FL) High School.
Ms. Woodard recieved an MM in performance at University of Georgia and a BM in performance at Georgia State University. Her principal instructors were Raymond Leung, Valerie Gardner, and Levon Ambartsumian.Ms. Woodard is a full-time member of the Macon and Ocmulgee Symphonies, and has performed in the Huntsville, Rome Opera, Gainesville, LaGrange, and Valdosta symphonies. Samples of her solo recordings can be found at www.rosindust.biz.