Musicians – Composer

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Jonathan Aceto
violin, viola, conductor, composer

Jonathan Aceto - violin, viola, conductor, composer

Dr. Jonathan Aceto holds performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Arizona State University and has studied with Eric Rosenblith, Catherine Tait, Ronald Copes and Dr. Marla Mutschler. He has received training the chamber music from members of the Juilliard and Fine Arts String Quartets and at summer festivals, including Kneisel Hall, Yellowbarn and Meadowmount.

Jonathan has extensive experience in higher education, teaching at Augusta State University, the University of South Carolina at Aiken, Mercer University and Georgia Southern University. He has taught at several summer institutes, including the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Augusta State University Conservatory Orchestra Camp and the Maine A.S.T.A. Summer Conference. Currently, he teaches at East Georgia State College and is the Director of the Statesboro String Program.

Jonathan’s experience extends to orchestral playing, having performed in numerous professional orchestras including the Phoenix and Hilton Head Symphonies and the Heidelberg Festival Orchestra. He has been concertmaster of the North Arkansas and Macon Symphonies and the Augusta Opera Company and is equally at home leading the second violin section, having been principal second of the Augusta Symphony for eight years. Jonathan enjoys playing opera and had the rare experience of performing Wagner’s Ring Cycle twice as a long-time member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra. He has also performed in the orchestra for the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, and its American counterpart, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.

Another source of pride for Jonathan is playing chamber music. He has been a member of the Magellan String Quartet, which has performed over much of Eastern America, from Valdosta, GA. to Saranac, N.Y., and abroad, including Vienna, Prague, Bavaria and Xalapa, Mexico. Jonathan is also a founding member of the chamber orchestra Lyra Vivace and the piano trio Trio d’Esprit.

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Jason Economides
violin, mandolin, mandola, composer

Jason Economides - violin, mandolin, mandola, composer

Jason is a violinist with the Magellan String Quartet, and is the Concertmaster of the Macon Symphony. He teaches Violin at Wesleyan College in Macon, and performs in many orchestras throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Jason has enjoyed many years as music director of the Baroque on Beaver Music Festival on Beaver Island, MI.

Prior to moving to Georgia, he served as a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony, as Artist-in Residence at Alma College, and taught violin at Aquinas and Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Jason was a member of the Chicago Opera Theater, New World Symphony, Greater Lansing Symphony, Flint Symphony, Ann Arbor Chamber Orchestra and served as concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony.

Jason has also developed his talents in other music styles; he is a Scottish Fiddling Champion, and performs regularly on mandolin and mandola with the Atlanta Mandolin Society. Jason earned a BM in violin performance from Arizona State University and a MM in violin performance from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers were Camilla Wicks, Frank Spinosa, and William Magers. He has performed in master classes for Josef Gingold, Daniel Majeski, Mischa Mischakoff and Samuel Thaviu and he has been coached in chamber music by Martin Katz, Eckhart Sellheim, and members of the Emerson Quartet.

He has made a home in Macon, GA with his wife, violinist/violist/public school music educator Patty Baser, and their two daughters.

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Rob Foster
flute, alto flute, bass flute, shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), Irish flute, saxophones, composer, arranger

Rob Foster - flute, alto flute, bass flute, shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), Irish flute, saxophones, composer, arranger

Dr. Robert Foster integrates a wide range of interests and experiences into the music he performs and composes. A versatile woodwind performer, he honed his musical skills in Detroit, where he was immersed in the varied sounds that city is known for — jazz, blues, Motown, funk, rock, and classical music. He furthered his studies and professional experience in Los Angeles and Colorado, where he obtained his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado and played lead alto sax in the Downbeat award winning Lab Band I.

His recent explorations into the world of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) have influenced his musical endeavors to encompass inclusive global/spiritual perspectives.

As a Professor of Music in the Department of Music at Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta State University), Dr. Foster directs the jazz ensembles, teaches courses in improvisation, theory, jazz history, and World Humanities. He also teaches and coordinates applied instruction on woodwinds.

In addition to extensive experience in chamber music and orchestral settings, Dr. Foster has performed with jazz artists such as Ralph Alessi, Louis Bellson, Dave Brubeck, Ravi Coltrane, Michael Dease, Dizzy Gillespie, Wycliffe Gordon, Lalo, Art Lande, James Newton, Terrell Stafford, Clark Terry, and Rodney Whitaker, as well as with popular artists such as Joey Bishop, Albert Collins, Charlie Daniels, John Denver, The Four Tops, Crystal Gayle, The Ink Spots, Melissa Manchester, Maureen McGovern, Bob Newhart, Olivia Newton-John, Mitch Ryder, The Temptations, The Platters, etc.

He currently performs with several musical groups, including UTAKÉ, Rob Foster & Pulsar, Foster-Jones Duo, Rob Foster Jazz Quartet, ABBA (Augusta Big Band Aggregate), Columbia County Orchestra, Ed Turner and Number 9, Mood Indigo, and Symphony Orchestra Augusta.

Education: University of Northern Colorado – Doctor of Arts (Music Theory & Composition); Wayne State University – Master of Music (Flute Performance); Oakland University – Bachelor of Music (Jazz Woodwinds).

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Larry Millen
keyboards, composer, conductor

Larry Millen - keyboards, composer, conductor

Larry began playing the piano as a child growing up in New York. He quickly progressed as a young pianist, winning numerous young artist competitions and awards, studying with William Hargrove and Herbert Rogers of the Juilliard School. Larry completed a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Indiana University, studying with Alberto Reyes and John Keeton, and later finishing a Master’s degree in Music in New York.

While in New York, Larry was the artistic director and conductor of the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, performing throughout the New York area to considerable acclaim. Larry developed a strong reputation while in New York as a vocal coach, accompanist, chamber music performer, teacher, and conductor.

Later, he pursued a career in medicine, bringing him to Augusta, where he is now working as an endocrinologist. He has appeared with the Augusta Symphony numerous times since his return to Augusta, performing as a pianist with the orchestra, as a soloist with the chamber orchestra, in concert with the chamber players, as soloist on the Appleby series concerts and Westobou festival, and is a regular performer in the area. His compositions have been performed by the Augusta Choral Society and St John Choir.

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Josef Patchen
piano/keyboards, composer

Josef Patchen, piano/keyboards, composer

Patchen began work writing and arranging popular music while at Eastman and received a job offer as house arranger at Studio South in Augusta. He worked on a wide variety of music projects and styles while there. In 1991 he began work scoring original video for large corporate clients through Edge Media in Aiken, South Carolina. His work has won regional and national awards. Throughout his composition and production work, he has maintained his performance skills in jazz, pop, and classical music and is heard in the Augusta area on a regular basis. He currently teaches at Portman’s Music Academy.

Though fluent in many modern styles, Patchen is most at home providing tuneful, well-known music from the classical era through the first half of the twentieth century – Gershwin, Arlen, Kern, Mercer, Carmichael, Cole Porter – in short, the golden age of American song – to provide a sophisticated atmosphere. Click here for more information.

Links to samples of his music and performances can be found at the following sites:

Carl Purdy
viola, violin, mandolin, guitar, pennywhistle, banjo, harmonica, bagpipes, recorder, composer

Carl Purdy - viola, violin, mandolin, guitar, pennywhistle, harmonica, bagpipes, recorder, composer

Carl’s versatility as an instrumentalist and vocalist has enabled him to perform many styles of music, including Classical, Jazz, Traditional British Isles, Classic American Folk, New Age Country Western, and Bluegrass. Carl is violist and founding member of the Magellan String Quartet and Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. He also performs as principal viola with the Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society.

At Augusta State University, Carl teaches viola, humanities, and directs the Sand Hills String Band. Carl also performs as soloist and chamber musician on the faculty of the International Music Festival at Vale Veneto, Brazil. He has recorded and toured internationally on the viola, jazz violin and viola, recorder, classical guitar, and folk guitar, in addition to composing and arranging for symphonies and chamber ensembles.

Carl performed with the members of the Franciscan Chamber Players in residence at the Summer Music Monterey music camp for many years, during which they recorded a compact disc with legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He developed his talents as a folk musician with the Boston-based Celtic band, St. James Gate, while attending New England Conservatory of Music in the 1980s. He was the principal violist of the La Crosse Symphony in Wisconsin before moving to Georgia for the position of Principal Viola with the Augusta Symphony.

Carl studied viola with Heidi Castleman and Walter Trampler at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

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Paul Roberts
keyboards, conductor, composer

Paul Roberts - keyboards, conductor, composer

Paul’s primary area of musical endeavor is church music.  After singing in professional choirs at Emmanuel Church in Boston and St. Thomas Chapel in New York, he held the positions of Organist and Choirmaster at the First Alliance Church in New York and the First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia, where currently he is Music Director and Organist. 

His experience includes virtually all aspects of church music: choral and orchestral conducting, organ and piano performance, and composing and arranging a sizeable body of works for choir, organ, and various instrumental ensembles. Paul is also active in concert music.  In addition to organizing and directing chamber choir/orchestra performances in Boston, New York, and Augusta, he has participated as director and performer in various instrumental and choral ensembles, including directing a Christmas performance of the Augusta Symphony.

Another interest of Paul’s is theater music.  He has directed, performed, and arranged music for community and school theatrical productions in Boston and Augusta. Finally, Paul has a vital interest in folk music.  He maintains an affectionate interest in American jazz and bluegrass music, Middle-Eastern dance music, and traditional Celtic music of the U.K., writing arrangements and performing on several traditional folk instruments.

Paul has published works in several genres.  His Three Carols for Trumpets and Organ is published by GIA Publications.  His work for choir and solo flute, The Word Became Flesh, is published by Augsburg Fortress Publications.  His Greek and Jew for unaccompanied flute is published by Flute World, Inc.   Many other of his works are published privately through Paul’s website, Fresh Music All-Star Bands.

Paul was born in Richmond, Virginia and began private piano instruction at the age of 7.  He continued musical studies in theory and ear training during high school years at the Cleveland Institute of Music, private study in organ and cello in Boston, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition and conducting at Boston University and the Manhattan School of Music, respectively, and additional conducting study at the Juilliard School.  He won composition and arranging contests at both Boston and Harvard Universities during the same year.  Paul studied composition with Nicholas Flagello and Vittorio Giannini.  His conducting teachers included Hugh Ross and Jean Morel.

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Laura Tomlin
violin, composer, conductor

Laura Tomlin - violin, composer, conductor

Laura is the director of the Orchestra and string program at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in Augusta. She is the founder and director of the Carolina String Academy in Aiken and the conductor of the Aiken Youth Orchestras. She is an adjunct professor at Augusta State University and the University of South Carolina, Aiken, and teaches violin and viola privately at the Carolina Academy of Music and for the ASU Conservatory Program. She also served for several years as conductor of the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras.

She has extensive experience as a chamber musician, including eleven years with the Augusta Symphony String Quartet, three years with the Magellan String Quartet as artist-in-residence at Georgia Southern University, and four years with the Southern Arts Piano Trio. Laura’s students, colleagues and audiences benefit from her expertise and versatility as a music arranger.

She has participated in music festivals in New York, California, Michigan, North Carolina, and Maine, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe, most recently in Weill Recital Hall in New York as a member of the ARCO Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded a 2001 research grant to attend the International Colourstrings Symposium in Helsinki, Finland.

Laura has been a member of Symphony Orchestra Augusta since 1987, serving one year as concertmaster, ten years as principal second violin, and currently as assistant concertmaster. Laura’s students have won numerous awards and competitions. She also directs the ASU Summer String Camp, as well as the ASU Honors String Jamboree, and coaches chamber music for the ASU Chamber Music Camp. She received a Bachelor of Music from North Carolina School of the Arts, a Master of Music from the University of Southern California, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia.


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