Music and the other arts are the most potent demonstration that, in the heart, we are all one community.
~ Jan Swafford
Ruth Berry – cello, Artistic Director of In Praise of Music
Ruth is a cellist, music educator, artistic director and administrator. She gives recitals of popular classics with Duo and Trio Intermezzo, is a member of the Magellan String Quartet, is Artistic Director and co-founder of the musician-run chamber orchestra, Lyra Vivace, and manages the unique musician booking service, In Praise of Music.
Her Tin Pail Tales interactive performances for pre-school children are in high demand at Early Childhood learning centers and other literacy development programs and her Global Navigation with the Magellan String Quartet programs are enjoyed by K-6 graders throughout the state of Georgia. During the summers, she performs with Glimmerglass Opera, where she specializes in solo continuo work for 17th- and 18th-century repertoire.
Ruth has taught cello, music theory and music appreciation at Georgia Southern University during the 18 year faculty residency of the Magellan String Quartet. Ruth has held several principal cello positions (including 16 years as Principal Cello of the Augusta Symphony), has worked as education director and grants administrator with the Greenville (SC) Symphony, and has recorded on the Spectrum and Nonesuch labels. Ruth completed a Bachelor’s degree at Boston University School of Music and a Master’s at Cornell University. She lives in Evans with her husband, Michael Boardman.
Jonathan Aceto – violin, viola, conductor, composer
Jonathan is director of the Hilton Head Youth Orchestra and the Statesboro Youth String Program. He plays violin with the Magellan String Quartet, is often featured as concertmaster with the Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society, is an adjunct professor at Georgia Southern University, and composes/arranges music for Tin Pail Tales, Musical Morsels, and Lyra Vivace productions.
Jonathan has served in several acting concertmaster positions for regional orchestras, worked as Principal Second Violin with the Augusta Symphony, has taught at Mercer University, and has conducted the Mercer/Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra. Jonathan was a member of the Arizona Opera Company for many years, and spent several summers performing in the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, and its American counterpart, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He has performed the Wagner Ring Cycle twice!
Jonathan holds performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Arizona State University, where he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1998. He studied violin with Eric Rosenblith, Ronald Copes, and Catherine Tait, and chamber music with members of the Juilliard and Fine Arts String Quartets. A native of the state of Maine, Jonathan lives in Statesboro, Georgia.
Richard D. Brasco – conductor, educator
Richard is an educator and conductor, specializing in (but not limited to) wind ensembles. Richard teaches at Augusta State University, where he conducts the ASU Conservatory Wind Symphony and high school division of the ASU Summer Band Camp. His active retirement, following thirty-five years of work in Georgia and South Carolina as a music educator and conductor, also includes directing professional CSRA wind players as the Conductor of Savannah River Winds. Under his direction, the Savannah River Winds has received many honors, including the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Scroll Award and a recording contract with the C.L. Barnhouse Publishing Company.
Richard is frequently engaged as clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor all over the globe, including opportunities in London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland and Alaska, and throughout the USA, including the SouthEast tour of the United States Army Field Band, the University of Georgia Winter Music Festival, and numerous national conventions and symposiums. He has trained concert, jazz, and marching bands to perform high level music on a high level (consistent Superior ratings), including national tours to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the Lord Mayor’s Parade in London, and the Easter Festival in Maastricht, Netherlands.
Richard was nationally featured with the "Educators Who Make A Difference" article in Band and Orchestra. His other honors include four National Band Association Citations of Excellence, three ASBDA/Stanbury Awards, the ASBDA Career Achievement Award, the Teacher of the Year Award, three Star Teacher Awards, and the WJBF "Golden Apple Award."
A native of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, Richard has a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. He lives in North Augusta, South Carolina, with his wife Barbara. Their son, Craig, lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife Erika, daughter Natalie, and son Nicklaus. Their daughter Mia, lives in Aiken, South Carolina, with her husband C. Allen Miller and their daughter Penelope.
Neil Casey – violin, conductor
An active violinist, Neil often serves as Concertmaster with the Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society. He is a member of the Excelsior Trio, which placed third in the nation at the MTNA Collegiate Chamber Music Competition. Neil was Concertmaster and soloist for the premiere performance of the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra in 2010. He served as Associate Concertmaster of the Augusta Symphony for many years and performed as guest concertmaster for the South Carolina Philharmonic and Savannah Sinfonietta.
Neil is Assistant Director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina, as well as the conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra in Savannah, Georgia. At USC, he teaches conducting, violin, chamber music, conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra. His numerous conducting opportunities range from a post as Assistant Conductor of the Augusta Symphony, across the USA as guest conductor for orchestras such as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Richmond Symphony (in his native state of Virginia), and to international acclaim as guest conductor Karelian Philharmonic Orchestra (Petrazovodsk, Russia). He was the founding conductor of the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras and Resident Conductor of the Shenandoah Performing Arts Camp.
Neil earned both his B.A. in music education and violin performance, and his M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of South Carolina.
Kathryn Cheney – trumpet
Kathryn performs regularly with the Augusta Choral Society, other regional collaborative orchestras, and with the Crescent Brass Quintet. She teaches at Augusta State University and in her private studio. Kathryn lives in Appling, GA, where she works on the music staff of Kiokee Baptist Church. Kathryn received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and a Master’s at Ithaca College. She is a native of Conyers, GA.
Vonda Darr – harp
Vonda Darr has been the principal harpist for the Augusta Symphony (GA) since 1993, and the Augusta Opera since 1998. She also performs with the North Carolina Symphony, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (SC), and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
Vonda was recently featured with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra in an Augusta Opera production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, in addition to the December 2010 premiere concert of Lyra Vivace with the Augusta Children’s Chorale. Vonda and Lyra Vivace violinist Neil Casey often perform as a duet, and were presented by the Tuesday Live concert series a few years ago.
She has been a soloist with the the Magellan String Quartet, Augusta Symphony String Quartet, the Florence Symphony, the University of South Carolina Chamber Orchestra, and the Georgia Southern University Orchestra. Mrs. Darr appeared in the PBS Christmas special, "Home for the Holidays," with opera singer Jessye Norman, recorded in 1998 in Augusta.
Vonda began studying the harp at age six with Gladys Hubner in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and played with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies through childhood. She studied with Gretchen Van Hoesen in Pittsburgh, while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in harp performance from Geneva College.
Mrs. Darr performs regularly throughout North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina, and has recorded a compact disc of solo harp. She also maintains a private harp teaching studio.
Tim Easter – double bass
Tim works as principal double bass for the Greenville Symphony, the South Carolina Philharmonic, and the Augusta Opera. He teaches double bass at Furman University, works in a "day job" in sales at Northhampton Wines in downtown Greenville, SC, and freelances with many regional orchestras, including the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, Charleston, and Charlotte Symphonies.
Tim has appeared as soloist with the LA Piano Quartet, and has been featured in performances with double bass virtuosos Edgar Meyer, Hal Robinson, and Jack Budrow. He worked for many years on the double bass faculty at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and for many regional orchestras, including the Savannah Symphony, and as Assistant Principal with the Augusta Symphony.
Tim received a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from Furman University, where he was a pupil of Peter Rickett, conductor emeritus of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. He plays a full sized master copy of a Domenico Montagnana, circa 1750’s, made by master luthier Barrie Kolstein. His hobbies include golf, cycling, wine and cooking.
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.
Barry Garman – double bass, conductor
Barry serves on the faculty at Augusta State University as Instructor of Double Bass and String Methods, and teaches strings/ directs orchestras in the Richmond County (Georgia) public schools, He often leads and performs in double bass sections for area professional organizations, including the Augusta Choral Society, the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, in which he served as principal from 1981-1988.
He holds degrees in Music Education with an emphasis on string pedagogy, having earned both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Music from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Music from Augusta College.
Eliza Hesse – violin
Born in Augusta, GA, Eliza began taking violin lessons at the age of three. As a member of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, she has toured Europe and Canada, and has performed in major concert halls, including the Berliner Philharmonie, Musikgebouw in Amsterdam, and El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia.
She graduated from University of South Carolina magna cum laude, receiving both a Presser Foundation Scholarship and the Arthur M. Frasier Music Excellence Award. At the University of South Carolina, she was a concerto competition winner and served as concertmaster in the university’s orchestra during her senior year. She was named the Aiken County Young Artist in 2001, which resulted in her performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Augusta Symphony. While obtaining her Masters at Arizona State University, she held a position in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. She also played in several ensembles at Arizona State, including a string quartet, which was coached by both the Juilliard and Brentano String Quartets, as part of the university’s string quartet residency program.
In the summer of 2007, she was a member of the National Repertory Orchestra, and performed throughout Colorado. In the spring of 2008, she was the concertmaster for the Spoleto Festival’s premiere show, Monkey: Journey to the West, in which she collaborated with Damon Albarn from Gorillaz/Blur and famed director Shi Zheng Chen. She has participated in music festivals, including the Rome Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Castleton Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival.
Richard House – trumpet
Richard is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of University Bands at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he directs the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, teaches music education classes and applied lessons in trumpet. An active professional trumpet performer, he has performed with Symphony Orchestra Augusta (GA), the Augusta Choral Society, the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra and continues to perform recitals, wedding ceremonies, and church services.
Richard has held prior band/music teaching positions at Claflin University, Augusta State University, Bridgewater College, as well as Middle and High School in Raleigh, NC and Chesterfield, SC. His degrees include both a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Music and Masters in Trumpet Performance from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from East Carolina University.
Kate Jenkins – trombone
Kate is the principal trombone with the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Choral Society. She is a founding member of the Crescent Brass Quintet. Kate performs regularly with Chamber Music Charleston, the Hilton Head Orchestra, as well as other regional orchestras, including the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
She teaches low brass at Charleston Southern University and to students of all ages in her private studio. Kate has toured the United States and Europe with the Kings Brass and the Eurobrass. A Vermont native, she has made her home in the South East with her husband, trumpet player Todd Jenkins.
Todd Jenkins – trumpet
Todd is the principal trumpet of the Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society, and is a founding member of the Crescent Brass Quintet. Todd performs regularly throughout the South East with several orchestras, including the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. He has served as pastor of instrumental music at East Cooper Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC, in addition to teaching at Brevard College as interim Director of Brass Studies and Director of Bands.
Todd earned a Master’s degree in music from Ithaca College, and a Bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina. He has also studied at the University of Georgia and Shenandoah University. A North Augusta, SC native, Todd enjoys visiting his relatives whenever he and his wife, trombonist Kate Jenkins, have performing opportunities in Augusta.
Lorraine Jones – flute
Lorraine is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra Program. She is the flute instructor at AASU and conducts the Coastal Flute Choir. She is currently the principal flutist with the Hilton Head Orchestra, the Augusta Opera, and the Augusta Choral Society. Lorraine performs with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Jacksonville, Alabama, Charleston, Augusta, Greenville and Toledo Symphonies; as well as The Atlanta Pops, Piccolo Spoleto, and the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.
Lorraine was a member of the former Savannah Symphony Orchestra, playing flute and piccolo since 1983. Prior to joining the Savannah Symphony, Lorraine was a member of the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, and toured extensively throughout Mexico, Europe, Japan, and the United States. She also performed with the Camerata Pan America Woodwind Quintet and was principal flutist with the Orquesta Sinfonico de Mineria for many summer seasons.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, she is a graduate of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Her primary teachers have been Judith Bentley and William Hebert.
Ryan Kho – violin, conductor
Ryan teaches Mathematics at Augusta Preparatory Day School and Violin at the Augusta State University Conservatory Program. He has recently performed as Guest Conductor for orchestras including the SC Allstate Orchestra, the SC Region Orchestra, the Suzuki Festival, the MENC Georgia District 10 Honors Orchestra, and the Augusta State Orchestra String Jamboree. He served as Concertmaster of the Augusta Symphony for 19 years and first violinist with the Magellan String Quartet during its residency at Georgia Southern University.
Following his retirement from those positions, Ryan received his Master of Arts in Teaching from Augusta State University, with teaching certifications in both Music and Mathematics. In addition to his Concertmaster work in Augusta, GA for the Augusta Symphony, Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society, Ryan served as Guest Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and held the position of Principal Second Violin with Symphony Nova Scotia for many years. He has worked under many world-class conductors, including Charles Dutoit, Pierre Boulez, Simon Streatfield, Leon Fleisher and Klaus Tennestedt.
For many summers, he performed as Principal Violinist with the New Hampshire Music Festival, taught on the violin faculty of the University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, and USC Columbia School of Music. Ryan’s chamber performances have also taken him worldwide across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, including performances in Carnegie Hall with Boston Musica Viva, and with Walter Trampler, Malcolm Lowe, Gary Hoffman, Charles Wadsworth and Colin Carr.
His performances have been broadcasts on the CBC Radio Canada, WQXR, and NPR. Ryan received a BM from the New England Conservatory of Music on full scholarship, and studied violin with notables such as Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor, Tibor Vaghy and Thomas Wang. He lives in Augusta with his wife, cellist Christine Crookall, and their young son.
Sara Neal Lokey – double bass
Sara Neal Lokey is a talented and experienced professional double bassist who brings energy and passion to many different styles of music. A virtual double bass "chameleon," Sara enjoys performing in various classical, jazz and bluegrass settings throughout the Central Savannah River Area and the state of Georgia. From churches to front porches, symphony hall stages to late night dives, she is versatile and comfortable in all musical settings.
In 2007, Sara’s passion for sharing music led her into the classroom, where she has taught both elementary general music and string orchestra classes. She currently resides in Augusta, Georgia, and is an instructor for the Richmond County School System Orchestra Program.
Sara trained classically with Dr. Barry Garman at Augusta State University, where she received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Double Bass Performance. She was a 2003 ASU Concerto Competition winner and recipient of the Powers Baldwin Outstanding musician award. Her jazz skills were honed under the direction of Dr. Rob Foster and have afforded her the opportunity to perform with the great jazz trombonist and vocalist, Wycliffe Gordon.
Sara began expanding her horizons and exploring bluegrass music after hearing the album "Uncommon Ritual" by one of her idols, bassist Edgar Meyer. She began "pickin" with Carl Purdy soon thereafter, and has been performing with him for nearly a decade. Sara is a founding member of the groups Event Horizons and Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra.
Angela Massey – flute
Angela is the flute instructor at Presbyterian College and serves as Third Flute/Piccolo with the SouthWest Florida Symphony. She also works as a freelance flutist in Georgia and South Carolina, including work with the Augusta Choral Society, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
Some of Angela’s notable accomplishments include winning the Raleigh Area Flute Association Competition, receiving second prize in the Alexander and Buono International Flute Competition, placing third in the Frank Bowen Young Artist Competition, and being a finalist for the Myrna Brown Competition.
She has had the opportunity to perform in master classes and seminars with James Galway, Eleanor Lawrence, Gary Shocker, Randy Bowman, and Jim Walker. Through her former position as president of the South Carolina Flute Society, she has worked with renowned artists such as Jeanne Baxtresser and Bonita Boyd.
She received her Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her Master of Music degree in flute performance from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her principal instructors have been Dr. Brad Garner, Dr. Brooks de Wetter-Smith, and Martha Kitterman. She lives in Augusta with her husband, clarinetist Taylor Massey.
Taylor Massey – clarinet
Taylor Massey has been in much demand as a performer and instructor throughout the southeast region. He has been a featured artist of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, performing the Brahms Clarinet Quintet and Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. He
has also presented many chamber performances in the United States, as well as in Morges, Switzerland, and Lucca, Italy. While in Italy he served as principal clarinetist of the Lucca Theatre Opera orchestra.
Taylor is currently on faculty at Augusta State University and the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music and has previously been visiting instructor at Georgia Southern University. He maintains a strong interest in new music and has given many performances of new works while in Cincinnati and as a part of MusicX, a contemporary music festival in Cincinnati, OH.
His principal instructors have been Steven Cohen, Russell Dagon, and Ronald de Kant. He has received additional bass clarinet instruction from Ronald Aufmann of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and J. Lawrie Bloom of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Taylor earned a Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Masters degree from the Northwestern University School of Music. He lives in Augusta with his wife, flutist Angela Massey.
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.
Kelly Odell – oboe
Kelly has an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and a Performance Certificate from the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. She was a winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of Massachusetts, where she received her Master’s degree. She has been on the faculty of Bates College and Georgia Southern University and is presently the oboe instructor at Augusta State University.
Kelly has performed as guest soloist with the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Pittsfield Symphony, and Savannah Sinfonietta. She has played with the Portland Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Savannah Sinfonietta, Greenville Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, the Pittsfield Symphony and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She has toured Western Europe with the Ricciotti Ensemble, an orchestra dedicated to performing new music.
At present, Kelly performs as principal oboe with the Symphony Orchestra Augusta and english horn with the Hilton Head Orchestra. She is highly sought after as an expert reed-maker and oboe instructor. She has studied with Ray Still, Carlo Ravelli, Fred Cohen, and Yvonne Powers.
Jennifer Parker – violin, voice, viola, mandolin, guitar,
Jennifer Parker, an Augusta native, started her musical journey at the age of 10 when starting violin through the Richmond County Orchestra program. At the age of 12, Jennifer picked up the guitar and began writing songs, and has been a singer-songwriter ever since. Throughout her teens, Jennifer also picked up the bass, piano, ukuleles, viola, and more. An avid bluegrass and folk music lover, Jennifer has played with bands such as the Tom Miller Project and Mamie Foreman and The Rosebuds, and has also recorded with local Augusta bands, the Radar Cinema, Jokers & Thieves, and Mann Ray.
Jennifer is often a featured performer with Event Horizons. She is also a part of the Sand Hills String Band, the Augusta State University (ASU) Orchestra, and is a student assistant for the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras. Jennifer is also a strings teacher at East Aiken School for the Arts, a secretary and violin teacher at the Carolina Academy of Music, and teaches private lessons in the Augusta area for violin, guitar, and mandolin.
Jennifer is currently attending ASU as a Music Education major and plans to graduate in Spring 2013. She is a violin student of Dr. Laura Tomlin and also studies privately with Carl Purdy.
Kevin Pollock – piano
Kevin has been an active musician and teacher in the southeast for more than twenty years. He is an acclaimed pianist, baritone soloist, and conductor. In addition to his busy performing schedule with Duo and Trio Intermezzo, Kevin serves as Music Director at Warren Baptist Church, Prep School Chorus Director at Westminster Schools of Augusta, and is owner and principal instructor of Pollock Music Studios at Turner’s Keyboards in Augusta, GA. Staying close to his boyhood home, Kevin attended Augusta College as a Vocal and Piano Performance major. He studied piano with Artemesia Thevaos from 1987 until her retirement from teaching in 2001.
Kevin currently studies with Lydia Porro Milham, Artemesia’s duo-concert partner. He has also studied in the vocal studio of William F. Toole from 1988-2004. Music is a binding thread within the Pollock household. Kevin’s wife, Andrea Pollock, is an active lyric soprano, as well as a voice and piano instructor at Pollock Music Studios. They have one daughter, Sophie, who is a budding young pianist.
Robert Pruzin – french horn
Robert is currently Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches horn and is Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies. He is the Principal Horn in the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society, and also performs with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra.
From 1983 to 2003, Robert was Artist-in-Residence at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities summer Honors program, and from 1977-2011, he served as principal horn of the Augusta Symphony. His career also includes 14 years (1989-2003) as the creator, producer, and artist performer of a program entitled, "Bring Mozart Alive!" Dressed as a court musician in the time of Mozart, Robert performed for over twenty thousand elementary school children throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, educating future musical audiences about the work of this great composer.
Having earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the State University of New York at Potsdam, he received his Masters of Music in Performance at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with continued postgraduate work at the University of Maryland and Northwestern University.
Robert was a member of the United States Marine Band, "The President’s Own" in Washington, D.C. and has appeared as a guest soloist or lecturer at the International Horn Society Symposium in New York, Texas, Florida, Colorado and Illinois. In the summer of 2010, he presented a lecture at the International Horn Symposium in Brisbane, Australia. He has appeared at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and numerous regional orchestras throughout the Southeast and has received critical acclaim wherever he has performed.
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.
Justin Resley – cello
Justin is from a family of blue ribbon fiddle and guitar players in West Texas. As a child, Justin signed up at his public school for violin, but the teacher said his hands were too big and suggested the cello. His response was, "but what is a cello?" He later went on to study with Orlando Cole of the Curtis String Quartet and Stephen Geber, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Justin graduated with a Masters in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Justin is an active chamber and orchestral cellist in the CSRA and South East region. He currently performs with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Augusta Choral Society, Augusta Opera, and is a founding member of the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. He recently performed the Schubert Cello Quintet as guest cellist with the Magellan String Quartet at the Westobou Festival.
Deciding to pursue a career in medicine, he graduated from the Cleveland Clinic and is presently the Chief of Cardiovascular Perfusion at the Palmetto Health Heart Hospital in Columbia, SC. He lives in Evans GA.
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.
Debra Schab – violin, viola
Debra currently performs violin and viola with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Pops, Augusta Opera, and Augusta Choral Society, and the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. She is on the Athens Academy music faculty and teaches orchestra for grades ranging from 2 through 12. In addition to her position at the Academy, she has an active private studio of over 50 violinists and violists.
Prior to her work at the Academy, Debra was fifth grade orchestra teacher in Clarke County. She has taught Suzuki violin for over 22 years (receiving extensive Suzuki training from Alice Joy Lewis, Kay Sloan and Almita Vamo), including work as the director of Suzuki programs at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, and Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, and is currently on faculty of the Morningside College Suzuki Institute and Advanced String Camp in Sioux City, Iowa.
She is often a clinician for Suzuki workshops in a region that expands from Georgia to Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Illinois and Iowa. Debra was a violinist in the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for over 10 years and while living in Savannah, served on the educational staff of the Savannah Symphony and directed the Savannah Symphony’s Junior String Ensemble.
She also taught violin, string methods/pedagogy and directed the Suzuki Program at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia, and at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. Prior to her faculty positions in Athens GA, Debra had time to perform with the Hilton Head Chamber Orchestra, Augusta, Charleston and Greenville Symphonies. Debra received her Master’s degree in violin performance from Western Illinois University and Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Karl Schab – viola, conductor
Karl Schab founded and directed the Athens String Ensemble from 1996-2000 and was appointed the first Music Director of the Athens Youth Symphony in November, 2000. He has been a member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra since 1984 and travels to Colorado during the summers, where he works as Principal Violist of the Crested Butte Music Festival. Karl also travels to perform with various orchestras in the South East, including the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society, Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Augusta, Charleston and Savannah Symphonies.
Following his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and completion as Master’s degree in viola performance from Indiana University, Karl took positions with the Venezuelan National Symphony and the Pro-Arte Quartet of Caracas, touring extensively in Latin America and performing the entire cycle of Beethoven string quartets.
Settling in the Atlanta area in 1980, he continued his chamber music work with the Atlanta Virtuosi and became Principal violist of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Chattanooga Symphony. Karl studied viola and violin with Abraham Skernick, Richard Young, and Dorothy Mauney.
Karl and his wife, Debra, a violinist, share their home in Athens, GA with eight cats and countless students. His hobbies include building and restoring harpsichords and golfing.
Angela Shaw – violin, viola
Angela regularly performs with the Augusta Opera, Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, and Augusta Choral Society. She is often guest violinist and violist with the Magellan String Quartet and the Kiokee Quintet. Angela teaches private violin/viola lessons at the Carolina String Academy in Aiken and the Augusta State University Conservatory Program.
She attended Augusta State University, where she received a Bachelor in Music Education. She was violin pupil of Dr. Angela Morgan, and studied viola with Carl Purdy. Angela is an Augusta, Georgia, native. Angela lives in Augusta with her husband, double bassist Travis Shaw, and their daughter Caeden.
Travis Shaw – double bass, guitar
Travis Shaw is an Augusta, Georgia, native. Travis is well-versed in many styles of music, including jazz, rock, bluegrass, and classical styles. Travis is an active teacher in Augusta (Southeast Music Academy) and Aiken (Carolina Music Academy) and is in special demand as a performer in the jazz genre. Some of his notable collaborations have been with Ravi Coltrane, Rob Foster, Wycliff Gordon, Pulsar, A Step Up, and The Jazz Collective. Travis is often featured with Carl Purdy’s groups, including the In Praise of Music ensemble Event Horizons.
Travis has studied at the Atlanta Institute of Music, where he studied bass guitar under the well known virtuoso, Adam Nitti, and local working musicians, Alan Barnes and Gary Wilkins, and at Augusta State University, where he studied double bass with Barry Garman.
Travis has also spent time in the flourishing music scene of Athens, GA, where he studied jazz bass with Chris Enghauser of UGA, and performed in master classes with John Clayton and Rufus Reid. He currently lives in Augusta doing freelance work and teaching guitar and bass at The Carolina String Academy and The Southeast Music Academy.
Laura Tomlin – violin, composer, conductor
Laura is the founder and director of the Carolina String Academy in Aiken and the conductor of the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras and 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 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.
Dan Worley – bassoon
Dan is principal bassoon of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, the Dekalb Symphony, the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society, and performs regularly with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. He is a member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and performs with the Atlanta Lyric Opera, Augusta Symphony, Charleston Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony.
He has performed extensively in the U.S. and Europe with the quintet Arioso, which he founded. Arioso was selected as one of two chamber music groups from North America to perform at the first International Chamber Music Festival in Berkshire, Massachusetts, in 1976. Worley has played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, under the direction of James Levine, and has played principal bassoon with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy.
As its youngest member, Worley won a position with the American Wind Symphony in Pittsburgh. He has also been featured as solo bassoonist with the Engadinger Festival Orchestra in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Dan was a scholarship student of William Polisi at the Juilliard School of Music.