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2017 VentiCordi Guest Artists
For info on Artistic Directors Kathleen McNerney and Dean Stein please click
here


Wren_Saunders_color Bassoonist Wren Saunders received a B.M. from the University of Southern Maine and a M.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance. While at New England Conservatory she studied with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal bassoonist, Richard Svoboda. Ms. Saunders is currently a member of the Orchestra of Indian Hill (MA), and is principal bassoon of the Bangor Symphony. In 2007 she was a concerto soloist with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. An active freelancer she has played with such orchestras as the Portland Symphony, PORT orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival, and the ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Boston among others. A founding musician of the MELA Ensemble, a reed trio, she is committed to bringing high quality chamber music to Maine audiences. Ms. Saunders can be heard playing principal bassoon with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra performing Violin Concerto No. 6 “Old Brass” on Mark O’Connor’s recently released CD “Americana Symphony” on the OMAC label.
Ms. Saunders has a vibrant and successful bassoon studio where her students are regularly accepted into the Maine All-State and District festivals, the Portland Youth Ensembles, as well as New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Boston.

Robert Lehmann - web res Robert Lehmann, Violin/Viola. Robert Lehmann is Professor of Music and Director of Strings and Orchestral Activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music where he conducts the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his duties at USM, he is Music Director of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and the White Mountain Bach Festival in New Hampshire. He holds degrees in Violin Performance from the University of the Pacific, the Eastman School and Boston University and has been a fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Festival and at the Conductors Institute at Bard College. Dr. Lehmann has concertized as violinist and conductor, in his native Mexico, throughout the US, Puerto Rico and in Europe and Ukraine. He has been of frequent guest conductor with the Portland Symphony, Portland Ballet, and has conducted All-State and Festival Orchestras from Maine to California and Hawaii. He has also been an adjudicator the National Orchestra Festival at the ASTA National Convention.
Prior to his appointment at USM, he was Music Director of the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard, and on the conducting staff of the Greater Boston and the Empire State Youth Orchestras. He is first violinist of the Meliora Quartet and concertmaster of the PORTOpera and Choral Art Society. He is in demand as a performer, conductor, teacher and adjudicator and is listed in Who's Who in American Music. His CD, “Chamber Music for String by Manuel M. Ponce” was issued by Centaur Records in 2009. He has given numerous word premieres including Elliot Schwartz's' "Concerto VI: Mr. Jefferson" and Portland Ballet’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. His 2012 performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, was named the top performance event of the Portland concert season by the Portland Press Herald. Dr. Lehmann resides in Scarborough, Maine with his wife Kim, a violist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and their two sons, Eric and Alex.

Kim Lehmann 2015 Kimberly Lehmann, originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, received her Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Minnesota and her Master of Music in Violin Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. Her principal teachers were Lea Foli, Harold Wippler, Catherine Tait and Camilla Wicks.
About 10 years ago, after receiving a beautiful viola that belonged to her husband Robert’s grandmother, Kim fell in love with the viola and gradually grew to prefer the deep, mellow sound and the wonderful chamber music writing for the instrument.
She is a member of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of the South Dakota Symphony, the Colorado Springs Symphony and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed with the Eastman Philharmonia in residence at the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele, at the National Orchestral Institute, and with the Boston Academy of Music. She regularly performs with PORT Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Portland Ballet, and the Choral Arts Society and has appeared as guest violist with the DaPonte String Quartet, VentiCordi and the Atlantic Piano Trio.
Ms. Lehmann has coached violin and viola sectionals and chamber music for the Longwood Symphony, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, the Greater Boston Youth Symphonies and the USM Youth Ensembles. She has adjudicated auditions for the New England Conservatory Youth Orchestras and for Maine District Festivals. Ms. Lehmann has also performed solo works with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Salem Philharmonic and the Longy School of Music. In addition, she has an interest in violin repair and completed a course at the Hans Nebel Violin Repair Workshop while she was manager of the rental department at Johnson String Instrument in Newton, MA.Kim lives in Scarborough, Maine with her husband Robert and sons Eric and Alexander.

Ashima Scripp 2015 Cellist Ashima Scripp has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared at New York's Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Opera City, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center and Boston's Jordan Hall. Ms. Scripp’s performances have been described as “expressive and nuanced” and she is considered one of the nation’s most versatile chamber artists. She has been invited to perform live on Los Angeles' KMozart, Boston's WGBH, Chicago’s WFMT and Texas Public Radio and given recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Fazioli Salon Series in Chicago and at Highfield Hall.
A dedicated and sought-after chamber music collaborator, Ms. Scripp has performed hundreds of works from Bach to Schoenberg for audiences around the country and been invited to perform as part of the New Hampshire, North Country Chamber Players, VentiCordi, Hot Springs and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals. In 2004 she was invited to join the critically acclaimed Walden Chamber Players, and became the ensemble’s Artistic Director in 2012. With Walden Ms. Scripp performs a variety of classical and contemporary works on chamber music series nationwide. Walden is also well known for their work in chamber music education and Ms. Scripp has been central to the creation of many of the ensemble’s successful chamber music residency programs.
Ms. Scripp has served on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Longy School of Music and Concord Academy as well as the Killington Music Festival, the Chamber Music Conference and Composer’s Forum of the East, and the International Summer Music Academy in Regensberg, Germany. Passionate about creating unique learning opportunities for musicians of all ages she is the co-founder of the “Cellobration Festival” in Cambridge, MA, now in its 5th year and “Music at the Lake”, a workshop for amateur adult cellists in Meredith, NH. She has also been invited to give master classes at the Killington Music Festival, the University of Idaho, Longy School of Music and Bowdoin College.
Ms. Scripp has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including a Presidential Scholarship, an Ekenstein Fund Grant, the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Scholarship, the Mittenthal Scholarship and the Eleanor Thaviu String Scholarship. Ms. Scripp received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Alan Stepansky and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University as a student of Hans Jensen.



Bridget Convey 2013 web res As a soloist and ensemble musician, pianist Bridget Convey has been heard throughout the United States performing music of diverse periods and styles. She has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center (NYC) and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA) (with the Los Angeles Philharmonic); Ojai Music Festival, CA; Fechin Institute Chamber Concert Series, Taos, NM; Maybeck Performing Arts Studio, Berkeley, CA; Bowdoin College, ME; UMaine; University of Maine at Augusta; University of Southern Maine; Southern Utah University; Emery Community Arts Center at UMF; several venues in Portland, ME; among many others.
Bridget has been specifically sought after as a New Music pianist and featured musician at several National and International Festivals. She was invited to perform at the International New Music Festival at CSSN in Las Vegas, NV; "Artist in Residence" at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Spring New Music Festival; and featured lecturer and performer at the MMTA Spring Convention at UMaine and USM; at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, OH; and at the "Satellite Salon Series" at Southern Utah University.
Bridget received her Diploma from Mannes College of Music, NYC (Pre-college Division) 1989; BFA from State University of New York at Purchase 1993; and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts 1997. Bridget can be heard on Navona, Cuneiform, Independent and Nataraja labels. Bridget serves as part-time faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington and Bates College.


Gary Gorczyca clarinet 2016 A founding member of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, clarinetist Gary Gorczyca is a ubiquitous presence on Boston’s classical music concert scene. Mr. Gorczyca has appeared as a soloist with the Angelica International Festival and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and performs frequently with Boston Midsummer Opera, Odyssey Opera, and Back Bay Chorale. He can be heard on many recordings on the BMOP Sound label, including Bernard Rands’ Canti Trilogy, Lee Hyla’s Lives of the Saints, and as a soloist on Elliot Schwartz’s Chamber Concertos. He also played on composer Marti Epstein’s most recent recording, Hypnagogia, with the Ludovico Ensemble.
A frequent collaborator with composers and sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Gorczyca was a member of the Boston Musica Viva and the Fromm Players at Harvard, and has performed with the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Callithumpian Consort, Firebird Ensemble, Sound Icon, and the North Country Chamber Players. For many years he was a first call substitute with the Boston Symphony under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Andre Previn and others, where he received solo bows both in Symphony and Carnegie Halls. He has toured throughout the United States and Japan with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and appeared on their 4th of July special for several years, performing with Steven Tyler and David Lee Roth, among others.
Gary Gorczyca began his musical career on the heels of an education from New England Conservatory, Boston University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shortly afterward he received fellowships to attend the Norfolk Chamber and Contemporary Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded a Jackson Prize for outstanding musical achievement. He volunteers for many causes, including the Pan Mass Kids Ride, Hingham Interfaith Food Pantry, and Boy Scouts of America, and recently donated his time to do a David Bowie/Phillip Glass benefit concert for cancer research with the Ambient Orchestra at MIT. When not performing, Mr. Gorczyca spends his time repairing wind instruments, teaching privately, and with family.


Russell Wilson viola web res Russell Wilson, violist, has distinguished himself as a versatile chamber, solo and orchestral musician. Mr. Wilson has appeared in collaboration with the Miami String Quartet, Eugenia Zukerman, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Melvin Chen and as a member of Lyrica Chamber Music and the Casavi String Quartet in Boston's Symphony Hall. Mr. Wilson is currently Principal Viola of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and section member of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of 2015 include a premiere of David Ludwig's Pale Blue Dot at the Portland Contemporary Music Festival, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the historic photo, and presenting classes and coachings at the Singapore School of the Arts. Festival appearances include Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, as a Young-Artist-in-Residence with the West End String Quartet, The Castleman Quartet Program, Spoleto USA, Henry Mancini Institute, LyricaFest, Domaine Forget, and Las Vegas Music Festival. He completed his studies at the Longy School of Music, and The Hartt School, where Mr. Wilson was a member of their 20/20 Chamber Music Program.

Katherine Cherbas Cello Cellist Katherine Cherbas has been critically acclaimed for her “warm, full tone” (The Strad), “gutsy” playing (Strings) and “consistent polish” (The New York Times). As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the American and New Jersey Symphonies. Her interests as a chamber musician range from Baroque continuo playing to collaborations with composers on new works. Ms. Cherbas has performed in the pit ensembles of more than a dozen Broadway shows and is currently a member of the 28-piece orchestra for On The Town at the Lyric Theater. In recent live performances, she has shared the stage with artists ranging from Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma to Donna Summer and Sir Paul McCartney. She has recorded on the Albany, Tzadik, Harmolodic, Delos, Naxos, and Sony labels and has been heard on NBC’s Today Show, BBC3 Radio, Live from Lincoln Center, Great Performances, and other national and international broadcasts.


Pamela Mia Paul in blue Pamela Mia Paul is both a brilliant performer and a deeply dedicated teacher. On stage, she has performed with the world’s great orchestras. She has given concerts throughout the U.S., and in Europe, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Turkey both as soloist and as chamber musician. Ms. Paul has commissioned and premiered works for
the piano; Robert Beaser’s Piano Concerto, which was written for her, had its world premiere in the U.S., with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and in Europe with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic under the baton of American conductor Richard Dufallo. The Beaser Concerto had its New York premiere in 1992 at Carnegie Hall, with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the American Composer’s Orchestra.
Miss Paul's European orchestral appearances include the Vienna ORF Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Staskapelle, and the Dutch Radio Symphony; her U.S orchestral appearances include those with the New York Philharmonic, symphonies of Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Houston, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Pops, New York Pops, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Caramoor Festival Orchestra. Ms. Paul has appeared in world’s major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.
As a chamber musician, she has been an invited guest artist at the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals in Austria, Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and at Music Mountain in Connecticut. Quartets with which she has performed include Cassatt, Penderecki, Borromeo, Chester, Orlando, Leontovich, Miró, Arianna and St. Petersburg.
Pamela Mia Paul received the doctor of musical arts, master of music, and bachelor of music degrees from the Juilliard School. She is currently Regents Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas and is a Steinway artist.


Kevin Owen horn 2017 Kevin Owen was born in Massena, New York, and has lived in New England for thirty five years. He attended Boston University, graduating in 1983. While he was there, he was member of the Boston Wind Quintet, a group which won First Prize in five international chamber music competitions in one year. He also won the Outstanding Brass Musician Award and the Concerto-Aria Competition, performing Richard Strauss' 2nd Horn Concerto with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra in Jordan Hall.
Owen is a journeyman musician, performing with symphony orchestras, chamber music groups, swing bands, rock bands, jazz ensembles and in the recording studio. For twenty five years, he has been first-call substitute French hornist with the Boston Symphony, but has also “subbed” with the Vienna Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Syracuse Symphony as well as with most New England-based orchestras. His regular “gigs” include Principal Horn of the Boston Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and an exciting new venture, the Odyssey Opera. He has also performed with the bands Kansas, the Moody Blues, Guster (on the Conan O'Brien Show), My Morning Jacket (on the David Letterman Show) as well as with Peter Frampton, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Richard Carpenter among many others. Many local orchestras have featured Owen as a soloist, the Boston Pops was among the first. Since then, the Boston Philharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the North Shore Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic (twice) , the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Boston (three times), the Boston Landmarks Orchestra (three times) have also presented him. In 2013, Owen performed three French horn concerti on one concert with the Wellesley Symphony on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of his Boston Pops solo concerto. Max Hobart was the conductor for both performances Kevin Owen has toured Europe and South America with the Boston Symphony, Canada and the US with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Asia and the United States with the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops. He performed for the pre-game show at the 2002 Super Bowl when the New England Patriots won their first championship, and at the 2008 NBA Finals when the Boston Celtics won their last. Owen is a French horn instructor at Boston Conservatory and the Longy School of Music. He has four adult children and lives in Medford with his wife, Asako Shibata.

Gita Ladd web res Cellist Gita Ladd is one of the most sought after American cellists. She has performed throughout the US, Europe, Russia, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan as a recitalist and as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and others. She has collaborated as Principal Cello with the Washington Concert Opera, Post Classical Ensemble of Washington D.C and the former Baltimore Opera Company. Ms. Ladd often performs at the Kennedy Center with various groups including the Washington National Opera. During the summers, Ms. Ladd performs as Principal Cellist at the Endless Mountain Music Festival and has soloed with the festival orchestra numerous times. She has also appeared as soloist at both the Capriccio Festival and the Orpheus Festival in Italy. Ms. Ladd has recently completed recording of the Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff Sonatas with Asiya Korepanova, piano, for a soon to be released CD.
​Ms. Ladd has served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University and in 2006 joined the faculty at UMBC. Along with her cello studio and faculty recitals, she also performs with the contemporary music ensemble, “Ruckus”. In 2016, Ms. Ladd joined the faculty at CCBC.
Ms. Ladd attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Her major teachers include, Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet, David Soyer of the Guarneri String Quartet; Peter Wiley, former Principal Cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Beaux Arts Trio, and Guarneri String Quartet; Stephen Geber, former Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra; and John Sharp, Principal Cellist of the Chicago Symphony. Ms. Ladd performs on a 1720 Italian Cello.



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