Sydney Pérez is pursuing a Master’s in Vocal Performance at the Longy School of Music, studying with the accomplished Dr. Christopher Sierra. An avid performer, her highlighted operatic roles include El Duende in Maria de Buenos Aires, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Æneas, and covers of Diana in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Sydney has premiered four roles in brand new compositions, including Alma Menckenberg in The Audition Fever with the Butler Opera Center, COMPUTER in XOR at the Cohen New Works Festival, and the title role in Lori: An Opera for our Stolen Sisters, a new opera of which she is the librettist. Her greatest happiness comes from expanding accessibility and diversity in music education and performance.
Kyle Wendling is a tubist and conductor from Owosso, Michigan, and is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. He has a Bachelor’s of Music in Tuba Performance from Central Michigan University where he studied with Dr. Mark Cox, and has completed a Master’s of Music in Tuba Performance at the Longy School of Music where he studied with Kenneth Amis. He studied orchestral conducting with Dr. José-Luis Maurtúa at CMU. Kyle has achieved principal tuba positions in the CMU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Wind Ensemble. He served as assistant conductor with the CMU Concert Orchestra and served as a conductor with Longy’s Orchestra FLEX, directed by Andy Kozar. While in Massachusetts, Kyle has performed with Orchestra FLEX, the Bay Colony Brass (from Burlington, Massachusetts), Dr. Bill Banfield’s Imagine Orchestra, Longy’s Ensemble Uncaged, the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, and the New Philharmonia. In Fall of 2023, Kyle will begin his Master’s of Music in Orchestral Conducting at Bowling Green State University. His favorite hobbies include writing poetry, playing video games, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends.
Ambrose enjoys performing on many different instruments in many different styles including: baroque/modern violin, baroque viola, medieval vielle and tenor viola da gamba. He is currently studying for a masters degree in historical performance at Longy school of music with Dana Maiben and Sarah Darling. Ambrose is experienced with music from the 13th century to the present day. He currently plays with Harvard Baroque Orchestra and has played with other orchestras and ensembles at Berklee, Portland State University, Portland Ballet Theatre, the Boston Camerata, and the Oriana consort.
Taiward Wider has been playing cello for 20 years. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Taiward specializes in folk music, in particular, Klezmer and Yiddish music, Celtic, and Appalachian Old Time fiddle. They founded the Klezmer band Wandering Laughter which played at Club Passim and the Somerville Armory. Taiward is a regular member of the Sanctuary Boston band and helped produce some videos for Sanctuary Boston during the pandemic. They are also active in the New England contra dance scene and help to organize and run sound for the Boston Gender Free Contra Dance.
Jason Marino has played music all his life, beginning with piano and trumpet as a child before finding his first true passion in guitar. In 2016, he traveled to India and discovered Indian Classical Music, studying sitar under Pt. Rabindra Narayan Goswami. Since returning to the US in 2020, he has picked up the electric bass, playing in a variety of ensembles. He also remains active in the Indian Classical community, performing both solo and as an accompanist in Kathak dance recitals.
Calista Richlen is a teacher and performer that has performed all across the world as a soloist, as well as members of large ensembles. Some of her achievements include winning the Derryberry Concerto Competition and performing Valerie Coleman’s Concerto for Flute Choir, “Goin’ Uptown.”
Calista is a flutist originally from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Ms. Richlen received her BA in Music Performance at Tennessee Technological University where she studied with Dr. Mary Matthews and Dr. Roger Martin. Currently, and received her Master’s in Flute Performance at Longy School of Music of Bard’s College in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she studied with Sergio Pallottelli.
Calista performed in the Bryan Symphony Orchestra for four years as Flute 2, and has been Principle Flute in TnTech’s University Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band. She was also active in ensembles such as Tntech’s Flute Choir, Wind Quintets, Flute Quartets, and more. Currently, she performs in various ensembles as a freelance musician and performs regularly as a soloist.
In addition to her frequent performances, Ms. Richlen teaches students from beginners to advanced. She teaches privately, flute coachings, band camps, and masterclasses, and has been doing so for 7 years. She also serves her community in other ways. In March of 2020, Calista Richlen started a Instrument Donation fundraiser in response to a devastating tornado. She collected, cleaned, repaired, and gave out instruments to musicians who lost theirs so that musicians everywhere could continue what they love most.
Praised for writing music that is “richly dynamic, inventive, and captivating,” and that “blends narrative with fun and transformative harmony,” Boston and Providence-based composer and violinist/violist E. Isaiah Hopper is a collaborative musician and artist who aims to build worlds that temporarily transport listeners outside their own to experience stories and become engrossed in new sonic environments. Their work merges forms of the Romantic and Neo-Classical eras with tonalities that span the 20th and 21st Centuries. Hopper has written for a wide array of ensembles, covering large works for orchestra and choir, as well as a variety of solo and chamber works.
Cassie Kollman is a soprano vocalist and singer-songwriter who possesses an informed command of her craft and performs a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, pop, r&b, blues, musical theater, New music, and classical.
Cassie released her debut album, Lady in Shoes, in 2021; an eclectic mix of groove-based, richly-textured, and imaginative original compositions and collaborations. Cassie’s songwriting is introspective, personal, and emotionally nuanced. An agile vocalist and deep listener, Cassie creates arrangements that are vocally ambitious, harmonically intricate, and lyrically exploratory. The result is a soulful, quirky, blues-based experience of indie-pop music.
Cassie is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Music at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, focusing deeply on improvisation, composition, and ensemble performance. A former grade-school music teacher and current non-profit manager, Cassie is passionate about arts accessibility, music education, and live community events.
Fran McConville, Jr. Is a Guitarist and composer based in Boston, Ma. Fran started playing the piano in the first grade, taking classic piano lessons through grade school. Going to see guitarists Duke Levine and Kevin Barry at age thirteen changed everything. Fran has played all over the U.S., and has traveled to Mexico and the Philippines to play music. Music is life and Fran loves collaborating with other artists and playing a supporting role.
Kristian Mitchell is a vocalist from Atlanta, GA. In May 2020, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Young Harris College. He is currently working towards his Master of Music Degree in Jazz & Contemporary Music at the Longy School of Music. He enjoys singing in all different genres, including Pop, R&B/Soul, Musical Theatre, and Choral Music. Kristian is also a proud member of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and was newly appointed as Tenor Musical Section Representative. In his free time, Kristian enjoys going to the movies, bowling, and playing video games.
Musician, composer, and creative Janet Baindu Lagah-Bona is an artist with sound that combines intention and beauty. As a performer she has been a student of piano for more than 10 years, but her heart has always been creating music.Being a Sierra Leonean-American, she merges her love for Jazz and RnB with her love for her West African heritage and culture. Not being limited to concert music she released her Experimental Project Breaking the Silence in 2018 where she also shared her alias as Jenita Greenstone.
Bek Zehr is an animated storyteller of music and theatre originally from Carthage, NY. Bek is a queer and nonbinary person who seeks to unearth the beauties of diversity and create a radical space of welcome through their music. Bek received their BA in Music at Goshen College, with study of French horn, creating writing, and acting. Bek is a versatile vocalist and instrumentalist in art song, theater, jazz, choral, folk, and pop music. Bek strongly values sustainability; whether caring for oneself, the earth around us, or being passionately involved in one’s community.
Performer, singer and librettist, Sophie Carpenter is an artist dedicated to the constant evolution and amelioration of her industry. At home in music ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Carpenter’s passion lies in her versatility as a performer. Recent engagements include, Phoebus und Pan (Momus); In Pieces (River); Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Cornelia); Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey). This summer, her debut screenplay ‘Metanoia Junction’, will be taking the silver screen and new musical ‘Go Ahead, Try That!’ with composer Ben Russsman, will be hitting the stage. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree from Longy School of Music, where she studies with Carol Mastrodomenico.
Elyana Schaer is a violinist and composer pursuing two masters at the Longy School of Music of Bard College – one in composition and one in violin performance in the jazz and contemporary music department. Currently, Elyana is studying violin with Josh Henderson and composition with Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor and is working on expanding her musical vocabulary into jazz, folk, neo-soul and world music.