Derek Wesley Arnold is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. He began playing piano at age four, teaching himself by ear and playing what he heard on the radio and around the house. Derek began his professional career as a drummer at age 15, and by 19 he was one of the most sought after bassists in the Triangle area of central North Carolina. After touring and recording with multiple acts across the United States and Canada, Derek could no longer suppress his craving to compose and his eagerness to learn as much as possible about the highest calibers of music and its performers. Derek has composed for a variety of ensembles at UNCSA—from large orchestras to numerous chamber groups, as well as several pieces for solo piano. Derek made his public conducting debut in the Fall of 2015 at the Chancellor's Convocation and at the Chancellor's Installation, when he assembled and conducted the Fighting Pickle Chorale in several performances of the UNCSA Alma Mater, which he wrote.
Derek graduated from UNCSA in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree in composition as a student of Dr. Lawrence Dillon. He is now pursuing a Master of Music degree at UNCSA as a student of Mr. Kenneth Frazelle.
At age 12, Bennett Astrove began his studies on the violin in strings class in the Hillsborough county public school system. He has since achieved a Bachelors degree in Music Performance from the University of South Florida, as well as a Masters degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. During those years, Bennett also developed his skills through participation in a variety of music festivals, ranging from those focused on chamber music to new music and competitions, including the Rosen-Schaffel concerto competition.
Since completing his Masters, Bennett has performed with the Asheville, Fayetteville and Western Piedmont Symphonies, as well as the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. He is also a regular performer for Classical Revolutions of Winston Salem, a free concert series aimed at presenting classical music in unconventional settings. In addition, he has become an active educator. Bennett has a private studio at Summit School, and has been a teaching artist for the Salvation Army and Winston-Salem Symphony's collaborative strings education program.
Alicia Bachorik is a composer who savors beauty as a gift from her Creator and finds the sublime in art, nature, and everyday experiences while attempting to create music that others can enjoy in a similar fashion.
Her choral and chamber works have been performed both in the USA and in her second
home of the Philippines. An early love of reading and theatre has grown into a desire
to connect language and storytelling to her compositions. In past years this has been
manifested in several choral and vocal works as well as instrumental works based on
poetry; more recently, she has been experimenting with incorporating text directly
into instrumental music. Alicia is fond of taking familiar ideas and sounds and tweaking
them slightly into something unexpected.
Beyond composing, Alicia remains active as a piano and violin teacher and enjoys performing hits from the Great American Songbook each week at a local senior living community. Alicia is currently pursuing a graduate degree in composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where her principal teacher is Lawrence Dillon.
Shakir Ballantyne was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently a percussion student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, studying under professor John Beck.
While at UNCSA Shakir has performed in concert with the Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as a percussionist in opera productions with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the annual production of The Nutcracker. He is currently a percussionist with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra. Shakir can also be found in the pit of the local Twin City Stage theater company.
As an aspiring educator, Shakir has previously worked with Atkins High School Marching Band and North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem. He taught percussion and piano lessons at the Separk Music Company. Recently, Shakir became a percussionist with the 440th Army Band in Raleigh, North Carolina.
An avid Classical and Jazz Musician, Emani Barber has appeared in North Carolina at various venues including the Neighborhood Theatre, Appalachian State University, Ovens Auditorium, the Stevens Center and The Harvey Gantt center. As an orchestral musician, Emani has played with a variety of orchestras including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony, The Winston-Salem Youth Symphony and the North Carolina All State Orchestra.
As a pit musician, Emani has played a wide gamut of musicals such as Aida, The Wedding Singer, The Music Man, Chicago, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls and The Drowsy Chaperone. Pushing Jazz to new territories is one of Emani’s passions, as a founding member of Jank — a jazz fusion band comprised of students from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Music.
Quashawn Chadwick was born in Albemarle, N.C., and spent a large portion of his life in Florida. He entered into the world of violin when he was nine years old. When he turned 16 he began working with his first private violin instructor. Quashawn began attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2011 as an undergraduate under the tutelage of Joseph Genualdi. By way of the violin, he has been able to travel many parts of the United States and parts of Europe. He currently studies with Ida Bieler.
Joe Collins is a cellist from Atlanta, Georgia, who is currently studying cello performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with Dr. Brooks Whitehouse. With several years of gigging experience, he has played a wide variety of classical repertoire, including orchestral, chamber and solo pieces, while also playing musicals and other modern compositions.
Joe began learning music at nine years old and started privately studying cello with Spencer Brewer at 15. While understanding the importance of a strong foundation of good fundamentals, he stresses the importance of exploring the musicality of a student’s playing and the wonder of looking at music beyond the notes on the page.
Aside from cello, Joe is also an avid guitarist, bassist, and drummer and performs with local bands throughout Winston-Salem. He enjoys combining his learned classical and jazz technique with a variety of different genres. He has played in bands that range from grunge punk to jazz to death metal.
Angel Fant is a local visual artist who takes pride in community restoration. She serves communities and individuals who
have experienced hardship. Angel has partnered with many organizations such as Habitat
for Humanity and Family Services, and she is the ribbon designer for all of the HFH
of Forsyth County dedications. Her talent and passion have been utilized in many areas
of the non-profit sector. She brings her experience as a teacher at The Special Children's
School, Head Start Family Services, Mental Health-Towergate Youth and Family Services
Youth United Family Services. Her professional goals include continuing to serve locally
and globally as a community visual art instructor.
Nia Franklin has been a musician since she was five years old, which is when she composed her first song. Since then, she has graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Music Composition. At East Carolina, Nia was president of the Black Student Union’s acapella singing group, Signature Sounds. Other accolades at East Carolina include being a member of ECU Excels, being cast in the Opera Theater production and being a frequent soloist in the University Chorale.
On April 24, 2015, Nia premiered her first opera, King Solomon, with a 16-member cast and a 12-member orchestra. She has served as a theory teacher and choir teacher for the Salvation Army Summer Music Conservatory, in partnership with the Winston-Salem Symphony.
Nia is currently pursuing a master’s degree in music composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she is a merit scholarship winner.
Double bassist Mitch Goodwin has dedicated many years to learning a variety of instruments and genres of music. He has served as Associate Principal Bass of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and has performed with many other great orchestras including the Winston-Salem Symphony, The Canton Symphony, Akron Symphony and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.
Mitch earned a Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Double Bass Performance degree from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Mr. Goodwin has been invited on several occasions to perform in places such as the Brevard Music Center, the Italian Alps and Alaska, earning scholarships based on skill.
As an educator, he instructs at the UNCSA Community Music School and is also in his first year as a member of ArtistCorps.
Kendra Bragg Harding is a composer and songwriter from the Piedmont area of North Carolina. She was born in Winston-Salem and raised in Northern Africa and the Middle East—an upbringing she says has influenced her approach to music, as well as her passion for service. She received a bachelor’s degree in music business from Gardner-Webb University in 2014 and is currently pursuing a master’s of music in composition at UNCSA, where she studies with Kenneth Frazelle.
Kendra is active in her local community and seeks to bring meaningful musical experiences to as many people as possible. She serves as an ArtistCorps member, providing music instruction, integration and exposure for children in financially-improving communities.
Kendra will be premiering several chamber and solo works throughout 2016 and 2017, as well as performing as a songwriter and member of The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs. She lives in the Piedmont area of North Carolina with her husband, Zack, and their dogs, Joni and Moon Moon.
Andrew Licht is thrilled to be an ArtistCorps member for the 2016-17 year. Andy is a native of Massachusetts, where he started violin in his public elementary school. In high school, he was involved in both the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Joy of Music Program Chamber Orchestra. Andy currently holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and a master's degree in Violin Performance from University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). At the University of Massachusetts, Andy studied with Elizabeth Chang, and received regular chamber music coachings with Astrid Schween (Cellist of the Julliard String Quartet), Gilles Vonsattel and Kathryn Lockwood of the Lark Quartet. At UNCSA, Andy has taken lessons from Kevin Lawrence and received regular chamber music coachings from Dmitri Shteinberg and Eric Larsen.
Andy has volunteered teaching and assisting at many public schools, including Amherst Regional Middle School in Massachusetts and Diggs-Latham Elementary School in Winston-Salem. During the summers, Andy has been a participant at a number of different festivals, including the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont and the National Music Festival in Maryland. Currently, Andy is a member of the Fayetteville Symphony orchestra for their 2016-17 season and has performed with several other groups around the North Carolina area, including Opera Carolina and the Durham Savoyards.
Florida native Ana Maria Locke holds a Bachelor in Music Education from Troy University, where she studied clarinet under Dr. Timothy Phillips. She has performed for world-renowned clarinetists including Jon Manasse, Jean-Francois Bescond, Jan Jakub Bokun and Sabine Grofmeier.
Locke is currently attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and pursuing her Master of Music in clarinet performance. She has taught private lessons to both high school and middle school clarinetists throughout Alabama and Florida.
While at Troy University, she served as principal clarinetist with the Troy University Symphony Band. The ensemble has an active commissioning schedule and regularly participates in commissioning consortia. In March 2014, the Symphony Band performed the opening concert at the 80th annual convention of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
She has performed in a number of settings including Troy University Clarinet Day, the United States Air Force Band and was selected to participate in the Alabama Intercollegiate Band.
Mekaela Nance was born in Portales, New Mexico, near the Air Force base where her father was stationed. Her family moved to Lexington, N.C., to be with extended family when she was five years old. Throughout her years of schooling, Mekaela attended All-County choir and also attended Honor Chorus in 2002. She taught herself piano and wrote songs, performing some during choir concerts. She credits her love of music as to what got her through her teenage years and what motivated her to attend college.
Mekaela received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Business and Popular Vocal Performance at Catawba College in the spring of 2015. She has studied voice with Christina Pier, piano with Jacob Hahn and cello with the late Anne Sellitti. Currently, she is working on a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Wake Forest University, where she studies film, communications and ethnomusicology.
She has worked with many local Winston-Salem organizations such as 88.5 WFDD as a Triad Arts Intern in the summer of 2014, where she initiated Triad Arts Live in Hanesbrands Theatre. She also worked with Peppercorn Children’s Theatre in the summer of 2015 as the sound board operator for the One Step performances.
When not working or in school, she uses her free time to create media content that combines audio, visual and animation components. Her future endeavors consist of learning code, furthering her education and working more with local non-profits.
Malory Pacheco is from Cary, North Carolina, but has spent considerable amounts of time living in Colorado, Texas and Utah. Now, she is attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is in the film school, pursuing a degree in Animation.
Malory has been drawing since she could hold a pencil, but didn’t take it seriously until she was in fifth grade, when her peers encouraged her to take an interest in art. She learned quickly without much outside instruction, and did her best to improve her skills as an artist on her own. By seventh grade it was obvious that animation was a way to make her art come to life, and she has since had the dream of working at Pixar Animation Studios.
At home, Malory volunteers her time at a small anime drawing class as an assistant. She is excited to continue the trend and work with kids in Winston-Salem.
Stephanie Shields comes from a very musical family and has been playing trumpet since the fourth grade. She seriously started studying music in college. Stephanie attended Grand Valley State University for a bachelor of music degree, while studying under Richard Stoelzel. She attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts for a master's degree, studying under Judith Saxton.
Stephanie has had many diverse playing experiences so far in her musical career. She has performed with wind ensembles, jazz bands, orchestras, operas, new music ensembles, trumpet ensembles, brass quintets and brass bands. She has had the opportunity to perform in Greece twice—once with the GVSU Trumpet Ensemble and again with the UNCSA Student Brass Quintet. Stephanie is a member of the North Carolina Brass Band and has recorded two albums with the group. She is currently freelancing around areas of North Carolina and Maryland. All of these experiences have contributed to making her a versatile player. Stephanie looks forward to many more opportunities that will her many places around the world. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, crabbing and hiking or playing outside with her dog.
Marie Smith is an active symphonic and chamber musician. She has been involved in a variety of ensemble settings, including symphony and pit orchestras, wind, horn and brass ensembles and wind and brass quintets. Marie is currently principal horn of the Symphony Orchestra at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is part of the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute, a partnership between Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and UNCSA.
Outside of school ensembles, Marie has performed with the American Festival Orchestra and New American Philharmonic in Utah, as well as with the Eastern Festival Orchestra in North Carolina. She played in the pit orchestra for the world premiere of South Pass! The Musical in Jackson, Wyoming, and attended the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, where she studied with Joy Branagan and Robert Rearden. She was also a Hesse Student at the Aldeburgh Festival in England. In 2016 she attended the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, where she studied chamber works under the tutelage of members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Marie has enjoyed numerous outreach and educational engagements across the country. She has lead sectionals and taught lessons at schools throughout North Carolina’s Forsyth County School District, performed with the Utah State University Horn Quartet for schools and retirement communities in Cache Valley, Utah, volunteered at Utah State middle and high school band festivals and clinics and worked as a summer camp counselor at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.
Marie graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Horn Performance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at UNCSA. Her primary teachers include Dr. Maria Serkin, Dr. Joseph Falvey and Steve Park.
A native of Livermore, California, Clifford Tam holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Utah State University, where he studied under Dr. Nicholas Morrison. As an active and virtuosic musician, Tam has performed for several influential clarinetists, including Alan Kay, Andrew Simon, Lee Livengood and Michael Rusinek.
During his four years at Utah State University, Tam held principal positions with the University's Symphony and Wind orchestras. He was also a member of the Caine Woodwind Quintet, a scholarship group that consists of the finest musicians and performers that the institution has. Equally at home with ensemble and solo work, Tam has performed as a soloist with the Livermore-Amador Symphony, New-American Philharmonic and the Utah State University Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the classical repertoire, Tam is also well versed in other styles of music. During his last year at Utah State University, his jazz combo frequently performed for the local area, entertaining audiences with jazz standards, blues and funk. He also has been a member of the University's various athletic bands and served as the marching band's drum major.
Tam is currently a graduate student at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the tutelage of Dr. Oskar Espina-Ruiz.
Brittany Thomas was born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys a variety of ensemble settings, including pit and symphony orchestra, wind ensemble and brass and woodwind quintets. Brittany is a member of the Chrysalis Brass Quintet as part of the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute, a partnership between Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center and UNCSA. As an aspiring educator, Brittany has volunteered with public and special education programs in North Carolina. Her favorite recent performances have included The Nutcracker, Guys & Dolls, Der Fledermaus, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.
Brittany has performed in master classes taught by Stefan Jezerski, Radovan Vlatković, Zohar Schondorf, Dr. Joseph Falvey and Rebekah Daley. Other notable performances include collaborations with Zéphyros Winds and the Exploring Brass in Greece program in Thessaloniki. Brittany recently graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a bachelor's degree and is pursuing a master's degree. Her primary teachers included Bob Campbell, David Jolley, and Dr. Maria Serkin.
Sarah VanSkike is a flutist in North Carolina who regularly performs in the Hickory and Winston-Salem areas. She is pursuing her Master of Music degree as a student of Dr. Tadeu Coelho at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There, she performs with the UNCSA Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Flute Ensemble in addition to her duties through ArtistCorps, which she joined in May 2016.
VanSkike received a Bachelor of Arts in flute performance from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. There, she studied with Lissie Shanahan and performed with the LR Concert Band, Flute Ensemble, the LR Athletic Band and as a pit orchestra musician for their production of the musical Ragtime! Additionally, she collaborated with the Lenoir-Rhyne A Capella Choir, the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus and the Hickory Choral Society. Her campus performances also included efforts to promote both traditional genres of music and newly composed music through the annual festivities of Bach Week and the Lenoir-Rhyne Komposers Kammermusikkonzert.
VanSkike remains established in the Hickory community through her involvement in local churches and the Eclectic Winds Trio, which she joined in 2014. Eclectic Winds, founded and managed by Lutz Keller, performs at many venues, often as a tool for outreach.
Lindsay Wiley is currently a Performance Artist Certificate candidate at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) where she studies oboe and English horn. She recently joined the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and is also the second oboist with Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lindsay is also a frequent substitute with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, on both oboe and English horn, and was previously the second oboist with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to orchestral performance, Lindsay is an active chamber musician. She is a founding member of the Artemis Trio, which consists of horn, oboe and piano, and was the oboist in the Liminal Phase woodwind quintet—a part of UNCSA’s Chrysalis Chamber Institute during the 2015-16 academic year.
Prior to attending UNCSA, Lindsay earned both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree in oboe performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Her teacher was Dr. William McMullen. As a graduate student she won the prestigious “Play with the Chiara Competition” and earned the right to perform with the world-renowned Chiara Quartet.
Lindsay was a participant in the 7th, 9th and 10th Carolyn Hove English Horn master classes. During the summer of 2016 she also attended the master classes for Strings and Winds at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada, and the Master Players Festival (MPF) in Newark, Deleware. While attending MPF she was awarded first prize in the woodwind division of the Concerto Competition and fourth prize in the woodwind division of the Solo Competition. Her teachers included Alex Klein, Katherine Needleman and Sarah Jeffrey.
As an artist who has the ability to evoke emotion through the stimulation of the senses, Ron Williams creates art as a stress reliever, an inspirational tool and as a story told repeatedly. Kindergarten was his starting point in finding his artsy ways. At a young age he knew that he could use his art to breach the barriers of social acceptance. Countless acquaintances, friends and extended family now engulf his artistic way. Those individuals, alongside his direct family, cast a wonderful illuminating vision for Robin to help as many as possible to find a way to tell their stories.
As the tribe sits attentive to the chief speaking of journeys to enlightenment and wisdom with assistance from the dancing light of a fire, the hieroglyphs of Egyptian Pyramids, elaborate stories of a hooked villain clashing with a flying Pan... all applications of art being a lifestyle. It is the calling of the wise to spread wisdom. While Robin was attending college at Winston-Salem State University, he was told the phrase “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve…” with art education and teaching as his road of choice. Graduating in December 2013 solidified another phrase in his life, which happens to be the name of a leadership program he was involved in: “Real Men Teach.” He may have graduated with a Degree in Studio Art and a minor in Sociology, but with life’s twists, real men and women teach as the leaders they are to be. Creativity is a gift to be shared.
Ann-Louise Wolf was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received a B.F.A. in Stage Management from UNCSA in 2011, where she also participated in the Cantata Singers and became a special student in the School of Drama to take voice and speech classes. During and after completing her undergraduate degree, she worked for opera companies around the nation, including three seasons on the stage management staff of the San Diego Opera.
She completed the M.F.A. Voice Studies program at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and has returned for her second year teaching and coaching voice, speech and accents for the UNCSA School of Drama. Ann-Louise designed and taught an original course of Voice for the Stage Manager for her research, and presented on this topic on a panel at the 2016 conference for the Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association (VASTA).
In her free time, Ann-Louise is an avid cook, baker and voracious consumer of audiobooks and podcasts.