Meet the Studio

Meet the Studio

Students in the UNCSA Horn Studio range from high school to graduate-level studies. The studio is led by Dr. Maria Serkin

Maria Serkin

Maria SerkinDr. Serkin is an active performer and pedagogue who began teaching at UNCSA in 2015. Previously, she was the Lecturer of Horn at the University of Virginia and the Principal Horn of the Charlottesville Symphony. An avid educator, Dr. Serkin has taught horn master classes extending from the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School, to the Crescendo Summer Institute in Hungary. Her doctoral research established a progressive method of transposition — a first in the advancement of horn methodology.

Marie Smith

Marie SmithMarie is an active symphonic and chamber musician. In addition to school orchestras and wind ensembles, she has performed with the American Festival Orchestra and New American Philharmonic in Utah. She is a member of the Liminal Phase Wind Quintet and Chrysalis Brass Quintets as part of the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute, a partnership between the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Marie played in the pit orchestra for South Pass! The Musical in Wyoming, has attended the Kent/Blossom Music Festival in Ohio and the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and was a Hesse Student at the Aldeburgh Festival in England. 

She received a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance from Utah State University and is now pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Her primary teachers include Dr. Maria Serkin, Dr. Joseph Falvey and Steve Park.

Brittany Thomas

Brittany ThomasBrittany was born and raised in North Carolina and is currently a student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She enjoys a variety of ensemble settings including pit and symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, new music ensembles and brass and woodwind quintets. Her favorite recent performances 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 Exploring Brass in Greece program in Thessaloniki. Brittany is in her final year at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and her primary teachers included Bob Campbell, David Jolley, and Dr. Maria Serkin. Outside of performing she loves cooking, drinking coffee, and listening to jazz.

Nicholas Brewster

Nicholas BrewsterNicholas is a hornist and has been playing since 2008. He graduated from East Davidson High School in 2015 and is now a second year undergraduate at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Nicholas is a member of the UNCSA Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and has been selected to play second horn in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. In addition to his large ensemble experience, he is a member of a brass quintet and the UNCSA Horn Ensemble. Nicholas enjoys reading, playing video games and learning new instruments.


Anastasia Harlan

Anastasia HarlanAnastasia is a college freshman and has been playing the French horn for four years. She enjoys performing in the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and wind quintet. Her favorite performances have been The Nutcracker and the Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3: “Organ Symphony” tour. Anastasia has played in the Fayetteville Symphonic Band, Fayetteville International Youth Symphony Orchestra and alongside the Carolina Philharmonic. She has also performed in master classes taught by Radovan Vlatkovic and Misty Tolle. Her primary teachers include Dr. Larry Wells, David Jolley and Dr. Maria Serkin. When Anastasia is not performing, she loves traveling, playing trumpet, painting, swimming and shopping. Anastasia is planning to continue her musical schooling career and aspires to be a professional musician.

Jonathan McGarry

Jonathan McGarryJonathan is a college freshman at UNCSA and has been playing French horn for three years. He has enjoyed performing with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Horn choir. His favorite performances include Carmina Burana and Mozart’s Serenade in C Minor for Woodwind Octet. He has performed in master classes taught by Cecelia Kozlowski and Dr. Joseph Falvey. Jonathan has also recently been accepted to attend Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, where he will have the opportunity to study under Eric Ruske, Daniel Katzen and Richard Sebring. His primary teachers include Dr. Maria Serkin and David Jolley. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys going on runs, exploring downtown with friends and drinking coffee.

Scott Shea

Scott SheaScott is a budding composer with a performance background in French horn and guitar. He began composing his sophomore year of high school, and in Spring 2015 his first orchestral work, “A Pilgrimage,” was premiered and recorded by the Greensboro Youth Symphony Orchestra after winning the ensemble’s Young Composers Competition. His style of writing is influenced by the Romantic period, with borrowed elements of jazz and other contemporary styles. He attended the 2014 UNCSA Summer Session for composition, and is now studying under Dr. Michael Rothkopf. Scott is currently a member of the UNCSA horn studio, where he participates in the wind ensemble and horn choir. As a jazz guitarist, he has performed in a variety of big band and chamber settings, as well as participating in the Summer Jazz Workshop at UNC-Wilmington. When he isn’t playing or writing music, Scott likes to read, watch movies and play ping-pong. Scott is a college sophomore, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition at UNC School of the Arts.

Sarah Smith

Sarah SmtihSarah is a freshman in college. She started playing the French horn in 7th grade and has been attending UNCSA since freshman year of high school. Sarah has been a member of the UNCSA Wind Ensemble for three years, UNCSA Orchestra for two years, and she has played in the pit for several UNCSA operas as well as the 2015 performance of The Nutcracker. In addition to these large ensembles, Sarah participated in an all-high school wind quintet and the UNCSA horn ensemble. Her primary teachers include Dr. Maria Serkin and David Jolley. Sarah also enjoys cooking, baking and reading.

Information about our high school students, John Grady and Jacob Schoolman, coming soon!