Yamaha Performing Artist and Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner Mary Elizabeth Bowden released her debut album, “Radiance”, on Summit Records featuring new American works in 2015. She is the First Prize winner of the 2012 International Women’s Brass Conference Trumpet Competition. She has performed as a soloist with many ensembles and orchestras, including the Croatian Army Wind Band and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston. Bowden is a founding member of both Seraph Brass and the Chrysalis Chamber Players. She is a frequent guest artist at the Marlboro Music Festival. Bowden is currently Principal Trumpet of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra. She has served as Principal Trumpet of Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Daejeon Philharmonic in Korea, and with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland. Bowden is also a member of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. She studied at The Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music.
Amy McCabe, trumpet
Throughout her career, trumpeter Amy McCabe has performed music from a variety of genres across the globe. A resident of Washington, D.C., Amy is currently a trumpeter/cornetist in a premier military band , where she performs regularly at the White House and throughout the national capital region. In 2014, she performed featured solo recitals at the International Trumpet Guild conference, the International Women’s Brass Conference, and at the National Cathedral in 2015. Amy was also featured chamber recitalist at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and the International Trombone and Euphonium Conference. In addition, Amy has performed with the National Symphony, the National Symphony Brass Quintet, Brass Band of Battle Creek, the Alexandria Symphony, and was a soloist in the first National touring cast of the Tony and Emmy-award winning show, “Blast!”
Amy has been a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and was a member of the Walt Disney World Collegiate All-Star Big Band. Amy teaches students of all ages and serves as faculty at the Levine School of Music. She holds a degree in elementary education from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in trumpet performance from Northwestern University.
Raquel Rodriquez is Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Tennessee Tech University. Raquel is a versatile musician having appeared as a clinician, soloist, and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and China. Raquel is principal trumpet of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra in residence at Tennessee Tech University (TTU). Active as a chamber musician, Raquel is 1st trumpet with the Brass Arts Quintet (TTU Faculty Brass) and an associate member with Seraph Brass, a brass quintet composed of top female brass players in North America. Other past performing credits include the Synergy Brass Quintet, Sunflower Music Festival Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Lexington Brass Band, Athena Brass Band, Brass Theater with the Canadian Brass, and the Tony Award winning show, Blast!. Prior to her appointment at TTU, Raquel was the Associate Professor of Trumpet at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) from 2009-2016. Dr. Rodriquez is a clinician for the Conn-Selmer and Denis Wick Companies.
Raquel has been praised for her performances on trumpet and cornet. She has been a trumpet/cornet prizewinner at NABBA (North American Brass Band Association), the US Open Brass Band Championships, the National Trumpet Competition, and the International Women’s Brass Conference. In 2013, Raquel recorded “Cincinnati Virtuosity – The Cornet Solos of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt” which is available on Amazon and iTunes.
Raquel has presented sessions at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Historic Brass Society Conference, TMEA (TX), OMEA (OH), KMEA (KY), and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. Raquel has served as an adjudicator at the National Trumpet Competition and International Trumpet Guild Conference. Raquel is the Editor of the Trumpet Technology Column in the International Trumpet Guild Journal and Co-Editor of the ITG Video Page. Raquel’s scholarly activities have resulted in articles published in the Instrumentalist Magazine and ITG Journal. Raquel served as Co-Host of the 2014 International Women’s Brass Conference.
Dr. Rodriquez holds the DMA in Trumpet Performance from The University of North Texas and the MA and Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Texas A&M University.
Katie Miller, trumpet
Katie Miller is currently Principal Trumpet of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Prior to this, she was performing on Latin America’s version of The Tonight Show, Estrella TV’s Noches con Platanito. Katie has worked with artists including Kanye West, Enya, Danielle Deniese, Charles Dutoit and most recently Adele. She has won several national and international competitions including Graduate 2010 and Undergraduate 2008 Division of the National Trumpet Competition, and the runner up of the 2009 Graduate Division. She was a semi-finalist in the Budapest International Trumpet Competition, Prague International Competition and the Olga Koussevitzky Young Artists Awards Competition. In summer 2010, she placed 3rd in the Jeju International Brass Competition and performed with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. Katie graduated from Juilliard in both her graduate and undergraduate studies with Mark Gould and Raymond Mase. She also worked with Mark Inouye at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Rachel Duncan, trumpet
Trumpeter Rachel Duncan is currently Lecturer of Trumpet at the University of Virginia and Principal Trumpet of the Charlottesville Symphony. Rachel studied at The Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University. Rachel was awarded a position with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2011-2013. Rachel has performed as guest principal trumpet of the Charleston Symphony, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Peoria Symphony and the Dubuque Symphony. As guest principal trumpet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra she recorded two commercially released recordings for the Dutton Epoch Records label. Rachel has also performed with the trumpet sections of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Symphony in C, and The New World Symphony. With regard to chamber music, Rachel is a founding member of the nonprofit brass ensemble New Chicago Brass. She also had the privilege of performing alongside Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music concert series. Rachel has also been invited to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new music ensemble, MusicNOW.
Alexis Smith, trombone
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Alexis Smith has been both an active soloist and orchestral musician across the globe. Alexis is a member of Seraph Brass and has most recently toured with Adele on her 2016 tour. Alexis performed alto trombone at the 2015 International Trombone Festival in Valencia, Spain and as part of a month-long series of concerts on a viking ship with the Icelandic rock band, Sigur Ros. In 2012, Alexis won First Prize at the Southeast Trombone Symposium and was hosted by the Chinese government to tour China as part of the Manhattan Symphonie.
In addition, Alexis has served on the faculty of The Juilliard Pre-College Division and the Harmony Music Program. Alexis has received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.
Donna Parkes, trombone
Australian trombonist Donna Parkes has been Principal Trombone of the Louisville Orchestra since 2008 and has been Principal Trombone of the Colorado Music Festival since 2009. Prior to this year she played the 2012-13 season with the Utah Symphony and the 2007-8 season with the San Francisco Symphony. Miss Parkes was a member of the Virginia Symphony from 2001-2007 and was a member of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas for two years. She has performed with many orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Miss Parkes has performed at the Arizona Musicfest, the Marlboro Festival and Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Solo competition successes include winning the Australian National Trombone Competition, the Brisbane International Brass Competition and finalist in the Jeju Brass Competition in Korea. She has appeared as a soloist and clinician at the International Women’s Brass Conference and the Melbourne International Festival of Brass. Miss Parkes received her Masters Degree studying under Charles Vernon at DePaul University and other primary teachers include Michael Mulcahy and Ron Prussing.
Katy Ambrose, horn
Praised by reviewers as a “spectacular” and “graceful” musician, Katy Ambrose is Principal Horn of the Charlottesville Symphony and Lecturer in Horn at the University of Virginia. She also holds positions in the Delaware Symphony, Philly Pops! and Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic.
Katy gave her international solo debut at the 2012 Edinburgh Easter Festival giving the world premiere of Scott Boerma’s Isle of Skye. She has performed as a substitute or extra musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Hawai’i Opera Theater, Chamber Music Honolulu, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Harrisburg Symphony, Vermont Symphony and the New Haven Symphony.
In addition to UVA, Ambrose has been on the faculty for the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artists Summer Program, Yale University, Drexel University, Settlement Music School and the Interlochen Arts Camp. Katy is especially interested in mentoring younger musicians and has taught for and developed programs and curriculum for several education programs including the Philadelphia Orchestra School Partnership Program, Delaware Symphony school program and the “El-Sistema” inspired programs Tune-Up, Philly and Play On, Philly!
Rachel Velvikis, horn
Hornist Rachel Velvikis’s symphonic resume includes performances with the New York Youth Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Williamsburg Symphony, the Virginia Opera, the Haddonfield Symphony in Pennsylvania, and the New World Symphony in Miami. Chamber group experiences include Grammy-nominated A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, the Eckhart Ensemble, Belle City Brassworks, and the Richmond Symphony Woodwind and Brass Quintets. She earned her performance degree at the Mannes College of Music, studying with David Jolley. Other teachers include Dale Rovik, Johnny Hemkes, William Barnewitz, and Radovan Vlatkovic. Since 2010, Ms. Velvikis has been on faculty as Professor of Horn at the University of Richmond, and has been in high demand for multitudinous genres all across the globe since 2000.
Beth McDonald is a classically trained tuba player gone awry. She works largely in the fields of the American avant-garde, electroacoustic music, and free improvisation, but also performs in classical, jazz, and pop/folk settings. Residing in Chicago, you can hear her perform with Korean Jeans, the Morton Feldman Chamber Players, as well as the Boston-based Callithumpian Consort and the Boston Modern Brass. Beth has also performed with Sound Icon, Discovery Ensemble, and the Brian Friedland Big Band. As Artistic Director of the August Noise JP concert series for four seasons, she worked to bring unexpected music to public spaces and to engage her fellow musicians in their community.
Beth studied with Dr. Skip Gray at the University of Kentucky and graduated summa cum laude with minor concentrations in political science and food/agriculture studies. She then received her Masters from New England Conservatory, working under the guidance of Stephen Drury, John Mallia, John Heiss, and Mike Roylance. Other influential teachers include John Cradler and violist Tanya Kalmanovitch. Beth grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she played with the American Youth Philharmonic and attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
Before her avant-garde career Beth was an active concerto soloist, performing with Pershing’s Own Army Band, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and others. She has also been a fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and has been both a participant and staff member of the SICPP Electronic Music Workshop in Boston.