• chamber group

  • chamber group

Faculty & Staff: Sequoia

Faculty     Staff

Armand AmbrosiniArmand Ambrosini, clarinet, appears as recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, and lecturer throughout the United States. He is on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma and holds a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts, an M.M. from Yale University, and a DMA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is co-principal clarinetist with Enid Symphony Orchestra, and bass clarinetist with the Lawton Philharmonic, and second clarinetist with the Norman Philharmonic, Norman, Oklahoma. In 2001, he published a book and CD entitled Ned Romen's song Cycle Ariel: A Musician Dramatization of Five Poems by Sylvia Plath; and has co-authored a second edition of the textbook, Introduction to Western Concert Music, published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dr. Ambrosini has been the recipient of many honors and awards including Who's Who in American Education, the IBC, Cambridge, England Leading Educators of the World, and the University of Oklahoma foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.

Lisa ByrnesLisa Byrnes, flute, has played associate principal flute with the Utah Symphony since 2000 and held the position of principal flute for the 2011-12 season. A native of Northern California, Ms. Byrnes studied flute at the Eastman School of Music and graduated with her BM and MM degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Prior to playing with the Utah Symphony, Ms. Byrnes played with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas. She also served as principal flute for six years with the San Francisco Opera's Western Opera Theatre, as well as the Sarasota Opera Company. She has performed in several music festivals including Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Chautauqua Festival, the International Music Festival at Evian, France, and the Edinburgh International Music Festival. Ms. Byrnes currently serves on the faculty of the University of Utah, and has also served at Brigham Young University.

Donna ConatyDonna Conaty is principal oboe of the critically acclaimed ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, David Danzmayr, music director. As principal oboe of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, she can be heard on over 10 commercially released recordings. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions. Among her additional performance credits are appearances with the San Diego Symphony, California Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, seven seasons in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra under the music direction of Marin Alsop, and principal oboe of the Lancaster Festival, Evansville Philharmonic, and the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestras. She has performed in an array of summer festivals, including teaching at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Donna's chamber music performance background is extensive and includes a wide variety of styles and ensemble combinations. As a coach she has guided student ensembles at all levels -- from middle school to university levels, as well as adult professional and amateur chamber ensembles. During Donna's university career, her leadership background included working as a school director, associate dean, and interim dean at San Diego State University where she served from 2007-2020. While at SDSU she received widespread recognition for developing an innovative undergraduate music degree that combines music, entrepreneurship, and business. Previously, Donna was a faculty member at Ohio University where she earned the faculty rank of professor, was recognized for her distinguished teaching, and served in multiple leadership roles. Many of her former oboe students are active as professional performers, university faculty, public school educators, and arts organization leaders throughout North America. Donna earned her MM from Yale University, where she was a student of Ronald Roseman, and her undergraduate degrees from the University of Northern Colorado.

Courtney FilnerCourtney Sedgwick Filner, viola, is a native of Minnesota and currently resides in Naples, Florida. She is the principal violist of the Southwest Florida Symphony and she also plays regularly with the Naples Philharmonic. Courtney has previously held the positions of assistant principal viola of the Richmond Symphony, principal viola of the Stockton Symphony, and has been a member of the viola sections of the San Antonio Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, and the New World Symphony. She teaches viola and chamber music at Florida Gulf Coast University and is a registered Suzuki teacher of violin and viola. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, and a Master of Music from UCLA.

Bill HarringtonDr. Bill Harrington, Workshop Director, is on the music education faculty of Cal-State University, East Bay and is Music Director of the East Bay Youth Orchestras (EBYO). Dr. Harrington is past-President of the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) which manages all the California All-State Orchestras and the State Honor Orchestras. Formerly Principal Horn of the California Symphony and West Edge Opera, "Dr. Bill" graduated with a four-year full scholarship from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in French Horn, holds an M.A. in Music Education from Cal State University, East Bay along with a California Lifetime Teaching Credential in Music, and received a Doctorate in Music Education from Boston University. Following his dissertation, "Collaborative learning among high school students in a chamber music setting," he has become a strong advocate for chamber music education.

Galina KiepBassoonist Galina Kiep enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra member, and music educator. She has been a member of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra since 2014, and has played with ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she has been seen performing with Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble, and has participated in many music festivals including the Pacific Music Festival, the Colorado College Music Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, and Music From Angel Fire. As an educator, Galina has served on the faculty of the University of San Diego, and has recently joined the faculties of the Music Institute of Chicago, Carthage College, the Merit School of Music, and Olivet Nazarene University, the Atlantic Music Festival, in addition to running a private music studio of wonderful and dedicated bassoonists from her home in Chicago.

Ryan McGaugheyRyan McGaughey began piano studies at the age of 12. He attended Cal Poly Humboldt for his bachelor's degree and studied under Daniela Mineva. He then attended the Eastman School of Music, where he received a master's degree in piano performance studying under Alexander Kobrin. He has been featured as a soloist with the Eureka Symphony, Humboldt Symphony, and the North State Symphony. He has participated as a performer in the Round Top Music Festival in Texas and the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, playing both solo and chamber works. Ryan also performs video game music on piano and has produced a reoccurring show titled, "An Adventure Through Video Game Music," involving music from a variety of video games, visuals, and games requiring the participation of the audience. Ryan is also a collaborative pianist and has performed in many ensembles from duos to orchestras, performing works from J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart, to John Cage and Witold Lutosławski. Ryan has also worked with current composers including American composer, Libby Larsen. Ryan is currently a piano instructor and works as a collaborative pianist in the California Bay Area.

Daniela MinevaBorn in Bulgaria, Daniela Mineva graduated from Sofia Music Academy with a Bachelor of music in Piano Performance and has a Master of Music in Piano Performance and an Outstanding Graduate Diploma from the University of North Texas, as well as an Artist Certificate from Northwestern University and Doctorate of Music Arts, and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. She has been the winner and finalist in numerous international competitions, including 2007 Jean Francaix piano competition in Paris, France and the 1998 Steinway International Piano Competition. Ms. Mineva has participated in many chamber music festivals and summer programs, including the Tanglewood Music Festival, and Institute for Contemporary Music, New York. Currently, she is professor of music and director of keyboard studies at Cal Poly Humboldt, Arcata, California. Previously, Dr. Mineva has taught at Eastman School of Music where she was awarded TA Excellence of Teaching, and Concordia University–Chicago. She is also co- director of the North Coast Piano Festival and Competition.

Cindy MoyerCindy Moyer, violin, attended the Eastman School of Music where she earned a B.A., M.A. and DMA in performance and an M.A. in music theory. She is employed as a professor of violin, viola, and music theory at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, California, where she is currently serving a department chair, while also teaching violin and viola. Her performance experience is extensive, including concerto performances, solo recitals, chamber music with the Arcata Bay String Quartet and other ensembles, and orchestral performance with the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, and the Sinfonia da Camera (Urbana, Illinois). She serves on the board of the California Orchestra Directors Association; is a frequent presenter at the California Music Educators Conference; and was one of the authors of the American String Teachers Association String Syllabus. She serves on the board of the California Orchestra Director's Association, is a frequent presenter at the California All-State Music Education Conference, and the author of Scales and Arpeggios with Shifting Practice for Violin and Viola (published by Galaxy Music).

Lewis PatznerLewis Patzner is a cellist and composer from Oakland, California. He studied in the Bay Area with Julie Feldman, Clive Geensmith, and Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and then in Baltimore at the Peabody Institute with Amit Peled. Lewis plays all styles of music and has an extensive list of recording credits, collaborating with artists including Slash, Demi Lovato, and Kari Jobe. He is the featured cellist on the scores of the film, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" Past groups include Judgement Day (founding member), Whiskerman (founding member), and La Dee Da. Current groups include Town Quartet, Cosa Nostra Strings, Proteus Trio, Musical Art Quintet, Unicorn Breeding Ground, and Ariel Wang. In 2018, Lewis co-founded the Glenview Classical Series, a nonprofit organization that presents monthly concerts in Oakland.

Susan VollmerSusan Vollmer, horn, is principal horn with the San Francisco Opera Center Merola program and a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera Orchestras. She is a former Associate Principal Horn of the Mexico City Philharmonic, and performed internationally with the Israel Philharmonic, Belgian National Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, Royal Flemish Ballet, Ghent Opera, Mexico City Opera, and Limburgs Orchestras. A member of Zephyrus Wind Quintet, Santa Lucia Brass Quintet, as well as performances with San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet. She is Lecturer of Horn at University of California Santa Cruz, Artist-in-Residence at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and Horn Instructor at West Valley College in Saratoga. Ms. Vollmer has a B.M. and M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of David Kriebel.


Avery AlexanderAvery Alexander, staff collaborative pianist, is a graduate of Western Washington University where she received her Master of Music in piano performance. She graduated from Humboldt State University in 2020 with a BA in piano performance and music education. Throughout her college years, Avery's focus has always been on developing her teaching skills along with her musical performance skills. She received several awards at both HSU and WWU, including winner of the concerto/aria competition and winner of the Virginia Glover competition. Avery is now living and working in Humboldt County, teaching piano lessons and performing.

Raili MakelaRaili Makela, music librarian at Sequoia, is a marine biology major attending Cal Poly Humboldt. Despite her affinity for ocean sciences, she is a well-rounded musician in saxophone, bassoon, steel pan, and voice. She is a four-year participant of the NCBCDA Honor Choir, as well as a three-year participant of the ACDA Regional and All-State Honor Choir. She has received numerous awards in solo performance for saxophone from the Reno Jazz Festival. Since attending Cal Poly Humboldt, Raili has participated in the Humboldt Calypso Band, Jazz Orchestra, University Singers, the Partnership in Music Orchestra, along with numerous smaller local and on-campus ensembles. She enjoys playing in chamber groups, and is likely to be found singing in a variety of different ensembles on campus. Raili was the previous music librarian of the Humboldt Symphony before it merged to become the Partnership in Music Orchestra, in which she still is an active bassoonist.



For more information, contact the director:

Bill Harrington, DMA
(510) 507-9738
sequoia@humboldt.edu for more information and to be added to the mailing list