• chamber group

  • chamber group

Faculty & Staff: Sequoia


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.

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.

Gail EdwardsFlutist Gail Edwards has an active musical life as a performer, teacher and musical director. With a master's degree in flute performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she has served on the music faculty of both University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. Ms. Edwards has also served as the Flute Artist-in-Residence at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts for more than 20 years. In her busy home teaching studio, Ms. Edwards enjoys sharing her joy of music making with others. She has two flute choirs, Bel Canto Flutes, in San Francisco and Palo Alto, made up of adult amateur flutists. Bel Canto Flutes gives several free public performances each year at such venues as at the National Flute Convention, Oracle Park for the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco City Hall, libraries and other venues throughout the Bay Area. As a performer, Ms. Edwards is a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Modesto Symphonies, and has worked with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet orchestras, as well as many of the regional orchestras throughout the Bay Area. Since the pandemic Ms. Edwards created a solo flute offering, which she has began sharing with audiences of all varieties.

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.

Leighton FongLeighton Fong is a longtime member of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and the Principal Cellist of the California Symphony. He plays regularly with Eco Ensemble and Empyrean Ensemble and was a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Players. Mr. Fong studied at the San Francisco Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, the Bern Conservatory in Switzerland, and the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has taught at UC Berkeley since 1997.

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 currently 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.

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.

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.

Ted SeitzBorn in Brooklyn, NY, Ted Seitz has studied Chamber Music with Lillian Fuchs, Felix Khuner, and Paul Hersh, at the Aspen Music Festival, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco Conservatory. He is the founder and co-director of the Hayward Odd Fellows Youth Chamber Music Project, a free summer program for advanced string students in the Hayward/ Castro Valley area. As a member of the Allemande String Quartet, he performed in workshops and performances through Young Audiences of the Bay Area, Inc. He also attended Greenwood Chamber Music Camp in Cummington, Massachusetts. Mr. Seitz has been a longtime member of Symphony Silicon Valley (San Jose Symphony), Berkeley Symphony, Opera San Jose Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and American Musical Theater of San Jose. He has performed in the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. As a freelance violist, he has performed with Gladys Knight & the Pips, Frank Zappa, Rod Stewart, Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls, Tony Bennet, Sara Vaughn, Chuck Berry, and David Byrne.

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.




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