Home : Season : Soiree Series Artists
Season - Soiree Series Artists
Ray Booker, bassist
Bassist Ray Booker has been both a performer and band leader in Anchorage since 1976. He has opened for and performed with such artists as Eddie Harris, Ramsey Lewis, and Spyro Gyra; along with various club acts. Beginning in 1980 Ray's musical life was significantly interrupted by a 27 year career with IBM, followed by a two and a half year course of study to become a certified Ayurvedic practitioner. During this period of time he founded the Jazz Fighting Hunger Project (1997‐2003) in collaboration with Food Bank of Alaska, featuring many of Anchorage's top Jazz players. This venture was revived in 2011
and since its inception has raised a total of over $70,000 to help those in need of food assistance. Most recently Ray worked with Rick Goodfellow and Sue Linford to bring the Count Basie Orchestra to Anchorage for a weeklong residency in Anchorage middle and high schools, followed by a weekend concert at West High School. The residency was done in conjunction with John Damberg and the Alaska Jazz Workshop and provided ASD students with a once in a lifetime experience. Now retired and done with school (for now), Ray serves as a board member with Food Bank of Alaska and is again performing in Anchorage and is looking forward to creating other musical projects.
Sheila Browne, viiolist
Violist Sheila Browne has performed in many of the world’s major halls as soloist, chamber musician, and as an orchestral principal. She has soloed with the Juilliard Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic, New World Symphony, South African International Viola Congress Festival Orchestra, and the Viva Vivaldi!, Reina Sofia and German-French chamber orchestras. She is a member of the newly formed flute-viola-harp Fire Pink Trio. She has recorded concerto, solo and chamber works for the Nonesuch, Sony, Albany, Centaur and ERM labels, and has premiered a concerto written for her at the most recent international viola congresses in Australia and South Africa. The only viola finalist in the 2004 International Pro Musicis Solo Awards at Carnegie Hall, Sheila is a graduate of the Juilliard School, MusikHochschule Freiburg and Rice University. She was Karen Tuttle's teaching assistant for four years as well as a student of soloist Kim Kashkashian. She has performed in many festivals including Banff, Donaueschingen, Evian, Great Lakes, Jeunesses Musicales, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, Port Townsend, Sun Valley, and Tanglewood. She has given recitals and /or masterclasses at many schools, including Eastman, McGill, Oberlin, Duke, and Boston University. She was appointed to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts faculty in 2006, New York University faculty in 2009 and is on the Executive Board of the American Viola Society. She is the first viola professor ever to teach in Iraqi Kurdistan at the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. She also teaches at California Summer Music and at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Upcoming projects include a Vivaldi-Primrose viola concerto recording, a solo CD, and performances with Joe Robinson, Arnold Steinhardt, and Shmuel Ashkenazy.
Nancy Caudill, vocalist
Nancy Caudill has appeared at leading national and international venues as a featured soloist in works by Vaughan Williams, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Barber, Dvorak, Handel, Bernstein, Strauss, and others. As mezzo-soprano soloist, she performed in Venice and Florence, Italy; St. Petersburg, Russia; the Rudolfinum in Prague, Czech Republic; Carnegie Hall in New York City; and with various musical organizations and orchestras throughout the United States. She has sung with the Anchorage Opera, Juneau’s Opera-to-GO, the Cincinnati Opera Association, the Cincinnati Symphony, and with renowned conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw, Thomas Schippers, and Pablo Zinger.
Nancy has received critical praise for her roles as “The Mother” in Amahl and the Night Visitors; “Suzuki” in Madama Butterfly; “Jezibaba” in Rusalka, “Cherubino” in Le Nozze di Figaro; “Cenerentola” in La Cenerentola; “Hansel” in Hansel and Gretel, and “Berta” in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, as well as her concert engagements. Her oratorio appearances include Dvorak’s Stabat Mater; Mozart’s C-Minor Mass; Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music; Vivaldi’s Gloria; Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s B-Minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. She is also an acknowledged expert in performing Art Song recitals.
Nancy is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in Opera, Oratorio, and Art Song Performance. She completed additional studies at the Curtis and Cleveland Institutes of Music. She is a winner of the District Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions and a Regional finalist. She continues her training by studying privately with David Jones in New York City, as well as working with several performance coaches.
Nancy currently resides and maintains a voice studio in Anchorage, Alaska. For more information, please visit www.nancycaudill.com
John Dambert, percussionist
John Damberg is a master vibist, marimbist, percussionist, composer and educator who has enjoyed a successful career in music spanning 43 years. John currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska where he is the leader of the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, co-leader of JoMaLa, the Instructor of Percussion at the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Executive Director of the Alaska Jazz Workshop (AJW), and the past President & Vice-President of the Percussive Arts Society Alaska Chapter. John is an active performer on the Alaska and Pacific Northwest music scenes and he is an ardent promoter of jazz & percussion education.
As a percussionist, John has performed in a wide variety of musical settings nationally and internationally including: original Latin and jazz ensembles, recording studio dates for Motown Records, with the Detroit, Seattle and Anchorage Symphony Orchestras and Broadway touring shows. John has performed with internationally acclaimed jazz artists including: Milt Jackson, Rebeca Mauleon, Cedar Walton, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Davis, Bobby Shew, Denis Diblasio, Allison Miller, Oscar Stagnaro, Mimi Fox, Steve Erquiaga, Carl Saunders, & Robert Michaels and with nationally renowned entertainers including: Harry Connick Jr., Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, the Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Sammy Davis Jr., Joel Gray, Liberace, and Bob Hope. He has performed in many Broadway touring shows including: “A Chorus Line”, “The Wiz”, “The King and I”, and “A Man of La Mancha”.
As a composer, John writes music for the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, JoMaLa, and for other creative projects including: movie sound tracks, travel videos and children’s educational videos. He is currently working on new compositions for his new CD to be released in Fall of 2012. John’s compositions have been featured on the 2005 release of Azure-JoMaLa Jazz , the 1998 release of Angie’s Samba by the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, the 1993 release of Human Hands: a Composers and Improvisors Ensemble, on his 1985 release of Soaring and on numerous videos including Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage and the award winning children’s video Monty the Moose.
Laura Koenig, flute
Laura Koenig teaches flute and music history at UAA. She received her D.M.A. from the University of Iowa as the first performer ever awarded the prestigious Iowa Fellowship. Her dissertation on the French baroque received both the Stanley Fellowship for Research Abroad and the Indiana University Press Award. Dr. Koenig also holds music degrees from UCLA (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and UC San Diego. Since moving to Anchorage in 1997, Dr. Koenig has performed in the Anchorage Festival of Music, the CrossSound New Music Festival, as guest soloist with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra and the UAA Wind Ensemble, and as principal flute of the Anchorage Opera Orchestra and Anchorage Concert Chorus Orchestra. She is a founding member of Jomala, an ensemble devoted to new jazz compositions. Dr. Koenig also directs the Northwind Flute Choir and is a member of the flute quartet Flutissimo.
Dawn Lindsay, violin
Dawn Lindsay is one of Alaska’s leading violinists, enjoying a diverse career that includes orchestral, Broadway and chamber music. Dawn has a strong interest in Baroque music and has performed in the Alaska Chamber Singer's Bach Cantata series as well as the Anchorage Festival of Music Baroque Series recitals, both in their fifth season. In the summer of 2010, she traveled to Queens College in New York and the Early Music Vancouver Festival to study Baroque violin, an opportunity made possible by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dawn studied at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, and holds a degree in violin performance from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. In 2009, Dawn appeared as an electric violin soloist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra at the Alaska Statehood 50th Anniversary Gala Concert. Other recent projects include performing in recital with Alaskan instrumentalists and vocalists in New York City and, locally, in the orchestras for touring Broadway musicals Spamalot, Chicago and The Lion King. She is currently concertmaster of the Anchorage Opera Orchestra, performs with the Anchorage Symphony, the Alaska Chamber Singers, Anchorage Concert Chorus, and is the founder of Bella Musica Strings. Dawn makes her home in Anchorage, Alaska and enjoys her private violin studio of talented young violinists.
Dan McElrath, pianist
Dan McElrath is a graduate of the Furman University School of Music. He has performed for the past 30 years in venues across America covering a wide range of musical styles from gospel to contemporary jazz. Recently the Dan Mac Quintet has recorded CD’s with vocalists Cat Coward (Out of the Bag-2007), Katie Strock (DanKa-2008) and Voni K (So Nice-2008) all of which can be found on iTunes. In 2010 Dan performed with trumpetist Yngvil Vatn Guttu on her new release “Plan B” as well as with saxophonist Rick Zelinsky on his just released CD “Rick Zelinsky LIVE” (2010). On 12/1/2010 Dan released a bass/piano duet Christmas CD with bassist Ray Booker entitled "An Alyeskan Christmas". The Dan Mac Quintet just completed it’s 2011 tour of its CD "Ajazzka" which is a musical jazz mosaic of Alaska composed and performed by pianist Dan McElrath.
Juliana Osinchuk, harpsichord and piano
Dr. Osinchuk has performed internationally to great critical acclaim. Her "superior technique, discipline and talent" Los Angeles Times have dazzled audiences and critics in solo and orchestral appearances. Musical America selected her as a "Young Artist to Watch" after her solo debut recital at Lincoln Center, NY. The Washington Post called her recital “spectacular” and the New York Times called her a "skillful and scrupulous ensemble player". As a champion of American composers, Dr. Osinchuk has premiered numerous works including the European premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s 2nd Piano Concerto, and the world premiere performance of the Piano Concerto # 1 by Alaskan, Philip Munger, with the Anchorage Symphony. She was 1995 recipient of a solo recitalist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Osinchuk received her formal education from the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris, and the Juilliard School where she graduated with a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in music. Her teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Rosina Lhevinne, Nadia Reisenberg & Alexander Eydelman. She is active as a music educator, developing and presenting music workshops for young students, adults and professional groups. She was honored as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for her community service. Osinchuk’s recordings include Tchaikovsky’s Piano Music, The Sorcerer’s Piano, Growing Babies Bright, Nothing but Singing to Do with singers Kate Egan & Marlene Bateman, and a new solo CD to benefit cancer projects Keys to Recovery. Her Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Variations were just published by Alfred. In 2010 she has been touring with an all Chopin program which she will also perform this fall at West Point & on Long island, NY. She is the artistic director of the Anchorage Festival of Music, and the Young Alaskan Artist Award program already in its 12th year.
Linda Ottum, cello
Linda Ottum received her performance degrees from the University of Washington. Her teachers
include Seattle Symphony principal Raymond Davis, Professor Eva Heinitz, soloist Lynn Harrell
and Michael Grebanier, principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony. She was the assistant
principal cellist and soloist with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra under conductor Kent Nagano
from 1982 to 1988 and was also a founding member of the Berkeley Trio. Since 1989 she has
been the principal cellist of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Anchorage Opera Orchestra,
Anchorage Concert Chorus Orchestra and Alaska Chamber Singers.
She is a member of the Arioso Chamber Ensemble, a frequent performer with the Anchorage
Festival of Music, the cello coach for the Anchorage Youth Symphony and has served as adjunct
faculty for the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Performance highlights include chamber music
world premieres for CrossSound in 2006, participation in a 2008 New York recital with Marlene
Bateman, Kate Egan, Juliana Osinchuk and Dawn Lindsay and the 2009 Anchorage production of
The Lion King. She maintains an active private teaching studio.
Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is active internationally as an orchestral and chamber musician and as a soloist. As a student of Jeff Bradetich he received the B.M. degree in Performance from Northwestern University, and he earned the M.A. degree in Music from the University of Iowa studying with Diana Gannett. While in school he received fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan). Recent performances and engagements have taken him all over the world, including recitals and master classes at the Paris Conservatory, Institutes of Music in Curitiba and Porto Allegre in Brazil, the University of Iowa, Cleveland Institute of Music, World Bass Convention (Wroclaw, Poland), University of North Texas, University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy, and two of Brazil’s International Double Bass Encounters in Pirenopolis, Brazil. Solo engagements with orchestra have included appearances with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro (Porto Allegre, Brazil), Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. He has been a guest artist at MusicFest (Arizona), Pine Mountain Music Festival (Michigan), the Anchorage Festival of Music, the Festival of Two Worlds (Spoleto, Italy), and 20th Century Unlimited (Santa Fe, NM). He has been a prizewinner at several solo competitions, including the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Solo Competition in 1997, and winner of the Aspen Music Festival's Double Bass Concerto Competition in 1996, and is a founding member of the bass quartet Bad Boys of Double Bass, all former prizewinners of the ISB International Solo Competition. Currently, he is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Principal Bass of the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra. He served as Principal Bass of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra from 1996-2007, and performed frequently with the Fort Worth Symphony and San Antonio Symphony while living in Texas. Before coming to UNCSA he held faculty positions at Texas Tech University, the University of North Texas, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), and the Preucil School of Music (Iowa City, IA).