Bay Chamber Music School Faculty
At the heart of all our educational programs is a top-notch faculty that brings an enormous amount of experience and passion to what they do.
As a National Guild member, Bay Chamber Concerts is committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all. A generous scholarship program is available to all who qualify.
All of our faculty, while devoted to teaching, maintain professional careers as performers, presenters and practitioners of their instruments.
Our distinguished Bay Chamber Music School Faculty includes:
John David Adams, BM – Private Instructor, voice
John David Adams is an acclaimed concert soloist and recitalist, with repertoire ranging from Baroque masterworks to world-premier compositions. He began his professional music career on the West Coast before returning to New England where he currently enjoys a busy schedule of performing engagements. He has appeared with orchestras and music ensembles across the country, including the San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Arlington Philharmonic, North Shore Philharmonic, Maine Pro Musica, Masterworks Chorale, Oratorio Chorale, San Francisco Bach Choir, St. Mary Schola, Lincoln Arts Festival, Portland Early Music Festival, and the Blue Hill Bach and White Mountain Bach festivals. He is equally praised for portrayals in diverse opera and stage roles, from Cosi fan tutte to Sweeney Todd, in productions by Opera Boston, Granite State Opera, PORTopera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, Apollo Opera, and New England Light Opera, to name a few. He has also performed professionally with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (including three Grammy award-winning recordings), the Sanford Dole Ensemble, San Francisco Bach Choir, and San Francisco Chamber Singers in California; as well a being a founding member of Aureole Chamber Ensemble and Vox Nova Chamber Choir in Maine. He studied voice and opera at Hartt School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; his teachers have included William Metcalf, Leopold Simoneau, Dr, Edwin Barlow, Eric Howe, and Malcom Smith.
Anthony Antolini, PhD – Lecturer
graduated from Bowdoin College and holds graduate degrees in music and Slavic Studies from Stanford University. When he was in high school in New York City his first music mentor was conductor and organist Thomas Dunn. He later studied conducting with Harold Schmidt, Charlene Archibeque, George Guest, Helmuth Rilling and Vladimir Minin. In 1976 he was an IREX scholar at Moscow State University. He is a member of the music faculty at Bowdoin College, where he conducts the Bowdoin Chorus and the Rachmaninoff Choir. In 1988 he published the first modern, bilingual edition of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. His award-winning television documentary on this subject, "Rediscovering Rachmaninoff," has been broadcast on public television nationally and won a Silver Apple Award for best music documentary in 1990. In 1988 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Medal from Moscow State University for his work in popularizing Slavic choral music. He has been a featured speaker at the national and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. His editions of choral music are published by E.C. Schirmer and Paraclete Press. He was elected by the Maine Chapter of ACDA as "Conductor of the Year" for the 1999-2000 season. In 2010 he founded the Mozart Mentors Orchestra in collaboration with Clorinda Noyes and other members of the faculty of the New England Suzuki Institute, where he has taught since 1995. The orchestra was featured in the February, 2014, issue of Choral Journal. He is also Music Director at the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston. He has been Artistic Director of Down East Singers since 1991. The Rachmaninoff Choir, which he has directed since 1987, has toured the major cities of the former Soviet Union, the Russian Far East, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece as well as many US cities. He taught the series "Enjoying Chamber Music" for Bay Chamber Concerts from 1995 to 2003. He also gives pre-concert lectures for the Portland Ovations concert series.
Malcolm Brooks, PhD – Private Instructor, composition
Malcolm Brooks composes music for films, churches, and performing artists. Films he has scored are televised throughout the world and have earned numerous honors, including two Emmy nominations and a Peabody award. His works for churches are performed regularly, including his Sanctus, which has been sung at over 300 services. Malcolm holds degrees from Columbia and Berkeley and is currently working on a doctoral thesis through Prescott College about creating folk songs from the ethnographies of people in Maine.
Ursula Crosslin, PhD – Private Instructor, piano
Ursula was fortunate to receive early piano training from teacher and composer Robert D. Vandall. After a degree in piano performance, she completed an M.A. in historical musicology at the Ohio State University and is ever so slowly inching toward the completion of a dissertation for a PhD. Becoming a parent to two daughters and moving to Maine brought the opportunity to train as a Music Together instructor, a program she values for its foundation on early childhood education research and its emphasis on play. She says, "Every single lesson, I am enchanted by the connections we make with and through music."
Sojourner Crowley, MM – Private Instructor, piano and voice
Sojourner Crowley has been performing, composing, and improvising since childhood. Sojourner began studying composition in her hometown of Tallahassee, Florida with Czech-American composer Ladislav Kubik, and as a teenager performed two of her compositions on NPR’s From The Top. Her music has recently been performed at MATA Festival in New York City, the Nautilus Music-Theater/New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio in New York City, and Opera From Scratch in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and she is active in midcoast Maine as a church music director, teacher, and accompanist. Sojourner holds degrees in Music Composition from the University of Georgia and New England Conservatory.
Josie Davis, MA – Instructor for Envision: Chamber Music Workshop
Josie Davis began her musical studies at the age of six with Janet Ciano and Gilda Joffe. She received her undergraduate degrees in violin and sociology at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she was a student of David Bowlin. She has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, New York University’s String Quartet Seminar, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. Josie has performed in a wide-range of venues from Carnegie Hall to the Monte Music Festival in India. She is committed to using music as a way to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds and has taught music to children in Panama and India. Josie is currently participating in a two-year fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Rhode Island where she performs regularly and teaches a full studio of students. In addition to music, Josie enjoys sailing, hiking, cooking, pottery, and exploring the coast of Maine.
Sophie Davis, BM – Private Instructor, violin; Chamber Music Coach, Envision
Sophie Davis is a musician from Maine. She received degrees in Violin Performance and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she studied with David Bowlin. Sophie is a passionate chamber musician and has participated in the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Program, as a soloist with Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, the Monte Music Festival in India, and with the Jordan National Orchestra (JOrchestra) in Amman, Jordan. In 2017, Sophie was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Research Grant to spend nine months in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa where she explored the ways in which the arts can raise awareness of climate change. In addition to pursuing research, Sophie taught and performed with the National Orchestra of Samoa - a government initiative established in 2013. Sophie currently divides her time between musical performance and pedagogy, working as a crewmember on tall ships, and working for the Pemaquid Oyster Company. In all of her work, she has found herself in the intersection between the musical and environmental communities: two groups that rarely collaborate. It is her goal to bridge this gap by using music and the arts to promote environmental stewardship
Kathryn DerMarderosian, BA – Private Instructor, voice
Kathryn DerMarderosian, soprano, received her music degree from Rhode Island College, where she studied with Mary Beck, and her Orff-Schulwerk certification from the Hartt School of Music. She currently sings with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Kathryn has performed as a soloist with Opera Rhode Island, The Newgate Theater, the Brown Jazz Chorus, and numerous chamber groups, both here and abroad. She has served as a music educator in the Eastern United States, Ecuador and Italy. Kathryn resides in Owl’s Head, Maine.
Brianna Fischler, BM – Private Instruction, violin/viola; Early Childhood Music; Chamber Music Coach
Brianna Fischler is a violist/violinist and teacher based in Portland, Maine. She holds a B.M. in Violin Performance from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she studied with Bayla Keyes. She also studied with Krzysztof Kuznik at Manhattan School of Music Pre-College. Brianna, an alum of Kinhaven Music School, has attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Garth Newel Music Center, and Three Bridges International Chamber Festival. She has performed in venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Woolsey Hall. Brianna has performed in master classes for Ani Kavafian and Pinchas Zukerman, and placed first in the University of Connecticut Chamber Music Competition with the Annellie String Trio. She is a founding member, as well as the Education Coordinator in Palaver Strings, a non-profit musician led chamber ensemble based in Boston, MA. Brianna is also certified in Early Childhood Music Learning Theory and the Suzuki Method.
Maya French, BM – Private Instructor, violin; Early Childhood Music, Chamber Music Coach, Envision
Maya French grew up in Midcoast Maine studying Suzuki violin with Janet Ciano and later with Gilda Joffe through Bay Chamber Concerts. She has had the opportunity to study and perform at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Manchester Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Interlochen String Quartet Seminar, Virginia String Quartet Seminar, Bay Chamber Next Generation Program, Kinhaven Music School and at Boston University. Maya received her B.M. in Violin Performance from Boston University in 2014 under the direction of Bayla Keyes. Currently, she lives in Boston and is a founder and Co-Executive Director of the musician led, string orchestra, Palavar Strings, made up of young professional musicians. Maya is dedicated to using classical music as a motive for social change and community building.
Nathan Hillman, Chamber Music Coach
Nathan Hillman, violist, began studying violin in 1998 with Janet Ciano, and has played viola since 2006. He has studied under Gilda Joffe, Marc Johnson, Robert Dan, Kirsten Monke, Patricia Stowell, and Malcolm Brooks. He was a member of the Calliope String Quartet and Odeon Chamber Ensemble. Nathan grew to love chamber music while attending Kneisel Hall and Next Generation chamber music camps. He began composing at the age of seven, and continues to write and arrange chamber, orchestral, and solo music. Nathan is a three times winner of the Bagaduce Composer Competition in Blue Hill, and his work is often performed around the state. He was principal violist of the Union College Orchestra, and was a member of the Taiko drumming ensemble Zakuro Daiko. He currently coaches chamber music at Bay Chamber Music School, rings with the Penobscot Bay Ringers, and performs at various events and concerts around the state. Nathan enjoys playing chamber music himself, but most importantly, he strives to help other musicians learn how to listen and engage with each other; perhaps the ultimate goal of a chamber musician.
Gilda Joffe, MM – Private Instructor, violin; Senior Faculty Chair
Gilda Joffe, violinist, received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School of Music in New York where her principal teachers included Joseph Fuchs, Barbara Krakauer, as well as Joel Krosnick and Robert Mann of The Juilliard String Quartet. As a member of various chamber music ensembles, she performed frequently at Merkin Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall and Alice Tully Hall. During her many year tenure in Sweden as a 1st violinist of the Swedish Radio Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and member of New Stockholm’s Chamber Orchestra she performed and toured frequently throughout Europe, including performances at the London Proms Festival, The Paris Opera and the Musikverein in Vienna. "One of the reasons I love teaching so much, is the opportunity to give someone else a chance to enter a completely different world. No matter the age, the excitement of learning, and playing with others, is a wonderful journey to a new place. I often feel like a travel adviser suggesting a beautiful itinerary!"
Heather Kahill, MM – Private Instructor, violin
Heather Kahill holds a B.A. in Violin Performance from the University of Vermont and an M.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Southern Maine. She plays violin in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Colby and Bates College Orchestras and has also performed with Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones and Disturbed. Her interests include bluegrass, classical and popular music, and she has an active local career performing with diverse bands, musical theater and classical ensembles. With her Suzuki certification, as well as her eclectic musical background, Heather is equipped to teach students of all ages through multiple techniques.
Matthew Mainster, MM – Private Instructor, piano
Matthew Mainster graduated in 2010 with his Master of Musical Performance degree from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray. In 2008, he graduated with bachelor degrees in organ and piano performance from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania where he studied with Shelly Moorman-Stahlman. He is winner of the 2002 Vernon de Tar Competition for Organ and the 2007 Violette Cassel Organ Competition, and was a finalist in the 2007 Regional III Competition of the American Guild of Organists. He also received 2nd place at the 2007 West Chester International Organ Competition. As a pianist, Matthew has been fortunate enough to receive coaching from many internationally recognized pianists, including Naoko Takao, Young Hi Moon, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Nikita Fitenko, Charles Abramovic, Joseph Banowetz, Tiffany Quo, Petronel Malan, and Rachmaninoff’s last living student, Ruth Slenczynska. He continues occasional coaching with his former college professor, Shelly Moorman-Stahlman.
Nate Martin, MM – Private Instructor, bass; Chamber Music Coach; Envision: Chamber Music Workshop
Nate Martin has been playing the double bass since he was 13, and participated with the top ensembles at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and the New England Conservatory Prep Program. He continued his education at Boston University (BM ’11) and New England Conservatory (MM ’13) where he studied with Edwin Barker and Todd Seeber of the Boston Symphony. While performing as a free-lance musician in all the great halls across Boston, Nate also performed with the Borromeo String Quartet at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and with Matt Aucoin and the Encounters Ensemble at the Peabody Essex Museum. Festival appearances include Music Academy of the West and Orford Summer Music Academy. Most recently he participated in the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada’s Institute for Orchestral Studies, where he was seen in halls in Ottawa, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Beijing under Maestro Pinchas Zukerman. Nate enjoys hiking, libraries, food, beer, and the night sky. He lives in Lincolnville, Maine.
Deirdre McClure, DMA – Odeon Ensembles Conductor; Chamber Music Coach
Deirdre McClure’s work conducting contemporary opera in the San Francisco Bay Area has earned her critical praise as Music Director and Conductor of the Oakland Opera Theater, an innovative and highly acclaimed company commissioning and presenting works by mainstream and emerging contemporary composers. Past work includes the Oakland Community Orchestra, the Women’s Orchestra of San Francisco, the University of California Youth Music Program, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has toured the United States, Canada, and Mexico performing live music for silent film with the Club Foot orchestra, and composed and conducted music for a television cartoon series on CBS. McClure received both her Masters and Doctoral degrees in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She teaches at the University of New England, conducts the First Parish (Portland) Choir, and resides with her family in Portland, ME.
John Mehrmann, MM – Private Instructor, percussion, composition and piano
Composer, pianist, percussionist, vocalist, and improviser John Mehrmann has written music for ensembles including the Bangor Symphony, the Portland Symphony (for its Kinderkonzert series), the choir VoXX: Voice of Twenty, of which he is formerly music director, as well as music for film. John performs with ensembles including the Portland Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Portland Ballet, PORTopera and regularly performs his own compositions. As a musician with St. Brendan the Navigator Parish he has founded a choir for the authentic singing of Gregorian chant and in the past few years has composed dozens of antiphons to be sung during services. In addition to his work at Bay Chamber, he teaches composition, piano, percussion, voice and accordion at the University of Maine at Augusta. John received his MM in Composition from the New England Conservatory and his BM in Music Performance from the University of New Hampshire. At Bay Chamber, he loves helping students of all ages discover and rediscover their own unique creative voice.
Elizabeth Moore, MM – Private Instructor, violin and viola; Chamber Music Coach
Elizabeth Moore started violin as a child with Janet Ciano and Augusto Salazar among many other musical mentors while growing up in mid-coast Maine. She earned degrees in viola performance from the University College of Fine Arts with a Master’s of Music. Her primary viola instructors were Sheila Browne and Karen Ritscher. In addition to her viola studies, she was a Keenan Fellow at Lincoln Center Education in New York City, where she worked with Teaching Artists in public schools and put on a collaborative performance at Lincoln Center Education’s Clark Theatre. Elizabeth performs regularly as a violist and singer, primarily with Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble currently in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts. As Co-Artistic Director and Programming Director for Palaver Strings, Elizabeth is dedicated to programming and performing music in ways that engage diverse audiences, and inspires future generations of musicians. A Suzuki certified violin and viola instructor, Elizabeth also teaches in Portland, ME.
Kirsten Monke, MM – Private Instructor, viola & violin
Prior to joining the DaPonte String Quartet in 2008, Kirsten Monke served as Principal Violist of both the Santa Barbara Symphony and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and was violist with the award winning Anacapa String Quartet. Ms. Monke has taught at UCSB and Westmont College, in addition to a variety of chamber music workshops across the country. Ms. Monke received her B.M. and M.M. degrees at Indiana University, where her principal teachers were Kim Kashkashian and Georges Janzer. She also studied at UCSB with Heiichiro Ohyama.
Jim Nga, DMA – Private Instructor, piano
Originally from Malaysia, Dr. James Wesley Nga has performed publicly since he was six. He has performed nationally and internationally throughout United States, Belgium, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. He came to the United States of America after completing two music performance diplomas from the Trinity College of Music, London. At California State University, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Keyboard and graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He obtained his Masters of Music in Piano Performance from the Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California. He was an active pianist and instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area, before relocating to Maine after twenty years of residency in California. He went on to obtain his Doctoral of Music in Piano Performance from Texas Tech University before returning to New England. Jim also serves as the Music Director for the Congregational Church in Cumberland. He enjoys working with students of all ages.
Carol Preston, MM – Private Instructor, Suzuki Violin
Carol Preston, violinist, has been a Suzuki Method teacher for over 30 years in Damariscotta and the Washington, D.C. area. She also taught public school music for 15 years. In addition to teaching, she is on the board of the Maine Suzuki Association, formerly served as board chair of the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area, and is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. As a performer, she has been concertmaster of the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra since 2002, is a mentor for Mozart Mentors Orchestra in Brunswick, and plays with Maine Pro Musica. In the D.C. area, she was concertmaster of the McLean Orchestra for 14 years, was a member of the McBeth Quartet, and played all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as a member of the Washington Savoyards orchestra. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Concordia College (MN) and an MM in music from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Allen Ohmes of the Stradivari Quartet.
April Reed-Cox, MM – Private Instructor, cello
April Reed-Cox began playing cello at the age of 4. She studied for 12 years using the Suzuki Method, and entered college at 16 as a performance major. She holds a BM and a MM from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. She has competed all across the country, and has performed with symphonies in SC, NC, and GA. She moved to Maine to be with family and now performs with Maine ProMusica, the Bangor Symphony, The Ale House String Band, Putnam Smith, and numerous other folk groups. April melds classical and folk playing techniques, and knowledge of body mechanics to help her students find an enjoyable and painless way to play the cello. She lives on a farm in Waldoboro with her son and fiancé, two cats, one husky, one horse, and an ever-expanding flock of chickens. In her spare time she hand-processes wool and other fibers into yarn.
Jeffrey Rojo, BM – Private Instructor, guitar; Guitar Ensemble
Jeff began his musical studies at age 13 in Mexico City. Throughout his career he has collaborated with a wide number of musicians and has been part of many musical ensembles covering a variety of styles from Classical to Jazz, Latin and Rock. Jeff’s teaching is particularly focused on ensemble performance, giving students the opportunity to be part of various musical settings including the Bay Chamber Guitar Ensemble. He has taught guitar students of all ages and abilities helping them learn and expand musically through a systematic method covering a broad stylistic range. Currently Jeff teaches classical guitar at the University of Maine in Augusta. Jeff received his BM in 2002 from the CIEM (Center for Investigation and Musical Studies in Mexico City), and holds degrees in Music Education, Music Theory & Guitar Music Performance by the ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music).
Patricia Stowell, DMA – Private Instructor, piano and Chamber Music Coach
Pianist Patricia Stowell is an active performer and chamber musician who holds the role of Chair of the Chamber Music Society at the Collins Center for the Arts. Regionally she has performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, in Husson University’s Kenduskeag Series, The VanderKay and All Souls Steinway Series. She loves teaching at Bay Chamber and also enjoys giving master classes, including working with teachers and students together. Patricia brings expertise in chamber music as the director of the Kneisel Hall Maine Young Musicians Program in Blue Hill where she has been director since the year 2000. Patricia’s European performances include concerts in Bulgaria, Austria, Poland and Germany, in addition to lecturing in Moscow on composer Alexander Scriabin and the Russian Symbolist Movement, which was her dissertation topic for her doctorate at Northwestern University.
Jeff Weinberger, BM – Private Instructor in Guitar and Ukulele; Ukulele Group Class Instructor
Jeffrey Weinberger teaches ukulele and guitar in his Belfast, Maine studio, Belfast Guitar & Ukulele Workshop. Jeff studied music at Berklee College of Music and music education at the University of Maine (B.M. Summa Cum Laude). He is also a Teaching Artist with the Maine Arts Commission. He travels as a ukulele workshop teacher and group coach. He also is an organizer of the ever-growing Belfast Ukulele Festival, currently enjoying its 5th year. He also is the director of Midcoast Ukes, a 20 member community ukulele group. He teaches at several Midcoast non-profit community arts schools, including Bay Chamber Music School, Belfast Homeschool Coop and Sweetland School/Sweet Tree Arts. His current focus has been helping seniors enrich their lives with ukulele and is currently writing a book especially for them, His most notable student is astronaut Scott Tingle who is currently in outer space with NASA on the International Space Station. He has taught music for well over three decades and enjoys his life in a tiny, rural Midcoast Maine town with his wife, cats and gardens..
Colin Wheatley, MM – Instructor for Envision – A Young People’s Chamber Music Workshop
Colin Wheatley is the orchestra director at East Lyme Middle School in Connecticut where he teaches lessons and directs five orchestras. A native of Bellingham Washington, Colin earned his B.M. at the Oberlin Conservatory studying with Peter Slowik, his M.M. from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Atar Arad, and his Masters in Music Teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory. An avid chamber musician, Colin has performed for members of the Emerson, Pacifica, Cleveland, Concord, and Takács quartets, and was selected to perform in a master class for Yo-Yo Ma. Colin has taught violin and viola for over ten years and is a certified Suzuki instructor. He has taught at the Oberlin Community Music School, alongside Mimi Zweig at the Indiana University String Academy, privately, and at Fairview Elementary School in Bloomington, IN as part of a grant-funded project studying the benefits of music education for disadvantaged children. When not performing and teaching, Colin enjoys spending time outdoors, running marathons, cooking, and traveling.
Mike Whitehead, BM – Private Instructor, trumpet; Jazz Ensemble Instructor
Mike Whitehead has been an active teacher and performer in the Maine music scene for many years. Mike studied trumpet at Berklee College of Music with Raymond Katwica, Lou Mucci and Wes Hensel. He loves to perform many styles of music from classical to jazz, folk to electronic, rock to world music. In his teaching Mike focuses on technique, musicality, performing in an ensemble and how to develop your own unique musical voice.