Performer Bios

Chamber Concert 1
June 27, 2022

Brass West:
Dr. William Takacs, trumpet
Dr. Russ Teweleit, trumpet
Dr. Guglielmo Manfredi, horn
Dr. John Shanks, trombone
Dr. Jeremy Lewis, tuba


The members of Brass West are all faculty members at the School of Music at West Texas A&M University and hold the principal brass chairs in the Amarillo Symphony and Amarillo Opera. They earned degrees from various universities and schools of music throughout the United States, including The University of Alabama, Florida State University, Indiana University, the University of Miami, The University of Oklahoma, and Texas Tech University. As the group Brass West, they have performed throughout the United States at several universities such as West Texas A&M University, Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, Valdosta State University, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City University, and Texas Tech University. They have been invited to be featured performers at various conferences and concert series such as the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the Texas Music Educators Association, and Chamber Music Amarillo. In July 2019, they embarked on a performance tour of Italy, giving concerts in Genova, Taggia, Sanremo, Vernazza, and Imperia.

Cindy-Chelsea.JPG

Hunny B's Rhapsody
July 2, 2022
July 23, 2022

     Hunny B's- Hunny B’s Rhapsody musical group is made up of the mother and daughter duo Cindy Bea and Chelsea Dee. The Duo has combined their talents to create a new and exciting act to entertain and excite fans. Follow them throughout the musical years from the fabulous 40’s to present. They perform songs to take you on a personal journey from your childhood to being an adult. Live, laugh, and love along with
them.


     Cindy’s talent started when she was 11 years old drumming and singing in her family’s dance band. They traveled throughout the Midwest. She got married to her husband, Harlan, and was blessed with 5 daughters. They moved from the Midwest out to Las Vegas, known as the city with “World-Class Entertainment” where she has performed for the last 24 years. She most recently concluded her performances at the Hughes Brothers Theater in Branson, Missouri where she was a headliner. Cindy does remarkable show stopping songs and impressions of her favorite artists which include Karen Carpenter, Crystal Gayle, Alison Kraus, and Abba to name a few. Cindy has been blessed to perform in front of U.S Presidents, Dignitaries, and Hollywood Royalty. Chelsea, like her mother, has been singing since she was a little girl. She was accepted into the “Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts”. Chelsea has also attended many auditions for television shows such as American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. She is an up and coming sensation with a
voice of pure gold. This mother and daughter duo have added a new dimension in music. They entertain with perfect pitch and complement each other in flawless harmony. Together, their voices will sooth the soul while bringing back long forgotten memories along with making new memories that will last a lifetime.

Acoustic Eidolon
July 9, 2022

Screen Shot 2021-05-17 at 2.39.14 PM.png

     Acoustic Eidolon, featuring Joe Scott on double neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello are from Colorado and have graced stages throughout the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.  With thirteen CDs and two DVDs to their credit, these masterful artists continue to captivate audiences throughout the world with their signature “new acoustic” sound and boundless possibilities in blending Celtic, Americana, World & Flamenco musical influences, something that Dirty Linen Magazine praises as “a sumptuous musical feast.”   They are described by the Swallow Hill Music Association as “an evening of brilliant instrumentality,” and Georgia’s Good Life Magazine enthuses, “Acoustic Eidolon offers concert-goers a chance to absorb some of the most powerful and intriguing music on the scene today.”     

     Their original sound is created by the mixing of their diverse musical backgrounds and their unusual instrumentation including the one-of-a-kind double neck guitjo, an instrument of Joe’s own design praised by USA Today as a “beautiful harp-like sounding instrument … like nothing we’ve ever heard before.”  The double-neck guitjo has 14 strings and Joe has developed his own style and technique, playing both necks simultaneously.  Classically-trained cellist Hannah Alkire studied with G. Magyar of the Hungarian String Quartet and is recognized internationally for her stunning tone and emotional, impeccable playing and for taking the cello places it’s never been before.

     What started as a musical journey between kindred spirits blossomed into their marriage in 2001. The result is a coupling of intricate and passionate music with genuine and engaging stories. They are each virtuoso players but their stories and connection to the audience add the backdrop of transparency from their lives, from the struggles to the triumphs.

Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 11.12.43 AM.png

Chamber Concert 2
July 11, 2022

     The Lagniappe Trio has been performing together professionally since 2017, offering expansive, creative, and unique programming for audiences of all ages. Lagniappe Trio comprises flutist Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo, violist Christopher Lowry, and harpist Stephanie Gustafson Amfahr, all principal musicians with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Their versatility has contributed to vast creative offerings, from educational performances for youth, virtual world premieres and performances, to interdisciplinary projects, and newly commissioned works by their very own, Christopher Lowry. Currently semifinalists in The American Prize’s Ernst Bacon Memorial Award, they have received grant support from the Mississippi Arts Commission for their projects and have enjoyed repeat engagements at the Natchez Festival of Music, FestivalSouth, and the Lamar Chamber Series. The trio has also been featured in the Music at St. John’s and Houston Abendmusik concert series and the Moody Mansion Music Series. Reaching high levels of acclaim as individual artists and as an ensemble, they are emerging as one of the leading trios in the country.

A resident of Hattiesburg, MS, Rachel Ciraldo is principal flutist of the Baton Rouge and Meridian Symphonies and performs in Duo Cintemani with her husband, guitarist Nicholas Ciraldo. She is the Development Coordinator for the Hattiesburg Concert Association and works to encourage social and economic change through supporting the cultural economy of the region. She has won several international competitions and has enjoyed working with the flute studios of Louisiana State University, University of Southern Mississippi, and Southeastern Louisiana University, as well as private students over the years.

     Dr. Christopher Lowry will join the Alabama Symphony this coming season as their new principal violist after serving almost a decade in the same role for the Baton Rouge Symphony and the past two seasons as such for the Amarillo Symphony.  He is also an in-demand session musician in Nashville, TN.  A two-time prize-winner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and winner of the 2017 Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Award, Lowry has amassed many accolades as both a performer and composer. His music has been recorded on Decca and Ablaze Records and has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, and the Kennedy Center by ensembles across the U.S. and in Mexico, South Africa, the U.K., Chile, Germany, China, and more. Lowry’s CD, Milestones: New Music for Viola from the Third Millennium released 2021 on Centaur and is available on all streaming platforms.

     

     Originally from Chicago, harpist Stephanie Gustafson resides in Houston, where she is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral harpist. In addition to her position with the Baton Rouge Symphony, she has served as Acting Principal Harpist with Municipal de Santiago in Chile and Principal Harp with Annapolis Symphony. Since moving to Texas in 2015, she's been a regular guest of the Houston Symphony and has also performed with the Austin Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. In 2022, she had her debut concerto with the Galveston Symphony Orchestra.

Hiroya Tsukamoto
July 13, 2022

Hiroya-Tsukamoto-6.jpeg

     Hiroya Tsukamoto is an innovative guitarist and composer who fuses folk,jazz, and world music. Born and raised in Japan, in 2000 he received a scholarship to Berklee College of music and came to the U.S.

 

     Tsukamoto’s instrumental abilities are indeed breathtaking and astounding, but his performances are so much more than that.  He has the unique capability of engaging an audience thru a personable and genuine approach that transfixes his audience and almost transcends his capabilities as a guitarist. Audience members will be mesmerized; Tsukamoto plays with an effortless skill on the guitar and a repertoire that will have you traveling the world, not to mention experiencing new sounds with his own compositions.

 

     Tsukamoto headlines concerts throughout the U.S. as well as internationally including Blue Note in NYC, United Nations and Japanese National Television. Hiroya won 2nd place in International Finger Style Guitar Championship in 2018.

 

 

Quotes:

Fingerpicking is delicate, fluid, and beautifully detailed" -Acoustic Guitar magazine

 

"HiroyaTsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey " -Boston Herald

 

"...chops, passion and warmth. Zealously recommended!"   -Jazz Review.com

 

“Fingerpicking is delicate, fluid, and beautifully detailed" -Acoustic Guitar magazine

j.JPG

Jeneve Rose Mitchell
July 27, 2022

     This 22-year-old “Rocky Mountain Hillbilly Girl” grew up off the grid in the Elk Wilderness of Colorado. At age 15, she was a top 14 finalist on the farewell season of American Idol, which 200,000 hopefuls had auditioned for. She recorded and released her first professional EP in Nashville, including several songs from her American Idol journey as well as several originals. One of the songs on this album featured her friends Too Slim and Ranger Doug from Riders in the Sky, the Grand Ole Opry’s signature cowboy band, and achieved the #1 most played song on the Western Music Charts. She plays an eclectic array of instruments as well as genres of music. She has won a variety of awards, including Best Harmony Duo with her dad in 2013 with her arrangement of Cool Water, the Western Music Association’s 2016 Crescendo Award for best new artist, and the 2018 Youth Yodeler of the Year. She has opened for chart-toppers like Scotty McCreery, Emerson Drive, and Darryl Worley, as well as for the WMA’s many time winner of the Entertainer of the Year Award Dave Stamey. When not on stage, Jeneve trains and packs her horses.

Chamber Concert 3
August 1 , 2022

JamesHolland.jpeg

     A native of Pensacola, Florida, cellist James Holland holds degrees in cello performance from the University of Alabama and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He spent two years in Miami Beach as a member of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1996, James was appointed Principal Cellist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and cellist of the CSO String Quartet, during which time he was featured as soloist on numerous occasions. It was in Charleston that James met and married violinist Megan Julyan Holland. In 2007, Megan and James relocated to Albuquerque, NM, where they have built busy performing and teaching careers. In 2015, James became President and Artistic Director of the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists. He is Principal Cellist of Santa Fe Pro Musica and has been a featured chamber music performer with Chatter, the Placitas Artists’ Series, the Taos Chamber Music Group, the New Mexico Performing Arts Society, Chamber Music Amarillo, and Santa Fe New Music, among others. He has twice been featured as soloist with the Albuquerque Philharmonic. In 2012, legendary jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels invited James to perform a concert of Duke Ellington classics with him and renowned pianist Roger Kellaway in Santa Fe. The resulting live recording, Duke at the Roadhouse, received the Grand Prize from the Academie du Jazz in Paris, France, and led to a subsequent performance at the Detroit Jazz Festival. James also holds the position of Principal Cellist of the Breckenridge Music Festival, a summer chamber music and orchestral festival in Colorado, a position he has held since 1998.

 

     James maintains a large and active private cello studio in Albuquerque and directs the orchestra program at the Montessori Elementary and Middle School. The New Mexico chapter of the American String Teachers’ Association named James their Teacher of the Year in 2011. When not playing or teaching, James enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Olivia, 12, and Emily, 10, and three cats.

Jim Walker is Mark Twain
August 13 , 2022

IMG_0215.jpg

     Thank you for coming and sharing my interpretation of Mark Twain: His Wit and Wisdom. Since college, I have been fascinated with one of our greatest authors and humorists. I majored in theater and minored in history so doing a show about Mark Twain allowed me to
indulge in my two great joys: acting and history.


     I’ve been involved with several theater productions over the years, in all facets, designing and building sets, acting, and directing. This production gave me the challenge to put all aspects of my training to use.

 

     This production is 98% Mark Twain’s own words. I apologize for the 2% that is mine. I could put together ten to twenty shows of Mark Twain's words and still only scratch the surface of his genius. Let me know if you know of a story that would be good to add to the mix.

 

     There is something magical that occurs when the lights come up on the stage. I hope
that this show has that magic for you.

Mito De Soto
August 26 , 2022

Screen Shot 2021-05-17 at 2.39.47 PM.png

     Flamenco & Classical Guitarist-Vocalist Miguel "Mito" de Soto, brings an amalgam of Classical music, sultry Jazz into his fiery passion of Flamenco for an interesting and eclectic style.guel "Mito" de Soto, brings an amalgam of Classical music, sultry Jazz into his fiery passion of Flamenco for an interesting and eclectic style.