"Musically expressive,” “dynamic,” and “passionate,” are words used to describe Canadian/American pianist Isabelle Aubin, whose collaborative piano skills makes her a much sought-after artist. Her language skills in French, Italian, German and English make her very effective and applauded by singers she works with including Metropolitan Opera Coach Gildo DiNunzio.
Ms. Aubin currently teaches Diction and Vocal literature at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she also is a Staff Pianist. She also works as Vocal Coach at Ave Maria University and is Principal Keyboard with the Punta Gorda Symphony.
Before relocating to Southwest Florida from Rochester NY, she held position as Principal Coach with Rochester Lyric Opera (NY); Collaborative Pianist, Vocal Coach and Instrumental Coach at Buffalo State College (NY); Collaborative Pianist at Nazareth College of Rochester (NY) where she has also taught French Lyric Diction; Principal Keyboard of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra (NY); and has held the position of Festival Coordinator, Collaborative Pianist, Chamber Music Coach and Vocal Coach with Festival di musica da camera, in Ripatransone, Italy.
Ms. Aubin has worked in Italy for Centro Studi Italiano; Sessione Senese per la musica e l’arte; Festival di musica da camera; in Austria, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz; the Mozarteum in Salzburg; in Canada, the Chœur Symphonique de Saguenay Lac St Jean; Camp Musical du lac St Jean and the College d’Alma.
Isabelle has also prepared and performed full opera productions for Société d'arts Lyriques du Royaume; Opéra Plume; Universitié du Québec; Camp Musical du Lac St-Jean; Festival di musica da camera; and Rochester Lyric Opera.
She has been a frequent performer on the radio with broadcasts by Radio Canada. Programs titled; "Concert Dimanche," "Opera du Samedi," and "Jeunes artistes."
Ms. Aubin studied coaching and accompanying with Denise Massée, Martin Katz, Robert Evans, and Jean Barr, song interpretation with Graham Johnson, Harold Heiberg, and Paul Schilowski, and piano with Nathalie Pepin, Serge Guillemette, Janina Fialkovska, Karl Engel, Raoul Sosa, and Joseph Bloch.
Ms. Aubin received her B.M., from the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec; M.M., from Montreal University; and teaching certificate from the University of Quebec.
Cuban-American soprano, Nathalie Avila, has quickly gained recognition for her "sumptuous tone" and creating a "vivid portrait" of the roles she portrays on the operatic stage. She was most recently seen as the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly with Miami Lyric Opera, Maria in Sociedad Proarte Grateli's La Novicia Rebelde (The Sound of Music), Sylvia Varescu in Kalman's operetta The Gypsy Princess with Sociedad Proarte Latinoameticana at the National Theatre in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and as the title role in Puccini's Tosca with Miami Lyric Opera in the 2016-2017 season. Past performances include Mimi in La Boheme with Opera Naples (cover) and with Miami Lyric Opera where she was commended for her “gorgeous tone on her final aria “Sono andati”. She was also recently seen in the title role of Suor Angelica with the Miami Summer Music Festival where she was praised by critics. "Luckily for the audience, young soprano Nathalie Avila more than met Puccini’s vocal and acting requirements. Avila possesses a large, shimmering voice that is pleasing to the ear and easily cuts over Puccini’s fully textured orchestrations. Her rendition of the aria "Senza mamma" received well deserved shouts of ’brava’ from the audience."
In 2014, Ms. Avila opened the spring season as Suzel in L'amico Fritz with Miami Lyric Opera where she received praise for her "glamorous Suzel, commanding the stage with a sumptuous lyric soprano." Ms. Avila has performed the roles of the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with Gulfshore Opera, Mimi (cover) in La Boheme with Opera Naples, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Miami Lyric Opera, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw with the Siena Music Festival, Liza in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Mimì in La Bohème and Micaëla in Carmen with the Emerald City Opera.
She has been featured as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Choir and Orchestra, and in numerous concerts with Sociedad Proarte Grateli, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony
Orchestra, Orchestra Miami, Symphony of the Americas and the Florida Chamber Orchestra. While living in Copenhagen she was featured as a soloist in Copenhagen's Wednesday Concert Series and the Amager Music Festival.
Ms. Avila was chosen by Montserrat Caballe to sing in Las Voces de Montserrat Caballe, a concert featuring a select group of artists from her 2012 Masterclass in Zaragoza, Spain. Ms. Avila was the recipient of Encouragement Awards from the 2012 Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition and the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Semi-Finalist at the 2013 Marcello Giordani International Voice Competition.
Nathalie Avila holds a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from The Royal Danish Academy of Music and a Bachelor's Degree from the Peabody Conservatory where she was the recipient of the George Castelle Memorial Award.
Judy Christy joined the FGCU faculty in 2010 as adjunct professor of oboe and chamber music. She has been principal oboist of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra since 1996. Previously she played with the New World Symphony.
Judy earned her bachelor’s degree at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with James Caldwell and Alex Klein. She then earned her M.M. degree at Rice University, studying with Robert Atherholt. She also pursued additional studies with John Mack.
Judy has performed as principal oboist of the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Peter Britt Music Festival. Her solo appearances have included concertos by Vaughan Williams, Strauss, Harbison, Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi.
With her siblings and her husband, Christy performs in the Christy Oboe Quartet, which has released a CD of music by Mozart, Britten, J.C. Bach, and James Stephenson.
Stephen Detjen has been a Band Director/Music Educator since 1983. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Syracuse University and a Master of Music from Ithaca College. After teaching in New York state for thirteen years he relocated to southwest Florida in 1998.
Now entering his thirty-sixth year as an educator, he has experience in every level of music from developmental kindergarten, teaching the hearing impaired and deaf through high school band and now college methods. Stephen’s most recent position is at Manatee Middle School in Collier County, where he teaches band grades 6-8. Previous positions include Pine Ridge Middle School- band and chorus grades 6-8, Naples High School- All band activities plus advanced placement music theory, Immokalee High School- band, chorus, orchestra, guitar, and piano. His achievements include superior ratings at FBA marching and concert assessments, state concert appearances, indoor winter guard and percussion design, and participation in both state and national festivals.
Professionally, Stephen is a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association, National Association of Music Education, and the Florida Music Educators AssociationMr. Detjen is extremely excited to be part of the Bower School of Music & the Arts this fall as the Brass Methods Instructor.
Bachelor of Music Education – University of Miami, Miami, FL
Studying classical guitar with Juan Mercadal & Rene Gonzalez
Completed extensive studies in jazz guitar with Paul Guma
Instrumental Music Education, Classical Guitar, Classroom Guitar
RESEARCH & TEACHING
Instrumental Chamber Music, Classroom Guitar Instruction, Instrumental Music Education
Class Guitar (Music Education Emphasis)
Class Guitar (Music Therapy Emphasis)
Gran Quartetto by Nicola Petrini Zamboni – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 1 in F Major by G. Rossini – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 2 in G Major by G. Rossini – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 3 in F Major by G. Rossini – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 4 in Bb Major by G. Rossini – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 5 in D Major by G. Rossini – Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Quartet No. 6b in C Major by G. Rossini – Arranged by Gaetano Ferlazzo- TrevCo Music Publications
Serenade in Eb Major by Vincenzo Righini - Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Harmonie Pieces extracted from Minerva & Daedalus by Vincenzo Righini arr. By Franz Tausch - Edited by G. Ferlazzo - TrevCo Music Publications
Guitar Instruction for Elementary Music Teachers – Presented to the elementary music teachers in Collier County, FL
GRANTS & AWARDS
2010 - Innovative Teaching Award from the Florida Music Educators Association
Mr. Ferlazzo previously was the guitar instructor at Edison Community College (now Florida Southwestern State College) and taught for 35 years as a public-school music educator in Fort Myers. While teaching in the public schools, Mr. Ferlazzo served as the Secondary Music Specialist for the Lee County School District. Mr. Ferlazzo continues to have an active private studio and is an instructor for many summer camps for guitarists.
Ming Gao has served as concertmaster of the Nanjing Experimental Orchestra in his native China and of the Eastman Philharmonia at the Heidelberg Castle Festival in Germany. He has also served as acting concertmaster of the Youngstown and Harrisburg symphony orchestras and MOSSPAC Chamber Orchestra. During the summer months, Ming is a first violinist in the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in New York, and he has also served as the acting Associate Concertmaster/Concertmaster during the 2018, 2019 and 2021seasons.
Before joining the Naples Philharmonic in 1993, Ming performed with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He also appeared in music festivals in the United States, Germany and China, including Sunflower Music Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Buzzards Bay Musicfest, MOSSPAC Music Festival, Heidelberg Castle Festival and the Spring of Xuanwu Hu Festival.
Over the years, Ming has been invited back to China many times to give chamber music recitals in Nanjing, Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Suzhou and Beijing. Some of these concerts were broadcast live by Jiang Su Provincial TV station and CCTV (China national television station). In addition, he has recorded solo and chamber music for the Nanjing radio and television stations, Jiangsu Provincial radio and television stations and QRS Music Rolls, Inc. He was also given the title of Guest Professor of Violin at the Nanjing Conservatory of Music, offering violin master classes in China.
As a soloist, Ming has appeared with the Naples Philharmonic, Orchestra Nova, Nanjing Experimental Orchestra and Jiangsu Provincial Symphony Orchestra, among others, performing a repertoire including Chen Gang’s Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, and Paganini’s Concerto in D Major.
Natalie Gonzalez has been a board-certified music therapist for 10 years, specializing in hospice and memory care. She received her undergraduate degree from Queens University of Charlotte and went on to complete her masters in Human Services Counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family from Liberty University. Natalie previously managed the complementary therapies and bereavement support teams at Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida. Outside of work, Natalie and her husband, Miguel, recently welcomed a baby boy into their family, Ethan. They also have a year old mini golden doodle puppy named Laudy. Natalie looks forward to getting to know FGCU students during their Practicum placements!
Lydia Howery is delighted to be joining the adjunct voice faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music. She previously taught in the voice department at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania and has performed all over the northeast in various concert and operatic works. Howery created the role of Daphne in Jordan Farrar’s opera The Day Boy and the Night Girl with the After Dinner Opera Company at Symphony Space in New York City. Previously, with the ADOC, she performed the role of the Wife in Seymour Barab’s Everyone Has to be Free, to NY Times acclaim. While in Erie, Howery regularly appeared with the Erie Opera Theatre in such roles as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She also appeared with the D’Angelo Opera Theatre as Dame Quickly in Falstaff and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Howery is equally at home on the concert stage, appearing as a guest soloist with the Edinboro Chamber Players, Erie Philharmonic Chorus, and Pennsylvania Chamber Symphony in various works, such as Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Handel’s Messiah. She has also given various recitals; one being a concert she designed and performed of American Art Song entitled Seasons of Change, which she performed at Mercyhurst and her alma mater.
Howery holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Erskine College. While at Erskine, she performed numerous solos in concert there, at Clemson, and at churches around the state. As a senior, she also received the prestigious Isabel Boyd Phillips Award for excellence in music. Some of Howery’s highlights from Boston were appearing as Miss Penelope Newkirk in Help, Help the Globolinks, Second Knitter in A Game of Chance, and numerous choral performances.
Recently, Howery has joined Gulfshore Opera’s music outreach program as a Harmony Choir teacher at PACE Center for Girls. She is also a member of GO Divas, Gulfshore Opera’s exciting new, all female, vocal group performing a large range of repertoire from Bach to the Beatles. Howery also holds a position as an alto core singer with the Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida.
Suzanne Kirton began music studies as a child on piano, but when she was a high school sophomore she became enchanted by the flute's sound and decided to make that her instrument. Upon graduation she was accepted at the Juilliard School and studied with Sam Baron her freshman year.
Kirton earned a B.M. degree from Florida State University, her M.M. degree from the Boston Conservatory and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Juilliard School. She has taken master classes and studied privately with a number of great teachers, including Sir James Galway, Julius Baker, Robert Stallman, Leone Buyse and Geoffrey Gilbert.
Prior to Naples, Kirton was principal flutist for the Symphonia Virtuosi and the Rome Festival Orchestra. In 1994, Kirton was a finalist in the International Flute Competition in Budapest, Hungary.
As a soloist with the Naples Philharmonic, Kirton performed the Vivaldi Flute Concerto in D with Keith Lockhart conducting (1994). She performed it again in 2007 at Festival Miami. In 2000, she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto, along with principal harpist Dickie Fleisher. She has also soloed with the Philharmonic Baroque Ensemble, performing the Bach Suite No. 2 in B Minor in 1995, 1996 and 2002.
Kirton has been an adjunct professor at Florida International University for several years, has freelanced extensively in the Miami area and maintains a private studio in Naples. She may be heard on CD in Music Minus One's Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio.
Kirton and her husband are proud parents of a daughter Giszelle and son Iain. They also have three loquacious African Grey Parrots, two dogs and a cat. Kirton has been principal flutist of the Naples Philharmonic since 1993.
Si-Cheng Liu, cellist, is currently an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Cost University and Florida Southwestern State Collage and the music director of Upper School Chamber String Orchestra at the Community School of Naples.
She has played with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra regularly since 1995 and is also a member of the Naples Piano Quartet, which has been very active in the Southwest Florida area, playing in a number of venues including “Live at the Promenade!” by the Bonita Spring Arts Center for the past five years, as well as concert series at various churches and country clubs. The group has also toured China, performing concerts in Nanjing and Beijing, which were broadcast live nationally by CCTV, China’s national television station. She is also the cellist of the Apollo Piano Trio, has performed in Sanibel Island Big Arts concert series, and Naples CAPA concert series. During the summer, Si-Cheng goes to Chautauqua Institution, NY for all kinds of cultural activities, including concerts, chamber music recitals, operas, theater, cello and violin master classes and lectures, and has played with Chautauqua symphony Orchestra.
For many years, Si-Cheng has been heavily involved in music education in the Southwest Florida Region, where her cello students have won top prizes at the Naples Music Club Scholarship Auditions, All-State Orchestra Auditions, NPO Concerto Competitions, and awards at summer music camps. Some of her students have gone on to pursue their music careers at major conservatories in U.S.
Si-Cheng received her Bachelor of Arts from the Nanjing Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music from UMKC, and the Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. Her major cello teachers include Ann Martindale, principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Jennifer Piper is an award-winning flutist, pedagogue, and orchestral musician, receiving Honorable Mention in the 2021 American Prize Instrumental Solo Competition and Winner of the Flute New Music Consortium’s Flute and Electronics Competition in 2020. She teaches flute, music appreciation, and chamber music at Florida Gulf Coast University and previously taught at Central Michigan University, the University of Hartford, and Delta College.
Prior to her move to Florida, Dr. Piper performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Canton (OH) Symphony, and the Ohio Light Opera company. She also served as an Associate member in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, collaborating with some of today’s most sought-after conductors and musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Chen, and Sir Andrew Davis.
Please visit www.jenniferthepiper.com for more information.
Dena Register is a seasoned music therapy clinician, educator and program development specialist. She is pleased to support the FGCU music therapy program as an adjunct professor.
Prior to joining the Bower School of Music in this capacity, she designed and implemented the music therapy program at West Virginia University, serving as the director of music therapy from 2015-2018, and was an Associate Professor in the music therapy program at the University of Kansas from 2003-2015. Additionally, she served as the Director of Faculty Programs in the Office of International Programs and a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Register earned B.M., M.M., and Ph.D. degrees in music therapy from the Florida State University. Prior to her teaching career, she worked as a private practice music therapist in Tallahassee and Tampa, Florida providing services to early intervention programs, students with special education needs, bereaved children and adolescents and battered women and children. She also provided internship supervision and coordinated the music therapy program at Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, FL.
In 2009, Register was awarded a Council for International Exchange of Scholars-Fulbright Scholar award to teach and conduct research at Mahidol University, College of Music in Thailand. She developed the “Therapeutic Uses of Music” training to build awareness and appreciation of music therapy as a discipline among medical and education personnel. To date, she has trained more than one hundred professionals, initiated numerous clinical services sites and offerings and consulted on research projects across Thailand. She developed and launched the first music therapy Masters degree program in Southeast Asia at Mahidol University in 2013 and continues her work there as a consultant, teacher and researcher.
Her consulting work in the US is primarily centered on the recognition of music therapy by state governments and the recognition of the MT-BC credential as the required credential for all practicing professionals. Register has served as the Regulatory Affairs Advisor for the Certification Board for Music Therapists since 2006, where she works with music therapists across the country on obtaining this professional recognition. She delivers training to students and professionals alike on the importance of advocacy for the profession.
Carolann M. Sanita has toured as Marian in the first national tour of The Music Man and internationally as Maria in the European and Asian tours of West Side Story. Some favorite credits include singing back-up to Linda Eder in concert at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, Encore’s No, No Nanette at New York City Center, Les Miserables at Flat Rock Playhouse, West Side Story at Sacramento Music Circus, Mack and Mabel and The Boy from Oz at TheatreZone, Spamalot at Arkansas Repertory Theatre and A Little Night Music at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Carolann has been a soloist with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. Carolann has founded her own private vocal studio, CSV Vocal Studio, LLC and continues to perform, teach and music direct locally and regionally. She holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is a proud member of AEA. www.CarolannSanita.com
Mary Griffin Seal is a pianist and music faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University where she currently teaches Class Piano.
Ms. Seal majored in music at Hartt College of Music and Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance, and was elected to membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society. Noted teachers have included Watson Morrison, Edith Stearns, Anita Gelber, and Robert Steinbauer.
She performs frequently as both piano soloist and accompanist for choirs, singers and instrumentalists. She has also served as a staff accompanist for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.Since 1992 she has been an active member of Southwest Florida Music Teachers Association and Florida State Music Teachers Association, serving in many capacities, including local and district president, state president, and state foundation chairman. She is also a member of the music faculty at Florida South Western State College, teaching Applied Piano, Class Piano, and serves as primary staff accompanist for the music department.
M.M. in Bassoon Performance (University of Southern California, 1988)
B.M. in Bassoon Performance (St. Olaf College, 1986)
Principal Bassoon, Naples Philharmonic
2nd Bassoon, Grand Teton Music Festival
Formerly Assistant Principal/2nd Bassoon San Antonio Symphony and Florida Symphony Orchestra; Member of the Executive Board, International Double Reed Society
Courses Offered: Applied Music BassoonRecordings: The Music of Julius Weissenborn; Fiesta at the Philharmonic; A Night in the American West
Matthew Sonneborn earned a B.M. degree from the New England Conservatory. Matt is in his 30th year as Principal Trumpet with the Naples Philharmonic. He has been a frequent soloist with the orchestra performing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet, Copland's Quiet City, Leopold Mozart Concerto, and the Florida premiere of James Stephenson's Concerto for Trumpet. Matthew also performs in the Pops series, and with the Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet.
During the summers Sonneborn performs on occasion at the Grand Teton Music Festival, with the Baltimore Symphony and with the Colorado Music Festival. He has played under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Simon Rattle and Leonard Slatkin.
Helen Tintes-Schuermann is a versatile singer-actress who regularly performs in opera, oratorio, concert and musical theater. Tintes has sung with numerous USA and European companies, including Gulfshore Opera, St. Petersburg Opera (Fl), Chicago Opera Theatre, Light Opera Works (Chicago), F-M Opera (MN), Gran Teatro del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), Staatstheater Kassel (Germany) and Theater an der Wien/Raimund Theater (Vienna). An international operatic highlight was performing with Gwyneth Jones in Strauss’ Elektra (Third Maid) at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Spain.
A sought-after concert artist, Tintes has appeared as soloist with numerous European festivals (Monte Carlo Festival, Ascona Festival, Bodensee Festival and Fest in Hellbrunn/Salzburg) and with orchestras, fine arts series and universities throughout the USA. Her performance in Verdi’s Requiem (Augusta/USC Symphonies) was praised: “Surely in heaven there is a mezzo soprano who constantly sings that opening phrase of the Lacrymosa as beautifully as Tintes-Schuermann sang it” (The State/South Carolina).
Recent engagements include performances with Gulfshore Opera in Verdi’s Rigoletto (Giovanna) and La Traviata (Annina), as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Ft. Myers Mastersingers (FL) and concerts with the SW Florida Symphonic Chorale (“Sing-Out”and “Mass Appeal”). In summer 2020 she appears in The Sound of Music (Sr. Sophia) with Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. Upcoming 2020-21 performances include concerts at St. Leo University (FL), St. John Evangelist Catholic Church’s Concert Series (FL), as well as the Gesellschaft für Musiktheater and St. Peter’s Catholic Church (Krypta Series) in Vienna, Austria.Tintes is a recognized master teacher, who has taught at important universities and conservatories, including the Music and Arts Private University of Vienna (MUK), Northwestern University, USC (Columbia, SC) and Ave Maria University. Through the prestigious Erasmus (European Union) program, she has performed and given masterclasses throughout Europe (Austria, Spain, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Greece) and has also performed and taught in China. She is a resident of Southwest Florida, where she is teaches voice and related course at St. Leo University (Tampa, FL) and maintains a voice studio (Vienna Voce). She is delighted to join the Voice Faculty at FGCU this fall.
Paul Votapek has been a member of the Naples (FL) Philharmonic since 1988 and was chosen by Music Director Christopher Seaman to be its Principal Clarinetist in 1996. He has appeared as soloist with the Naples Philharmonic on five occasions. At the request of Music Director Keith Lockhart, he spent the 1998-1999 season as Acting Principal Clarinetist of the Utah Symphony. As a chamber musician he has performed at the Pine Mountain, Kairos and Marrowstone Music Festivals. Paul has released a CD of the Concert and Contest Collection for Clarinet with his father, Ralph Votapek. In 2012 Paul performed at the International Clarinet Association Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. He been an adjunct music faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University since 2007.Paul received his bachelor and master's degrees from Northwestern University where he studied with Clark Brody and Robert Marcellus. He has completed doctoral classes and recitals at Florida State University where he studied with Frank Kowalsky.
Dr. Weiss-Holmes has received international acclaim as an orchestral saxophonist, and has performed as principal saxophonist with numerous orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Grant Park Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Weiss-Holmes has worked with such renown conductors as Riccardo Muti, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stéphane Denève, and Marin Alsop… just to name a few. He has also shared the stage with artists such as Ben Folds, Jane Lynch, Sutton Foster, the Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, and Idina Menzel.
Dr. Weiss-Holmes is Professor of Saxophone at the Bower School of Music and the Arts at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and he is also the Head of Woodwinds and Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University. He was previously on faculty at the University of Illinois, the College of Wooster, and the University of Notre Dame. During his tenure at CCPA, Dr. Weiss-Holmes co-founded the Chicago Saxophone Day, along with Taimur Sullivan from Northwestern University, and is the founding director of the prestigious Chicago Saxophone Institute at CCPA.
Professor Weiss-Holmes’ diverse background as a performer, educator and former member of the music industry have provided him with unique insight in preparing the next generation of music students for successful careers in their chosen field. As such, he has been invited to present clinics, masterclasses, and performances at some of the most prestigious saxophone programs both nationally and internationally. Dr. Weiss-Holmes was the Marketing Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance, served as Director of Marketing for Saxophones at Conn-Selmer, Inc., and was an Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist with Vandoren. Weiss-Holmes is an active soloist of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered numerous works for the saxophone.
His performances have received great accolades and can be heard on the CSO Resound, Mark, NAXOS, Aucourant, SEAMUS and Klavier Record labels. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the saxophonist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Resound album’s release of a recording featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti, playing an extended suite drawn from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet score. The Chicago Tribune describes this recording as “played here with a brilliance and panache that brought the dramatic narrative alive.”
Weiss-Holmes holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Master of Music (MM) in Saxophone Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois where he studied with Professor Debra Richtmeyer, and a Bachelors in Music Education (BME) from Bowling Green State University where he was a student of Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen. He had additional studies with saxophonists Jean-Marie Londeix, Fred Hemke, Claude Delangle, Griffin Campbell, Daniel Kientzy, and Eugene Rousseau. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed in many of the national and regional conferences, as-well-as at the World Saxophone Congress.
Dr. Weiss-Holmes was the co-host of the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference which was be held at the University of Illinois. He is a Selmer Artist/Clinician as well as Vandoren Performing Artist. Weiss-Holmes is married to Brad Weiss-Holmes and resides in Chicago, IL and Cape Coral, FL.