Steven Byess

Steven Byess

Music Director and Conductor

Currently celebrating his fifth season as music director of Portland Columbia Symphony, Steven Byess is a dynamic and passionate conductor, hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance,” and capturing “the full spirit and vitality of the score perfectly.” Recognized for his musical versatility, multi-faceted presence on the podium, and passion for music education, he is devoted to promoting a life-long love and enthusiasm for music and the arts. 

In addition to his role with PCSO, Steven is the music director of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra and the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He is the associate music director of the Ohio Light Opera, where he has conducted over 80 productions and 21 commercial recordings, including repertoire ranging from well- to little-known operas and operettas to blockbuster classic American musical theater works. He was selected by Walt Disney World Entertainment to conduct the 2000 NFL E*TRADE Superbowl Halftime show, where he performed for a television audience of over 120 million fans.

As a passionate advocate for the arts, Steven is sought after for his speeches on the arts, music, and education, and has organized collaborations with numerous choruses, chamber music ensembles, and festivals. He wrote and co-directed a PBS presentation, Count On It!, designed to connect music and mathematics for children grades K-3. Since 2013, he has shared this passion with over 80,000 children around the country as a conductor of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute Link Up orchestral education concerts.

A prolific conductor of opera from grand to contemporary, his performances include Puccini’s La Bohème and a critically acclaimed production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Greensboro Opera; Bizet’s Carmen with Emerald City Opera (Colorado); Copland’s The Tender Land and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance with Intermountain Opera (Montana); and Weill’s Street Scene and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Eastman School of Music Opera Theatre. Steven has been a guest conductor at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan for their productions of Le tragédie de Carmen (Bizet/Brook), a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide – collaborating with the composer’s daughter Jamie Bernstein as consultant, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In addition to over 60 symphonic performances in the 2019-2020season, Steven will conduct ballet productions of The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, and will collaborate with renowned American composer Ricky Ian Gordon in a production of his opera “27.” 

Steven Byess is sponsored by the Grandchildren & Great-Grandchildren of Marjorie Beam, Podium Sponsors

Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards

Music Director Emeritus and Principal Guest Conductor

Huw Edwards was the Music Director of the Portland Columbia Symphony from 2000 to 2012, and after his final concert was immediately named the Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus and Principal Guest Conductor. From 2002 to 2005 Mr. Edwards was Music Director of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and a faculty member at the Marrowstone Music Festival from 1998-2005. Mr. Edwards moved to Seattle after seven wonderful seasons (1995-2002) as Music Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, a tenure which included numerous innovations, recordings, a coveted ASCAP Award and landmark tours to Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The 2019/2020 Season is the seventeenth and final one for Huw Edwards as Music Director of the Olympia Symphony. In September 2019, Huw opted-out of his long-term contract, deciding it was time to move on, having been at the helm of the Olympia Symphony since winning the season-long audition in 2003.

Active as a guest conductor and clinician Mr. Edwards has performed with numerous orchestras all over the world – including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, the British Isles, Canada, and throughout the USA. Huw has felt enriched teaching music courses at the South Sound Senior Center, which he continues to do in this valedictory year.

Born in Wales, Great Britain, Mr. Edwards holds degrees from the University of Surrey in England and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Mr. Edwards was also a lecturer at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Doctoral candidate (1991-95). Mr. Edwards has been active as a conductor since the age of 17 when he was appointed Music Director of the Maidstone G&S Society in England—a post he held for six years—and came to the United States in 1988 on scholarship to attend SMU in Texas. He is deeply indebted to his principal teachers: Simon Johnson and Barry Wordsworth (London), Anshel Brusilow and Eduardo Mata (Dallas), and Victor Yampolsky (Chicago).

Huw enjoys travel and discovery, golf with close buddies, his wine-group friends, rejuvenating sessions at The Yoga Loft, and is looking forward to the freedom of simplicity by spending more of his time with family near London and revisiting places in Europe.

Victoria Racz

Victoria Racz

Principal Oboe (2020-2021)

Victoria Racz, B.M., M.M., was the principal oboist, featured soloist, and General Manager of the Oregon Chamber Players for the complete existence of the ensemble (1995-2014). She played principal oboe and was a soloist twice with the Newport Symphony (from 1995 – 2011). She has played oboe and English horn with Oregon Symphony, Columbia Symphony, American Metropole Orchestra, and other groups in the region, including the Oregon Chorale.  She is principal oboist with the Portland Festival Symphony, Portland Summerfest Opera, Portland Phoenix Choral Union, Vancouver Master Chorale, and is also the oboist with the Con Grazia Wind Quintet, the OCP Quartet, Sirens Trio, Double Reed Divas, and Trio Adrato. She was a featured soloist with the ISing Choir in 2019, and was scheduled to appear again as a soloist in 2020 when Covid hit… She has performed with a diverse range of artists including performers such as Jane Siberry, Roberta Flack, Martha Reeves, Kurt Elling, and Jessye Norman.

She is the co-founder, General Manager, and primary wind coach for the Junior Symphony of Vancouver. Through her annual Northwest Oboe Seminar, she has worked and performed with several world-renowned artists including Humbert Lucarelli, Allan Vogel, Dan Stolper, Nancy Rumbel, Alex Klein, and John Mack, among others.

Currently serving a one-year term.

Dawn Carter

Dawn Carter

Concertmaster

Dawn Carter has been serving as the concertmaster of Portland Columbia Symphony since 2004. She has had the honor of being concertmaster for the Vancouver Symphony, Portland State University Orchestra, and Portland Youth Philharmonic. Ms. Carter performed with the Oregon symphony for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. She has also played numerous performances with the Honolulu Symphony, Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Boise Philharmonic.

In 2008, Dawn founded the Chamber Music Camp of Portland and Stradivari Academy, where she teaches and runs a chamber music program for 110+ students each summer. At this festival, she has also performed chamber music with artists Diane Chaplin, Hamilton Cheifetz, Fritz Gearhart, and Brian Quincey. She loves teaching and helping students move from beginning chamber groups to professional players.

Dawn received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music in Violin Performance at Portland State University where she studied with Carol Sindell. She has also studied and played in numerous master classes for teachers including Joseph Gingold, James Buswell, Herbert Greenberg, and Michael Foxman. Ms. Carter has been the recipient of full scholarships to the Great Woods Institute of Music outside of Boston, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas, and the National Orchestra Institute in Maryland, where she performed under the batons of Yoel Levi and Catherine Comet.

Ms. Carter was part of the Portland delegation that toured Sapporo, Japan in 1993, playing concerts during the 35th anniversary of the Sister City program between Portland Sapporo. In 1989 she toured in Europe as concertmaster of the Portland Youth Philharmonic and performed in 5 countries and in many halls including Bruckner Hall.

Dawn and her husband Jonathan are the parents of four children: Katie, Isabelle, and twins Jackson and Jessica Adeline. Dawn loves to play chamber music with her children.

Stephen Shepherd

Stephen Shepherd

Assistant Concertmaster

Stephen Shepherd has performed throughout the country since leaving Kansas City, MO for the University of Iowa where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in music performance. He relocated to Pittsburgh, PA to work towards a Master’s in Music performance and Artist Diploma degrees, and, upon receiving them, decided to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Iowa, completing the terminal degree in 2003. His orchestral playing includes several seasons with the Westmoreland, Wheeling, and Cedar Rapids symphonies and the Cedar Rapids Opera Orchestra before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2003. In addition to serving as Assistant Concertmaster for Portland Columbia Symphony this season, Stephen has served as the concertmaster of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra in McMinnville, OR, is a regular performer with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and is the Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver (WA) Symphony. He is fortunate to have a lovely wife, Lanette and two daughters, Josie and Jasmine

Marya Kazmierski

Marya Kazmierski

Assistant Concertmaster

No bio available.

Marya Kazmierski’s chair is sponsored by Carey and Cameron Wiley

Jody Morrissette

Jody Morrissette

Principal Violin II

Jody Morrissette joined the Portland Columbia Symphony as principal second violin in 2002. Prior to moving to Portland, she played professionally in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Topeka, and New York. Originally from Buffalo, Ms. Morrissette holds degrees in music and music therapy. As a board certified music therapist, she has worked in pediatric intensive care, oncology, Alzheimer care, special education, and music theater for adults with disabilities. With violin in hand, previous memorable experiences include the honor of a duet performance with Isaac Stern, the eccentric world of studio recording in Hollywood, theater and opera orchestras, chamber groups, radio, schools, movie soundtracks, playing Irish tunes on the roof of the car in traffic jams, and of course family weddings. When not performing, Jody enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family.

Jody Morrissette’s chair is sponsored by Richard & Linda Luce, in honor of Audrey & Leah Morrissette

Alberta Barnes has been a violinist with Portland Columbia Symphony since 2015. Originally from Boise, Idaho, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Violin Performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. She currently freelances in the Portland area, and is also a core member of the Newport Symphony. Between gigs, she works full time in the ophthalmic field. When she isn’t playing the violin, she enjoys spending time with family and working at various local craft fairs with her sister.

Alberta Barnes’ chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou.

Portland Columbia Symphony violinist Brian Bennett plays many musical roles in the Portland area, including concertmaster for Washington Chamber Orchestra (Bravo! Concerts Northwest) and section violinist with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Oregon Coast Music Festival Orchestra. In addition to his private violin and guitar studios, he also teaches violin and theory at Portland’s Community Music Center. Holding a great passion for writing music, Brian is President of MusicTools Software, which creates innovative composition applications. He enjoys art and literature, and loves the outdoors, gem hunting, and photography.

Brian Bennett’s chair is sponsored by Laura Spurrell/Micah Fund, OCF

No bio available.

Susan Charon’s chair is sponsored by Alyson Austin

No bio available.

Elizabeth Doty’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

Stacy Edgar

Stacy Edgar

Violin & Personnel Manager

No bio available.

Stacy Edgar’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

Erin Ferree, a native of Las Vegas, began her violin studies at the age of eight, and received her Bachelor of Music Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She has taught string orchestra in the Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, Washoe County School District in Nevada, North Clackamas School District in Oregon, and the Evergreen Public Schools in Washington. As a clinician, she has judged orchestra festivals and Solo and Ensemble festivals in Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Erin’s performance journey has taken her all over the United States, as well as to France and Costa Rica. An Oregon resident since 2001, she has performed with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Bravo! Vancouver, and Oregon Chamber Players. She also enjoys playing chamber music whenever possible.

When not teaching, practicing, or performing, she can be found perfecting her scone recipe or exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter. Erin has been a proud member of Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra since 2002.

Betsy Hatton

Betsy Hatton

Violin

Executive Director Emeritus

Betsy Hatton was instrumental in formulating the by-laws, articles of incorporation of Portland Columbia Symphony, and authored its first five-year business plan. She also served on the long range planning committee that developed the first Board of Directors in 1992, served on the Board of Directors for six years, and was President of the Board for two years.

Ms. Hatton graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Romance Languages and Education. In addition to teaching, she has served as a consultant of major event planning for the March of Dimes and Cor-Events.

Ms. Hatton began her musical studies at age twelve. She has been a violinist with PCSO since 1986, and has played with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Yaquina Orchestra, Vancouver (WA) Symphony, and Eugene Symphony.

“It has been my privilege to be a part of PCSO on every level and to be the first Executive Director. It is my fondest continuing wish that we keep our orchestra and organization vital and strong. We have always used our mission statement as our guiding principle: To make quality music affordable, accessible, and in a friendly spirit. We believe that it takes both the musician and audience to create the magic of that intangible collective experience of sharing live music with other living and breathing human beings. I am confident in the continuing enrichment that music provides in all of our lives – and the important role that PCSO plays in the vibrant arts community that defines our region.”

In addition to music, Betsy is an avid cook and gardener happily growing most of her own spices and vegetables in her spare time. Betsy enjoys time with her children and grandchildren and of course her husband, Greg. (Secret pleasure – U of O sports – all of them!)

Betsy Hatton’s chair is sponsored by Terry & Bill Currier and Linda & Ron Greenman

At nine years old, Cherie was seduced by the sound of bluegrass fiddle, and begged her grandparents for a violin. In a hopeful effort to keep her off the streets, they gave in, and soon Cherie was “entertaining” her family with dubious efforts at such favorites as “Hot Cross Buns” and the ever-popular “Twinkle, Twinkle.”

Eventually the family grew weary of these time-tested tunes, so they sent Cherie off for private lessons with Lydia Woods (in Salem) in hopes she could learn something else. Much to their relief, she did.

At Southern Oregon State College, Cherie considered her talent as a violinist and decided the most prudent course of action was to major in Business Administration. Music, however, was always plucking at her heartstrings, so she took a minor in music, all the while taking lessons from Dr. Fred Palmer.

After graduating from college, Cherie started looking for work during the middle of a recession and was very fortunate to gain employment at Portland General Electric, where she performs daily as a communications support specialist in the Human Resources Department.

Cherie has been a member of Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra since about 1984 and has also subbed for many other local orchestras, playing both violin and viola (but not at the same time). She attends various workshops and camps during the year where she can feed her chamber music habit to her heart’s content.

Cherie Hull’s chair is sponsored by Myrna & George Hall

No bio available.

Jing Kappes’ chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

No bio available.

Sandra Ling’s chair is sponsored by Danielle & Marc Caplin and Roz & Irwin Caplin

No bio available.

Sally Mills’ chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Nic earned his Bachelor of Music at the University of Colorado, studying under Oswald Lehnert and members of the Takács Quartet. In the summers during his college years, Nic performed with the Colorado Light Opera and other local music festivals. Upon graduation, he played with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Boulder Chamber Orchestra. He then moved to Portland to study with Carol Sindell and to pursue his Master of Music at Portland State University. He currently runs his own private violin teaching studio and freelances with groups such as Portland Opera, Eugene Symphony, Vancouver (WA) Symphony, and others. On top of his teaching and orchestral playing, Nic runs his own video production company, enjoys playing chamber music with friends, and skis all over the Pacific Northwest.

Nic Price’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

No bio available.

No bio available.

Judy Rompa’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

Lori has been a core member of Portland Columbia Symphony since she arrived in Portland in 1986. She’s also a long-time member of the Newport Symphony, and has played with various other Portland-area groups over the years. Before coming to Oregon, Lori played with orchestras in Germany and in Delaware. She loves to play chamber music and is a member of several chamber ensembles.

Lori began her musical journey with piano and added violin at age eight thanks to the public school music program near Tacoma, WA. After graduating from high school and the Tacoma Youth Symphony she continued on to college and the University of Washington orchestra.

With a chemical engineering degree from the University of Washington, Lori worked as an engineer in Delaware, Germany, and Portland. She then delved into the non-profit realm with various environmental and sustainability projects. Lori and her husband have grown twin children and live in a house they built themselves, near Sherwood. They tend their young organic hazelnut orchard and like to hike when possible!

Lori Porter Stole’s chair is sponsored by J.E. Porter

Vicky Westerfield enrolled in a school-based strings class in the fifth grade. Not believing she really wanted to play, her mother put off getting Vicky an instrument until near year’s end, when Vicky auditioned with a friend’s instrument and won a solo that required her owning a violin. Her mother’s legendary response was: “You’re still in that class?” Vicky then begged for private lessons and her moher, finally seeing the determination, started her in private lessons with Laurie Cassella.

Vicky thrived as a student and had many wonderful musical experiences while growing up, including being a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, with whom she traveled to both Japan and Germany. During this time, she took private lessons from Raphael Spiro and was also closely mentored by Larry and Lorely Zgonc. Vicky eventually knew she wanted to major in music, and received a full scholarship from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she studied privately with Mark Rush and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Taking several years off to start a family, Vicky moved back to Portland with her husband and four children and over 60 birds (yes, you read that right!). She has played violin exclusively for the Portland Columbia Symphony since 2008. She also runs a business with her husband in the window covering industry. In her limited spare time, she teaches violin and viola privately, and races bikes all over the Northwest with her entire family providing year-round adventure! Unlike some of her family, she has not broken any bones yet … knock on wood (where’s that violin when you need it?).

Vicky Westerfield’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

Cynthia Scott

Cynthia Scott

Principal Viola

Cynthia Scott is currently principal violist in Portland Columbia Symphony. She also plays regularly with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Newport Symphony, the Oregon Coast Music Festival Orchestra, and the Chehalem String Quartet. She has previously been a member of the Portland Opera, the Oregon Ballet Theatre, the West Coast Chamber Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Cynthia teaches violin and viola in her own thriving studio, at the Community Music Center, and in the elementary strings program in the Lake Oswego School District. She is co-Director of the Oregon Suzuki Institute, a summer camp for Suzuki students of cello, piano, viola, and violin. She has been a clinician at the Anchorage Suzuki Institute and the Advanced Suzuki Strings Institute at Stanford University.

Cynthia graduated summa cum laude in violin performance from Lewis & Clark College and completed her Master’s in Music (with an emphasis on Suzuki pedagogy) at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, quilting, reading, and relaxing with her two cats.

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Cynthia Scott’s chair is sponsored by Joanne Scott

No bio available.

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Kim Burton’s chair is sponsored by Marva Petty and Tom Chau & Jessica Chou

“When my elementary school music teacher walked into my third grade class, I raised my hand and said I wanted to play the viola. Five years later I was accepted into the New York Youth Symphony. where I was introduced to challenging orchestral repertoire.” From there, violist Jean Daniels attended summer music programs at the Luzerne Music Center, the NY State Summer School for the Arts, and Tanglewood. In college, she continued playing viola but chose to pursue academic interests beyond music. Today, Jean works as a mental health therapist and nurse practitioner in private practice, and encourages her clients to follow their musical and artistic pursuits to promote mind-body connection, self-expression, and emotional balance. Jean notes, “Playing with PCSO does all these things for me, and I’m grateful to the donors and audience members who support us!”

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Mike Goffe

Mike Goffe

Viola & Orchestra Librarian

Mike has been playing viola in Portland Columbia Symphony since 2010, officially joining PCSO as a section player in 2012, and most recently, assuming the responsibilities of Music Librarian. In addition to being an avid chamber musician, he also plays locally in the Tualatin Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Oregon Coast Symphony, and has played previously in the Vancouver (WA) and Susanville symphony orchestras, the Ruby Mountain Symphony (Elko, NV), and the Foundation Orchestra Association in Reno, Nevada. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Arts and Letters and minored in Viola and Vocal (tenor) Performance at Portland State University in 2007, and has had the honor of studying with Joël Belgique in Portland and Ginny Tilton and Soo Kyong Kim in Reno.

When he’s not busy geeking out musically, Mike is typically in a Business Analyst role by day. He enjoys many extracurricular activities including playing chess, bridge, and cribbage, all at tournament level, playing video games, and Zumba. He also has extensive interests in the Sciences and loves to travel abroad.

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Mike Goffe’s chair is sponsored by Adele & Ted Pelletier

No bio available.

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Amy Roesler’s chair is sponsored by Rita & Donald Duplessie

Charlyn has played the viola since the seventh grade, and orchestra and chamber music have always provided an enjoyable avocation for her. She was principal viola in the Palatine Hill (Portland Columbia Symphony) until 1987, when she started her career in nursing. She was also a member of the Portland Opera for 12 years, and rejoined Portland Columbia Symphony in 1997. Playing chamber music continues to be a passion as well; currently she plays in the Trillium Piano Quartet.

As a nurse she worked for Legacy Health for 32 years, in Pediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, and for the Legacy Cancer Institute. She is also involved in disaster preparedness and response activities in Tualatin.

Her other enjoyable pursuits include travel, beading, and cooking. She shares daily life with her husband and two cats.

The Viola Section is sponsored by Doug and April Westervelt

Charlyn Wilson’s chair is sponsored by Jeffrey Schwartz

Barbara Johnston

Barbara Johnston

Principal Cello

Barbara Johnston has appeared frequently as a soloist with numerous orchestras in the Northwest. Her solo appearances with Portland Columbia Symphony, Sinfonia Concertante Chamber Orchestra, and the Newport, Willamette Falls and Cascade symphonies have included works by Schumann, Elgar, Bloch, Creston, Boccherini, Moor, Vivaldi, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Haydn, and Richard Strauss.

Barbara studied music at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Guildhall School in London. Among her teachers were Colin Hampton of the Griller Quartet, William Pleeth of London’s Allegri Quartet, and Raymond Davis, principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony. She has played with the Oregon Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

In addition to her work as principal cellist with Portland Columbia Symphony, she is a founding member and principal cellist of the Newport Symphony Orchestra. She also plays with the Element String Quartet of Newport and the Chehalem String Quartet of Portland.

Barbara lives in Scappoose with her husband, Craig, the principal timpanist of Portland Columbia Symphony. She recently retired from her law practices in Oregon and Washington, giving her additional time to devote to chamber music, as well as gardening, traveling, sailing, and writing.

Barbara Johnston’s chair is sponsored by George & Susan Stonecliffe

Kyle joined the cello section of Portland Columbia Symphony in 2015. During the day, he is a practicing attorney with an emphasis in real estate law, making sure to leave time for practicing and performing on the side. Born and raised in Portland, Kyle performed with the Portland Youth Philharmonic and was cello section leader in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony his senior year of high school. During that time, he benefited from his studies with Hamilton Cheifetz. He went on to earn a degree in cello performance at Brigham Young University – Idaho, studying with Robert Tueller. He was the winner of the music school’s concerto competition in 2007 and a quartet competition at Boise State University. He attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in the summer of 2008, and later earned his law degree at Brigham Young University law school. Scarcely a year has gone by since starting the cello at age 11 that Kyle has not been performing with an orchestra of some kind. In addition to PCSO, Kyle performs with ARCO-PDX and welcomes the opportunity to perform in chamber and orchestral settings. He lives in Sherwood, Oregon with his wife, Kellie and two children, Wesley and Ella.

Kyle Grant’s chair is sponsored by Brad Oliver in memory of Kathryn Oliver

No bio available.

Isaiah Hsu’s chair is sponsored by Brad Oliver in memory of Kathryn Oliver

Born in Xinjiang, China, Quinn Kun Liu began her cello studies at age of eight and won her first cello competition at ten. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China and Master’s Degree from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where she received a full scholarship.

As an orchestra musician, Quinn has played in a variety of orchestras such as San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Inland Valley Symphony, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra and Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in China. Quinn is an active chamber musician and she has been invited to perform in several music festivals in the U.S. and Asia. In addition to music performance, Quinn is very experienced in teaching cello as well as working in music administration. In 2013, she was nominated to coach the cello section in Kurt Sassmannshaus’ Starling Foundation in Cincinnati. In the area of administration, Quinn has been the executive assistant of the Great Wall International Music Academy since 2012. In February 2015, she was the administrative assistant in the Virtuoso Music Academy.

Quinn moved to Portland, Oregon in 2017 and joined Portland Columbia Symphony in 2019. Currently, Quinn manages her home studio in the Bethany area, and has worked as the executive assistant at the Bravo! International Music Academy since 2016.

Aside from music, Quinn has a great interest in fashion, travel, and fine food, and she also works as director of operations at Abroad & Future Inc. for International Education Programs.

A Midwest native, Anne has made Portland her home since 2015. She began her cello studies at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Wisconsin, and completed her B.M. in Cello Performance at DePaul University in Chicago. There, Anne studied with her beloved Gilda Barston, both in applied cello and in long-term Suzuki Pedagogy. Additional Suzuki training was completed with many prominent teachers at the both the Chicago and Oregon Suzuki Institutes. Studio teachers also included Joseph (Sam) Sciachitano, and in master class with Lynn Harrell.

In addition to her role with Portland Columbia Symphony, Anne has played summers with the Breval Music Festival Orchestra (NC), the Chicago Civic Symphony, the Idaho State Civic Symphony, and the Green Bay Symphony. She has also performed extensively in the Chicago area with many chamber ensembles.

Anne has pioneered and taught for numerous Suzuki cello programs, including the Chicago Music Institute, Chicago Waldorf School, Baker Demonstration School, Univ. of Wis.-Oshkosh, American Suzuki Institute, Idaho State University, Rose City Music Academy, and many wonderful Suzuki programs in the Chicago area. She served as director of the Idaho State Summer Music Camp, and has maintained private cello studios in Wisconsin, Illinois, Idaho, and now with her own Sato Cello Studio in Beaverton, Oregon. She is an active member of the OSA (Oregon Suzuki Association) and the SAA (Suzuki Association of the Americas).

In Chicago, Anne had an additional 15-year career as a massage therapist, and in Portland studied at the School of Traditional Western Herbalism. She adores gardening, loves cooking, and revels in the abundant nature of Oregon while hiking and gathering medicinal herbs. Her adult children and husband are the joys of her life.

Anne Sato’s chair is sponsored by Brad Oliver in memory of Kathryn Oliver

Karen is an avid chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. She enjoys recording and collaborating with various instrumentalists as well as playing all types of music. Karen performs with the Portland Cello Project, Portland Opera, Portland Columbia Symphony, Eugene Ballet, and Eugene Symphony. She coaches cello sectionals and gives techniques classes for several schools both in Portland and Vancouver. Karen has served as co-director of the Vancouver Youth Chamber Orchestras program and is a member of the faculty for the Chamber Music Camp of Portland.

Karen attended Northern Illinois University at the invitation of cellist Marc Johnson and was privileged to work with all the members of the Vermeer String Quartet. She graduated in 2005 with a Master’s of Music in Cello Performance. Karen performs with an 1840 cello by Jacob Fendt and a ca. 1900 bow by André Vigneron.

Over a period spanning several years Karen spent two months in Europe, which included observing the teaching of Robert Nagy, a principal cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic. During this time she also had the opportunity to interact with the private teachers and chamber music coaches at the Südsteirische Musiktage Festival in Austria founded by Wolfgang Klos, violist in the Vienna String Trio.

In the summer of 2012 Karen was selected to attend the National Summer Cello Institute. While there she had the privilege to work with cellists Richard Aaron, Timothy Eddy, Ralph Kirshbaum and Uri Vardi. She also participated in an enlightening Feldenkrais workshop with Hagit Vardi.

When she is not teaching or performing Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, double bassist Andrew Harmon, and their beautiful Haitian daughter, Estere. She also loves cooking –  Karen received professional plant-based culinary certification in 2014 – honing her food photography skills, hiking, biking, and practicing yoga, along with taking taoist tai chi and awareness through body movement classes.

Karen Schulz-Harmon’s chair is sponsored by Brad Oliver in memory of Kathryn Oliver

Marc Bescond

Marc Bescond

Principal Double Bass

No bio available.

The Double Bass Section is sponsored by Davida & Slate Wilson, MD

A.G. Harmon

A.G. Harmon

Double Bass

Andrew Harmon is a double bass performer and teacher in the Portland area, where he plays with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Tacoma, and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles. He joined Portland Columbia Symphony in 2019. Before moving to Portland, Andrew was principal bass of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra from 2012–2015 and a member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra (Springfield) from 2008-2015. He has also performed with the Rockford Symphony, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Opera Illinois, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, Madison Symphony (WI) and International Beethoven Project. He has been a clinician with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (Portland), Vancouver Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver and Lake Oswego school districts. A St. Louis native, Andrew studied with members of the St. Louis Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera. He earned a B.A. in English and music from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and a MA in the humanities from the University of Chicago. In his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking and biking with his wife (PCSO cellist Karen Schulz-Harmon) and young daughter Estére.

The Double Bass Section is sponsored by Davida & Slate Wilson, MD

Dave Knaub

Dave Knaub

Double Bass

Double bassist David Knaub grew up around the fringes of the Eastman School of Music where his father taught, and was babysat by some of the finest future brass players of the world. His long but narrow fingers and his orthodontist directed young David’s interests away from low brass and towards the double bass. “It’s kind of similar,” he says. “The pieces with really good trombone parts usually have really good bass parts too.”

Among his teachers have been bass players from the Rochester Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony. David performed seven seasons with the Houston Civic Symphony and the Houston Sinfonietta, and has played with Portland Columbia Symphony since 1989. Demonstrating the versatility of the double bass, he has also played in a big band, a cowboy band, a blues band, and in pit orchestras for musicals.

David is a retired mechanical engineer, and holds 43 patents. When not practicing, he enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, and restoring an old house with his biggest fan, Katie.

The Double Bass Section is sponsored by Davida & Slate Wilson, MD

David Knaub’s chair is sponsored by Bass Angels

Erik Mimnaugh

Erik Mimnaugh

Double Bass

No bio available.

The Double Bass Section is sponsored by Davida & Slate Wilson, MD

Liberty Broillet

Liberty Broillet

Principal Flute

Raised in the Portland area, Liberty Broillet attended Jefferson High School’s Arts Magnet program, was a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and attended Portland State University studying music performance. In addition to playing principal flute in Portland Columbia Symphony, Liberty is principal flute in the Portland Festival Symphony and plays piccolo with both the Yakima and Newport symphonies. Liberty is a sought-after flute clinician and private flute teacher, and in her free time (haha) she enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and two children.

Liberty Broillet’s chair is sponsored by Jean & Rick Collins

Gail Gillespie

Gail Gillespie

Flute & Piccolo

Second flute and piccolo player Gail Gillespie moved to Portland in 2009, shortly after retiring as principal flute of the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in Washington, D.C. During her 30-year tenure there, she served 26 years as principal flute, and was often featured as a soloist with both the band and White House chamber orchestra. Born in Hawaii, Gail received her Bachelor of Music in Performance, with honors, from the New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her primary flute instructors include Jean Harling, Paula Robison, James Pappoutsakis, and Toshiko Kohno. Since “retiring” to Portland, Gail has been an active freelance musician, subbing with the Oregon, Newport, and Vancouver symphonies, as well as other groups in the area. A member of the Portland Columbia Symphony since 2013, Gail also teaches flute lessons in a studio in NE Portland.

Gail sings alto in the choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in NE Portland, and often plays flute during services there. The kindness and beauty of Oregon bring her great joy.

Gail Gillespie’s chair is sponsored by Col. Mary J. Mayer, USAF (Ret.)

Alicia Charlton

Alicia Charlton

Principal Clarinet

Orchestra representative

After a very long hiatus, Alicia Charlton finally came to her senses and joyfully picked up her clarinet again! Principal clarinet of PCSO since 2010, Alicia is an active freelance musician, teacher, and clinician in the Portland area, and currently serves as the Orchestra Representative to the PCSO Board. Alicia also holds positions with Portland Chamber Orchestra and Newport Symphony, and is a regular substitute with the Portland Opera orchestra. She has performed in numerous orchestras and musical theater productions, including the Oregon, Portland Festival, Vancouver, and Walla Walla symphonies, Broadway Rose, Lakewood, and Clackamas Repertory theatres, Pixie Dust Productions, and Mock’s Crest’s Gilbert & Sullivan productions. Alicia also delights in exploring the chamber music repertoire with various ensembles at every opportunity, especially with her quartet, Clarinets à la Mode, and with the PCSO Wind Quintet. She has attended the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music Summer Festival in New Hampshire, several International Clarinet Association conferences, and is a regular participant at Into the Woods, a local chamber music retreat, where she plays her heart out with like-minded chamber music aficionados.

The Clarinet Section is sponsored by Randy & Laurie Dunn

Alicia Charlton’s chair is sponsored by Johnny & Donald Adamson

Steve Gordon began his musical education on the accordion at the age of seven, started playing the clarinet in grade school, and took up the saxophone in high school. As principal clarinetist in the Marin Youth Orchestra, his solo performances included Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, and Harp by Aaron Copland, Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes, and Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante.

In college he honed his skills on all three instruments, playing periodic gigs in California’s wine country and becoming a member of the award-winning UC Berkeley jazz ensembles. Experience with the jazz ensembles included backing up Sonny Rollins, Hubert Laws, Ed Shaughnessy, and Freddie Hubbard in the 70’s. He also played accordion, clarinet, and saxophone in vaudeville shows at Harvey’s Casino in Lake Tahoe and with a traveling circus for two months during three summers.

After college, Steve attended medical school at UCLA. Music took a back-seat to medical studies for the next several years as he completed a residency at OHSU and established his medical practice. After a hiatus of about 10 years, the lure of music became too difficult to resist and he re-entered the music scene. He has been an active member of Clarinets à la Mode, a chamber music group featuring four clarinets, since 2000. He became a regular member of Portland Columbia Symphony in 2014, and recently joined the Ne Plus Ultra Jass [sic] Orchestra, in which he plays clarinet and alto saxophone.

Steve has played accordion at local restaurants and at charity events, and enjoys a world-wide audience on YouTube. This medium brought him to the attention of a movie producer who selected his original composition and performance of “Ravenna” for use in the Sony Pictures Movie Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014). His performances of a variety of music genres on different accordions have a combined total of over 500,000 views.

The Clarinet Section is sponsored by Randy & Laurie Dunn

Steve Gordon’s chair is sponsored by Tom Chau & Jessica Chou, Valri & Vincent Chiappetta, and Susan & William Smith

Dagny Rask Regan, a native Portlander, is now in her 20th season with Portland Columbia Symphony as second oboe. She is a freelance musician and teacher in the Portland area, with a full music studio of 48 oboes, bassoons, and pianists. She also holds a position as bassoonist with the Bach Cantata Choir Orchestra. She has performed with the Portland Festival Symphony, Portland Singing Christmas Tree, Portland Christian Center, and Oregon Chamber Players, and has subbed with Vancouver (WA) and Newport symphonies. Dagny also plays in several smaller chamber ensembles, including Bassoon Conspiracy and the Double Reed Divas.

Before Dagny joined PCSO, she sang and played for dozens of weddings and wrote award-winning songs. Her husband Mike is a retired band director and the bass player for the band, Crazy 8s, and their son Kenny is an active composer in the L.A. area. When she’s not playing or teaching music, Dagny retreats to her beach condo in Lincoln City. She enjoys reading, cooking, and running.

Dagny Rask Regan’s chair is sponsored by Rita & Donald Duplessie and Molly Hammill & Clive Kienle

Ann van Bever

Ann van Bever

English Horn

Attorney (Ret.)

Ann van Bever has played English horn in Portland Columbia Symphony since 2002. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and has a law degree from Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee, WI). She practiced law for 17 years before returning to music as a full-time profession. In addition to Portland Columbia Symphony, she plays oboe and oboe d’amore in the Bach Cantata Choir Orchestra and principal oboe in the Oregon East Symphony (Pendleton), and enjoys chamber music as a member of the Double Reed Divas and the Meadowlark Ensemble. She is a busy freelance player throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington and teaches a small studio of private oboe students.

Ann and her husband, Peter, are avid supporters of music in Portland. Both have served on the board of Chamber Music Northwest, Peter has served on the Portland Opera board, and Ann is a member of the PCSO board. Since 1983, she has attended an annual summer chamber music camp in Vermont and in 1997 started a similar chamber music camp in the Portland area called “Into the Woods.” Before moving to Portland in 1993, Ann lived in California, Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin, and was an active musician and supporter of the arts in each of the communities she lived in. In addition to music, she loves food, traveling, reading, and word games.

Ann van Bever’s chair is sponsored by Peter van Bever

Victoria Racz

Victoria Racz

Principal Oboe (2020-2021)

Victoria Racz, B.M., M.M., was the principal oboist, featured soloist, and General Manager of the Oregon Chamber Players for the complete existence of the ensemble (1995-2014). She played principal oboe and was a soloist twice with the Newport Symphony (from 1995 – 2011). She has played oboe and English horn with Oregon Symphony, Columbia Symphony, American Metropole Orchestra, and other groups in the region, including the Oregon Chorale.  She is principal oboist with the Portland Festival Symphony, Portland Summerfest Opera, Portland Phoenix Choral Union, Vancouver Master Chorale, and is also the oboist with the Con Grazia Wind Quintet, the OCP Quartet, Sirens Trio, Double Reed Divas, and Trio Adrato. She was a featured soloist with the ISing Choir in 2019, and was scheduled to appear again as a soloist in 2020 when Covid hit… She has performed with a diverse range of artists including performers such as Jane Siberry, Roberta Flack, Martha Reeves, Kurt Elling, and Jessye Norman.

She is the co-founder, General Manager, and primary wind coach for the Junior Symphony of Vancouver. Through her annual Northwest Oboe Seminar, she has worked and performed with several world-renowned artists including Humbert Lucarelli, Allan Vogel, Dan Stolper, Nancy Rumbel, Alex Klein, and John Mack, among others.

Currently serving a one-year term.

Margaret McShea

Margaret McShea

Principal Bassoon

Margaret McShea hails from Texas, where she received her degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Texas in Austin. She and her trombonist husband moved to the Pacific Northwest long enough ago to have a native Oregonian son and are never moving again!

Margaret plays both bassoon and contrabassoon with regional symphonies such as the Vancouver (WA) Symphony and Oregon State University Orchestra, and she is also a chamber music specialist, performing regularly with several groups, including the PCSO Wind Quintet, which does outreach to children through concerts in schools and libraries around Oregon. She has a soft spot for vocal works, and has enjoyed being in the “pit” for countless musical theater and opera productions, as well as on the stage with local choral groups Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Oregon Repertory Singers, Willamette Master Chorus, Bravo Vancouver, Portland Vocal Consort and Portland Symphonic Choir. In the past few years, she has also branched out into studio recording and music videos with groups such as ARCO-PDX.

When not playing music, Margaret can be found in the great outdoors, gardening or camping and hiking with family and friends.

The Bassoon Section is sponsored by Diana & William Dameron

Nicole Buetti

Nicole Buetti

Bassoon & Contrabassoon

Nicole Buetti has composed extensively for chamber ensembles and large ensembles of various configurations, as well as children’s music and music for media. She spent several years in the Los Angeles area working as a composer in the film and television industries, and has had music commissioned and licensed for use all over the world. She has been honored for her film score work at the Wild Rose International Film Fest, Dodge Grant Association, and Telly Awards Association.

Nicole co-owns Goes to Eleven Media, a music and media company specializing in recorded music for film and television and children’s educational songs.  In 2017, she released her 6th album of songs for kids called Just Be You! which was honored with both a Parent’s Picks Award for Top 5 Best Preschool and Elementary Music CD’s of 2018 and a 2017 Educational CD of the Year by Creative Child Magazine. Her song “Halloween Masquerade Waltz” won Fan Favorite in the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards’ Best Holiday Song category.

In addition playing contrabassoon and bassoon in Portland Columbia Symphony, Nicole performs in the Vancouver (WA) Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, and the Oregon Coast Music Festival, and is an active freelancer in both Oregon and Washington as well as abroad. She has performed with the Haydn Music Festival Orchestra in Vienna, and as a soloist and chamber music artist with the Assisi Performing Arts Festival in Italy, where she was appointed Composer in 2013. Nicole has also published several works for chamber groups and wind bands, which are available from Forton Music, Brotons-Mercadal Publishing and JW Pepper.

When she is not composing or performing, Nicole teaches bassoon at the University of Portland and has her own private teaching studio. She believes aspiring musicians should be open to different musical experiences – embrace the weird and whimsical. She loves being involved in all styles and genres of music especially music for children.

The Bassoon Section is sponsored by Diana & William Dameron

Steve Hayworth

Steve Hayworth

Principal Horn

No bio available.

The French Horn Section is sponsored by Drs. Karen & Cliff Deveney, & the OHSU Department of Surgery

Jill Torberson

Jill Torberson

French Horn

Jill Torberson has been playing with the horn section of Portland Columbia Symphony for over 20 years. Aside from PCSO, she plays in the Northwest Horn Orchestra and the Portland Festival Orchestra, which performs free concerts in city parks every August around Portland.

Jill is also a visual artist, working primarily in steel. Her sculpture and custom steel fabrication can be seen throughout Portland. She is a licensed contractor, and has many works in both private and public collections. Many say that her artworks have a very musical feel to them, which is no wonder, as music plays a major part in her life.

The French Horn Section is sponsored by Drs. Karen & Clifford Deveney, & the OHSU Department of Surgery

Jill Torberson’s chair is sponsored by Steve Cox & Paul J. Smith

Douglas Riggs

Douglas Riggs

French Horn

No bio available.

The French Horn Section is sponsored by Drs. Karen & Cliff Deveney, & the OSHU Department of Surgery

Doug Riggs’ chair is sponsored by Carole & Wendell Cook/Nancy’s Flowers

No bio available.

The French Horn Section is sponsored by Drs. Karen & Cliff Deveney, & the OHSU Department of Surgery

James Smock

James Smock

Principal Trumpet

Trumpeter James Smock has enjoyed a varied career playing for symphony orchestras, Elvis tribute artists, chamber ensembles, and rodeo bands. Since 2010 Mr. Smock has been the principal trumpet of the Portland Chamber Orchestra, with concert highlights including “Frankenstein!” (H.K. Gruber) and “The Diary of Anne Frank” (Grigory Frid). James is also an audience favorite at the PCO’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Mr. Smock has toured internationally with the acclaimed, award winning Elvis tribute artist Justin Shandor, and can also be heard serenading oxen and wild horses every year at the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show at the famous Pendleton Round-Up. He’s played with the Boise Philharmonic, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Oregon Symphony, the Chicago and Washington chamber orchestras, and the Britt Festival Orchestra.

James lives outside Longview, Washington with his beloved wife Rebekah and the savage feline Zuul. He has been principal trumpet of Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra since 2018.

The Trumpet Section is sponsored by The Walker Family Foundation

Joe Klause received his Bachelor’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston after having graduated from the Pre-College Program at Juilliard in New York. At the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, he continued his studies receiving a Master’s Degree in Dalcroze Eurhythmics (the study of music through movement) and an Artist Diploma in Chamber Music (with the Redline Brass Quintet, of which he is a founding member). After his time at music school, Joe put his skills to good use and built an ice cream sandwich business, Peace Pie, which now has five stores in three states up and down the East Coast. Feeling satisfied that he scooped enough ice cream, Joe moved to Oregon in 2017 to follow his passion for music.

Aside from performing with Portland Columbia Symphony, Joe is a regular performer with the Eugene Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Astoria Music Festival, and the Sun River Music festival. He is a member of the Rose City Brass Quintet, Rose City Brass Trio, and the Portlandia Brass Ensemble. He also performs with many other local orchestras, musicals, wind ensembles and festivals in and around the Pacific Northwest Aside from an extensive private studio, Joe teaches at the Community Music Center of Portland and was a Teaching Artist at the BRAVO youth orchestra program. He gives regular clinics at nine different Portland Metro area high schools, middle schools, colleges, and youth orchestras. Joe is an endorsed Conn Selmer Bach artist.

The Trumpet Section is sponsored by The Walker Family Foundation

Jason is a proud member of Portland Columbia Symphony’s trumpet section. Also second trumpet in the Portland Choir Orchestra, Jason is an active freelance musician, and has performed with the Newport and Vancouver (WA) symphonies, as well as Symphony Tacoma. He has performed as a soloist with the Assisi Performing Arts Festival in Assisi, Italy, and can be heard on the popular children’s album Just Be You (by In A World Music Kids) on the album’s title track, “I’m Me.”  He has also done several other recordings for In A World , including “The Zombie Puppet Parade” and “Día de los Muertos.”

Jason received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Trumpet Performance from the University of Northern Colorado, and has studied primarily with Bill Pfund and Dr. Robert Murray. Originally from Colorado, Jason moved to the Portland area for a position at the Monette trumpet company, where he is the Operations Manager.

When not playing the trumpet, Jason can usually be found on the golf course and is the 2019 Club Champion at Camas Meadows. He also enjoys sampling the wines of the Pacific Northwest with his wife Nicole (bassoonist and contrabassoonist with PCSO).

The Trumpet Section is sponsored by The Walker Family Foundation

Greg Scholl

Greg Scholl

Principal Trombone

Greg Scholl has played trombone in Portland Columbia Symphony since 1996; he became principal trombone in 2000. He is also principal trombone in the Vancouver and Newport symphonies, and plays locally in the Portland Brass Quintet and the Portland Festival Symphony. He has performed with the Oregon Ballet Theatre, the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Willamette Master Chorus, and the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as the Oregon Repertory Singers and the Portland Symphonic Choir. Greg was formerly second trombone in the Austin Lyric Opera, and is currently the trombone and low brass instructor at Pacific University.

He obtained a trombone performance degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Donald Knaub. Prior to that he studied with Peter Kline and David Brown in San Antonio, TX. Greg plays in the Portland modern jazz duo Dos Hermanos de Hale Bopp. Greg also plays guitar and trombone in a variety of styles with local bands and performers the Rhythm Dogs, Goombahttsi, and Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Justin Shandor.

After rejecting the millions of dollars people offered him to play the trombone, Greg obtained a law degree in 1995 from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. During most business days he can be found practicing law as the director of the capital case team at the Metropolitan Public Defender. He enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, reading, camping and hiking, collecting things like Conan the Barbarian comic books, LP records, and concert recordings of the Grateful Dead, and being married to incredible principal bassoonist Margaret McShea.

The Trombone Section is sponsored by Mardy & Hank Stevens, in memory of Dr. Milton L. Stevens, Jr.

John Warton

John Warton

Trombone & Personnel Manager

No bio available.

The Trombone Section is sponsored by Mardy& Hank Stevens, in memory of Dr. Milton L. Stevens, Jr.

John Ohnstad

John Ohnstad

Bass Trombone

John joined Portland Columbia Symphony in August of 2014. In addition to performing in PCSO, John is also the bass trombonist for the Siletz Bay Music Festival, Big Horn Brass, Trombone 8, and the Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band, and is a founder of the Rose City Trombones. John has also performed with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, the Tucson, Vancouver, and Newport symphonies, the Oregon Ballet, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Opera, and the Oregon Symphony.

While attending the University of Arizona, John performed in all instrumental groups, musical performances, and opera productions. After graduating with a degree in Marketing and a Minor in Music Performance, John won an audition to perform in the Walt Disney World All-American Orchestra’s production of Celebrate Broadway. John has recorded three albums with the Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band and is a featured soloist on the latest album, Speak Low, Swing Hard.

John was recently selected by international audition as a Fellow for the Alessi Seminar, presented by Joseph Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic.

John continues to enjoy a fun and exciting career in sales as Director of Business Development for CAI Logistics. When not playing on his bass and contrabass trombones, John can be found with his lovely wife and two boys, and riding his really, really big bike.

The Trombone Section is sponsored by Mardy & Hank Stevens, in memory of Dr. Milton L. Stevens, Jr.

John Ohnstad’s chair is sponsored by Shelly & Howard Foreman

Jay Steele

Jay Steele

Principal Tuba

No bio available.

Jay Steele’s chair is sponsored by Catherine Holder

Craig Johnston

Craig Johnston

Principal Timpani

Craig Johnston has been principal timpanist with Portland Columbia Symphony since 1991. He and his wife Barbara (PCSO’s principal cellist) also are founding members of the Newport Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his musical career include playing for Gerhardt Samuel in the Bay Area Honor Orchestra as a student, for Michael Senturia and Igor Stravinsky at UC Berkeley, and with many other groups. A retired engineer, Craig is also a woodworker and a passionate cruising sailor, having sailed with Barbara extensively in the Northwest and made crossing of both the South Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Their two sons live in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Craig Johnston’s chair is sponsored by Col. Mary J. Mayer, USAF (Ret.) and George & Susan Stonecliffe

Mike Romanaggi

Mike Romanaggi

Principal Percussion

Mike is currently principal percussionist with Portland Columbia Symphony, where he’s been playing since 1990.

Mike holds a degree in Percussion Performance and Music Education from the University of Oregon and a Master’s Degree from Lewis & Clark College. He has performed with Vancouver Symphony, Portland Opera, Portland Festival Symphony, Yaquina Bay Symphony, the Oregon Symphony Pops Orchestra, as well as the Tualatin Valley and Willamette Falls symphonies. Mike has also played drum set with various rock and blues groups around the Portland area.

Mike is a retired music teacher from Portland Public Schools. He enjoys working on his house, exercising at his athletic club, and traveling around the world.

Mike Romanaggi’s chair is sponsored by Dr. Don Romanaggi, in loving memory of Marie Romanaggi

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

Percussion

Michael Charles Smith is a marimba soloist, film/media composer, singer-songwriter, and teacher residing in Portland, Oregon. His compositions have been used in commercials and documentaries for companies like Uber, Google, Snapchat, Audi, Adidas, Subaru, Umpqua Bank, Allstate Insurance, Weight Watchers, Intel, and more. He currently works as the composer for One Hundred Seconds documentaries.

As an accomplished marimba soloist, Michael covers everything from Bach to Radiohead and Ray Charles to George Gershwin, making him a hit with listeners of all ages. He performs solo marimba for wedding ceremonies, country clubs, business conferences, vineyards, and private parties.

Michael is the owner of MarimbaLab, a company that teaches music abilities through arrangements of popular music for marimba. All arrangements are published and are played by marimba groups all over the country. Currently MarimbaLab runs classes at Riverdale Grade School and High School in Portland. Kids become published arrangers at the age of 10!

Michael studied at the University of Oregon with Charles Dowd and at Portland State University with Joel Bluestone. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Music.

Mike Smith’s chair is sponsored by Carol Colleen and Barbara & Craig Johnston

Esther Shim

Esther Shim

Principal Piano

No bio available.

Esther Shim’s chair is sponsored by Sharlene & Doug DesRochers

Bethany Evans

Bethany Evans

Principal Harp

Bethany Evans, a native of Salem, Oregon, began her musical studies at age five. She started studying the harp four years later and found her passion. She received a B.M. in Harp Performance from the University of Arizona summa cum laude and graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the University of Oregon’s Master of Music program in Harp Performance. Ms. Evans also has a law degree from Willamette University College of Law, and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States, including with the World Harp Congress and the Oregon Bach Festival, and has multiple award-winning recordings. She has an active private teaching studio, and is on the faculty of Western Oregon University and Chemeketa Community College as harp instructor. Ms. Evans has an adult harp ensemble in her teaching studio, with which she frequently performs at memory care homes in the Salem area. She was principal harpist for the Salem Symphony, is the principal harpist for Salem Orchestra, and has been the harpist for Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra since 2014. Her greatest devotion is being a mom to her daughter, son, and the muse for much of the art by her amazing husband, Kamron Coleman.

Bethany Evans’ chair is sponsored by Col. Mary J. Mayer, USAF (Ret.)

Er-Gene Kahng is a violinist, researcher and professor whose work first came to light through her advocacy of African-American composer, Florence Price. Her recording of Price’s Violin Concertos has been cited and praised by sources such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The New York Times as an important contribution to American classical music, and has aired on programs like NPR’s Songs we Love, and APM’s Performance Today.

She has collaborated with organizations like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Hong Kong Arts Academy, Texas Ballet Theater, and the Banff Centre. Er-Gene is concertmaster of the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra; she has been involved with the North Mississippi, New Haven, Albany, Lancaster, Eastern Connecticut, Tulsa, Baton Rouge Symphonies and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Er-Gene aims to continue the work of equity, diversity and inclusion by exploring the ways contemporary American classical music can intersect with, and highlight, forgotten narratives of the past and thus shape the musical values of the present and future. Er-Gene is a former Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, and received degrees from UCLA, Yale and Northwestern Universities. She is Full Professor of Violin and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Born in San Francisco in 1968, Brett Deubner began his studies at the Eastman School of Music in New York where his principal teachers were Zvi Zeitlin on violin and Martha Katz and John Graham on viola. Since the world premiere performance and subsequent critical acclaim of Lalo Schifrin’s Triple Concerto with the Grammy award-winning New Jersey Symphony, he has gone on to perform world-wide as soloist with over 70 orchestras in 11 countries. Recent engagements include concerts with the Reading and Peninsula symphonies, the Oregon Sinfonietta, the Coastal Symphony of Oregon, the Bismarck Symphony, the Bemidji Symphony of Minnesota, Reus Festival in Spain, the Southern Cross Philharmonia of Australia, and the Suzhou Youth Symphony of China.

Deubner has a great commitment to chamber music and has worked with Pinchas Zukerman, André Michel-Schub, the Tokyo Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, and Colorado Quartet, as well as Guy Deplus, Alexander Fiterstein, Ransom Wilson, and Carol Wincenc. He was the founder of the Elements Quartet based in New York City which premiered new works by Lucas Foss, David Del Tredici, and David Sampson. These collaborations have taken him to the Kent-Blossom Festival, Norfolk, the Round Top Festival, and festivals in Sweden, Italy, and South America.

As a recording artist, Deubner has built an extensive discography of viola concerti, sonatas, chamber music, and solo works on Naxos, Albany, Innova, and Centaur. His most recent recording – three works for viola and orchestra by American composers Max Wolpert and Amanda Harberg, with the Southern Arizona Symphony – received universal acclaim: “Deubner’s strong tone, especially in the thin upper register, is notably exploited in these two concertos, but it is the warmth and body of texture he draws from his instrument makes compelling listening of whatever he is playing.” (Gramophone)

In 2015 Deubner received the Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his “commitment to cultural and musical exchange.” He is currently on the string faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City.

Trumpeter Ryan Anthony is noted for his varied career as soloist, educator, chamber musician and orchestral player.  After his departure from the world-renowned ensemble Canadian Brass, Anthony quickly became one of the most sought after trumpet players in America both as a soloist and orchestral player.

Ryan Anthony’s solo career started as a 16-year-old prodigy when he won the highly publicized Seventeen Magazine/General Motors Concerto Competition —the second person ever to win the Grand Prize after Joshua Bell.  Subsequent teenage appearances included major orchestras, New York radio features and private appearances in Washington D.C. including The White House and State Department. Over 30 states have heard Mr. Anthony as soloist in the last decade alone. The 2017-2018 Season will see the return of Mr. Anthony as soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, Bozeman Symphony Orchestra along with Dallas Wind Symphony, University of North Texas as featured artist for the National Trumpet Conference and United States Air Force Band as featured artist for the International Trumpet Guild Conference.

Ryan Anthony is currently Principal Trumpet with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and since his tenure has appeared as guest principal trumpet with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony as well as the sections of New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Anthony’s chamber career is extensive with multiple recordings as a member of Canadian Brass, Center City Brass Quintet, Burning River Brass, Brass Band of Battle Creek, International Celebrity Trumpet Ensemble, All-Star Brass and the duo ‘Anthony & Beard’.

As an educator he joined the faculty at Southern Methodist University in 2016. Mr. Anthony was Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music prior to joining the Canadian Brass and served as Artist/Faculty at North Carolina School of the Arts during 2004-2005. His master classes have spanned the globe to include leading conservatories in Europe, Asia, and North America. He is currently a Yamaha artist and has edited and recorded both the Haydn and Hummel Trumpet Concertos for Hal Leonard Publishing. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ryan Anthony received the school’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2001.

The Fall of 2012 brought a change to Mr. Anthony’s life and career with a diagnosis of an incurable cancer. After a stem cell transplant for Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow and blood) he started The Ryan Anthony Foundation 501(c)(3) non-profit organization using music to promote cancer research. The concerts called “CancerBlows” have taken off as an important vehicle for musicians and audiences to unite in finding a cure. The success of CancerBlows and Mr. Anthony’s work with patients through music helped give him the “Spirit of Hope” award in 2016. Mr. Anthony will receive the “Courage and Commitment” award in October 2017 at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s Gala in Greenwich, CT, performing with Tony Bennett.

Hailed as a “consummate artist — brilliant, formidable, effortless, and the epitome of control and poise,” Robert Henry is an internationally distinguished pianist, performing throughout the world as orchestral
soloist, recitalist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Since winning the Gold Medal in four International Piano Competitions, he has presented critically acclaimed solo debuts at Carnegie Hall, the
Kennedy Center, and concert tours of the U.S., England, Nova Scotia, and Italy. In 2010, Mr. Henry released his award-winning debut CD, Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz, which included a world premiere.
Future projects include a London debut in prestigious Wigmore Hall.

As educator and pedagogue, Robert Henry presents lectures, masterclasses, residencies, youth concerts, and has been featured in American Music Teacher. He has served as recitalist, clinician, and juror for state, regional, and national MTNA conventions and competitions. He is Artistic Director of the Great Performances Concert Series in Highlands, NC, and proudly serves as Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Henry earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. He is a Steinway Artist.

Bio to come.

Violinist Justin Bruns began violin studies at age three and won his first competition two years later. He made his solo debut with an orchestra at age nine and since then has appeared as soloist and recitalist in the US, England, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, and Peru.

Bruns joined the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in 2005 and in 2012 was appointed Concertmaster by Marin Alsop. He recently won the position of Associate Concertmaster with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra after serving a decade as Assistant Concertmaster there. Before moving to Atlanta, Bruns was Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Boulder Bach Festival. Bruns has been a guest concertmaster with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Louisville Orchestra, and São Paulo Symphony.

A devoted and very active chamber musician, Bruns has appeared with numerous ensembles including the Atlanta, Georgian, and Michigan Chamber Players, and at the Lake Tahoe and Savannah Music Festivals, San Miguel Chamber Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall. He has an affinity for the Brahms, Beethoven, and Mozart sonata cycles. During summers he has appeared at the Aspen, Beijing, BRAVO, Lakes Area, Music in the Mountains (Durango), Strings (Steamboat Springs), and Bellingham Music Festivals. This summer he performs at Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and the Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills as well as teaching at National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and NTSO Music Festival in Taiwan.

Bruns graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan and was awarded the top prize upon graduation, the Stanley Medal. He received his master’s degree from Rice University. Bruns has recorded with Pearl Jam, Faith Hill, and Bruce Springsteen. He has premiered solo and chamber works by Michael Gandolfi, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Kurth, Seyed Safavynia, and DJ Sparr.