Katy Ambrose is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Horn at the University of Iowa. During the Summers she is on faculty at Kendall Betts Horn Camp and NOW SummerFest. In addition to teaching, she is an active soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Dr. Ambrose has performed extensively around the world including tours in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Brazil, and the United States. She has held positions with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, New Orchestra of Washington, Victory Hall Opera, Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Philly Pops, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic (KY) and performed as a guest musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic, Orchestra Iowa, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Detroit Chamber Winds, Pennsylvania Ballet, Hawai’i Symphony and Opera, Chamber Music Honolulu, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Harrisburg Symphony, Vermont Symphony and the New Haven Symphony.
A passionate chamber musician, Katy currently plays with the University of Iowa faculty brass quintet, the Lanta Horn Duo, and Conica, a transcontinental natural horn quartet. She was a co-founder of Seraph Brass and Izula Horns, and has performed extended guest artist stints with District 5 wind quintet as a Featured Artist for the Virginia Arts Festival, and with Rêlache New Music Ensemble as a Resident Artist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
As a soloist and chamber musician she has been involved in commissions and world premieres of works by Alyssa Weinberg, Catherine Likhuta, Shawn Okpebholo, Rene Orth, Sarah DuBois, Rachel Devorah Wood Trapp, Lucy Pankhurst, and Katherine McMichael. Outside of the classical setting, Ambrose has played for Adele, Cee Lo Green, Andrea Bocelli, and as a recording artist for NFL Studios.
Violist Julia Bullard is an active solo, chamber and orchestral performer both in the US and abroad. As a chamber musician, she has performed as a guest with ensembles including the Aspen String Trio, the Maia Quartet, and the Arianna Quartet. She performs regularly as violist of Trio 826, whose first CD entitled Mosaic was released on the Blue Griffin label in 2016. The trio has toured across the US, as well as in South America and Europe. Julia has performed as a soloist with the Bogotá Chamber Orchestra (Colombia) and the UCS Symphony Orchestra (Caxias do Sul, Brazil), and in solo recitals in Colombia, Russia, and across the US. She has also performed with various orchestras, including Des Moines Metro Opera, the Cedar Rapids (IA) Symphony, Greenville Symphony (SC), Trenton Symphony (NJ), Macon Symphony (GA), Schenectady Symphony (NY), and Utica Symphony (NY).
Dr. Bullard received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Temple University in Philadelphia, and the DMA degree from the University of Georgia. Her principal teachers included violists Joseph dePasquale, Emanuel Vardi, Sidney Curtiss, and Mark Cedel, and violinist Levon Ambartsumian. From 2000-2022, Dr. Bullard served as viola professor at the University of Northern Iowa, and served for 10 years as the Associate Director for Graduate Studies at the UNI School of Music. Prior to joining the faculty at UNI, Dr. Bullard was a faculty member at Settlement Music School (Philadelphia), Temple University’s Preparatory Department (Philadelphia), and the University of Georgia Pre-College Program, among others. In addition to her work as a musician, Dr. Bullard is also a long-time student of the Alexander Technique, and in August will complete her 1600-hour teacher certification through the Minnesota Center for the Alexander Technique. Her Alexander teachers have included Brian McCullough, Lauren Hill, Tully Hall, Kathryn Zimmerman, and Harriet Harris. Dr. Bullard brings her knowledge of the Alexander Technique to her violin and viola teaching, to help students learn to move and play with ease and freedom, and to help prevent or recover from performance-related injuries.
Beginning in August 2022, Dr. Bullard will join the faculty of Kennesaw State University, just north of Atlanta, GA, as Professor and Assistant Director of the Bailey School of Music.
A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Hunter Capoccioni currently lives in Houston, Texas where he works as an Administrator for Rice University's Neuroengineering Initiative. He founded Cedar Valley Chamber Music in 2006 to bring more chamber music performance to the Cedar Valley and to use the portable nature of chamber music to bring music off the traditional concert stage and access different areas of the CV community.
As a musician, Dr. Capoccioni holds two degrees from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and holds a Doctorate in Music Performance from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. From 2003-2007 he served as Principal Double Bass of the Norrlands Opera Orchestra and the Norwegian Opera. After returning from Europe, Hunter spent seven years teaching the double bass studio at the University of Northern Iowa. During this time he served as Principal Double Bass of the WCF Symphony and was a regular section musician with the Des Moines Symphony. Dr. Capoccioni has performed as soloist with the UNI Symphony Orchestra, the UNI Wind Symphony, the WCF Symphony, and the Wartburg Community Orchestra.
Hunter continues to be an active chamber musician in Houston as a performer and administrator. Recent activities include work with the Midbass Trio, The Van Haydn Ensemble, and as his work as Executive Director of the Houston-based Axiom String Quartet. As a freelance musician he is a regular substitute musician with the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras. His teachers include Fred Reese, Gary Karr, Diana Gannett, Paul Ellison, and Michael Cameron.
Benjamin Coelho, Professor of Bassoon, has been at The University of Iowa since 1998. He has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, teacher and clinician in several countries including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Panama, Portugal, France, Romania, Australia, Canada and Czech Republic.
An avid chamber musician, he has performed with the Gramado Woodwind Quintet (Brazil), the Alaria Chamber Ensemble (New York) and the Contemporary Music Group of Minas Gerais (Brazil). As a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, Mr. Coelho performed numerous recitals and concert tours throughout the United States. The group won various chamber music competitions including Artists International, Coleman, and Monterey Peninsula Chamber Music Competition. In January of 1987 the quintet played a sold-out concert at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As a member of the group Wizards! A Double Reed Consort, Coelho has recorded two CDs released by Crystal and Boston Records in 2000 and 2003 respectively.
Mr. Coelho has written articles on bassoon performance and literature. His work has been published in the International Double Reed Society Journal, as well as the British Double Reed Society Journal. His article Francisco Mignone and the Sixteen Waltzes for Solo Bassoon has been translated into German, and published in the German double reed magazine ROHRBLATT. Before his position at The University of Iowa, Mr. Coelho was the Vice-Dean and Bassoon Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). He also worked extensively as a performer in his native Brazil, including principal positions with symphony orchestras in Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, and Belo Horizonte.
In the United State Mr. Coelho has played with the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony (Iowa), The Camerata Chamber Orchestra (Indiana), The Bloomington Pops Orchestra (Indiana), The Bronx Opera Company (New York), and Orchestra Iowa. Currently, he performs as the principal bassoon with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (Iowa/Illinois) and the Iowa Woodwind Quintet.
Alan Henson is the cello instructor at Grinnell College and has an active private studio in Ames. He is Principal Cellist of the Central Iowa Symphony, and plays double bass for touring Broadway shows at Des Moines Civic Center. He is former Principal Bassist of the Des Moines, Dubuque, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestras, and was the double bass instructor at University of Northern Iowa and cello instructor at Wartburg College in the 1990’s. He has performed with Cedar Rapids, West Virginia, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Shreveport symphonies, as cellist of the Blue Sage Piano Trio, and as guest artist with the Montclaire and Pioneer string quartets. He studied at CU Boulder, Rice University, and UW-Milwaukee. He received the Leopold La Fosse Studio Teacher of the Year award from Iowa String Teachers Association in 2016.Alan Henson is the cello instructor at Grinnell College and has an active private studio in Ames. He is Principal Cellist of the Central Iowa Symphony, and plays double bass for touring Broadway shows at Des Moines Civic Center. He is former Principal Bassist of the Des Moines, Dubuque, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestras, and was the double bass instructor at University of Northern Iowa and cello instructor at Wartburg College in the 1990s. He has performed with Cedar Rapids, West Virginia, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Shreveport symphonies, as cellist of the Blue Sage Piano Trio, and as guest artist with the Montclaire and Pioneer string quartets. He studied at CU Boulder, Rice University, and UW-Milwaukee. He received the Leopold La Fosse Studio Teacher of the Year award from Iowa String Teachers Association in 2016.
A Cedar Falls native, Hannah began studying violin at the UNI Suzuki School when she was five years old. She had the opportunity to study with a number of incredible teachers as she grew up, including Lisa Guttenburg, Therese Fetter, Dr. Julia Bullard, and Frederick Halgedahl. She went to the University of Minnesota to study with Mark Bjork, where she received her Bachelor’s deree in violin performance, and then decided to return to UNI to study under Dr. Ross Winter and pursue a Master’s degree in violin performance, which she completed in 2017.
Things have recently come full circle for Hannah, as she is currently teaching at the UNI Suzuki School, where she was a student for so many years. She is enjoying working alongside former teachers and watching students learn and grow their love for music. She also works for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony as the music librarian, preparing the music for the musicians for each concert set. In addition, Hannah plays and performs as much as she can with ensembles and orchestras throughout eastern Iowa.
Praised by critics as “poised, polished, and passionate” (The Washington Post), “a superb soloist” (The Boston Globe), and “a true virtuoso” (The San Francisco Chronicle), cellist Kacy Clopton has inspired audiences across Europe and North America as a creative and multi-faceted performer. Dr. Clopton has most recently held the position of Associate Principal Cello in the Jacksonville Symphony for the past three seasons, where she has worked extensively on educational outreach through community engagement with the symphony.
As the founding cellist of the award-winning Excelsa Quartet, Dr. Clopton has enjoyed an illustrious performing career as a chamber musician. Formed in 2009 while studying together at New England Conservatory, Excelsa Quartet went on to work closely with the Alban Berg Quartet at the Hochschule Köln in Germany for two years. They were recipients of several prestigious international awards while in residence in Europe, including the First Prize & Grand Prize at the 2011 Charles Hennen Competition in the Netherlands as well as Prix du Public at the 2010 Illzach Competition in France. In 2012, Excelsa Quartet returned to the United States and shortly thereafter were appointed as the Graduate Fellowship String Quartet at the University of Maryland. In 2015, the quartet competed as finalists in the renowned Franz Schubert & Modern Music Competition. The quartet performed and participated frequently in internationally distinguished festivals including the Britten-Pears Academy, Shouse Institute of the Great Lakes Festival, McGill International String Quartet Academy, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar. Excelsa Quartet was one of the only all-female string quartets whose members were each awarded doctorates.
As a soloist, Dr. Clopton has performed recitals on some of the most venerated stages around the world. She had the privilege of collaborating with famed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen and has given several prominent performances of his newest works for cello across the United States. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Maryland School of Music, a Masters in Chamber Music from Hochschule Luzern, a Graduate Diploma and Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Maryland. Dr. Clopton currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (Cello) at Luther College, where she also performs with the Luther College Piano Quartet.
Dr. Steve Sang Kyun Koh was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor of Violin at University of Northern Iowa in fall 2019. From 2017 to 2019, Dr. Koh was Adjunct Instructor in violin at University of Toronto, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He received his Bachelor of Arts at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he was the recipient of the Herbert & Helen Allen scholarship and the Dick and Mary Ellen Wilson scholarship. After finishing his Bachelor’s degree, he continued his studies and received his Master’s in String Performance and Pedagogy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he was the recipient of the Emily Boettcher and Yule Bogue Endowed Fund and the Dick Eickstein Grant. At University of Toronto, he was a student of Professor Yehonatan Berick and the Palmason Graduate Fellow in Violin.
An avid chamber and orchestral musician, Dr. Koh is co-founder of the Interro String Quartet, which explores diverse programming and eccentric venues as means to remove chamber music from concert halls and connect with the wider public. With the Interro Quartet, he has been a co-author and recipient of several grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and has annually commissioned quartet pieces featuring emerging composers in Ontario, Canada. In further support of new music, he is a member of the Toronto Messiaen Ensemble and has collaborated with emerging North American and internationally-renowned composers, such as Gideon Gee-Bum Kim, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Ofer Ben-Amots, to name a few.
Dr. Koh has studied with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra National de France, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His past and current teachers include Kenn Wagner, Helen Hwaya Kim, Kajin Lim, Yehonatan Berick, Jonathan Crow, Clara Jumi Kang, Svetlin Roussev, Joel Smirnoff, Koichiro Harada, Gerardo Ribeiro, Kathleen Winkler, and Krzysztof Wegrzyn.
Dr. Courtney Miller is the oboe professor at University of Iowa where she teaches oboe, chamber music, and reed classes. Prior to her position at the University of Iowa, she served on faculty at Boston College in Massachusetts and Ashland University in Ohio.
A highly regarded performer and pedagogue, Dr. Miller tours as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. Dr. Miller is a core member of the internationally established chamber ensemble, Virtuoso Soloists and is a founding member of the Voxman Reed Trio with University of Iowa colleagues Benjamin Coelho and Jorge Montilla. An experienced orchestral musician, Miller has performed in many orchestras up-and-down the east coast of the United States from the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida to the Portland Symphony in Maine. She now performs regularly with Orchestra Iowa, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Miller is a versatile artist devoted to performing established repertoire as well as new compositions and lesser-known works. Her 2019 album Portuguese Perspectives introduces a collection of world-premiere recordings for the oboe by Portuguese composers and includes several new commissions by Miller. This album and her 2015 release Modern Fairy Tales are readily available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. American Record Guide praises her “seamless consistency in the various registers of the oboe…and sensitive phrasing and articulation.” Fanfare Magazine hails Courtney Miller as “a performer of considerable skill, with an unfailingly lovely sound, abundant technical ability, and a special gift for turning notes into poetry.”
In addition to collaborations within the field of music, Dr Miller has a flair for interdisciplinary work. She has collaborated with hip-hop dancer Ernest “EKnock” Phillips; belly-dancer Janelle Issis; and most recently choreographer and dancer Kristin Marrs at University of Iowa. Since 2016, Marrs and Miller have performed in many concerts featuring oboe and dancer and have toured together throughout the United States. Perhaps her most daring collaboration yet is Psionic, which explores interactive movement data between oboist and computer through a live stream of EEG data with composer Christopher Jette; printmaker Terry Conrad; and digital media designer Daniel Fine.
Dr. Miller has authored scholarly articles pertaining to the English horn’s role in the orchestra and Charles Loeffler’s Deux Rhapsodies for oboe, viola and piano published respectively in the Double Reed Journal and the Journal of the American Viola Society. She has also presented recitals and papers at the College Music Society’s Northeast Regional Conference. Dr. Miller performs recitals regularly at the International Double Reed Society’s annual conferences. In 2017 she was a featured artist at the first international conference of the Associação Brasileira de Palhetas Duplas (Brazilian Double Reed Society or ABPD).
Dr. Miller serves as 1st Vice President of the Midwest Double Reed Society and is a member of the International Double Reed Society, the College Music Society, and Sigma Alpha Iota. Courtney Miller is a Lorée Artist.
Peter Miyamoto has enjoyed a brilliant international career, performing to great acclaim in recital and as soloist in Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, China, and Japan, and in major US cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. In 1990, Miyamoto was named the first Gilmore Young Artist. He won numerous other competitions, including the American Pianist Association National Fellowship Competition, the D’Angelo Competition, the San Francisco Symphony Competition and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Competition.
Dr. Miyamoto holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University School of Music, Michigan State University, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. His teachers included Maria Curcio-Diamand, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Marek Jablonski, Aube Tzerko, and Ralph Votapek, as well as Szymon Goldberg, Felix Galimir and Lorand Fenyves for chamber music.
Currently Catherine Paine Middlebush Chair of Piano at the University of Missouri, Peter Miyamoto formerly taught at Michigan State University, and the California Institute of the Arts and has presented masterclasses worldwide. From 2003-2015 he served as head of the piano faculty at the New York Summer Music Festival and more recently served on the piano faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program and the Curtis Mentor Network Program in Philadelphia.
Miyamoto’s six solo CDs, available on the Blue-Griffin label, have received excellent reviews in periodicals such as Gramophone, International Record Review, Fanfare, and American Record Guide and were recognized by the American Prize. A CD of six commissioned duos for violin and piano produced by GRAMMY winner Judith Sherman was released by Albany records.
Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “rich tone and deft technique,” Hannah Porter Occeña is Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Northern Iowa and Principal Flutist of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra (Topeka, KS). The 2021 Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition winner, Occeña has performed as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and clinician throughout the US and abroad.
Committed to the rich heritage and new horizons of the repertoire, Occeña strives to make classical works accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. Between her performance schedule and collegiate teaching responsibilities, Occeña participates in outreach concerts and programs at schools and community centers.
As a chamber musician and collaborator, Occeña has worked to bring works by living composers to life. She is a commissioning member of the Flute New Music Consortium and has co-premiered works by Zhou Long, Carter Pann, Valerie Coleman, and Samuel Zyman. She has also privately commissioned and premiered several new works, including the whirring dusk for flute and piano by Lisa Bost-Sandburg and Shenandoah Variations for flute and orchestra by Joseph Kern.
A dedicated scholar, Occeña has presented at National Flute Association conventions as well as the Rochester Flute Fair. She has collaborated on new editions of the Sonata in B minor by Amanda Maier, the Sonata op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev, and Three Pieces for flute and piano by Undine Smith Moore and serves on the National Flute Association Special Publications Committee.
Occeña is a 2018 DMA graduate of Stony Brook University, where she studied with Carol Wincenc; she holds a Master of Music Dip.RAM from the Royal Academy of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. When not performing, Occeña enjoys running half marathons and spending time with her husband, Ryan, and daughters, Veronica, Merryn, and Anneliese. Her most recent CD, Confluence, is available on the major streaming platforms. She is a Miyazawa Artist and plays on a Miyazawa Elite. For more information, please visit http://hannahporter.instantencore.com.
Dr. Erik Rohde maintains a diverse career as a conductor, violinist, and educator, and has performed in recitals and festivals across the United States and in Europe and Asia. He is the newly appointed Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Northern Iowa, the Music Director of the Winona Symphony Orchestra (MN), and the founding artistic director of the Salomon Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra dedicated to promoting the works of living composers and of Haydn and his contemporaries. Prior to his appointment at the University of Northern Iowa, Rohde served as the Director of String Activities and Orchestra at Indiana State University where he conducted the Indiana State University Symphony Orchestra and taught violin, chamber music, and Suzuki pedagogy.
A committed advocate for contemporary music, he has premiered and commissioned many new works by both established and young composers, and is constantly seeking to discover new compositional voices. He is the violinist of the new music duo sonic apricity, which is dedicated to uncovering and commissioning new works by living composers for violin and viola. At Indiana State University he helped to host the annual Contemporary Music Festival – now running for over 50 years. He has worked with Joan Tower, Augusta Read Thomas, Libby Larsen, Meira Warshauer, Elliott Miles McKinley, Christopher Walczak, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Pierre Jalbert, James Dillon, David Dzubay, Marc Mellits, Carter Pann, Narong Prangcharoen and countless others. In the last year he has released two recordings with composer Elliott Miles McKinley, with whom he is currently working on a project for a new set of companion pieces written to be played with the Bach Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas.
In his native Minnesota, Rohde has served as the Music Director of the Buffalo Community Orchestra, conductor and violinist for the Contemporary Music Workshop, Camarata Suzuki orchestra conductor for the MacPhail Center for Music, String Ensemble conductor at the Trinity School, and first violinist of the Cantiamo and Enkidu String Quartets. Rohde holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with conductors Mark Russell Smith, Kathy Saltzman Romey, and Craig Kirchhoff and violin pedagogue Mark Bjork. He also holds degrees in Violin Performance and Biomedical Engineering.