2024 Season Artists


Julia Bullard

Violist Julia Bullard enjoys a diverse career as a performer, pedagogue, and Alexander Technique teacher. She is the violist of Trio 826, whose first album, Mosaic, was released on the Blue Griffin label in 2016. She has performed as a guest with ensembles including the Bogotá Chamber Orchestra, Aspen String Trio, and the Maia Quartet. A dedicated pedagogue, Dr. Bullard received the Iowa String Teachers Association’s Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year award in 2011. She has presented master classes across the US and abroad, and has been artist-faculty at several summer music festivals including Cedar Valley Chamber Music, Wintergreen Music Festival and Academy, and Madeline Island Music Festival.  

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, she served as viola professor at the University of Northern Iowa, and 10 years was also the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in the UNI School of Music. In August 2022, Dr. Bullard joined the faculty of Kennesaw State University, where she currently serves as Assistant Director of the Bailey School of Music and Professor of Music, teaching viola and Alexander Technique.

Double Bass

Hunter Capoccioni

A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Hunter Capoccioni is the Founder and Artistic Director of Cedar Valley Chamber Music. He is a gradaute of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (BM ’01, MM ’03) and received his doctorate from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2015.

Hunter has held positions in orchestras in the United States and Europe. He served as Principal Bass of the Norrlands Opera Orchestra in Umeå, Sweden (2003-2005), and Associate Principal Bass in Norwegian Opera Orchestra in Oslo, Norway (2005-2006). Returning to Iowa to teach at the University of Northern Iowa (2008-2014) Dr. Capoccioni has held positions as Principal Double Bass of the WCF Symphony and was a regualr substitute player with the Des Moines Symphony.

Today, Hunter lives in Houston, Texas where he currently works as the Assistant Director of the Rice Neuroengineering Initiative. He spent seven years prior to this posiiton at the Chamber Music Manager at the Shepherd School of Music. He is a regular subsitite musician with the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet orchestras.


Evie Chen

Evie Chen is currently on the string faculty at the University of Tennessee. She made her solo debut with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at age 8 after winning the Nafisa Taghioff Award in the FSO’s 2000 Young Artists Competition. Since then, she has garnered accolades at numerous competitions, performing concertos and solo works with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, California Youth Symphony, Eastman Philharmonia, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra.  A versatile violinist, Evie is deeply committed to education and chamber music. She is a familiar face at the Bay View Summer Institute and Kalmia Garden Music and Arts where she shares her expertise as an educator and a chamber musician. Her passion for musical collaboration is evident in her tours with her piano trio and frequent chamber music performances with friends and colleagues. Evie holds a DMA and MM from Rice University, where she studied with Paul Kantor. She attained a BM in violin performance and a BA in psychology from the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate under the tutelage of Mikhail Kopelman.


Kacy Clopton

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 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 Assistant Professor of Music (Cello) at Luther College, where she also performs with the Luther College Piano Quartet.


Ben Coelho

A dynamic and expressive bassoonist, Benjamin Coelho began his bassoon journey at the Tatuí Conservatory at age ten. Ben is a sought-after musician, teacher, and recording artist who has performed on five continents. Since 1998, he has been a professor of bassoon at the University of Iowa and is the principal bassoon with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Ben is a passionate champion of contemporary music. He finds great joy and fulfillment as a teacher and pedagogue. His students have successfully gained positions at public schools, universities, colleges, orchestras, and the music industry. He actively commissions, performs, and records compositions from composers worldwide. As a recording artist, he has released seven acclaimed CDs, earning national and international recognition. He has dedicated himself to service. At the University of Iowa, he served in four different associate director positions, and his greatest honor was becoming the interim director of the School of Music from 2018 to 2019. He also served as vice president of the International Double Reed Society. Ben resides in Iowa City with his wife, Karen, and is a proud father of Liliana and Julia.


Dan Friberg

Dan Friberg is a clarinetist based in Bloomington, MN. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed with JOYA!, the Hill House Chamber Players, wcfsymphony, The Singers MCA, the Balkanicus Ensemble, and at the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival in 2016, 2017 and 2022.  Past orchestral engagements include the Minnesota Orchestra, New World Symphony, Duluth-Superior Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, wcfsymphony, and Sioux City Symphony.  He has taught at Winona State University and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

Dr. Friberg earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees at Yale University (studying with David Shifrin), and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota (studying with Burt Hara). From 2009 to 2010 he was a fellow of the Belgian American Education Foundation, studying at the Royal Ghent Conservatory of Music in Belgium. He is manager of the combined printed music departments of Groth and Eble Music Companies, runs woodwind music publisher Dorn Publications, and is the author of “Clarinet Excerpts in Context: Duets for Ensemble Mastery.”


Max Geissler

Cellist Max Geissler is a highly sought-after chamber collaborator, educator, and performer. He currently serves as the Cellist and Co-Artistic Director of the new music ensemble Latitude 49, and joined the faculty at East Tennessee State University in the fall of 2023 as Assistant Professor of Cello. Max holds doctoral and master’s degrees from Rice University working as Desmond Hoebig’s teaching assistant, as well as a bachelor’s degree from his studies with Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan.

Passionately expanding the breadth and scope of the standard repertoire, Max has participated in dozens of commissions and premieres, giving voice to an array of works ranging from inspiring student compositions all the way to collaborations with Pulitzer-prize winning composers. Working with Latitude 49, Max has recorded for New Amsterdam Records and has been showcased as a featured performer at the Bowling Green New Music Festival, Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music, Constellation Chicago, and Princeton Sound Kitchen.As an enthusiastic educator, Max is an in-demand masterclass clinician, having given classes at schools such as SUNY Fredonia.

Max is a lively advocate of the chamber music literature and takes any opportunity he can to excitedly share it with audiences. He has performed alongside and collaborated with artists such as  Jon Kimura Parker, Clive Greensmith, Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver, Margaret Batjer, Brian Connelly, Desmond Hoebig, and James Dunham. Max is currently the Artistic Director for Kalmia Garden Music and Arts, as well as a regular performer at the Geneva Music Festival. In addition to these festivals, Max has appeared as a Young Artist at La Jolla SummerFest, and performed as a part of the Taipei Music Academy and Festival in Taiwan.


Hannah Howland Jacobs

​​​Hannah Howland Jacobs is a violinist and teacher based in the Iowa City area. She received her BM in violin performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Mark Bjork, and MM in violin performance from the University of Northern Iowa, where she studied with Dr. Ross Winter and Dr. Julia Bullard (viola). Having grown up studying violin at the UNI Suzuki School, she is a strong advocate for the Suzuki Method, and has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Mark Bjork, Joanne Melvin, and Martha Shackford. Currently, Hannah holds faculty positions at the UNI Suzuki School in Cedar Falls and the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City where she teaches violin and viola, leads group classes, and coaches chamber ensembles. She maintains an active schedule performing with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, the Southeast Iowa Symphony, and freelancing throughout eastern Iowa with various other ensembles and theatre productions. While perhaps most at home in the classical music genre, Hannah has a great love of the versatility of string instruments and enjoys exploring and collaborating on projects within other genres. She and her husband, Austin, violinist, guitarist, and orchestra teacher in the Iowa City Community School District, enjoy working on musical projects together, and recently recorded and released an album with their folk trio band, “From Afar.”


Joanna Mendoza

Joanna Mendoza is the violist of the Arianna String Quartet and serves as chair of the Department of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). The ASQ can be heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and on “Live from Music Mountain,” broadcast to 125 stations in the U.S. and to 35 countries. Their recordings of the two Janacek Quartets, and the Early and Middle Beethoven Quartets, all released on Centaur Records, received critical acclaim.

She is a co-founder and director of Arianna Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization that engages and enriches communities with world-class music. Arianna Arts, Inc. host sthe Arianna Chamber Music Festival, an international summer festival in St. Louis that brings together a cross-section of aspiring musicians from St. Louis, the U.S., and around the world for a cultural and musical exchange.

Ms. Mendoza maintains a highly-regarded private viola studio. Her students continue their musical studies at esteemed programs such as The Juilliard School, The Shepard School at Rice University, The Jacobs School of Music, Music Academy of the West, the Heifetz Institute, and Colorado College Summer Music Festival. 


Peter Miyamoto

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.   

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.  


Hannah Porter Occeña

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).

As a chamber musician and collaborator, Dr. 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 (Confluence, 2015) and Carter Pann (Giantess, 2018). She has also privately commissioned and premiered several new works, most recently Shenandoah Variations for flute and orchestra by Joseph Kern in March 2019.   

A dedicated scholar, Dr. Occeña has recently presented at the National Flute Association conventions in Orlando and Salt Lake City as well as the Rochester Flute Fair. She has collaborated on new editions of the Sonata in B minor by Amanda Maier and the Sonata op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev and serves on the National Flute Association Special Publications Committee. 


Timothy Peters

Timothy Peters, violinist, enjoys a varied career as an orchestral violinist, chamber musician, and educator. He has most recently served as the Associate Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra after spending ten seasons as Principal 2nd Violinist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed as a titled guest with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including Guest Concertmaster of the Norrlandsoperan Symfoniorkester (Sweden), Guest Concertmaster of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Guest Principal 2nd Violin of the Dresden Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and Aalborg Symfoniorkester (Denmark), and Guest Sub-Principal 2nd Violin of the BBC Philharmonic. 

As a chamber musician, Mr. Peters has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center, and the Library of Congress as a member of the Brutini and Degas String Quartets and the Young Eight Octet. Other concert appearances include the Schneider Concert Series in Tishman Hall (New York City), Chicago, Raleigh, Austin, and Amatius Chamber Music Societies, and live appearances on WCLV-FM (Cleveland), WFMT-FM (Chicago), and WXXI-FM (Rochester).


Theo Ramsey

Boston-based violinist Theo Ramsey enjoys a varied career as an orchestral violinist, chamber musician, and teacher. They perform frequently with such ensembles as Brooklyn-based orchestral collective The Knights, new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and the Boston Lyric Opera. Theo is a member of the first violin section of the New Bedford Symphony and is violinist and violist of Ensemble Dal Niente.

Originally from Cedar Falls, IA, Theo began playing the violin at the UNI Suzuki School. They hold degrees from Northwestern University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where their primary teachers were Blair Milton and David Updegraff. Theo was co-concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and spent two years as a Fellow and frequent concertmaster of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL.


Erik Rohde

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.


Jacob White

Jacob White (he/him/his) is an active horn player based in Iowa, currently performing as Assistant Principal Horn with the Des Moines Symphony and Assistant Horn with Orchestra Iowa. Additionally, he performs as 3rd Horn with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and 4th Horn with the Dubuque Symphony. Jacob has previously performed with such groups as the Redlands Symphony Orchestra, Southern California Brass Consortium, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the American Youth Symphony of Los Angeles. A graduate of Oklahoma State University with a B.M. in Horn Performance under the guidance of Lanette Compton, Jacob furthered his studies at the University of Redlands in California, earning his M.M. in Horn Performance in 2020 with mentorship from freelancer and composer Adam Wolf. 

In addition to performing, Jacob is a proficient arranger, orchestrator, and composer, accumulating over a decade of experience in writing music for various ensembles. His arrangements have been featured in performances by esteemed groups like the Oklahoma State University Instrumental Studios, the Kendall Betts Horn Camp Ensemble, the University of Missouri – Kansas City Horn Studio, and the Texas All Star Horn Professors Horn Choir. As a composer, Jacob focuses his creative efforts on the horn, with notable recognition for his composition “Maiden Voyage,” commissioned and recorded by Denise Tryon on her album “Hope Springs Eternal”. Additionally, he has been commissioned by the horn ensemble, NU Corno/College Corno, conducted by Steven Cohen, and other horn players throughout the Mid-South region.


Katie Wolfe

Violinist Katie Wolfe leads an intriguing career mix as a soloist, recording artist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, and adjudicator. Originally from Minnesota, she joined the string faculty of The University of Iowa in 2004 as Associate Professor of Violin. Prior to teaching in Iowa, Wolfe taught violin, viola, and chamber music at Oklahoma State University. She also served as Associate Concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Wolfe is a founding member of the Matisse Piano Trio, formed in 2004 with fellow University of Iowa faculty pianist Ksenia Nosikova and cellist Anthony Arnone. The trio is as committed to teaching as well as performing, and they have given masterclasses and performances at universities and other concert venues in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Hawaii.

Along with pianist and composer Ketty Nez from Boston University, Wolfe has been involved in the creation and performance of many newer works for violin and piano. The Wolfe/Nez Duo performs works written especially for them, in addition to other works written in the past 20 years and other masterpieces of 20th-century literature. Their adventuresome programs have been presented at the University of Iowa, Boston University, and the Eastman School of Music. Upcoming performances include appearances at the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Rhode Island.