Nancy Colter, piano, is a native of California who now lives on Mount Desert Island. Nancy began her musical studies in the San Francisco Bay area, earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Sonoma State University and completed post-graduate studies at Mills College and Bennington College, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in chamber music performance. As a recitalist and chamber musician, she has performed widely on the west coast and throughout New England, and has presented premier performances of works by several contemporary composers. Nancy’s love of teaching students of all ages led her to become a founding member of both Arthur Russell Strings and ECMI, where she serves as artistic director and a member of the faculty.
Tamara Thomas, piano, was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. Growing up she was fortunate to attend a well-regarded private music school. The school helped shape her educational and ethical teaching foundation, and encouraged her to embrace her dream of teaching children. Tamara was admitted to the Rimsky Korsakov College of Music in 1972, now known as the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After graduation in 1979 she was given the title of music teacher and accompanist. Upon marriage to her husband, Tamara moved to the Bangor area in 2003, where she has maintained a private studio. She is presently working as the organist at the EOCC church in Orrington.
Christina Spurling, piano, is a native of Islesford, ME. After beginning her career as a classroom music teacher and choir director, she earned a master of music degree in collaborative piano from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. While studying accompanying, chamber music and opera at Longy, Christina also performed with the Boston Opera Collaborative, the Newburyport Candlelight Chorale and the Cape Ann Symphony. With a passion for chamber music and community, Christina has facilitated and coached young ensembles through the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber’s Envision program and ECMI’s Arthur Russell Strings program. In addition to teaching, she is an active collaborative performer and directs music at the Somesville Union Meeting House, UCC. Christina is thrilled to be back in Maine and to join ECMI.
Robert Dan, violin/viola – Cited by the New York Times as “a consistently tasteful stylist,” Robert Dan continues to be one of the most sought after of violists. Mr. Dan has appeared extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, performing and giving master classes. He has been a member of the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center, for many years an Artist in Residence at Harvard University, and has appeared on many prestigious music series, including Carnegie Hall, New York. Mr. Dan is no stranger to Maine audiences, having performed at the Portland Music Festival, Camden Chamber Music Society, University of Maine’s Chamber Music Institute, the Down East Music School, Kneisel Hall, and the Deer Isle and Bucksport annual concerts. He has performed with many orchestras, and has been of the faculties of the University of Connecticut, the Manhattan School of Music, Michigan State University, and currently at Bates College. Mr. Dan has recorded for Centaur, Phillips, CRI, and Musical Heritage Society.
Ryu Mitsuhashi, violin, was born in Japan and began studying the violin at age 3. She was accepted, at age 10, into the Pre-College division of The Julliard School. Ryu graduated with both a Bachelor’s Degree with a Minor in Jazz as well as a Master’s Degree from the University of Maine, where she retained her concert master position throughout her study. Her major teachers include Akiko Silver, Shirley Givens, Angela Eto and Anatole Wieck. Ryu often plays with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, is a fiddle player for the local folk fusion band Tough End String Band, attends summer music festivals including Winter Harbor Music Festival, and plays in pit orchestras for musicals all over the state of Maine. In addition to expanding her own musical field, she has been teaching private lessons locally in Maine, and is an instructor for the Chamber Music Institute’s summer festival. She periodically returns to Japan for performances, and has traveled to perform and tour with international orchestras and concert tour groups, including Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in Croatia, Camerata Austriaca in Austria and Orchestra for the Festival Vaniloquio in Mexico.
Noreen Silver, cello, was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. Her studies took her to London’s Royal College of Music and to Boston’s New England Conservatory as the recipient of a Rotary International Fellowship. She and pianist husband Phillip Silver form the internationally acclaimed Silver Duo, with two CD recordings on the Toccata Classics label. Noreen’s professional experience includes several years in Seattle’s Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Boston Opera, London’s BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She is principal cellist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and has often appeared as soloist with the orchestra. Noreen has been on the University of Maine faculty since 1999, where she directs the chamber music program and teaches cello performance.
Marisa Solomon, cello, received performance degrees from the Oberlin College and San Francisco Conservatories of Music. She is an avid chamber musician, teacher and performer, plus she was a founding member of the Hancock St. Quartet, Nor’easter Quartet, and Cormier Trio. She has participated in many festivals, including Kneisel Hall, Aspen Music Festival, New York String Seminar, Round Top, Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto USA and the Breckenridge Music Festival. Marisa teaches privately and performs in the Bangor area, as well as being on the adjunct faculty at the University of Maine-Orono.
Aija Kante-Cahn, cello, was born in Riga, Latvia. Ms. Kante-Cahn obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the J. Vitols Music Academy of Latvia where she studied with Eleonora Testeleca who was an important student of the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Ms. Kante-Cahn completed her Master’s Degree at the Latvian Music Academie studying chamber music. After graduation she studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany. She has been a faculty member of several music schools in Riga, Latvia and at the Mahidol University in Bangkok,Thailand. The Duo Rigensis was formed with Ms. Kante-Cahn and Ms. Linde in 2000. Later, they won major critical acclaim for a series of sold-out chamber concerts in Cologne, Germany. In addition to the Duo Rigensis, she performed with several orchestras and ensembles including the Elsberg Quartet. Ms. Kante-Cahn has participated in European festivals such as the “”Musik in den Heusern der Stadt”, the Rostropovich Cello Festival, and Kuhmo (Finland) Chamber Music Festival.
Kevin Morse, classical guitar, has spent his life dedicated to the development and mastery of the classical guitar. He is the protégé of a legendary guitarist from England named Stanley Watson, whom he met when he was 13 years old in Rochester, New York. Since then, Kevin’s powerful technique and sound has earned him formidable recognition and acclaim. He continues to teach Watson’s methods.
He has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He has been an artist in residence at numerous New England schools and is committed to the exposure and education of young people to the world of Spanish Guitar. In 1992 he was the winner of a prestigious International Competition sponsored by “Guitar Player Magazine”, where he was named the “Ultimate Classical Guitarist” from an extensive field of players from Europe and the United States.
Mark Tipton, trumpet, is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a BM in Trumpet Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and an MM in Trumpet Performance from the Mannes College of Music (NYC). He has studied trumpet with Ryan Anthony, Jack Sutte, Roy Poper, Charley Davis, and Vincent Penzarella. He has performed with such artists as Yves Abel, John Williams, Ray Barretto, Quincy Jones, David Liebman, Bobby McFerrin, and Maria Schneider, and in Maine with the Portland Brass Quintet, PORTopera, Portland Ballet, the Choral Art Society, and the Colby Orchestra. He leads Les Sorciers Perdus, a jazz/classical chamber ensemble, which has a new album out this year titled, “Alchemist’s Dream,” and features original works.
As a composer, Mark has written over a dozen full-length silent film scores, works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, jazz suites, solo trumpet pieces, a ballet, and performance art installations. He currently teaches at Bowdoin College and recently served as Executive Director of the Portland Conservatory of Music (PCM). He has also taught on the faculties of Colby College, PCM, and the USM School of Music.
Beau Lisy, percussion, earned his BA in Percussion Performance at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. Beau traveled twice to The Gambia, West Africa to train on the Djembe, Balafon, and bongo instruments. Fueled by his family’s passion for art and music, Beau Lisy has been teaching percussion to all ages for 30 years. Mr. Lisy performs with Mundus Trio, Up Ensemble, Mike Bennett and Balantama, Kira Willey and “Fireflies Musical Yoga for Kids,” “Big Pete” Pearson and The Blues Sevilles, Paul Sullivan and The Bagaduce Choir. Beau’s musical palette includes performing and recording new and traditional music ranging from: Pop/Rock, Jazz and Blues, West African Djembe and Sabar music, Afro-Cuban and South American rhythms.
Deborah Reinke, Early Childhood Music, was born in Rumford, Maine and received a B.M. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. Her interests in Music Learning Theory eventually led her to study with its creator, Edwin Gordon, and she received an M.M. under his tutelage at Temple University. While at Temple, she was trained in Early Childhood Music Education and has been teaching classes to preschool children in many venues during the last 22 years. Deborah also helps direct the GSA fall musicals and sings regularly in her church choir and with the Bagaduce Chorale.
Danielle Woerner, singer and teacher, began her career in New York City and now is based in Milbridge, ME, where she co-founded and directs the Sunrise County Arts Institute. She’s active in a broad range of musical repertoires and genres: classical, operatic, musical theater, jazz, folk, world. She works closely with living composers, and executive-produced her two solo CDs of 20th-century American songs and chamber music for commercial labels. In the Hudson Valley, she was an Artist in Residence at SUNY/Ulster and with the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale, an ensemble she helped found. She taught singing for the Vassar College Drama Dept., Bard College Music Dept., and Dutchess (NY) Community College Adult Division. Through the Bronx Arts Ensemble, she led classroom and choral singing, including District Chorus, with Bronx elementary school children. Danielle completed her B.A. in Music at Bard, and holds a Master’s Certificate in Songwriting with scholarship honors from Berklee music. As a member of the New York Singing Teachers’ Assn., she completed NYSTA’s Professional Development program in vocal health, anatomy/physiology, pedagogy, acoustics and repertoire.
Additional faculty will be added as we continue to grow!