Fiona Hughes, baroque violin
Violinist Fiona Hughes holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. A founding member of Three Notch'd Road, she is a versatile performer of both modern and baroque violin, appearing with North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Washington Bach Consort, Boston Baroque, Duke Vespers Ensemble, the Richmond Symphony, and the Handel + Haydn Society. She has performed in numerous music festivals, including Kinhaven, Encore, Brevard Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Banff, Staunton Music Festival, and Japan's Pacific Music Festival. She looks to Stephen Rose, Adam DeGraff, Marilyn McDonald, and Lucy van Dael as primary mentors. Fiona's period bows are by David Hawthorne and her violin is the ex-Vieuxtemps Claude Pierray (1720 Paris).
Early music specialist David McCormick performs regularly on both violin and vielle (medieval fiddle), and is in demand as an educator and arts leader. He is Artistic Director of Charlottesville-based baroque ensemble Three Notch’d Road, and founding member of Alkemie, a medieval ensemble based in New York City. This season, he begins his role as Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, where he will also appear as featured violin soloist for the opening concert of the 25th Anniversary Season. David maintains an active private violin and viola studio and serves as President of the Charlottesville Music Teachers Association. His degrees in music education and performance from Shenandoah University and Case Western Reserve University include specialized training in chamber music and historical performance.
Anne Timberlake has appeared across the United States performing repertoire from Bach to twenty-first-century premieres. She holds degrees in recorder performance from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Alison Melville, and Indiana University, where she studied with Eva Legene and won the 2007 Early Music Institute Concerto Competition. Critics have praised her "fine technique and stylishness," "unexpectedly rich lyricism" (Letter V), and "dazzling playing" (Chicago Classical Review). Anne has received awards from the American Recorder Society and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and was awarded a Fulbright Grant. With Musik Ekklesia, Anne has recorded for the Sono Luminus label. Anne is a founding member of the ensemble Wayward Sisters, specializing in music of the early baroque. In 2011, Wayward Sisters won Early Music America's Naxos Recording Competition. Wayward Sisters released their debut CD on the Naxos label in 2014. Anne enjoys teaching as well as playing. In addition to maintaining private and online studios, Anne has coached through Indiana University's Pre-College Recorder Program, the Amherst Early Music Festival, the San Francisco Early Music Society, the Virginia Baroque Performance Institute, Mountain Collegium, and for numerous ARS chapters. Students have ranged in age from 6-83, and in level from beginning to pre-professional. Teaching is a passion for Anne!
Brian Kay, lute
Brian Kay is a modern-day troubadour. Hailed as “Far-ranging”, "Brilliant", and “Exciting” (Cleveland.com), Brian performs throughout the US, both as a solo artist, and with a number of critically acclaimed ensembles. He has appeared on more than 10 album releases at the age of 32. His live radio appearances include NPR, Baltimore's WYPR, Baltimore's 98ROCK, Boston's WGBH, and Cleveland's WCLV. He has recorded with record labels Avie and Sono Luminus and has been in the top 10 on the BILLBOARD charts three times in 2016. He performs regularly with Apollo's Fire, Ayreheart, Hesperus, Twa Corbies, The Folger Consort, Three Notch'd Road, Eya and is a founding member of the early music improvisation group Divisio. Brian has lectured on music and history at Yale University, The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, The Maltz Center, and Baldwin-Wallace College to name a few. He was Artist in Residence at the Cushman School in Miami in 2012 and has done outreach for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the country. In May 2013, Brian brought music to Plymouth Prison in Massachusetts.
Wesley Hall, harpsichord
Wesley Hall is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied organ with Martin Jean and harpsichord with Arthur Haas. He holds both a Master's degree in Historical Performance and a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied organ with James David Christie and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. He also studied under visiting professors Olivier Latry and Marie Louise Langlais, and has participated in numerous master classes and lessons with Ton Koopman, Carol Terry, John Grew, Hank Knox, Wilma Jensen, and Sietze de Vries among others. Wesley has given concerts throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and was the first freshman chosen to represent the organ department at the Oberlin Danenberg Honors Recital in 2009. He has played continuo with Burning River Baroque, Oberlin Baroque Orchestra, and Emmanuel Music in Boston under the direction of John Harbison. Wesley was a finalist in the 2008 L. Cameron Johnson and 2007 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competitions and recently won the Preliminary Regional Competition for Young Organists in Wilmington, North Carolina, taking second place in the Region IV competition in High Point. He is a recipient of the Selby Harlan Houston Prize for excellence in organ and music theory. He has recently completed his tenure as Organ Scholar at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut, and serves as the Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Worcester, MA.
Elena Mullins, soprano
Elena Mullins is a soprano with wide-ranging interests in the field of early music. She has performed with Three Notch'd Road in three previous programs: "Cantica Sacra" in 2014 and "Flow My Tears: Dowland's England" in 2015, and “Almost Twelfth Night 2016.” Elena takes a scholarly interest in the performance practices of early repertoires, reaching back as far as the twelfth century. In 2013 she co-founded Alkemie, a medieval ensemble, which is the 2016-17 artist-in-residence at Fairmont State University. Elena has sung with Chicago's Newberry Consort, Apollo's Fire, Generation Harmonique, and Quire Cleveland. She is currently the director of Case Western Reserve University Early Music Singers. A student of Ellen Hargis, she holds a DMA in Historical Performance Practice from CWRU and a BA in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music. In addition to singing and conducting, Elena is an avid performer and teacher of baroque dance, and served on the faculty of the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute last summer.
With her “brilliant, agile soprano”(San Diego Story) and “impressive clarity and color” (New York Times), soprano Jessica Petrus enjoys a varied chamber music career. She most recently performed Unsuk Chin's whimsical “Akrostischon-Wortspiel” with Kettle Corn New Music and Cantata Profana in NYC, where she “sang beautifully, with strict control and expressive musicality, telling each phantom story with charming resolve” (I Care If You Listen). In 2015, she made her Spoleto USA solo début in Bach's St. Matthew Passion, with a “crystal clear soprano” (Post And Courier). Some 2016-17 season highlights include solo performances with the Newburyport Choral Society, Musicians of Old Post Road, Shelter Music Boston, Cantata Profana, Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Three Notch'd Road, and appearances with True Concord, Skylark Ensemble, Etherea, Emmanuel Music, and the Staunton Music Festival.
William Simms, theorbo
William Simms is an active performer of early music. Equally adept on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, he appears regularly with The Bach Sinfonia, Apollo’s Fire, The Washington Bach Consort, Ensemble Vermilian and The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. He has performed numerous operas, cantatas, and oratorios with such ensembles as The Washington National Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera Lafayette, and American Opera Theatre. Venues include The National Cathedral, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Library of Congress, The Corcoran Gallery, The Kennedy Center and The Barns at Wolftrap. He has toured and recorded with The Baltimore Consort as well as with Apollo’s Fire. His recording with Ronn McFarlane, Two Lutes, was the CD pick of the week on WETA in Washington DC in 2012. Mr. Simms received a Bachelor of Music from The College of Wooster and a Master of Music from Peabody Conservatory. He serves on the faculties of Mount St. Mary’s University and Hood College, and is the founder and director of the Hood Early Music Ensemble. He has recorded for the Dorian, Centaur, Naxos and Eclectra labels.
Peter Walker, bass & bagpipes
Described as a “rich-voiced” and “vivid” singer by a recent New York Times review, and an "impressive" and "exciting" piper by clevelandclassical.com, Peter Walker enjoys a varied and exciting career as a singer of early, classical and folk music, and as a piper in music ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Recent performances include Balthasar and Habbakuk in The Play of Daniel with Gotham Early Music, bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and singing in Russia and London with the Clarion Society Choir, as well as appearances with Apollo’s Fire, Three Notch’d Road, Handel + Haydn Society, Texas Early Music Project, Staunton Music Festival, Skylark Ensemble, and Early Music New York. Peter is a member of the choir of St. Luke in the Fields, is a founding member of the medieval ensemble Marginalia, and won the Overseas Class in the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Competition in 2016. He holds degrees from Vassar College and McGill University, where he studied with Drew Minter and Sanford Sylvan.
Praised by The Strad as “stylish and accomplished,” Shirley Hunt brings fierce imagination and integrity to the music of the Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary eras on the baroque cello and viola da gamba. Ms. Hunt has performed and recorded with the nation's leading period instrument ensembles including Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Mercury (Houston). She performs regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Jurassic Technology, where she is an artist in residence. Early Music America calls Ms. Hunt's recent CD J.S. Bach Suites & Sonatas Volume One “a fine debut and one with promise for future projects.” Facts & Arts noted her “soulful renditions,” “high-wire interpretations,” and “resonant, singing tone that stays in the mind.” Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ms. Hunt was born into a musical family and is the younger sister of the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Michelle Humphreys, percussion
Michelle Humphreys is Assistant Professor in Percussion at Towson University and percussion mentor at National Music Festival. She performs with many of the region’s top early music and modern ensembles including Opera Lafayette, Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, and Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded seven French Baroque operas with Opera Lafayette for the Naxos label, including several modern-day premieres. Notable releases include Rebel’s 1745 Zelindor, Roi de Sylphes and Monsigny’s 1762 Le Roi et le Fermier, for which she created percussion parts based on historical performance practices. Most recently she performed with Tempesta di Mare on Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1 & 2, (Chandos). In March (2016) Michelle will perform Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba with Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra of Shepherdstown, WV. Highlights of recent seasons include Michael Daugherty’s concerto for timpani and wind ensemble, Raise the Roof, and a performance of James Curnow’s Concertino for Solo Percussionist. Michelle is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, a frequent clinician, and a proud endorser of Grover Pro Percussion and Zildjian cymbals.
Steuart Pincombe, cello
Steuart Pincombe's career as a cellist has brought him to leading halls and festivals across North America and Europe and he has been named by The Strad as a “superb solo cellist” and a “gorgeous player [with] perfect intonation, imaginative phrasing” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Highlights of Steuart's recent concert seasons include being a featured soloist with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (DE), festival appearances with Ensemble Ausonia (BE), performing with Holland Baroque Society (NL) for King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands, appearing as soloist at the Amsterdam Cello Bienalle (NL), and co-founding Oerknal! (a contemporary music collective, NL). His concert 'Bach&Beer' was selected by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of the 'Top 10 Classical Events of 2014' and a concert in which he appeared as soloist with Rene Schiffer and Apollo's Fire was numbered in London's '5 Best Classical Music Moments of 2014' according to The Telegraph (UK). Steuart holds a BM in modern cello and a MM in viola da gamba and baroque cello from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Simon Martyn-Ellis, lute
Simon Martyn-Ellis began playing the lute after finding the classical guitar repertoire too restrictive for ensemble performance. After traveling to Europe from his homeland Australia for postgraduate studies, Simon stayed in Germany for over 10 years to continue to work in the Historical Performance arena, appearing regularly with leading orchestras, theatres and chamber groups throughout Europe. In the US, Simon is a founding member of ACRONYM and Duo Corbetta, has appeared with Apollo’s Fire, Les Delices, Bach Collegium San Diego, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Opera Columbus, Helicon in New York City and at the Oregon Bach Festival. He is teacher of lute and related instruments at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His particular interests are in vocal collaborations, either in opera or intimate recitals, baroque guitar repertoire, and finding the groove in Early Music. But really, he just has a great time making music with people.
Mark Nowakowski is a composer whose works represent a modern merger of bold expressionism and mystical contemplation, Slavic pathos and American individualism. His music has been commissioned and performed by such notables as the Kronos Quartet, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, The Monteverdi Cello Octet, The Voxare Quartet, the FiveOne Experimental Orchestra, Three Notch’d Road, Stowarzyszenia Mozart, Vox Musica of Sacramento, the Choir of the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Dominican House of Studies Schola, the wind ensembles at the University of Maryland, Ursinus College, and Illinois State University, and the Cracow Brass Quintet. His first commercially available full length recording is currently awaiting release courtesy of the Voxare Quartet. Mark received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, where he also won the biennial Walsum Award for Excellence in Music Composition. He holds a Professional Studies degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was Assistant Director of the CIM New Music Festival and was awarded the Donald Erb Prize in Composition. He holds his Masters from the University of Colorado, and two undergraduate degrees from Illinois State University where he graduated with honors in both Music Theory and Arts Technology. Mark currently serves on the faculty of music at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.
Sian Ricketts, soprano
Sian Ricketts enjoys a multi-faceted career as a singer and a period woodwinds specialist. This season she will be performing with the choir of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (NY), the Bard Festival Chorale (NY), New Vintage Baroque (NY), Bach Collegium Fort Wayne (IN), Burlington Choral Society (VT), Three Notch'd Road (VA), and the Kinnara Ensemble (NJ), among others. Sian is a co-founding member of the early music ensemble Alkemie, which has been appointed the ensemble-in-residence for Fairmont State University (WV) for 2016-2017. Sian holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in historical performance practice from Case Western Reserve University with concentrations in voice and baroque oboe.
Tracy Cowart, mezzo-soprano
Tracy Cowart enjoys a wide range of vocal interests, from twelfth-century polyphony to contemporary art music. Praised by The New York Times as “the real attraction” with a voice that is “light and lithe,” Tracy has performed with a number of period ensembles, including the American Classical Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, La Donna Musicale, Exsultemus, El Fuego, Musica Pacifica, Opera Lafayette, the Newberry Consort, Seven Times Salt, The Soul’s Delight, and the Washington Bach Consort. Tracy is also a co-founder of Alkemie, an early music ensemble that specializes in popular music from the Middle Ages. Also known for her interpretations of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, she performs with Great Noise Ensemble and has appeared at the Richmond Festival of Music. Tracy received her M.M. in Early Music from the Longy School of Music and her D.M.A. in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University; she has been a guest-artist/lecturer at Pennsylvania State University and Bucknell University, and has performed at the Society for Seventeenth Century Music. She is also an active baroque dancer and an avid forager, with a particular interest in mycology.
Anne Steinhoff, viola da gamba
Based out of Chicago, Anna Steinhoff specializes in period instruments such as the baroque cello and viola da gamba. She is a member of Second City Musick and the Haymarket Opera Company, and was the principal cellist of Chicago’s baroque orchestra, Baroque Band, until the end of its run in 2016. Anna is also a founding member of Wayward Sisters, which won first prize in the 2011 Early Music America competition. Wayward Sisters released their debut album of music by Matthew Locke on the Naxos label in 2014 and are releasing their second recording, a Restless Heart, in 2017. In addition to classical music, Anna has performed or recorded with an array of indie rock bands such as Saturday Looks Good To Me, Mysteries of Life, Frisbie, and children’s artist Justin Roberts. Anna completed degrees in cello performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern University where her principal teachers were Peter Rejto and Hans Jensen respectively. She studied baroque cello privately in the Netherlands with Jaap ter Linden.