Dr. James Cook is a native of the northwestern United States. He has degrees from the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California in piano performance. Dr. Cook has performed solo, chamber and concerto performances throughout the world, including China, Germany, Italy, France and Sweden. Concerto appearances include the Minneapolis Symphony, Salem, Oregon Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Peter Britt Festival and many University orchestras with repertoire from the Bartok Third Piano Concerto to Mozart and all Beethoven concertos. His repertoire is extensive, including the Baroque era and much contemporary music including the Crumb Makrokosmos and the Copland and Prokofief piano sonatas. Dr. Cook has worked with many musicians of fame, in accompanying and collaborative postures. This part of his professional life has included a performance of the Hindemith Ludus Tonalis on public television and at the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles with Igor Stravinsky in attendance. He performed with the cellist Gabor Rejto, played in master classes at USC with Heifetz and Piatagorsky, and has accompanied the great opera baritone Simon Estes and the Tchaikovsky competition winner in violin, Eugene Fodor. He has taught at USC, California State at Fullerton, Willamette University, University of Wyoming and Boise State University. Repertoire includes all string, wind and brass chamber music, most vocal literature, solo literature of all composers from early Baroque to Crumb, Copland, Berio, Stravinsky , Prokofiev and Shostakovitch. He has particularly emphasized the music of Mozart and Bach, performing widely on the fortepiano and harpsichord. Current interests include the works of Chopin, Brahms and Beethoven. Concerto repertoire includes many Mozart concerti, the five Beethoven, two Mendelssohn, Schumann, Grieg, Bartok and Howard Quilling. In 1982 Dr. Cook was a soloist at the International Haydn celebration (250 years) in Fertoszentmikos, Hungary, the former summer residence of Haydn’s patron, Prince Esterhazy.
Dr. Edward Dixon, conductor and cellist, has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and Europe and has worked in the Hollywood recording studios. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California and his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Formerly on the music faculties of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Central Washington University, and Whitman College, Dr. Dixon now divides his retirement between managing the Walla Walla Symphony and concertizing in the Pacific Northwest. A frequent performer, he has appeared as cello soloist with the Yakima, Wenatchee, Walla Walla and Mid-Columbia Symphonies among others and has most recently participated in the Siletz Bay and McCall Music Festivals. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1987. Dr. Dixon has been principal cellist of the Walla Walla Symphony since 1991 and the Mid-Columbia Symphony since 2010.
Clarinetist Laura DeLuca joined the Seattle Symphony in 1986. She is also a co-founding member of Seattle Chamber Players, a contemporary music ensemble formed in 1989, boasting nearly 100 commissioned works. Music has been her passport to the world, with opportunities to perform in historic concert halls in Europe, Russia, China and South America. Closer to home, DeLuca regularly performs with Music of Remembrance and the Icicle Creek series, and has soloed with the Seattle Symphony, and the Seattle Youth, Cascade and Rainier symphonies. On February 11, 2011, a day of historic political uprising in Egypt (and her birthday), she premiered a newly commissioned concerto, Freedom, by Alissa Firsova, with the Northwest Sinfonietta. DeLuca has performed on over 100 recordings and has worked with distinguished composers and performers such as Jake Heggie, John Zorn, Paul Schoenfield and Artur Avanesov.
The 2nd Movement of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto performed at a Seattle Symphony youth concert piqued young clarinetist Mark Eubanks’s interest in the instrument. By 15 he was playing 2nd bassoon with the Tacoma Symphony. Eubanks was asked to join the Seattle Symphony and Opera as 2nd bassoon after a solo concerto at the University of Washington, a position he held for 10 years. Summers found Eubanks at the Grand Teton Music festival, on woodwinds with Broadway shows, and touring with the San Francisco and Joffrey Ballets. He received life long inspiration at workshops with the legendary flutist and master teacher, Marcel Moyse. For 30 years Eubanks was Principal Bassoon with the Oregon Symphony. In Portland he performed the Mozart concerto on the waterfront for an audience of 10,000. His rock and jazz interests saw him jamming on amplified wah-wah bassoon in local clubs, as a headliner at Portland’s Jazz Quarry, and performing with jazz greats Gil Evans and Anthony Braxton. Eubanks’s irreverent and humorous Bassoon Brothers quartet produced four CDs over 20 years. Serious chamber music included performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chamber Music Northwest on both saxophone and bassoon. Mr. Eubanks’s accomplishments include producing Oregon Symphony broadcasts for NPR’s Performance Today, teaching at four Northwest colleges, development of double reed manufacturing, publishing and recording. Now retired from full time teaching and performing, he lives in Wallowa County where he is working on expanding his many publications and work related to the bassoon.
Lauren Guthridge was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she began studying oboe when she was 10 years old with Jill Masiello. Being a member of the Phoenix Youth Orchestra during her high school years encouraged Lauren to continue her musical studies throughout her undergraduate career at the University of Arizona. Studying under Dr. Neil Tatman, she graduated with a BA in music, emphasis on instrumental studies, in May 2012. In addition, Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors and also completed a chemistry minor. Lauren is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Music, studying with Dr. Sara Fraker. In addition to performances with the premiere ensembles at the University of Arizona, including the Arizona Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Winds, Lauren has also performed as acting principal oboe and second oboe with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and as principal oboe and on English horn with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Lauren has also had the opportunity to perform in master classes and receive instruction from renowned solo and chamber oboist Allan Vogel during the Tucson Chamber Music Winter Festival in 2011 and in 2012 from Dr. Lindabeth Binkley, former principal oboist of the Tucson Symphony and current Professor of Oboe at Central Michigan University.
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky
A member of the Seattle Symphony violin section since 2000, Yablonsky has performed in the music festivals of Aspen, Grand Teton and Norfolk (Connecticut), and the Cleveland Chamber Music Seminar. She was a founding member of the Camerino Chamber Music Festival (Italy), where she collaborated with many world-class musicians for five consecutive summers. Yablonsky was the Assistant Concertmaster of the Orquesta Ciutat de Barcelona and held the same position in the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester (Norway). She graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Dorothy Delay, and earned a Master of Music in Performance from Yale University School of Music, where she studied with Koichiro Harada. Yablonsky has collaborated with Seattle Chamber Players and Music of Remembrance, with whom she is featured on several recordings.
Sam Collett is a portrait, figurative and landscape painter living in Joseph Oregon. Joseph is in the northeast corner of the state, and it is a land of vast and majestic beauty. The mixture of forested mountains, rural farm and ranches has become his artistic metaphor. Wallowa County is a constant source of inspiration; this land and its people are always an artistic challenge to him. He received his formal education at Westminster College studying with Don Doxey followed by study at graduate program at the University of Utah Art Department with Albert Handell, Earl Jones and Alvin Gittins; and again studied with Albert Handell at Woodstock New York. Mr. Collett has more than twenty years of teaching experience in objective (realism) painting and drawing; those venues include Salt Lake Art Center UT, University of Utah, The Kimball Art Center Park City Utah, Kings Cottage Art School, the Peterson’s Art center, and workshops at The Crossroads Arts Center Oregon, Pendleton Center for the Arts, Wallowa Lake Art Workshops, College of Southern Idaho, Moses Lake Art Center, Dahmen Barn Union WA. 2010 he will be teaching at Blue Mountain College Enterprise, OR, Rogue Gallery Medford OR, College of Southern Idaho, Dahmen Barn WA, Keizer Art Association Keizer OR, Emerald Art Association, and Wallowa Lake Art Workshops. Sam Collett’s work has been exhibited at the Salmagundi Club New York, American Pastel Society New York, Degas Pastel Society New Orleans, Louisiana, Oil Painters Of America four times, Salon International Juried Competition at the Green house Gallery Texas, one person show Kimball Art Center Park City, Utah, University Of Utah , Boise State University Idaho, Salt Lake Art Center Utah, one person show Springville Museum Utah, one person show Bountiful Arts Center Utah and numerous galleries.
Inspired by life, informed by science, enthralled by beauty – it all comes together in the exquisite bronze figures Rodd creates. Beautiful to look at, his creations also radiate warmth, feeling, motion and intelligence that he, somehow, has managed to breathe into them. Rodd grew up in a small town in central Oregon with a doctor for a father. He earned a Fine Arts Degree from Oregon State University and later, a Master of Fine Arts in bio-medical communications at the Texas HealthScience Center. He became a medical illustrator and was twice honored with awards from the Association of Medical Illustrators. Rodd decided he wanted to follow another path and become a sculptor. When he turned his hand to clay, his profound knowledge of anatomy, art, science and mathematics all merged and resulted in the creation of figures of exquisite anatomical accuracy and beauty. Rodd’s limited edition bronzes can be found in fine art collections all across the United States and abroad.