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hamilton logo Hamilton: An American Musical has its second home in Chicago. I share the pit with stellar musicians: Chuck Bontrager (vln 1/concertmaster), Roberta Freier (vln 2), Heather Boehm (vln 3/vla), Tom Mendel (bass), Tom Hipskind (drums), Felton Offard (guitar/banjo), Rick Snyder (keyboard 2), Jim Widlowski (percussion), and Colin Welford (conductor and keyboard 1). Hamilton was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail, and music directed/orchestrated by Alex Lacamoire.
Ritz Chamber Players
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The Ritz Chamber Players is a chamber music group of African-American Classical musicians of mixed instrumentation (strings, winds, voice, piano, harp), rotating in relation to the chosen repertoire. Each season a new composer-in-residence have included Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, Alvin Singleton, and Adolphus Hailstork. The ensemble is currently based in Jacksonville, FL, where we perform at Jacoby Symphony Hall, but is known to travel to other parts of the U.S. during its performance season. We recently began a concert series at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, performing in our second home, the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. The director of the group is clarinetist, Terrance Patterson.
Ritz Chamber Players

Photo Credit for Ritz Chamber Players: Robin Holland
Tug of War
Tug of War: Foreign Fire is the first part of a two-part event featuring the six historical plays of William Shakespeare. The first part, directed by Barbara Gaines, adapts the following plays: Edward III, Henry V, and Henry VI part one. I had the privilege of performing cello and electric bass, as well as sharing the stage with fellow band members and actors: Matt Deitchman, Jed Feder, Shanna Jones, Heidi Kettenring, Karen Aldridge, Michael Lindner, David Darlow, Daniel Kyri Madison, John Tufts, Steven Sutcliffe, Neil Friedman, Kevin Gudahl, Barbara Robertson, Jamie Newcomb, Dominique Worsley, Larry Yando, Alex Weisman, and Freddie Stevenson.
Drury Lane Theatre
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Drury Lane Theatre is located in the Oakbrook Terrace, IL, servicing the Chicagoland area with live performances, Broadway musicals, and award-winning theatre. Drury Lane Theatre features actors and directors from Broadway in New York as well as revered actors and directors from the Chicago theatre scene.
Drury Lane Theatre

Romeo and Juliet
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Directed by David Leveaux, this Shakespeare play on Broadway was housed at the newly renovated Richard Rodgers Theatre near Times Square in New York. The play featured lead actors, Orlando Bloom as Romeo and Condola Rashad as Juliet. There were also Broadway veterans who graced the stage: Chuck Cooper as Lord Capulet, Brent Carver as Friar Laurence, and Jayne Houdyshell as Nurse. Sound design, Percussion, and Co-Composition by David Van Tieghem. Cello Performance and Co-Composition by Tahirah Whittington. The film of this production of Romeo and Juliet was released in 2000 movie theatres during the week of Valentine's Day in February 2014.
Romeo and Juliet on Broadway

Core Ensemble
Core Ensemble is an unconventional chamber music group of piano, percussion, and cello. The founders of the group are Michael Parola, percussionist, and Hugh Hinton, pianist. I joined as the group's cellist in the fall of 2000. Our collaboration lasted for the next 12 years. The ensemble creates chamber music theater productions, collaborating with actors, writers, artists, and composers. Core Ensemble commissions new music for each chamber music theater piece it builds from scratch. The group has worked with actors, Akin Babatunde, Roseanne Almanzar, Jamyl Dobson, Denise Estrada, Fiona Choi, Liz Mikel, Taylore Mahogany Scott, Dara Seitzman, Shinnerrie Jackson, and Chris White, as well as composers including Osvaldo Golijov, Chinary Ung, Jeffrey Mumford, Kui Dong, Diane Monroe, and arranger Charles Floyd.
Core Ensemble
The Young Eight
young8 logo The Young Eight is a string octet comprised of a culturally diverse group of string players from all over the U.S. The members of the group come together to offer concerts and residency programs to communities who may not be inclined to attend a traditional Classical concert. The director and founder of The Young Eight is violinist, Quinton I. Morris. I was the Artistic Advisor and had been the organizational head of the Black College Tour as well as one of the cellists. We worked with composers including David Baker, Patrice Rushen, and Michael DePaul; poet and spoken word artist, Toyia Taylor; soprano, Indra Thomas; and David Lofton, pianist and vocal coach. Our ensemble was quite unusual in that it exposed the other talents of our members on a regular basis. For example, one of our members is a dancer and we offered a movement class as a residency program. Another member improvises with another music group of his, and so we offered a residency program on improvisation. And yet another member just flexed his music arranging capabilities, and so we inducted him to arrange some R&B songs for us, which we performed on our concerts. Check out The Young Eight and its other members at:
The Young Eight
Pastiche 5
pastiche2 Pastiche 5 is an all-female instrumental ensemble composed of violin, viola, cello, piano, and percussion. Each member brought a different ethnic, musical, geographical, and experiential background to the ensemble, enhancing its rich energy and ability to connect with various audiences. Classical music, as our basis, became a melting pot of creativity with the addition of other musical genres and worldly inspiration.

"Pastiche is the awareness of tradition in relation to the present time. Pastiche has always been used in music and art, either by rejecting tradition or trying to adapt the present time to tradition. It is not to be confused with imitation of art, it is moreso an homage to art traditions."
~Mauricio Vazquez, composer
Photo Credit for Pastiche 5: Fiona Aboud