Perry Brisbon has enjoyed both national and international success as an Operatic Tenor. He has performed such roles as Tamino in “Die Zauberflote”, Hoffmann in “Tales of Hoffmann”, Count Almaviva in ‘Barber Of Seville’ Sportin’ Life in “Porgy and Bess”, Tchekalinsky in “Pique Dame” Joe in “Carmen Jones”, and Zoogy in “Romulus Hunt”. Mr. Brisbon has made appearances with Orlando Opera Company, Edmonton Opera (Alberta Canada), Opera Ebony/ Opera North, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Kennedy Center, Lake George Opera Festival, the Bienale Festival of Munich, Germany, as well as Ashlawn Opera Festival. Mr. Brisbon has been honored to work with several notable composers, directors and conductors such as Gian Carlo Menotti, John Demain, Karen Keltner, Francesca Zambello, Mark Lamos, Wesley Balk, Tania Léon, and Carly Simon. Equally comfortable in recital and oratorio, he has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Undine Smith-Moore’s “Scene From The Life Of A Marty’, the South New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Lancaster Symphony among others. Honors include: Winner of the Luciano Pavarotti/Opera Company of Philadelphia International Voice Competition, recipient of the Richard Gold Memorial Award of the Shoshona Foundation, winner of the National Society of Arts and Letter Award, Mid. Atlantic Region, Twice winner of the Mario Lanza Competition, recipient of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Grant, recipient of the Philadelphia Music Foundation Grant, and winner of the W. Russell Johnson award, and Esther Boyer Student Soloist Award. Most recently, Mr. Brisbon has been featured in the acclaimed book by author, Elaine Mack: Black Classical Musicians of Philadelphia. Perry Brisbon attended the Curtis Institute of Music where he received the Master’s of Opera degree. He completed his B.A. in Vocal Performance from Temple University via Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor and director of various choral ensembles at Drexel University, Eastern University, and Cabrini University.
Jim Candido [double bassist] began his musical career in 1963, performing with the Don Shirley Trio. Columbia Artists Management programmed over 200 concerts for the trio across the US and Canada each year. In 1965 he free-lanced in New York City, working on off-Broadway shows and performing with symphonic orchestras. In 1966, he won an audition for a position with the New York Philharmonic, and was appointed to the bass section by Leonard Bernstein. His position with the New York Philharmonic lasted until 2003. During his tenure with the orchestra, he performed throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, the Far East, Russia and China. During this time, he performed with the world’s greatest conductors and soloists. He also performed chamber music concerts in South America and Europe. In 2003 he retired and moved to Wallace, NC. Since then, he has performed with chamber and choral groups, ballets, orchestras in Pinehurst, Wilmington and Fayetteville. He also teaches violin (his original instrument) and currently has a position at the Duplin Music Academy, assisting up to 15 students.
Proclaimed “a virtuoso of a high order” by the Baltimore Sun, Kyle Engler [mezzo-soprano] has been praised for her extreme versatility in opera, oratorio, and chamber music. As a performer on the opera stage, she has sung the roles of the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mercedes in Carmen, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro to name a few. In January, 2005, Ms. Engler was cast by Placido Domingo to premier the role of Lydia Dudley in Washington National Opera’s production of Democracy, An American Comedy by Scott Wheeler, garnering rave reviews in major publications around the country. She also premiered the role of Retinue in Augusta Read-Thomas’ opera Ligeia, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, in Evian, France. Ms. Engler has been a featured soloist with many orchestras most recently performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lancaster Symphony. An advocate of contemporary chamber music, Ms. Engler has collaborated with the Ravel Trio, the Morpheus Trio, the New Horizons Chamber Ensemble, and celebrated pianist Andre Watts. Ms. Engler, who earned a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and is the Director of Vocal Studies at McDaniel College.
Daniel Lau [pianist] has received enthusiastic press notices for both his solo and chamber performances. The Washington Post praised his "exemplary artistry;" the Baltimore Sun noted "Lau's beautifully shaded playing;" the Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) lauded his "flair, great technical proficiency and expressiveness;" and La Liberté (Fribourg, Switzerland) cited "playful nuances, translucent phrasing, and miraculous sonorities." He has appeared in recitals and with orchestras throughout North America and Europe. He collaborates frequently with singers internationally and is a sought-after chamber musician. With soprano Sabrina Coleman Clark, he has performed a multimedia show, "Marian Anderson - A Legacy of Hope," to thousands of school children. He is a founding member of the Ravel Trio praised recently by the Swiss Journal du Jura, "Splendid interpretation, vigorous and nuanced playing." Since 2006, he has released half a dozen recordings with a variety of artists, including a CD with award winning engineer Marc Arbort and a self-produced solo CD "Transcendent Colors." With a special interest in Asian American and African American composers, Lau is committed to the performance of living composers. He has premiered many solo and chamber music works and can be heard on a number of recordings of works by contemporary living composers. A versatile pianist, violinist and conductor, Daniel has served as Music Director for performances of Manon, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Merry Widow, and The Magic Flute, among others. Lau attended Loma Linda University, where he served as concertmaster of the orchestra and 1st violinist of the LLU String Quartet. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance - high honors, he won the coveted Dean's Award. He then attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, becoming a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honorary society while earning masters and doctoral degrees. His major teachers include Lillian Freundlich, Anita Norskov Olsen, Samuel Sanders, and Jerome Lowenthal. Dr. Lau is a dedicated educator of music and has given masterclasses and clinics throughout the United States. He serves as Vice President for Student Activities and Chair of the Piano Ensemble event for the Maryland State Music Teachers Association. He has taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, Notre
Dame of Maryland University and was recently named Chair of the Department of Music at Washington Adventist University.
Luigi Mazzocchi [violinist] studied in the Venezuelan "El Sistema” and the Latin American Violin Academy with José F. del Castillo. He was a first violinist of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra and performed as soloist with the leading Venezuelan symphony orchestras. He attended international music festivals in Latin America, the US, Spain, France and Australia and is a prizewinner such competitions as the Venezuelan “Del Castillo” Latin American Competition and the 1999 FOSJA, performing in the Casals Festival. Mr. Mazzocchi studied with Liliana Ciulei and Helen Kwalwasser and has coached with M. Pardee, Z. Bron, O. Charlier, T. Tanaka, W. de Pasquale, L. Biava, and D. Arben. Currently, he is the Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Co-Concertmaster of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony and a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops, the Philly Pops and the Gaudeamus and Cachasa ensembles.
Clark Spencer [violist] is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral performer living in Wilmington, NC. He is currently assistant principal viola of the Oregon Mozart Players and a founding member of the Blue Box Ensemble. Clark has performed with the Fayetteville Symphony (NC), Long Bay Symphony Orchestra (SC) Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, the Corvallis Symphony, Newport Symphony, and the Oregon Bach Festival. He has had the privilege of performing under the batons of Andrew Litton, Marin Alsop, Jeffrey Kahane, Helmut Rilling, and Gunther Schuller. Originally from Lancaster, PA, Clark earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in performance from Boston University, where he studied viola with Michelle LaCourse and violin with Peter Zazofsky. He recently completed his Doctorate in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oregon where he studied Dr. Leslie Straka. His doctoral research on the Sonata in G by Paul Ben-Haim culminated in a new edition for solo viola. Clark has also studied with Martha Strongin Katz and Jeffrey Irvine. He has performed in masterclasses with Kim Kashkashian, Arnold Steinhardt, Roger Tapping, Pamela Frank, the Ying String Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Orion String Quartet, and the Muir String Quartet. Clark is an experienced violin and viola teacher and currently teaches at St. Mary Catholic School in Wilmington, NC. He completed his long term Suzuki training with Karin Hallberg and Louise Scott during his studies at the University of Oregon. In addition to his own studio, Clark has taught for the University of Oregon's Community Music Institute, where he taught group classes, coached chamber music and conducted a middle school string orchestra. He also coached violin and viola sections of the South Salem High School Chamber Orchestra and the Salem Youth Orchestra. During the summers of 2009 and 2010, Clark served on the faculty at the Vermont Youth Orchestra's Summer Program, Reveille. Dr. Spencer is on the string faculty at UNCW.
Distinguished performer Danijela Žeželj-Gualdi [violinist] has appeared as a concert soloist, chamber and orchestra musician throughout Eastern and Central Europe and USA. Her assertive style and strong musical personality have thrilled audiences including Carnegie Weill Hall, Carnegie Isaac Stern Hall, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Schwartz Hall at Emory University, Legacy Hall in Columbus GA, Kolarac Belgrade Serbia, and in Vienna, Graz, Grumo Italy, Atlanta, Athens GA, Florence SC, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Savannah and Wilmington. Her concert tours included appearances in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, and Italy. As a concerto soloist she appeared with Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, DeKalb Symphony Orchestra and University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Her musical career is noted for collaborations with remarkable musicians, including Evgeny Rivkin, and Levon Ambartsumian, and contemporary composers Augusta Reed Thomas, James MacMillan. Žeželj-Gualdi earned her Violin Diploma with highest honors at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. While in the U.S., she earned a Master Degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Georgia. Žeželj-Gualdi worked extensively with Eugenia Tchougaeva, Irina and Marina Jashvilli, Manana Dugladze, Cyrus Ferough, Carolyn Huebl, and Michael Heald and took part in master classes with Andres Cardenes, Thimothy Baker, Pamela Frank, and Misha Emory among others. In January 2008 she became a founding member of the Balkan Quartet, a string quartet which focus is to involve and inspire composers to create new music that would use an indigenous Balkan language, reviving the rich Balkan folk heritage on a high artistic level. Dr. Danijela Žeželj-Gualdi serves as a Violin and Viola Instructor and an Artistic Director of the Community Music Academy at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as an Artistic Director and founder of the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition. She plays on a Pellacani violin lent to her by Ronald Sachs Violins.