Carmen Granger, Violin
Carmen F. Granger is an orchestral musician throughout the southeast and has been seen performing with many symphonies and opera companies in Ohio, Arkansas, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. She has sat as principal viola of Western Piedmont Symphony, Carolina Philharmonic, Fayetteville Symphony, and assistant principal of Greensboro Symphony and Durham Symphony. She is currently studying to obtain her M.M. in viola at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she has sat as principal of the Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Chamber Orchestra, and seen with the Lima Symphony.
Carmen graduated in 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). During her time at UNCG, she was the principal viola of the Symphony Orchestra for two years and performed with different smaller ensembles within the school, including being the resident violinist/violist of the school’s contemporary music ensemble, Present~Continuous, the Gate City Camerata, Casella Sinfonietta and the UNCG Opera Orchestra. She has also had the pleasure of getting to work with Lynn Harrell, Philip Glass, Molly Ringwald, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. She has performed in masterclasses for Michael Strauss, Pamela Ryan, and Elias Goldstein as well as the Friction Quartet, Deadalus Quartet, and Decoda Quartet.
In recent years, Carmen has played at the Durham Center for Performing Arts as a guest with the MGP Live tour of The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses (2017) as well as Distant Worlds Music from Final Fantasy (2018). She has also been an orchestral fellow at Sewanee Summer Music Festival and looks forward to being a fellow at National Music Festival in Maryland in 2019. In her free time, Carmen enjoys playing video games, baking, and entertaining her cat, Tina.
Currently based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Kyle Kostenko is an American clarinetist, scholar, and teacher. An avid chamber musician, Kyle currently plays with several professional chamber groups, including the Splinter Tongue Clarinet Quartet and the Catchfire Collective. His groups have won first prize at major competitions, including division and state competitions of the Music Teachers’ National Association. In addition, Kyle has frequently performed with orchestras in the Piedmont Triad including the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra and the Lee County Community Orchestra. From 2015-2016, he served as the Clarinet Mentor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Wu Family Academy, of which he is an alumnus. Beginning in October 2019, Kyle will be working in Romania as a Fulbright Scholar, studying Romanian experimental music for clarinet.
Kyle is dedicated to the performance of new, unknown, or otherwise marginalized music, especially works by women and people of color. A dedicated advocate for new and experimental music, he has performed works by composers including Liana Alexandra, Stephen Hartke, Michael Henry, Jennifer Higdon, Theresa Martin, Doina Rotaru, D.J. Sparr, and Joan Tower. In 2016, he was featured on the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival in a performance of Higdon’s “Zaka” for the composer. He has also collaborated with performers including Lisa Bielawa and Lindsay Kesselman. Currently, Kyle is commissioning composer Robin McLaughlin for “Hot Take,” for clarinet and speaker.
As a scholar, Kyle’s research interests include queer topics in art and pop music, music made by queer people and in queer spaces, and contemporary Romanian music. He has presented research most notably at chapter meetings of the American Musicological Society, among other conferences. Kyle earned his degrees in music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bowling Green State University. His teachers include Anthony Taylor, Kevin Schempf, and Andy Hudson.
Pianist and composer Robin McLaughlin is the common link between all members of Catchfire Collective. She has had work performed throughout the United States and Canada, and has been recognized by ASCAP and the American Composers Forum. Drawing musical inspiration from metaphor and the sacred, her music is imaginative and energetic.
Robin recently held a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Other recent projects include a piece for flute and lighting design for Krisztina Dér’s flute/light project, a Rosie the Riveter-inspired work for the Greensboro-based Women’s Wind Ensemble, and and a saxophone and fixed media piece for Emily Loboda. Robin’s work has garnered performances by numerous ensembles, including the Bechtler Ensemble, Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, the Ancia Saxophone Quartet, Present~Continuous, the Oraia Reed Quintet, the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble, and the Houghton College Philharmonia.
As a pianist, Robin appeared as a soloist with the Houghton College Wind Ensemble, and has also performed at the Kennedy Center. She is on the piano faculty at the Cary School of Music, and she has given recitals in the Houghton NY and Apex NC areas, and is a frequent collaborator, often premiering works by living composers. This June, she will be traveling to Knoxville to play her piece In the Beginning at the Nief-Norf Summer Music Festival Genre Lines Conference.
Robin teaches composition and theory at the the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she also received her Masters in Music Composition. She received a dual-BM in Music Composition and Music Education at Houghton College. Her primary instructors have been Alejandro Rutty, Mark Engebretson, Sarah Hutchings, and David Davies. Upcoming projects include a clarinet/tape piece for clarinetist Kyle Kostenko, and a residency at Arts Letters and Numbers this June creating a new larger-scale sacred work.
In her free time, Robin loves to read and bake, and has nearly perfected the art of sourdough bread.
Jillian Storey just finished her first year as a doctoral candidate at UNC Greensboro where she is a Teaching Assistant in the flute studio and is studying with Dr. Erika Boysen. An avid teacher and music advocate, Jillian has held numerous teaching and leadership roles. She is currently the curator for the Pre-Concert Conversations series for the UNCG Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestras, and an administrator for the UNCG School of Music’s Instagram account. She currently serves on the Archives and Oral History Committee of the The National Flute Association, is the Newsletter editor for the Marcel Moyse Society Fan Page, and will assist with the 2020 Darkwater Women in Music Festival. Previously, Jillian maintained a private teaching studio in Houston, TX, and has taught in Waco, TX, Tennessee, and spent two weeks in the summer of 2016 teaching music reading in Malaysia. She was also the Woodwind Area Coordinator of the Chamber Music Outreach Program while studying at Baylor University and a faculty member for the Baylor High School Band and Orchestra camps.
A dedicated performer, Jillian has performed with the Waco and Bryan Symphonies and the Greensboro Opera. In 2018 she was the flutist for J.S. Bach’s B Minor Orchestral Suite, BWV 1067 with the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and is a prior finalist of the Baylor University Concerto Competition and winner of the Marcel Moyse Society’s Essay Contest (2015), TN MTNA Young Artist Competition (2013, Honorable Mention and 2010, Winner), the Joan Derrberry Memorial Competition (2010), and a finalist in the Nashville Philharmonic’s Concerto Competition (2010 and 2011). She was also the flutist for Coloratura Winds, the TX MTNA Chamber Music Competition Winner and South-Central Division’s Runner-Up in 2016.
Jillian holds an MM from Baylor University (2016) where she was a Graduate Assistant in the flute studio, and a BM from Tennessee Tech University (2012), with further flute studies with Trevor Wye (2012-13 and 2016-17). Her primary teachers are Erika Boysen, Trevor Wye, Francesca Arnone, Roger Martin, and JoAnn McIntosh.
Praised for his "dramatic performance" and "stunning orchestral playing," rising cellist Peter Swanson has performed across the United States as soloist, cutting-edge collaborator, and orchestral leader. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and Northshore Philharmonic (both MN), as well as his first Upper Midwest solo tour of unaccompanied recitals last summer. His passion for the modern cello repertoire has led him to tackle the works of Hindemith, Crumb, Britten, Ligeti, Barber, Shostakovich, Dutilleux, Lutosławski, Augusta Read Thomas, Golijov, and John Luther Adams.
As an orchestral musician, his leadership positions span nearly a dozen orchestras at the community, collegiate, and professional level. Accolades include a full fellowship to the National Orchestral Institute, being named winner of the inaugural Prince George's Philharmonic Cello Internship (MD), and two years as endowed principal of the Luther College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He can be heard on the Grammy-nominated NAXOS recording of the National Orchestral Institute performing masterworks by Ruggles, Stucky, and Harbison.
As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of Catchfire Collective, a new music ensemble based in North Carolina. Other chamber tenures include the Ekklesia Trio, Music In The Shape Of A Pear, the TEMPO Ensemble, the Gate City Camerata, and Present~Continuous. In these groups he has premiered numerous pieces and promoted recent compositions from around the world. He has also recently been appointed to the UNC-Greensboro Graduate Fellowship Quartet.
He currently is pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro as a graduate assistant under the instruction of Alex Ezerman. He also holds degrees from the University of Maryland and Luther College (IA). He has performed in masterclasses for Andres Diaz, Cecylia Barczyk, Richard Belcher, Tulio Rondon, Christine Kim, Lawrence Stombeck, and Robert DeMaine. He is a winner of the National School Orchestra Award, the Luther Music Excellence Award, and the Burlington Industries Music Award. Peter plays a 2013 Beckmann cello specially commissioned by Givens Violins in Minneapolis.
Isaac Pyatt is a percussionist, composer, and educator currently based in Lansing, Michigan. Isaac has presented or performed in concerts and festivals across the Eastern half of the United States and Canada. Recent performances include guest artist recitals at UNC-Pembroke and Winthrop University and appearances at University of Nebraska – Kearney’s New Music Festival and SCI Student Conferences, with an upcoming solo tour in Fall 2019 at universities across the southeast. Winner of numerous competitions, he has performed as a soloist with the Michigan State University Orchestra, UNC-Greensboro Orchestra, and UNCG Percussion Ensemble, and performed at Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention and North Carolina Days of Percussion
He is a founding member of two Triad-based chamber music ensembles – Conduit Percussion Trio and Catchfire Collective. In recent years, he has attended Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions, So Percussion Summer Institute, and Leigh Howard Stevens’ Marimba Seminar. Isaac frequently performs with regional orchestras in North Carolina and Michigan, including the Winston-Salem Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.
Isaac’s music is published through APAKA Music and Tapspace Publications, and his performances have been featured by Vic Firth Concert. In addition to performing and promoting his own compositions, he has premiered works by Mark Engebretson, Lowell Fuchs, Grace Gollmar, Cory Harper-Latkovich, Sharneisha Joyner, Ricardo Lorenz, John Mackey, Hedra Rowan, Adam Silverman, Jason Treuting, Kendall Williams, and Binshan Zhao. Isaac is currently a Graduate Assistant at Michigan State University, studying towards a Master’s in Percussion Performance. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance and music composition at University of North Carolina – Greensboro, where he was also a recipient of the Minerva Music Scholarship. He has studied percussion with Gwendolyn Dease, Jon Weber, Eric Willie, and John Beck, and studied composition with Alejandro Rutty and Mark Engebretson.