Dr. Amanda McCandless, Associate Professor of Clarinet
Amanda McCandless joined the faculty of the University of Northern Iowa as Assistant Professor of Clarinet in 2008 and since that time has built one of the largest and most successful clarinet studios in the region.
McCandless has performed recitals throughout the U.S. and abroad. Recently, she appeared as a guest soloist with the UNI Wind Symphony on their tour of northern Italy. She has also been a guest artist and teacher at the Universidade de Brasília (Brazil), the Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil), the Bolivian National Conservatory of Music in La Paz, Bolivia and at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez . She has been a gClose overlayuest artist at many international, national and regional clarinet events, including the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2012 and 2010, the 2011 NACWPI National Convention, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, Michigan State University’s Clarinet Spectacular and the Eastern Kentucky University Clarinet Festival. She has been a guest recitalist and clinician at many universities in the US, including the University of New Mexico, the University of Wisconsin at Madision, the State University of New York at Fredonia, and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.
McCandless was a finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and was twice a finalist in the International Clarinet Association’s Young Artist Competition. She was a winner of the 2004 Michigan State University Concerto Competition, performing Joan Tower’s Clarinet Concerto. She has performed in the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, and performed as principal clarinet in the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and the Tulsa Ballet Orchestra.
McCandless holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree from Michigan State University, where she was a student of Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she was a student of Connie Rhoades. She has also studied with Theodore Oien, Charles Neidich, Colin Lawson and Peter Jenkin. McCandless has previously held teaching positions at Northeastern (OK) State University, Indiana University South Bend, Bemidji (MN) State University and Michigan State University’s Community Music School.
Dr. McCandless's first solo CD, Unaccompanied Clarinet Works by Women Composers, was released in 2012 on the Mark Records label. It is available on i-Tunes, Amazon.com or directly from the record label.
Dr. Ann Bradfield, Assistant Professor of Saxophone
An advocate for new music, Ann Bradfield commissions and premieres new works for saxophone. Most recently, in 2013 she commissioned and premieredThe Mystics for soprano saxophone and trumpet by Franklin Piland, andin 2011 she premiered and recordedWink for alto saxophone and marimba, with and by renowned percussionist Mark Ford. In the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Corporon, Bradfield performed and recorded as principal saxophonist on projects including the educational series, “Teaching Music through Performance in Band.” She has been featured in performance at the World Saxophone Congress, North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Convention, and North American Saxophone Alliance Region 2 and 4 Conventions.
Ms. Bradfield completed her doctorate in saxophone performance at the University of North Texas, and her dissertation An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Music for Saxophone by Charles Ruggiero with an Analysis ofInterplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano has since been published. At UNT, she also earned a Master of Music in saxophone performance and Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, and had the opportunity to work with artists including Maria Schneider, Michael Brecker, and Bob Brookmeyer. Ms. Bradfield has served on the faculty of Eastern New Mexico University, Cameron University, Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma Christian University.
Dr. Heather Peyton, Assistant Professor of Oboe
Heather Peyton received a Doctorate in Musical Arts Degree from Michigan State University, where she held the title of University Distinguished Fellow. She received a Master’s Degree in solo performance and Artist Diploma from McGill University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University. She has held teaching positions at institutions including Iowa State University and the Interlochen Summer Arts Program. Dr. Peyton won honorable mention as a finalist in the prestigious Gillet-Fox International Oboe Competition, competed in the Sony International Oboe Competition, and is the recipient of many national and international awards for her solo and chamber music performances on oboe, English horn, and oboe d’amore. She has appeared as a soloist in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. Currently a member of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Peyton has performed as a member or guest with numerous ensembles, including the Orquestra Sinfônica da Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Ensemble Pentaèdre, and the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Quebéc. She has toured internationally as part of a contemporary chamber opera company as well as with a woodwind quintet.
Cayla Bellamy, Visiting Professor of Bassoon
A Georgia native from a Midwestern family, Cayla Bellamy is currently Instructor of Bassoon at the University of Northern Iowa. She has performed both as soloist and orchestra member throughout Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, and Colorado, including one summer at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Her passion for education has resulted in positions with the Georgia public school system, an Atlanta-based youth orchestra, and the New York Summer School of the Arts. Bellamy is currently pursuing the Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University with a research focus in beginning bassoon pedagogy, and she holds Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Georgia, where she was distinguished as a National Presser Scholar.
Steve Vacchi is professor of bassoon at the University of Oregon, where he also coordinates the chamber music program. His teachers have included C. Robert Reinert, Rebecca Eldredge, Matthew Ruggiero, K. David Van Hoesen, Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, and William Ludwig. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. with high distinction/
Performer’s Certificate), The Hartt School (M.M.), and Louisiana State University (D.M.A.), where he held a Board of Regents Fellowship. He also studied at the Yale School of Music. His dissertation is a “how-to” for bassoonists on fluttertongue and singing while playing; it focuses on five solo works requiring both techniques.
A member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi, he was formerly a faculty member at Wichita State University (KS) and the Brevard Music Center (NC). He has presented masterclasses at high schools, conservatories, and universities throughout the United States and China, and served as a faculty sabbatical replacement at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
Vacchi’s recording credits include Argo, BMG Classics, Centaur, NMC (Israel), North Pacific, Sony Classical, Edward Hines Music, Equilibrium, 8 Bells Records, Origin Classical, Quadre Music Group, AFKA Records, PentaTone, Parma Records, Orange Mountain Music, and Imagine Music. He has performed in 23 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. In the U.S., Vacchi has performed with The Florida Orchestra, Santa Fe ProMusica, the Rhode Island, Tulsa, and Rochester Philharmonics, and the Saint Louis, New World, Baton Rouge, Colorado, Honolulu, Kansas City, Oregon, Eugene, New Haven, and Wichita Symphony Orchestras. He is a member of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (CA), and Music on the Hill (RI). He has performed in backup groups for such diverse artists as Michael Brecker, Victor Borge, Garrison Keillor, Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, The Moody Blues, and Peter Schickele. Vacchi has been a featured soloist in works by Haydn, Mozart, Strauss, J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Lindpaintner, Jurriaan Andriessen, Michael Daugherty, Walter Hartley, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Walter Mays, and Peter Hope.
An advocate of new music, Vacchi has performed more than 400 recently-composed works, including 118 premieres. A member of the Oregon Wind Quintet, he also performs with Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble, which features contemporary improvisation and jazz chamber music. Vacchi maintains interests in instrument collecting and early music, performing on dulcian, rackett, Baroque, Classical, and French bassoons. He has performed throughout the west coast as a Baroque bassoonist, including appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver's Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and members of Seattle Baroque.
Stephanie Zelnick, clarinet (www.stephaniezelnick.com/stephaniezelnick.com/Home.html)
Dr. Stephanie Zelnick, Associate Professor of Clarinet at The University of Kansas, is also Principal Clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic and formerly principal clarinet of the Central City Opera. She is an acclaimed soloist, recording artist, and chamber musician.
Dr. Zelnick is one of the most dynamic clarinetists of her generation, with a career that spans the United States, Asia, South America, and Europe. She has performed as a soloist in renowned venues and festivals, including most recently Carnegie Hall, Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, Festicamara (Colombia), The National Concert Hall (Taiwan), Timisoara Academica Muzicala (Romania), Congreso del Clarineto (Spain), Festival de Vincenzo Bellini (Italy), the American Embassy (Lithuania), European Day of Middle-Eastern Culture (Serbia), Festival Internacional de Clarinetes (Costa Rica), to name a few. She has taught masterclasses at numerous institutions, including the University of Michigan, Florida State University, Vanderbilt University, Berkshire Music Trust (UK), Academy of Musical Arts (Czech Republic), Lithuanian Academy of Music, and throughout Brazil, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Serbia, Spain, among others.
In 2016, Dr. Zelnick will join the faculty of music festivals in France and Italy and as the host of the 2016 ClarinetFest in Lawrence, KS. She is also traveling to numerous concert and teaching venues in Brazil, San Francisco, Colorado, and Costa Rica for performances and masterclasses.
Dr. Zelnick is known as an eclectic recording artist, from Brooke Joyce’s innovative Waves of Stone (Innova) to Appunti di Viaggio (Accademia Italiana del Clarinetto). She is a Naxos recording artist, featured as a soloist playing Morton Gould’s Derivations for Clarinet and Jazz Band. She has two solo albums: Diaspora and Diversions, the Midcentury Clarinet. Her performing has been broadcast throughout the United States and Europe, including on WFMT Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Series), Colorado Public Radio, NPR, and Italian and Serbian television networks.
Zelnick has performed with many orchestras, including the Colorado, Tucson, Tallahassee, Houston, Prague Opera, and Kansas City Symphonies, and has held principal positions in the Mississippi Symphony, Colorado Ballet, Greeley Philharmonic, Johann Strauss Opera in Vienna, and Prague Chamber Symphony.
She has toured Europe as a solo and chamber musician, performing in the Netherlands, Belgium, Serbia, Macedonia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Germany. She has travelled extensively as a member of the Prague International Trio and worked with the Czech-based Classicon XX. She has been sponsored by Privrednik, Serbia’s oldest humanitarian organization, to perform and teach throughout the country. She has been an artist in residence in Lithuania, been featured on Italian and Serbian television, and is returning this year as an artist in residence at the Universidade Federal de Goias and Universidad de Brasilia in Brazil. Previous trips to Brazil include concerts and residencies in Brasilia, Goiania, Campinas, Sao Paolo, Rio da Janiero, and others. She has taught and performed throughout Spain, including at Conservatorio Superior de Granada and the Conservatorio Real de Madrid.
With clarinetist Mariam Adam of the Imani Winds, she has founded the Adzel Duo, a group which strengthens cultural dialogues through music. They have commissioned, performed, and recorded works by Forrest Pierce, Jason Barabba, Denmo Ibrahim, Anne Guzzo, Beth Wiemann, and Mohammed Fairouz. They were most recently featured in Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory, the University of Delaware Clarinet Day, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest Los Angeles.
Dr. Zelnick is a noted scholar and has published numerous reviews and articles for the Clarinet and NACWPI. Her book, The High Altitude Clarinetist, will be published in Fall, 2016. She is active in the International Clarinet Association, serving as Wyoming State Chair for the organization, the artistic committee for the 2008 convention, and is hosting the ClarinetFest 2016 at the University of Kansas.
She is especially dedicated to the idea that music is a dramatic catalyst for social change. She has worked with students of the YOURS program of the People’s School of Chicago and Red de Escuelas de Musica de Medellin. These El-Sistema model programs are based on the idea of musical immersion programs as a catalyst for social change.
Dr. Zelnick graduated from Rice University with a bachelors degree in clarinet performance. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant and an Artist Diploma at the Academy for the Performing Arts in Prague. She is a member of the J. William Fulbright Committee as a Peer Review member and was also the recent recipient of several travel grants from the organization. Zelnick graduated from University of Northern Colorado with her masters and doctoral degrees and was on the faculty of the University of Wyoming for eight years. She is a Buffet-Crampon Sponsored Artist and Clinician and endorsed by Gonzalez Reeds.
Anna Maddix, oboe/English horn (https://bpo.org/staff-members/anna-mattix/)
Anna Mattix joined the Buffalo Philharmonic's oboe section in June 2007 as an English hornist. Previous to coming to Buffalo, Anna played principal oboe with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and English horn with the Owensboro Philharmonic. Anna has degrees from Ithaca College and Yale University and is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University. While at Yale, she developed a unique mentoring program between students at the School of Music and an inner city Magnet Arts High School. This program that continues to this day was honored with the prestigious Elm and Ivy award given by the city of New Haven and Yale University. Anna has appeared several times in concert at the International Double Reed Society Conference and is a featured recording artist for Aireborn and Los Lodges studios in Indianapolis. Her major teachers have included Ronald Roseman, Theodore Baskin, Nicholas Daniel and Mark Hill.
Debra Richtmeyer, saxophone (https://music.illinois.edu/faculty/debra-richtmeyer)
Debra Richtmeyer, an internationally renowned saxophonist and pedagogue, has been Professor of Saxophone at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1991 and has performed as a soloist and clinician in North America, Europe, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Thailand and China. She has performed or recorded as a concerto soloist with numerous bands and orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak Radio Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Washington D.C. United States Navy Band. She was principal saxophonist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1991 and with the St. Louis Symphony from 1992-2002. She is Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance and an Artist/Clinician for Conn-Selmer Incorporated.
Professor Richtmeyer has won numerous awards and prizes and has been an invited Juror for music competitions at all levels, including prestigious competitions such as the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana in 2010 and the 3rd Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. She has premiered commissioned works at eight World Saxophone Congresses and four North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. In 1997 in Valencia, Spain Richtmeyer became the first woman to be invited to perform a concerto with orchestra at a World Saxophone Congress. In 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, she became the first woman to be invited to give a master class at a World Saxophone Congress. In July 2012 she performed the Lee Actor Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for the Final Gala concert at the World Saxophone Congress held in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Her solo CD, Extravaganza for Saxophone and Orchestra, (Albany Records 2003) was reviewed by the American Record Guide as "…flawless...an extraordinary album..." Her CD, World Without Words, Debra Richtmeyer and the 2008-2009 University of Illinois Saxophone Studio (Mark Records), was selected for the 2011 Grammy Entry List and was reviewed by internationally renowned French saxophonist, Jean-Marie Londeix as, “Remarkable…exemplary… Impeccable playing… It is proof one more time of her talents (including that of the conductor) and of the excellence of her teaching. Her university and students are very lucky to have her.” In 2010 Professor Richtmeyer recorded the Lee Actor Concerto for Saxophone for his "Concertos" CD (Navona 2011) reviewed by the American Record Guide as "...a terrific piece…Richtmeyer gives it a wonderful reading. She has the requisite technical skills and a flair for the dramatic, and she expertly walks the classical saxophone's timbre tightrope..."
Richtmeyer’s students and former students are leaders in the next generation of classical saxophonists and teachers. They have won numerous prizes and awards at the local, state, national and international levels, including two Winners, 3rd place and Semi-Finalist in 2011 and 2012 international music competitions. Many have gone on to become saxophone professors, band directors and members of elite U.S. military bands. Others are teaching and performing throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. In 1997 Richtmeyer received the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts Award for Outstanding Faculty. In 2002 she was named a recipient of the University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. She was the first of only two faculty members in the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts to have received this award.
Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois Professor Richtmeyer was a saxophone professor at the University of North Texas and an instructor at Lawrence Conservatory. She received her degrees are from Northwestern University where she was aTeaching Assistant and student of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke.