Dr. Jeremy Benson is Professor of Music at Jacksonville State University where he teaches flute studies and serves as Director of Orchestral Activities & Conductor of the JSU Civic Symphony. He serves as President of the Florida Flute Association.
As an active soloist, chamber musician, and adjudicator, Dr. Benson was awarded Second Prize at the 2021 Music International Grand Prix for Solo Artist Competition and named a First Prize Winner at the 2011 Alexander & Buono International Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City, NY. He has served on adjudication panels, been a lecturer, and performed for several national and international solo competitions and master classes around the world.
His research and publications are primary resources about Japanese/French composer, Yuko Uébayashi, and he presents many lectures and concerts about her flute music internationally.
He is a Muramatsu Flute Performing Artist. See www.jeremybensonmusic.com for more information.
John Ellis is Associate Professor of Piano and director of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he also administers community and preparatory programs in piano as well as the class piano curriculum. He has previously served as Associate Dean for Administration and Associate Dean for Productions, Programs, and Partnerships. He was Chair of the Piano Department at UM and was elected to the school’s Executive Committee twice. He has recorded the piano music of African-American composer Arthur Cunningham and is working on a critical edition of his piano music. Ellis’s book on Marguerite Long’s life and piano teaching will be published by Indiana University Press in 2024. His articles on a music school which was investigated in the 1950s by HUAC are being published in the American Music Teacher in 2023.
American soprano Melissa Givens, a singer with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations, is especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage. She is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of today.
Notable performances include the solo recitals Out of the Shadows: Art Songs by Black Composers and Love’s Joys, Life’s Shadows: Songs Among Friends, and the premieres of Tom Flaherty’s Dear Lieder and Mark Buller’s Quarantine Miniatures, No. XIV: “Joysongs.” A champion of collaborative musical endeavors, Givens performs with various chamber music ensembles and appears frequently with Conspirare, the 2015 Grammy© winner for Best Choral Performance. Her solo CD, The Artist at Fifty: Songs from the Composers’ Fiftieth Birthday Year was released by Centaur records in August 2022.
Givens is Assistant Professor of Music and Head of Voice Studies at Pomona College.
Originally from Sharon, PA, cellist Bradley Mansell has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He serves on the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States and Europe. As a member of the Nashville Symphony, he has recorded for the Naxos, Sony Classics, and Decca recording labels. In 1995, he performed the premiere of Aurora for solo cello by Nashville composer Lee Gannon, as well as Gannon’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, commissioned by the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and dedicated to Mansell. Recognized as Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, is also a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. His principal teachers include Michael Gelfand, Lee Fiser, and Zara Nelsova. He has served as an adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association, the American String Teachers Association, and the Young Texas Artists Music Competitions.
Diane Boyd Schultz
Flutist and piccoloist Diane Boyd Schultz has established her career through solo and chamber performances in the USA, Canada, France, the UK, Russia, Romania, and Austria. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Dallas Bach Society, Alabama, Terre Haute, Tuscaloosa, Chattanooga, Shreveport, and Richardson Symphony Orchestras. She is a prizewinner of several national and international competitions, including the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Orchestral Winds Competition. She has also recorded for the Emmy award-winning documentary Weathered Secrets and for incidental music to the play Death of a Salesman.
A member of several chamber ensembles, she recently recorded an album of contemporary music on the Blue Griffin label with the Vuorovesi Trio (flute, oboe, clarinet), and her upcoming recording project includes new commissions for flute and spoken word. Schultz is Professor of Flute at the School of Music at The University of Alabama.
Jose Ramon Mendez