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OUR MUSICIANS

Meet just a few of our talented musicians below. Every musician on our roster has been selected for their outstanding musical talent, as well as their commitment to offering our clients reliability, a great attitude, and absolute professionalism. Beyond that, we think they're all wonderful people as well! Please browse this page and get to know our musicians, then sign up to receive notification of when they are playing public concerts in your area. We work hard at our art, and we'd love for you to come hear us play!

 

Kim Fleuchaus (Flute and Egyptian Nay) has been heard on commercials, radio, stage, film, and CD recordings. As a symphony musician, she has performed with many orchestras, including the Milwaukee, Charlotte, Elgin, and South Bend Symphony Orchestras, the South Carolina and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cube Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles and orchestras. She holds music degrees from Northwestern and Bethel Universities, and has performed at both the Kennedy Center and the White House. She is a founding member of the Sapphire Winds Woodwind Quintet and performs in numerous other chamber ensembles. An active freelance musician, she performs throughout the U.S. and Canada on the flute and the Egyptian nay. A dedicated instructor, Ms. Fleuchaus has given lectures and masterclasses at Northwestern University and Wheaton College, and has won several pedagogy awards. In addition to teaching at Trinity Christian College, she is the Flute Choir Director for School District 219 and maintains private studios in Niles and Lincolnshire.

David Onderdonk (Classical and Jazz Guitar) has performed and recorded with a number of top names in jazz, including vocalists Kurt Elling and Cassandra Wilson, pianist Fred Simon, guitarist John McLean, saxophonist Von Freeman, jazz innovator Pharoah Sanders, and legendary folk-jazz artist Terry Callier. Onderdonk began studying guitar in 1974 when he was accepted into the classical guitar program at the University of Illinois. He took master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Elliot Fisk, and Eduardo Fernandez among others, and has taught at Ax in Hand guitar shop, Columbia College and at the Christopher Lauglin Guitar Studio. His CD Loose Contact received four stars in Down Beat magazine.

Kathy Cowan (Celtic Vocals) Kathy toured for five years with Kiltartan Road, a band she formed with Joseph Sobol to perform In the Deep Heart's Core. She received unanimous acclaim for the "raw, crackling energy" of her performances, her "luminous presence", and her "deep affinity for her material." Kathy has been the featured soloist with several major symphony orchestras, singing Irish songs from her Irish repertoire. She has appeared with Doc Severinsen and the Milwaukee Symphony, as well as the Buffalo and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestras and the Toledo Symphony. She has toured as guest artist with the Paul Winter Consort, and has been featured on the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center. Kathy is a core faculty member of The Old Town School of Folk Music and teaches at the Victory Gardens Theatre and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Alex Koffman (Classical and Klezmer Violin) was born in Minsk, Byelorus and received his Masters Degree from the Conservatory of Minsk. His musical positions included Concertmaster of the Byelorussian Pops Orchestra. In 1990, after immigrating to America, Alex studied with Albert Igolnikov of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Subsequently, Alex was introduced to the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and became its violinist and arranger, as well as composer of the musical scores for productions of the Yiddish Arts Ensemble Theater. Alex is co-instructor of the Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute. His non-klezmer credits include classical and show orchestras in Chicago including the Chicago Music Consortium and the Bill Porter Orchestra, the Steppenwolf Theater, movie and commercial soundtracks. In 1999, Alex was featured soloist in the world premier of "Klezmer Rhapsody" in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. Alex has recorded three CDs with Maxwell Street and toured with the band in Germany, Austria, England and the Netherlands.

Kalyan Pathak is a composer, musician, drummer and a percussion player of a multi cultural experience covering a very vast base. Raised in a musical family in Ahmedabad, India, he began his formal training in Classical North Indian Tabla at the age of 9, and continued this rigorous regimen until he was 15. Soon thereafter, his passion for rhythm led him to broaden his musical horizons, and he spent 5 years in Bombay under the tutelage of Ranjit Barot, devoting himself to western drumset, while concurrently doing session work in the Bombay studio scene. Kalyan came to Chicago in the early nineties, and in addition to receiving a B.Mus. degree in Jazz studies with honors, he went on to study African, Afro-cuban, Latin and Middle Eastern genres of percussion. Since moving to the U.S., Kalyan has become one of the busiest tabla virtuoso and multi-ethnic percussionists in the country. Apart from numerous collaborations and recording projects, Kalyan has performed with the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra, toured and performed in Europe and Brazil, and he plays regularly with Fareed Haque, the Chicago guitarist of world repute.Notable recent projects include, composing and performing original score live on stage with Fareed Haque, for production of Homeland Security, a play with reputed Contemporary American Theater Festival, and DVD and CD releases with the Fareed Haque Group in 2004. Leading his own group, Jayho Jazzmata, Kalyan has been performing his compositions blending jazz, blues with Indian ragas and folk influences.

Ann Dufek (Bassoon) holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from The University of Miami and a Masters of Music Education and Performance from Northwestern University. She has studied the bassoon extensively and has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Highland Park String Orchestra, and Lake Forest Symphony.

 

Janelle Lake (Harp) obtained her Bachelors and Masters in Music from Northwestern University. She plays an extensive repertoire of music from Bach to the Beatles. Some performance highlights include playing at the opening at Miller Park Baseball Stadium, the Pabst Mansion, the musical "Once Upon a Mattress," the Milwaukee and Chicago Art Museums, Milwaukee's famous Pfister Hotel, and the Christmas Eve Service at Rockefeller Chapel in Chicago. She has also performed with many other ensembles throughout her career including the Racine Symphony Orchestra, the Iowa University Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Youth Symphony Orchestra, the University of Chicago Choir and Chamber Orchestra, and is currently the principal harpist for the Elmhurst Symphony.

Lisa Taylor (French Horn) completed a Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory, a Master of Music degree at Peabody Conservatory and an Advanced Music Study program at The Banff Centre in Canada. She spent two summers at Chautauqua and one at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Before becoming an official Midwesterner, she was a member of the Annapolis Symphony and played extra with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She also has degrees in mechanical engineering, and colleagues learn not to leave any instrument with moving parts unguarded around her.

Kinan Abou-afach (Cello and 'Ud) began his musical studies in his native Syria on the 'Ud (Arabic Lute), learning traditional Arabic repertoire and the maqam system. A year later (age 8) he began cello studies with Pavel Coupin at the Arab Institute of Music in Damascus, and later studied with Rasi Abdullaiev and Valery Volkov. At fifteen he became a full-time member of the Syrian Symphony and the Middle-Eastern ensemble and was invited to participate in domestic and foreign music events as both a classical musician and a traditional Arabic musician. He received his bachelor's at The Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, Syria, and has performed as a soloist with various orchestras throughout Syria and the Middle-East and has participated in master-classes with Francoise Baduell in 1997, Federico Romano in 1998, Yo-yo Ma in 1999, members of Alban Berg Quartet in 2002. He moved to Chicago in 2000 to pursue a Masters Degree at DePaul University School of Music. He is currently studying under Stephen Balderston, assistant principal of the Chicago Symphony, cello section. Kinan is a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Bob Sherman (jazz and classical guitar) has been a member of Fairwinds, a flute and guitar duo in the Boston area. He was selected to perform the debut of renowned composer Martin Rokeach's Fantasy on 12 Strings. In addition to various other solo and chamber group settings, he has performed with a variety of popular artists such as Mike Gordon (Phish) and Ziggy Marley. He has earned graduate degrees in both jazz and classical guitar from Indiana University under the tutelage of Ernesto Bitetti and Brazilian guitar virtuoso Marcos Calvalcante.

Anna Najoom (Clarinet) holds a master's degree in clarinet performance from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she studied with Burt Hara, principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra. She earned her bachelor's degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory in Appleton, WI. She is a member of the Chicago based groups Claraconbrio, The Sapphire Woodwind Quintet and Symphony Sounds. She has performed with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Ohio Light Opera, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica UANL in Monterrery, Mexico and the Chamber Orchestra for the 2002 International Double Reed Society Conference in Banff, Canada in addition to many other musical organizations. She currently teaches for the Merit School of Music, Maine South High School, District 64 in Park Ridge, and in Wilmette and Kenilworth.

Betti Xiang (Chinese Erhu) Since her to the United States from China in 1996, Betti Xiang was immediately recognized as virtuoso of extraordinary ability, and was embraced by not only the World Music genre, but by classical audiences as well. This has led to numerous collaborations, notably the worldwide performances with Yo-Yo Ma with the Silk Road Ensemble. Her versatility has lead to chamber music performances with groups such as the contemporary ensemble CUBE, and the Amelia Piano Trio, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, violinist Rachel Barton, and the Newberry Consort. She performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia at such venues as the Ravinia International Music Festival, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Tanglewood and served as artist-in-residence at the Chicago Art Institute's Taoism and the arts of China exhibit in Chicago, where she led interactive musical lectures on the history of culture in China. She was also awarded the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding musicianship. A frequent guest on Television and Radio, Betti has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, National Geographic, and National Public Radio. They are featured on Sony Records, numerous recording labels in China, and a Traditional Crossroads CD.

 

 

 

 

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