Stamps Ensembles Scholars

  1. Lasse Bjerknaes-Jacobsen

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    Lasse Bjerknaes-Jacobsen, trumpet, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, Class of 2016, coached by faculty mentor Sam Pilafian. He studies privately with Craig Morris. In his first year at the Frost School of Music, Lasse Bjerknaes-Jacobsen also performs in the Frost Wind Ensemble and other major ensembles. Lasse Bjerknaes-Jacobsen has performed in both the United States and his hometown, Oslo, Norway. He won the Oslo and Akershus championship for soloists four times and placed first in the Norwegian Youth Music Championship. He has played as a soloist at the Barratt Due Institute of Music, the Oslo Jazz Festival and the Bergen International Festival. He has been a soloist in Sweden, England, Germany and China and with ensembles/orchestras such as Ytre Suløens jazz ensemble, Nordic Brass Ensemble (2 times) and His Majesty the King's Guard (4 times). He has performed in master classes in Sweden, England, Germany and China. He was a member of the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra in 2011, Großes Europäisches Blechbläserensemble in 2010 and Die Deutsch-Skandinavische Jugend-Philharmonie (in Berlin, Germany). He performed previously with the Norwegian Youth Symphonic Orchestra (NUSO) and the Norwegian Children Symphonic Orchestra (NBSO).

    Instrument: Trumpet

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Brass Quintet

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  2. Marcelo Bourque Perez

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    Marcelo Bourque Perez, drums, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2017, coached by faculty mentor Chuck Bergeron. He studies drum privately with Steve Rucker and John Yarling. Marcelo has received a total of 12 soloist awards from the festivals in which he has participated, including a 2011 Berkeley Mayoral Award for his achievements in performing arts. Most recently he was selected as a finalist for the National Young Arts Foundation in 2013, where he was flown to Miami to perform with the top two percent of applicants for the program. Marcelo has worked with numerous bands at the Berkeley High School Jazzschool including the Monday Night Studio Band and the Advanced High School Jazz Workshop. His ensembles have received three Downbeat awards, and many other award including first place Conglomerate Combo in the Mingus Festival, first place High School Combo at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and first place High School Combo at the Reno Jazz Festival.

    Instrument: Drums

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Jazz Quintet Class of 2017

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  3. Bob Bruya

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    Bob Bruya, bass, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2017, coached by faculty mentor Chuck Bergeron. He studies bass privately with Donald Coffman and Chuck Bergeron. Hailing from the fantastic music scene of Ellensburg, Washington, Bob received honors throughout his schooling for his musical accomplishments, from being named Principal Bass of the Washington All-State Youth Orchestra when he was in eighth grade to being selected as the Grammy Jazz Session Big Band (Grammy Band) bassist his senior year. Bob has studied privately with Jon Hamar and Kara Hunnicutt.

    Instrument: Bass

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Jazz Quintet Class of 2017

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  4. Victor Colmenares

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    Victor Colmenares, violin, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014, coached by faculty mentor Ross Harbaugh. He studies privately with Glenn Basham. He has participated in coaching sessions with musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra and Frost artist-in-residence Mark O’Connor and performs in the Frost Symphony Orchestra and the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Victor Colmenares was born in Columbia. He began playing the violin at age 6. In 2010, he graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan where he studied with Annie Chalex Boyle and Hal Grossman. Before attending Frost, Victor was concertmaster of several youth orchestras in Columbia, including Orchestra of the Javeriana University in Bogota where he won the program “Lunes de Jovenes Interpretes.” He was also the winner of the Young Musician Competition Oreste Sindici, organized by the Colombian Embassy in Italy, Bogota in October 2007. As a member of the Stamps Strings Quartet, Colmenares has performed at the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, and twice at the Orfeo Music Festival in Italy.

    Instrument: Violin

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps String Quartet

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  5. Amanda Diaz

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    Amanda Diaz, viola, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where she is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014, coached by faculty mentor Ross Harbaugh. She studies privately with Pamela A. McConnell. With the Stamps Strings Quartet, Amanda Diaz has traveled to Texas to perform in the All-State music convention alongside Frost artist-in-residence Mark O’Connor. The summer after their freshman year, the Stamps String Quartet was selected by audition to work with the Julliard String Quartet in an intense weeklong seminar in New York, culminating in a performance of the entire Shostakovitch String Quartet No. 3 in Paul Hall at Lincoln Center. Amanda Diaz also traveled twice with the Stamps String Quartet to the Orfeo Music Festival in Italy, where she performed in multiple concerts. At the Frost School of Music, Diaz has participated in multiple coaching sessions with musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra and performs with the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Frost Opera Theater, Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and other major Frost School ensembles. Diaz was born in Miami, Florida and graduated with honors from the New World School of the Arts where she was named most outstanding junior in the music division and a winner in their concerto competition.

    Instrument: Viola

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps String Quartet

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  6. Samuel Exline

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    Sam Exline, trumpet, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, Class of 2016, coached by faculty mentor Sam Pilafian. He studies privately with Craig Morris. The Stamps Brass Quintet is in its freshman year, and is working on standard brass quintet literature as well as new works, and will perform together over the next four years at numerous concerts and venues. Born and raised in Meridian, Idaho, near Boise, Sam Exline participated in the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for 5 years, played in the Interlochen Philharmonic Orchestra at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in the summer of his high school sophomore year, was principal trumpet of the All-Northwest Orchestra, principal trumpet of the MENC National Music Conference Orchestra and principal trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in his junior year. He began playing trumpet in the middle of first grade, and even then aspired to become a professional trumpet player. In recent years, he has focused more specifically on becoming an orchestral trumpet player. In addition to his musical activities, he is also interested in academics in general and graduated with a 4.0 GPA from high school and was valedictorian of his graduating class.

    Instrument: Trumpet

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Brass Quintet

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  7. Sam Hart

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    Sam Hart, alto saxophone, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2017, coached by faculty mentor Chuck Bergeron. A high achiever both academically and musically, he is currently studying saxophone privately with Dale Underwood and Gary Keller. During the summer of 2013, Sam toured the northeast and Canada with The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Joe Lovano. He was the 2013 finalist for YoungArts and one of seven jazz musicians chosen from out of 10,000 national applicants to participate in performances, master classes and various events in the Miami area. In May 2013 he performed in a collaborative event produced and directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov through YoungArts NY and has been a member of the High School Grammy Jazz Band for two years.

    Instrument: Saxophone

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Jazz Quintet Class of 2017

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  8. Aidan Lombard

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    Aidan Lombard, trumpet, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2017, coached by faculty mentor Charles Bergeron. He studies trombone privately with Dante Luciani. Aidan has played in some of Chicago’s most prestigious Jazz venues including the Congress Theater and Joe and Wayne Segal’s legendary Jazz Showcase. He has been recognized on a national level as an outstanding musician and was chosen as one of only two trumpeters to participate in the Vail Jazz Workshop, where he studied with some of the most recognized professional jazz musicians in the world, including the legendary trumpeter Terell Stafford. He has played with several of the country’s best trumpeters and educators including Derrick Gardner, trumpeter in the Count Basie Jazz Orchestra, and Clay Jenkins, trumpeter in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and professor of Jazz trumpet at Eastman School of Music.

    Instrument: Trumpet

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Jazz Quintet Class of 2017

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  9. Julia Paine

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    Julia Paine, bassoon, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2015, coached by faculty mentor Robert Weiner. She studies privately with Luciano Magnanini. Originally from Chicago, she participated as the principal bassoonist in a local youth symphony orchestra with Midwest Young Artists for three years. In addition, she participated in the Illinois Music Educators Association for three years making it to both All-State and Honors Orchestras. She was also the principal bassoonist in New Trier High School’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble. This past year, Julia participated in a bassoon, clarinet, oboe trio called No Strings Attached. With the trio, she won the Winds and Other Instruments Category in the 2012 Discover National Chamber Music Competition, earned an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition, was a finalist in the 2012 Society of American Musicians Competition, and participated in the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

    Instrument: Bassoon

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Woodwind Quintet

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  10. Christopher Palowitch

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    Chris Palowitch, trombone, is a double major in Music Business and Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, Class of 2016, coached by faculty mentor Sam Pilafian. He studies privately with Tim Conner. Comfortable in both classical and jazz, he also performs in the Frost Studio Jazz Band and other notable Frost ensembles. The Stamps Brass Quintet is in its inaugural year, and is working on standard brass quintet literature as well as new works. Chris Palowitch grew up in Pleasanton, California, and is a graduate of the Amador Valley High School. In his hometown, he is received the majority of his instruction from Tom Hornig, while also studying with Dann Zinn and Chris Barnes. Palowitch is a multiple-year member of the GRAMMY Jazz Band (2011, 2012), Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (2010-2012); the California Band Directors Association Symphonic Bands and Wind Symphonies (tenor trombone, 2007-2009); the Northern California Band Association All-Northern Honor Band (first trombone, 2008, 2009); and the California Band Directors Association/California Alliance for Jazz All-State Jazz Band (bass trombone, 2010-2012). Chris was also a part of Berkeley’s Jazzschool Monday Night Studio Band from 2010 through 2012.

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  11. Laryssa Pavelek

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    Laryssa Pavelek, French horn, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2015, coached by faculty mentor Robert Weiner. She studies horn privately with Richard Todd. Laryssa also performs in the Frost Symphony Orchestra and other major ensembles at the Frost School. As a member of, the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, she has performed at numerous venues in South Florida, and at Festival Miami in 2011, sharing the program with internationally acclaimed quintet Imani Winds. Larysa Pavelek was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. She graduated as valedictorian of West Salem High School in June 2011 and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has played the piano for 13 years and the French horn for 8 years. She was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Oregon State Champion Wind Ensembles. Throughout high school, she participated in other music ensembles such as Symphony, Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, Concert Choir, Pit Orchestra, and Pep Band, and was a piano accompanist in the Choir program. Outside of her music activities, she enjoys hiking, reading, running, watching sporting events, and spending time with friends and family.

    Instrument: French horn

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Woodwind Quintet

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  12. Joshua Schwartz

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    Joshua Schwartz, French horn, is majoring in Musicology at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, Class of 2016, coached by faculty member Sam Pilafian. He studies horn privately with Richard Todd. Originally from Weston, Florida he was principal horn of the Florida Youth Orchestra (2007-2012), Greater Miami Youth Symphony (2009-2011), Miami Music Project Honors Orchestra (2011), and the Cypress Bay High School Wind Ensemble (2009-2012). A recipient of a plethora of awards and accolades, Josh Schwartz has performed as a featured soloist with the New World Symphony (2011), was a member of the Florida All-State Band from 7th-12th grade, has participated in numerous Honors and All-County Bands. He regularly attends the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, Washington where he has studied with Dale Clevenger, Alice Render, and Heidi Kepper. His former teachers have included Alexander Kienle, Myrna Meeroff, and his father, Gary Schwartz. A multi-faceted student, Josh Schwartz excels academically. He earned the maximum score of 5 on many AP exams such as Calculus AB/BC, Chemistry, Physics: Electricity and Magnetism, Biology, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics, and graduated in the top 5% of his class.

    Instrument: French horn

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Brass Quintet

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  13. Quinn Sengupta

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    Quinn Sengupta, piano, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2017, coached by faculty mentor Charles Bergeron. He studies privately with Shelly Berg, Martin Bejerano and Daniel Strange. Quinn placed first in the All-state honors jazz combo two years in a row at the Illinois All-State Jazz festival, and was named an Outstanding Soloist at the Evanston jazz festival four years running. In 2012, he attended the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, a highly selective summer jazz program in which only 18 students are chosen nationwide. Quinn was a 2013 Young Arts Foundation award winner, and received the Quincy Jones Award for contributions and creativity in multiple areas of music. He was a three-year member of the top Interlochen Arts Camp High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo and was a 2012 Interlochen Fine Arts Award recipient. He was worked with Bob Cranshaw, Rodney Whittaker, Peter Erskine, Ron Blake, Randy Brecker, Montez Coleman and Stephan Harris.

    Instrument: Piano

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Jazz Quintet Class of 2017

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  14. Spencer Stromquist

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    Spencer Stromquist, clarinet, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2015, coached by faculty mentor Robert Weiner. He studies privately with Margaret Donaghue and has participated in master classes with members of The Cleveland Orchestra. Spencer Stromquist performs in the Frost Wind Ensemble and other ensembles at Frost. As a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, he has performed at numerous venues in South Florida, and also at Festival Miami in 2011, sharing the program with internationally acclaimed quintet Imani Winds. Stromquist has been playing music since a very young age, first piano, then switching to the clarinet at the age of 13. He attended H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, and marched in the Plant’s Golden Panter Regiment and was clarinet section leader for three of his four years in the and the band captain for his senior year. Spencer made the Florida All-State Band in his junior and senior years. Throughout High School, he participated in Tampa’s Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra, serving as principal clarinet for two years. In 2011, he was also principal clarinet in the Honor Band of America in Indianapolis.

    Instrument: Clarinet

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Woodwind Quintet

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  15. Becky Taylor

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    Becky Taylor, flute, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2015, coached by faculty mentor Robert Weiner. She studies privately with Trudy Kane, who was principal flute for 32 years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Taylor performs in the Frost Symphonic Winds, where she has also appeared as a soloist, and the Frost Flute Ensemble and other chamber groups at the Frost School of Music. Since arriving at Frost, she has participated in a steady stream of master classes with flutists Jim Walker, Mary Karen Clardy and more, and received coaching from Joshua Smith, principal flutist of The Cleveland Orchestra. As a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, she performed at Festival Miami in 2011, sharing the program and establishing a relationship with internationally acclaimed quintet Imani Winds. In summer 2012 the Stamps Woodwind Quintet attended the Imani Festival for an extensive period of coaching and performing in New York City. Becky graduated from Brighton High School in Rochester, New York. She studied at the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) since fifth grade.

    Instrument: Flute

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Woodwind Quintet

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  16. David Taylor

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    David Taylor, oboe, is majoring in Music Engineering Technology at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2015, coached by faculty mentor Robert Weiner. He also studies privately with Robert Weiner. David Taylor performs in the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Frost Wind Ensemble at the Frost School of Music. In its debut year, the Stamps Woodwind Quintet performed at numerous venues in South Florida, including Festival Miami 2011, sharing the program with internationally acclaimed quintet Imani Winds. In summer 2012 the Stamps Woodwind Quintet attended the Imani Festival for an extensive period of coaching and performing in New York City. The National Band Association named David Taylor an Outstanding Musician. Originally from Miramar, Florida, Taylor attended the American Heritage High School. His solo work with the Florida Bandmasters Association Solo & Ensemble was rated “superior” three times at both the country and state level. David Taylor was also a member of the Florida Youth Orchestra for five years and performed in the All-County High School Honors Band and All-Country Gold Orchestra.

    Instrument: Oboe

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Woodwind Quintet

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  17. Arianne Urban

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    Arianne Urban, violin, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where she is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014, coached by faculty mentor Ross Harbaugh. She studies privately with Scott Flavin and Glenn Basham and also performs in the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Frost Opera Theater, Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and other major Frost School ensembles. An active chamber music artist, she enjoys improvising. The Stamps String Quartet performs classic and contemporary string quartet repertoire, tangos, jazz-inspired works, and more. They are also collaborating on new chamber music with the Stamps Jazz Quintet. Arianne Urban has participated in coaching sessions with string musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra and violinist and composer Mark O’Connor. Her summer festival experiences include Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, Orfeo International Music Festival and the Julliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City. At the end of her freshman year at Frost, she was selected to perform a concert with world-renowned violinist Alexander Markov. Urban was born in Miami and graduated from New World School of the Arts in 2010, where she served as concertmaster of their symphony for two years.

    Instrument: Violin

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps String Quartet

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  18. Christopher Young

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    Christopher Young, cello, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014, coached by faculty mentor Ross Harbaugh. Chris Young also performs in the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Frost Opera Theater and the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. He studies privately with Ross Harbaugh. As a member of the Stamps Strings Quartet, Young has performed in the Texas Music Educators Clinic in San Antonio, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, and the Orfeo Music Festival in Italy. He has collaborated with artists Alexander Markov, Mark O’Connor, Pavel Vernikov, Eli Matthews, and hip-hop producer Chip Williams. Chris Young grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he began his cello studies at the age of 8 and later studied with Dr. Robert Tueller of Brigham Young University - Idaho. For his senior year of high school, Christopher attended Interlochen Arts Academy where he served for several concert cycles as principal cello of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. In April 2010, he was honored as a National Merit Scholar, and he graduated from Interlochen with summa cum laude honors.

    Instrument: Cello

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps String Quartet

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  19. Aiden Zimmermann

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    James Aidan Zimmermann, tuba, is majoring in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he is a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet, Class of 2016, coached by faculty mentor Sam Pilafian. He also studies the tuba and euphonium privately with Sam Pilafian. Aidan Zimmerman also performs in other major ensembles of the Frost School of Music and looks forward to concertizing with the Stamps Brass Quintet over the next four years. Born in Amarillo, Texas and raised in Houston, Zimmerman performed in the Texas All-State and was a finalist for the Houston Young Artist competition. He was accepted into the Tanglewood Young Artists Orchestra, played at the American Festival for the Arts, and performed with the Houston Youth Symphony. He studied tuba with Jason Harvey for all four years of high school. He attended The Woodlands High School where he participated in music as well as sports activities such as running track and field and basketball. A twin, he was active in community service, and academic clubs, most notably a championship robotic club. He graduated in the top 5% of his class with many AP classes. Zimmerman started his music career on trumpet in 6th grade, and then switched to tuba in his first year of high school, which is when he decided to devote his life to being a musician.

    Instrument: Tuba

    Stamps Ensemble Name: Stamps Brass Quintet

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Stamps Ensembles Scholars