Frances Bard (cello)
Fran has been with the Hartford Symphony for several years. A familiar face to Hop River audiences, she has performed extensively as a chamber musician and is a teacher of Strings in the Windsor Public Schools. She is responsible for the reinstatement of the Elementary String Program in 1996 and was named conductor of the Windsor High School String Orchestra in 2003. Originally from Chicago, she received a B.M. degree from the Chicago Musical College. At the University of Connecticut Ms. Bard earned a M.M. degree and a Music Educators Certification. Her cello training was under the tutelage of Channing Robbins, Aldo Parisot, Raya Gorbousuva and Mary Lou Rylands.
Barbara Vaughan (violin)
Barbara received her B.M. degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her M.M. degree from the University of Connecticut. She has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the Eastern US, including the Augusta Symphony, the Florida Festival Orchestra and the American Philharmonic Orchestra of New York City. As a chamber musician, Ms. Vaughan was a regular member of the UConn Chamber Players when she was on the faculty, from 1984-1991. Currently she teaches Suzuki violin for the Mansfield Schools, plays regularly with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and teaches violin and viola at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Gary Chapman (piano)
Gary has appeared as soloist with the Hartford and New Haven Symphonies, the Connecticut Orchestra at Summer Music, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, and Orchestra New England. He has also appeared as a collaborative pianist at the Spoleto USA Festival, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Hall, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Yale at Norfolk, the Chamber Music Society at Yale, Music Mountain, the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music in Tuscon, AZ, and in Europe at Wigmore Hall in London, the Pyramid in Tirane, Albania, the Salle Cortot and American Embassy in Paris, and at colleges and universites throughout the US. He has toured with soprano Dawn Upshaw, baritone Richard Lalli, and recorded the companion compact disc with Mr. Lalli for the book, Listening to Classic American Popular Songs, featuring Mr. Chapman’s arrangements, published by the Yale University Press. Noted for versatility in many genres, Mr. Chapman has performed as guest pianist with Musical Elements and Sequitur in New York, played solo piano and chamber music of Pierre Boulez under the supervision of the composer, and co-commissioned and premiered music by the composer/pianist Roger Kellaway. He is in demand as a keyboard player in all styles, frequently on synthesizers with national Broadway touring productions. He is also a founding member of Elite Syncopation, a group devoted to the performance of ragtime and early jazz.. Mr. Chapman’s orchestral arrangements of the music of the Gershwins were featured in Pardon My English: a Portrait of the Gershwins, performed by Orchestra New England with Mr. Chapman as piano soloist/arranger in March of 2007. He is the co-director of the music series, Sundays in the Parlor at Park, and appears frequently at the Hop River Chamber Music Concerts where he currently serves as a Program Director. Mr. Chapman studied piano with Paul Jacobs, Nadia Boulanger, Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, and composition with Arnold Franchetti. He has recorded for the CRI and Centaur labels.
Cyrus Stevens (violin)
Cyrus is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music, where he studied with Renato Bonacini and Charles Treger, and also of the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Eric Rosenblith. He performs contemporary music and is a member of the Parnassus Group and League of Composers/ISCM in New York City. For nearly two decades he has been on the performing staff of the Composers´ Conference and Chamber Music Center, now at Wellesley College. He is also a member of the Boston-based ensemble Dinosaur Annex.
James Burr (Organ)
Formerly organist at this church, James Burr is now organist at the Vernon Congregational
Church. He writes:
I was introduced to the organ while in middle school. Not long afterwards ‘Hooked on Classics’ hit the airwaves and I fortuitously received two books of easy organ arrangements of classical favorites. Indeed, the hook was set! I continued formal instruction on the organ with Christa Rakich while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Connecticut. After graduating, and for over thirty years now, I’ve been playing piano and organ for church services, both here at Andover Congregational and, since 2005, at the First Congregational Church of Vernon. Outside of church I’ve enjoyed a variety of musical endeavors which include: accompanying various instrumental or voice students at UConn, playing harpsichord, recorders and singing with the Storrs Collegium Musicum early music ensemble, learning the carillon at Trinity College, singing with the Vernon Chorale, and tuning pianos and assisting in the tuning and/or refurbishment of pipe organs. My interest in music from long ago continues to be enriched by the Amherst Early Music Festivals, where I explore the musical worlds of the harpsichord, viola da gambas, renaissance reeds and early notation.
Morgan Lee (piano)
Morgan Lee has built a dynamic musical career as a pianist, teacher, and musical director. She is a piano instructor at Eastern Connecticut State University, staff accompanist for the University of Connecticut Music Department, and music director for the Second Congregational Church of Coventry. She has participated in various music festivals in the US and abroad, including the Mannes Beethoven Institute, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, the International Academy of Music, the Puigcerdà Music Festival, Brevard Music Institute, and Eastern Music Festival, and has performed recitals in New York City, Italy, Spain, France, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Morgan is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Connecticut where she is writing a unique dissertation on interdisciplinary co-creation and its potential to produce new interpretations of classical repertoire. She recently premiered Nimbus, a new interdisciplinary performance devised in collaboration with multimedia artist Abigail Baird featuring an innovative combination of original animation and sculpture and live piano performance. Prior to pursuing her DMA at UConn, Morgan earned her Master of Music at Mannes College of Music and her Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory & History from Brown University.
Ilinka Manova (piano)
llinka Manova, born in Macedonia, studied piano with Dr. Arbo Valdma in Cologne, Germany, Dr. Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music, and Ms. Stephanie Brown at SUNY Purchase, where she earned a MM and Artist Diploma. Currently, she is pursuing a DMA under the tutelage of Dr. Angelina Gadeliya at the University of Connecticut.
Ms. Manova is a winner of the Artists International Competition (New York), Senigallia Competition (Italy); received other awards, including the prestigious DAAD German Scholarship, and the Yugoslav National Competition Award for Musicians in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Ms. Manova has performed in major cities throughout Europe, the USA, and at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and has been reviewed by The New York Times, Greenwich Time, The Journal News, and all major Macedonian newspapers. Her repertoire ranges from well-loved standards to contemporary music, focusing on new works from her native Macedonia. Ms. Manova serves as a Managing Director for ArtsAhimsa, an NPO that promotes nonviolence through the arts. A much sought-after teacher, she is a member of the piano faculty at the Browning school and The Diller-Quaile School of Music in New York City. In 2012, Ilinka co-founded Rondo Young Artist, an international concert presentation and competition encouraging young musicians to further their talents as classical singers and instrumentalists. As an Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rondo she manages yearly debut concerts for Rondo winners at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the Rondo Summer Academy in Geneva-Blonay in Switzerland.