Ad Astra Music Festival

Est. 2014 in Russell, Kansas


St. matthew passion instrumentalists

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Oboist MIKA ALLISON currently holds positions with the West Michigan Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Texas Bach Festival Orchestra. She has performed with various ensembles throughout the Midwest, including the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Regali Winds. Mika is a founding member of Aether Ensemble, a woodwind quintet committed to bringing musically dynamic performances to the Chicago community. She is also a founding member of the Fifth Wave Collective, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to performing works by female composers. Mika teaches with Sistema Ravinia and maintains a private teaching studio in Chicagoland. She has taught at summer programs at University of Illinois and Eastern Illinois University, and the International Double Reed Society’s Teen Camp. Mika holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas State University, a Master’s Degree in Oboe Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Post-Master’s Performance Certificate from DePaul University.

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Hailing originally from Lawrence, Kansas, WILLIAM BRUBAKER is an experienced instrumentalist and vocalist. He has performed coast to coast with various ensembles in the United States, South Africa, England, and China. He received his BM from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and his MM and DMA/ABD at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he was a fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute. He currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri as a freelance bassoonist and singer and is a member of the William Baker Festival Singers and the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir. The WBFS will be embarking on a national tour to Washington, D.C. this fall and to China in 2019.

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BENJAMIN CLINE is an American cellist who has performed in dozens of venues in the United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Kaohsuing City Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, was featured in performance on Public Radio’s WXXI “Live from Hochstein” in Rochester, and has collaborated with many noted musicians, including Yumi Hwang-Williams, Theodor Kuchar, Richard Fuchs, and Tali Morgulis. A highly versatile musician, he has performed as recitalist, soloist, orchestral principal, and chamber musician, spanning 17th-century works of Gabrielli to 21st-century electroacoustic works for cello. Benjamin currently teaches at Fort Hays State University as Associate Professor of Cello and Bass and serves as Department Chair. He studied with Alan Harris at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Jim Fittz at the University of Northern Colorado. Master classes and additional studies were undertaken with Norman Fischer, Gordon Epperson, Anne Epperson, and members of the Cleveland and Juilliard String Quartets. He plays on an Italian cello by Luigi Bajoni.

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Dr. PATTY FAGAN-MILLER teaches bassoon and woodwind methods at the University of Texas at San Antonio and previously served as adjunct instructor of bassoon for Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She is an active double reed masterclass clinician throughout South Texas and maintains a private lesson studio in San Antonio. Patty is the principal bassoonist with the Symphony of the Hills in Kerrville and has performed with the San Antonio and Baltimore Symphonies, among many others. She played historical bassoons with Ars Lyrica Houston, the Bach Society of Houston, the Austin Baroque Orchestra, La Follia Austin Baroque, and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Patty received her DMA in Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was a graduate assistant under the direction of Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa. She also holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the University of the Pacific.

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EMILY FOLTZ is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. She has performed with the Eugene Symphony (Oregon), the Eugene Ballet, and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Emily received her Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she studied with Barbara Bishop, and her Master of Music from the University of Oregon, under the tutelage of Melissa Peña. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant and DMA candidate at the University of Kansas, where she studies with Dr. Margaret Marco. In April of 2018, Emily performed J. S. Bach’s concerto for oboe d’amore in A major (BWV 1055R) with Bravura Chamber Orchestra in Lawrence, Kansas.


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ANNIE GNOJEK is in high demand as a freelance musician, flute educator and clinician in the Lawrence and Kansas City areas, where she manages a successful flute studio. In addition to her private teaching, she has presented master classes at several schools including Oklahoma State University, Fort Hays State University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Wyoming, Sacramento State University, University of Puerto Rico, and the University of Costa Rica. Apart from her teaching career, Annie is also the flutist in the trio Allégresse along with Margaret Marco, oboe, and Ellen Sommer, piano. They perform numerous concerts throughout the year both nationally and internationally including the world premiere performance of two new trios in Birmingham, England in July 2008, and the world premiere of pieces for flute, oboe, piano and bassoon in Tokyo, Japan in 2015. As the 2008 winners of the National Endowment for the Arts Masterpieces: Chamber Music Grant, her trio toured through Kansas performing all newly commissioned music. Their CD, Fresh Ink, features music commissioned by Allégresse and was released in January 2010.


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Violinist/violist ALLISON LINT is based in Kansas City, where she is a member of the St. Joseph (Missouri) Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster of the Westwood Ensemble (Kansas). She has also performed with the Wichita, Topeka, and Southeast Kansas symphonies. A native of Ohio, Allison studied at the Oberlin Conservatory and won her first orchestral position with the Akron Symphony, concurrently freelancing for Cleveland-area Broadway shows such as Fiddler on the Roof. In addition to performing, she currently enjoys managing a private studio for upper strings in the KC area and teaching a music history undergraduate course through Fort Hays State University. After Allison received an unusual medical diagnosis as a teen, she embarked on a mission to bring rare disease awareness to all 50 states through her nonprofit organization Violin for Vasculitis. V4V has since been featured on CNN’s “Human Factor” and is set to reach its halfway point in fall 2018.

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Since beginning her career as the principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Maracaibo in Venezuela, MARGARET MARCO’s solo, chamber, and orchestral performances have brought her to prestigious international venues. She is the professor of oboe at the University of Kansas and principal oboist of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. In October 2015 she performed and presented master classes at the distinguished Central Conservatory in Beijing, China, and is a frequent professor in residence at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Other performance venues include the Spoleto Festival, Banff Centre, Festival of New American Music in California, the Conservatório de Música in Milan, New Frontiers Music Festival in Wyoming, the Sunflower Music Festival in Kansas, Ameropa in the Czech Republic and at many International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Conferences including those in Japan, England, and Spain. From 2009–2016, she served as Chair of the prestigious IDRS Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition. Her recordings are on the NAXOS, Parma, and Navona labels.  

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ELLEN JOHNSON MOSLEY is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Music/Flute at Morehead State University and Principal Flutist in the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra. She performs across the country with the Baird Winds, Traverso Colore Baroque Ensemble, and the Tornado Alley Flutes. Dr. Mosley served as Principal Flutist of the Delano Chamber Orchestra for five seasons and has performed as a concerto soloist with the Cave Run Symphony, Delano Chamber Orchestra, Morehead State University Symphony Band, and the Concordia University Symphony. She is an active adjudicator and presenter at National Flute Association (NFA) conventions, member of the NFA Development Committee, commissioning member of the Flute New Music Consortium, and recipient of the Gunstream community engagement grant from the College Music Society. Dr. Mosley holds degrees from Florida State University (D.M.), the University of Texas at Austin (M.M.) and Wichita State University (B.M.). Her flute teachers include Eva Amsler, Marianne Gedigian, and Frances Shelly.

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STEPHANIE RABY is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed all over the world and is fluent in a variety of musical styles. She is an active soloist and chamber musician on violin, viola, and viola da gamba and a specialist in early music performance. Stephanie earned a master’s degree in Early Music at Indiana Jacobs School of Music, and in 2015 she was a finalist in the Early Music International Young Artists Competition in York, England, with her chamber ensemble Les Touches. She is currently the concertmaster for Austin Baroque Orchestra and a founding member of the chamber ensemble Les Touches and multimedia performing arts organization Lumedia Musicworks.

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A Texas native, EDWARDO RIOS began the viola at age 11 and was self-taught until the age of 17. Edwardo has participated in festivals such as the Round Top International Festival and the American Festival for the Arts where he was named Young Artist in Residence. In 2017, he served as the principal violist of the National Repertory Orchestra as well as being granted the honor of a solo opportunity performing the rarely played arrangement of Britten’s Lachrymae for Viola and String Orchestra. In 2016, Edwardo was selected as a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition performing Bartók’s Viola Concerto. He is currently principal violist of the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and holds a section position with the Abilene Philharmonic. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music performance at the University of North Texas under Dr. Susan Dubois.

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Dr. KRISTIN SARVELA joined the faculty of Eastern Illinois University in 2016 and the faculty of the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2017.  She received her Bachelor's degree in Oboe Performance at the University of Illinois with a Minor in Mathematics and a Masters Degree in Oboe Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a Masters Minor in Music History.  She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois, with a Cognate in Musicology in 2017.  Kristin has an active performing career and has held many positions in orchestras around the midwest, including principal oboe of the Danville Symphony Orchestra, second oboe in the Sinfonia da Camera, and oboe and English horn in the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  She has participated in Le Domaine Forget, Madeline Island, and the Southern Illinois Summer Music Festivals and has performed with such artists as Menahem Pressler, Emmanuel Ax, and the Mark Morris Dance Group.  She has performed in such halls as the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Carnegie Hall. 


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HILARY SHEPARD teaches flute and serves as Executive Director of the Western Kansas String Academy at Fort Hays State University. She has performed as soloist with the Hays Symphony on several occasions and currently plays principal flute with the orchestra. She is a graduate of Temple University (M.M.) and the University of Houston (B.A.). Her primary teachers were John Thorne, Cynthia Meyers, and David Cramer.


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Flutist CHRISTINA WEBSTER maintains an active and varied career as orchestral musician, recital soloist, chamber player, and teacher, and has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. She earned her D.M.A. in Flute Performance at the Conservatory of Music and Dance of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Winner of a Fulbright Award, she earned a Postgraduate Performance Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music (London). Christina earned a Master of Music in Flute Performance at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and a Bachelor of Music in Flute and Piano Performance, summa cum laude, at the University of Kansas. She is Principal Flute with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and holds the permanent position of Second Flute with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. She also performs regularly with newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the Kansas City Symphony. Christina is currently Lecturer in Flute at Pittsburg State University.