Fessenden Ensemble
Fessenden Ensemble at a dress rehearsal

Piano

Cecilia Cho, pianist, received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of Ann Schein. Later, she studied with Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio) as his assistant at Indiana University while a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree. She is the first prize winner of many competitions including the Aspen Music Festival Piano Concerto Competition, Baltimore Symphony Young Soloists Audition, Jewish Community Center Competition and the National Winner of the MTNA Baldwin Junior Keyboard Competition. Performances have included the Kennedy Center, Fessenden Ensemble, Illinois State University, Church of Epiphany, Philips Collection, as well as in Germany, France, Spain and Israel. Her performances have been broadcast on radio stations WQXR, WAJC, WGMS, WETA and KHCC. She has held faculty positions with Levine School of Music, University of Evansville and Bethany College. Ms. Cho was the recipient of the Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Arts Renewal Fellowship, the 2001 Small Projects Program Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities/NEA. She is a member of the Fessenden Ensemble and the Potomac Trio with violinist Carole Tafoya Evans and cellist Mark Evans.

Violin

John Hughes has served as the Associate Concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as the Concertmaster for the DSO Pops for 14 years. From 1994 to 1995, he was also Guest Concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra. He served as Concertmaster under the baton of Neeme Järvi, Jerzy Semkov, Andre Previn, Hans Vonk, Dennis Russell-Davies, Paavo Bergland and Michael Tilson-Thomas among many others. A native of Cincinnati, Mr. Hughes began his violin studies with his father, Ivan Hughes. He continued his studies at Indiana University and St. Louis Conservatory, studying with Koichiro Harada, Josef Gingold and Jaime Laredo. During his tenure at the Detroit Symphony, he also served on the faculty at Wayne State University.

Carole Tafoya-Evans is a member of the second violin section of the National Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician, she has performed with the Morrison String Quartet and the Indiana-Purdue Trio. She recently formed the Potomac Trio, which was awarded a grant by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities/NEA. She also performs with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and has appeared on the Chamber Music Series at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ms. Evans holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University School of Music where she studied with Joseph Gingold and Yuval Yaron.

Heather Le Doux Green is a member of the National Symphony Orchestra. Formerly the Assistant Concertmaster of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Ms. Green moved to the Washington area in 2002 from Texas where she played in the Fort Worth Symphony. As a chamber musician, she performs frequently at the Arts Club of Washington Friday Noon Concert Series and at the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival in Durango, Colorado. She has also participated in the Amadeus Quartet’s summer program at the Royal Academy in London, performed at the National Portrait Gallery and played in festivals at Round Top, Sun Valley and Spoleto, Italy. In 1999 she was awarded the prestigious Presser Music Award and attended both the Accademia Chigiana violin course in Siena, Italy and the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg. Ms. Green holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where her principal teachers were Camilla Wicks and Sergiu Luca.

Viola

Mahoko Eguchi has performed througout the United States and Japan, as well as in England, France, Germay, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. As a member of the Arianna String Quartet, she was a finalist at the first International String Quartet Competition of Bordeaux. She has appeared in performances at festivals such as the Strings-in-the-Mountains, Tanglewood, Taos, Spoleto, Norfolk and Moonbeach (Japan), and in chamber music series such as Japan Airline Young Artists Series, and on NPR's "Performance Today" program. She received her DMA, MMA, and MM degrees from Yale University and BM from Indiana University. She is currently a member of the viola section in the National Symphony Orchestra, and teaches at the University of Marylandl.

Jennifer Mondie has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra viola section since 1995, the same year she received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has also been a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Tam Tran was recently appointed as violist with the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band’s White House Chamber Orchestra. Tam Tran has performed at the Kennedy Center and in chamber music concerts with members of the Emerson String Quartet, Ani Kavafian and Colin Carr. Prior to taking up residence in Washington, DC, Tam pursued doctoral studies at SUNY-Stony Brook where he was the viola teaching assistant and student of Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet.

Cello

Cellist Mark Evans has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1998. Mr. Evans is a member of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared in the Chamber Music Series at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and as soloist with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra. He recently formed the Potomac Trio, which was awarded a grant by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities/NEA, and has appeared in the Church of the Epiphany Monday Night Musicales and NSO Prelude concert series. He holds degrees from Yale University and the Indiana University School of Music where he was awarded the Prestigious Performer’s Certificate. His teachers include Fritz Magg, Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot.

Bass

Edgardo Malaga, Jr. bassist, earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music degree from the University of Maryland. His principal teachers were Henry Portnoi, Curtis Burris, and Harold Robinson. Mr. Malaga performs regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Principal Bass for the Washington Concert Opera, the Post-Classical Ensemble, Washington Ballet Orchestra, and the Eastern Music Festival. He is currently on the faculty of St. Mary’s College, MD.

Flute

Carole Bean, flutist, plays piccolo with the National Symphony Orchestra. She also performs with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary Music Forum and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Ms. Bean has been a member of the Honolulu Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Xalapa Orchestra and the State of Mexico Orchestra. She studied with Judith Bentley at Bowling Green State University and Walfrid Kujala at Northwestern University.

Oboe

Shawn Welk serves as a co-principal oboe of the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band. He has performed with Tulsa Philharmonic, Oklahoma Sinfonia, Binghamton Philharmonic, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Buffalo Ballet. Mr. Welk holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma and the Eastman School, where he studied with Richard Killmer.

Clarinet

Suzanne Gekker, clarinetist, is originally from New Orleans and received her music degrees from the Cincinnati College Conservatory and Yale University, where she studied with David Shirfrin. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Wolftrap, the National Cathedral, and the Corcoran Museum with groups such as the Washington Opera, the Alexandria Symphony and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. Formerly a resident of New York City, Ms. Gekker has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, St. John the Divine and appeared on Live at Lincoln Center. She has performed with many orchestras including the American Symphony, the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and several Broadway show pit orchestras.

French Horn

Emil George, founder and Artistic Director of the Fessenden Ensemble, received his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he studied horn with David Rogers. He later studied privately with Philip Farkas and Joseph Singer. Mr. George is a faculty member of the American University and the Washington Conservatory of Music. He is affiliated with the Baltimore Opera Orchestra, Wolftrap Opera Orchestra, Washington Concert Opera, Cathedral Choral Society Orchestra and has also performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Washington Chamber Symphony. He is the former principal horn of the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic and the Theater Orchestra of Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts. Mr. George performs on horns made by Lawson Brass Instruments of Boonsboro, Maryland.

Bassoon

Christopher Jewell joined the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in 2000 as Assistant Principal Bassoonist. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he studied with Barbara Wood and Edward Dolbashian. He continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Patricia Rogers, Principal Bassoonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Christopher has served as Principal Bassoonist of the Manhattan Symphony and the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestras and the New World Symphony. He has been a soloist with the University of Missouri Philharmonic, Missouri Chamber Soloists, with ensembles at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention. He was also a prizewinner and soloist in the University Concert Series Emerging Artists Festival.

Trumpet

Chris Gekker is Professor of Trumpet at the University of Maryland. As a soloist he has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. He appears as soloist on more than twenty recordings and on more than one hundred chamber, orchestral and jazz recordings. A former member of the American Brass Quintet for eighteen years, he remains in demand with groups such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His previous teaching positions include the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University.

Board of Directors

Emil George, President
Gary Mullins
Hon. Frances D. Cook
Charles E. Butterworth
Mark Evans
Kevin Taecker
Dr. Jonathan Lyons
Dr. Graham Elliott
Lewis Winarsky
Michael Carrier

Christian Parent, Stage Manager & Website Design
Alan Wonneberger, Recording Engineer
Alyssa Taecker, Graphic Design