2016-2017 Performing Artists

Amy Galluzzo, violin

Violinist Amy Galluzzo, a native of Kansas, moved to Great Britain where she began her violin studies and won a competition where a piece by composer Benjamin Winstanley was commissioned for her. She went on to study with Dona Lee Croft, a professor at the Royal College of Music, London, and to earn a Bachelors, and Masters with Honors, and a Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Marylou Speaker Churchill and James Buswell, and was a finalist in the Naftzger Competition and the Concerto Competition. Amy has been praised for her “stunning rendition [of Danses sacrés et profanes]” (WGBH Boston) and her “incredible speed and energy” (Sarasota Herald Tribune).

Amy started her career in the Boston Philharmonic and Indian Hills orchestras. She has performed worldwide in halls such as London’s Barbican, Queen Elizabeth, Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, St. John’s Smith Square and Southwark Cathedral, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Vienna‘s St. Steven’s Cathedral and the Koussevitsky Music Shed and Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. She has collaborated in chamber music concerts with artists including Masuko Ushioda, Carol Rodland, James Buswell and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has studied with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Shanghai, American and Concord Quartets.

Amy attended the Tanglewood Music Festival for several years, where she won the Jules C. Reiner Prize and served as concertmaster under renowned conductors such as Kurt Masur, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos and Christoph von Dohnányi. While there, Amy became very involved in performing the music of today’s composers, and has since worked closely with Roger Reynolds, John Zorn, Steve Mackey and Gunther Schuller. One of Amy’s most memorable concert experiences was working with Gunther Schuller on his Octet for a performance in Jordan Hall, Boston. Amy frequently works with pianist Steve Drury as part of the NEC Avant Garde Ensemble and the Calithumpian Consort, an ensemble that specializes in contemporary music.

When not performing, Amy is most likely to be found firmly attached to a book, creating jewelry, or—weather permitting—taking a long walk through the beautiful city of Boston.  She performs on a northern Italian violin made c.1800.


Guest Artists

Amy Galluzzo

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Rebecca Hallowell, viola

A native of Philadelphia, Boston-based violist Rebecca Hallowell holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and went on to receive her Master of Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts. In addition to her principal teachers Karen Ritscher, Michelle LaCourse, and Dimitri Murrath, Ms. Hallowell has also worked with members of the Muir, Jasper, Endellion and Ying quartets.

Ms. Hallowell performs frequently in the United States and Europe as a chamber musician and soloist. Past appearances have included collaborations with such diverse musicians as Stevie Wonder and Arnold Steinhart, and have taken her to Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. among others.

Ms. Hallowell currently maintains an active teaching studio while performing across New England as a solo, chamber music, and orchestral musician.  From 2016 she has held the position of Principal Viola of the Cape Ann Symphony.


Rebecca Hallowell

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Kathryn Christensen Lieppman, piano

Pianist Kathryn Christensen Lieppman is sought after as solo performer, chamber musician, adjudicator and teacher. The Sierra Vista Herald declared of her recent Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 performance, “She truly deserved to have the final bow for that evening’s concert...The gracefulness of Christensen was a joy to see, as the composer’s notes took control of her as she fingered them on the keyboard. Lightly when needed, powerful when appropriate.” Recently she has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Concord Conservatory's Concert and Lecture Series, and as a guest soloist with the Arizona State University orchestra. She has toured internationally with the Phoenix Girls Chorus, and collaborated with the Paradise Winds, among many others. She accompanies ballet classes at Boston Ballet School. As a newcomer to the Boston area, she is actively building her network of both musical collaborators, as well as students.

Ms. Lieppman received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where she studied with Tannis Gibson and Rex Woods.  She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Rice University where she studied with Brian Connelly. She has enjoyed participating in summer festivals across the United States including Aspen, SongFest, Tanglewood, and New England Conservatory's Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.  Ms. Lieppman spent summer 2010 on staff as a collaborative pianist at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She has played in master classes for esteemed artists and teachers including John Parry, Barbara Nissman, Anne-Marie McDermott and Ralph Votapek.

Devoted to the performance of new music, Ms. Christensen has premiered many solo and chamber works, including a set of “Desert Miniatures” written for her by five Tucson-connected composers. In 2009, she won both the Green Valley Piano Competition and Arizona MTNA Young Artist Competition, playing largely 20th century repertoire.

An energetic educator, Ms. Lieppman continuously maintains a piano studio. She teaches at Concord Conservatory of Music, and at her home in West Roxbury. She is also on the music faculty at Camp Encore-Coda (2013-2015), and has taught at the Boise State Chamber Music Camp for several years. Ms. Lieppman has taught choir and piano masterclasses at BASIS schools in Tucson, and general music to kindergarteners and first graders at the Great Hearts Academies in Phoenix. By invitation from the Cochise Music Teachers Association, she gave two days of piano masterclasses as part of their “Stepping Stones” musical achievement program.


Kathryn Christensen Lieppman

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Michael Monroe, piano

Pianist Michael Monroe has performed throughout the Boston area at such venues as Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, and the French Library, collaborating in recital with acclaimed violinists Stefan Jackiw and Arturo Delmoni and countless students at the New England Conservatory and other area schools.

While completing his DMA at the New England Conservatory he taught classes in accompanying and music history and coached for the NEC Opera Workshop. Dr. Monroe also has degrees in piano performance from the University of Arkansas and the University of Maryland and has been a guest opera coach at the North Carolina School of the Arts and music director for a Boston Aria Guild production of Hänsel und Gretel. His principal teachers have been Alan Chow, Thomas Schumacher, and Irma Vallecillo and he has studied with Martin Canin, Margo Garrett, and members of the Guarneri Quartet.


Michael Monroe

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Sarah M. Skinner, violin

Sarah took her first violin lesson at the ripe old age of twelve. In the violin world, this is akin to entering medical school at sixty. An early teacher once said, "She'll never be a violinist." In possession of a small stubborn streak, Sarah credits this statement as instrumental in her decision to pursue a career in music.

Sarah was also inspired and encouraged by her parents. She recalls one instance in particular, while practicing the well-known beginner piece "Long, Long Ago," when her father humorously asked if she could play "Far, Far Away," instead. (He eventually developed a love for the dulcet tones of the instrument, and is now among Sarah's biggest fans, the others being her mother and her two young daughters.)  Sarah's first forays into the world of chamber included duos with her brother, a cellist, but these collaborations were brief and usually ended in violence.

In college, Sarah followed in her father's footsteps—not into the more financially lucrative field of engineering, but rather, in that she attended three colleges before obtaining her bachelor's degree. She performed as a soloist with the Gordon College Symphony Orchestra on two occasions. Sarah holds a master's degree from The Boston Conservatory. Her primary teachers have included James Buswell and Sharan Leventhal.

Over the past decade, Sarah’s most unique musical experiences have included a performance with the Video Game Orchestra in Boston's Symphony Hall and a recording session with actor John Lithgow. She has performed with many orchestras in the greater Boston area, including the Cape Ann Symphony, the Lexington Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, Symphony New Hampshire, the Plymouth Philharmonic, and the North Shore Philharmonic.

Sarah maintains an active teaching studio, and genuinely finds the sound of her students all performing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to be among the most beautiful sounds in the world. She recognizes that this is probably a personal quirk and not necessarily a view shared by the rest of humanity.


Sarah M. Skinner

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Emily Rome, viola

Violist Emily Rome is currently a free-lance player and teacher in the Boston area. As an orchestral player, Emily has performed with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Indian Hill, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Philharmonic, and A Far Cry among others.

In addition, Emily also has a very active teaching career.  She especially enjoys working with children and teaches a number of private students and group classes through her program Brioso Strings.  She also serves as a chamber coach for students at Harvard University and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.  In the summers Emily performs and coaches at Greenwood Music Camp.  In the past she has served as a coach at and Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Youth Festival Orchestra Summer Program at the New England Conservatory, and has led orchestra sectionals, lessons and chamber music coaching for the NEC Preparatory Divisions.  Emily has studied with Atar Arad at Indiana University, Kim Kashkashian at New England Conservatory and Martha Katz at Rice University.


Emily Rome

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Melissa Bull, violin

Melissa M. Bull is an active free-lancer in the Boston area specializing in violin, viola, and piano.  She has appeared as concerto soloist with the Gordon (College) Symphony Orchestra (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), Salem Philharmonic (2008), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Libertador San Martín (Buenos Aires, 2007), and Hemenway Strings of Boston Conservatory (2012).

Melissa is a member of the Orchestra of Indian Hill, Lexington Symphony, and principal second violin of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, and Plymouth Philharmonic. She has appeared as concertmaster of the Orchestra of Indian Hall, the Quincy Bay Chamber Orchestra, the North Shore Philharmonic, and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, and as principal violist of Lexington Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, & Melrose Symphony.

Melissa is a co-founder of North Shore Chamber Music which presents family-friendly concerts for the communities North of Boston. She is also the founder and coordinator of Accord Chamber Players, which specializes both in providing music for special events and in recording new works for young composers in conjunction with Berklee College of Music, having recorded well over 750 original compositions written for string or full orchestra. She is the Director of Worship Ministries at North Shore Community Baptist Church, where she oversees all worship services and musical activities. She has taught music lessons for years, where her foremost goal is to pass along the joy of music.

Melissa studied with James Buswell at New England Conservatory and Gordon College, receiving a BM in Violin Performance and a BA in Spanish with Departmental Honors. She completed her Master of Music in violin performance at Boston Conservatory as a student of Joseph Silverstein and Lynn Chang. Her playing has been praised by Brockton’s Enterprise as “particularly accomplished” and she was described as “the owner of a substantial sound, warm left-hand vibrato, well-considered feel for phrasing, and intuitive proscenium presence.” Melissa lives in Danvers with her husband and two daughters.


Melissa Bull

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Scott Thomas Lesser, cello

Scott is an active freelance performer and teacher in the Greater Boston area and a co-founder of North Shore Chamber Music  which presents family-friendly concerts for the communities North of Boston.  Scott is Principal Cellist of Cape Ann Symphony and Acting Principal Cellist of the Orchestra of Indian Hill. Scott also plays in  the section of Atlantic Symphony and a substitute cellist for Lexington Symphony, Cape Symphony and Portland Symphony. Since moving to Boston in 2007, Scott has played with ten additional orchestras, many recording sessions, solo & chamber music recitals including NSCM, Indian Hill’s Bach’s Lunch & King’s Chapel’s Tuesday Recitals series.

Scott has been a String Scholar at Eastern Music Festival (NC) for three years, a summer internship in the professional orchestra under conductor Gerard Schwarz. He spent two summers each at the Chautauqua (NY) and Killington (VT) music festivals, and the National Orchestra Institute in DC. Scott is the cello instructor for the Needham and Canton public schools.

As a student, Scott performed nine solo recitals and eleven complete chamber music recitals with a focus of programming great music by lesser-known composers.  A graduate of The Boston Conservatory Scott earned a Master’s of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma in Cello Performance studying with Andrew Mark. With the Conservatory Orchestra he played principal or assistant principal for the majority of the concerts under Bruce Hangen. Scott was also featured as a soloist in Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with TBC Hemenway Strings in 2010. Scott received his Bachelor’s of Music from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT. At BYU he played Principal with the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras for four years, gave concert tours in ten states and eight European countries. Scott was the final performance of the 2007 BYU Philharmonic Evening of Concertos, playing the first movement of the Dvořák Cello Concerto. In high school he was Principal Cellist for Colorado’s All-State Orchestra and UNC’s Weekend for Strings, and played Haydn’s Concerto in C with the Rocky Mountain Youth Festival Orchestra. A native of Colorado, Scott married a violist he met in the BYU orchestras, now a music teacher in the public schools. They are the proud parents of three beautiful daughters.

To learn more about Scott and view pictures & videos, visit his site: www.STLcello.com


Scott Thomas Lesser

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