Balancing a tremendously busy career of recital engagements, a full calendar of chamber music concerts and until recently holding the post of Associate Concertmaster with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Torgul is a well rounded and much sought after musician. Before leaving his post in September 2012 he has been serving as Acting Concertmaster for four seasons. As a soloist and Guest Concertmaster he has performed with numerous orchestras around the country including San Francisco, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Phoenix, Tucson and San Antonio among many others. His solo repertoire includes more than twenty concertos and his most recent performance of Astor Piazzolla/Desyatnikov’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires has earned him rave reviews.
A University of Tennessee and Yale University School of Music graduate, Rogene Russell is Principal Oboist of The Dallas Opera Orchestra where she just completed her twenty fourth season with the orchestra. Since 1977, Rogene has been a member of the oboe section of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Rogene is Adjunct Professor of Oboe at the University of Texas at Arlington and is an active freelance musician and contractor in Dallas. A graduate of the first Leadership Arts class of the Business Council for the Arts founded by Ray Nasher and Patricia Porter, Rogene currently represents The Dallas Opera Orchestra on The Dallas Opera Board of Directors. Rogene also served on the 2011 Texas Commission on the Arts grants panel. A founding member of Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP), Rogene serves as the FACP Artistic Director and Teaching Artist with Dream Collectors. Chosen to receive the Texas Commission on the Arts “Exemplary Programming for Children” Award, the Dream Collector troupe of professional musicians and actors will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2014.
Associate Musician, Double Bass
Kathleen Reynolds is the principal bassoonist of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and performs regularly with the Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, and Chamber Music International. EcoClassics recorded her solo bassoon CD, Gems for Bassoon, with pianist Michele Levin and clarinetist Mitchell Lurie. She also joined the College of Music at the University of North Texas as Professor of Bassoon and Woodwind Chamber Music Coordinator in the fall of 1995.She has performed at the Peter Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon, the Fredericksburg Festival, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and with members of the Muir String Quartet at the Montana Chamber Music Festival. Prior to her appointment at UNT, Ms. Reynolds was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic for twenty-two years, and was on the faculty at SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College and the Hochstein School of Music. Her solo performances include appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Friends of Music Orchestra in Geneseo, NY, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, and the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and has studied with K. David Van Hoesen, Norman Herzberg, and Bernard Garfield.
Terry has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University. He has worked for many years as a professional musician. He currently is a member of the Dallas Opera orchestra and is an adjunct professor of Horn and chamber music at the University of North Texas.
Associate Musician, Violin
A passionate performer, teacher, and chamber musician, Kathy Johnson received a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1994, and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Northwestern University in 1996. While at Northwestern she held an assistantship in teaching violin to undergraduate students. Kathy plays with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and has performed as an assistant concertmaster with the Abilene Opera and Wichita Falls Symphony. She has also been a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, which is the Chicago Symphony's training orchestra. Kathy is the mother of two girls, and her 2-year-old can already stand in proper violin rest position!
After finishing a Master’s degree at Yale, Ms. Smith freelanced in almost every orchestra in Connecticut and was a core member of the Hartford Symphony. She has been Assistant Principal Violist of the Dallas Opera for 19 years and serves as the Assistant Principal Violist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic since 2001. In the summertime, she works in the pit at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY. Shortly after graduating from Yale, she received a Fulbright Grant to study baroque music with Sigiswald Kuijken in The Hague, Netherlands and has performed with several groups on period violin or viola including, Arcadia Players, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Dallas Bach Society, and Texas Camerata.
Liesl-Ann de Villiers
Principal Viola in the Dallas Opera Orchestra and teacher of strings to young people, Liesl-Ann deVilliers knew she wanted music to be her career the moment that a string orchestra visited her grade school in South Africa so many years ago. Born in New York City, Liesl lived most of her early years in South Africa. One of six children, all of whom played an instrument when they were young, Liesl would be the only one to become a professional musician and musical teacher. She was first introduced to the piano at about age 5. When she was 11 she saw and heard the orchestra visiting her school, her career path was set in her mind. After immigrating back to the U.S. in 1998, Liesl began studying viola under Susan Dubois, acquiring a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from the University of North Texas. Since then, she has attended the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado where she was principal viola and was featured as a soloist, and was selected as a Substitute player for the New World Symphony (Florida). In Texas, where she has lived for the past 14 years, she has played in numerous symphonies, including the Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and Richardson Symphony. In 2009, she got her first orchestral job with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, with which she has advanced to Principal Viola.
Deborah Mashburn is a graduate of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she studied on a Rotary International Undergraduate Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, and she is also a graduate of the Unversity of North Texas School of Music. Ms. Mashburn has toured extensively in Europe as a member of the Glorieux Orchestra, and has appeared with the Mozarteum Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, and the Nuremburg Opera Orchestra. Ms. Mashburn is Principal Tympanist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, among others. She has performed with Voices of Change since 1984.
Rick Bogard is a member of the music faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington where he teaches studio trumpet and is Associate Chair of the Music Department. He holds a DMA in trumpet performance from the University of North Texas, and degrees from Baylor University and The University of Central Arkansas. Bogard performs as Second Trumpet with the Dallas Opera Orchestra and as Principal Trumpet during the 1993-94 season. He has recorded Mahler, Shostakovich, and Respighi with the Dallas Symphony, and has been a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Waco Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Wind Symphony.
Paul Aksman, double bassist, has created a versatile role for himself as an ensemble player equally devoted to symphonic and operatic repertoire. Currently in his first season as a double bass in the Dallas Opera, Paul maintains positions as a section player in the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and as principal bass with the Greeley (CO) Philharmonic. He has also performed extensively with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as guest principal bass in 2013, and continues to perform as a regular substitute with the Colorado Symphony. Paul attended the Aspen Music Festival as a string fellow, which inspired him to eventually begin his career making music in the mountains.
David Miles Wolcott, director of the Dallas Suzuki Academy since 1997, has been teaching violin lessons for more than 20 years. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Bowling Green State University in 1985, he earned a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Southern Methodist University in 1987. Mr. Wolcott has been a first violinist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra since 1991, and from 1998-2003 was the concertmaster of the Abilene Philharmonic and Abilene Opera. He has performed with several other area orchestras, including the Fort Worth Symphony and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Wolcott has appeared as a soloist with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Killington (Vt.) Festival Orchestra and Bowling Green (Oh.) Philharmonic. An active chamber musician, he has played in quartets and other small-ensemble groups in Dallas for more than two decades. Mr. Wolcott enjoys all styles of music, and has performed concerts with such musicians as Ray Charles, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (from Led Zeppelin), Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach and Doc Severinsen. He has also appeared as the violinist in the television documentary, "The Genesis of Healing: Music Therapy." Alas, he was given no spoken lines.
Grace Kang Wollett
Violinist Grace Kang Wollett, a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, is now engaged in an active teaching and performing career in the Dallas area. Mrs. Wollett is a member of Trio Venia, which made its debut at the Banff Music Festival in 2010. The group has made its home in New York City, performing in halls, cultural centers, and medical facilities throughout New York City. She is also a member of the first violin section of the Dallas Opera.