Saint-Saens Sonata and Malcolm Arnold Sonatina
Dr. Katrina Phillips is Assistant Professor of Music at Alabama State University where she has taught applied clarinet, woodwind methods, music history, graduate music history, introduction to the study of music, music appreciation, aural skills, fundamentals. She has also taught at Troy University. She has performed with the Shakespeare Festival Theater in Montgomery, Capitol Sounds Band in Montgomery, as co-principal clarinetist with the Northwest Florida Symphony and as soloist with Concerto Avenna (Warsaw, Poland), Alabama State University Wind Ensemble, Troy University Symphony Band, Kansas City Symphony (MO), and Independence Symphony (MO). As winner of the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, she performed Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, Op. 57 in 2005. She performed at ClarinetFest in Assisi, Italy; Austin, Texas and Lawrence, Kansas. She has appeared as soloist and director of the woodwind ensemble from ASU numerous times at the Alabama Music Educators Conference. She served as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Higher Education Division of AMEA. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in clarinet performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied with J. David Harris and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with Daniel Silver and Bil Jackson.
Clarinetist Lisa Oberlander has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Her compact disc Times Like These with pianist Yien Wang was released by Potenza Music in 2014, and she is a soloist on the 2017 Summit Records disc Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs. As a founding member of the Fountain City Ensemble Oberlander toured Japan and the US, and she is frequently invited to perform throughout the world at the International Clarinet Association's annual conference. Her most recent ICA performance was in 2018 in Ostend, Belgium.
In addition to her debut solo compact disc, which includes the premiere recording of Fred Cohen’s Four Episodes, she also appears on recordings with clarinetist Robert Spring (Dry Heat, 2012, and Dragon's Tongue, 1994), as a featured soloist on the Summit Records CD Velocity (2005), and with clarinetist Kelly Johnson (The Clarinet Unlimited, 1998). Oberlander has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, and the Columbus (GA) Symphony. She has been a featured soloist at Columbus State University, performing concertos by Unsuk Chin, Nielsen, Copland, Mozart, Scott McAllister, and Artie Shaw.
Dr. Oberlander is a guest clinician and performer at many high schools and universities every year, including a weeklong teaching residency at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. Recent masterclasses include Arizona State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, Northwestern University, and Western University (London, Ontario, Canada). Her current and former students have won many competitions and have been featured as concerto soloists with the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Arizona State University Orchestra, the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra, the LaGrange Symphony, the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and the Columbus State University Philharmonic Orchestra. Additional student honors include first prize of the MTNA National Senior Woodwinds Division and the $15,000 Marcus L. Urann Fellowship from the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society, Phi Kappa Phi. Dr. Oberlander's students have been accepted to some of the world's best graduate programs and regularly attend summer festivals in the US and abroad.
On the faculty of the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University since 1998, Dr. Oberlander is a graduate of Arizona State University and Indiana University where she studied with Robert Spring and Howard Klug. She performs exclusively on Buffet clarinets. For more information see .
“Berio’s 13 ‘Sequenzas,’ written over a period of four decades, are big solo works for different instruments. They famously make extraordinary demands on the performer, so much so that anyone mastering a ‘Sequenza’ stands out as an undeniable master of his instrument. Molina is such a master, and his triumphant performance brought the entire house to its feet.” – Richard Rand, Tuscaloosa News
Dr. Osiris J. Molina is Professor of Clarinet and Woodwind Area Coordinator at the University of Alabama. A native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, he has extensive experience as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. His professional accomplishments have taken him overseas and across the country. Dr. Molina is currently Principal Clarinet of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Second/Associate Clarinet with the Huntsville Symphony and has performed with the Alabama, Mobile and Chattanooga symphony clarinet sections, in addition to work with the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Greater Lansing, and Bridgeport (CT) symphony orchestras.
Dr. Molina’s chamber work includes his membership in the Cavell Trio, a reed trio dedicated to established and emerging works for this unique combination. Cavell has performed a multiple international conferences, including the 2011-2013 and the 2016 International Double Reed Society Conferences and the 2012-2016 International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest. Cavell’s third recording project,New Discoveries, featuring music of Rueff, Vachey, Gross, Zaheri, and Greg Simon, was released in 2017. His most recent chamber music experience is with the Vuorovesi Trio, a UA faculty trio consisting of the flute, oboe, and clarinet combination. Vuorovesi was accepted to perform at the IDRS, ICA, and NFA conferences in 2019, and will recording their first album of American music for this combination in 2021.
He is also clarinetist in the Capstone Woodwind Quintet, the faculty quintet at the University of Alabama. They are committed to outreach efforts in the Alabama schools, evidenced by tours in the Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Huntsville and greater-Atlanta regions. In Fall 2021, Dr. Molina will make his sixth trip to Havana, Cuba under the auspices of the College of Arts and Science’s Alabama in Cuba Initiative. As an extension of this work, Dr. Molina will be releasing his first solo album in 2021. EntitledPiezas Cubanas,this album will be works that Molina discovered during his many visits to Cuba, including works by Andres Alén, Javier Zalba, Paquito D’Rivera, Ernesto Lecuona, and Leo Brouwer. In addition to his Alabama teaching duties, Dr. Molina will enter his eighth season as Clarinet Mentor at the Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2021.
Dr. Molina holds degrees from Michigan State University (DMA), Yale School of Music (MM), and Rutgers University (BM), where he studied with Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima and Dr. William Berz. Osiris has been active in music education at all levels. He teaches applied clarinet, chamber music and clarinet methods in the Music Education curriculum. Dr. Molina is an endorsing artist for Selmer Paris, Silverstein, and D’Addario and performs on the Recital clarinet and the Privilege Bass Clarinet.
Brad Whitfield, native of Birmingham, Alabama, is currently the Assistant Principal/Second clarinet of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the orchestra, he was a clarinet fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, under the musical direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. During this time, he performed chamber music with artists such as Garrick Olhsson and toured with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Harris Theater.
He has performed with professional orchestras all over the United States including The Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony. In the summer of 2019, Brad performed as Guest Principal Clarinet of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, New Zealand. In previous summers he has performed with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Central City Opera among others.
Brad received his Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and his Master of Music from the University of Southern California. His primary teachers include Yehuda Gilad, Steve Cohen, and the late Danny Granados.
Laurie Middaugh received both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Montevallo studying piano with Ms. Joan Yarbrough Cowan and Dr. Anthony Pattin, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Alabama studying piano with Mrs. Amanda Penick. Dr. Middaugh has served as staff accompanist at the University of Montevallo for many years collaborating with student, faculty, guest artist recitals, operas, revues, and musical theater productions. At UM she has also taught class piano, skills, theory, piano pedagogy, and accompanying. She has collaborated with area professionals, worked with Opera Birmingham, regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, the Alabama Symphony, and Alabama Ballet. She had the privilege of studying with international voice teachers, singers, and pianists while at the American Institute of Music Study (AIMS) in Graz, Austria as a participant. She has since returned as a staff pianist. Dr. Middaugh has also coached with and participated in master classes with John Steele Ritter, Dalton Baldwin, John Perry, Dennis Helmrich, Barbara Bonney, Bo Skovhus, and many more. She has played across the U.S., Austria, Brazil, and Canada.
For over 42 years, Wolfgang has worked with musician's from more than 90 countries. Experiencing the musicians needs from so many different cultures and environments, he has built an understanding of the necessity of individual solutions. In tight collaboration with many of the world's top musicians, excellent solutions and techniques have been developed to solve numerous problems. Among them are noise reduction systems, new padding methods and systems, ergonomic improvements, and the elimination of climate and humidity influence, crack prevention, water reductions, and many acoustical improvements.
Wolfgang is a highly requested lecturer and has led workshops and seminars at international festivals and conferences in Europe, USA, Canada, Latin, and South America, Israel, Asia, Tanzania, and Russia.
Birgit Pfeiffer studied flute at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf, Germany. She worked as a teacher and soloist and played in numerous classical and jazz ensembles.
Her instrument craftsmanship started in 1986 with an education from Wolfgang Lohff. Despite her flute background, she developed a special preference for wooden woodwind instruments. Today Birgit is co-owner of Lohff & Pfeiffer and works primarily on clarinets, bassoons, and oboes.
Over the years, she has given many workshops, lectures and exhibitions in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Belgian, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Cypress, Israel, Thailand, Mexico, Tanzania, Canada, and the US.
Alabama Winds Clarinet Choir Performers
Alabama Winds, an all-adult community wind band based was organized in the summer of 2013 and is comprised primarily of practicing music educators residing throughout the state of Alabama. Members travel from as far as Huntsville, Auburn, and Enterprise to rehearsals, which are held in Birmingham, Alabama. The normal rehearsal schedule for the ensemble is one three-hour rehearsal each month, performing concerts annually in December and May.
The mission of the Alabama Winds is to foster and promote the appreciation of high-quality wind band music through performances of artistic merit for our audience, the residents of the state of Alabama and the members of the ensemble. The Alabama Winds has provided scholarships for middle school and high school students to attend summer music camps and provides a one-time $1,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who will be pursuing a career in music education.
The Alabama Winds has performed at the 2015 and 2019 Alabama Music Educators’ Association In-Service Conference, the 2016 University of Alabama High School Honor Band Festival, the 2017 Alabama Bandmasters’ Association District VI Honor Band Festival, the 2017 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, the 2019 Alabama Bandmasters’ Association District I Honor Band Festival, and the 2020 Samford University Honor Band Festival. The Alabama Winds has accepted an invitational performance at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington, November 2021.
Performed by Trio Leo:
Whitney O’Neal, flute
Meghan Merciers, clarinet
Karen Cantrell, piano
Trio Leo Bio:
The University of North Alabama Department of Music Chamber Ensemble-in-Residence, Trio Leo (Whitney O’Neal - flute, Meghan Merciers - clarinet, and Karen Cantrell - piano), has focused on the research, presentation, and performance of the music of underrepresented composers and the music of diverse cultures/populations since 2017. Trio Leo frequently performs and lectures at local, regional, and national events, and has been selected by jury to present at the Music by Women Conference, Mid-South Flute Festival, Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, Alabama Music Educators Association Conference, and the American Single Reed Summit. Featured composers in our concerts/presentations include Gwyneth Walker, Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, Valerie Coleman, Undine Smith Moore, Dolores White, William Grant Still, and Sinae Kim.
Dr. Whitney O’Neal is from Jonesboro, Arkansas. She is Associate Professor of Flute, Assistant Department Chair, and Coordinator of Woodwind Studies at the University of North Alabama. O’Neal is the principal flutist of the Shoals Symphony and has performed in the National Flute Association’s Professional Flute Choir at conventions in New York City, Charlotte, NC, and Las Vegas. O’Neal was also selected as a winner in the Convention Performers Competition in 2012 and performed in recital at the NFA convention. Dr. O’Neal made her international debut in 2015 with recitals in Toledo, Spain. She frequently performs with her chamber ensembles: Trio Leo, Una Duo, Delta Duo, and Druid City Ensemble. Dr. O'Neal holds a Bachelor of Music Education with University Honors from Arkansas State University and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in flute performance with a secondary emphasis in musicology from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Meghan Merciers is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She is Associate Director of the School of the Arts, Music Department Chair, and Associate Professor of Music (clarinet) at the University of North Alabama. Dr. Merciers is an active soloist and collaborative musician, and frequently performs recitals and lectures with her chamber ensembles, Una Duo, Trio Leo, and Devil Sticks. She has performed internationally with the French-American Chamber Orchestra in Lyon, France, for a multilingual adaptation of Bernstein’s West Side Story; in clarinet trio in Assisi, Italy, at the 2013 International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest; and at numerous regional and national conferences. Dr. Merciers is a Silverstein Pro Team Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist. She earned her doctorate in clarinet performance from Michigan State University, and has degrees from the University of New Mexico, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Merciers studied with Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Professor Keith Lemmons, Dr. Nikolasa Tejero, and Dr. Peter Temko.
Ms. Karen Whitehead Cantrell is a native of Anderson, Alabama. She has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from University of North Alabama and a Master of Music Education from Florida State University. As the Staff Collaborative Pianist for the UNA Department of Music, she performs on student/faculty recitals and with Collegiate Singers. Ms. Cantrell is a founding member of Trio Leo, an ensemble that champions music of underrepresented composers. She is the pianist at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Rogersville, Alabama. Ms. Cantrell has been pianist for numerous Alabama All-State Choral Festivals, Quad-City Choral Festivals, Alabama Honor Choir, University of North Alabama Honor Choir, Florence Honor Choir, Mississippi State University choral ensembles including performance with Tupelo Symphony, state, regional and national ACDA reading sessions. She has collaborated with students for state, regional and national NATS. She has served as choral adjudicator for district, regional and state assessments.
Formed in 2010, The Lebaron Trio has performed extensively across the United States at colleges and universities and on artist series as well as international festivals such as the International Association of Women in Music and the International Clarinetfest. Their repertoires spans a wide range of styles and are advocates for new music. The Lebaron Trio consists of members of the music faculty at the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL. The members are Melanie Williams, soprano, Lori Ardovino, clarinet, and Laurie Middaugh, piano.
Lori Ardovino has been a guest recitalist at a number of colleges and universities and international and national festivals including the International Clarinetfest, The International Alliance for Women in Music Congress, NACWPI , NACUSA ,Southeastern Composers League, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, the College Music Society and the Alabama Music Educators. Dr. Ardovino received the 2013-14 Alabama State Council for the Arts Artist Fellowship was chosen the University of Montevallo University Scholar for 2013. She has received the Creative and Scholarly Projects Grant from the University of Montevallo in 2013, 2014, and 2017 and was the 2012 recipient of the Escape to Create artist residency in Seaside, FL. She is an active composer and has had her works performed across the United States, Japan, Italy and Canada. Her CD’s include, From A Crack In The Wall-clarinet music by Alabama Composers, Between Walls-saxophone music by Alabama Composers, The LeBaron Trio-works for clarinet, piano and voice, and Saxophone Music by Living Women Composers. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Moorhead (BM, BA), Michigan State University (MM) and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (DMA).
She is an Artist/Clinician with Conn-Selmer Company, D’Addario Woodwinds and is a Fulbright Specialist. Currently, she is Professor Music at the University of Montevallo where she teaches clarinet, saxophone and woodwind methods and ensembles. She performs with the LeBaron Trio, the Meàllo Trio, the Vinna Trio and the Cahaba Saxophone Quartet.
Dr. Laurie Middaugh, received both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Montevallo studying piano with Ms. Joan Cowan and Dr. Anthony Pattin, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Alabama studying piano with Mrs. Amanda Penick. Dr. Middaugh’s interest in collaborative piano began as a freshman at the University of Montevallo when she began playing for lessons and recitals for fellow students as part of her scholarship. In addition to her education in piano performance Dr. Middaugh has also received coaching in collaborative piano in master classes with Dalton Baldwin, John Steele Ritter, and Dennis Helmrich. She was a student at the American Institute of Music Study (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, where she coached lieder with Betty Bullock and Nico de Villiers, and piano with Charlene Harb, and participated in the Music Directors Intensive at Goodspeed Opera House. Dr. Middaugh has served as staff accompanist at the University of Montevallo for the past twenty years collaborating with student, faculty, guest artist recitals, operas, revues, and musical theater productions. She has collaborated with area professionals, worked with Opera Birmingham, regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, the Alabama Symphony, and Alabama Ballet.
Melanie Williams, soprano, enjoys an active career performing solo, chamber, opera, and choral repertoire. She holds the MM and DMA in Vocal Performance from Louisiana State University, where she studied with Metropolitan Opera soprano Martina Arroyo and New York City Opera tenor Robert Grayson. A regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions and a finalist in the Birmingham Opera and Mobile Opera competitions, her opera credits include Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Olympia in Le Contes d’Hoffman, Monica in The Medium, Lucy in The Telephone, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief “The Girl” in the Jack Beeson opera Hello, Out There, Valerie in the American premiere of The Cabildo, and the title roles in Gustav Holst’s Savitri and the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe. .
Williams has twice appeared as soprano soloist for the International Cathedral Music Festival, performing in London, Canterbury and Salisbury, England. Concert appearances in the Southeast include engagements with the Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Kingsport Symphonies, as well as solo appearances with the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra and several collegiate ensembles. She is a founding member of the LeBaron Trio, whose performances include concerts in Vancouver, B.C. Los Angeles, CA, Flagstaff, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Boston, MA, St. Louis, MO, Knoxville, TN, Pensacola and Seaside, FL. She is also a founding member of The Meàllo Trio, along with Lori Ardovino and guitarist, Alan Goldspiel.