Meet the Musicians


Anne-Marie-Brown-webAnne Marie Brown: Violin
Anne-Marie Brown, a member of the Kansas City Symphony since 2001, performs extensively as soloist and chamber musician throughout the Kansas City area. The Kansas City Star has described her performances as displaying “splendid virtuosity, with a rich impressive tone” and KCMetropolis has said her “playing was stellar, with lyricism and technique to spare.” The Miami Herald has noted her work’s “silky, suave tone and unaffected beauty.” In recent seasons, she has been a frequent soloist with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, a guest musician with Summerfest, and a member of  the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, recording a work for piano trio on the Navona label in 2012. In addition, she serves on the faculty of the Heartland Chamber Music Festival. Previously, she was a member of the New World Symphony, where she appeared as both concertmaster and soloist. She holds degrees from Northwestern University and Manhattan School of Music.

Sean Brumble: Viola
Sean was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and began studying the viola at age 9. Early teachers included Maria Maxwell and Walter Halen. Brumble holds a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City where he studied with Steve Kruse, former Kansas City Symphony Principal Viola. Upon graduation, Brumble was awarded a fellowship to Music Academy of the West under the tutelage of Don McInnes. Brumble has been a member of the Kansas City Symphony since 1996. He also has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is currently Kansas City Chamber Orchestra Principal Viola. In addition to orchestral performance, he also enjoys playing chamber music and performs regularly as part of the Symphony’s Community Connections and free Happy Hour Chamber Music series. As a guest artist, he collaborated with fellow Kansas City Symphony musicians on the Summerfest Concert series to critical acclaim. Brumble resides in Greenwood, Mo., with his wife, Robyn, and two sons. He enjoys playing tennis, golf and running 5Ks in his spare time.

Jane-Carl-webDr. Jane Carl: Clarinet
Jane Carl, Professor of Clarinet at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, received her degrees from the University of Michigan.  She has been a member of the South Bend Symphony, the Flint Symphony, and the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra in Detroit, and performed with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  She performs regularly with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as acting assistant principal clarinet from 1999-2003.  She can often be heard performing with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony.  She was the artistic chair of ClarinetFest 2008, the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association, held in Kansas City.  Dr. Carl performed at the 2007 China International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival in Beijing, and the 2009 ClarinetFest in Porto Portugal.  In the fall of 2009, she became the Chair of UMKC’s Instrumental Studies Division.  She has performed with Summerfest for over two decades and is a member of the Artistic Committee which selects music heard at Summerfest concerts.

Maria-Crosby-webMaria Crosby: Cello
Maria Crosby received her undergraduate degree in cello performance from Depaul University in Chicago where she studied with Stephen Balderston and Tanya Carey. She went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, under the tutelage of Peter Stumpf. Maria joined the Kansas City Symphony in 2012. In addition to full-time orchestral playing, she is also an active chamber musician. She has performed on stages across the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Lithuania, Armenia, Greece, Russia, Japan, and Brazil, and has participated in a variety of orchestral and chamber music festivals, including the Aegean Verdi Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, the Banff Chamber Music Residency, the Recontres francoaméricaines de Musique de Chambre and the Pine Mountain Music Festival. Maria first performed with Summerfest in 2014, and looks forward to the 2015 season!

Tony-Demarco-webTony DeMarco: Violin
Tony DeMarco has been a member of the Kansas City Symphony for 14 seasons.  His previous professional experience includes Assistant Concertmaster of both the Virginia and North Carolina Symphonies, substitute for the Pittsburgh Symphony, and a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra.  He was raised in the South Hills of Pittsburgh then enrolled at Carnegie- Mellon University at age 16, then transferred to Oberlin Conservatory where he earned an artist’s diploma.  Having chosen his career path at age 9, Tony credits the violin, his mother Bonnie, and his teacher Albert Hirtz of the Pittsburgh Symphony for the opportunity to travel to Asia, Europe, and all around the United States, making lasting friends and playing great music.  Best among those friends is his wonderful wife, Jeannine Elashewich.  Together with sons Albert and Roman, they now reside in a “Little House in Prairie Village.”

Gwen Coleman Detwiler: Soprano
Soprano Gwen Coleman Detwiler has been praised by music critics for possessing a voice of “divine beauty” with “sparkling coloratura” and “impressive high-flying top notes” (Opera News). Her solo concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Detwiler made her European debut as the soprano soloist for the Klassiche Musikfest’s performances of Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. Her opera role repertoire includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Blonde in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Monica in The Medium, and the title role in Cendrillon among others.  Dr. Detwiler can be heard on the Newport Classic’s CD recording of Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe and as the leading soprano, Suleika, on Centaur Record’s world-premier recording of Schubert’s Der Graf von Gleichen.

In recital, Dr. Detwiler’s repertoire includes literature spanning from the Baroque to the 21st Century. She has performed a variety of chamber music and the modern American art song selections. This spring, she performed the world premiere, Christina’s World, based upon the Andrew Wyeth painting of the same name and written for her by Juliana Hall for the Cincinnati Song Initiative. In 2015, she premiered a major song cycle written for her by esteemed American composer, Libby Larsen. The world premiere in Los Angeles received rave reviews, and a recording for the cycle is forthcoming. Audiences have enjoyed her performances at the Chautauqua Institute (NY), SongFest Music Festival (CA), Summerfest Chamber Music Festival (MO), the Grandin Chamber Music Festival (OH), the Fitton Center for Creative Arts (OH), the Fredonia Opera House (NY), the Château de Vianden in Luxembourg, and in Central City, CO among many others.

A 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council regional winner, Dr. Detwiler has won numerous national awards for her artistry, including a MacAllister Award, the Italo Opera Award, a Presser Award, and the Naftzger Young Artists Auditions first prize.  She received her vocal and opera training at Northwestern University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Opera Center Merola Young Artist Program.

Dr. Detwiler is currently an associate professor of voice at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).  She has served on several summer festival faculties: SongFest at Colburn in Los Angeles, CA; Spoleto Festival in Italy; the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg; and the Miami Choral and Voice Festival in Miami, FL. Dr. Detwiler served on the voice faculty of the State University of New York at Fredonia from 1999-2010.  Her vocal students have sung on the some of world’s most illustrious stages from the New York Metropolitan Opera to the stages of Broadway. Dr. Detwiler performs and provides vocal master classes throughout the United States and Europe.  She currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her husband, Jim, and two children, Jacob and Katelyn.


Alex-East-webAlexander East: Cello
Alexander East is the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Kansas City Symphony.  In addition to duties with the Symphony, which often include leading the section as principal for opera, ballet, and chamber orchestra performances, he is also heard frequently in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the Kansas City region and with the Sun Valley (ID) Summer Symphony every year since 1992.  Before settling in Kansas City, East spent two seasons as a member of the New World Symphony under the direction of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.  He received his training at Indiana University and the New England Conservatory of music.  His teachers have included Tsuyushi, Tsutsumi, Jano Sarker, Laurence Lesser, and Colin Carr.  He has performed with Summerfest since 2001 and serves on the Artistic Committee which selects the music heard in Summerfest Concerts.

sfinney-webShannon Finney: Flute
Shannon Finney  is Associate Principal Flutist for the Kansas City Symphony and currently serves as both flutist and Artistic Advisor for Summerfest.  Her summer work extends to Door County, WI, where she is Flute Faculty and Principal Flutist for Birch Creek Music Center.  She was also winner of the first National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competition in 1993 and was a fellow at Tanglewood in 1994.   Finney   has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.  Her teachers include Walfrid Kujala, Mary Stolper, and Karla Flygare, and her degrees are from Northwestern University.   Finney  enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and many outdoor and sporting activities. In April 2014, Finney spent a month in Nepal, including two weeks trekking in Himalayas and reaching Annapurna Base Camp.

mgordon-webMichael Gordon: Flute
Michael Gordon serves as the Principal Flutist of the Kansas City Symphony. Prior to joining the Kansas City Symphony, he was a member of the New World Symphony, where he performed as a soloist in 2007. Gordon has performed with several orchestras across the United States, including the St. Louis Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2004, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rice University. His teachers include Leone Buyse and Marianne Gedigian.



Elizabeth Schellhase Gray: Horn
Elizabeth Schellhase Gray joined the Kansas City Symphony as second horn in November 2009. She previously served as acting fourth horn for the Houston Symphony during their 2008-09 season. As a student of Houston Symphony Principal Horn William VerMeulen, Schellhase Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in horn performance from Rice University with magna cum laude distinction. Upon graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to study with former San Francisco Symphony Principal Horn A. David Krehbiel. She won the position with the Kansas City Symphony during October of her first year there and left school shortly after to join the orchestra. She also has received fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival and Spoleto USA Festival. Additionally, Gray has played fourth horn for the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colo. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Plymouth (Mich.) Symphony, the Ann Arbor Concert Band and the Plymouth (Mich.) Community Band. Her teachers include Louis Stout, Corbin Wagner and William Brown.


Joshua_Hood-webJoshua Hood: Bassoon
Joshua Hood, bassoonist, received his bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Lewis Hugh Cooper.  He completed his master’s degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University with Benjamin Kamins, former Principal Bassoonist of the Houston Symphony.  Hood has performed with a number of orchestras including the Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony.  He joined the Charlotte Repertory Symphony to outstanding reviews.  He has also performed with several festivals including the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, May Music Festival in Charlotte, NC, Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, NY,  the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, and with the Ritz Chamber Players on  the Amelia Island Music Festival in Florida.  He has performed with Summerfest since 1998.

Celeste Johnson: Oboe
Celeste Johnson joined the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty in August of 2016 as Associate Professor of oboe.  Celeste held the same title at Oklahoma State University where she taught from 2004- 20016.  A current member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Celeste continues to enjoy a varied teaching and performing career .

As a performer, Celeste has appeared with numerous orchestras, music festivals and competitions around the globe.  She has performed in Switzerland, Colombia, the Isle of Man, Canada and as guest principal oboist with the Russian String Orchestra.  Ms. Johnson has performed as principal oboe of the New York String Orchestra, and has received fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Kent-Blossom Music Festival, Banff Centre, Sarasota Music Festival and the Lucerne Festival Academy.  She has held additional orchestral positions with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra and Champaign Urbana Symphony.  Celeste has also won prizes in the Gillet-Fox International Oboe Competition, Barbirolli International Oboe Competition and Barnett Foundation Competition.

Ms. Johnson has held additional teaching positions at the Bay View Music Festival, OperaMaya, Filarmonica Joven de Colombia, Roberts Wesleyan College and the University of Kansas.  She was awarded the First Lady of OSU Outstanding Music Faculty award in 2011, and the OSU Junior Faculty Award in 2007.  A past-president of the Midwest Double Reed Society, Celeste remains active within a number of double reed organizations, including the International Double Reed Society and Texas Double Reed Society.

Celeste Johnson holds a Master of Music in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Richard Killmer, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Oboe Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a student of Nancy Ambrose King and Dan Stolper.

Philip Marten, Violin
A Kansas City native, Philip Marten grew up participating in many local music organizations including the Kansas City Youth Symphony and Heartland Chamber Music Academy. He also studied violin with former Kansas City Philharmonic concertmaster Tiberius Klausner. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Rice University in 2015 under the tutelage of Cho-Liang Lin, he went on to University of Southern California where he completed a year of graduate studies with long-time and recently retired concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Glenn Dicterow. He also has performed extensively at music festivals as a student, most notably Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall, New York String Orchestra Seminar and Aspen Music Festival. Professionally, he has worked as concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony and appeared regularly in various chamber music settings around the country. When not practicing, he most enjoys spending time with his wife and their two cats. His other interests include music composition and sociological research

Charles Metz: Harpsichord
Charles Metz studied piano at Penn State University, beginning his harpsichord studies through private lessons with the legendary Igor Kipnis.   In the process of earning a Ph.D. in Historical Performance Practice at Washington University in St. Louis, he studied with Trevor Pinnock.   More recently, Metz has worked with Webb Wiggins and Lisa Crawford at the Oberlin Conservatory.  Metz has performed across the country with concerts in Chicago IL, Saratoga NY, Bennington VT, Louisville, KY, and Liberty MO, in their Baroque music JEMS Fest.   He has performed solo recitals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Oberlin Conservatory and appeared as guest artist in Kansas City for the “Bach Aria Soloists” and the Kansas City Symphony’s summer program “Summerfest.” He also is a member of “Such Sweete Melodie,” a group dedicated to the early 17th century Italian and English repertoire of songs and solo instrumental works.  With the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, in 2013 he was the featured keyboard soloist in Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto under conductor Nicholas McGegan.  In 2014, he appeared with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Ars Antigua Chicago and the Newberry Consort of Chicago in the Música Barroca Mexicana program. In the spring of 2015, Metz again played with the Newberry Consort in the Mr. Dowland’s Midnight program with Paul O’Dette.  Metz’s list of performance credits includes international appearances in the Netherlands, Germany and Costa Rica.   In addition to his performing activity, he serves on the board of directors of Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, The Newberry Consort and Early Music America.

Jessica Nance: Viola
Jessica Nance has been a member of the Kansas City Symphony since 1995 and Assistant Principal Viola since 1997.   She has performed locally with the Boulevard String Quartet, newEar, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and on a variety of chamber music, solo, and educational projects.  Before moving to Kansas City, Jessica was Principal Viola in the Michigan Opera Theater and with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  She attended the University of Michigan where she studied with Yizhak Schotten.  Jessica is married to trumpeter Brian Rood and together they have two children.  When not playing the viola, she enjoys running and triathlon training.  Jessica has performed with Summerfest since 2000.

Melissa-Pena-webMelissa Peña: Oboe
Melissa Peña received her master of music degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she was a student of Barbara Bishop.  Following UMKC, she held the position of Associate Principal Oboe/English Horn with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (2002-2011) and was assistant professor of oboe at the University of Northern Colorado (2010-2012).  Presently, she serves as Assistant Professor of Oboe and General Music at the University of Oregon School of Music & Dance.

She performed with Opera Colorado, Santa Fe Opera, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Astoria Music Festival.  Peña maintains membership in the New Mexico Philharmonic and is a core musicians member of Chatter, a contemporary music ensemble in Albuquerque, NM.  She has made concerto appearances with the New Mexico Symphony and the Southwest Florida Symphony and additionally has substituted with the Kansas City Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Music from Angel Fire, along with Summerfest.

Richard-Ryan-webRichard Ryan: Bass
Richard Ryan, an Arizona native, has been a Kansas City Symphony member for four seasons.  Before his tenure in Kansas City, he was Assistant Principal bass of the Louisville Orchestra.  A graduate of Indian University Jacobs School of Music, Richard has participated in music festivals such as Aspen and Artosphere, and has conducted the Louisville Youth Orchestra and Kling Chamber Orchestra.



dsullivan-webDavid Sullivan: Horn
David Sullivan was appointed associate principal horn of the Kansas City Symphony in June 2009. A native of Kentucky, he received his bachelor’s  degree in horn performance from the University of Kentucky and his master’s degree in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music,
earning both with summa cum laude distinction. He has performed as soloist with the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Chamber  Orchestra, the latter of which he is also co-principal horn. In the summer, he performs orchestral and chamber music as co-principal horn of the  Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in Verbier, Switzerland. His major teachers include Erik Ralske and David G. Elliott.


Dan-Velicer-webDan Velicer: Piano
An active performer and teacher, Dan Velicer appears regularly with the Kansas City Symphony, Trio Fedele, and the Lyric Arts Trio.  He is a frequent collaborator with members of the Kansas City Symphony and the UMKC Conservatory faculty. Velicer also helps university and high school students prepare for recitals and competitions. Prior to arriving in Kansas City, he was an Opera Coach Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and the head staff pianist at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music.  Along with his wife, Kristi, Velicer is on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory where he coaches chamber music, leads master classes, and performs with faculty. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Cornell University, majoring in both anthropology and music.  He received his master of music degree from Rice University.


KristinVelicer-webKristin Velicer: Violin
Kristin Velicer is the Assistant Principal Second Violinist with the Kansas City Symphony.  Velicer has performed and toured internationally with numerous major orchestras including the Houston Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra.  She has appeared on National Public Radio as a featured soloist and chamber musician on Performance Today and Houston in Concerts.Velicer was an invited performer in the Carnegie Hall tribute to Alexander Schneider, founder of the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Velicer holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance at Overlin College Conservatory of Music where she studied with Kathleen Winkler.  While at Overlin, she received the prestigious Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award. Velicer later received a master’s degree from Rice University-Shepherd School of Music studying with Raphael Fliegel and Kathleen Winkler. Velicer serves, along with her husband Dan, on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory in Steamboat Springs, CO.

Mike Zell: Percussionist

Mike Zell is a percussionist who is uniquely at home within orchestral, chamber, and solo musical settings. He was a member of the Honolulu Symphony from 2012 to 2013, and has also been an extra or substitute percussionist with the Houston, Kansas City, and Charleston Symphonies, among others. From 2012 to 2014 he served as Principal Percussionist with the Florida Grand Opera.  Mr. Zell grew up outside Baltimore, Maryland and attended the Peabody Conservatory. While an undergraduate student, he took his first professional audition and won, subsequently serving as Principal Timpanist with the Annapolis Symphony for five seasons. During this time, he also earned a Masters Degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. At Peabody and Yale, he studied with Robert van Sice. Upon graduation, he moved to New York where he was a fellow with The Academy program of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School.  Active as a chamber musician, Mr. Zell has performed with groups like So Percussion and Ensemble ACJW, as well as with the Yale Percussion Group on their tour of China. He is the co-musical director and percussionist for Illuminarts’ production of David Lang’s the little match girl passion which premiered at the newly constructed Pérez Art Museum Miami in June of 2016. He was a recipient of the inaugural WaveMaker Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to present Mauricio Kagel’s theatrical percussion trio Dressur in Miami in 2016.  As a soloist, he has been featured at the Kennedy Center, Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Xenakis Festival in Austin, Texas, the Bass Art Museum in Miami Beach, and others. His performance video of Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha is featured on the Vic Firth Company website and has been view thousands of times.

Andrew-Grenade-webSummerfest Annotator Andrew Granade:
Andrew Granade is an Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator for Musicology at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.  His research and teaching focus on the reception and perception of modern music in a variety of forms and genres. He is completing a book exploring the impact of the hobo persona on  Harry Partch’s life, work, and reception, as well as the issues of  exoticism that arise from it.  The interest in exoticism carries over into his other areas of interest, especially the shape-note singing tradition of the rural American South and the interplay between Chinese and American music in the 20th century.