DIRECTOR OF BANDS
DR. GRETCHEN BOWLES
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF BANDS
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Miyazawa artist Jessica Hull-Dambaugh is currently the Principal Flutist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2004. Jessica has previously held flute and piccolo positions with the Central City Opera Orchestra in Colorado, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and has performed frequently with the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra in Washington, DC. She enjoys performing locally in various chamber ensembles, maintains a private teaching studio, and is an active member of the South Carolina Flute Society Board.
Jessica has most recently appeared as a featured soloist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the Bar Harbor Music Festival (ME) and the National Flute Association annual convention. She also recently had the honor of being invited to perform as part of SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music Alumni Recital series. She has traveled the world attending the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy in Germany, the Music Academy of the West (CA), the National Orchestral Institute (MD), and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas Orchestral Training Institute, in addition to touring parts of China, South America, and Europe.
Originally from Long Island, NY, Jessica holds degrees in Music Education and Performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was a student of Jeanne Baxtresser, Retired Principal Flutist of the NY Philharmonic. Outside of music, Jessica teaches various classes per week as a group fitness instructor and also enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean, and their two sons, Kyle and Jake. Visit www.JessicaHullDambaugh.com for sound clips and a performance calendar.
Charles Messersmith, Principal Clarinet of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, began playing the clarinet at the age of 8. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and received a Bachelor of Music degree (while studying with Franklin Cohen) in 1991. He then went on to The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree (while studying with David Breeden). In 1994, he won the Principal Clarinet position of the Augusta Symphony and performed there for four years. In 1998, he was appointed by national auditions to the Second Clarinet position with the Charleston Symphony, and in 2005 to the Principal Clarinet position.
Along with regular performances with the CSO, he has performed in Charleston with local, national, and internationally renowned chamber musicians. In the summer, he performs as principal clarinet at the Wintergreen Music Festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He has been featured as soloist with the Charleston Symphony performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto, Mozart Clarinet Concerto, and the Stamitz Double Concerto. He teaches at Charleston Southern University and the College of Charleston as well as private teaching and master classes.
Mark Sterbank is Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Saxophone at Charleston Southern University. He performs currently with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, the Charlton Singleton Quintet, the Quentin Baxter Quintet, and at various venues around Charleston. Some notable credits include performances with Rene Marie, the Rodney Jordan Quintet, the Darius Rucker Big Band, Wycliffe Gordon, Etienne Charles, Fred Wesley, Teddy Adams, the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Todd Williams, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, the Savannah Jazz Orchestra, and the Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah Symphonies. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mark comes to Charleston by way of New York City where he spent four years working in music ministry at Times Square Church. Mark currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, Leah.
Susan Sievert Messersmith, a native of northeast Ohio, completed the Bachelor of Music Degree at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music in 1990 (studying with James Darling and Mary Squire). She also attended the Eastman School of Music (studying with Barbara Butler) where, in 1992, she earned the Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature, as well as the Performer’s Certificate. She then began post-graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Michael Sachs.
In 1993, Susan won the national audition for Second Trumpet in the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra and began a 14-year tenure in that position.
Susan has been a member of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra since 2000, and in 2007 became a member of the Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival Orchestra. In 2011 she performed on the Symphonic Voyages orchestra’s debut sailing on a 12-night Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Mercury. She has performed with the symphony orchestras of San Antonio, Phoenix, Rochester, Canton, Wooster (performing twice as soloist), Savannah, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Roanoke, Chautauqua, and Hilton Head, and has performed concerts in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Denmark.
She is an adjunct faculty member at Charleston Southern University, and is the author/composer of Heavenly Descants for Trumpet on 118 Hymn Tunes. Susan is also a Mary Kay Independent Beauty consultant!
Brandon Nichols has served as Principal Horn of the Charleston Symphony since 1991, having been a member since 1989. Mr. Nichols has frequently appeared as a soloist with the Charleston Symphony, performing such works as Schumann’s Konzertstück
and Mozart’s Symphonie Concertante on the Masterworks series as well as solo works by Haydn, Telemann, Richard Strauss, Fiala, Franz Strauss and Bach on the Chamber Series. During the 1993-94 season he took a one year leave to serve as Principal Horn of the Milwaukee Symphony, where he can be heard performing on several compact disc recordings on the Koss label. In the summer of 1998, Mr. Nichols was invited to Toronto to play with the Canadian Brass Quintet. He was one of a select few hornists worldwide being considered for the horn position in the Canadian Brass.
In addition to his busy schedule in Charleston, Mr. Nichols performs regularly with The Atlanta Symphony as extra horn and as substitute Principal Horn and can be heard on many recordings. Mr. Nichols has also been very involved in the community. He serves as Instructor of Horn at the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University, as well as teaching many private students. He has been involved with the Spoleto Festival (Charleston and Italy), and has frequently performed as featured soloist with the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He has performed with musical organizations in many countries in Europe as well as India, Japan, and Korea. Mr. Nichols studied at Arizona State University as well as the Mannes College of Music in NYC.
LOW BRASS INSTRUCTOR
Thomas Joyce has been bass trombonist of the Charleston Symphony for twenty-four seasons, where he also serves as personnel manager. Tom grew up in Tacoma (WA) graduated the University of Puget Sound summa cum laude with degrees in Mathematics/Physics and Music, and then pursued performance studies at New England Conservatory and Boston University. Tom completed his eighth summer as a member of the Breckenridge (CO) Music Festival Orchestra and serves as personnel manager there as well. Tom has also been a member of Burning River Brass, a Cleveland-based large brass ensemble, and he can be heard on that group's five critically-acclaimed CD's. In 2005, Tom performed in the Seattle Opera production of Wagner's “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Beth has served as Principal Timpanist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra since the 1994-95 season. Ms. Albert received her bachelor’s degree from the Julliard School of Music in New York where she studied with New York Philharmonic members Roland Kohloff and Elden Bailey. While in New York, she was an original member of the Metropolitan Percussion Quartet. She went on to pursue a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she was a student of the Cleveland Orchestra’s timpanist Paul Yancich.
After graduating, Beth was appointed section percussionist with the Richmond (VA) Symphony Orchestra, where she played for one season. In addition to her duties with the orchestra, Beth was also a founding member of the Washington, D.C.-based Global Rhythm percussion trio. Beth has performed in the percussion sections of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Concordia Chamber Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, and Hilton Head Symphony. Beth resides in North Charleston with her Boykin spaniel Gunther.