Meet the Orchestra
Dr. Mark Wade - Second Trumpet
Bachelor of Music, Ohio Wesleyan University
Master of Music, The Ohio State University
Doctor of Musical Arts, The Ohio State University
Current orchestras include: Classical Music Festival Orchestra in Eisenstaedt, Austria; Principal Trumpet of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra in Worthington, Ohio; Saint Joseph Cathedral Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio.
In addition, Mark has performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Benedict College Community Orchestra (Principal trumpet: Columbia, SC) the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Acting Principal). In the genre of pops music, he has also performed with the Beach Boys and The Buckinghams.
In addition to his career as a trumpet player and collegiate band conductor, Wade is also a highly sought-after hammered dulcimer performer, composer and teacher. A National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, he can be heard on more than a dozen recordings and is a columnist for the Dulcimer Players News Journal. He has personally released seven CDs and six popular method books. His recent students include the 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2014 National Hammered Dulcimer Champions.
When I was in elementary school, I went with my family to my sister’s 5th grade band instrument fitting. The presentation to the students and parents included a demonstration of all the instruments. I was so struck by the sound and power of the trumpet that I wrote down the name of the instrument on a scrap piece of paper so I wouldn’t forget when I got to 5th grade. When I got home from her instrument fitting I stuffed the piece of paper in the back of my desk drawer and promptly forgot about it. Three years later it was my turn to choose an instrument at the band fittings. I couldn’t remember what instrument it was that I was so excited about back then and ran up to my room to find the note I scribbled out from my sister’s meeting. Given how messy I often was, I couldn’t believe it was still there! I marched to the front of the line at the meeting and slammed down the piece of paper and said, “I want to play this!” The rest is history.
I love playing with my two sons, woodworking, biking, botany, composing arrangements for orchestras, trumpet ensembles, and bands.
I love seeing the familiar faces of friends and students in the audience. It is really rewarding to play music at such a sophisticated level outside of a major metropolitan area.
Playing trumpet with the Beach Boys, playing a trumpet solo in OSU’s Horseshoe stadium, playing “Hail to the Chief” for Pres. George Bush, Sr., performing for aerial acrobatic ensemble, Project Bandaloop, as they were suspended from a bridge over the Tennessee River; performing in recitals in Taiwan.
Elaine Villies Swinney - Violinist and Assistant Concertmaster
Violinist, Assistant Concertmaster
Bachelor of Music/Violin Performance from Baldwin Wallace University
Conservatory of Music, in Berea, Ohio
Graduate Studies from University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
Associate Musician, Columbus Symphony
Associate Musician, Lancaster Festival Orchestra
Freelance agent with various orchestras in Central Ohio and various churches
18 years with both Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera Orchestras, Norfolk, VA
Principal Second of Williamsburg Symphonia, Williamsburg, VA
Freelance agent with Richmond Symphony, Richmond, VA, Fort Wayne Symphony, Ft Wayne, IN, Wheeling Symphony, Wheeling, WV, West Virginia Symphony, Charleston, WV, ProMusica Chamber Ensemble of Columbus, Columbus Light Opera, Akron, Canton and Youngstown Symphonies
Coordinator and Violinist with Sterling String Ensembles offering string chamber music for various social events.
I have met some of the warmest people here in this area. Our audience is very appreciative and friendly. I love the small town atmosphere too.
Well, first let me say that I come from the most non-musical family ever. My father when asked if he played a musical instrument would reply… “I play the radio, does that count?” I grew up in a family of athletes, not me…I was the black sheep…I played a musical instrument! I started in 4th grade in public school upon the insistence of a school friend who also wanted to play. I had no idea what a violin was! Once class started I fell in love with playing the violin. I approached it as I would a giant puzzle, piece by piece until I could muster some kind of sound. I still approach it that way!!!
People……they always come first. I love spending time with my friends and family and my cats. I live out in the country and love and tranquility and fresh air it brings. I have been getting into gardening and raising chickens and learning a little about wood working too. Love strolling through the woods. This once city girl can now ride an ATV and run a tractor too!
I would have to say to perform on the main stage of Carnegie Hall in NYC with the Virginia Symphony was the pinnacle of my career. The sheer vastness of space and sound will forever be in my mind. Other forever moments of my career was been working with numerous performers and entertainers. The most fun gig ever was as an extra for TransSiberian Orchestra for six years and playing to crowds numbering in the thousands with huge stage effects and sound. Most memorable soulful concerts I played were with Andreas Bocelli in Virginia and also here in Columbus and also Renee Flemming where she took 8 encores! It was phenomenal!
Douglas Joel Richeson - Principle Bassist
Since the very beginning!
Classical & Jazz Studies, Performance Major at The Ohio State University
Performance Major at College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati University
International Society of Double Bass Summer Schools 1977, 78, 79, 80 studying with International Teachers of the Double Bass
Instructor of Double Bass / Electric Bass Guitar at Denison University
Bassist with singer, Tony Bennett, 1993-1997. He recorded on three Grammy Award Winning CDs and toured through out the world!
Bassist with the “Phil Collins Big Band” recorded “A Hot Night In Paris” and toured summers 1996 & 1998.
Douglas often performs with internationally known artists. He also has recorded with many local musicians.
Columbus Symphony Pops Orchestra, playing both Double Bass & Electric Bass; Land of Legends Orchestra.
I love the community. I moved here in 1993 with my wife and two sons. I love the quiet of country living.
I grew up with seven brothers & sisters and we all loved music. We all played many instruments in our youth. The Bass Guitar was an instrument that I gravitated towards in High School. It wasn’t until I was 21 when I purchased my first string bass. I fell in love with the sound and started formal studies at the age of twenty-three with Dr. Theron McClure at Ohio State University's School of Music. The passion for the instrument has always motivated me to learn many styles of music from Classical, Jazz & Brazilian music. I love the improvisational music of Jazz. My studies were mostly focused on Classical repertoire in College. My Jazz studies came mostly from working and listening to the great jazz musicians past and present.
Classical music is not dying in the ears of the passionate listener. Classical music is dying in the ears of the passive listener.
I love to repair Violins, Cellos & Basses. I also love to work on my son's Porsche. I love to read and watching great classic movies. I especially love spending precious moments with my family.
I love every opportunity I have to play music of any style. To perform with the Newark-Granville Symphony as Principle Bassist enables me to learn and perform music of famous composers. I find that the music brings out the deep passion of all that has been learned and all that will be learned through the experience of performing.
Dr. Gail Zugger - Principal Clarinet
D.M.A. in Clarinet Performance, Ohio State University
M.M. in Clarinet Performance, Ohio State University
B.F.A. in Applied Clarinet, UW-Milwaukee
Associate Professor of Clarinet at Capital University, Columbus, OH Clarinet instructor, International Music Camp, near Dunseith, ND Second Clarinet, Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Ashland, OH Clarinetist, QuintEssential Winds Faculty Wind Quintet at Capital Clarinetist, Inspirare Duo with flutist Lisa A. Jelle
Beautiful venues & wonderfully talented musicians to collaborate with.
I simply couldn’t play anything else. I am the youngest of 4 and my older siblings all played musical instruments. After having been dragged to so many concerts, I, as a fourth grader, wanted to be on the stage rather than in the audience. After a dismal start on the trumpet (my brother’s instrument), I next crashed and burned on the flute (my oldest sister’s instrument). Last, I tried the clarinet (my sister Janet’s instrument) and was playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after a few seconds. I so looked up to Janet, a phenomenal clarinetist who was the featured soloist when her high school band went to Europe during her senior year. I did not want to be compared to her; plus, her teacher made her practice so long and gave her these awful sounding long tone studies to play. Therefore I was hesitant to commit to the clarinet until those first few notes of “Mary had a Little Lamb.” Then I was hooked! Janet came home from Europe, put the clarinet in the closet, and never played again. I made it my life. No worries about comparisons after all.
My family. My husband, Tom (principal trombone of NGSO) of almost ten years, and my almost 5-year old son, Nathan. Traveling and running. I have run 5 marathons in 5 different states, and 20 half-marathons in 15 different states and one Canadian province. We enjoy travel, so I have been in all but 4 states. While on my honeymoon in Alaska, I met a moose that was 7’ tall at the shoulder. I soon after began to collect all things moose—stuffed animals, figurines, tote bags, clothing, etc.
I believe that listening is dying. So hectic our lives, and always connected to our phones... It is a rare thing to take a few hours and just listen. Perhaps that is the greater issue?
I can be heard in recordings on Thomas Zugger’s "Dances and Dreams: Recital Music for Trombone" on the Mark Records label, which was considered for Grammy nomination in 2010. In 2012, I presented a clinic on teaching clarinet at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL. This is one of the most prestigious conferences to be chosen to present at in my field.
Dr. Andy Carlson - Concertmaster
First Violin, Concertmaster
DMA in Performance and Pedagogy – The University of Iowa
MM in Performance – The University of Georgia
BMUS in Performance - The University of Georgia
Professor, Chair, Coordinator of String Studies and Co-Director of the Bluegrass Program, Denison University, Granville, Ohio
I have performed as a soloist with orchestras including The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The Hendersonville NC Symphony, The Huntington West Virginia Symphony, The University of Iowa Symphony, The Southeast Ohio Symphony, The Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, The University of Georgia Symphony, Bloomington MN Symphony Orchestra, The Ottumwa, IA Symphony Orchestra
I appreciate the genuine enthusiasm of the local audience for all types of music. Whether we perform masterworks, present soloists, or present bluegrass, jazz or popular music, the audience responds positively.
My grandfather was a self-taught Missouri fiddler and he began working with me at the age of five on learning traditional fiddle tunes. At almost the same time I began Suzuki violin. I have never imagined a life without playing the violin/fiddle.
Fishing for Muskies in the lakes of northwest Wisconsin
As a studio musician and arranger, I have had the opportunity to record for Warner Brothers, Geffen, Elektra, Capricorn and Atlantic including an appearance with the rock band REM. Honestly, my most satisfying and memorable musical highlight was appearing as soloist and directing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the NGSO Chamber Strings in the 2013-14 season.
Dr. Leslie Maaser - Principal Flute
Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance – Michigan State University
Masters in Flute Performance – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Performance-The Ohio State University
Music Education Certification – The Ohio State University
Instructor of Flute at Denison University, Opera Project Columbus, Ohio Capital Winds, Rococoa Wind Quintet, Trio Villanella, Westerville Symphony, Columbus Symphony.
There is a small town feeling but cultured atmosphere. The audiences are appreciative and engaging.
I remember vividly the day my dad bought my first flute. I sat out on our front porch and told everyone that I was going to be a flutist. I loved practicing from day one. I am glad that I grew up in a time that there weren’t so many distractions, like cell phones, computers, etc. Either I played with my friends, did my homework or practiced. My dad inspired me. Although he wasn’t a trained musician, he loved listening to the classics, particularly symphonies by Beethoven and Dvorak. I was also inspired by Jean-Pierre Rampal.
The classical music world is not dying but is evolving. People are now able to listen to great music and opera through their computers or iPhones with fantastic sound and engineering, without leaving their homes. However, nothing can replace the experience of hearing a performance live. In order to keep classical music thriving, it is imperative, that young children have accessibility to learning about music from an expert, experience making music, and being able to attend concerts. Music is vital to our culture.
My family – I love to take hikes and bike rides with my husband and daughter.
Performing and teaching in China; performing in Italy; playing in a master class for Jean-Pierre Rampal; Playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Newark-Granville Symphony with my dad and mom in the audience. (My dad’s favorite symphony was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony).
Larry Griffin - Principal Trumpet
Music Education Degree, Virginia State University
Masters in Trumpet Performance, University of Minnesota
Doctorate in Trumpet Performance, University of Minnesota
Professor of Music at Ohio Wesleyan University. Saint Joseph Cathedral Orchestra, Promusica Chamber Music Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Wallawalla Washington Symphony Orchestra, Recitalist, Instructor and Conductor: International Music Camp and Symphony Orchestra .
I enjoy community music-making.
I came from a very musical family, and my older brother also played trumpet. I was inspired by Doc Severinsen and Louie Armstrong.
I enjoy interacting with my family and friends.
It is a challenge and a passion of mine to play a broad spectrum of musical styles. In the NGSO, the repertoire demands diverse styles from a big band “jazz” sound to a delicate chamber orchestral sound. While it is challenging, the eclectic programming is satisfying for the players and the audience alike.
Classical music is alive and thriving for the informed listener; however, we need to increase the presence of classical music in our society at every opportunity.
An Australian solo performance tour and two European solo performance tours.