Abby Simpson Puckett, flute
Abby Simpson Puckett is a versatile flutist, piccoloist, and music educator. She has experience as an ensemble player in orchestras and wind bands, in traditional classical ensembles and commercial ensembles, and as a soloist. Abby is a licensed K – 12 music educator, and also holds a Kindermusik educator license. Abby graduated Summa Cum Laude from Belmont University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, with an emphasis in Flute Performance. In May of 2018, she graduated with a Master of Music in Flute Performance from Arizona State University. Abby currently holds the position of Piccolo/2nd Flute in the Symphony of the Southwest orchestra.
In 2012, Abby enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a freshman, she auditioned and obtained Principal Flute of the Belmont University Wind Ensemble and Assistant Principal/Piccolo position in the university’s premiere ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra. Abby continued to be Principal Flute in the Wind Ensemble, and then became Principal Flute in the Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Abby was a performer in the first and second annual Instrumental Honor Recitals at Belmont, and was one of the first two Belmont students to be selected to perform with the Wind Ensemble, and the Belmont University Chamber Orchestra. In the Nashville community, Abby was a finalist in the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2015 and 2016 concerto competitions. Abby also performed in contemporary commercial ensembles on national television with the Belmont University Symphony Orchestra during its bi-annual productions of Christmas at Belmont. In the Nashville community, Abby performed in orchestras for several commercial artists, including the Nashville Cinematic Orchestra as Principal Flute.
Abby relocated to the Phoenix metro-area in 2016 to continue her musical studies. During her time at Arizona State University, Abby performed in the University’s top Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra. Abby competed in the Arizona Flute Society’s Young Artist Competition in 2016 and 2017, placing in her division both years. Abby performs in other community orchestras and small chamber groups throughout the valley, in addition to performing with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as a substitute musician.
Abby is very passionate about music education, and is constantly involved in organizations that support music education and performance. In Nashville, Abby had a private flute studio in addition to the children’s choir she taught weekly. Abby held leadership positions in the Belmont University School of Music Dean’s Advisory Council, the Belmont chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and Sigma Alpha Iota – Epsilon Lambda chapter. In Phoenix, Abby now teaches flute, piano, and Kindermusik classes at Music Makers Workshops, and is the flute instructor and woodwind music technician at Campo Verde High School, and is the flute instructor at Desert Ridge High School, in addition to maintaining her private home studio, the ASP Music Studio. Abby is active in the flute community of Arizona as a board member of the Arizona Flute Society, and is a member of the National Flute Association.
Abby’s primary teachers include: Paul Thompson, Carolyn Treybig, and Elizabeth Buck. Abby has had additional studies on the piccolo with Brian Gordon. Abby has performed in masterclasses for Nina Assimakopoulos, John Barcelona, Ian Clarke, Marianne Gedigian, Brian Gordon, Nicola Mazzanti, Shelly Monier, Steven Schultz, Viviana Cumplido Wilson, Carol Wincenc, and Rena Urso.
Tiffany Pan, oboe
Tiffany Pan is a doctoral candidate in Oboe Performance at Arizona State University (ASU), where she has held multiple graduate assistantships in music. In 2013, Pan advanced as a semi-finalist in the Elite Division at the 2nd Asian Double Reed Association International Oboe Competition. In 2010, she won the ASU Concert of Soloists and performed the Kalliwoda Concertino with the ASU Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2014, she was invited to the Vianden Festival in Luxembourg as guest artist and chamber music coach. As a performer, Pan plays with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Musica Nova Orchestra, West Valley Symphony, and Symphony of the Southwest, and was the guest principal oboist of Tucson Symphony Orchestra for three programs in 2014. Pan has performed throughout the US as well as in Taiwan, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Luxembourg, and Canada.
A Native of Taiwan, Tiffany Pan received her Master’s degree from Arizona State University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the oboist at Phoenix-based reed quintet, Paradise Winds.
Joseph Kluesener, bassoon
A versatile performer, educator and concert curator, Joseph Kluesener maintains a diverse career. Kluesener is Second Bassoonist and Faculty at Wintergreen Summer Music Festival (VA), and has performed with the United States Air Force, The Phoenix Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Kentucky Symphony. Kluesener has been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today with Paradise Winds, a wind ensemble he founded. Abroad, Kluesener has performed at Aveiro International Music Festival (Portugal), was Artist/Faculty at Saarburg Serenaden (Germany), and at IDRS 2015 Conference Tokyo, Japan; nationally in conferences of the International Viola Society, North American Saxophone Alliance, International Clarinet Association and the International Double Reed Society.
In 2015, Kluesener was appointed Executive & Artistic Director of Fountain Hills Chamber Players (Fountain Hills, AZ) and is co-founder and former event curator for Classical Revolution PHX. Also in 2015 Kluesener was appointed to the faculty at Grand Canyon University.
Adjunct Faculty in the Maricopa Community College District, Kluesener also maintains a private bassoon studio. He has received Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Arizona State University, and two Bachelors of Music cum laude from University of Cincinnati.
Kluesener's other interests include cooking & eating, pickle ball, bikram yoga, hiking, camping and traveling.
Caitlin Poupard, clarinet
Dr. Caitlin Poupard is a free-lance clarinetist in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Caitlin currently teaches clarinet, general music history, and rock music history at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. A native of Pennsylvania, she completed her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in clarinet performance at Arizona State University, where she was also an ethnomusicology graduate teaching assistant for Dr. Ted Solis. Caitlin was one of twelve finalists from around the world in the International Clarinet Association’s Young Artist Competition in 2014. She performed as guest soloist with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta and Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, and also performed in the Arizona premiere of Eric Mandat’s “Music for Clarinets” alongside Dr. Robert Spring. In addition, she has performed in numerous ensembles, including the Phoenix Symphony, the North Valley Symphony Orchestra, the United States Air Force Concert Band, and the Phoenix Children’s Chorus. She served as woodwind technician for the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band, including the band’s performance at Super Bowl XLIX. She is currently the Woodwind Caption Head for Campo Verde High School’s marching band. Caitlin teaches clarinet lessons at Campo Verde High School, as well as maintains a large private clarinet studio of her own. She is an active member of Arizona Musicfest where she serves as coordinator and leader of the Musicfest Woodwind Quartet, a chamber group dedicated to promoting music within the public-school system.
Ryan Lemoine, saxophone
Ryan Lemoine is doctoral candidate at Arizona State University. Previous to his time in Arizona, Ryan has performed in many different venues across the United States and Europe, from jazz clubs on Frenchman street in New Orleans, to concert halls in Amsterdam, Netherlands. As a member of the North Carolina School of the Arts Saxophone Quartet he was awarded 3rd prize in the inaugural NASA Saxophone Quartet competition. Ryan was also awarded 2nd place in the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Mosaic Quartet. His music studies began at Louisiana State University where he completed his Bachelor of Music performance degree from Dr. Griffin Campbell. He has since studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina under Prof. Taimur Sullivan, where he was Mr. Sullivan’s Graduate assistant, and in Amsterdam, Netherlands with Ties Mellema. Ryan has also studied with Dr. Timothy McAllister and Dr. Christopher Creviston at Arizona State University. He is the Instructor of Saxophone at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, AZ. The saxophone teacher at Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children in Phoenix, AZ, as well as the Artist Coordinator at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.
Greg Lloyd, trumpet
While enjoying a varied career as an orchestral player, educator, and chamber musician, Greg Lloyd has recently been exploring new interests in composition, production, indie rock, and electronic music. A graduate of Boston University and the UNC School of the Arts, Mr. Lloyd has performed as a member of the internationally renowned Synergy Brass Quintet, giving masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory and performing as a featured artist at the Engadin Festival in Switzerland and at the Roundtop Music Festival in Roundtop, Texas. In summer 2015 Greg released his first full length album of original music as part of the ambient duo Hands Up Eyes Shut (music.goodstatic.org). Information on Greg’s many projects can be found on his homegrown label Good Static Records (goodstatic.org).
Stephen Martin, trumpet
Originally from Mounds View, Minnesota, Stephen attended St.Olaf College and Bemidji State University for his undergraduate studies where he completed his BA. He is currently attending Arizona State University where he will complete his MM in Spring of 2018. His Teachers have included Robert Dorer, Martin Hodel, Charles Lazarus, Delon Lyren, and David Hickman.
Stephen is an active freelance musician, he has performed with Amy Grant and Micheal W. Smith, Steve Smith, Graham Breedlove, The Pheonix Chamber Brass, local theater companies, and has toured with La Chica Cumbia. Before moving to Arizona, he has performed regularly with the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra. Along with this, he has performed as a featured soloist with various ensembles throughout Minnesota, performing works by Handel, Tartini, Telemann, and Vivaldi. In addition to performing, Stephen is an active educator and maintains a private studio.
Alex Austin, french horn
Alex Austin is an active performer and teacher in the East Valley and recent graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts where he received his Master of Music degree in horn performance. His degree program included performance in principal positions with the New England Conservatory Philharmonia, the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and the New England Conservatory Community Performance Partnership Brass Quintet. During his graduate studies, Alex also maintained a freelance presence in the city, performing with multiple ensembles including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of conductor Benjamin Zander at venues including Symphony Hall, Boston.
Prior to his graduate studies, Alex received a Bachelor of Music degree from Arizona State University where he graduated summa cum laude. Upon returning to the Valley to start his career, Alex has picked up where he left off in his freelance work, rejoining the Salt River Brass where he held the position of Solo Horn for five seasons under the direction of Patrick Sheridan. Additionally, Alex has resumed performing in chamber ensembles and will return as a soloist to the Arizona Wind Symphony where he previously held the principal horn position.
Alex’s primary teachers have included Eli Epstein, Dr. John Ericson, James Sommerville, Richard Sebring, Patrick Sheridan, Sam Pilafian, Hugh Wolff, Charles Peltz, Dr. Wayne Bailey, and Gary Hill.
In addition to performing, Alex is an active teacher, serving as a brass instructor for the Corona del Sol High School Marching Band and maintaining a private horn studio. You can hear Alex perform on The Great American Song Book! Featuring Harry Watters (Salt River Brass, 2015, solo horn) and on Youtube with the New England Conservatory Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble.
Seth Bartschi, trombone
Seth Bartschi is a freelance trombonist in the Phoenix area playing alto, tenor and bass trombones. He regularly performs with Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera and has positions with the Phoenix Opera, West Valley Symphony, Symphony of the Southwest, Musica Nova Orchestra, Arizona Philharmonic, Millennial Choirs Orchestra, Arizona Broadway Theatre House Orchestra, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, and Az Pro Arte Orchestra. Seth is also a member of the Moon Valley Brass Quintet as well as the new and exciting Phoenix Brass Collective, a professional symphonic brass choir with which he plays bass trombone and serves on the board as Public Relations Director (phxbrass.com).
Currently Seth holds a position as Adjunct Faculty at Glendale Community College teaching trombone. He has also maintained a private studio of students for over 10 years that range in ages from 8 to 70. Seth’s teachers include Ralph Sauer, Douglas Yeo, Sam Pilafian, Peter Vivona, Jason Malloy and Patrick Stuckemeyer. He has been recorded on four commercially released albums including a solo track of Rachmaninoff’s Fantasy Piece on the album "Living Legacy". Before devoting himself to music he studied and trained in aviation earning his private pilot license enjoying several hundred of hours in flight experience.
Justin Rifkind, euphonium/tuba
Justin Rifkind is in the final stages of his DMA in Tuba Performance with a minor concentration in wind band conducting at the University of Arizona. He is originally from Lilburn, GA, and completed a BM in Music Performance from Northwestern University, where he also minored in United States History. Justin also holds an MM in Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His principal teachers have included Michael Moore of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Rex Martin, John Stevens, Kelly Thomas, and Matt Tropman. Recently, he was selected as an alternate for the prestigious Leonard Falcone International Tuba/Euphonium Competition.
Justin also has extensive experience in the chamber music realm. While at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he played in the MadTown LowDown, a tuba quartet that was selected as a semi-finalist for the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and Festival in 2011. Justin was also a member of the Mad City Brass, the graduate brass quintet at the University of Wisconsin. Since being in Tucson, he has performed with Las Tubas de Tucson, a professional tuba quartet that has toured and played at the Southwestern Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference.
Jeremy Muller, percussion
Jeremy Muller is an inventive percussionist and multimedia artist dedicated to exploring science & technology with modern performance. He has presented performances, papers, and master classes at many venues throughout North America including The Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), International Computer Music Conference, ZeroSpace at the University of Virginia, Northern Illinois University, First Fridays in Phoenix, International Symposium on Latin American Music, the Musical Instrument Museum, and PASIC in Louisville, Columbus, Austin, and Indianapolis. He has given premieres of works by Mark Applebaum, Matthew Burtner, Alexandre Lunsqui, Cristyn Magnus, Lewis Nielson, Stuart Saunders Smith, and Andreas Stauder. Jeremy regularly performs with Crossing 32nd Street, hailed as Phoenix’s best new music ensemble and he often develops software for interactive new media in live performance. His music has been performed by the NIU “Bau House,” Glendale CC Percussion Ensemble, UNC Pembroke, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, and others. His publications can be found through Bachovich Music Publications, Engine Room Publishing, and Percussive Notes. Jeremy previously held fellowships at Arizona State University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, a Master of Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Appalachian State University.