Bassoonist Alex Widstrand is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in bassoon performance and pedagogy. His past teachers have included Kristine Fletcher, Jacqueline Wilson, and Andrew Machamer; he currently studies with Benjamin Coelho. From 2011 to 2014 he played bassoon and contrabassoon with the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, and was an auxiliary bassoonist with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2013. He is also a published composer, arranger, and editor with Really Good Music, LLC.
Ethan Brozka has a broad range of performance experience including symphony orchestra, chamber, and modern music. He is pursuing a Master’s degree as a teaching assistant at the University of Iowa where he is a student of Jeffrey Agrell. His past teachers include Roland Pandolfi, David Wakefield, and Susan McCullough. He holds the position of fourth horn with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and recently served as guest principal horn of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. Ethan holds an Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory, and has studied at the University of Denver, The Royal Danish Conservatory, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Recently, Ethan was selected as a 2016 Horn Fellow at the Music Academy of the West where he studied with the former principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Julie Landsman.
As a result of being involved in various ensembles (brass quintets, brass trios, trumpet quartets, orchestras, bands, etc.), he is quite versatile in virtually any musical setting. In February 2015, he commissioned and premiered a 4-movement work for trumpet quartet titled Wind Turbines by Pittsburgh composer, Jacob Pallo. Recently, Kenken has performed and premiered sinfonietta pieces at Bang on a Can Summer Festival by composers Valentin Jost, Liza Sobel, and Connor D’Netto. A highlight from this recent experience was performing alongside members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars for a recital of Louis Andriessen’s music with the featured piece being Worker’s Union.
As he continues his musical journey, some recent highlights of experiences have include competing in the National Trumpet Competition semi-final rounds, embarked on a 10-day orchestra tour of central Europe, substituted as principal trumpet of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra (PA) and Muscatine Symphony Orchestra (IA), and has participated in several music festivals including the Puerto Rico Summer Music Festival and the 30th season of Bang on a Can Summer Festival held at MASS MoCA to name a few.
Graduated with First Class Honour from College of Music, Mahidol University with Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance in July 2014, and a recent graduate with Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University, Ohio in May 2016, a native of Thailand, Nicha Pimthong was born in 1992 and started taking piano lessons at the age of 6. Her career as a pianist has taken her to perform in various countries including France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States, and Thailand. Her major piano teachers in Thailand were Ajarn Asayuch Chamroon Dr. Nopanand Chanorathaikul, and Dr. Eri Nakagawa. An active pianist since a young age, Nicha has received numerous prizes from national and international piano competitions including First Prize winner as well as the Best Compulsory Piece Prize in the Trinity Guildhall National Youth Piano Competition (2007), Third Prize winner in the 7th Bangkok Chopin Piano Competition (2005), Third Prize winner in the Thailand 1st Mozart International Piano Competition (2011), the highest prize in the Kawai Piano Competition (2007), receiving the Royal Trophy from Princess Petcharat Ratchasuda of Thailand, and Special Prizes in the 6th Bangkok Chopin Piano Competition and the AMA Studio Piano Competition (2002). Nicha received First Concert Certificate in Solo Piano (FC) with 2nd highest marks in Thailand in 2004 and Licentiate diploma, LTCL recital in piano performance with the highest score in Thailand from the Trinity Guildhall College of Music, London in 2010. Nicha was invited as a guest pianist to perform in Trinity Award Thailand 2011, and was also invited by UCSI University School of Music to give a debut joint piano recital at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as a winner piano recital in Bangkok, Thailand. A vivid chamber music, performer, Nicha has performed in numerous concerts, masterclasses, and festivals in both solo and chamber music.
In May 2016, Nicha received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University, receiving an assistantship and full scholarship. She was under the tutelage of Dr. Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu and enjoyed performing her solo repertoire as well as working as a collaborative pianist. Nicha was selected to perform in various concerts, competitions, and masterclasses by Vadym Kholodenko, Prof. Paul Schenly, Prof. Lori Sims; and Jiayan Sun. In August 2016, Nicha is starting her first year of Doctor of Musical Arts program in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Dr. Ksenia Nosikova, receiving Performance Assistantship, working and performing with the Center for New Music. Nicha has also enjoyed serving as a choir pianist at her church as well as playing for Sunday services.
Yager holds an MM from the University of Tennessee and a BA from Maryville College. His primary instructors include David Slack, Bill Swann, Rusty Holloway, Steve Benne, and Volkan Orhon.
Zack Stanton received his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Dan Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Donald Grantham, and Russell Pinkston. He has written for orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, and chamber ensembles of various sizes, and his work has been increasingly performed throughout the United States. In 2012 his Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble received Honorable Mention in the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Competition.
Recent commissions include works for clarinetist Sarunas Jankauskas, trumpet player Jared Broussard, horn player Anne Marie Cherry, the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber Music Workshop and Line Upon Line Percussion. In 2011 Line Upon Line Percussion released a recording of Echoes of Veiled Light, for percussion trio. During the 2011-2012 season, the Austin Symphony Orchestra premiered the orchestral version of Triple Venti Latté under music director Peter Bay.
Active as a performer, Stanton served as a pianist and conductor for the University of Texas New Music Ensemble and for four years acted as the Assistant Director of the group.
Prior to his appointment at the University of Iowa, Stanton taught at Belmont University and the University of Texas at Austin.