We are a group of classically trained musicians who believe passionately that our tradition can be sucessfully continued through the performance of very new music. For all those who say classical music is dying, we vehemently disagree and prove the opposite is true through a series of engaging, outside-the-box performances. Think you know classical music and how we play? Think again!
Modular in design, the ensemble ranges in size from 2–13 players, accommodating instrumentation for a variety of newly composed works. Our flexibility is an asset as we travel locally inside Jacksonville and nationally to serve communities and interests that are drastically under-exposed to the arts. Without the constant, strict formality of a concert-hall, we interact with our listeners to create an immersive, all-sensory experience.
Dr. Boja Kragulj: Founder, Technology Specialist, Clarinets
Uniquely geared to teach musicians of the next generation, Boja Kragulj gives "well-rounded" new meaning. A Fulbright Scholar who specializes in non-traditional wind techniques, Kragulj is also known for her sensitive performance of the standard repertoire. Outside her private studio of clarinetists, Kragulj is an award-winning theory and ear-training instructor, and is a music technology specialist trained at the Berklee College of Music.
Dr. Galen Dean Peiskee, piano
Dr.Galen Dean Peiskee (piano) has established a multifaceted career as an accomplished chamber musician, soloist, orchestral pianist, choral accompanist, and vocal coach. He has performed all over the United States as well as throughout the world in Austria, Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Cuba and Bolivia. Dean has enjoyed premiering works by Gregory Wanamaker, Piotr Szewczyk, Paul Richards, Roger Zare, and Timothy Hoekman. Dean has a DM in collaborative piano and a MM in accompanying from Florida State University. He also has an AD and BM in piano performance from Texas Christian University, and an Associate of Music degree from Kilgore College.
Sarah Jane Young: Flutes
She goes by Sarah Jane but some of us call her SJ, and she's all about new music and bridging the gap between the music and the audience. Her love of performing with different musicians and instruments through chamber music gives the opportunity to find new sounds, colors, and musical ideas. So perhaps she is more than a flutist: perhaps she is better called an explorer of sound. As an explorer, she has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony since 2005 and the Pensacola Symphony since 2007. A huge advocate of new music, she serves as the flutist in the ensemble What Is Noise, Coreopsis Quintet and Duo Velocipede. She is currently on faculty at Bethune-Cookman University as Adjunct Professor of Flute.
Dr. Piotr Szewczyk, violin
Dr. Piotr Szewczyk (violin and composer) (pyo-ter shef-chick), Polish-born violinist/composer, is a violinist in the Jacksonville Symphony and was a rotating
concertmaster of the New World Symphony. He is the creator of Violin Futura Project, a recital series of over 30 commissioned violin works
from composers around the world. As a composer he is the winner of The American Prize and various other competitions and received numerous commissions from soloists, chamber groups and orchestras. His music was released on Navona records and other labels. More information at www.VeryNewMusic.com
Philip Pan: Violins
Philip Pan was born in Schenectady, NY to Chinese immigrants. He began studying the piano at age six and violin at eight. His teachers include William Kroll, Felix Galimir, Jens Ellerman and Dorothy DeLay. After receiving his M.M. from the Juilliard School he became Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and held that position for thirty-two years.
Philip performs extensively throughout the Southeast and beyond. He founded many concert series including Bach and Beyond and Sound Effects at MOCA. He works in diverse musical styles from bluegrass to prog metal as a performer, arranger and composer. He was a member of indie bands Canary in the Coalmine and Folk is People, and currently plays in the Bold City Contemporary Ensemble and Mariachi Primera Costa.
His instruments include an 1837 August Bernardel, a five-string violin by Barry Dudley, a seven-string Viper by Wood Violins, and bows by David Forbes.
A sports enthusiast, he enjoys running, hiking, cycling, kayaking and skiing.
Charlotte Mabrey, Percussion
As a percussionist and educator, Charlotte has been a prominent and inspiring local presence since 1978, when just out of the University of Illinois with a freshly minted master’s in music, she was hired as a percussionist with the Jacksonville Symphony. Three years after landing that job, she began teaching percussion at the University of North Florida. Although she is now retired from the University and is no longer a core member of the Symphony, she remains the figurehead for not only strengthening the local left-of-field music community but for introducing audiences to more obscure and experimental music. She has taught and inspired thousands of students during her long career, and she continues to delight audiences with her inventive performances with every imaginable instrument from marimbas to bongos.
Matt Monroe, horn
Matt Monroe became a father in 2011 and has been infinitely inspired and frequently fatigued ever since. His boys are passionate about singing incessantly, exploring new local playgrounds, Legos, and role playing as R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker. Matt’s other idols include Elon Musk, future inhabitant of Mars, and Joe Maddon, The Windy City’s ultimate performance anxiety guru.
2003 started a decade of freelancing and teaching young hornists in Chicago. During that time Matt performed with Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Opera Theater, the Kalamazoo Symphony in Michigan, and the Millar Brass Ensemble. Before that he was Fourth Horn and Orchestra Librarian with the Eugene Symphony in Oregon where his appreciation for the sport of running as well as craft brewing grew. He has held the position of Second Horn with the Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra in his hometown of Portland since 1999. Playing the Nutcracker there is a tradition that completes his holiday celebration every year.
After arriving in Jacksonville Matt created A Lonely Horn to inspire young musicians and to share his music with friends near and far. It is a weekly YouTube show dedicated to the performance of music for solo horn. He has reestablished his teaching studio in Riverside, and performs with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and the Jacksonville Symphony.
Linda Minke, cellist
Cellist Linda Minke's earliest experiences playing contemporary music were as a member of the Rochester High School Jazz Band, in which she played electric and upright bass. While pursuing her bachelors degree in Cello Performance at Northern Michigan University, Minke was a founding member of The Marquette Contemporary Ensemble, a group which modeled itself after The Paul Winter Consort.
Linda participated in the Memphis New Music Festival while she earned her masters degree in Cello Performance at University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University) and for several years afterward, while she was assistant principal cello with the Memphis Symphony.
Linda has lived in Jacksonville since 1993, playing with the Jacksonville Symphony and free-lancing in the area. She has enjoyed playing with local singer-songwriters such as Mark Williams, Terry Whitehead, and Mike Bernos. Her son, Victor Minke Huls, is an emerging cello virtuoso/orchestral conductor. Minke is married to Jacksonville's former public radio celebrity Landon Walker.