Marina Brubaker was born in Tucson, Arizona, into a family of musicians. Her father was a violist, conductor, composer and educator, and her mother was a violinist in the Barcelona Symphony and currently plays viola with the Tucson Symphony. She has music degrees from Wichita State University and Yale School of Music.
Brubaker began her career in the Fort Worth Symphony and has served as concertmaster of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan. She joined the violin section of the Houston Symphony in 1988 and is currently serving as acting assistant concertmaster. Other family members involved in orchestral playing include a brother in the Minnesota Orchestra and a sister in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Marina has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 22 years.
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Anastasia Ehrlich joined the second violins of the Houston Symphony in 2017 while performing in their first violin section as a contracted substitute.
After Anastasia moved to the United States at the age of 17, her musical career took a diversion into jazz and contemporary music. Realizing her passion for orchestral playing, she returned to her classical training and earned full scholarships to attend the Boston Conservatory studying with Lynn Chang, Indiana University with Jaime Laredo, and Rice University with Kathleen Winkler.
Anastasia has attended numerous music festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, Britten Pears Young Artists Program, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. Anastasia has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 2 years.
Joan DerHovsepian holds the position of Acting Principal Viola of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. She joined the viola section of the Houston Symphony in 1999, hired by Christoph Eschenbach, and began serving as Associate Principal in the fall of 2010. Ms. DerHovsepian was Principal Viola of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra for two seasons and played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared as guest principal viola with the Cincinnati Symphony.
Ms. DerHovsepian is an Artist Teacher of Viola at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, instructing students in viola orchestral repertoire and chamber music. She is regular guest faculty for the New World Symphony and has given master classes in the study of orchestral excerpts at the New England Conservatory and for the viola students of the Juilliard School. She participates annually at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and as Principal Viola of the Peninsula Music Festival.
Ms. DerHovsepian holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, studying with James Dunham of the Cleveland Quartet. She attended the Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where she studied with violist Kim Kashkashian. Joan has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 21 years.
Christopher French is the associate principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the orchestra in 1986, he held titled positions in both the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Honolulu Symphony. French is the seventh of a full octave of musical siblings. He enjoys performing with the Bad Boys of Cello, the alter ego of the Houston Symphony cello section. The Bad Boys have played in homeless shelters and elementary schools in an effort to eliminate the classist misconceptions about classical music.
French is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago, where he won the Performance Award. In addition to three concerto performances with the Houston Symphony, he has appeared on the Chamber Players series, and with Da Camera of Houston and the Greenbriar Consortium. He participates in the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, Music in the Mountains in Durango, CO, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. French teaches orchestral repertoire at Rice University. Christopher has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 6 years.
Scott Holshouser, principal keyboardist with the Houston Symphony, has been a member of the orchestra since 1980. He began his musical training in Athens, GA and attended Florida State University before moving to Houston to continue his studies at the University of Houston. He is now a member of the faculty at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music.
Flutist Judy Dines is a very active performer in Houston and beyond. She is a frequent performer in the Greenbriar Consortium, a diverse chamber group made up of Houston Symphony members and other musicians in the Houston area. She was also a member and frequent soloist with the former Houston Chamber Symphony. Other groups Dines has played with include Mukuru, Aperio and the St. Cecilia Society. Outside of Houston, Dines is a member of the Ritz Chamber Players, a dynamic chamber ensemble which performs all around the country. In the orchestral world, Dines has performed selected weeks with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Washington, DC, Dines attended Temple University in Philadelphia and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore before coming to Houston. She joined the Houston Symphony in 1992. Judy has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 6 years.
Elizabeth Priestly Siffert is a graduate of Eastman School of Music where she studied with Richard Killmer and had the distinction of being the first and one of the only students in the school’s history to ever receive two Performer’s Certificates as an undergraduate. Ms. Priestly Siffert has made frequent solo performances throughout her career with orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra of Saint Luke’s.
She has performed in the most prominent festivals in the United States including Lincoln Center Festival (with HGO) and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Ms. Priestly Siffert is an active orchestral musician as well. Her former positions include second oboe with the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, co‐principal oboe with Orquestra Sinfonica de Mineria, and principal oboe with Orquestra Classica da Madeira. She is currently principal oboist of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras, a position she has held since 2008. Elizabeth has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 5 years.
Thomas LeGrand is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He joined the Houston Symphony in 1986 as associate principal clarinet and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on several occasions.
An active chamber performer, LeGrand is a member of the Greenbriar Consortium and has performed with the Da Camera Society, Texas Music Festival, and the Linton Series. He is an associate professor of clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. LeGrand spends his summers at the Grand Teton Music Festival, where he and his wife, Carol, an elementary music teacher, find time to pursue their interests in distance running, hiking, and camping. Thomas has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 35 years.
Amanda Swain received her BM at the University of Texas at Austin and her MM at Northwestern University. Before joining the Houston Grand Opera orchestra, Amanda led an active, freelance career in Chicago. In addition to being a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two years, she frequently performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, MusicNOW, and Camerata Chicago. Her travels have taken her all over the United States, Europe, and Japan. She was a founding member of the Chicago-based contemporary ensemble The City of Tomorrow, which won the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2011. Other accomplishments include winning Second Place in the Gillet-Fox International Competition for Bassoon (2012), winning First Prize in the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition (2010), and being a semi-finalist in the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition (2007). She has been a guest artist, teacher, and speaker at universities and conferences in the United States, and she is also an active freelance musician in Houston.
Nancy Goodearl, a member of the Houston Symphony since 1981, received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music in Performance from Northwestern University. She has performed with many orchestras, including the Houston Ballet Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.
Goodearl has performed extensively in recitals and chamber music ensembles throughout the Houston area, including brass and woodwind quintets from the Houston Symphony and faculty brass and woodwind quintets from the University of Houston. She also performs with the Monarch Brass Ensemble, a large brass ensemble of women from around the country affiliated with the International Women’s Brass Conference. Nancy has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra for 30 years.