Nils Aardahl, bass

Nils Aardahl was born in Bismarck, North Dakota and began playing the double bass at age 10 in elementary school orchestra class. He began his studies with Paul Ellison at Rice University in 2015. Nils graduated from Rice with a Bachelor’s Degree in Double Bass Performance in 2019, and is...

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Bree Ahern, cello

Cellist Bree Ahern is a versatile solo and chamber musician committed to building community through performing, teaching, and collaborating across art forms. As a member of Kinetic Ensemble and Loop38, she regularly presents newly composed works and interdisciplinary programs to diverse audiences throughout Houston. Her work as a Young Artist...

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Jalen Baker, vibraphone

Jalen Baker is a graduate of Kinder HSPVA. He studied at Columbia College Chicago and Florida State University before returning to Houston to compose and perform his unique blend of original modern jazz compositions and standards.

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Nicholas Bissen, saxophone

Nicholas Bissen is a strong advocate for student opportunity and success. As a saxophonist and educator, Nicholas held faculty positions through Lone Star North Harris and Stephen F. Austin State University. He currently owns and operates The Rose Street Saxophone Room, providing instruction and opportunity to saxophonists across Houston. Nicholas...

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Chelsea de Souza, piano

Known for her dynamic artistry and thought-provoking recital programming, Indian pianist Chelsea de Souza is a Steinway Young Artist equally at home in the worlds of traditional and new music. A finalist of the 2021 Concert Artists Guild competition, she strives to explore issues of identity and culture in her...

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Douglas DeVries, flute

Douglas DeVries is a founding member of Houston’s newest ensemble the Monarch Chamber Players, core member of contemporary collective Loop38, and DACAMERA Young Artist. Recent highlights include solo performances of Concerti by Mozart, Bach, and Ibert, in addition to guest appearances with the Los Angeles and Louisiana Philharmonic’s, the Florida Grand...

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Alexander Garde, percussion

Alexander Garde is a multi-disciplinary percussionist based in Houston, Texas, pursuing his Master’s Degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Matthew Strauss. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he was the recipient of the 2020 George Whitefield Chadwick Medal. Alex’s passion for...

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Mary Grace Johnson, violin

Violinist Mary Grace Johnson has appeared internationally at venues from New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. A passionate chamber musician, she studied with the American, Blair, Escher, Juilliard and Pacifica quartets and co-founded the Unison Quartet, recent participants in Juilliard String...

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Daniel Leibovic, composer

Daniel Leibovic is a composer, pianist, and singer. His works explore his current interest in voice, lyrics, and non-western musical materials. He is particularly drawn toward Indonesian and Jewish musical elements, given his family connections to those heritages. Daniel is a Young Artist with DACAMERA and a Brown Fellow at...

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Pablo Martínez Martínez, piano

Described as “sensitive and thoughtful” (Volksstimme), Spanish pianist Pablo Martínez Martínez has performed in venues such as the National Auditorium of Madrid, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and Mozarteum Wiener Saal in Salzburg. Pablo is an international piano competition laureate, including the Neue Sterne Piano Competition...

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Gavin Moolchan, drums

Gavin Moolchan is a drummer born and raised in Houston, Texas. After graduating high school in 2013, Gavin studied with Sebastian Whittaker, Daniel Dufour, and Will Kennedy, some of the most notable drummers in the area. He is a freelance musician and private instructor covering a wide range of genres....

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Shannon Murray, soprano

Soprano Shannon Murray is a passionate performer of new music. Her work as a soloist and collaborator has also been featured by distinguished organizations such as the Kennedy Center for the Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Moody Center of the Arts, Houston Chamber Choir, Apollo Chamber Players, AURA Contemporary Ensemble...

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Keeheon Nam, clarinet

Korean-American clarinetist Keeheon Nam cooks up his musical appetite as an innovative performer and teacher. His performances have taken him from dive bars in Minnesota to improvising in Carnegie Hall. While not performing on stage, he is a passionate teacher and was previously a chamber music coach at Vanderbilt’s Blair...

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Clara Saitkoulov, violin

French-Russian born violinist Clara Saitkoulov has emerged as one of the most expressive and compelling violinists of her generation. A student of Cho-Liang Lin at Rice University, Clara has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, Russia, Australia and the United States. She has appeared at international festivals...

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Kelsey Sham, harp

Harpist Kelsey Sham currently studies at Rice University with Paula Page, and completed her Bachelor of Harp Performance degree under Yolanda Kondonassis at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sham also manages a private studio, teaches in the Shepherd School of Music’s Young Children Preparatory Division, and was recently named...

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Alexandra Smither, soprano

An adventurous performer and one of the CBC’s 2017 “30 Young Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither is a fresh fixture on the worldwide stage. Her “sunny, cloudless top” and “silky, light, soprano” are an organic fit in staple repertoire of Mozart and Monteverdi; Ms. Smither’s signature...

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Nicky Sohn, composer

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional-orchestra, the wide-ranging talent of composer Nicky Sohn is heard across the US, Europe, and Asia. Her work has been described as “like John Adams’ ‘Short Ride in a Fast Machine’ on steroids” (YourObserver), “dynamic and full of vitality” (The Korea Defense Daily), and...

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Sebastian Stefanovic, viola

Violist Sebastian Stefanovic is a Baltimore native currently residing in Houston, having completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Rice University’s Shepherd School while studying with Ivo van der Werff. Mr. Stefanovic is a passionate advocate for new music and the expansion of the viola repertoire, and he has commissioned,...

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Lucia Ticho, cello

Cellist Lucia Ticho enjoys an active career as a performer and pedagogue. This season, in addition to her activities with DACAMERA, she appears with the Colorado Music Festival orchestra and in various programs at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree....

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Teresa Wang, violin

Canadian violinist Teresa Wang is a passionate musician always looking for ways to break down barriers in the concert halls. As an avid chamber musician, she has performed alongside artists such as Martin Beaver, John Novacek, and Scott St. John, and has been a member of the TAG duo with pianist Tong Wang...

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Molly Wise, viola

Recognized for possessing “unusual creativity and expression,” Darius Milhaud Foundation Award recipient Molly Wise is a violist who uses performance to inspire and educate. As winner of the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) Concerto Competition, she made her solo debut performing Penderecki’s Viola Concerto. She was also a finalist in...

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The Jalen Baker Trio, DACAMERA Young Artist Jazz Ensemble-in-Residence

The Jalen Baker Trio, DACAMERA Young Artist Jazz Ensemble-in-Residence — Featuring Jalen Baker, vibraphone; with Nils Aardahl on bass and Gavin Moolchan on drums. The members of the trio are the first emerging Houston-based jazz musicians to join DACAMERA’s Young Artist Program, which seeks to encourage musicians to develop the...

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