Jeff Adkins, bass, enjoys a diverse career in South Florida’s vibrant music scene. As an orchestral double bassist, he currently performs with Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Opera. Also an active chamber musician, He also serves as electric and upright bassist with Nu Deco Ensemble. As a freelancer, he has had the honor of supporting a number of great artists including Gloria Estefan, Sir James Galway, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Mario Cantone, Bernadette Peters, and The Platters. Also a committed instructor, Mr. Adkins coaches young bassists at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Bak Middle school of the Arts. Additionally, he is an Artist in Residence for The Conservatory School and maintains a private teaching studio. Many of his students have continued their studies at top music programs throughout the country. Mr. Adkins began his studies on double bass at age eight and electric bass at ten. He holds his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Lynn Conservatory of Music where his primary teachers were Shigeru Ishikawa and Timothy Cobb.
Janet Clippard, bass, is currently the Principal Bass of the Miami City Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Miami and is a member of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. She also performs occasionally with The Florida Orchestra and the Jacksonville Symphony. Previously, she spent 18 years as the Assistant Principal Bass of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Clippard was also a founding member of the American Sinfonietta, with which she toured annually playing in the great concert halls of Europe over a decade. The American Sinfonietta also served as the summer orchestra of the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington state. In chamber music performance, in addition to the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, Ms.Clippard has collaborated with such groups as the Austrian String Quartet, the Delray String Quartet, the Miami String Quartet, and the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.
Eva Conti, horn, is currently in her 18th season as Principal Horn with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the Stamford Symphony, Boca Symphonia and Berkshire Opera Orchestras. Previous positions include Principal Horn with the New Israeli Opera, Israel Camerata, and the Haifa Symphony. In addition, Ms. Conti has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, The Radio City Orchestra, Aspen Quintet, and in numerous Broadway shows. She has toured several times in the US, Canada and Europe as a member of the Barbra Streisand Orchestra and is on the CD and DVD of the 2006 US tour and the recently released Back to Brooklyn tour. Ms. Conti holds a Master of Music Degree in French Horn from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar and Biology from the University of Rhode Island. She is also a flamenco dancer, and has been a soloist, featured dancer and musical arranger with the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre in the New York area for 10 seasons, having studied dance with Jose Molina, Omayra Amaya, Immaculada Ortega, Pastora Galvan, and Farruquito. As a member of the critically acclaimed ensemble SEGUE (guitar, violin, percussion and flamenco dancer) Ms. Conti has performed at Lincoln Center and other venues in the northeast, also offering lecture and performance workshops on the music of Spain. She has written flamenco guitar transcriptions for Carlos Lomas and studied flamenco guitar with Rogelio Moreno. As an arranger, she has made many chamber music arrangements that include horn with other instruments as well as guitar transcriptions of pieces by Debussy, Bizet, Granados, De Falla, Satie, and Stockhausen for live performances.
Scott Crawford, percussion, is currently a member of the Huntsville Symphony, Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony and Venice Symphony. He began his music education at the University of Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance. He then went on to complete a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Percussion at Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Performer’s Certificate at Lynn University Conservatory of Music. Mr. Crawford has performed with many professional orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera and South West Florida Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing, he runs a percussion instrument company specializing in mallets and custom orders of orchestral and specialty drums. His teachers include John Tafoya, Tony Ames, Ted Atkatz, Vadim Karpinos and Ed Harrison.
Troy Messner, horn, graduated from Lakeland High School (FL) in 1986, then joined the US Marines for a four-year tour as a Marine military musician stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. While in Hawaii, he studied with Bill VerMeulen and performed in countless venues in and around Hawaii, including the Kwajalein Atoll and the Australian Royal Opera House. After his stint with the Marines, Mr. Messner attended the University of South Florida, where he studied horn with Ralph Froelich and conducting with Dr. Mallory Thompson. He graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance. During this time, he also studied horn with James Wilson, Principal Horn of The Florida Orchestra in Tampa. After graduating, Mr. Messner enjoyed freelancing throughout Florida with numerous orchestras, performing groups and traveling Broadway shows, including The Florida Orchestra, The Orlando Philharmonic, Southwest Florida Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Imperial Symphony, the Anna Maria Community Orchestra, the Sarasota Concert Band, the Melbourne Symphony, Disney’s Candlelight Orchestra, The Moody Blues, Ray Charles, Miss Saigon, Buskers, Beauty and the Beast, Sunset Boulevard and others. In 1999, he won a position with the West Point Band, a special band with the US Army. While in the band, Mr. Messner played for countless high ranking politicians, dignitaries and important events, with highlights being President George W. Bush’s inauguration parade, performances with the NY Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall and opening day at the new Yankee Stadium. Also while stationed at West Point, he enjoyed playing Principal Horn with the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as substitute or extra horn with several other area groups. Mr. Messner retired from active duty service as a Master Sargeant in 2014 and moved to the Sarasota area. He currently performs with various groups including the Charlotte Symphony, the Sarasota Opera and the Venice Symphony.
Stan Spinola, horn, grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University as well as his Artist Diploma and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami. His teachers were Richard Todd, Myron Bloom and Francis Orval. While at UM, he was a fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute and in 2013 was awarded “Outstanding Doctoral Student.” Upon graduation, Dr. Spinola became an active freelancer in the South Florida area. Currently he is a member of the Miami City Ballet and The Symphonia Boca Raton. He has performed with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Symphony and Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables. His solo horn can be heard on PBS specials “Jazz and the Philharmonic” and “Gloria Estefan, The Standards”. He was also a member of ESPN’s “The U”. In addition, Dr. Spinola spent 7 summers in Graz, Austria as a member of the AIMS Festival Orchestra. He is a member of the AFM Local 655.
Milana Strezeva is a Moldovan-American pianist. At the age of 11 she began playing chamber music with her clarinetist father and her mother, a renowned soprano. Ms. Strezeva’s love for this family collaboration eventually grew into a passionate advocacy of vocal and instrumental chamber music. She is a founding member of the award-winning Manhattan Piano Trio and has performed with them in over 30 American states, in Australia, South Africa and Italy, and in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Ravinia Festival. A CD of Schumann and Chopin trios in honor of the composers’ bicentennials, was released on the Marquis Classics label in 2009. Ms. Strezeva is a recipient of Grand Prizes at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Listeners Choice Award in Melbourne, IBLA International Competition as a vocal collaborator, and Arts Recognition and Talent Search Award. She has performed at Carnegie Hall (New York), Jordan Hall (Boston), Kravis Center (West Palm Beach), Gusman Hall (Miami), Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), South Melbourne Town Hall (Australia) and Linder Auditorium (South Africa). Her most enduring and treasured collaboration is with her mother, the renowned Soprano, Svetlana Strezeva (aka “The Russian Nightingale” and winner of the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition). With programs that reflect their love of Russian vocal literature, they have given recitals across the US as well as in Italy, Denmark, Germany, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and China. As a vocal coach, Ms. Strezeva has been part of several opera productions including Dicapo Opera (NYC), Sorg Opera (OH), and American Opera Company (NYC). She has collaborated with conductors Paul Nadler, Bruno Rigacci, Enrique Carreón-Robledo among others, and has worked in a number of voice studios including Anna Moffo, Dody Protero, Joshua Hecht, Doris Yarrick–Cross and Patricia McAffrey. Ms. Strezeva received her Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School on a full scholarship. She currently lives in Naples, FL and is an Artistic Director at Grand Piano Series.
Erika Yamada, oboe, was born in Kyoto, Japan and grew up in New Orleans. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Richard Killmer and received a B.M. in Oboe Performance and the Performer’s Certificate. Ms. Yamada was a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra for 17 seasons and presently plays Principal Oboe with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the Boca Raton Symphonia, and Orchestra Miami. She has also played Principal Oboe with the Miami City Ballet Orchestra,the Keys Chamber Orchestra, the Miami Chamber Symphony, and the Shinsei Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, she has performed with the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Sarasota Orchestra. Ms. Yamada has been a soloist with the Keys Chamber Orchestra, Miami Bach Society, and The Symphonia Boca Raton and is a frequent performer with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival. She has served on the faculties of the University of Miami, New World School of the Arts, Broward Community College, and S.U.N.Y. at Geneseo, and has been a panelist for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and Artek labels.