Erika Binsley is an enthusiastic performer of music old and new. As an orchestral, chamber and solo musician, she has performed in numerous locations around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, New World Center, and Shanghai Concert Hall.
Currently, Erika is a freelance hornist in the Washington D.C. area and doctoral student at the University of Maryland. Prior to moving to the east coast, she was a member of the Wichita Symphony and Lieurance Woodwind Quintet, while earning her Master's of Music degree from Wichita State University. As an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, Erika was a member of the YMF Debut Orchestra, which toured seven cities across China in 2011.
During the summers, Erika has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Banff Summer Festival, CCM Spoleto Festival (in Italy), Kendall Betts' Horn Camp, and Idyllwild Summer Festival Orchestra.
She has received many awards, including the ASCAP Livingston and Evans Scholarship, Low Horn Winner in the IHS Dorothy Frizelle Orchestra Audition Contest, Koch Cultural Trust Enabling Grant, Ollie J. Heskett Fellowship, First Place in the Claremont Winds Young Artists Competition, and a Trustee Scholarship (full tuition) to the University of Southern California.
Erika currently studies with Gregory Miller at UMD. Her past teachers include: Nicholas Smith, Kristy Morrell, James Thatcher, Steven Gross, Louise MacGillivray, Kendall Betts, and William VerMeulen.
Heidi Brown was raised in Sunnyvale, California and began her musical studies at the age of ten, playing trumpet. In junior high school, Heidi added the French horn to her repertoire. She studied both instruments through the age of seventeen, when she attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, focusing on the French horn where she studied horn with Julie Schleif.
Giving up on her “sunny” California roots, Heidi spent her formative college years studying horn with Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, receiving her undergraduate degree in music performance. Continuing her move east, Heidi studied with Gregory Miller at the University of Maryland-College Park, completing her Master’s degree in horn performance.
Heidi has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. She regularly performs with Great Noise Ensemble, Trio Simpatico, and the Monumental Brass Quintet. Additionally, Heidi is on faculty for the DC Youth Orchestra Program and the International School of Music. She is also a certified Kindermusik educator and teaches Early Childhood Music at the International School of Music. She is an active freelance musician and teacher in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
French Hornist Kevin Illick has been playing horn for over 20 years in many different types of ensembles. He is currently freelancing and teaching privately in the Northern Virginia area, based out of Manassas Virginia. He regularly performs with local orchestras in the DC area, including McLean Orchestra, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, Avanti orchestra, and others. He has also performed with many other orchestras in the past, including the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and Santa Fe Symphony at the regional orchestra level.
Kevin received his master's degree in horn performance from the University of New Mexico in 2008 and his bachelor's degree in horn performance from the University of Colorado in 2006. Previous teachers include Peter Ulffers, Susie Fritts, David Wakefield, and David Pinkow. He attended the Aspen Music Festival in 2005 and played with the Aspen Festival Orchestra while there. Kevin has a strong interest in music theory and took all the available theory classes hit could fit into his schedule while studying in New Mexico, particularly on atonal music. He feels that the understanding of atonal theory by a performer can totally change the interpretation of a piece, and also the audience’s experience with that piece.
Kevin enjoys the unique performance opportunities provided by chamber groups and has played extensively with brass and woodwind quintets. He doesn’t shy away from opportunities to play in non-standard chamber ensembles or new music. He has performed both Hindemith’s Wind Septet and Edgard Varese’s Octandre publicly, and enjoys bringing lesser known pieces to light.
Kevin has been recorded playing principal horn with the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony with Sam Pilafian as soloist on the Summit Education Label.
With interests ranging from chamber music to contemporary music and improvisational pedagogy, Brian Kavolius has been thrilled to engage in a diverse career that has taken him up and down the east coast, involved in an extensive collection of projects involving contemporary, cinema, theatre, jazz, and rock music, as well as more traditional horn literature.
Brian has become quite familiar with the pit orchestra after serving as principal horn for professional productions of Les Miserables, Shrek the Musical, and Crazy for You. He has also appeared in college productions of many shows, including Into the Woods and The Who's Tommy. During his undergraduate years, Brian was actively involved in new music culture, participating in multiple world premieres and new music concerts as an ensemble player, chamber musician, and soloist. He attended Shenandoah Conservatory on talent and academic scholarships, and studied with William Zsembery and Joseph Lovinksy.
Brian recently graduated with honors with a Bachelors degree in Music Therapy, also receiving a performance certificate for outstanding performance on the french horn. Brian is currently working towards a Master of Music degree in horn performance, studying with Gregory Miller. Brian is a board certified music therapist in the United States and practices music therapy in the Washington DC area. When not playing the horn or engaging in music therapy, Brian can be found mountain biking, water skiing, or making fruit smoothies to enjoy with a good book.