NRO Announces ’18 Assistant Librarian

IsomuraMusic_021croppEri Isomura is a librarian, percussionist and keyboardist based in Minneapolis. She has been working in the Minnesota Orchestra Music Library for the last six years under the direction of Paul Gunther and Maureen Conroy. In addition, she is the librarian for the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, administrative for the Hill House Chamber Players, and a rehearsal assistant for Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. She received her Master’s in Music in percussion from The Boston Conservatory, and continues to pursue marimba and new music performance as a freelance artist.

After serving as the NRO’s Library Fellow during the 2017 festival, she is thrilled to join the NRO team for another fantastic summer season, this time as Assistant Librarian!

NRO Welcomes New Development Director

Asa_Hat_Picture_2017Åsa Armstrong joined the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) on December 11, 2017 as the Director of Development.  Born and raised in Sweden, Åsa has called Breckenridge home for the past 26 years, where she resides with her husband Olin, and their two children Heidi and Max. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in Communications, Åsa has dedicated her career to development work for nonprofit organizations such as The Summit Foundation, Bristlecone Foundation and most recently Keystone Science School.  “My personal mission in life is to provide youth and adults with opportunities to pursue their passions and goals in life” says Åsa, and adds “we can all use a helping hand to reach our dreams, weather it is to embark on a music career or simply spend a summer away from home to experience the joy of being surrounded by high-caliber musicians as mentors.” Åsa is currently a member of the Summit County Rotary Club, where she served as the Youth Exchange Officer for the past five years.  “Throughout my career and volunteer work I have been fortunate to fulfill my personal mission and I’m looking forward to working with the NRO in Changing Lives Through Music!

Letter to You from NRO Alumnus

Dear NRO Supporter,

Benny Button croppedMy name is Thomas Carpenter, and I was honored to be the principal cellist with the National Repertory Orchestra this summer. My time at this renowned festival was an extremely positive experience in my progression as an orchestral musician. It was a rewarding challenge to play two concerts per week with two full days of preparation along with a dress rehearsal – all while playing a high level performance with a rich variety of repertoire.

There was also something so fulfilling about performing with friends whom I have known from other festivals as well as with so many new and talented musicians. The collaboration with these friends both new and old will surely last a lifetime and I will treasure those relationships. In addition to my fellow performers, I truly enjoyed getting to know the various donors, host parents, and concert goers this summer. It was a privilege to perform some of the most gorgeous pieces ever written in such a beautiful place like Breckenridge for this appreciative audience.

I recently won a job with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra cello section, and the fast pace of the programming at NRO has truly given me many great opportunities to grow as a musician especially as I move into this new chapter of my career. Your contributions either by your donations, or attending the performances at the NRO fuel our dreams as well as our determination to be the best we can be as musicians and performers. We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us and for the National Repertory Orchestra.

Thomas Carpenter

Thanks to an anonymous donor all donations made by September 30, 2017 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000!

Cecile Forsberg, New NRO COO

Cecile Forsberg BW Photo croppedCecile Forsberg is honored to accept the position of Chief Operating Officer with the National Repertory Orchestra and is looking forward to continuing her work with the NRO in this new capacity.  Cecile was first introduced to the NRO experience in 2009 when she became a member of the summer staff.  As the Personnel Intern that summer, she fell in love with the mission of the organization and is proud to be part of the team that continues to build the vision of the NRO.  In 2012 she became the NRO’s Artistic and Operations Director.  Prior, Ms. Forsberg served as the Assistant Personnel Manager with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. 

Cecile received her Master of Music in Artistic Administration from Florida State University.  She also holds a Bachelors of Music in Violin Performance and Music Business from Drake University.  As a violinist, Ms. Forsberg continues to perform and finds immense delight in teaching her violin students, who are always a source of inspiration and endless entertainment.  In her spare time she can likely be found in a remote campground or spending a day out enjoying the scenery with her dog Tellie.  She is incredibly thankful to all of her family and friends that have supported her along the way and in all of life’s adventures.         

Beth Steele Returns as Orchestra Manager

Beth Steele more croppedBeth Steele began her musical career playing the violin and piano and later switched to trumpet after hearing a Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) performance of  ”Pictures at an Exhibition” with legendary principal trumpet Adolph “Bud” Herseth.  Beth earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and a Master of Music in Conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. 

After receiving her commission in 1988, Beth began a stellar conducting career in the US Army.  From the White House to Carnegie Hall, Moscow’s Red Square, London’s Horse Guards Parade Ground, Arlington National Cemetery, New York City’s “Ground Zero” and everything in between, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Beth Steele was honored to lead professional Army musicians in performances and witness first-hand, the tremendous power of music to inspire, reassure, exhilarate, influence and unite people.  During her last assignment in Europe, Beth developed enduring partnerships with European musicians and was awarded the German government’s highest peacetime award of the “Silver Cross of Honor.” 

Beth recently retired from the Army and she and her husband, Mike, also a retired military musician, live in Breckenridge where she is an active performer and an advocate for community music.  Beth currently conducts the Alpine Orchestra, the Summit Concert Band, the Summit Community Orchestra, teaches trumpet, is a part-time ski instructor and enjoys biking and hiking with their dog, Mocha. 

Production Operations & Recording Intern Announced

David BonillaA native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, David Bonilla is an international student majoring in Music & Recording Industry Production at the University of Southern Mississippi. David began his music studies at seven-years-old when his elementary school teachers first introduced him to the violin. David continued his music education at the Escuela de Música Victoriano Lopez, the high school he attended, where he studied violin performance with professor Jose Iglesias Carnot—an exceptional mentor who solidified his decision to pursue a career in music. 

In 2012, David was awarded a music scholarship by the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. While studying music and violin performance with Dr. Stephen Redfield at USM, he discovered another passion that extended beyond his nineteen years of violin performance: the world of professional audio and recording. Since then, David has recorded multiple student, faculty, and guest recitals, as well as live performances of the USM symphony orchestra.

In recent years, due to his dual background in both professional audio and classical music, David has been able to work as a connection point between the prestigious USM School of Music and the USM Department of Recording Industry. After graduating in December 2017, David aspires to become a professional recording engineer with a focus on classical music—a dream far greater than what his seven-year-old self ever imagined.   


NRO 2017 Personnel Intern

Nolan WlchA native of the Pacific Northwest, Nolan Welch is an avid young arts leader and musician. Contributing a winsome spirit, Nolan has joined the production teams of several institutions on the national stage. He first served as the Orchestra Management Apprentice at Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America which included a tour of China in the summer of 2015. The following year, Nolan piloted the first Orchestra Administration Fellowship at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival at the University of Maryland.  In this role, he curated content for Octava, a real-time concert program note delivery app. Most recently, Nolan joined the production team at Mannes School of Music’s New York String Orchestra Seminar. With the coming summer, he will step into the position of Director of Operations at the inaugural gathering of the Northwest Orchestra Institute. In the role of arts supporter, Nolan operates with a mission to foster a focused environment wherein performers can create a consistent representation of their craft. 

Nolan hails from Olympia, Washington and currently studies cello performance and non-profit organization management at Central Washington University. He lends his advice and guidance from a student’s perspective as a member of the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanties’ Advisory Board, representing 350+ music majors and minors. In addition, Nolan serves on the Advisory Council for CWU Orchestras. An active performer, Nolan can be seen performing in the cello sections of Mid-Columbia Symphony in Tri-Cities, Washington and City Opera Ballet of Bellevue, Washington. 

Welcome 2017 Stage Manager

Tim McCarthy PhotoOriginally from Brush Prairie, Washington, Tim McCarthy completed his BM in trumpet performance at Saint Olaf College (2014), and his MM at Arizona State University (2016). He is an active freelancer in the Phoenix area, performs regularly with the Tucson Symphony, and has performed with the New World Symphony, West Valley Symphony, Arizona Opera, South Dakota Symphony, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, Pink Martini, and at many local theater companies.

Tim has been selected to participate in numerous music festivals as a performer, including the National Repertory Orchestra (2016), Colorado College Music Festival (2015), Round Top Music Festival (2013), and the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute (2010 and 2012).

In addition to music, Tim is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fishing, hunting, and hiking.

NRO Announces ’17 Artistic & Education Intern

Allison_HeadshotCurrently in her final semester at The Juilliard School, violinist Allison Mase began her musical studies at the age of five. A student of Naoko Tanaka and long-time attendee of the Aspen Music Festival, she is a prize winner at the 2015 Paris International Virtuoso Music Competition, a three-time grand prize winner of the National League of Performing Arts Competition, and was recently selected to be a guest performer at the “Adventures of the Mind” Festival at New York University. A devoted orchestral musician, Allison plays in the Juilliard Orchestra, the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra, and has served as concertmaster to both the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony and Orchestra. In 2015, Allison performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and with the New York Philharmonia at the Lincoln Center Festival, Madison Square Garden, and a WNET ‘Live from Lincoln Center.’ She has also performed at the Long Island Mozart Festival, the Inaugural Bach Music Festival, the Manhattan International Film Festival, the US Supreme Court, and at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC. Venturing outside the practice rooms and rehearsal studios, Allison serves as Director of Operations for the New York based contemporary music ensemble ‘Shouthouse,’ and spends much of her free time doing educational outreach work with organizations including Artists Striving to End Poverty and Habitat for Humanity. At Juilliard, Allison was team leader of the 2014 New Orleans Service Project and works as an orchestra and chamber music mentor for Juilliard Pre-College.

NRO 2017 Marketing & PR Intern

Carey Skinner croppedKentucky native, Carey Skinner, was raised in a musical family and began studying violin at just two years old. Falling in love with its sonorous sounds, she switched to viola at age eleven. In 2011, she joined the studio of Ivo-Jan van der Werff at Rice University where she earned her Bachelor of Music with an award for Distinction in Research and Creative Works. This award was earned primarily through work with her contemporary ensemble Meraki which collaborates with young composers and seeks to bridge the gap between traditional and modern performance.

Carey is graduating in May 2017 with her Masters in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studies with Lynne Ramsey. As an avid chamber performer, she joined her colleagues of the Coventry String Quartet as the Quartet In Residence for Steamboat Springs Strings Festival in 2016.

Outside of the practice room, she enjoys her work as a Research Services Supervisor in the Robinson Music Library, teaching violin and viola in various local schools, and performing around the city with the unique and vibrant community created by Classical Revolution Cleveland.