Marc Bellassai (harpsichord)
Marc Bellassai (harpsichord, continuo organ) has studied at the Oberlin conservatory [BMus ’85, Harpsichord], Indiana University [MMus ’89 and Artist Diploma] and, as a Fulbright IIE scholar from 1994-6, at the Civica Scuola di Musica and Castello Sforzesco in Milan, Italy. He currently performs with several Baltimore groups including Vivicantando, Charm City Baroque, Tazzina Dramatica, and others. His interests include early keyboard performance practice, basso continuo, organology, art history, and the music and literature of the Italian seicento/settecento. He currently teaches Harpsichord, Art History, and directs the Early Music Ensemble at Towson University.
Brandi Berry Benson (strings)
Violinist and 3Arts awardee Brandi Berry Benson, whose “four-string acrobatics” and “indispensable skill” (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as “alert [and] outstanding” (Chicago Classical Review), as her “riffs…powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, [as they] rolled out with irresistible glee” (Washington Post). She has appeared with numerous ensembles including but not limited to Newberry Consort, Kings Noyse, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ensemble Phoenix Munich, Apollo’s Fire, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; and as soloist/concertmaster Chicago Arts Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra (viola d’amore), Mountainside Baroque, Bloomington Early Music Festival Opera Orchestra, and St. Louis’s Kingsbury Ensemble. Mrs. Berry Benson has also performed throughout North America including at the Library of Congress, Festival de Musica Virreinal de Durango, Mexico City’s UNAM, the Boston, Berkeley, Indianapolis, and Madison Early Music Festivals, Early Music Now, and others. On air, she has appeared on WFMT, WGN-AM, WNUR, and Wisconsin Public Radio. Brandi serves on the faculty of DePaul University where she teaches Baroque Ensembles and Ornamentation, as faculty for the Madison Early Music Festival, and as a guest coach for Baroque Music Ensemble at Northwestern University. Brandi is Artistic Director of the Bach & Beethoven Experience (bbexperience.org).
Jason Dovel (trumpet)
University of Kentucky
Jason Dovel (Baroque trumpet) joined the University of Kentucky music faculty in 2013. He has been a soloist and clinician at more than 60 festivals and universities around the world, including recent performances at the Australasian Trumpet Academy, Exploring Brass in Greece Festival, International Trumpet Guild Conference, and the Historic Brass Society International Symposium. He has recorded three highly acclaimed solo CDs: Lost Trumpet Treasures (2014), Ascent: New Music for Trumpet (2016) and Baroque Music for Trumpet and Organ (2018). He is principal trumpet of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra, Kentucky Bach Society, Lexington Baroque Ensemble, and spends summers playing in the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra in Virginia. His numerous journal articles are published in the Music Educators Journal, International Trumpet Guild Journal, The Instrumentalist, and China’s Journal of the China’s Art College of Inner Mongolia University. His compositions, editions, and arrangements are available through Prestissimo Press, Hickman Music Editions, Mountain Peak Music, and the Baroque Trumpet Shop. Jason Dovel earned a doctorate from the University of North Texas, where he studied trumpet with Keith Johnson and early music with the inimitable Lyle Nordstrom.
Ryan Mullaney (voice)
Conductor and artistic co-director Ryan Mullaney has made a name for himself in music circles across the country. A native of Western Maryland, Ryan has recently been appointed Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Choral Studies at DeSales University in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. He has previously served on the faculty of the University of Virginia and Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington). In his immediate past position as Graduate Teaching Associate at the University of Washington, Mullaney served as associate conductor of the UW Chamber Singers and also led the Campus Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, Men's Glee Club, and the World Voices Ensemble. Additionally, while there he taught courses in music history and music in culture in the Music History Department.
Before his departure to the West Coast, Mullaney spent four years as Director of Liturgical Music at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Parish in Cumberland, MD, supervising a staff of eight part-time musicians, 50 volunteers, and musical worship at five churches. Prior to this post in Cumberland, Ryan enjoyed a five-year tenure on the music staff at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, MD, serving as an assistant choirmaster, cantor, and section leader in the Cathedral Choir. As a graduate conductor in The Boyer College of Music at Temple University, he was named Elaine Brown Scholar in Choral Music. In addition to leading all choral ensembles over a two-year periodMullaney maintained a professional singing career with the renowned choir of St. Clement’s Church. Mullaney is active from coast to coast, from his regular work as ensemble coach and adjudicator with choirs in the Seattle Public School District (WA) to his work as clinician with the Hanover (MA) Public School System. He has served on the board of the Allegany Arts Council, Queen City Performing Arts Development and the Liturgical Music Commission for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Ryan holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, a Master of Music Degree in Choral/Orchestral Conducting from Temple University, and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance from Towson University in Maryland.
Lyle Nordstrom (classes, lute, guitar)
(University of North Texas)
Mountainside Baroque artistic co-director, lutenist and conductor Dr. Lyle Nordstrom has been a strong influence in the early music field for the past several decades, particularly in the area of early music education at the collegiate level. In the course of his college teaching career he has led the early music programs at Oakland University in Michigan, Clayton State College and University in Atlanta and, most recently, the University of North Texas, being nominated for a number of teaching awards at each institution. In 2000 he was given the Thomas Binkley Award by Early Music America for his work on the collegiate level and in 2009 the Paul Riedo Award by Dallas Bach Society for his contributions to early music in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.Nordstrom was recently chosen by the national early music organization, Early Music America, to receive the prestigious Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music, in recognition of his ability to inspire and mentor students, musicians and ensembles throughout his fifty-year career. He is co-founder of The Musicians of Swanne Alley, a group he directed with lutenist Paul O’Dette from 1976 to 1996, performing with them at nearly every major early music festival in North America and Europe, and contributing his performing and editing talents to recordings of the group on Focus, Harmonia Mundi and Virgin Classics. In 1997, Lyle also founded the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra and is now the Director Emeritus. He has been a major researcher in the area of lute duets and the consort lesson; many are recorded on CDs by the Musicians and Swanne Alley and are heard in the movie “Rob Roy.” A DMA graduate of Stanford University, he is known for his scholarly contributions to various early music journals as well a book on the wire-strung bandora and articles in the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians.
Sarah Lynn (flute, recorder)
Sarah Lynn is a Baroque flutist who devotes her time to the historical performance practice of Baroque and Renaissance music. A graduate of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Lynn has performed with groups in the region, such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Consort, Baltimore Baroque Band, and the Washington Bach Consort. During her time in Baltimore, Lynn was chosen to be the Musician in Residence at a local retirement home, providing daily music for the residents as well as doing monthly outreach concerts. She has performed as soloist with many groups, including Mountainside Baroque, Apollo’s Fire; The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and The Michigan Bach Collective. Her robust musical instruction began in high school, when she became the recipient of the Young Artist Scholarship at Oberlin Conservatory. Every June, Lynn teaches at the Mountainside Baroque Academy, a summer program for high school and early college students to introduce them to Baroque performance practice and style. Lynn has completed BM and GPD degrees in Baroque flute in the studio of Gwyn Roberts. As well as playing the Baroque flute, Lynn also plays Baroque and Renaissance recorders, the Renaissance flute, and enjoys singing in choirs.
Arnie Tanimoto (cello, viola da gamba)
New York City
Gold medalist of the 7th International Bach-Abel Competition, Arnie Tanimoto is equally at home on the viola da gamba and Baroque cello. He was the first-ever viola da gamba major at The Juilliard School, where he soloed on both instruments. Described by The New York Times as a “fine instrumental soloist,” Arnie performs in venues across the United States, Europe, and Japan. The recipient of a 2017 Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Fellowship he has also performed and recorded with Barthold Kuijken, the Boston Early Music Festival Ensemble, and the Smithsonian Consort of Viols. Arnie is an advocate for the viola da gamba, and can be found giving lecture demonstrations and premieres of new works for the instrument around the country. As a teacher, he serves on faculty at the Mountainside Baroque Summer Academy as well as maintaining a private studio. He holds degrees and certificates from Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Outside the realm of historical performance, Arnie has collaborated with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Joyce DiDonato, with whom he has recorded an NPR Music Field Recording.