Alon Hayut, 18, is a freshman at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance studying cello performance with Professor Richard Aaron. He was a scholarship Fellow from 2017-2019 at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. There, as well as for 3 years prior in Ann Arbor, he studied cello with Horacio Contreras. Beforemoving to Ann Arbor in 2014, he studied for 6 years withhis first teacher Yari Bond at the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, NJ. Alon received Honorable Mention in the 2019 National YoungArts Competition. As a soloist, he performed with MIC Academy, Pioneer High School Symphony, Ann Arbor Camerata, and Dexter Community Orchestras. In 2019, Alon received second prize in the Marquette Symphony Orchestra Solo Competition. He was a finalist in the 2018 Michigan MASTA competition and won the audience prize. Alon sat Principal Cello in the Pioneer High School Symphony and the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestras and participated in the 2017 Michigan All State. Last summer, Alon attended the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with Richard Aaron and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. The previous summer, heattended the MPulse program Center Stage Strings and Orford Musique where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Lluis Claret. Alon has also performed in master classes for Fred Sherry, Stephen Doane, Colin Carr, Wei Yu, Eric Kim, and Natasha Brofsky. Recent highlights in chamber music include with members of the Calidore Quartet and traveling to Stockholm, Sweden with other students from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School to represent the USA in a forum about public school music education.
Helen LaGrand is a freshman at the University of Michigan where she studies cello performance with Richard Aaron. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, she studied for 8 years with Karen Krummel. She has attended numerous summer programs including Interlochen Center for the Arts, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Meadowmount School of Music, and Center Stage Strings. She has studied with cellists such as Astrid Schween, Horacio Contreras, Jonathan Koh, and Mark Rudoff. Helen has performed in masterclasses for cellists Peter Wiley, Horacio Contreras, and Eric Kim, and has been coached in chamber settings by the Jupiter, Escher, and Calidore Quartets. She served as Principal Cellist in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, Michigan All-State orchestras, and in Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous competitions such as the Skip Gates Concerto Competition, the Kent Philharmonic Concerto Competition, the Louis Potter Competition, the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs String Award, and the Madura, Lucille Dinsmore, Sue Bos Muller, and Elizabeth Anne Irish scholarship competitions. Helen is studying classical and baroque cello while at the University of Michigan and plans to pursue a dual degree to accompany her Bachelors in Music.
Sophia Rightmer, a freshman at the University of Michigan, is pursuing a degree in Cello Performance within the School of Music, Theater, and Design (SMTD) with Professor Richard Aaron, while also pursuing an undecided minor in the School of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA). Throughout her high school career, Sophia has participated in numerous national music camps, won multiple competitions, and soloed with several orchestras. Though officially undecided in her minor, Sophia has a deep passion for academics. Specifically, in the disciplines of American History and Law. She was a winner of the National Colonial Dames of America’s National Essay Contest, and gained the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. on full scholarship for their Congressional Seminar Program.
Member Since Fall 2019
Eden West, 17, is a senior at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She currently studies with Christopher Harding, the chair of the piano department at the University of Michigan. Around the state Eden has competed in various competitions, winning the White Lake Solo Competition and being a finalist in the Michigan Youth Arts Concerto Competition. She has been invited to give guest recitals at Oakland University’s Piano Camp. She has also competed nationally, making her Carnegie Hall debut at age 16. In college Eden plans to study both piano performance and music education and hopes to inspire young musicians to continue working hard at their instrument.
Member Since Winter 2019
Anda Jiang is a violinist from Ann Arbor Michigan. Starting violin at four years old she began her studies with Gabriel Bolkosky. In 2017 she started with Professor Danielle Belen at the University of Michigan. She currently plays in both the Pioneer High School Orchestras and sits principal in the Michigan Youth Symphony. A finalist in the 2019 Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition, she devotes her time outside of school to chamber and practice.
Member Since Winter 2019
Tanner Rodriguez, 18, from Seattle, WA, has been playing the cello for 12 years and currently studies with Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan. In recent years, some of his accomplishments include Seattle Young Artist Music Festival – Winner; Sammamish Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition – 2nd Prize; Seattle Symphony Young Artist Awards – Finalist; KING FM Young Artist Awards – Finalist. Tanner has performed in solo performances with Philharmonia Northwest, the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, and has given monthly solo outreach performances with the Seattle Conservatory of Music. He also has performed in many symphony orchestras and chamber groups including the Seattle Youth Symphony, National Youth Orchestra 2: Side by Side with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, Town Hall Summer Strings Orchestra, All-State Orchestra, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Seattle Conservatory of Music, and Seattle Chamber Music Society. Tanner has also participated in many masterclasses: Joshua Roman (Artistic Director) of Town Music; Nathan Chan, Eric Han, and Meeka Quan DiLorenzo (Assistant Principal Cello) of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Jeffrey Zeigler, Mannes School of Music, Hai-Ye Ni (Principal Cello) and Udi Bar-David of The Philadelphia Orchestra; Desmond Hoebig of Rice University; Hans Jorgen Jensen of Northwestern University; Melissa Kraut of the Cleveland Institute of Music; Ronald Leonard of the Colburn Conservatory; Natasha Brofsky and Amy Barston of the Juilliard School. Tanner deeply enjoys teaching young students to play the cello and has held both a private studio and volunteered at elementary schools in his home community.