Meet the Orchestra

Sabrina Allard Sabrina Allard

Sabrina Allard, age 17, is currently a senior at James E. Taylor High School where she is the principal French horn in the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. She began playing the French horn at the age of 11 and has been learning to play the trombone through the Taylor Jazz Band for the last..

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Garrett Barrientos Garrett Barrientos

Garrett Barrientos is a 17-year-old oboist and is now entering his third year in Virtuosi. He began playing the oboe at the age of 10 and is now a senior at J. Frank Dobie High School, where he is principal oboist. Garrett has competed at Region and advanced to Area for 3 years. He has..

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Zane Bernadas Zane Bernadas

Zane Bernadas, 18, has been studying viola for over 5 years. This is his fourth year playing in Virtuosi of Houston, and he plans on continuing his studies in music. Since his childhood, Zane has had an immense interest and deep passion for music, exemplified by his first and continued endeavors at playing piano, from..

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Abigail Brooks Abigail Brooks

Abigail Brooks, a 15-year-old, is a freshman homeschool student. She is a bubbly girl and her joy of music is contagious. Abigail’s love of music started early. Her first instrument was the violin in the first grade. Upon starting middle school she fell in love with the double bass and has been playing it since…

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Katherine Butler Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler, 15, has been studying the violin since the age of four. She is a freshman at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, where she is an honor roll student and a member of the orchestra, which is directed by Dr. Bradley Smith. She has been a member of many different chamber..

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Claire Cabral Claire Cabral

Claire Cabral is a 13 year old cellist. She began studying Suzuki cello at age five with Lisa Vosdoganes. While at Parker Elementary, she played in the Parker Performing Strings for four years, participated in HISD Solo and Ensemble competitions, earning top ratings for both solos and ensembles, participated in the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute..

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Drew Cain Drew Cain

Drew Cain, 17, is an 11th grade student at Emery High School and is very honored to begin his sixth season as a member of Virtuosi of Houston. Drew has studied violin since 2007, and for the past 7 years has been a student of Houston Symphony violinist Sophia Silivos. For four years, prior to..

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Andrew Cliburn Andrew Cliburn

Andrew Cliburn is now 17 years old and is proud to be reunited with Virtuosi of Houston for his second season. He is a junior attending Langham Creek High School and is principal clarinetist of the school’s Wind Ensemble under the direction of Gloria Ramirez. Andrew has been playing the clarinet since he was in..

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Sara Conner Sara Conner

Sara Conner is a fifteen year old sophomore attending Cypress Woods High School. She has played the violin since she was ten years old and also plays the piano. Since she has started playing, she has gone to Italy for Clazz Music Festival and has also participated in the Virtuosi summer camp. She has achieved..

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Yash Desai Yash Desai

Yash Desai is a senior at Clements High School, and is a violinist in the Clements High School Chamber Strings Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra. For the past three years, he has been selected for the Region Orchestra. Aside from violin, Yash is a member of his high school debate team and various honors societies. He..

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Jose Enriquez Jose Enriquez

Jose Enriquez, 18, started playing the cello at age 11 in 5th grade. As a returning member of Virtuosi, he now teaches private lessons to high school and middle school students. From 2013 to 2016, Jose attended Daniel Saenz’s annual All-State Strings Camp. In addition to music camps, Jose also participates in the Academy of..

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Melissa Escobar Melissa Escobar

Melissa Escobar is 17 years old and a junior at Pasadena Memorial High School. She currently plays in the chamber orchestra under both directors, Mr. Noah Claytor and Mr. Matthew Suarez, since the beginning of her freshman year. She started playing viola in 5th grade, at 11 years old and soon in her 8th grade..

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Priya Fink Priya Fink

Priya Fink is a senior at HSPVA and has played the flute since age 8. She studies with Mrs. Ema Armanious. Priya has attended musical summer camps including Interlochen Arts Camp, Houston Floot Fire, and Baylor University’s Summer Flute Seminar. She received the Texas Music Scholar award her freshman and sophomore years and has placed..

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Ricardo Flores Ricardo Flores

Ricardo Flores is a Junior at HSPVA. Ricardo has been playing since the sixth grade and has made it into region Orchestra every year and has gotten division one ratings on solo competitions ever since the seventh grade. When he is not practicing, Ricardo really enjoys spending time with friends. Ricardo has two siblings and..

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Viktor Frolkov Viktor Frolkov

Viktor Frolkov was born in Ukraine and started playing piano at the age of 9. He currently plays with Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and has performed in several orchestras in the Denver area. His recent successes have led him to a performance for piano and orchestra at the Breckenridge Music Festival, and a solo performance..

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Faris Ghandour Faris Ghandour

Faris Ghandour, 16 years old, is a junior at Cypress Falls High School. He started playing clarinet at the age of 10 and is currently studying with Sasha Potiomkin. Faris is first chair of the school’s Wind Symphony, directed by Mark Edenfield. Since 6th grade, he has received Division One ratings at UIL Region Solo..

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Travis Gibson Travis Gibson

Travis Gibson is a 14 year old homeschool student from Nederland, Texas. He started playing the violin when he was 3 and has twice been named the Symphony League of Beaumont Outstanding Young Performer in their annual string competition. He has spent two summers in Maine at the New England Music Camp under the tutelage..

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Audrey Godfrey Audrey Godfrey

Audrey is a sophomore at Cy-Fair Senior High School where she is under the direction of Kevin Ray. Past and current teachers include Rodica Gonzalez, Bonnie Romkey and April Nielsen. She started playing the piano at age 4 and the violin at age 8. Audrey has competed in the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival and..

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Samantha Gomez Samantha Gomez

Samantha has been playing the violin since sixth grade and has loved it ever since. She has performed in Chicago, Carnegie Hall in New York, San Antonio, and the United Kingdom last year with Virtuosi. Samantha hopes to go to Italy this summer for the Clazz Music Festival. She is also a private violin teacher..

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Elizabeth Grahn Elizabeth Grahn

Elizabeth Grahn is 15 years old and is currently a sophomore at Klein Collins High School. She began playing trumpet at 11 years of age. Over the past years, Elizabeth has made 8th and 9th grade region orchestra and received excellent ratings in the 2015 and 2016 UIL Solo and Ensemble Contests. In the 2017..

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Sarah Hall Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall, 12, is a seventh grader at Spillane Middle School and plays with the Chamber Orchestra. She has been a student of Caroline Ewan for nearly four years and is currently studying violin and viola, having begun violin in January 2012 with Mr. Chaiwat Rodsuwan. For the past two years, Sarah has enjoyed being..

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Steve Hernandez Steve Hernandez

Steve Hernandez, 15 years old, began playing the violin at age 10. He is a 10th grade student at Dobie High School. In 7th grade he joined the top group in Thompson Intermediate. In his last school year at Thompson, he was awarded the Directors Choice Award, which is awarded to one outstanding student every..

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Kevin Hulipas Kevin Hulipas

Kevin Hulipas is a 17-year-old violist attending Travis High School. He began to learn viola when he was 11 and currently studies with Sheldon Person. Kevin has attended and participated in numerous festivals and summer programs such as TMEA’s all state philharmonic orchestra, the American Festival for the Arts, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Interlochen’s..

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Emme Jennings Emme Jennings

Emme Jennings, 15, began violin at age three with Brigette Yawn, then studied 7 years with Caroline Ewan, and is now with Rodica Gonzalez of the Houston Symphony. She began piano at age four with Barbara Sollock and has studied with Judith Habermacher since 2011. Emme has participated in Kenneth Goldsmith’s master classes, Rick Muchow’s..

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Christina Lewellyn Christina Lewellyn

Christina is sixteen and a sophomore at Shadow Creek High School in Pearland, Texas. Christina was introduced to music at the age of 3 through piano. She is currently studying piano under Ms. Virginia Nance and has earned a High School Diploma in Social Music from the National Guild of Piano Teachers. In 2013, Christina..

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Philip King Philip King

Philip King is a senior horn player currently enrolled in the online school “Connections Academy.” He began his musical career in 6th grade on the trumpet, but upgraded in 7th grade, still playing trumpet the on the side in multiple jazz ensembles. He was formerly enrolled in Dulles High school, where he participated in the..

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Reenu Kutty Reenu Kutty

Reenu Kutty is a fourteen year old attending Tompkins High School of Katy ISD. She started playing the violin at age seven, but became more passionate about music entering junior high. She has attended the 2016 Katy ISD Junior High Orchestra camp along with the Virtuosi of Houston Small Ensemble Summer Workshop. Reenu has also..

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Hannah Li Hannah Li

Hannah Li is a 14-year-old freshman at Clements High School, where she is in the school orchestra under the guidance of Ginger Wolfe. Hannah has been playing the violin for 4 years and currently studies with Li YongChun. In her short 4-year violin career, Hannah has been able to improve quickly and accomplish many feats..

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Tina Li Tina Li

Tina Li, 13 years old, is an eighth grader at T. H. Rogers Middle School. This year marks Tina’s third year as a Virtuosi member. She has been playing the violin since she was 5, currently studying under Mr. Henry Rubin. Her previous teachers include Ms. Mary Edge, Ms. Caroline Ewan, and Ms. Janet Kavanagh…

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Jennifer Lin Jennifer Lin

Jennifer is a talented 13-year-old musician who has played the violin for four years and piano for almost 10 years. She is currently an eighth grade student at Spillane Middle School. She was the 2015–2016 and 2016– 2017 concertmaster at Spillane MS Chamber Orchestra directed by Ms. Jeannine Adams. She attended 2016 and 2017 Virtuosi..

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Cade Lipps Cade Lipps

Cade Lipps, a first year Virtuosi member, is a 16 year old junior attending Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, where he is in the Wind Symphony under the direction of John Mays and Desiree Overee. Cade began playing trumpet when he was 11 years old. He also plays in the orchestra at St…

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Lexie Livingood Lexie Livingood

Lexie Livingood is a 17 year old Senior at Austin High School, where she is principal violist under the direction of Ann Victor. She has been playing the viola for 11 years, and currently studies with Whitney Bullock. Along with Virtuosi of Houston, she is a member of the Houston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Lexie has..

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Victor Mauriz Victor Mauriz

Victor is a 19 year old senior at Cypress Creek High School, in Houston, Texas. He has been playing cello since he was 8 years old and also plays the piano. He was a member of the Children’s Orchestra and Chamber Orchesta in Holguin, Cuba. In 2012, he continued his studies at the National School..

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Jonathan Mitchell Jonathan Mitchell

Jonathan Mitchell, 16, is a sophomore bassist at The Kinkaid School where he is a member of the Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Steve Kastner. He is also a percussionist in the Band under Russell Vogt. Jonathan has been playing the double bass for 8 years. A student of Donald Howey of..

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Arielle Ollagnon Arielle Ollagnon

Arielle, 16, is a junior violinist at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts under the direction of Dr. Brad Smith. This is her second season with the orchestra as concertmaster and she is thrilled to be back. Arielle first began violin at age 7 in Moscow, Russia and has since studied with..

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Isabella Romano Isabella Romano

Isabella Romano, age 17, is a senior at Cypress Falls High School. She started playing the flute when she was 11 years old. Isabella is currently first chair of the Wind Symphony at Cypress Falls High School, directed by Mark Edenfield. Since 6th grade she has received Division One ratings at UIL Region Solo and..

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Steven Seiler Steven Seiler

Steven Seiler is a 17-year-old bassist and a junior at Stephen F. Austin High School under the leadership of Ann Victor. He studies under Robin Kesslman, the principal bassist of the Houston Symphony orchestra, Kurry Duffy of the Houston Ballet orchestra, and Andy Moritz. Steven began playing bass when he was 12. Throughout his 5..

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Kaitlyn Swaim Kaitlyn Swaim

Kaitlyn Swaim, 17, is in her sixth year of playing the harp. She is a senior at Klein Collins High School in the chamber orchestra directed by Carlos Lara. From 2011 to 2016, she received private harp lessons from Katrine Miner and has studied privately under Stephanie Gustafson since February of 2016. She attended the..

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Maren Tonini Maren Tonini

Maren Tonini, a 16-year-old Junior at Shadow Creek High School, has played the oboe since sixth grade. She qualified for region orchestra and region band in grades eight and ten. In tenth grade, she was third chair in region and advanced to area auditions in which she got fourth. Along with the oboe, Maren has..

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Julian Weaver Julian Weaver

Julian I. Weaver is twelve years old. He has been playing violin since he was 8, having studied privately with Lucy Gonzales, Emilio Arredondo, and currently Ingrid Gerling. His school orchestra director is Kareem Goode. He has performed with his school orchestra at the University Interscholastic League competition and performed solo at a regional Solo..

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Victor Xia Victor Xia

Victor Xia, 16 years old, began playing the violin when he was 10. He is a junior at Jersey Village High School. He has participated in the Saenz All State camp for the past 3 summers. Victor has made it into his region orchestra every year since 6th grade. He also made it into area..

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Michelle Xu Michelle Xu

Michelle Xu is a 16 year old junior at Cypress Falls High School. She began playing cello at 11 years old, as well as piano and guitar at ages 6 and 7. Michelle has played with the Houston Youth Symphony for 2 years, as well as the American Festival of Arts Symphony Orchestra, under the..

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Andy Yoo Andy Yoo

Andy Yoo is 14 years old and a freshman at Memorial High School. He currently plays for the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Bingiee Shiu and Danielle Prontka. He started playing the cello at age 10 and has been in love with its sound ever since. He has been a part of the Houston..

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