With our second season officially underway, we wanted to take a moment to share with you a bit about the newest members of our Symphony Number One family. You'll have several opportunities to see them in action in the coming months, but until then, be sure to grab your tickets for our season opener Wealth of Winds, and enjoy!
Principal Bassist Michael Rittling is also the Assoc. Principal Bassist with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in nearby Hagerstown, and Section Bass with the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, Maryland. Michael holds degrees from Florida State University and Indiana University.
Karena Ingram, Director of Composition, is an emerging contemporary composer based in Baltimore. Beginning her musical career at the age of nine, with self-teaching in violin and music theory, she is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Ingram actively composes for contemporary chamber ensembles, large symphonic works, video games, and interactive media.
Asst. Conductor JoAnna Cochenet most recently served as the Conductor of the Northeast String Orchestra in New York and Music Director at Grace United Methodist Church. Cochenet has also been Guest Conductor and Clinician for several All-County, All-City String and Symphony Orchestra Festivals, and other school, camp, and community orchestra rehearsals and concerts across the states. She currently serves as a string instructor at Levine Music in Washington D.C.
Dr. Katayoon Hodjati, Principal Flutist, is a native of Silver Spring, MD and is a passionate performer of a variety of musical styles. Katayoon performed with the Symphony of the Southwest, the MusicaNova Orchestra, and The Phoenix Symphony. Recently, she was a featured soloist at The National Flute Association's annual convention. In addition to her performance degrees from esteemed universities, she also holds a degree in Spanish and a degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health.
Principal Violist Karin Kilper holds degrees from Louisiana State University and the Peabody Conservatory. In her time off, she thoroughly enjoys performing with the DC-based bluegrass band, The Bachelor and The Bad Actress and drinking as much coffee as possible.
Jonathan Zepp, Assoc. Principal Bassoonist, is a native of nearby Silver Spring, Jon is a freelance bassoonist playing across the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area and is private instructor of bassoon. He has played in masterclasses, festivals, and competitions across the US and Canada and has performed in seven different countries.
Assoc. Principal Cellist Mike Newman is a classically trained cellist from Southampton, Pennsylvania. Michael will continue his education at the Peabody Conservatory this fall. While pursuing his Master of Music degree, he will study with cellist, Alan Stepansky (who also instructed our Principal Cellist, Joe Isom!).
Kate Flores, Production Director, Kate brings a range of experience in the arts and the sciences; she began playing the piano at the age of seven, when she began a decade of lessons and solo piano recitals, juried performances, and competitions in southwestern Connecticut. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University, and in her spare time, continues her solo piano practice to maintain her repertoire, and enjoys regularly spending time at the barre and en pointe, as well as dancing ballroom, Argentine tango, salsa, and swing.
Principal Second Violinist Kristin Bakkegard is a vibrant freelance violinist and teacher stationed in the Washington, DC area. She is a tenured member of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Richmond Symphony, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and more. She holds music degrees from the University of Maryland School of Music and Ithaca College.
Assoc. Principal Oboist Julia Perry is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Oboe performance at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, studying with Katherine Needleman. As an avid teacher, Perry enjoys guiding students of all ages and levels through the challenging and rewarding experience of playing the oboe. Perry has performed with ensembles and festivals across the east coast, including the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Colin Webb, Assoc. Principal Violist, Colin was born and raised in Eldersburg, Maryland and began learning the viola—his first instrument—at age 11. Most recently, he has been a rotating principal with the Boston University Symphony Orchestras and an active player in the Boston Chamber Symphony, the Freisinger Chamber Orchestra, and the Marsh Chapel Collegium. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and a good cup of joe.