The Ensemble

 
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Alexandra Berndt, bassoon • Bethany Gonella, Flute • Susan Miranda, oboe

Weily Grina-Shay, clarinet • Allison Akins, horn

Chione [kiōn] noun:

1. Goddess of winter winds

2. Twin Cities-based woodwind quintet comprised of innovative and cross-disciplinary women.

Short Ensemble Bio

Chione is a Twin Cities-based woodwind quintet comprised of innovative and cross-disciplinary women. The unique and evolving medium provides an outlet to explore and create new sounds while redefining and rediscovering lesser known music. Chione is committed to collaborating with professionals of all genres and creative outlets, with particular interests in commissioning new pieces and performing works by women artists. Throughout each endeavor, Chione aims to reach a wide range of audiences with the hopes of inspiring contemporary and aspiring artists as well as supporters of the arts.

Since Chione’s inception, the ensemble has performed live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, they have performed as pop-up classical artists representing Classical MPR at the 2017 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Beer Dabbler as well as the Current’s 2018 Rock the Cradle event.  Chione will hold their 3nd annual quINTENS!VE Chamber Music Camp in August, working with middle and high school students through coaching and performing chamber music.  Chione performs numerous self-presented performances throughout the year in venues such as the Schubert Club, Macphail Center for Music, Icehouse Minneapolis, Can Can Wonderland and the Woman’s Club.  In March of 2018 Chione made their debut as Courtroom Concert Artists at the Schubert Club, performing a concert of works written solely by women. Throughout the 2018-2019 school year Chione has had the pleasure of performing their “Story Time with Chione” program with elementary schools throughout Minnesota as Classical Minnesota Public Radio Class Notes Artists.


Long Ensemble Bio

Chione is a Twin Cities-based woodwind quintet comprised of innovative and cross-disciplinary women. The unique and evolving medium provides an outlet to explore and create new sounds while redefining and rediscovering lesser known music. Chione is committed to collaborating with professionals of all genres and creative outlets, with particular interests in commissioning new pieces and performing works by women artists. The ensemble presents engaging educational programs to students of all ages with a particular focus on equal educational opportuniites.  Throughout each endeavor, Chione aims to reach a wide range of audiences with the hopes of inspiring contemporary and aspiring artists as well as supporters of the arts.

Chione’s commitment to the discovery, exploration, and performance of works by diverse composers has been illustrated since the group’s inception.  Chione Quintet was formed in October of 2016 in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Described by composer Abbie Betinis as “a local “core” chamber ensemble” the group has quickly become the premiere wind quintet of the Midwest. Chione is comprised of innovative and cross-disciplinary women. The unique and evolving medium provides an outlet to explore and create new sounds while redefining and rediscovering lesser known music.

Each of the group’s programs has included at least one piece by a female composer, and the members continue to search for and program under-performed works by women and composers of color.  One recent development was the composition of a piece specifically for Chione. Female composer Lynn Blake John worked with the quintet to compose Expedition, which was premiered on August 2, 2018.  Future projects include a call for submission of scores written by women, as well as an application for grants that will fund the commission of new works by female composers.

The ensemble has been and continues to be passionate about community outreach and education.  In the spring of 2018, Chione completed a three-month, 35-location tour of libraries in underserved SE Minnesota communities.  This project, funded by a grant from the MN State Arts Board provided with sponsorship by the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, brought a program of musical stories to hundreds of Minnesota families.  Chione has also been chosen as a 2018-2019 Minnesota Public Radio Class Notes Artist. Beginning in October, 2018, the quintet has travelled to over a dozen area elementary schools to present a brand new program of educational musical stories.  In October of 2019 the group will travel to the Iron Range Region of Minnesota performing a narrated musical story about Paka’a, a little boy from Hawaii, written by Jon Magnussen.

Establishing quINTENS!VE Chamber Music Camp in 2017, Chione’s members teach a 5 day chamber music day camp for middle and high school students in locations throughout the Twin Cities. In 2019 the camp will make it’s home in West St. Paul, MN. This day camp aims to expose participants to works and modes of performance that they might not otherwise experience.  Activities include seminars and classes led by Chione members including a course on entrepreneurship, individual lessons for all students, chamber group rehearsals and coachings, and a final performance to the public.  Enrollment in quINTENS!VE has increased exponentially over the camp’s two seasons, due in part to the availability to students of scholarship funds. Future plans include the expansion of the scholarship fund, as well as the establishment of an adult chamber music day camp. Chione was featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Chamber Music Magazine for their efforts and success in the growth of quINTENS!VE.

Current members of Chione include Bethany Gonella (flute), Susan Miranda (oboe), Weily Grina-Shay (clarinet), Allison Akins (horn), and Alexandra Berndy (bassoon).

Chione continues to remain self managed, contact Chione Quintet at chionequintet@gmail.com for booking.

For program information and our complete repertoire, click here.


 

 
 

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Bethany Gonella Bethany Gonella is a flutist, piccoloist, and baroque flutist based in Saint Paul.  She performs as an extra/substitute musician with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra and plays regularly in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, and the Winona Symphony Orchestra.  She holds degrees in flute performance from Northwestern University and the University of Southern California and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota.  In 2016, she received a grant from Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to purchase a baroque flute and pursue further study in that field.  Bethany maintains an active flute teaching studio along with her performance work and enjoys working with students of all levels and ages.  She teaches both privately in the Twin Cities and as adjunct flute professor at Winona State University.  Her teaching style is strongly influenced by the Suzuki philosophy, and she creates a positive, encouraging atmosphere for students to develop as musicians.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, biking, and gardening.  You can learn more atwww.BethanyGonella.com.


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Susan Miranda, oboist, entrepreneur and founder of Chione Quintet, has a vast performance resumé which includes various countries across Europe, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Huron Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, heartwood duo and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.  Susan holds a Bachelors of Communications and Applied Music Degree from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Basil Reeve.  Susan's strengths are many, including business owner, writer, founder of numerous ensembles and businesses as well as partner in the creation of Twin Cities Symphony, a new orchestra for emerging professionals. 

Her Chromatic Fusion Oboe Studio is an established studio where she teaches a diverse group of students throughout the Twin Cities.  Susan hopes to one day share her teaching knowledge at her alma mater, Interlochen Arts Academy.  


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Passionate and versatile performer, Weily Shay is a clarinetist currently residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has performed with several ensembles such as the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Concert Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia, Mankato Symphony and Occasional Symphony. Weily's interest in contemporary music has led her to perform in ensembles such as the Peabody Modern Orchestra and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble -groups that both seek to perform unique presentations of contemporary works in intimate settings. 

In addition to her love for performing, Weily enjoys teaching and spreading the joy of learning music. In the past, Weily served as a guest clinician for Centennial and Anoka High Schools. She also served as a guest clinician throughout the Fairfax County Public School district in Northern Virginia. She currently maintains a clarinet studio in Blaine and teaches at Maestoso Music Studio in St. Louis Park. 

Weily received her Master of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Music studying under Anthony McGill in May 2016 where she was awarded the Martha and William Bill Memorial Prize in Clarinet. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music studying under Ixi Chen in December 2013. 


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Allison Akins, horn player, is an accomplished solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She holds a Master's degree in Horn Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree in horn performance from The University of Kansas. An avid performer, she has worked with the Kansas City Symphony, Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland (ME) Symphony as well as the national tours of Tony Award-winning musicals Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins. Ms. Akins enjoys a rich freelance performance career in the Twin Cities, collaborating with such local ensembles as VocalEssence, Oratorio Society, Magnum Chorum, and as soloist with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra.


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Dr. Alexandra Berndt is an active performer and teacher based in the Twin Cities. She joined the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as the Associate Principal Bassoon in 2016 and freelances throughout the Twin Cities.

In addition to maintaining a large private studio, she also serves as the adjunct bassoon professor at Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Cloud State University. Berndt holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Bassoon Performance with a Secondary Emphasis in Music Theory from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance summa cum laude from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). A 2010 Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she also attended the summer music festivals at the Brevard Music Center and the Banff Music Centre.