Bethany Gonella, flute
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 at www.BethanyGonella.com.
Susan Miranda, oboe
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.
Weily Shay, clarinet
Passionate and versatile performer, Weily Shay is a clarinetist currently residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is co-founder of 10th Wave Music Collective and member of Skål Chamber Collective. 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.
Alexandra Berndt, bassoon
Bassoonist Dr. Alexandra Berndt is an active performer and teacher based in the Twin Cities. She joined the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Bassoon in 2016 and has served as substitute bassoon with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. In addition to maintaining a large private studio, she also serves as the adjunct bassoon professor at St. Cloud State University and the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Bassoon Performance with a Secondary Emphasis in Music Theory from the University of Minnesota. She received her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. While in Boston, Berndt was a member of the Vento Chiaro Wind Quintet. A 2010 Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she also attended the summer music festivals at the Brevard Music Center and the Banff Music Centre. Her primary teachers include John Miller, Richard Ranti, Suzanne Nelsen, Christopher Millard, Lewis Kirk, and David Seidel.
Allison Akins, horn
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.