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.
Alexandra Berndt, Bassoon
Bassoonist Dr. Alexandra Berndt is an active teacher and performer based in the Twin Cities, joined Chione Quintet in 2018. She joined the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as the 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, Dr. Berndt also serves as the adjunct bassoon professor at Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Cloud State University. Dr. Berndt earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Bassoon Performance with a Secondary Emphasis in Music Theory from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She received her Master of Music in Bassoon Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. While in Boston, Dr. Berndt was a member of the Vento Chiaro Wind Quintet. Vento Chiaro was a two-time recipient of the Free For All Concert Fund Grant while she was a member. She received her Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance summa cum laude and with Program Honors in Woodwinds from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. A 2010 Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, Dr. Berndt 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. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, cycling, wakeboarding, gardening, and traveling. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their tuxedo cat.
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.
Weily Grina-Shay, Clarinet
Weily Grina-Shay is a clarinetist currently residing in the Twin Cities. She has performed with several ensembles such as the Mankato Symphony, Wayzata Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Concert Orchestra, and Occasional Symphony.
Weily's interest in contemporary music has led her to co-found 10th Wave, a chamber music collective based in the Twin Cities. 10th Wave seeks to revolutionize the performance of traditional and contemporary classical music with innovative concert programs to connect and engage new audiences in the Twin Cities.
In addition to her love for performing, Weily enjoys teaching and spreading the joy of learning music. As of Fall 2018, Weily became the private clarinet instructor for Bethel University. 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.
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.
Susan Miranda, oboe
Susan Miranda, oboist, entrepreneur and founder of Chione Quintet and mothröv, has a vast performance resumé which includes various countries across Europe as well as Sioux City Symphony, Huron Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. Susan’s strengths are many, including business owner, writer, founder of numerous ensemble and businesses as well as partner in the creation of Twin Cities Symphony, a new orchestra for emerging professionals.
As an entrepreneur and new music pioneer, Susan has worked to create new, interesting and relevant chamber music opportunities for herself and her colleagues. Chione Quintet performed live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio within it’s first seven months as an ensemble and most recently represents Classical MPR through their school residency program Class Notes. Revolutionary trio, mothrmöv, explores and embraces the relationship between music and movement. morthrmöv will premiere Ben Osterhouse’s Fancy Mouse at a Schubert Club Courtroom Concert in March.
Susan is a sought out oboe teacher in the Twin Cities as her Chromatic Fusion Oboe Studio boasts students who have attended honor bands throughout Minnesota and Iowa including the prestigious University of Minnesota Honor Band. Additionally, her students have had the honor of being accepted into the MN All-State Honor Bands and Orchestra. As a clinician and coach, Susan has been on faculty at Athena Music and Leadership Camp, ISD 622’s Beginning Band Camp and has coached the MN All-State Concert Band oboe student for the last three years.
Susan had the opportunity to attend Interlochen Arts Academy as a high school senior, where she studied with Daniel Stolper. She holds a Bachelors of Communications and Applied Music Degree from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Basil Reeve. Other principal instructors have included Andrea Banke, Roger Roe and Jeffrey Paul.
Susan lives in West St. Paul with her daughter and their two cats Bram and Luna. In addition to music one of her passions is traveling. She and her daughter have the goal of traveling to all 418 National Park Sites, and they have a good start with 149 under their belt!