Academy Orchestra Members Photos and Bios
Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra taken on November 20, 2016 by Gary Church.
Joshua Leak, Principal Cello
Josh Leak is a 17 year-old junior at Lyons Township High School, who has loved music his entire life. He began playing the cello at three and the drums at five. Josh was an All-District ILMEA participant in 2015, and was selected to the All-State ILMEA Orchestra in 2016. He is currently principal cellist in Sinfonietta at Lyons Township where he earned second place in the Lyons Township Concerto Competition in 2016. Josh is also principal cellist of the DuPage Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he earned first place in its Concerto Competition in 2016. Josh has attended numerous summer string camps including the Sphinx Performance Academy, for the last five years, and he plans to attend Berklee College of Music’s five-week pre-collegiate summer program this July. He has also taken cello lessons with faculty members at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan.
In his free time, Josh enjoys giving cellos lessons, playing in a drum line, composing music and playing his cello, the drums and singing at his church. Josh is thrilled to be serving as principal cellist of Camerata Academy. Josh’s cello instructor is Dr. Tanya Carey.
Joe Brackmann, Cello
Joseph Brackmann has studied cello with Carol Ourada at Wheaton College Community School of the Arts for 8 years where he has also participates in the cello choir and the chamber program. Joe is the principal cellist in the Concert Orchestra at Youth Symphony of DuPage for the past 2 years. Joe was selected in 2012 and in 2014 to be in the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas at the SAA National Conference in Minneapolis. He enjoys attending the Chicago Suzuki Institute and the Japan Seattle Suzuki Institute each summer. The summer of 2012 and 2014 he
participated in chamber music sessions with the Chicago Trio, sponsored by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Joe is in the sixth grade at Franklin School where he is a member of his school orchestra and he plays in ensembles at his church. This is his first year with Camerata Chicago Academy.
Ashwin Moses, First Violin
Ashwin Moses, 17, has been playing the violin from the age of five. He was a student of Victoria Kuchta Szczepaniak, Edward Kreitman, and Thomas Wermuth of the Western Springs School of Talent Education and the Naperville Suzuki School where he was a member of the Allegro!!! String Performance Ensemble and the Chicago Consort. While at the school with Allegro!!!, he had the opportunity to perform at the ASTA national conference in Atlanta where the group won first place and worked with Dean Marshall and members of Barrage. He was a participant in a master class with Elizabeth Faidley, toured China with Allegro!!! as part of Dean Marshall’s League of Astonishing Strings and soloed in Greece on tour with the Chicago Consort in the summer of 2015.
Ashwin enjoys performing in the College Church orchestra, Gary Church and One Way Church services, and for One Way Ministries’ Shine Orchestra at Wentz Concert Hall. This spring, 2016, he was a member of the pit orchestra for the production of Peter Pan at Oswego East High School. In addition to playing the violin, Ashwin sings in an Honors Acapella Choir as a baritone. In the fall of 2015 he was a participant in the ILMEA vocal auditions.
He was awarded first and second place in the instrument divisions of the Communication Arts Festivals at North Central College. In early 2016, he was a participant in the DePaul Concerto Festival and the DuPage Symphony Young Artist Auditions where he was well received.
This is his second year playing with the Camerata Chicago Academy. He has been a student of Drostan Hall since the summer of 2015. He is interested in studying violin performance in college.
The Cello Section with Julian Schwarz
Julian Schwarz (left) with Academy Orchestra cellists on April 30, 2016.
From left: Joe Brackmann, Joshua Leak (Principal), Luca Warren
and Christian Guillermo (now alumnus).
Amelia Piscitelli, Principal Second Violinist, has been smiling to classical music since infancy and formally began playing violin at the age of four. From 2009-2014, she studied violin with Debbie Edwards, then in late Summer 2014, she began studying with Drostan Hall, her current teacher. As a sophomore at Hammond Baptist High School, she greatly enjoys playing violin, teaching violin, and playing specials with her violin students at church. She relishes the chamber music opportunities afforded her at Sforzando String Camp for the last 7 summers and has been privileged to be a member of the Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra since 2015.
Ellen Maloney, Concertmaster
In Addition to Ellen Maloney’s current position as Concertmaster for Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra, she is also a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, CYSO Chamber Music Program, Glenbard West Orchestra and Glenbard West String Quartet. Read Ellen’s full biography.
Madeline Abel, Violin
Introducing one of our Academy Orchestra’s second violinists – Madeline Abel – an excellent team player! We’ve appreciated her enthusiasm about the upcoming concert on December 20. Do join us Saturday for some high-quality music-making.
Concertmaster Ellen Maloney