WFMT Introductions Broadcast Academy Orchestra


Our December 10 Academy Orchestra broadcast on 98.7WFMT Introductions was wonderful to hear. Click here for the podcast.



WFMT broadcasted highlights of the Academy Orchestra’s Spring Semester concert (from May 7, 2016) on it’s Introductions radio show. Here is a photo of the Academy on May 7, 2016.


Pieces on the playlist:

Suite for Solo violin, viola and strings by Atterberg performed by Ellen Maloney, violin and alumnus Max Lowery, viola. Ellen Maloney is our Academy Orchestra Concert Master. (Watch brilliant videos of Ellen and Max here.)

Bartok Rumanian Dances, Warlock Capriol Suite and the Brook Green Suite Holst conducted by alumnus 10 year old Ellin Liu.

Academy 2016 Fall Concerts





7:30pm FRIDAY DECEMBER 16, 2016
St John Lutheran Church, Wheaton

3:30pm SUNDAY DECEMBER 18, 2016
Gary United Methodist Church, Wheaton

Featuring virtuoso violinist Amelia Piscitelli
Concert Master: Ellen Maloney

The Academy is pictured here on November 20, 2016 at Gary United Methodist Church, where we are Ensemble-in-Residence.


The string chamber orchestra comprises advanced high school students who play to a very high standard under the direction of conductor Drostan Hall.




Svendsen Romance for Violin & Orchestra
Amelia Piscitelli violin
Watch brilliant videos of Amelia here.

St Paul’s Suite Holst

Variations on Thaxted by Blumhofer

Rutter Suite for Strings


Amelia Video

Video of Amelia Piscitelli performing Svendsen’s Romance in her professional debut with Camerata Chicago in October 2016.

Academy Orchestra Members Photoset


From left to right: Joe Brackmann (cello), Ellen Maloney (violin), Lily Smith (viola) Joe Williamson (violin), Ashwin Moses(violin), Madeline Abel (violin), Luca Warren (cello), Cameron Fuller (double bass) Amelia Piscitelli (violin), Joshua Leak (principal cello), Allison Chang (principal viola), Kevin Shi (violin).



Our December 10 Academy Orchestra broadcast on WFMT Introductions was wonderful to hear. Click here for the podcast.




Camerata Chicago Academy

Academy Orchestra on November 20, 2016 (10 of 12 students)

The Camerata Chicago Academy was founded in 2014 and is an orchestra comprising advanced high school students. Camerata Chicago Academy provides a marvelous opportunity for young musicians to perform in a professional atmosphere under the direction of an internationally known conductor, Drostan Hall, Camerata Chicago’s Music Director, who has 25 years of experience of training aspiring young musicians. The objective of the Academy orchestra is to achieve a very high level of music making to produce a disciplined and professional sound, allowing young musicians to learn to work together.

For ten years Maestro Hall conducted the Baroque Festival Orchestra, an accomplished training orchestra for students. Known for its high level, the orchestra garnered two invitations to perform on the WFMT radio show Introductions.

The Academy orchestra is very similar in size and scope to the BFO (see photo below). I invite you to listen to this live broadcast from WFMT’s Introductions of the BFO performing Frolicksome Finale from Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. This broadcast illustrates the experience you will receive in the Camerata Chicago Academy.

The Academy Orchestra

Location: Gary Methodist Church, 224 North Main Street, Wheaton, IL 60187

Start Date: August 27, 2016 and Saturdays in the Fall Semester.

Rehearsals Times: All rehearsals take place on Saturdays 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Concert Details:

7:30pm December 16, 2016 St John Lutheran Church, Wheaton
3:30pm December 18, 2016 Gary United Methodist Church, Wheaton

See these concerts on our ticket system. Tickets are only $10.

Repertoire: Featured repertoire includes music from the Baroque and classical periods and the string orchestra literature. On occasion, sectional rehearsals will be coached by a member of Camerata Chicago. Additionally, solo opportunities will be given to the most outstanding members of the ensemble and outside guest artists may be invited to solo with the orchestra.

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To audition for the Academy, please contact us here, or call 630-221-5555.


The Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra is the official
Ensemble in Residence at Gary Methodist Church, Wheaton:

Gary Methodist Church
224 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL60187

Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra Members Photos

Academy Orchestra Members Photos and Bios


Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra taken on November 20, 2016 by Gary Church.


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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

20160430_162106-0600x0500-masterclass-cellists-2Julian 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

Amelia Piscitelli 2015-10-08 0594x0594Amelia 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


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. academyorchestra04-madelineabel-2-800



Concertmaster Ellen Maloney


Academy Alumni

Group flyer 2015-12

Academy 2015: Ellen Maloney, Kaz Akamatsu, Kaylin Liu, Leslie Schmult, Justin Pham; Madeline Abel, Hannah Appleyard, Brandon Lach, Elin Liu, Drostan Hall; Hannah Novak (Bass), Kendra Standish, Amanda Lozano, Alison Chang, Max Lowery.


Kaylin Liu P3-1 0600x0750

Kaylin Liu, an eighth grader, has been studying violin for 7 1/2 years. Kaylin’s teachers have included Thomas Wermuth with whom she studied for two years and Drostan Hall her current teacher. She has been prize winner of Chinese Confucius Competition, Glen Ellyn – Wheaton Music Scholarship Contest, as well as winner of 2014 Society of American Musicians Competition. She was featured in a duet solo in Allegro, a violin ensemble group from Western Springs Suzuki School which toured China in 2013. Aside from violin, Kaylin enjoys traveling, running and reading.

Justin Pham, Violin

Justin Pham 11173409

Justin Pham has been playing the violin under the tutelage of Steven Sjobring for eight years and Drostan Hall for a year. Since 4th grade, he participated in many music festivals and camps including ILMEA Junior and Senior Festivals, Credo at Oberlin Music Conservatory. He won 1st place in the 2014-2015 Wheaton-Warrenville South Concerto Competition, and is currently the concert master of the WWHS Sinfonia orchestra. Justin will participate in the 2016 All State festival. He hopes to continue playing the violin in college.

Ellin Liu, Harpsichord, Conductor

Introducing the Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra’s youngest member Ellin Liu, who is our excellent ten year old harpsichord player. She has played continuo for the Bach A Minor Violin Concerto on a beautiful harpsichord hand painted by the late Marge Gieser. academyorchestra04-ellinliu-1000x1115

Max Lowery, Principal Viola and Composer

As well as being a composer, Max Lowery is our excellent Principal Viola of the Academy Orchestra. Max performed the Telemann Viola Concerto with the Academy Orchestra on May 9, 2015.



Sophia Radovic, Second Violin



Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra Photos



Violas – Alison Chang, Kaz Akamatsu, Max Lowery

Camerata Chicago Academy OrchestraAcademy pic 1