Rika Seko, Violin

After graduating from Tokyo University of Arts, Rika Seko began her professional career in Bogota, Colombia in 1986, first as guest Concertmaster of the Colombia Symphony, then as Assistant Concertmaster in the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra. During that time, she performed over 20 different concertos, from Baroque to Contemporary Repertoire, and gave numerous recitals in Latin America.

Since moving to Chicago in 1994 Rika has appeared with many Chicago-area orchestras including Chicago Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Camerata Chicago. As soloist she has performed with Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra (WI) and Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra (IL). She gave the Colombian premier performance of Serenade by Bernstein in 2006.

Currently she is Concertmaster at Elmhurst Symphony and a member of Grant Park Music Festival Symphony, Music of the Baroque, Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Camerata Chicago.

Rose Armbrust

rosearmbrust01Violist Rose Armbrust Griffin received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music and Masters of Music from Indiana University.  During her time at The Curtis Institute of Music she held the James and Betty Materese Annual Fellowship. Most notably, Rose was awarded a Performers Certificate at the conclusion of her Masters for  “recognition of her outstanding musical performance”.  Her teachers include Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yung Huang, Roberto Diaz, Michael Tree and Atar Arad.

Rose has performed as soloist with the Bogota Symphony Orchestra, Woodstock’s Mozart Festival Orchestra, The Curtis Chamber Orchestra and the Indiana University’s Chamber Orchestra.  Composer Johnathan Graybill’s  “Viola Concerto”, was written for and premiered by Rose along side the Ball State University Orchestra. She was awarded first prize in the Chicago Viola Society and Rembrandt Chamber Players Competitions and was a prizewinner at The Fichoff Chamber Music Competition.

As an active chamber musician, Rose has collaborated with renowned artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Vadim Gluzman, Peter Wiley and the Amernet String Quartet.  Her chamber music performances include concerts at The Kennedy Center, Avery Fischer Hall, Music from Angelfire, Zankel Hall, Ravinia’s Steans Institute and The Musica Bella Concert Series. She has been a guest artist at The North Shore Music, Chataqua and the Kingston Chamber Music Festivals and has performed with The Chicago Ensemble, The Jupiter Chamber Players, The Pilgrim Chamber Players, The Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Rembrandt Chamber Players and the MusicNOW series.   Currently, she is an active member of the International Chamber Artists and can be heard throughout the year on WFMT.

Rose has served as principal violist of The Haddonfield Symphony and as guest principal of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Firebird Chamber Orchestra.  Other orchestral performances include Woodstock Mozart Festival, and the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival in Le Palais, France.  Rose is currently the Principal Violist of Camerata Chicago, Assistant Principal of The Lake Forest Symphony and guest musician with The Promusica Chamber Orchestra (OH).

Rose’s passion is music education.  During her time at Indiana University, she was awarded the merit-based Viola Associate Instructorship.  She has been a guest lecturer at Fort Hays University (KS) , Northern Illinois University, Washington and Lee University (VA) and Florida International University (FL).  She is currently the viola instructor at Wheaton College where she serves as the Chamber Music Coordinator and teaches an Introduction to Music History Course.   Because of her love of teaching and chamber music, Rose fills her weekends with coaching chamber music at Midwest Young Artists.

Rose has recorded for Albany Records.  She plays on a 1989 Marten Cornelissen that was borrowed during her time at Curtis and subsequently purchased after she realized she couldn’t live without it.

Susan Saylor – Flute

Susan Saylor PhotoSusan Saylor is an active soloist and chamber musician who has performed throughout North America and Europe. She is currently principal flutist of Camerata Chicago, Metropolis Symphony, Handel Week Festival Orchestra, Kithara Trio and a founding member of the Mozart Project.

She performs regularly with Broadway in Chicago, The Paramount Theater in Aurora, St. Charles Singers, Valparaiso Bach Institute, Chicago Chorale, Milwaukee Symphony, “Live from Studio One” WFMT radio broadcasts, and has played in the back up band for Ray Charles and Pacquito DʼRivera. She has recorded with the Milwaukee Symphony, Camerata Chicago, NuClassix Chamber Players, St. Charles Singers, GIA music publishing house and numerous radio and TV commercials. She has participated in both Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals and has played with the Boston and Philadelphia Orchestras.

Teaching is a passion for Susan; she has a private studio of more that 35 students ranging from elementary school through adult learners and gives master classes and clinics throughout the Chicago-land area. She is an avid gardener who loves to cook and dine with her friends in the Finer Things Club! She lives in Wheaton with her husband, Jonathan, (musicologist/bassoonist), and her two dachshunds, Star and Gracie.

Susan performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with Faye Seeman in our 2019 Mozart Series concerts.

Jonathan Saylor, Musicologist and Bassoon

Dr. Jonathan Saylor is currently Professor of Music at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, where he teaches music history and bassoon. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from Boston University. Professor Saylor has presented numerous pre-concert lectures, including those at Symphony Center, Wheaton College Artist Series, the Mozart Journey with the St. Charles Singers, Camerata Chicago concerts and the Canterbury Concert Series in Dixon, IL.

As part of the series titled Recent Researches in the Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, he has published critical editions of Henri Brod’s two wind quintets and Franz Lachner’s three woodwind quintets.  Dr. Saylor is also very active as a free-lance bassoonist in the Chicago area, including performances with the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, Apollo Chorus, Paramount Theater, Chicago Chorale, North Shore Chorale Society, St. Charles Singers, and Handel Week Festival.

He regularly performs with Chicago Camerata, appearing in their recent European tour and several WFMT Live performances. Dr. Saylor and his wife Susan have two daughters and reside in Wheaton, where, in their spare time, they are avid gardeners.

Joyce Anne Wilder, Flute

Joyce Anne Wilder has served as second flutist with Camerata Chicago since 2011. She has also played with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and formerly served as a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Wichita Metropolitan Ballet and Wichita Grand Opera Orchestras. Joyce Anne taught applied flute at Southwestern College, for the Masterworks Festival in Indiana and England, and continues to maintain a private flute studio locally and in Kenya (via Skype).

Joyce Anne loves sharing her musical passion with children and leads dozens of children weekly in musical experiences at Wheaton Collegeís Community School of the Arts and in outreach to West Chicago. She is also a music curriculum writer for the Rafiki Foundation in Africa.

Joyce Anne and her husband, clarinetist in Camerata Chicago and Dean of Arts and Communication at Wheaton College, have eleven children and enjoy singing and performing chamber music with them.

Dana Sherman, French Horn

A Naperville native, Dana Sherman is a dynamic freelance musician based in Milwaukee. Sherman is Principal Horn of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Third Horn of the Wisconsin Philharmonic, a member of the Alloy Horn Quartet, and teaches at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. She has formerly held positions with the Omaha Symphony as Associate Principal Horn and New Mexico Philharmonic as Third Horn. Sherman has also performed around the country in numerous orchestras including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. Outside of the orchestra hall, Sherman has taught with Raviniaís Reach*Teach*Play Programs, Merit School of Music, and at several Chicago area high schools. Sherman completed a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and Jon Boen. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she studied with Douglas Hill.

Christina Schempf, French Horn

Originally a native of the rolling farmland of southeastern Wisconsin, Christina is a St. Louis based horn player and teacher. She received a Masters Degree from New England Conservatory in Boston as a student of Richard Sebring and studied with Melanie Cottle at Wheaton College in the Chicagoland area as an undergraduate. Christina is passionate about cultivating a rich and diverse appreciation for music in the coming generation. She is currently working to develop educational music programs through Intersect Arts Center, an organization that provides arts education to underserved communities in St. Louis. Aside from her pursuits in music, Christina enjoys various outdoor recreational activities including backpacking, distance biking, skiing, and horseback riding. She also loves to spend her time reading poetry and making stained glass. Christina has performed with Camerata Chicago since 2015.

Rebecca Swan, Viola

Rebecca Swan (BM The Juilliard School ’04) is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. A native of the Chicago area, Rebecca recently moved back after several years in Charlotte, NC, where she played Principal Viola for Charlotte’s Broadway Series and subbed regularly with the Charlotte Symphony. She has studied under Itzhak Perlman, Peter Slowik, Toby Appel, and James Dunham, as well as members of the Juilliard and Brentano Quartets. Before her time in Charlotte, Rebecca played with Iris Chamber Orchestra under Michael Stern, New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, and The Orquesta Sinfonia Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica. She was the youngest member ever to be accepted into the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under Daniel Barenboim when she was 16. Some of her favorite freelance opportunities have been playing in the orchestra for Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, and Andrea Bocelli. Rebecca currently is a member of the Elgin Symphony and is Principal Violist with the Rockford Symphony. This year she has played with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and has served as guest principal of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.