Professional Staff - Sectional Coaches

VIOLIN I - Mary Sorlie is an on-demand freelance performer and teacher in the Twin Cities and has played with the Lexington Symphony, Minnesota Opera, Minneapolis Chamber Symphony, Lyra Concert and Minnesota Sinfonia and Allegro Con Brio. Currently a conductor with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, Ms. Sorlie is a frequent guest conductor and string clinician in the Midwest and also enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels of skill in her violin studio. She taught violin and coached chamber music at Northwestern College for yearly 20 years and was the founder and director of the college's Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Sorlie received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional study at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at the Oberlin and Brussels Conservatories.

VIOLIN II - Sue Bennefeld is an active freelancer and has performed with several professional orchestras in the Twin Cities including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Family Concerts. She is a performing violinist in Quartetto Escondido, a string quartet that has Artistic membership in Thursday Musical. Ms. Bennefeld is concertmaster of Allegro Sinfonia and is a member of Allegro Con Brio. She studied with Hermann Straka in high school and with Richard Massmann and Lea Foli while obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in violin performance at the University of Minnesota. While there she held the concertmaster position with the orchestra. Ms. Bennefeld has a private violin studio and has lead the Minnesota Youth Symphonies' String Studio Program at Anderson Open Schools in Minneapolis.

VIOLA - Stella Anderson has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, VocalEssence, and Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. Before moving to the Twin Cities, she served as principal violist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Marion Symphony Orchestra. Currently Ms. Anderson holds the principal viola position with Allegro Sinfonia, plays with Allegro Con Brio and is a founding member of the Sartory String Quartet. A past president of the Minnesota chapter of the American String Teachers Association and a recipient of the 1995 Master Teacher Award, she serves on the faculties of the MacPhail Center for Music, Macalester College and the Augsburg College Suzuki Talent Education program. Ms. Anderson is currently president of the Minnesota Viola Society. She attended the University of Hawaii and received her B.M.E. degree at Indiana University where she studied with William Primrose and David Dawson.

CELLO - Mina Fisher began her musical studies in Hershey, PA, with her parents, both music educators. A graduate of Indiana University, she studied cello with Janos Starker and Fritz Magg, and chamber music with William Primrose and David Dawson. Mina also studied with Andre Navarra in Siena and at the Hochschule for Musik in Vienna. Previously the principal cellist of the National Symphony of Costa Rica, and the associate principal cellist of the New Orleans Philharmonic, she now is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra. As cellist of the Ensemble Capriccio, she helped commission over a dozen pieces for string trio, toured internationally, and recorded four CDs. She joined the Bakken Trio in 2003.

BASS - Rahn Yanes has held principal bass positions with several professional orchestras throughout central and northern California, including the Fresno Philharmonic and the Monterey Symphony. He also spent several years in Mexico, playing with the National Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Mexico City. Mr. Yanes has broad musical interests and performs jazz, rock'n'roll, bluegrass and tango while continuing to freelance as a classical bassist. He has been principal bass of Allegro Sinfonia for several years and is a member of Allegro Con Brio. Having held teaching positions at the Escuela Nacional de Musica at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Fresno State University, Mr. Yanes has also maintained a private teaching studio throughout his career.

WOODWINDS - Merilee Klemp, oboist, is a well-known recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. She performs with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Vocalessence, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Allegro Con Brio, as a studio session player, and with major national tours of musicals such as Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Klemp is an Associate Professor at Augsburg College where she has served as Chair of the Music Department (1992-1998). Following graduation from Augsburg College, she received her M.A. in Musicology from Dr. Susan McClary at the University of Minnesota. Ms. Klemp's mentor is Richard Killmer of the Eastman School of Music where she received the DMA in 2003; additionally, she has studied with John Mack, Ronald Roseman, Wayne Rapier and John deLancie.

BRASS - Matthew Wilson is active as a freelance horn player in the Twin Cities. He plays regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Allegro Con Brio, and has been a substitute for The Phantom of the Opera Broadway touring company. Mr. Wilson was principal horn with the Rochester Orchestra for three years; recently he was a semi-finalist at the New York Philharmonic horn auditions. Currently he holds the position of Horn Professor at both Gustavus Adolphus College and Northwestern College. Mr. Wilson has taught horn privately since 1992 and has been Horn Instructor at Rymer-Hadley School of Music, St. Joseph's School of Music, and the Northwestern Academy of Music. He has also been a clinician for the Robbinsdale, Anoka, and Woodbury school districts. Mr. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern College in Roseville, MN and his Masters of Music degree from the University of Minnesota.

PERCUSSION - Matthew Barber, percussionist, has performed extensively with most of the Twin Cities area's theaters and orchestras. He was staff percussionist with the Guthrie Theater from 1980-87, where he also served as music director and assistant conductor. Mr. Barber played principal percussion with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra for two seasons, and is currently principal percussionist with the Minnesota Opera. He has been playing extra percussion with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1994. Mr. Barber received a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with Charles Owen.

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