Joe Brown, Trumpet
Joe Brown holds the position of Second Trumpet in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and performs frequently with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. Additionally, he has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Sarasota, and Tucson Symphonies. Before moving to the Bay Area, Joe spent three years as a fellow at the prestigious New World Symphony in Miami Beach.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Joe holds degrees from The Colburn School, University of Michigan, and Ithaca College. He has spent summers performing at Tanglewood Music Center, Classical Tahoe Festival, Britt Festival, Pacific Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Britten Pears Festival, and the Texas Music Festival. In his free time, Joe enjoys skiing, running, hiking, home brewing, and spending time with his wife, Erika and their cat, Bailey.
Jeffrey LaDeur, Piano
Praised for his “delicate keyboard touch and rich expressivity” (San Francisco Chronicle) and playing that is “deeply moving, probing, entirely felt as in the moment” (Eduard Laurel) Jeffrey LaDeur performs worldwide from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to the San Francisco Jazz Center, from the Shanghai Conservatory to the Orlando Festival in the Netherlands. LaDeur is founder and artistic director of New Piano Collective and the San Francisco International Piano Festival.
In 2015, LaDeur began a survey of Debussy’s complete solo piano music in the context of his influences and inspirations, culminating in an acclaimed debut recital at Carnegie Hall on the centennial of Debussy’s death. His debut album, featuring works by Debussy and Rameau, was released on MSR Classics and has been hailed as “a masterpiece of understatement, simplicity, and ‘old school’ chord-playing where every note sings out with meaning” (Gramophone).
As soloist with orchestra, Jeffrey maintains a repertoire of over forty concerti. Conductors with whom LaDeur has collaborated include George Cleve, Michael Morgan, Barbara Day Turner, Lawrence Golan, and Ming Luke.
A passionate chamber musician, LaDeur has concertized internationally with the Delphi Trio. The Trio received the dedication of William Bolcom’s first Piano Trio, the world premiere recording of which was released on Triptych (MSR Classics) along with trios by Beethoven and Brahms. Jeffrey has collaborated with artists such as Robert Mann, Bonnie Hampton, Geoff Nuttall, Ian Swensen, Anne Akiko Meyers, Toby Appel, David Requiro, and the Alexander, Telegraph, and Afiara Quartets.
LaDeur holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music in piano performance and chamber music, respectively. Jeffrey counts among his teachers Mark Edwards, Douglas Humpherys, Yoshikazu Nagai, and Robert McDonald. Jeffrey received his formative musical training from pianist Annie Sherter, a student of Vlado Perlemuter and Alfred Cortot.
Alex Frankel, Tenor
Praised by the New York Times for his “affable enthusiasm” and “crystalline diction”, Alex Frankel made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre in 2011, and since then, has enjoyed a busy career performing around the world.
From Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Verdi’s Rigoletto to Rossini’s Barber of Seville, the program, “Italian Nights” presents themes of passion and jealousy, love and betrayal, as well as the unique love between a parent and child.
Frankel, who will sing five arias, says “For me, opera is the highest form of art. It combines visual arts, music and theatre. Opera is the best storyteller”.
Britton Day, Piano
Pianist Britton Day enjoys a busy career performing across the Bay Area. Recently featured on the critically-acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Soundbox Series, Britton performed piano-four hand repertoire with Michael Tilson Thomas and accompanied his father, SFS Principal Flutist Tim Day. Other recent engagements include performances with members of the San Francisco Symphony on their Chamber Music Series in Davies Symphony Hall, the Berkeley Hillside Club Chamber Series, and the Eastern Sierra Symphony Summer Festival.
Britton is currently a member of the accompanying staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has worked as a rehearsal pianist for the San Francisco Ballet.
Britt is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He received his Masters Degree as well as a Professional Studies Diploma in Piano Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, Lyric Coloratura Soprano
Professional Lyric Coloratura Soprano, Pinnacle Professional Member 2017 from Continental Who’s Who, 2016 Professional of the Year from Strathmore’s Who’s Who, Ms. Hunter Ashley specializes as a Soloist in Oratorio, Opera, Concert, Sacred, Musical, and Cabaret. Elizabeth is the sole proprietor of The Elizabeth Hunter Ashley Performance Studio in Danville, California. She has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay area for the past 19 years. She works primarily as a Concert soloist, Private Voice Teacher, Adjudicator, and Philanthropist. Elizabeth is in her 18th year as the Soprano Soloist for The Sing A Long Messiah with Conductor Dr. Tim Smith and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in California. She Co-Founded a Music Arts Foundation: The Pure Delight Foundation and continues to volunteer as a soloist for charitable organizations. Ms. Hunter Ashley performs with various Orchestras including recent Concerts with The Austin Minnesota Symphony in 2016 and with The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in California in 2017. She is an active Concert, Recital and Church singer in the East Bay of San Francisco. Elizabeth is an adjudicator for National Teachers of Singing- Northern CA area as well as The California Music Educators Association. Philanthropy is very important to her. Elizabeth performs regularly for various fundraisers and uses the sale of her CD “A Season of Serenity” as an additional donation.
With over 16 Orchestras in the United States including California, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, Minnesota and Internationally in Salzburg Austria, and Rome Italy, Elizabeth is frequently a Featured Soloist. Many of her favorite lead roles include Rosalinda/Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Josephine in HMS PINAFORE, Julie Jordanx in CAROUSEL, La Ciesca in GIANNI SCHICCI, Bastien in BASTIEN ET BASTIENNE. In Nebraska, Elizabeth was a member and soloist for The Opera Omaha Company and the Heartland Opera Theatre. In California she was member and soloist for The San Francisco Choral Artists, guest soprano for The Pacific Masterwork Choir. Currently Ms. Hunter Ashley is a member and soloist with The Blackhawk Chorus and the newly formed San Ramon Valley Chorale both in the East Bay of San Francisco.
Read more about Elizabeth Hunter Ashley on her website.
Martin Morley, Piano
A native of Montana, MARTIN MORLEY has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a pianist, music therapist, teacher, handbell clinician and conductor. He holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano performance from the University of Kansas, where he studied with Flora Chiarrapa Silini, Richard Angeletti, and Portuguese virtuoso Sequeira Costa; in addition, Mr. Morley performed for six years in monthly masterclasses with such luminaries as Gary Graffman, Byron Janis and Leon Fleisher. He has toured North America as an accompanist for Columbia Artists Management and been featured as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Kansas, California and Texas. Mr. Morley is on the Master Artists roster of the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society and has served as CCPAS Vice President. In addition to his position as Director of Worship and Music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette, Mr. Morley teaches private lessons and continues freelance playing work as a collaborative pianist as well as in solo and two-piano genres in the Bay Area and beyond. He has performed several times in benefits for the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing organization and for the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra. In May 2018 Mr. Morley will be the featured soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra.
Samantha Rose, Vocalist
Samantha Rose is a prominent Bay Area musical theatre actress and is thrilled to make her debut with Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Most recently seen as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Bay Area Musicals) and the title role in No, No Nanette (42nd Street Moon). Other favorite roles include: Maria (West Side Story, Broadway By the Bay), Nina (In The Heights, Broadway By the Bay), Ariel (The Little Mermaid, CMT Marquee Productions), Olive Ostrovsky (The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Hillbarn), Emily Webb (Our Town, Foothill), Mallory/Avril (City of Angels, SF Playhouse), Anne Dindon (La Cage Aux Folles, SF Playhouse), and Heather Duke (Heathers: The Musical, Ray of Light Theatre). Endless love to family and friends who support her dreams and to YOU who are here today!
Susan Waller, Flute
Susan Waller, flute, performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for twenty-five years (including more than 870 performances of the Nutcracker) and appears throughout northern California in solo and chamber music recitals. She has enjoyed performing in the pit of the Curran, Golden Gate, and Orpheum Theaters in San Francisco in productions of Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Damn Yankees, Carousel, Show Boat, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, and Titanic. She has soloed with the Toledo, Napa, Modesto, and Diablo Symphonies, and previously with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. She was a member of the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, 1981–2002. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in addition to a Master of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Case Western Reserve University. During 1994–96, she served as Secretary of the National Flute Association and was a featured performer at the NFA Conventions in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. She lives in San Ramon with her husband Roger and two cats, Attila and Bernie.