Michèle Sharik is an internationally-renowned handbell soloist, having performed in 39 US states and nine countries. A visual as well as musical performer, she combines the fluid grace of a dancer, the musicality of a virtuoso, and the precision of an athlete to perform on this demanding instrument. Michèle has been a member of the professional Sonos Handbell Ensemble since 2002 and is the founding Artistic Director of Timbré, an advanced small ensemble. She designed and is the Master Teacher of the Handbell Techniques curriculum for Handbell Musicians of America's certification program. In addition to degrees in computer programming, visual and performing arts, and music technology, she has a master's certificate in Performing Arts Medicine and is a fervent "evangelist" for safe ringing techniques. She is looking forward to performing again for the Palomar College Concert Hour.
A leading American koto performer in the traditional and jazz arenas, Reiko Obata studied under masters in the U.S. and Japan, including composer and koto virtuoso Shinichi Yuize. Reiko received her master's degree in music from San Diego State University and daishihan (grandmaster) degree from the Seiha Conservatory of Japanese Music. She is founder and director of the Obata International Koto School, the first online distance learning koto school.
With over 20 years of musical experience, Eric has deeply committed himself to preserving the art of Historical Performance Practice by playing music from the 16th through 19th centuries on historical instruments. He currently performs concerts, nationally, on the Baroque and Romantic guitar as well as the Baroque and Renaissance lute.
Stephen Porter has performed internationally as a soloist at venues that include the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama in Sweden, the Sala Villa-Lobos at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Albert Long Hall in Istanbul, LSO St. Luke’s with the Amadeus Orchestra of London, Sarajevo as the featured soloist of the Bosnia International Music Festival, the Malmö Academy of Music in Sweden, and the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, Italy. He has been a four-time artist resident of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Texas A&M University-Central Texas.
Eric Dickerson is a Master of Music Performance from San Diego State University. After 4 years of dedicated study on the Classical guitar with San Diego legend, Fred Benedetti, Eric began his apprenticeship on the 11 and 13 string alto-guitar with world acclaimed virtuoso, Andreas Koch of Germany. Since completing his Graduate studies in 2020, Eric has continued his journey by studying the 13 course Baroque lute with Galant Lute Master, Vinicius Perez.
Peter Gach is a pianist of wide-ranging musical interests. His repertoire extends from the complete Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol. II of JS Bach, to contemporary works written especially for him. He has premiered works by SoCal composers Benjamin Krause, Norm Weston, William C. Bradbury, Madelyn Byrne among others and actively commissions new music for the piano. Performances of works by many of these composers are featured in the CD ‘Fresh Piano’ he has recorded for the Innova label. Gach has also recorded the music of Chopin and Scott Joplin. He is also known for his engaging and informative lecture-recitals.
Concert pianist Vania Pimentel, born and raised in Brazil, has been promoting Brazilian music in creative recital programs. She has a BA in Music and another BA in Philosophy from Brazil, KA graduate artist diploma from Germany, Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, and DMA from the University of Houston. Her doctoral dissertation was on Brazilian toccatas, and her CD “Brazilian Toccatas and Toccatinas” was praised by the Brazilian Academy of Music and newspaper critics in Rio de Janeiro.
Saxophonist and conductor Andrew R. Steinberg has been recognized for his “beautiful tone” as well as his “astute and refined leadership” throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. As an Aaron Copland Fund for Music grantee, Dr. Steinberg has commissioned over a dozen works for saxophone and has premiered countless more for the instrument.
Zac Sokolow plays banjo and fiddle and sings, playing a combination of old ballads, gospel songs, fiddle tunes and banjo instrumentals. Coming from a family of musicians, Zac grew up playing music from an early age. He started out performing with his father Fred Sokolow as a child, and has since toured around the world playing with The Americans, and with fellow California old time musician Frank Fairfield.