Over the years, ACP has enjoyed collaborating with a number of fine musicians. This page honors former members and guest artists!
David Ballena, ACP member 2008-2013
A native of Peru, David Ballena (Piano) received his early training at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima. In 1997, he came to the United States. In 2011, he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts dregree from the University of Maryland, where he studied with Rita Sloan. Dr. Ballena has participated in several music festivals in South America, Israel and the United States; among them, the Young Musical Artists Association Festival, the Tel Hai International Master Classes, the Sewanee Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Dr. Ballena made his Carnegie Hall debut in the Spring of 2008. Other recent performances include the Aspen Music Festival’s Festival of Tangos at the Benedict Music Tent and performances at the Harris Concert Hall and Wheeler Opera House, the American Piano Festival and Happy Birthday Mozart at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a benefit for Opera Lafayette at La Maison Française in Washington, DC, the Friday Noon Concert Series at the Arts Club of Washington, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima, the Comstock Concert, the University of Montana Recital Hall, the Monteabaro Recital Hall, and the Hallem Theatre.
Arvin Gopal, ACP member 2005-2008
Dr. Arvin Gopal (Viola), a native of Canada, received his DMA in viola performance at the University of Maryland where he studied with Daniel Foster of the National Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. Dr. Gopal was formerly principal violist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has played with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Gopal is now the principal violist in the Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais in Brazil.
Sayuri Itoya Johnson, ACP member 2004-2008, Co-Founder of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Connection
Founding member, Sayuri Itoya Johnson (Piano), spent her early years listening to her mother teach piano and started her own training at three, in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from the Toho Music College Preparatory School in 1987 and enrolled in The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston that same year. She studied piano under Gabriel Chodos and chamber music with Louis Krasner. In 1989 she performed in the Aspen Music Festival's Young Artist Concert. Her 1992 Tokyo concert received high acclaim. Sayuri received a Master's Degree in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory, where she studied piano with Patricia Zander and ensemble performance with Benjamin Zander. In 1995 she began the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Maryland, studying with Anne Koschelny and Raymond Hanson. Sayuri recenty moved to Seattle, Washington with her family.
Heidi Littman (French horn) was born in Sunnyvale, California and began her musical studies at the age of ten, studying French horn. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Heidi studied horn under Douglas Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in music performance. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Maryland-College Park and studied with Gregory Miller. She has participated in various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. Heidi regularly performs with the Great Noise Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble and the Annapolis Wind Symphony. She is an active freelance musician and teacher in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Daniel Sender, ACP member 2006-2009 Daniel Sender (violin) is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Maryland. Studying with David Salness and members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Daniel has performed as a chamber musician, recitalist and orchestral violinist throughout Europe, China, the United States and Canada. Daniel is a native of Philadelphia and holds a bachelors degree in music performance and education from Ithaca College as well as a Master of Music degree from the University of Maryland. Named a Presser Scholar by the Theodore Presser Foundation, Daniel was also a recipient of an Anna Sosenko Artist Grant. Daniel is first violinist of the Adelphi Quartet, recently named Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland School of Music. He plays in the Annapolis Symphony and has been a member of the Annapolis Chamber Players since 2006. Recent appearances include concerts at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, National Gallery and McDowell Hall at St. John's College.
Shelby Sender (Piano) is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Ithaca College, and a Master of Music degree at the University of Maryland. A student of Bradford Gowen, Shelby is active as a solo pianist and in demand as a collaborator as well. Shelby was recently featured as a student artist in the 2007 William Kapell International Piano Festival and as a soloist at the Arts Club of Washington. Recipient of the MTNA Star award and member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Society, Shelby has attended the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival and served on the staff at the Ithaca College Summer Piano Institute. She is also the regular accompanist for the Washington Youth Choir. In addition to performing, she is a private piano instructor for music minors and co-coordinator of the class piano program at the University of Maryland School of Music.
Kari Shea (Bassoon) has performed throughout the United States and Europe with such ensembles as the Forest Philharmonic in London, England, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera, the Maryland Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony and the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed on chamber concert series in France, Sweden and Nova Scotia and has served as a faculty member of Millikin University in Illinois and Frederick Community College. Kari holds degrees from the University of Illinois (D.M.A.), the State University of New York at Stony Brook (M.M.), and the University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.ed). In 2006, she received the Individual Artist Award for Solo Performance from the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to freelancing in the Baltimore-Washington area, she is currently on the faculty at Anne Arundel Community College and maintains an active teaching studio.
Dan Shomper, ACP member 2005-2009
Dan Shomper (cello) has been an active chamber musician for several years, performing with several groups over the past decade and participating in several chamber music festivals. He has collaborated with musicians such as Kenneth Slowik, Linda Mabbs and Chris Gekker. Dan has toured Eastern Europe as a member of various orchestras, giving performances in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague and Budapest. Dan has studied with members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets, as well as cellists such as Peter Wiley, Andre Emelianoff, Evelyn Elsing, and Tanya Remenikova. Locally, he performs with the Alexandria and Annapolis symphonies, and has given performances at the Washington Arts Club, the University of Maryland, the National Gallery of Art, Lisner Auditorium and the Kennedy Center. Dan received his DMA in cello performance at the University of Maryland in 2009.
Jessica Stitt (Piano) recently completed her Master of Music degree and is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Collaborative piano at the University of Maryland where she studies with Rita Sloan. She has recently spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival in the Collaborative Artist Program. Jessica also attended the University of Michigan where she studied piano with Logan Skelton and Douglas Humphreys and played violin in the Philharmonic Orchestra. While at Maryland, Jessica has been heavily involved with the Maryland Opera Studio appearing in many performances including Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Kirke Mechem’s The Newport Rivals, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She participates in multiple student recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the year and teaches piano in the Maryland and Northern Virginia area.
Dana Weiderhold, ACP Member 2008-2010
Dana (Violin) received her B.M in violin performance in 2004 from West Chester University, PA and her M.M. from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, in 2008. Ms. Weiderhold was concertmaster of the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra in addition to the WCU Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a featured soloist with both ensembles as well as the Newark Symphony Orchestra. While at Maryland, she served as a principal violinist in the orchestra and an active participant in the chamber music program. In May of 2008, Dana represented the university as a music ambassador to Venezuela providing private lessons and orchestral coaching to the students of "El Sistema." Previously, she performed with the Harrisburg Opera Association, Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra, and was a guest artist with the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble. Dana currently substitutes with the Annapolis, Pottstown, Lancaster, and Allentown Symphonies. Her teachers have included Sylvia Ahramjian, Simon Maurer, Michael Jamanis, James Stern, and Arnold Steinhardt and she has performed in master classes for Judith Ingolffsohn, Andrew Manze, the Guarneri String Quartet, the Colorado String Quartet, and the Lark String Quartet.Shirley Yoo, ACP member 2004-2009
Shirley Yoo (piano) has performed in several chamber ensembles at various festivals and appeared at the Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum as a part of Schubert’s bicentennial celebration. She has been coached regularly by members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets and participated in masterclasses with Marc Durand, Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski and Seymour Lipkin. In 2000, she was awarded a grant from the Presser Foundation to study abroad in London, England with Noretta Conci-Leech. Shirley graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree at Johns Hopkins University and received her Master of Music degree with highest honors at the University of Maryland on a fellowship. She attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Peabody Conservatory. A former faculty member in the Theory Department at Peabody, Shirley is now professor of piano at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA.