Ramon Ricker is Director of the Institute for Music Leadership, Senior Associate Dean of Professional Studies, and Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School. In addition to a career as performing artist and studio teacher, he also directs the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program. Dr. Ricker received a bachelor of music education degree in clarinet from the University of Denver, a master of music degree in woodwind performance from Michigan State University, and a doctor of musical arts degree in music education and clarinet from the Eastman School. He has been a full-time Eastman faculty member since 1972, and for nine years served as the chair of the Department of Winds, Brass and Percussion (1989-98). His association with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) first began as a clarinet soloist in 1972 and in 1973 he won a position in the RPO as a member of the clarinet section. He continues to play in, and occasionally conduct, the orchestra today. He often is a featured saxophone and clarinet soloist and chamber musician in venues throughout Europe and North America. His books on jazz improvisation and saxophone technique as well as many of his compositions are viewed as standards in the field with over 130,000 copies sold worldwide and translations in French and Japanese.
Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians: shortbeachwebdesign.com. Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.
Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee, Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong. He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras.
Steve Danyew is a composer, saxophonist, teacher, and arts administrator based in Rochester, NY. Danyew composes works for chamber ensembles, large instrumental ensembles, choirs and more, and currently serves as Managing Editor of Polyphonic.org. His music has been hailed as “startlingly beautiful” and “undeniably well crafted and communicative” by the Miami Herald, and has been praised as possessing “sensitivity, skill and tremendous sophistication” by the Kansas City Independent. Steve received a B.M. cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds an M.M. in Composition and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music.
Michael Reed is a marketer, web designer, video producer, tech savvy musician, and Arts Leadership Program instructor who teaches musicians how to incorporate technology into their brand. Michael holds a bachelors degree in Music Business and is a 2015 MBA candidate at the Simon Business School, University of Rochester. As the Assistant Director of the Center for Music Innovation and Engagement at the Eastman School of Music, Michael leads a team in the development and marketing of all online music theory courses (eTheory) for ESM’s Institute for Music Leadership.
Kristijan has a Masters and Bachelors of Music Performance in bassoon from Ithaca College, where he studied with Lee Goodhew Romm. He has also worked as an administrator at the University of Rochester Medical Center while continuing private bassoon studies, and has past experience as a private bassoon teacher, concert manager’s assistant and assisting students with learning music theory and piano.