Quintet Ascension &
The Kentucky Warblers Piano Trio
About the Musicians
Robert Hicks is a violinist, pianist and conductor. He has played in various orchestras around the country including the Chattanooga, Walla Walla, Salina and Grand Junction Symphony Orchestras and co-conducted the Keweenaw Youth Symphony in Michigan. He has served as Organist and Choral Director for a number of churches and schools and is currently Music Director at South Congregational Church in Newport, New Hampshire.
Ariel Arwen has roots in a musical Chicago family, sister of cellist Hamilton Cheifetz, cellist of the Florestan Trio (in-residence at Portland State University) and daughter of violinist Evelyn Kahn Cheifetz. Evelyn’s instrument and bow were fully restored this past summer and Ariel is moved to be reunited with her mother in this unique way. While living in Chicago, Ariel played in a piano trio and studied with Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky. Now living in Vermont, Ariel is thrilled to be playing with Quintet Ascension, the Kentucky Warblers Piano Trio and the Bach Study Group under the inspired direction of Mark Nelson.
Chandler Harris is a violist who first crossed paths with his instrument in 1983 as a young violinist with the Hanover High string program. That group’s principal violist had graduated, and Chandler was asked to replace her. The sonorous tones of his newly adopted instrument, and its greater heft and size relative to the violin, appealed to him. Over the course of that year – and many that have followed – Chandler has participated in various ensembles, always on viola. His musical credits include the Redwood Symphony, the South Royalton Players and the Vermont Philharmonic. The delight that comes from collaborating with other musicians is what attracted Chandler to Quintet Ascension. The group’s efforts to broaden itself musically continue to challenge and motivate him.
Joel Teenyanoff began cello studies as a youthful Bronx Warbler with Manuel Silberberg, a student of David Wells (who later founded Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney, Vermont). As a Vermonter, Joel trained with Damian Sokol and Mimi Hwang. More recently, Joel endeavored to learn all Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach with Benjamin Kulp at Upper Valley Music Center. As a long-time cellist in the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra under Efrain Guigui and Anthony Princiotti, Joel had the opportunity to perform with Leon Spierer (Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster) and under the direction of James Yannatos (Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra). Currently, Joel is principal cellist with the Upper Valley Chamber Orchestra.
Sarah Damron-Brown received her Bachelors in piano performance from Morehead State University where she studied with Larry Keenan. Sarah attained a Masters of pedagogy, piano performance from Vanderbilt under the tutelage of Enid Katahn, and PhD in Musicology and Piano performance from Boston University with Bela Nagy. She has since taught piano in various colleges in Nashville and Boston including Atlantic Union College while simultaneously operating her own music school.
In addition to solo performances, Sarah has performed Gershwin’s Concerto in F for piano – live radio broadcast with the Morehead State Orchestra, Ravel Piano Concerto with Nashville Symphony, Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 with Boston Orchestra, and recently Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Upper Valley Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed with various chamber music groups, including Boston based MOSABA. While pursuing her performance career Sarah received a Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. As an ordained pastor, Sarah has conducted various choirs, establishing music programs in churches while performing piano and organ. She currently teaches at her own piano studio in Thetford, VT while performing with the Kentucky Warblers Piano Trio and Quintet Ascension. Sarah is also music minister at Monroe Methodist Church in Monroe, NH.