Wild Rumpus is a contemporary chamber music ensemble dedicated to performing the music of the present. Founded in San Francisco in 2011, the ensemble brings together stellar musicians who share a passion for risk-taking, collaboration, and working with living composers. The ensemble has commissioned thirty new works to date, showcasing premieres along- side new music that highlights shared threads of influence and inspiration. Praised as a “fresh young ensemble” by the Wall Street Journal, with performances praised as a “showcase of virtuosity and imagination” by San Francisco Classical Voice, Wild Rumpus hopes to challenge and delight audiences by revealing beauty in unexpected places and resonances that transcend boundaries of generation, geography, and genre.
|Bethanne Walker, flute
Sophie Huet, clarinet
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Mckenzie Camp, percussion
Ed Garcia, percussion
Giacomo Fiore, electric guitar
Margaret Halbig, piano
Mia Nardi-Huffman, violin
Joanne de Mars, cello
Eugene Theriault, bass
Vanessa Langer, soprano
Nathaniel Berman, conductor
Executive Director: Giacomo Fiore
Mckenzie Camp, Joanne de Mars, Vanessa Langer, Eugene Theriault, Dan VanHassel, Jen Wang
sophie at wildrumpusmusic.org
Known for her intensity and versatility in her performances and repertoire, flutist Bethanne Walker is dedicated to modern, orchestral, and historical performance practice. In the San Francisco Bay Area, she is an active performer as is the principal flutist of Stockton Symphony, and performs with the San Francisco Symphony, the Reno Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, among others. She is also the flutist of Wild Rumpus, and a member of HK&tCS; she has also performed with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Elevate Ensemble, Curious Flights; and has been featured on the Switchboard Presents, BAMM!, and the Berkeley Arts Festival concert series; and has performed on the Hot Air New Music Festival. She has also been featured on the Presidio Sessions Concert Series at the Presidio Officers’ Club, and has been a featured guest artist at 405 Shrader Concert Series.
A strong advocate of new music, she has given performances of over fifty world premieres. She has given premieres and has worked with composers including Mason Bates, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Kaija Saariaho, Gunther Schuller, and George Crumb. Walker was the William H. Grass Memorial Prize Winner of the 32nd Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition in Boston in 2012. She is a recipient of a fellowship at Music Academy of the West, the Kaplan Fellowship at Bowdoin International Music Festival, a full scholarship recipient at American Bach Soloists Academy, and a Historical Performance Fellowship Recipient of a full academic scholarship at Juilliard, among several others.
An active recording artist, she can be heard on Gunmar, Aeneid, Albany, and Golden Fetus recording labels, as well as independently produced albums. Walker maintains an exclusive private teaching studio, and teaches baroque flute through the Historical Performance Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has studied with Tim Day, Linda Toote, and Dr. Nancy Andrew, and with Sandra Miller and Stephen Schultz on baroque flute.
Sophie Huet is a clarinetist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. An avid proponent for new music, Sophie is a the clarinet and Development Director of Wild Rumpus. She has performed with New Spectrum Ensemble, the Magik*Magik Orchestra, and local indie rock band The Family Crest. She earned her Master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with Luis Baez and her BM in clarinet performance and BA in English at the University of Michigan, studying with Fred Ormand.
Trombonist and music educator Brendan Lai-Tong, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and is a lifelong appreciator of all things that create sound. He enjoys making music with a myriad of Bay Area ensembles spanning multiple genres including – classical, contemporary avant-garde, rock, jazz & reggae. Recently he has had the opportunity to perform with the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Opera San Jose, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, sfSound, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, ECO Ensemble and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Additionally, Brendan also enjoys imparting music education to future generations through the Oakland Symphony’s MUSE Program: a multi-component music education and enrichment initiative that serves young people at public schools and community sites throughout Oakland. Brendan studied trombone with Mark Lawrence, former principal trombonist of the San Francisco Symphony; and Tim Conner and Hugh Harbison, the principal and bass trombonists of the Florida Philharmonic. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM) and the University of Miami (BM).
Mckenzie Camp is a percussionist in San Francisco where she has played with leading bay area ensembles including the San Francisco Opera, Symphony Silicon Valley, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Chanticleer, and various percussion and brass ensembles. She is a member of Wild Rumpus and deirfiúr duo. She has worked with musicians and composers including Steve Reich, Steve Schick and the SFCMP, Glenn Kotche, Annie Gosfield, Bob Becker, and the Bang on a Can All Stars. She received her Bachelor of Music and a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with John Beck and Michael Burritt, and received her Masters in Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Jack Van Geem. She has performed all over the U.S. including at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and has attended and performed at summer festivals including the Bang On A Can Summer Festival, the MasterWorks Festival, and the Zeltsman Marimba Festival. Mckenzie grew up a farm girl on a vineyard near Bakersfield, CA, where she started playing music at the age of four. She currently teaches private piano and percussion lessons to many young musicians, and loves the outdoors, camping, and scuba diving.
Ed Garcia is a percussionist and composer who is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at UC Santa Cruz. He has performed in many different musical settings throughout the US and abroad, including rock bands, chamber music, orchestras, operas, musicals, and Indonesian gamelan. As a member of Wild Rumpus since 2013, Ed specializes in mallet percussion, drum set, and many forms of experimental percussion. Outside of Wild Rumpus, he has spent time performing percussion with the William Winant Percussion Group in the SF Bay Area and the New Century Players in Los Angeles. In addition, Ed is the artistic director of the contemporary gamelan group Gamelan X in Oakland and the traditional-contemporary gamelan group Mayang Sunda in Santa Cruz.
To learn more about Ed and his music, please visit his website, www.edgarciamusic.com.
Italian-born guitarist and musicologist Giacomo Fiore lives and works in San Francisco. He has performed in Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, and across the U.S., premiering nearly two dozen new works for justly-tuned, electric, and classical guitars. Giacomo has released four solo recordings, including his most recent iv: american electric guitars, which was awarded a Project Grant by New Music USA. As a scholar his research focuses on U.S. experimental music, intonation, and performance; he has published articles in JSAM, TEMPO, Classical Guitar, and the San Francisco Classical Voice. Giacomo is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Tangents Guitar Series, and he lectures at the San Francisco Conservatory, UCSC, and the University of San Francisco.
Pianist Margaret Halbig moved to the Bay Area in 2011 and joined the accompanying and vocal coaching staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. An advocate of new and contemporary music, Margaret has been the pianist for Wild Rumpus since its inception in 2011. Margaret is also a member of Frequency 49, a wind and piano chamber ensemble, which explores the interdependent relationship between color and sound unique to this combination of instruments. Margaret has been the pianist for Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco since 2014. She is also a coach/pianist for Chamber Music Silicon Valley as well as the Bay Area Vocal Academy working with colleagues Justin Montigne and Rhoslyn Jones to provide comprehensive vocal training to talented young singers across the Bay Area.
Margaret earned her DMA from the University of California Santa Barbara under the tutelage of Robert Koenig and also holds performance degrees from the University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory and University of Evansville, Indiana.
Violinist Mia Nardi-Huffman is quickly gaining recognition as a versatile and dynamic player of contemporary and chamber music in San Francisco. She is currently the recipient of both the Vincent Costatino and Sergei Barsukov Violin scholarships at the SF Conservatory of Music, where she is completing her Masters of Music under Bettina Mussumeli. In addition to Wild Rumpus, Mia has premiered many new works through Hot Air Music Festival, the BluePrint Series, and at Symphony Space in New York City. Mia was recently featured on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Financial Young Artists Showcase, and has been concertmaster of the SF Conservatory Orchestra for two years. Mia has studied with Shirley Givens and Akiko Silver, as well as chamber music with Mark Sokol and Yuval Waldman. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging about her favorite fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, on her site, The Widows of Culloden.
Joanne de Mars is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Jennifer Culp. Originally from Seattle, Joanne graduated from the University of Washington with her BA, BM, and BS. She has been a member of contemporary ensemble Wild Rumpus since 2012, and an active solo and chamber music performer since coming to the bay area. Joanne has a wide variety of interest in all styles of music, and has performed with jazz, pop, classical, and contemporary groups, including Butch Morris’s conduction ensemble, Kanye West, Vertigo Quartet, and Maestro Shajarian, Iranian singer and icon.
Bassist Eugene Theriault is a born and raised San Francisco native. He graduated with a B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory and an M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Scott Haigh and Steve Tramontozzi, respectively. The performance of new music has been a part of his life since high school and he continues to be a strong supporter of contemporary music, performing most recently with the San Francisco Conservatory’s New Music Ensemble, Opera Parallele, and the Berkeley Symphony. He currently works as a freelance performer and teacher in the Bay Area, and enjoys playing a wide range of musics.
Praised for her “flexible and multi-hued voice” (-San Francisco Classical Voice) and “enormous stage presence” (-New Classical LA), soprano Vanessa Langer, an active voice in the baroque and contemporary classical music scene, enjoys a close working relationship with emerging composers from around the world. Of her San Francisco New Music Gathering debut New Music Box extols: “I was literally and figuratively shaken by Vanessa Langer’s arresting performance of David Coll’s Position, influence for soprano and sound sculpture.” Supported by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Vanessa continues her collaboration with Coll in a new work <em”>Refuse Collection premiering in May 2017 at the Center for New Music and Crumb’s iconic Apparition with pianist Allegra Chapman. Collaborating with Wild Rumpus since 2013, Vanessa has originated new works including the San Francisco premiere of Fausto Romitelli’s opera Index of Metals and Dan Van Hassel’s Mission Ammonia commissioned by Chamber Music America. For more information please visit: www.vanessalanger.net
Conductor Nathaniel Berman maintains a diverse range of activities as a performer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. A faculty member at UC Santa Cruz since 2007, he is conductor of the UCSC Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble. Berman is Music Director of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony, and Assistant Conductor with Peninsula Symphony. He is the resident conductor of Wild Rumpus, with whom he has led numerous premieres since 2012. New music and interdisciplinary collaboration are particular interests for Berman, and he appears on composer Jenny Olivia Johnson’s Innova album Don’t Look Back with members of Bang on a Can All-Stars and Alarm Will Sound. He has premiered new pieces as guest conductor of the UC Santa Cruz Orchestra and Opera Theater, and will be premiering new commissioned works by Dan VanHassel and Jenny Olivia Johnson in May at UCSC. He has also appeared as a conductor in the April in Santa Cruz festival of new music, the Hot Air Festival at SF Conservatory, and as a conductor and trumpeter for puppet theater in San Francisco. Berman’s first instrument was trumpet, and he grew up playing duets with his dad, a jazz pianist and singer.
The music of composer and multi-instrumentalist Dan VanHassel (b. 1981) has been described as “energizing” (Wall Street Journal) and “an imaginative and rewarding soundscape” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Recent performances include the Talea Ensemble at the MATA Festival, the International Computer Music Conference, Shanghai Conservatory Electronic Music Week, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, UC Davis Music and Words Festival, and the Wellesley Composers Conference. Dan is a founding member and artistic director of contemporary chamber ensemble Wild Rumpus in San Francisco. Currently residing in Boston, Dan has degrees from the University of California-Berkeley, New England Conservatory, and Carnegie Mellon University.
Jen Wang’s work has been featured at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Other Minds Festival (Composer Fellowship program), the Bang On A Can Summer Institute, the International Computer Music Conference, the California EAR Unit Residency at Arcosanti, and the MusicX Festival. Her past commissions include works for Talea, Rootstock, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Iktus Percussion Quartet, the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, flutist Janet McKay, and carillonist Tiffany Ng; she has also been performed by Gloria Cheng, Lucy Shelton, the California EAR Unit, Onix Ensamble, the Eco Ensemble, and the percussion ensembles of Mannes College and the University of California, Davis. Jen is the recipient of a Staubach Honorarium from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, where she was a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and the Millay Colony of the Arts, where she was a Robert W. Simpson Fellow. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.) and Carleton College (B.A.). Currently, Jen is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has been awarded the Eisner Award in Music, the Nicola de Lorenzo Prize, and the William V. Power Graduate Award.