Elizabeth Fayette is the first violinist of the Vega Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at Emory University. She has been praised by the New York Times for her "alluring, lustrous sound and seasoned virtuosity" and made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra and conductor Alan Gilbert. With the Vega Quartet she has performed across North America, including in Alaska and Mexico, and a recent tour of Europe included recitals across Denmark as well as at Amsterdam's famed Concertgebouw.
Prior to joining the Vega Quartet, Ms. Fayette completed her studies with Sylvia Rosenberg in the Juilliard School's esteemed Artist Diploma program, held a two-year fellowship with Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW) and was a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and School.
Celebrated for a "tone like toasted caramel. Amazing" (Musical Toronto), Eric Wong is the violist of the Cavani String Quartet. He was also a member of the JUNO-nominated Afiara Quartet and the Linden String Quartet, first prize winners of the Fischoff, Coleman, and Concert Artist Guild competitions. In addition to his work as a performer, Mr. Wong is an accomplished educator and has been artist-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Yale University and he is currently an artist-clinician for D'Addario Orchestral Strings.
He received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from CIM, studying violin with Paul Kantor and viola with Kirsten Docter and Lynne Ramsey. He subsequently earned an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music where he worked with Kazuhide Isomura. Other influential coaches and mentors have included Peter Salaff and the Cavani and Tokyo Quartets. Off the clock, Mr. Wong enjoys cooking and classic television.
Fitz Gary picked up the viola at the age of ten in the public school system. With the guidance of great teachers, a hearty stab at those 10,000 hours, and some luck, Fitz found himself sawing away with like-minded peers at the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Selected as a 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholar, he went on to study with Barbara Westphal at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck, Germany, and performed with the Grammy-Award-winning NDR Sinfonieorchester (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg as a member of their Academy. Fitz is a freelance musician and has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and a smattering others.
Praised for his "superb artistry and beautiful sound", cellist Max Geissler is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Rice University under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig. Currently, Max serves as the cellist of the mixed instrumentation new music ensemble Latitude 49 and is a highly sought-after chamber collaborator and educator. Before his studies at Rice, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan working with Richard Aaron. Previous mentors of his have also included Catherine Lehr-Ramos of the Saint Louis Symphony and Michel Strauss during a semester of study abroad in Paris.
As an enthusiastic educator, Max runs a private teaching studio in Houston, where he has helped prepare many high school students to go on to college music programs. Max has frequently worked with top level college students as a result of his experience as Desmond Hoebig's teaching assistant. He is additionally an in-demand masterclass clinician, having given classes at schools such as SUNY Fredonia, Baylor University, and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Max spends his summers on faculty at ENCORE Chamber Music in Cleveland, working closely with aspiring cellists and performing alongside good friends and colleagues.
Max is a passionate advocate of the chamber music literature and takes any opportunity he can to excitedly share it with audiences. He has performed alongside and collaborated with Jon Kimura Parker, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver, Brian Connelly, Desmond Hoebig, James Dunham, Timothy Pitts, and Benjamin Kamins. He has performed regularly as a part of the new music organization MUSIQA in Houston, as well as alongside Brian Connelly on his chamber music series, Music in Context. Max is currently the Artistic Director for Kalmia Gardens Chamber Music, a summer chamber festival hosted in a farmhouse in Durham, Connecticut, as well as a regular performer at the Geneva Music Festival. In addition to these festivals, Max has appeared as a Young Artist at La Jolla SummerFest, and performed as a part of the Taipei Music Festival in Taiwan.
Melissa Brun is a professional cellist and freelance teaching artist, holding a BM and PC from Purchase College Conservatory. She is currently on faculty at Millersville University, teaches cello at Waldron Mercy Academy, and hosts her own private studio. She is a founding member of the chamber-folk sextet, The Sound Accord, with whom she has toured and presented at various national conferences, and a new member of Irish trio, Maggie's Boots, who plays frequently in the Philadelphia area. Recently, she has also taken on a managerial role for the Chester County Youth Orchestra.
Also an avid pit musician, Melissa has performed at various professional theaters in the Philadelphia region, including the Walnut Street Theater and the Fulton Opera House. She has also played with several Broadway touring companies (Cinderella, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Matilda) and has soloed with Broadway stars, Kristin Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff.
As Head of the Preschool Theater Department at the West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts, Melissa frequently directs and choreographs glee clubs and performance-based summer camps, both at the preschool and elementary level. She is also in the process of co-writing, composing, and acting in an interactive musical designed for children age 4-7, of which Karl (the cello!) plays a leading character.
Melissa lives in Phoenixville, PA, with her husband, Chris, two cats, and Karl the Cello.
Nicole Melki is Founder and Director of Ubuntu Music Project, a strings program for underserved students in Dallas. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Southern Nazarene University and a Masters in Social Justice from Southern Methodist University. Nicole is passionate about equipping educators with the tools they need in order to make the greatest impact in the classroom. In addition to teaching, she also performs as a section violinist with several regional orchestras in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.