Nathan Lambert (Concertmaster) is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Berry College in Rome, Georgia and the Associate Conductor and violinist with the Rome Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Lambert has previously held teaching positions at Fort Lewis College, William Carey University, The University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Memphis, Conservatory Music in the Mountains, the Curry Summer Music Camp, and the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. He has also served as Assistant Conductor and Concertmaster for the San Juan Symphony, violinist for the Red Shoe Trio, and Music Director for the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra and the NAU Academy Orchestra. He has performed as a violinist with the Rome, San Juan, Flagstaff, Meridian, and Knoxville symphony orchestras and with the Chamber Players of the South. Lambert is also an active clinician having worked with youth and school orchestras in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. He has also presented at the Tennessee Music Educators Conference and will be giving a presentation on conducting technique at the Georgia Music Educators Conference in January 2015.
Dr. Lambert is also an accomplished jazz and commercial musician. As a founding member of the Belmont Jazz String Septet, this unique ensemble received top honors at the 2002 Louisville Jazz Festival and performed with great acclaim at the 2003 and 2005 American String Teachers Association National Conference. He has also spent countless hours in Nashville recording studios as a violin/fiddle player, arranger, and producer.
Lambert has performed at numerous venues across the United States and China and as part of the Alexander Murray Recital Series, the Durango Bach Festival, and the Durango Chamber Music Festival. Notable artists with whom he has performed include Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Brenda Lee, and Vasti Jackson. Lambert’s conducting mentors include Jay Dean, Darko Butorac, Kraig Williams, Pu-Qui Jiang, Nicholas Ross, and Robert Gregg. He has studied violin and chamber music with Elizabeth Small, Soh-Hyun Park Altino, Earl Carlyss, Steven Redfield, Melissa Allen, and renowned jazz violinists and pedagogues, Martin Norgaard and Tracy Silverman. Lambert’s doctoral dissertation focuses on the solving of gestural issues found in Beethoven’s symphonies, and his research interests include conducting technique, classical and jazz string performance and pedagogy, and jazz-influenced orchestral, chamber, and violin works. He is a native of East Tennessee and is a strong advocate for orchestra programs in schools and communities.
Learn more about Nathan at his Berry faculty profile.
Samantha Lester (Principal Viola), who grew up in Georgia, received her B.A. in Music at Columbus State University. She currently has a thriving studio close to downtown Rome called Miss Sam’s Suzuki Studio where she teaches violin and viola to anyone age 3-100. She and her husband, Joe, have recently started the Rome Youth Symphony Orchestra in order give the young string players in the area an outlet for musical endeavors with peers. RYSO is not just for string players, however. Any orchestral instrument is welcome.
Samantha is also an active performing musician playing with many regional symphonies including Rome Symphony, Chamber Players of the South (Rome), Blue Mountain Chamber Players (Rome), Carroll Symphony (Carrollton), and Huntsville Symphony (Huntsville AL). Samantha, her husband Joe and their son Zack are relatively new to the Rome area, but have truly fallen in love with it’s cultural richness and plan on spending many more years trying to add to that as best they can.
Annie Camp (Principal Cello) a Georgia native, received her B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School in New York. Ms. Camp is string director at Darlington School, Rome, GA as well as cello instructor at Berry College and Lee University. She is mother of two children. She says that teaching has been a Godsend in that it has not only made her a better cellist but has deepened her humanity. “It requires one to continually have to reach within and find new reserves of energy and enthusiasm, and many ways of communicating. In order to be a good teacher, you must teach in a context of empathy and sincerity, and I find this a very meaningful challenge to try and create day to day.”
A native of Wisconsin, Eric Hanson was an active performer in southeast Wisconsin as well as a regular substitute with the Milwaukee Symphony working with Lucas Foss, Zdenek Macal, and Sergui Comissiona, moving to the Alabama to become the Principal Bassist of the Huntsville Symphony in 1993. A year later he also became a member of the Chattanooga Symphony where he performed until 2012. Currently, he performs regularly with the Rome, Bryan, Carroll and Huntsville symphonies along with regularly travelling to Nashville for recording sessions. He is an active teacher holding positions at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Cadek Conservatory, Dalton State College, and Berry College where his teaching duties include Applied Double Bass, Applied Violoncello, and Music Appreciation. He holds a B.M. degree from Kennesaw State University, M.M. from the University of Georgia, and recently completed his D.M.A. at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. His non-musical interests include cooking, making wine, and going for hikes in the woods with his wife, Ellie Jenkins, and their three dogs, Bailey, Bristle, and Jessie.
John Davis (Co-Principal Flute) is Professor of Music at Berry College in Rome, Georgia and holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from San Francisco State University and a D.M.A. from the University of Arizona. Dr. Davis has been a member of the Rome Symphony Orchestra since 1997 and has also been a long-time member of several orchestras and chamber ensembles in the U.S. His arrangements and compositions for woodwind ensemble have been recorded and performed at venues worldwide.
Susan Davis (Co-Principal Flute) received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degree in flute performance from San Francisco State University, and an Education Specialist Degree from Berry College. A native of California, Susan has performed extensively as a soloist and with orchestras and chamber ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tucson, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Susan has also performed in flute master classes for Julius baker and Jeannie Baxtresser of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Lloyd of the London Symphony, and jazz flutist, Hubert Laws and at the National Flute Association Convention. As a resident of Rome, Georgia for the past twenty years, Susan has performed with the Rome Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Players of the South, Shorter University Musical Theater, Darlington Upper School Musical Theater, Desoto Musical Theater, Clock Tower Jazz Ensemble, Dogwood Ensemble, and Expedition Winds. Susan is a Music Specialist for Rome City Schools and an adjunct flute instructor at Georgia Highlands College. Susan and husband, John (co-principal flutist) have tow wonderful and talented teenage boys, Evan and Andrew, three dogs and one cat.
John Reams (Principal Clarinet) is Assistant Professor of Woodwinds at Shorter University and is Chair of the departments of Music and Theatre. In addition to the Rome Symphony Orchestra, he is also principal clarinetist with the North Charleston Pops Orchestra in North Charleston, SC.
He has recently held positions with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. Other previous positions include the Midland-Odessa Symphony (TX), Abilene Philharmonic, Peoria Symphony (IL), Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Reams has been a featured soloist throughout Texas, Georgia, Illinois and South Carolina. Recent appearances include performances with the Balkan String Quartet and a Canadian tour with Trio Roma. He has recorded for labels including Centaur and Albany Records.
Dr. Reams holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, Florida State University, and the University of Illinois. He lives in Rome, GA with his wife Lisa, and two children Abigail and Michael.
Eryn Oft, Principal Bassoon
Information forthcoming soon.
David McCurley (Principal Horn) was born in and has lived most of his life in Cherokee County, Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University, studying horn with the renowned horn pedagogue Dr. William Capps. David has also studied privately with other teachers in the Atlanta area including Brice Andrus, Principal Horn of the ASO and Thomas Witte, the long time second horn of the ASO. In addition to the Rome Symphony, he performs with other orchestras and chamber ensembles in the metro Atlanta area and regularly performs as a member of a church orchestra. David is the father of three Horn playing children, two of which have pursued music and Horn to the University level. He lives in Woodstock with his Horn tolerant wife, Valerie.
Adam Hayes (Principal Trumpet) is Artist-in-Residence and Assistant Professor of Music at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. An internationally recognized performer and educator, Adam has performed throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, including appearances with over 40 orchestras throughout the world. He has three feature solo albums released internationally. Adam holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music from the University of New Mexico, and a Bachelor of Music from The University of Georgia. He is an artist/clinician for Eastman-Shires Trumpets.
Dr. Carl McCurdy (Assistant Principal Trumpet) is a Family Physician in Jasper and a graduate of Shorter College and the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He is currently Principal Trumpet of the Georgia Philharmonic and Eb Soprano Cornet of the Roman Festival Brass, and has played with many area ensembles including the Chattanooga Jericho Brass, the Georgia Brass, the Atlanta Wind Symphony, Orchestra Atlanta, and the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra.
Anthony Avitollo (Principal Trombone) is a graduate of both the Pennsylvania State University (B.S. Music Education) and the University of Akron (M.M. Brass Performance). He has been teaching privately for thirteen years, and has been Adjunct Faculty of Low Brass at Shorter University since moving to Rome in 2010. Mr. Avitollo was also a band director in Phoenix, AZ elementary and middle schools for four years. His teachers include Tucker Jolly, Edward Zadrozny, Mark Lusk, Marty Erickson, and Patrick Sheridan. Anthony is an active performer on both trombone and euphonium.
In addition to the Rome Symphony, he also performs with Chattanooga Symphony, the Northwest Georgia Winds, the Clock Tower Jazz Ensemble, and the Chamber Players of the South. He has also performed with The Irish Tenors, Bernadette Peters, Toni Tennille, Erie Philharmonic, Altoona Symphony, South Jersey Symphony, Arizona Theater Company, Salt River Brass Band, and the national touring company of Fiddler on the Roof. Anthony is also a featured soloist with the Cuyahoga Valley Brass Band on their CD, Around the World.
Chris Hosmer (Principal Tuba) has been teaching tuba and euphonium with Jacksonville State University since 1996. He also teaches Introduction to Music online, Technology of Music, and coaches the tuba/euphonium ensembles and brass quintets.
He currently performs as principal tuba with the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra and the Rome (GA) Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly with the JSU Brass Quintet and is a freelance musician. Mr. Hosmer has performed with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Owensboro, Kentucky. He has appeared as a soloist with the JSU Community Orchestra, the Parsippany High School Concert Band in Parsippany, New Jersey, and with the Emma Sansom High School Band at the 2006 AMEA Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Mr. Hosmer received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Jacksonville State University, earned a Master of Music in tuba performance from Indiana University, and has earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Systems and Software Design from Jacksonville State University. He has studied tuba principally with Dr. Harvey Phillips, Dan Perantoni, Dr. James E. Roberts.
Mr. Hosmer’s varied professional experience also includes being an active composer/arranger. He has had several of his compositions performed by the Indiana University Tuba Quartet, Indiana University Tuba Ensemble, Jacksonville State Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Jacksonville State Symphony Orchestra, and the Etowah Youth Symphony. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in Rome, Georgia as well as in Red Bank, New Jersey. He is currently the Webmaster for the Music Department Web Site.
Kim Brackett, Principal Timpani/Percussion
Kim Brackett began playing in a professional symphony in Massachusetts her sophomore year in high school at the age of 14, and has enjoyed working as a percussionist during the many years since. She earned a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree cum laude, with a percussion major from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst concurrent with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Zoology, magna cum laude. Her principle percussion instructor was Dr. Peter Tanner. She also studied timpani with Harvey Biskin of the San Antonio, Texas and Chautauqua, New York symphonies. Additional instructors include Tito Puente (Latin percussion), Lee Howard Stevens (marimba), Max Roach (African percussion and drum set), and Frederick Fennell (bass drum and wind ensemble percussion). Kim has been a member of the Rome Symphony Orchestra since 1994, when she moved to Georgia, and has been the principle timpanist since the retirement of Tracy Tyler. Kim is also an active member of the Northwest Georgia Wind Ensemble, and Chamber P.O.T.S. (Chamber Players of the South). She was a founding member of the Roman Festival Brass band and played in the 8th Regimental Brass Band for 17 years. She especially enjoys playing in pit orchestras for operas, ballets, and musical theater productions. Kim also performs frequently with Dr. Martha Shaw’s Spivey Choirs in Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. She is married to veterinarian, Dr. Neal Brackett, and has three sons.
Kris Carlisle (Principal Piano) received his training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Claremont Graduate University. He has studied with such noted artists as Louanne Long, Mack McCray, Lita Guerra, and Susan Svrcek. He has been the winner of many competitions and the recipient of various awards including: the Martha Fischer-Tye Foundation Award; as Special Achievement in Musicology Sward from the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; and a Georgia Music Teachers Steinway Piano Galleries Educator Grant. Specializing in contemporary music, Dr. Carlisle is currently promoting his latest album with Eastman Trumpet Artist, Adam Hayes. The album “Current” is a collection of contemporary works for piano and trumpet. This collaborative album features innovative compositions for trumpet and piano and is distributed internationally by Curvepoint Media. Along with soprano Dina Cancryn, Dr. Carlisle has served as Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts n Banff, Canada exposing audiences to the works of contemporary American composers. His recording project, “The American Evolution” explores the ways in which contemporary American composers have used traditional compositional genres while incorporating contemporary musical language. Dr. Carlisle is Director of Music Programs at Berry College, Rome, GA.