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West Point Band : Ensemble_AW5

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Academy Wind Quintet
About the Academy Wind Quintet  ¦  Individual Member Biographies

The Academy Wind Quintet presents a varied and colorful program AWQ Small.jpg
of virtuoso chamber music for winds, featuring repertoire ranging from the late eighteenth century courts of Europe to the contemporary masters of the twentieth century.​​​

This ensemble comprises players from within the West Point Concert Band and carries on the great tradition of woodwind playing that has existed at West Point since 1815. The members of the quintet are committed to bringing a wide variety of musical styles to their programs, including turn-of-the-century waltzes, popular music and educational works like Peter and the Wolf.

The Academy Wind Quintet performs music for official military functions, social occasions, formal concerts, public service and educational youth clinics and concerts.

Individual Member Biographies

  
  
Biography
Staff Sgt. Briana Lehman
Bassoon
Staff Sgt. Briana Lehman is in her first year serving as the principal bassoonist of the West Point Band. Before joining the band, she was enrolled in the artist diploma program at Oberlin College, studying with George Sakakeeny. She completed undergraduate studies at Rice University, where she studied with Benjamin Kamins, and also attended the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, studying with Richard Beene. Staff Sgt. Lehman has participated in festivals at the Music Academy of the West, Round Top Festival-Institute, and Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival. She has played as a substitute musician with the Houston Symphony and the New World Symphony.
 
Staff Sgt. Torin Olsen
Flute
Staff Sergeant Torin Olsen joined the West Point Band in April of 2010.  In 2001, he received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California where he studied with Jim Walker, an alumnus of the West Point Band. Prior to earning his Master of Music from Duquesne University under the tutelage of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra flutist Damian Bursill-Hall in 2006, he studied under Robert Langevin and Geralyn Coticone. Before arriving at West Point, Staff Sgt. Olsen performed with the Warren Philharmonic, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, W.D. Packard Concert Band, and McKeesport Symphony Orchestra. He gave the world premier of Todd Goodman’s Echos, a concerto for piccolo and orchestra, with the McKeesport Symphony in 2007. An avid chamber musician, Staff Sgt. Olsen was a founding member of Zephyrs, a Pittsburgh based woodwind quintet, and along with his flutist wife, Brianne, formed the chamber group "The Olsen Duo."
 
Staff Sgt. Sam Ross
Clarinet
Staff Sergeant Sam Ross joined the West Point Band in September of 2012. Originally from Russellville, Arkansas, Staff Sgt. Ross earned his Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Arkansas, where he studied with Nophachai Cholthitchanta, and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas, where he studied with John Scott and Daryl Coad. While at North Texas, Staff Sgt. Ross performed with and recorded multiple CDs with the North Texas Wind Symphony. Following his M.M., he began studies with Greg Raden, principal clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

In 2011, Staff Sgt. Ross won third prize in the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition in Northridge, CA. He attended the Hot Springs Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Round Top Festival Institute, and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony, Victoria (TX) Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, Ft. Smith Symphony, and Lone Star Wind Orchestra. He has also studied with Yehuda Gilad, Steve Cohen, and Anthony Taylor, and has performed in master classes for Jon Manasse, Daniel Gilbert, Fred Ormand, and Frank Kowalsky. Staff Sgt. Ross is the E-flat clarinetist in the Concert Band and performs with the Academy Wind Quintet.
 
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Smith
Horn
Sergeant First Class Matthew B. Smith, originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, joined the West Point Band in September of 2010. Sgt. 1st Class Smith received his Bachelor of Music in horn performance from Arizona State University (2001), and then pursued graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Louisville. Sgt. 1st Class Smith's principal teachers include Thomas Bacon, William Lane, Randy Gardner, Duane Dugger and Bruce Heim. Prior to joining the West Point Band, Sgt. 1st Class spent three years with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band at Fort Monroe, VA. While with the TRADOC Band, he performed in brass quintet and concert band, and served as Chief Audio Engineer.  Sgt. 1st Class Smith has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Richmond (VA) Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic and Louisville Orchestras.
 
Staff Sgt. Natalie Wren
Oboe
Staff Sergeant Natalie Wren joined the West Point Band in February 2014 after graduating from basic training Fort Jackson, SC. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Music from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, and she holds a Master of Music in Oboe Performance from the University of Cincinnati CCM and a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from Furman University in Greenville, SC. In 2007, Natalie studied oboe performance at the Conservatoire de Versailles in France. Her teachers have included Petrea Warneck, Mark Ostoich, Christopher Philpotts, Dwight Parry and Pascal Saumon.

Since 2009, Natalie has held teaching positions throughout the greater Cincinnati area, including the Indian Springs Academy of Music and CCM as oboe graduate assistant. From 2012, Natalie was Oboe Adjunct Instructor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She has given master classes and guest lectures at several universities including Xavier University, the University of Louisville, Furman University, and the University of Cincinnati.

Natalie performs extensively as an orchestral and chamber musician. From 2011 to 2013, Natalie held the position of 2nd Oboe/English horn with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, in Indiana. She has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, South Carolina Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Anderson Symphony Orchestra, Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, Carolina Pops Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Sinfonietta. Additionally, she worked as a studio-recording artist for Monastery Records in Cincinnati, OH. She has attended festivals including the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, CCM-Spoleto Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival. Natalie has given recitals throughout the United States, and she has made solo appearances in Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Natalie was a featured soloist with the Furman Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and the Youth American Debut Orchestra in 2013.
 
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