Melanie Ditter grew up in Brooklyn Park, MN. She attended school at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she studied horn with Caroline Leman and Michael Gast. Melanie also attended Minnesota State College, Southeast Technical, in Red Wing for band instrument repair. After running her own shop for a year, Melanie now works at Twin Cities Instrument Repair in Edina. In her spare time, Mel loves to bike, bake things, knit things, and play outdoors with her greyhound, Minka.
Ellie Fregni is an accomplished freelance violist, viola pomposa player, and string teacher, and one of the founders of the Hopewell Music Cooperative, a non-profit music outreach program in North Minneapolis. When not playing new music, she tours with Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, a local puppet troupe, and works for Hollywood Pyrotechnic doing display fireworks and pyrotechnic effects.
Joe Jones began formal musical training at age 9 with piano lessons, followed shortly by bassoon; he obtained his Master’s from the University of Minnesota and his Bachelor’s from Utah State. Joe is currently the principal bassoonist with the Minnesota Sinfonia and conductor of the St. Paul Postal Band. Joe is also a dedicated teacher, teaching bassoon at Normandale Community College and piano at the Mount Olivet School of Music and Hopewell Music Cooperative North.
Sophie Kerman teaches French at a private high school in St. Paul and keeps her fingers busy by playing music and writing theater reviews for Minnesota Playlist. A 2008 winner of the annual Carleton College Concerto Competition, she began playing the piano at the age of six, when her sister’s piano teacher’s dog charmed her into taking lessons herself. She continues to judge her artistic success by the mood of the animals in the room.
Andrea Myers relocated to Minnesota from Indiana in 2008 to study with Immanuel Davis at the University of Minnesota. She currently resides in Minneapolis and is a freelance performer playing classical to jazz and everything in between. She teaches at Hopewell Music Cooperative North, a non-profit music school based in North Minneapolis which makes music education accessible and affordable for all community members.
Tamir Nolley attended McNally Smith college and the University of Arizona. Tamir holds a degree in Music Performance. He is a frequent performer on both saxophone and bass in multiple genres including Classical, Jazz, and R&B. He has taught for over twenty years, working with a diverse range of students across the country. In addition to teaching private lessons on both instruments at Hopewell Music Cooperative North, Tamir is the director of the school’s Jazz Ensemble.