SKANEATELES FESTIVAL

Leadership & Staff

The SkanFest Team

It takes a great team to present world class talent in a priceless location. So many have contributed so much over the years to deliver our lasting success. We celebrate all those who have come before us in making the Skaneateles Festival a one-of-a-kind experience. Our current team of leadership and staff welcome you to the upcoming season. Please join us in experiencing brilliance!

(Pictured above are the Festival’s 40th Anniversary Board Reunion Members)

Staff

Susan Mark

Executive Director

Susan Mark has served as Executive Director of the Skaneateles Festival since 1999, guiding it through a period of strong artistic, financial, and organizational growth. Susan previously held positions with the Landmark Theater, Syracuse Opera, and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She is an active member of Chamber Music America, the Arts and Culture Leadership Alliance of Central New York, and previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Susan Mark has served as Executive Director of the Skaneateles Festival since 1999, guiding it through a period of strong artistic, financial, and organizational growth. Susan previously held positions with the Landmark Theater, Syracuse Opera, and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She is an active member of Chamber Music America, the Arts and Culture Leadership Alliance of Central New York, and previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

With Susan’s stewardship, the Skaneateles Festival has been 20+ years in the black, a remarkable streak for any non-profit arts organization. She led two successful capital campaigns for our Legacy Funds and the Robinson Pavilion at Anyela’s. In leading this transition from Brook Farm to our new venue, Susan had managed the accompanying need for more paid staff, volunteers, and increase in concert attendance.

 

Susan says, “This is, by far, the most remarkable job I’ve had, due in no small part to the “Festival Family” I’ve come to know and love.”

 

“I believe the four decades-long success of the Skaneateles Festival is rooted in the generosity of founders David and Louise Robinson. By opening their home, Brook Farm, to musicians and audiences for nearly 40 years, they made the Skaneateles Festival a true “community” event. The years I spent working with and learning from David and Louise were enriching on every level. It is my honor and privilege to help move their vision for the Festival forward.”

 

“My most rewarding memory is the harrowing success of our very first concert at the Robinson Pavilion in 2016. Our original opening concert at the venue the previous week was rained out, so we got to “test the waters” with a high-pressure SOLD-OUT concert with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. An army of volunteers, many working from sunup to sundown, along with a picture-perfect evening, and incredible music made it a night many of us will never forget.”

Julia Bruskin

Cello, Co-Artistic Director, 2015 – present

Since her concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17, Julia Bruskin has established herself as one of the premiere cellists of her generation. She performed Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with conductor Jahja Ling at Avery Fisher Hall, and has soloed with the Nashville, Utah, Virginia, and Pacific symphony orchestras, among others.

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Since her concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17, Julia Bruskin has established herself as one of the premiere cellists of her generation. She performed Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with conductor Jahja Ling at Avery Fisher Hall, and has soloed with the Nashville, Utah, Virginia, and Pacific symphony orchestras, among others. She won first prize in the Schadt String Competition and was a prizewinner in the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria. As a founding member of the critically acclaimed Claremont Trio, Bruskin won first prize in the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and was awarded the first ever Kalichestein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award. Bruskin also gives frequent solo recitals with her husband, Aaron Wunsch, including tours in China, and is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City.

Aaron Wunsch

Piano, Co-Artistic Director, 2015 – present

Aaron Wunsch enjoys a multifaceted career as an artist, presenter, and educator. Especially regarded for his chamber music performances, he has appeared at the Norfolk, Bowdoin, Sarasota, Great Lakes, and Yellow Barn chamber music festivals.

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Aaron Wunsch enjoys a multifaceted career as an artist, presenter, and educator. Especially regarded for his chamber music performances, he has appeared at the Norfolk, Bowdoin, Sarasota, Great Lakes, and Yellow Barn chamber music festivals. Wunsch is a full-time faculty member at Juilliard, where he teaches graduate studies, chamber music, music history, and keyboard studies, and directs Juilliard PianoScope, the Piano Department’s performance series. He teaches piano master classes and lectures at conservatories and universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. His awards for written work in musicology include the Henry Hart Rice and the Richard F. French prizes. Wunsch is also artistic director of the Music Mondays concert series in New York City.

Ellen Sorber

Manager of Marketing and Digital Communications

Ellen began working with the Skaneateles Festival in May 2021 as the Manager of Marketing and Digital Communications. She is a graduate of Le Moyne College and received her degree in Communications with concentrations in Film and Advertising.

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Ellen began working with the Skaneateles Festival in May 2021 as the Manager of Marketing and Digital Communications. She is a graduate of Le Moyne College and received her degree in Communications with concentrations in Film and Advertising. Despite beginning her position in the midst of a pandemic, Ellen quickly learned how supportive and enthusiastic the Skaneateles Festival community is.

“Being a part of bringing back live music after a year of silence has been such a blessing. What I’ve seen so far is how easy it is for people to get hooked by the community of the Festival. One-time audience members quickly become family and long-time supporters who plan their summer around us. It has warmed my heart just how much people appreciate and love the Skaneateles Festival.”

Ellen is thrilled to be able to combine her skills in Communications with her love for music. She has played the piano for nine years, been an active member in her community theater, and performed with Le Moyne a Capella group, Fermata Nowhere, throughout her college career. Ellen is so excited for the opportunity to learn and grow in her career and feels honored to be a vital part of such a premier music festival in Central New York.

Reese Nesbitt

Reese Nesbitt

Project and Outreach Manager

Reese began her journey with the Skaneateles Festival in 2021 as a summer intern. She quickly fell in love with the festival and returned for the 2022 season as an Assistant Project Manager. Reese has now joined the festival full time in 2023 as the Project and Outreach Manager. She graduated from Syracuse University Whitman School of Management where she double majored in Management and Marketing Management.

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Reese began her journey with the Skaneateles Festival in 2021 as a summer intern. She quickly fell in love with the festival and returned for the 2022 season as an Assistant Project Manager. Reese has now joined the festival full time in 2023 as the Project and Outreach Manager. She graduated from Syracuse University Whitman School of Management where she double majored in Management and Marketing Management.

In her role as Project and Outreach Manager, Reese will expand and coordinate the Festival’s outreach agenda. “My goal is to make the magic of the Skaneateles Festival accessible to everyone in Central New York and beyond.”

“When I first joined the festival I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Seeing months of hard work cumulate into a successful concert and seeing the smiles and reactions from our audience is priceless. I am blown away every season by the love and support the Skaneateles community shows for the festival. Working at the Skaneateles Festival has become more than a job, I truly feel as though I am a part of the festival “family”.”

Sarah Moth

Operations Manager

Eugene

Office Mascot

Eugene joined the festival in November 2022 at just a couple months old. His main office duties include guarding the office against squirrels, collecting pine cones in the parking lot, and locating and testing any and all office nap spots. 

Board of Directors

Kimberley Driscoll

President
Committees: Chair, Hospitality and Governance

Kim joined the Skaneateles Festival Board of Directors in the fall of 2018. Kim and her husband Charley love attending concerts, especially the outdoor concerts at the Robinson’s Brook Farm and recently at Anyela’s Vineyard.

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 Kim joined the Skaneateles Festival Board of Directors in the fall of 2018. Kim and her husband Charley love attending concerts, especially the outdoor concerts at the Robinson’s Brook Farm and recently at Anyela’s Vineyard.

Kim says, “As our children Zach and Conor grew, the Festival has become a family tradition by hosting musicians, thanks to Jean Graham, volunteering, and attending memorable concerts.”

Steven Scheinman 

Vice President
Committees: Chair, Governance & Audience Development

Steven Scheinman is a retired physician and medical educator.  He earned prominence for his research into the genetics of kidney disease and stones.  He served for 8 years as dean of the College of Medicine at Upstate and subsequently as president and dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Pennsylvania. 

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Steven Scheinman is a retired physician and medical educator.  He earned prominence for his research into the genetics of kidney disease and stones.  He served for 8 years as dean of the College of Medicine at Upstate and subsequently as president and dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Pennsylvania.  He and his wife Kelly live on East Lake Road.  Steve and Kelly enjoy skiing, sailing and bicycling, and are passionate about music and theater, and especially their 10 grandchildren.

Edward Conan

Treasurer

Committees: Executive, Finance and Legacy, & Governance

My wife, Paula, and I moved to Skaneateles in 1981, but I have known members of the Robinson family since childhood in DeWitt. When I was invited to join the Skaneateles Festival Board in the 1990’s, I was pleased to have a chance to reconnect with David and Louise and the rest of the Festival family.

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My wife, Paula, and I moved to Skaneateles in 1981, but I have known members of the Robinson family since childhood in DeWitt. When I was invited to join the Skaneateles Festival Board in the 1990’s, I was pleased to have a chance to reconnect with David and Louise and the rest of the Festival family.

 

I have served on the Festival Board periodically ever since and have watched this organization thrive in every way. I also serve as Treasurer and am grateful to the Festival’s management team for matching their commitment to artistic excellence with a commitment to fiscal responsibility that ensures we will be able to transfer this remarkable Festival to generations to come.

Carrie Scholz

Secretary
Committees: Hospitality & Audience Development

Carrie joined the Festival Board in 2021. Since moving to Skaneateles in 1998, my family has enjoyed the magic of the Skaneateles Festival, which helps make our community so special. Over the years, we loved picnic dinners at Brook Farm while exposing our young daughter to exceptional music.

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Carrie joined the Festival Board in 2021. Since moving to Skaneateles in 1998, my family has
enjoyed the magic of the Skaneateles Festival, which helps make our community so special.
Over the years, we loved picnic dinners at Brook Farm while exposing our young daughter to
exceptional music.

The Christmas Suite gala is always enchanting and the new Anyela’s outdoor
venue is extraordinary. That music of this caliber is so easily accessible in our community is a
remarkable treasure. As a Board Member, I look forward to helping to sustain this wonderful
resource and its traditions.

Heather Carroll

Board Member & Past President

Committees: Chair, Executive; Hospitality; & Summer Suite/Christmas Suite

I have served on the Festival’s Summer Suite committee since 2015 and was honored to join the SkanFest board in 2020. I have loved attending festival concerts since moving to Skaneateles from the Boston area in 1999.

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 I have served on the Festival’s Summer Suite committee since 2015 and was honored to join the SkanFest board in 2020. I have loved attending festival concerts since moving to Skaneateles from the Boston area in 1999. I grew up going to the BSO with my mother to watch the open rehearsals on Wednesday nights when Seiji Ozawa was conducting. We would rush in for the open seating with our brown-bag suppers to get our favorite seats in the first balcony overlooking the violins. With my binoculars I could follow along on their scores. Sometimes they played straight through the program, but sometimes we would hear the tap-tap-tap of Seiji’s baton when he would stop the orchestra to give them a note and send them back to measure 84 to play it again. It was so exciting to feel like we were there, in the inner circle, witnessing the transformation of each performance.

This is what I love about the Skaneateles Festival. It feels intimate, accessible, connected, comfortable. The performers are so close and personable, the artistic directors make the programs come to life, and the festival volunteers are welcoming, like old friends. We rush with our lawn chairs to our favorite spot with our picnic suppers, and now I can share this love of world-class live music in a casual setting with my own children. Such a gift.

Miki Bangs

Board Member
Committees: Education & Hospitality

My husband Dan and I chose to retire in Skaneateles after many moves with his Air Force career and my career as a public school music teacher. Upon arriving in Skaneateles, the festival became one of my first interests in town.

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My husband Dan and I chose to retire in Skaneateles after many moves with his Air Force career and my career as a public school music teacher. Upon arriving in Skaneateles, the festival became one of my first interests in town.

I found serving on the scholarship committee for several years has been a very rewarding experience. Likewise, I also enjoy hosting and feeding the musicians, especially those who return for a second stay with us. The festival really does become a special group of friends sharing beautiful music and working towards a common goal. 

Dave Birchenough

Board Member
Committees: Co-Chair, Finance & Legacy and Executive

Donald Blair

Board Member
Committees:

Don joined the Medicine faculty of Upstate fifty years ago, centered in the Infectious Diseases Division. Perhaps he is most proud of having established the Designated AIDS Center at Upstate, and of leading it for twenty-five years.  Music has always been a part of Don’s life, though youth piano lessons did not lead to a musical career! 

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Don joined the Medicine faculty of Upstate fifty years ago, centered in the Infectious Diseases Division. Perhaps he is most proud of having established the Designated AIDS Center at Upstate, and of leading it for twenty-five years.  Music has always been a part of Don’s life, though youth piano lessons did not lead to a musical career! 

He and his wife Nancy have periodically attended SkanFest, but as retirement neared, they were in the audience with increasing frequency.  For the last few years, they have been at virtually every concert.  It is the variety of the art and artists that grips them, intrigues them—an incredible variety of superb music.

The most stunning experience to date was being seated on the stage behind the East Coast Chamber Orchestra as they performed Mozart.  Unbelievable! It is indeed an honor to serve on the SkanFest Board.

Somak Chattopadhyay

Board Member
Committees: Finance & Legacy and Audience Development

Somak Chattopadhyay is a software venture capitalist who has been operating and investing in early-stage startups in New York State and other emerging venture regions since 1999. Before launching Armory Square Ventures in Syracuse in 2014, he was a partner at Tribeca Venture Partners.

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Somak Chattopadhyay is a software venture capitalist who has been operating and investing in early-stage startups in New York State and other emerging venture regions since 1999. Before launching Armory Square Ventures in Syracuse in 2014, he was a partner at Tribeca Venture Partners. He started his career in venture capital at Edison Partners. Prior thereto, he held senior operating roles at 2 startups including DealTime (NASDAQ:SHOP), a company that was later acquired by eBay.

Somak and his wife moved to Skaneateles from NYC in 2013. He and his wife immediately fell in love with the town and its people. Somak was a concert violinist earlier in his life who performed at numerous venues across the country including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Although he still occasionally performs as an amateur chamber musician, he spends more of this time now supporting the arts. Somak was a founding board member of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival.

Somak is thrilled to be part of the Skaneateles Festival Board and considers the Festival one of the treasures of the region.

Somak holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering (minor in Music) from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Barbara Connor

Board Member

Committees: Governance & Executive

Dr. Barbara Connor is a retired emergency room physician; a part-time physician in charge of vaccination clinics for Cayuga County; does clinical research at Velocity Clinical Research, which is affiliated with Upstate; and is a long-time supporter of the Festival.

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Dr. Barbara Connor is a retired emergency room physician; a part-time physician in charge of vaccination clinics for Cayuga County; does clinical research at Velocity Clinical Research, which is affiliated with Upstate; and is a long-time supporter of the Festival.

Barb has been with us since the beginning “Library days” and has spent over four decades serving on the board, volunteering on committees, fundraising, and attending concerts.

“Dr. David Robinson was one of our professors in medical school, and he used to hang up mimeographed sheets on the bulletin boards to notify us about concerts. That’s how I first learned about the Festival. Now, I am so proud of our Festival and am truly passionate about all aspects of it!”

Barb is delighted to have so many experienced physicians on the Festival Board to help guide safety protocols related to COVID-19. She looks forward to every summer and especially loves to extend a warm hand of friendship to musicians for homestays, dinners, and post-concert soirées during their visits to Skaneateles.

Alison Ferretti

Board Member
Committees: Education & Community and Summer Suite/Christmas Suite

Alison joined the Skaneateles Festival board in 2018 after relocating to the area from Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters. A lifelong musician, Alison has always been passionate about supporting the arts and was excited to get involved in the local arts community.

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Alison joined the Skaneateles Festival board in 2018 after relocating to the area from Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters. A lifelong musician, Alison has always been passionate about supporting the arts and was excited to get involved in the local arts community.In addition to the Skaneateles Festival, she serves on the board of the Skaneateles Music Guild and performs locally with the Auburn Chamber Orchestra. Alison began playing the violin at a young age and has performed with regional community symphonies in Charlottesville, VA, The Berkshires, and Atlanta. Her favorite festival memory is watching Hilary Hahn perform Bach violin sonatas to a group of new moms and their babies overlooking our beautiful lake.

Leanna Fischer

Board Member
Committees: Finance & Legacy and Summer Suite/Christmas Suite

Leanna joined the SkanFest Board in January 2022. Growing up in Skaneateles, Leanna enjoyed attending festival concerts with her parents and when her family would host musicians during the summer. Now she is looking forward to giving her kids that same opportunity. 

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Leanna joined the SkanFest Board in January 2022. Growing up in Skaneateles, Leanna enjoyed attending festival concerts with her parents and when her family would host musicians during the summer. Now she is looking forward to giving her kids that same opportunity. Leanna is delighted to serve on the board, volunteer, and attend many more concerts. Leanna works as a National Bank Examiner and lives with her husband, Brian, and their two children in Skaneateles.

Koko Fuller

Board Member
Committees: 

Chris Johnson

Board Member
Committees: 

Chris is a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, where he teaches and does research related to soil and water quality. He and his wife Jean Shook have lived in Skaneateles since 1989 and have been frequent volunteers and attendees at the Festival.

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Chris is a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, where he teaches and does research related to soil and water quality. He and his wife Jean Shook have lived in Skaneateles since 1989 and have been frequent volunteers and attendees at the Festival.

Chris has many fond memories of evenings at the Festival. The jazz performances and the Christmas Suite are events that he especially looks forward to every year. He is thrilled to be part of the Board and to have the opportunity to help the Festival thrive and reach new audiences.

 

Daniel Kringer

Board Member
Committees: 

Daniel Kringer is a 2012 graduate of Skaneateles High School and a resident of Elbridge, New York. He holds degrees in music education and classical vocal performance from SUNY Potsdam and the Royal Academy of Music London, respectively. He taught for several years in Massachusetts and New York State before moving to London to study to pursue a performing career.

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Daniel Kringer is a 2012 graduate of Skaneateles High School and a resident of Elbridge, New York. He holds degrees in music education and classical vocal performance from SUNY Potsdam and the Royal Academy of Music London, respectively. He taught for several years in Massachusetts and New York State before moving to London to study to pursue a performing career.

He recently moved back to the area at the beginning of 2023. Daniel is very pleased to be in a position to give back to the Skaneateles Festival, where he has had the pleasure of working since his first summer working in the Festival offices. He looks forward to an excellent 45th season!

 

Jill Marshall

Board Member
Committees: 

Jill joined the Festival Board in 2024. After resigning from a career in city planning to become a stay-at-home mom, Jill became—and continues to be—an active contributor to the Skaneateles community, serving on various boards and committees in diverse capacities.

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Jill joined the Festival Board in 2024. After resigning from a career in city planning to become a stay-at-home mom, Jill became—and continues to be—an active contributor to the Skaneateles community, serving on various boards and committees in diverse capacities.

In the nearly twenty years that she, her husband Todd, and their daughters—Adrianna, Julia, and Elsa—have called Skaneateles home, the Skaneateles Festival has been an integral part of their lives. Whether attending concerts, volunteering, or hosting musicians, Jill is thrilled to bring her energy to the Skaneateles Festival.

 

Madonna Harrington Meyer 

Board Member
Committees: 

Madonna Harrington Meyer is a University Professor at Syracuse University and author of several books.  She and her family have volunteered for Skaneateles Festival for over 20 years. It is clearly one of the best parts of living in Skaneateles.

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Madonna Harrington Meyer is a University Professor at Syracuse University and author of several books.  She and her family have volunteered for Skaneateles Festival for over 20 years. It is clearly one of the best parts of living in Skaneateles.

 

Douglas Whitehouse

Creative Director

Committees: Executive & Education and Community

My wife Peg, daughter Stephanie, and son Tristan moved to Skaneateles in 1990, where we have raised our family, worked, and volunteered ever since. For us, the Festival has always been the best part of summer in Skaneateles. In 2008 Wendy Kopley asked if I would join the Board of Directors.

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My wife Peg, daughter Stephanie, and son Tristan moved to Skaneateles in 1990, where we have raised our family, worked, and volunteered ever since. For us, the Festival has always been the best part of summer in Skaneateles. In 2008 Wendy Kopley asked if I would join the Board of Directors. Now 12 years later, I am delighted to still be part of the amazing Skaneateles Festival Family. I have been responsible for the graphic design of the Festival brochure and other marketing tools since the early 1990’s, and most recently served as the Board President for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

 

My favorite Festival memory was in 2011, when David Ying and Elinor Freer brought the Hyperscore project back to the Festival for a second time. I jumped at the chance to compose something. The input and encouragement offered by David and composer Stacy Garrop from Chicago was a thrilling experience. My piece was performed along with others who participated in the program at the Hyperscore II Community Celebration during the opening week of the 2011 Festival season. It was sheer joy.

 

 

Bridget Buckley Wynne

Board Member
Committees: Hospitality, Audience Development, Summer Suite/Christmas Suite

Bridget is a Casting Director for Matchbook Company, a company that specializes in casting talent for digital, and print advertising. Their clients include beauty, apparel and editorial brands.

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Bridget is a Casting Director for Matchbook Company, a company that specializes in casting talent for digital, and print advertising. Their clients include beauty, apparel and editorial brands.


Prior to joining Matchbook, Bridget worked at Conde Nast Publications in New York City for over a decade as the Bookings Director of Lucky Magazine. She booked all of the models for both inside editorials and covers as well as influencers and designers that were featured in the magazine. She started her career working at Wilhelmina Models, also in New York City.


In the Summer of 2019, Bridget, her husband, Dan, and their three young children, Eleanor, Timothy, and Alexander relocated to Skaneateles from Jersey City, NJ. Bridget is a native of Geneva, NY. In addition to spending time with her family/friends she coaches her
daughter in soccer and is an avid runner who enjoys running races.

Advisory Board Members

Thomas Bersani

Judy Bryant

Joan Christy

Mary Cotter

William Davis

Michael P. Falcone

Lindsay Groves

Claire Howard

Andy Latchem

Sharon Magee

Andrew Ramsgard

Doug Sutherland

Doug Whitehouse

“Music just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s so worth the drive to be so wonderfully surprised.”

The Post-Standard

We hope to see you soon!

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