Holiday Concert

The Harriet Hale Woolley scholars and musicians in residence are preparing a surprise holiday program, which will be published on our YouTube channel and social media on December 24th. The musicians in residence hail from a variety of nationalities and countries, and while many will not be returning home, they will be sharing a little holiday spirit with the FEU audience with this concert of traditional and contemporary music.

About the Musicians

Michael Chapa, a native of Dallas, Texas, is a passionate performer and an avid music educator. He recently completed an Artist Diploma at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Debra Richtmeyer while serving as an Athletic Bands Teaching Assistant for the Illinois Bands. Previous degrees include a Master of Music Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois (2019) and a Bachelor of Music Education at Stephen F. Austin State University (2017). Recent accomplishments include the first prize at the 2020 American Prize Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, and second place at the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Newly awarded the 2020-2021 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, Michael will be living at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France while studying with Jean-Michel Goury at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt

Sergio Herrera is a composer-guitarist currently based in Paris. He received his B.M. in Music composition and theory from Florida State University where he studied composition with Dr. Clifton Callender. During his time at Florida State, Sergio was a recipient of both the Presser Scholarship and the David Ward-Steinman undergraduate composition award. He has attended festivals such as the TALIS Music Festival in Switzerland and the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Academy in Paris where he worked with composers Miguel del Aguila and David Conte. Sergio was granted the Fondation des Etats-Unis Harriet Hale Woolley scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year, and is currently studying harmony, composition, and musical interpretation with Narcis Bonet at the Schola Cantorum de Paris.

An international prize-winning harpist, Olivia Kim, has performed worldwide both as a soloist and collaboratively with renowned orchestras, and chamber musicians. She was a featured soloist with the League of Strings on their China tour and was invited to present a concert at the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong. She is a regular guest harpist at the Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, to give recitals and masterclasses. Olivia earned her Master’s degree in harp performance/pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory in 2017 with a full scholarship and was awarded the Harold Randolph prize upon graduation. She currently studies at École Normale de Musique de Paris under the tutelage of Nicholas Tulliez.

Dallas, Texas native, clarinetist Elias Rodriguez made his national solo debut at the age of 16, after performing on a live broadcast of NPR’s “From the Top”. He has since appeared internationally throughout the Americas and Europe, from the Grafenegg Festival in Austria to teaching masterclasses in Cali, Colombia. He is an alumnus of the New York based ensemble, “The Orchestra Now”, with which he performed as a soloist on New York public radio and played a concert series at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. Recent engagements include concerts with Ensemble Calliopée and solo Jewish klezmer music at the United States Embassy in Paris. Elias was awarded the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and an artist residency at the Fondation des États-Unis. He has spent the last 2 years perfecting under Patrick Messina and Jean-Marc Volta, current solo clarinet and former bass clarinetist of the National Orchestra of France.

Flutist Thomaz Tavares has been praised by the Virginia Gazette as a “polished performer, with a pure, direct sound…embracing the work’s lyrical and virtuoso demands.” Tavares was a recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship for the 2019-2020 year during which he explored the French Belle Époque repertoire and the flute music of the composer Yuko Uebayashi. After a successful intership he now regularly performs, records, and tours with the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Europe under the baton of Nicolas Krauze. In 2019 Thomaz obtained his Diplome Superieur de de Execution from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with unanimous distinction from the jury. A native New Yorker later raised in Brazil, Tavares completed his Bachelor’s degree in flute performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Thomas Robertello with a “Premier Young Artist” scholarship and later moved to Paris to study under international soloist Jean Ferrandis. Thomaz has been featured as a soloist and collaborator in festivals in Paris (France), Halle (Germany), Tignes (France), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Dartington (England), and has given numerous recitals throughout France and the United States. He’s most recently been a guest performer with the Open Chamber Orchestra of Paris and Ensemble Calliopée.

Lusi Xie is from Shenzhen, the Chinese capital of the piano. She studied at the same school as many famous pianists incuding Li Yundi and Chen Sa. In addition to her major in piano, she plays various percussion instruments and composes music with classical harmony. Lusi also has more than 8 years of experience playing with orchestras.
As an undergraduate, she studied under Chen Zhishuai, who received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2018, after graduating, she was admitted to the École Normale de Musique de Paris, where she studies with French pianist Véronique Bonnecaze.
Lusi has performed in numerous concerts on and off campus, including a solo performance of works by Ravel for the Association Sino-Française of culture and art. She won the first prize in the Guangdong piano competition. In 2020, Lusa was invited to compose a piece for Jinan University. This creation, which she gave in response to the pandemic, is now published on the official website of Jinan University.

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