Get to Know Us!
We come from the United States, Haiti, Spain, Mexico, and Bolivia.
COMPOSER & CONDUCTOR
Praised by the Miami Herald for their “impressive maturity and striking melodic distinction”, Sydney Guillaume’s compositions are known to be intricate, challenging and yet highly spirited. They promote human values and are full of heart and passion. His compositions continually enthrall choirs everywhere and have been performed around the world. They have been featured at numerous conferences and international festivals like the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the World Choir Games and Ireland’s Cork International Choral Festival. He is an active member of the choral community as a composer, singer, clinician and conductor. Guillaume also writes film music – he has written original film and documentary scores for the Los Angeles based company Loyola Productions.
Cara Pollard is a freelance trumpet player and teacher both nationally and internationally. She has performed and taught in Haiti, Spain, Britain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the United States. Dr. Pollard recorded her first solo album esto no es una trompeta in 2015 and has since recorded two albums with the international instrumental ensemble Imbroglio Sextet. Imbroglio Haitiano which was recorded in Pamplona, Spain in 2017 and Greetings from Gran Hostal El Chiscon recorded in Madrid, Spain at Estudio Uno in 2019. All three albums are available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube
Dr. Cara Pollard has been teaching adjunct at Texas Christian University in Ft Worth, since the spring of 2015. Before TCU, she was an Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Tarleton State University from 2007-2011 where she taught trumpet, jazz history, brass methods, and popular music. She was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University School of Music from 2002-2007. While at Texas Tech she taught jazz history, music history, and trumpet.
Dr. Pollard holds the Bachelor of Science degree in Radio Television Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Master's Degree in Music Education from New Mexico State University at Las Cruces as well as a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance from Texas Tech University. She is a freelance trumpet player and a founding member of the Imbroglio Sextet (International). Dr. Pollard is also the assistant principal trumpet player for the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra.
Dr. Pollard also performed as guest principal trumpet for L'Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte-Trinité (OPST) Haiti in 2013-14 as well as the International Trumpet Festival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti 2015 and the 2004 Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Musica. Before receiving her doctorate at Texas Tech, Dr. Pollard was a band director in Joshua, Texas teaching 6th - 12th grade band and jazz band. She is an active member of ISME, JEN, and ITG. Dr. Pollard has also worked in radio for over fifteen years including hosting her own jazz radio show in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Lubbock, and Stephenville, Texas.
Dr. Pollard plays Bach, Schilke and Pollard trumpets, and Couesnon flugelhorn. She is currently available for solo and ensemble bookings.
Salva Contreras Gila
Salva Contreras Gila is a clarinet player and has been the teacher at the Special Music School “Joaquin Maya” in Pamplona since 2003. He was born in Albanchez de Mágina (Jaén), in a family with a strong musical tradition. His grandfather was a director of a music band that Salva later directed from late 1999 to early 2002. In the middle of that year, he moved to Pamplona where he began working in other music education centers before his current position.
He has played in different chamber ensembles, bands and orchestras: 2KC TRIO (clarinet, cello and piano), 2KC (clarinet and cello), Duo Mond (clarinet and guitar), “Messiaen” Quarter premiering an interdisciplinary show interpreting “Quatuor pour la fin du temps”…
Salva was the clarinet teacher at the summer camps of music in Haiti in 2013 and 2014. He has been an Imbroglio Sextet member from the beginning.
Currently, he is also dedicated to making sound visible as a means of expression of our interior through free improvisation following the guidelines of clarinetist Mario Solan.
Victoria Joseph finds purpose in continuing her parent’s legacy of sharing the power of education and music with the world. Her late father, Romel Joseph, was not only an accomplished violinist but an equally passionate teacher just like her mother, Sherry Joseph. As a child, Victoria watched them build The New Victorian School (TNVS) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, growing it from just a few students into a school that teaches over 300 children aged 2-15. An accomplished musician in her own right, Ms. Joseph’s decision to lead TNVS is the culmination of three decades seeing first-hand the benefits of children becoming empowered through music and education. Victoria is motivated more than ever to further opportunities that nurture, strengthen, and empower Haiti’s youth through a balance of academic and musical programs. She draws on her experience from her time assisting her parents in different capacities, incorporating leadership strategies into TNVS, The Joseph Legacy Foundation, and sharing The Romel Joseph Music Collection.
Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, a suburb of Philadelphia, Katherine has enjoyed serving as concertmaster and in the violin section of orchestras around the world including Philadelphia, Chicago, Italy, Colorado, and Florida where her playing was described by the Palm Beach Arts Paper as “lovely, poised and accomplished”. Katherine currently holds a core violin position in the Sarasota Orchestra and also plays often with the Atlanta Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and the Florida Orchestra. As a touring musician she was a principal violinist for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience and has also toured with artists such as Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo, Joshua Bell, and the Tran-Siberian Orchestra. During her summers, she has participated in music festivals such as the Artosphere Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and the St. Augustine Music Festival.
Katherine is passionate about arts education and in addition to serving as adjunct faculty at Sarasota’s Booker Performing Arts High School as their orchestra director, she also founded the Katherine B. Violin Academy where she teaches a full studio of private violin students from around the world, both virtually and in person. She also holds faculty positions at the Sarasota Music Conservatory and the Dali Quartet International Music Festival in Philadelphia and serves as the personnel manager of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Also an avid chamber musician, her string quartet won first prize in the 2016 Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York competition and gave their New York City debut concert in May 2017. She has been mentored by the Penderecki Quartet, the Atrium Quartet, the Arianna Quartet and the Dali Quartet and by members of the Cavani and Bergonzi Quartets.
After beginning the violin at age 10, she went on to make her solo debut at age 15 performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and has since appeared as soloist with various other orchestras. In 2010 she was awarded the NJ Governor’s Award in Arts and Education and the same year, the mayor of Cherry Hill proclaimed April 12th “Katherine Baloff Day” in honor of her contributions to the community and representation of her hometown in several local and national orchestra competitions.
Katherine’s primary teachers were Elmar Oliveira and Ilya Kaler. She holds a Master’s Degree and Professional Performance Certificate from the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida and a Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University’s School of Music in Chicago. She currently plays on a 2004 Benjamin Ruth violin and resides in Sarasota with her violinist husband and 3 foster-turned-adopted cats.
Lucía Nuín Armendariz
Beginning her musical studies in Pamplona, extending later with Professor Christian Ifrim. She was a member of the Youth Orchestra of Spain, also working with other orchestras of her country. Currently she teaches at music school "Luis Morondo", Barañain. Collaborates with various chamber music groups such as Chamber Orchestra "Pamplona XXI", Imbroglio Sextet, etc.
He began his musical studies in Pamplona, at the Conservatorio "Pablo Sarasate". Later in Madrid took lessons with Maria de Macedo and Elias Arizcuren Ezcurra. He finished his studies with the "End Career Award, Grado Superior". He also won first prize in the competition of Chamber Music "Fernando Remacha" being part of the string quartet "Fernando Remacha" which later became the quartet "Marnay" with which for twenty years has participated in many events, emphasizing the interpretation of the integral of the string quartets of WA Mozart in 2006. He also works occasionally with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra (OSN) and Basque National Orchestra (OSE). Currently he is professor of cello at the School of Music "Joaquín Maya" of Pamplona. At the same time is part of chamber groups as HelloCello!, Imbroglio Sextet, Triart, Danserie, 2KC or Ensemble Asysyen, playing modern and baroque cello and viola da gamba.
David Otto Castrillo
He was born in Huesca, Spain in 1988 where he studied intermediate degree of violin at the Professional Conservatory.
In 2010 he finished his violin studies at the Superior Conservatory of Music from País Vasco “Musikene” in San Sebastián under the tutelage of Catalin Bucataru.
From 2011 to 2013 he studied a master of violin performance with the violinist Carolin Widmann at the “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy" School of Music and Theatre in Leipzig (Germany).
From 2013 to 2015 he covers an academic position with the Konzerthaus Symphony Orchestra Berlin in which he is later hired as a tutti violinist until July 2016.
In March 2017 he begins an interim contract with the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra in Spain.
During the 2017/18 season he covers the position of first violin soloist with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.
He also performs assiduously with the National Orchestra of Spain, Orchestra from Comunitat Valenciana, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, Navarra Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonia, and Castilla y Leon Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013, National Youth Orchestra of Spain from 2009 to 2012, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in 2010, and European Youth Orchestra in 2013.
Javier Escalera Soria
A native of La Paz, Bolivia, violinist Javier Escalera is now one of the concertmasters of the Boca del Río Philharmonic in Mexico and Violin Instructor at the social program ¨Orquestando Armonía¨. He holds a MM from Florida State University and a BM summa cum laude from Western Illinois University, where he was part of the President’s International String Quartet. In 2005, he was the winner of the National Violin Competition in Bolivia, and in 2008, he won the MTNA Illinois Competition, thus advancing to the National Finals where he received a merit award. As soloist, he has performed with the WIU chamber orchestra at the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference and at the American String Teachers Association National Conference. He has performed at Festivals such as Brevard, Manchester, Interlochen, Bolivia Clásica, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas Caribbean Tour and recently taught and performed at the Bolivian Chamber Music Society concert and class series and at the summer camps of the Ecole de Musique Sainte Trinité and the Academie Musicale Occide Jeanty in Haiti. He studied with Corinne Stillwell, Julieta Mihai, and Istvan Szabo, and he is alumni of the YOA Global Leaders Program.
Katie Von Braun
Violinist Katie von Braun is an active chamber musician, freelance orchestral player and teacher in the New York Area. Katie is a current faculty member at Harmony Program, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. She received her B.M. with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Magna Cum Laude, and has completed her M.M. from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Katie has held the position of concertmaster and principal 2nd violin in the SFCM orchestra & Brevard Festival Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster of Aspen Festival Orchestra. With her string quartet Amaranth, she has premiered works by local composers, collaborated with non classical Bay Area artists, recorded an SFCM promotional video, and performed countless weddings and events. Katie has studied privately with Ian Swensen, Paul Kantor, and Yehonatan Berick, and has performed in masterclasses for Pam Frank, Norman Fischer, Brentano String Quartet, Pacifica String Quartet and Geoff Nuttall. As a freelance musician, she has experience performing symphonic repertoire, opera, musical theatre, video game scores, contemporary and baroque music.
Leire Fernández Sainz de Murieta was born in Pamplona, Northern Spain. She started to play the violin at the age of 8 and completed her school and conservatoire studies in her home city. She moved to London in 2004 after obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Violin and Teaching. She finished her Postgraduate Violin Studies with John Crawford and Michael Bochman at Trinity College of Music of London in 2006. In 2007 she was a member of Southbank Sinfonia and one year later she got a permanent violin teaching position at the Escuela de Música del Valle de Egüés (music school), in Navarra.
Since 2008, Leire has been performing regularly with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra and has also collaborated with Orquesta Ciudad de Almería. She is a current member of the Orquesta Ciudad de Pamplona (which she also helps to manage) and the chamber music groups: Triart Ensemble with the baroque violín, and Zura Quartet, which takes most of her musical life at the moment.
Amy Pummill Stewart, singer, organist, pianist, and conductor, currently is the Assistant Organist at University Christian Church and teaches in the School of Music, TCU. She conducts the TCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Purple White and Blues, and teaches Ear Training, From Rock to Bach, and Intro to University Life. She has a BM in Vocal Performance, MM in Organ Performance from TCU and Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. After graduating from TCU in 2000, she made her home in New York City. While there, Amy appeared in many solo venues and was the featured soloist in four concerts with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson. Amy started as a young child in the recording studio where she performed on hundreds of recordings for educational and choral publications and commercials. Amy has been featured as soloist with the Windsong Chamber Choir, an Oklahoma based professional chamber choir, TCU Concert Chorale, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Arlington Master Chorale, and has performed in productions with the Fort Worth Opera, Parterre Box Opera Troup in New York City, and with Theaterhof Zwei Groschen Oper in Humbach, Germany. She occasionally tours around the country with her family's four piano-four voice show, ClaviVoce. Amy has also served as organist and worship leader at a number of churches including South Hills Christian Church in Fort Worth, First Presbyterian Church in Urbana, Illinois, Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City. Amy is married to Jack Stewart and they make their home in Fort Worth with their puppies, Bear and Callie.
LOGISTICS + SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
The following people have performed with us or worked with us.
Don Cento - Producer, Dr. Amy Strewart - Vocals, Dr. Josh Davies - Trumpet/Arranger, Jonathan Hooper - Trombone/Arranger, Dave French and Rush Olsen - Film, Paqui Navarette - Photographer
Alvaro Santiago - Violin* (Pamplona), Nina Sunyer - Viola (Barcelona) - Spain tour 2015, Maria de la Luz - Oboe (Mexico) Armenian/Azerbaijan Tour 2018, Sergio Escalara - Piano (Bolivia) Armenian/Azerbaijan Tour 2018, Brusk Zanganeh - Violin (Sweden) Armenian/Azerbaijan Tour 2018, Rick Stitzel - Arranger, Aaron Stanley - Arranger/Composer, Justin Childress - Album Design, Carolyn Boyett - Manager, James Driscoll - Mastering, Fort Worth Sound - Extra Recording
RECORDED AT ESTUDIO UNO, COLMENAR VIEJO, MADRID, SPAIN
Manuel Pájaro, Recording Engineer, Estudio Uno, Pablo Sánchez, Estudio Assistant, Eduardo Lavilla, Estudio Assistant, Abel Vallés, Estudio Assistant, Mikel Begiristain, Estudio Assistant
ORCHESTRA DE PAYIZ:
Sergio Pamies Rodriguez - Piano, Mehrdad Gholami - Flute, Tyler Romesberg - Oboe, Heather Test - French horn, Paul Unger - Bass, Amy Stewart (Payiz, Amarilli) - Vocals, Juan Manuel Consuegra Naranjo (Armenian Rhapsody) - Piano, Julio Racine - Composer/Arranger, Joey Carter - Arranger, Nadje Noorhuis - Composer, Brandon Brown - Composer, Jim Stephenson - Composer, John Jost - Arranger, Richard Casimir - Arranger, Recorded at CTL Escuela de Imagen y Sonido in Pamplona, Spain by Jesus Losarcos (Imbroglio Haitiano Album - 2016)
*One of the original violinists