Performing Arts Series
The Program: Bow & The Bullet
This program showcases the boundless musical capacity of the double bass. Adolphe Blanc deftly stages a truly independent bass part in a charming work recalling both Schubert and Mendelssohn. Virtuoso performer Domenico Dragonetti casts his instrument as brilliant soloist in a recently discovered work. Finally, George Onslow’s powerful quintet, “The Bullet,” attests his much-deserved modern resurgence. Rarely heard in chamber works, the string family's full potency resounds across a dynamic and expressive spectrum, sure to captivate."
Eric Sewell - Violin & Curator
Thomas Green - Double Bass
Carla Kountoupes - Violin
Jeffrey Smith - Viola
Lisa Donald - Cello
Eric Sewell, Violin/Curator, holds degrees in Violin Performance and Musicology from the University of Alabama and Columbia University, and is an alumnus of the Alabama School of Fine Arts. His primary instructors were J. Patrick Rafferty, violin; Jeffrey Milarsky, conducting; Stephen Peles, composition. He has performed in orchestras across New Mexico and is the Assistant Principal Second Violinist of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.
While in Alabama, Eric performed regularly throughout the Southeast appearing with numerous regional orchestras, and as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. During that time he performed at festivals of contemporary music across the country; collaborated with local composers on premieres of their works; and spent two summers at the Brevard Music Center as a Repertory Training Fellow. In 2001, he completed a concert tour of South Korea which included live broadcasts on radio and television.
Eric has put together a variety of unique concerts in Socorro, bringing together some of NM's finest Chamber musicians. Last season, for NMT PAS, he co-organized a concert with Steel Pan virtuoso Mike Schwebke, forming a project ensemble +PAN Quartet, featuring contemporary international works re-arranged for steel pan, violin, cello and piano, plus one commission for this concert.
As an academic, Eric received a grant to research the musics of Harrison Birtwistle and Rebecca Saunders and has written on topics from serialism and temporality to gender and avant-rock. He continues to curate a series of community concerts in Socorro and Magdalena featuring music of the last 100 years. Highlights include Stockhausen’s complete Zodiac and an extemporaneous accompaniment to silent films by Maya Deren.
Eric is also a paper sculptor, with a handful of commissions and a solo exhibition
under his belt. He enjoys hiking and occasionally runs triathlons. His violin, The
Traveler, was made for him by Anne Cole.
Thomas Green, Double Bass, before he began teaching strings in Santa Fe Public Schools in 2019, served for 25 years as principal bass of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and music teacher in Ledyard Public Schools. His teaching duties in the 2022-23 academic year will include the string programs at Aspen Community Magnet School and Mandela International Magnet School.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Tom began his musical career in elementary school as a cellist. In high school he added electric and acoustic bass and continued with all three instruments as an undergraduate music education major at Capital University. Years of freelance rock, jazz and classical work, including a tour of Japan in December of 1986 with acclaimed American pianist Carmen Cavallaro, and study with Mark Morton led to his acceptance at New York's Manhattan School of Music where he studied double bass orchestral literature and performance with Donald Palma.
Tom has played electric and acoustic bass in rhythm sections with Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Myron Floren, Ernie Krivda, Jay and Molly Ungar, and with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure as principal bass of the United States Coast Guard Band, he toured the US and UK and played at the 1993 inauguration of President William J. Clinton. In 1994, Tom was accepted to the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, a showcase for the talents of young musicians from throughout the United States where he performed a concert under the direction of Maestro Georg Solti which was recorded on the London-Decca label. He has also performed under the batons of Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gunther Schuller, Ransom Wilson, Paul Dunkel, Craig Kirchhoff, Rachael Worby, Paul Phillips, Xiao Lu Li, and Toshiyuki Shimada.
Tom holds a Master of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Connecticut and a Certificate of Advanced Studies Administrative Degree from Sacred Heart University. From 1996-2019 Tom taught instrumental music in Ledyard Public Schools where he led large, dynamic, and ever-changing groups of young musicians. His students have achieved many successes at festivals throughout New England and the east coast, including Overall Best Score at the 2016 Toronto WorldStrides OnStage Festival. Tom has chaired the Connecticut Music Educators Association Eastern Region Festival Orchestra, CMEA Eastern Region Festival Jazz Band, and CMEA All-State Festival Orchestra.
Tom looks forward to restarting his performance career in Santa Fe, maintains a private bass studio, and lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Barbara Park.
Carla Kountoupes, Violin, is a member of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and Piazzolla da Camera Piano Trio. Carla has toured and performed professionally with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Central America, Taiwan, Germany, and all over the United States, including as a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco and the Costa Rican National Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys performing and recording many genres in addition to classical, including Latin/world, alt-rock/pop, and jazz. A dedicated music educator, Carla holds a Master of Music degree in Music Teaching. She has taught private violin lessons to children and adults for more than 25 years and is currently on faculty at the New Mexico School for the Arts, as String Orchestra Director and Applied Violin Instructor. Carla was awarded Music Teacher of the Year in 2016, by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) of New Mexico, and received the Santa Fe Public Schools’ 2017 Teachers Who Inspire Award. She is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory (Violin Performance) and Oberlin College (English Literature). Carla’s violin was made in the 1740’s and was inherited from her grandfather. www.ckviolin.com
Jeffrey Smith, Viola, is a modern and period violinist and violist. As a period musician, he has been seen with the Orchestra of New Spain, Austin Baroque Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble, Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye, the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Parish House Baroque, Utopia Early Music, Great Basin Baroque and Several Friends Early Music In The High Desert. In 2016, Jeffrey was a viola soloist in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante at the La Petite Bande Summer Academy in Italy under the direction of Sigiswald Kuijken. Jeffrey has also performed with many local performing ensembles here in the Land of Enchantment. Among those include the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra Chamber Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Chatter ABQ, Opera Southwest, and the Santa Fe Symphony. He has also served as a principal violist for the Pueblo Symphony. in Colorado.
Jeffrey received his Performers Diploma in Early Violin and Viola from the Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied with Stanley Ritchie and obtained his Masters of Music in Violin from New York University, studying with Stephanie Chase, Gregory Fulkerson and Cyrus Beroukhim. His Bachelors of Music Performance is from Brigham Young University, where he studied with Alexander Woods and Monte Belknap. He has also furthered his period performance training with Elizabeth Blumenstock, Julie Andrijeski, Cynthia Roberts, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Shunske Sato.
Aside from his musical endeavors his interests include violin making, cooking, traveling, exploring national parks and Mandarin Chinese.
Lisa Donald, Cello, is an Albuquerque native, having played cello in New Mexico for over 20 years. Her musical studies as a young adult took her all over the Southwest, and to Miami, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri. After living and performing in New York City, she returned to Albuquerque to be near family and has been playing with regional orchestras and Opera Southwest, as well as producing and performing in smaller chamber and solo recitals. She teaches cello privately.
About the Presidential Chamber Music Series
The Presidential Chamber Music Series began 30+ years ago, conceived by Adam Gonzalez, faculty in the NM Tech Music Program under Director Michael Iatauro. The first incarnation was supported by then NM Tech President Dr. Laurence Lattman, with all concerts free to the community, a tradition that continues, and featured The Helios Quartet, of which Adam Gonzalez was the cellist. That group had a variety of members but the two with the longest tenure were principal violinist and concertmaster of the NM Philharmonic, Krzysztof Zimowski, and NM Philharmonic violist Willy Sucre. When Adam Gonzalez left the Southwest, the Helios Quartet stayed together for only a short time, but the baton was picked up by Willy Sucre who curated these chamber music concerts, developing the works to be performed and bringing together the mostly NM musicians. These four concerts per year featured classic mainstays in chamber music literature as well as unique and lesser known compositions, often by international and/or South American composers. The program continued to be sponsored by NM Tech President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez and now Dr. Stephen G. Wells. It was an amazing 25+ years under Willy Sucre, who decided to take a break the year before the pandemic to pursue other musical passions.
The tradition continues with the NM Tech Performing Arts Series collaborating with NM performers and arts organizations to curate interesting and unique programs that feature stellar in-state, regional and national artists and chamber ensembles.