2017-2018 Concert Season

All programs will take place at the Family Piano Co.
114 South Genesee Street, Sunday Evenings at 7:30 PM.

Download our season schedule here.

Strings and Cords Duo, September 24, 2017

Preconcert reception, 7:00PM

Musicians from Midwest Young Artists, October 22, 2017

Trio Celeste, November 5, 2017

Musicians from Midwest Young Artists, March 11, 2018

Crossing Borders, May 6, 2018

Preconcert reception, 7:00PM


Artist Biographies

Strings and Cords Duo

September 24, 2017


  • Indiana’s premier voice and guitar duo.
  • Featuring works by Dowland, Purcell, DeFalla, Seiber, Schubert, Foster and others.

Mark Stachofsky grew up in Spokane, Washington. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Boise State University where he studied Voice with Catherine Elliott, Opera with Dr. Lynn Berg, and was fortunate to participate in a Master Class given by the Great Baritone, Sherrill Milnes.

Mark attended The Cleveland Institute of Music where he earned a Master of Music Degree with an emphasis on Vocal Performance. In his two years at the Institute Mark presented three solo recitals, sang Doctor Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, and premiered works by composer Huston Dunleavy. Mark studied voice with Irvin Bushman, received coaching form Linda Jones, and Thomas Muraco, studied Opera under Andrew Foldi, and was able to work with some of the leading singers and collaborators of our time including Sheril Milnes, Waren Jones, Elly Ameling, Marilyn Horne, and Dawn Upshaw. While in Cleveland, Mark was employed by The Cleveland Opera Chorus and sang such rolls as Pinellino in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, one of the Lehrbube in Wagner’s Die Meistersingerand, and was priviledged to work under the batons of great conductors like; Imre Palló, Anton Coppola, and Stewart Copeland. In Cleveland, Mark helped to form the Tower City Singers, a vocal jazz sextet, performing exclusively for Tower City Center, Cleveland. Mark also formed the acapella group, Seasonal Sounds, which consisted of four voices singing traditional Christmas Carols at Shaker Square and for private parties.

More recently, Mark has been active singing with local arts organizations like The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Bach Collegium Fort Wayne, Heartland Chamber Choral, and the Plymouth Players. Mark is on the Voice Faculty at Indiana University/Purdue University, Fort Wayne. He teaches Voice, English and Italian Lyric Diction, and assists with the Opera Ensemble. He is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Guitarist Dr. Daniel Quinn maintains an active performing and teaching career. Over the past twenty-five years, Dan has performed as a soloist in many recitals around the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Dan has been and instructor of guitar for thirty years at colleges such as Indiana University, Huntington College, University of St. Francis, and the Tokyo College of Music. He currently teaches at St. Mary’s college. He also teaches from his home studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA).

Dan has been active in creating new ensembles in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Including groups like the Fort Wayne Guitar Quartet, The Indiana Guitar Trio with Guido Sanchez-Portuguez and Nemanja Ostojic and Duos with other talented guitarists in the area. Daniel has worked with vocalist Mark Stachofsky, pianists Aki Wada and Angelin Chang, violinist Hiromi Ito, Cellist Hikaru Tamaki, Koto player Yoko Reikano Kimura.

Dan completed his doctoral degree in Guitar Performance and Literature at the Indiana University school of Music in 2003. His dissertation was about Guitar music from Japan. He has been invited to give recitals and lectures on this subject at such venues as the Guitar Foundation of America Convention at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Irino Center in Tokyo Japan, Hastings College Nebraska, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of music Summer Guitar Workshop. An article by Dan has been published for Soundboard magazine on Guitar music from Japan in October of 2005 (Volume XXXI (31) No. 1).

Dan has been an active proponent of new music for the guitar. He has premiered many new works at the June in Buffalo festival, for the Japan Federation of Composers in Tokyo, The Midwest New Music Symposium, Society of Composers, Inc., as well as many of the Indiana University Hammer/Nail project recitals, and composition recitals. He has premiered new works by: Gordon Williamson – Three Sketches (2000) and Music for Flute, Guitar and Cimbalom (2002), Garrett Byrnes – Perpetual Moments (2001) and Three pieces for Flute and Guitar (1999), Daniel Gilman – Kokai (1999), Kazu Munakata – Requiem 9/11(2003), Victoria Malawey – Winter (2001), John Gurino – About fruit-About eating- About eating fruit (1994), Michiharu Matsunaga – Timescape in a Dream (2001), John Ferguson –Interlude (1999) and Hooked on …a Climax! (1995), Satoshi Ohmae – Spacing (2002), Kevin Hiatt – Rokodan no Shirabe (1997), Catherina Palmer – Floating (2000). In February of 2006 he performed Sonata “Wind” by Yasuhiko Tsukamoto at Suntory hall in Tokyo to celebrate the publication of this score

Trio Celeste

November 5, 2017

Hailed as “a first-class ensemble” (Orange County Register), “unfailingly stylish” (The Strad), “technically dazzling” (Long Beach Gazette), and “the epitome of what chamber musicians should be” (Palm Beach Daily News), Trio Céleste has firmly established itself as one of the most dynamic chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today.

2017 highlights include recital debuts at the Chicago Cultural Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Seoul Art Center in South Korea, and the world premiere of Paul Dooley’s Concerto Grosso for Piano Trio and Strings co-commissioned by Trio Céleste and Chamber Music | OC. Winners of the prestigious Beverly Hills Auditions, the ensemble has performed hundreds of recitals worldwide also appearing in masterclasses, entrepreneurship seminars, and performance residencies at some of the nation’s top academic institutions and centers for arts and culture. In 2014, the ensemble was selected from over 500 applicants to be Artists-in-Residence at The Grand Canyon National Park.

Trio Céleste is currently Ensemble-in-Residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine and Directors of the acclaimed arts organization Chamber Music | OC where they have been featured in collaborations with violist Paul Coletti, Emerson String Quartet violinist Philip Setzer, and principal players of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. During the 2015/2016 season, the Trio commissioned new music from composers Samuel Adler, Mike Block, Christopher Dobrian, Paul Dooley, Eugene Drucker, Peter Erskine, Eric Guinivan, Fred Hersch, Pierre Jalbert, Nicole Mitchell, Jim Scully, and Cristina Spinei, and released their first album on the Navona label which debuted at #5 on iTunes for “Best Seller New Release” and #20 on Amazon’s “Chamber Music Albums”.

The ensemble was inspired to take its name after their very first meeting in New York City, where a rare celestial occurrence – the largest harvest moon in two decades – marked the beginning of their tenure together.

Trio Céleste is currently represented by A440 Arts Group.

Musicians from Midwest Young Artists

October 22, 2017 & March 11, 2018

The history of Midwest Young Artists (MYA) is a story of a compelling mission, dedication and hard work. The organization was established in 1993 by parents who wanted Dr. Allan Dennis to create an orchestra for their children. Fifty five students showed up for the first rehearsal and were divided into a Junior and Senior Orchestra. A number of the older, more advanced students played in the Senior Orchestras and mentored in the Junior Orchestra, thereby establishing a tradition of cultivating leadership that continues as a core MYA principle today. Initially renting space at the Lake Forest Country Day School, MYA is now housed in the beautifully transformed Old Stockade Building at Fort Sheridan and has grown into the premier music ensemble program in the nation. MYA graduates are accepted into the most selective conservatories, universities and colleges in the country.

MYA reaches over 1,000 students from more than 74 cities in the metropolitan Chicago area, with students ranging in age from 2nd through 12th grades. Featuring 9 youth orchestras, more than 60 chamber music ensembles, 4 choral ensembles, 4 jazz big bands, numerous jazz combos, music history, theory and composition classes, MYA strives to provide the highest quality music experience for young musicians nationwide. In 2011, Early Childhood Development classes were added to introduce toddlers and their families to the joys of music and movement. The focus on family is another of MYA’s core principles.

However, at MYA it’s more than just the music. MYA makes a difference in the lives of its students, their families and their communities by encouraging camaraderie, respect and hard work as well as dedication to the pursuit of excellence. MYA is a place where students are able to grow, using music, in a socially supportive, educationally nurturing, socially responsible and organizationally secure environment.

For more details about Midwest Young Artists, please visit their website.

Crossing Borders

May 6, 2018

Crossing Borders Music: Celebrating Music from Syria and Egypt
Syrian musicians Issam Rafea, oud, and Omar al Musfi, percussion, join Maya Shiraishi, violin, and Tom Clowes, cello, to celebrate music by composers from Syria and Egypt. The ensemble will present original works composed by Rafea, Sufi-inspired violin solos by Abdo Dagher, and the violin-cello duo of Gamal Abdel-Rahim, whose music combines Egyptian modal scales, rhythms, and melodies with European-inspired harmonies.

Founded in 2011, Crossing Borders Music has become a leading interpreter of chamber music by composers from Haiti, Colombia, India, Egypt, and Uganda, and pioneering, critically acclaimed presenter of music by graduates of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education in Iran. Crossing Borders Music was a Headline Artist at the African Festival of the Arts, a Resident Arts Organization at the Chicago Cultural Center, and has been presented by the Old Town School of Folk, St. John’s Cathedral of Denver, the University of Chicago, and the Bahá’í House of Worship. Crossing Borders Music has been featured on ABC-7 Chicago News, WFMT, WBEZ, in the Chicago Tribune, in, in, and as a Critic’s Pick in TimeOut Chicago. Crossing Borders Music released Beyond the Headlines: Haiti in Music, its debut live album of Haitian chamber music, in 2013. In 2014 Crossing Borders Music recorded two albums of world premiere chamber music by Haitian American composer Gifrants. Through a grant from The Chicago Community Trust, in August, 2016, Crossing Borders Music released Zombie: Origin and Evolution, a recording of newly commissioned string quartet music by Haitian composers Jean “Rudy” Perrault and Sabrina C. D. Jean Louis.

Maya Shiraishi left her native Japan to attend Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, where she received an Artist Diploma under the guidance of Jasmine Lin, Grammy-nominated violinist of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and Formosa Quartet, and studied chamber music under Shmuel Ashkenasi, founding violinist of the Vermeer Quartet. As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and played under conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and Sir Andrew Davis.

Tom Clowes is a Chicago-area cellist and teacher, and founder and Executive Director of Crossing Borders Music. Tom was a student of internationally acclaimed cellist Wendy Warner, former Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist Italo Babini, and Lawrence University Conservatory of Music Professor Janet Anthony. As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he played under conductors Riccardo Muti, Peter Oundjian, and Cliff Colnot. In the summers, he teaches at the Ambassadors Music Institute in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. Before moving to Chicago, Tom was a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. He teaches at the Chicago West Community Music Center of Garfield Park.

Born in Syria, percussionist Omar al Musfi began his musical training at a very young age. By the time he was ten, he had won several national competitions as an elementary school student.  After graduating from the Syrian Conservatory of Music with a degree in percussion performance, al Musfi started performing extensively with the Syrian National Orchestra. Al Musfi has toured throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, East Asia, and the United States.  He has performed in prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, Symphony Center in Chicago, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.  He has collaborated with groups from a broad range of musical backgrounds, including classical, Middle Eastern and Fusion Jazz. Among them are the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, and contemporary pop artists such as Sting and Shakira, as well as many other groups representing a great diversity of styles.

Issam Rafea, oud, is the Winner of the 2010 “Best Composer Award” in Dubai International Film Festival (Muhr Arab) for the film Matar Ayloul, “September Rain.”  Rafea was the Chair of the Arabic Music Department at High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Rafea has studied under Fayez Zahr El-Din, Aref Abdallah, and Askar Ali-Akbar. In Syria, Rafea has been an active composer and arranger for TV and theater since the 90s. In addition to solo appearances with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Solhi Al Wadi, Rafea has performed internationally in France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait and United States. He’s participated in the Mediterranean Festival in Algeria, the World Universal Expo in Seville, Spain, Spiritual Music Festival Marseille, France, The Arabic Music Conferences in Cairo, and Babel Festival in Iraq.