RSO Announces New Orchestra Members

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Music Director Steve Larsen and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) are proud to announce the appointments of five new members for the 2013/14 Season:

Colleen Corning, Clarinet: Ms. Corning served as principal clarinetist with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony and the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently performs with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. Ms. Corning attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and received her Bachelor and Master degrees of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She has studied with Dale Clevenger, Peggy Michel, and John Mack.

Matthew Gaunt, Principal Tuba: Mr. Guant has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. He currently performs with multiple chamber ensembles including Chicago Chamber Musicians, Rhythm and Brass, Burning River Brass, and Proteus 7. Mr. Gaunt attended Boston University, studying with J. Samuel Pilafian, Gary Ofenloch and Chester Schmitz, and received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1991. He currently is an instructor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Derek Handley, Cello: Mr. Handley currently performs with multiple orchestras including the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Symphony. He is currently the Principal Cello at the Lira Symphony. Mr. Handley received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and his Master of Music degree from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. He has performed with jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Chris Polen, Bass: Mr. Polen has held positions with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra and Carmel Symphony Orchestra. He currently performs with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and is the Principal Bass of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Mr. Polen attended University of North Carolina Greensboro, studying with Craig Brown. He received his Master of Bass Performance from Indiana University, studying with Bruce Bransby and Christopher Hanulik.

Eric Pudluski, Violin: Mr. Puluski currently is a violinist with the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra. He served as concertmaster of the DePaul University Symphony Orchestra and has held positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as well as the Beethoven Festival Orchestra. Mr. Pudluski attended DePaul University, studying with Olga Kaler and Mark Zinger. He received his Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University and received a Certificate in Violin Performance in 2012.

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1934 and incorporated in 1943. The RSO's first Music Director and Manager, Arthur Zack, led the orchestra for the next 27 years, during which time the Rockford Area Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Guild were established. Now in its 79th season, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra continues to fulfill its mission to lead in the creation of vibrant musical experiences that enlighten, educate, and entertain.


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