Nashville Early Music Festival | Presenters
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Tucker Biddlecombe

tucker biddlecombe

Tucker Biddlecombe is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. He has received numerous education awards, including “Teacher of the Year” at Lawton Chiles High School in Florida and the Blair School’s Faculty Excellence Award. He is an active guest conductor, having conducted honor choirs in seven states, as well as serving as clinician to over 100 choirs touring Nashville. Biddlecombe is a published composer and arranger and has presented numerous workshops around the nation. He holds a Ph.D. in Music Education and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Florida State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

Walter Bitner

walter bitner

Walter Bitner is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony. A performer since childhood, Walter is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, conductor, composer, and master teacher. In the early 1990s he studied recorder with Steve Silverstein and lute with Pat O’Brien in New York City, and he has been active as a performer and teacher of early music ever since. A founding member of The Tampa Bay Early Music Consort, he has performed extensively as a recorder and lute soloist, in addition to his work as pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. Walter directed performing arts programs at public and private schools in New York, Florida, and Nashville, and founded the Music City Youth Orchestra, which he directed from 2007-2012. He has performed or collaborated with a wide variety of artists and ensembles including Music City Baroque, the Nashville Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony Chorus. In addition, he writes about music and education on his blog Off the Podium at

Cynthia Black

cynthia black

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Cynthia Black performs throughout the U.S. as a baroque violinist and violist. She has performed with Apollo’s Fire, Quicksilver, Les Delices, and NYS Baroque, and has been a featured soloist with the American Bach Soloists. Black is in her final year of her doctoral studies at Case Western Reserve University, where she studies with Dr. Julie Andrijeski. She holds viola degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her research interests include scordatura practices in late 17th-century Italy and 18th-century string quartet performance practices.

L’Académie du Roi Soleil

case western reserve historical performance ensemble

L’Académie du Roi Soleil (A.R.S.) is an early music consort dedicated to performing music of the French Baroque, among other genres.  Their name pays homage to Louis XIV, the Sun King, an important source of patronage for the arts.  This ensemble marks an exciting international collaboration; jointly based in York, UK and Charlotte, NC, we maintain an active performance schedule on both sides of the Atlantic.


Karen Clarke

karen clarke

Karen Clarke is an early music specialist and an adjunct professor of violin at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. She is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player and period instrument violinist, and has appeared as soloist with such ensembles as the Buffalo Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.

Alice Culin-Ellison


Baroque violinist Alice Culin-Ellison is a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University in the Historical Performance Program, studying with Julie Andrijeski. Culin-Ellison received her Bachelor of Music Degree from University of Michigan in 2005, and completed a Master of Music in baroque violin from Indiana University in 2012. She has performed across the world with ensembles and programs such as the Britten-Pears Young Artists Program in England, the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye in France, and the Tafelmusik Winter Institute in Toronto. Alice is passionate about ensemble playing and her professional engagements include Bourbon Baroque, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Such Sweete Melodie, and Baroque Band.

Jessica Dunnavant

Jessica Dunnavant

Dr. Jessica Dunnavant is a freelance musician in Nashville, TN. A dedicated teacher, she is an instructor for Belmont Academy in addition to maintaining a large private studio and active performing life. Dr. Dunnavant is the flutist and recorder player for Music City Baroque. Her recent performances with the group have been described as “memorably exquisite” and “spontaneous and intensely musical” as well as full of “unfailing sensitivity.” She is the President of the Mid-South Flute Society, a group on whose board she has served since 2005. She is a published arranger, with three new works released in 2012 at Dorn Publications.

Mark Godwin

mark godwin

Mark Godwin holds a degree in guitar performance from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has attended and performed in numerous master classes with Michael Newman, Christian Kieser, and Oscar Ghiglia. Godwin has served on the faculty of Lipscomb University since 1990 and Belmont University since 2002. Proficient at both classic and contemporary music, he has performed professionally from blues clubs to Carnegie Hall. He currently works as a sideman and recording musician and is also a member of the Godwin-Thompson Duo. Their new recording “Bello Bilancieto” was just released.

Margaret Carpenter Haigh

margaret carpenter

Soprano Margaret Carpenter is in demand as a soloist and professional chorister both in the United States and abroad. A passionate proponent of early music, she regularly performs works by composers from the French, German, English, Spanish, and Dutch Renaissance and Baroque periods. Educated as a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College, University of Cambridge, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Margaret’s experience is broad. Margaret sings and has recorded two CDs, performed in a number of high-profile productions, and has toured extensively.

Nicolas Haigh

nicolas haigh

Nicolas Haigh is currently the Organ Scholar of New College at the University of Oxford. Prior to this he was Organ Scholar at York Minster and the Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge where he accompanied the world famous choirs under the direction of Robert Sharpe, Timothy Brown and Graham Ross. In August 2015 he will take up a position as a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Whilst studying for the degree in musicology, Nicolas also gained experience as a continuo player. This led to the formation of the early music consort L’Académie du Roi Soleil with which he has toured North and South Carolina (USA) and performed across the UK. He has also appeared with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, and Ensemble Vermillian.

Jared Hauser

jared hauser

Described as a “sensitive, elegant soloist” with a “subtle refined style” by Gramaphone Magazine and as a “meditative and thoughtful” player by the American Record Guide, Jared Hauser has performed internationally as a soloist and a chamber musician. Appointed to the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Hauser performs with the Blair Woodwind Quintet and regularly with Music City Baroque. He previously served as principal oboist of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and as artist faculty at the Lynn Conservatory of Music. Hauser has appeared as soloist with such diverse groups as the Bournemouth Symphonette, Bella Baroque, the Hot Springs Music Festival Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York, among others. Jared’s other orchestral credits include appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Camerata Ducale, Nashville Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic and the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra.

Joshua Keller


Joshua Keller has studied the cello at the University of Memphis and the viola da gamba at Indiana University where he received his Master’s degree in viola da gamba performance. He plays all sizes of viola da gamba including the contrabass viola da gamba or violone. He also plays the 13-stringed lirone or lira da gamba. H have professional experience in renaissance music, early baroque including instrumental music and vocal accompaniment. He plays much mid- and late-baroque music with professional ensembles and often plays the violone in orchestras. He has worked in the US, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK as an ensemble/orchestra member and as a soloist. He has played in major festivals such as the Festival Oude Musiek Utrecht, Festival van Vlaanderen Brugge (MAFestival), Bremen Musikfest, Gueldener Herbst Alte Musik Festival Thueringen, Bloomington Early Music Festival and several others.

Tammy Rogers King

tammy rogers king

Tammy Rogers King is a professional musician living and working in Nashville, TN. She has toured and recorded with artists such as Reba McIntire, Trisha Yearwood, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Neil Diamond, The Jayhawks, Buddy and Julie Miller, and many others. Tammy is a founding member of the three-time Grammy-nominated group, the SteelDrivers. She has performed on several major television shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Late Night with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, and the Grand Ole Opry. In addition to her commercial work, Tammy enjoys playing Baroque music with Music City Baroque. She is an adjunct professor of music at Belmont University, where she teaches commercial violin and directs the Belmont Bluegrass Ensemble.

Dr. Shelby Lewis

shelby lewis

A native Tennessean, Dr. Shelby Lewis now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he pursues a career on modern and historic trumpets. Nationally, he has performed with Music City Baroque, The Houston Bach Society, Chatham Baroque (Pittsburgh), Saint Cecelia’s Baroque Orchestra (Austin), Atlanta Baroque, La Follia Austin Baroque, Early Music New York, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony, and the Victoria Bach Festival’s modern orchestra. Shelby also possesses a master’s degree in architecture, and is at the front end of a long-term study of historic performing conditions for trumpet and pipe organ. He also performs and teaches “on the bayou” (in Baton Rouge and New Orleans) as a jazz and commercial trumpeter.

Eva Lymenstull


American cellist Eva Lymentsull completed a master’s degree in baroque cello at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2014, where she studied under Jaap ter Linden. Ms. Lymenstull has performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Holland Baroque Society, Symphonie Atlantique, Orpheon Consort, and Mercury. She has presented research findings on historical chordal continuo realization practices on the cello, and has received several prestigious grants to pursue studies in historical performance, including the Lovett, Theodore Presser, and Wagoner Foundation awards. Ms. Lymenstull holds a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Michigan and a master’s in modern cello from Rice University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University.

Allison Edberg Nyquist

allison nyquist

Allison Edberg Nyquist is concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, a member of Ensemble Voltaire, The Vivaldi Project, and Baroque Band (Chicago). She is also the new adjunct professor of baroque violin at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. She performs frequently with Chatham Baroque, the Washington Bach Consort, and at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival. Her violin is French, made around 1820 and was restored by William Monical in 1997. It has been in her family since the early 1900’s and was named “Peter Pan” by her ancestor, as he believed that the violin would never grow old and die.

Francis Perry

francis perry

Francis Perry began playing the guitar at the age of six, and his lifelong love of the instrument has provided the foundation for his career as a performer and teacher. As a classical guitarist and specialist on the Renaissance and Baroque lutes, he has appeared at colleges and music festivals in the United States, Italy, and Spain. Along with his duo partner, Timothy Broege, Mr. Perry was a featured performer at the American Recorder Society’s concert series at the Boston Early Music Festival. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University, both in Guitar Performance. Having served on the music faculties at Fairleigh Dickinson, Kean, and Monmouth Universities in New Jersey, Mr. Perry currently teaches at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where he has lived since 2005. He regularly performs on lute with Music City Baroque.

Terri Richter

terri richter

Soprano Terri Richter made her début with Seattle Opera as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, and returned to sing Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Zenia in Boris Godunov, First Nymph in Rusalka and Oscar in Un ballo in maschera. Her concert repertoire includes Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Bach’s St Matthew Passion, St John Passion, Cantata No. 51, Christmas Oratorio and B Minor Mass; Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers; and Haydn’s Creation; with ensembles including the Fort Collins, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla symphonies; Northwest Chamber Orchestra; Orchestra Seattle; Pacific Northwest Ballet; Bellevue Philharmonic and Northwest Sinfonietta.