Molly Hammond, harpsichord, enjoys a varied career as a pianist and harpsichordist. She has performed as soloist and collaborative pianist in Mexico, England, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Texas. She served as principal keyboardist of the Houston Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the Houston Ballet, Mercury Baroque, Piping Rock Singers, the Houston Symphony’s Community Connection series and at the Boston Early Music Festival. She graduated from the Universities of Colorado and Texas with degrees in piano performance. Additional studies include graduate work in piano at Peabody Conservatory, and Baroque performance practice at the International Baroque Institute at Longy, the Eastman School of Music, and the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory. Ms. Hammond is equally passionate in her work as a certified Kripalu yoga instructor.
Christopher Phillpott performs regularly on cello, baroque cello, and viola da gamba while maintaining a studio of over sixty students in the Frisco Independent School District. He has performed with such ensembles as the Dallas Bach Society, Denton Bach Players, Austin Baroque Orchestra, Tallahassee Bach Parley, and the Early Music America Young Performer’s Festival Ensemble. Mr. Phillpott holds a bachelor’s degree in cello performance and a master’s degree in musicology from Texas Christian University, as well as an Early Music Certificate from the Florida State University.
A native of Denton, Texas, Thane Isaac hails from a large and musical family. He graduated in 2009 from the University of North Texas with a degree in modern violin performance and emphasis in baroque performance under Cynthia Roberts. In 2012, Thane completed a post-graduate residency at Yale University as one-fifth of the Yale Baroque Ensemble under violinist Robert Mealy. A regularly appearing player in early music ensembles in and around the state of Texas, he has had the honor of performing at the Boston Early Music Festival, Carnegie Hall with the Yale Baroque Orchestra, and Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Baroque Orchestra.
Ellis Reyes Montes is a multifaceted and dynamic musician whose specialties run from renaissance consort music to free improvisation. As a wind player, he has performed as a soloist in the Moore’s Opera House in Houston and in Ganz Hall in Chicago. His playing has also been featured in professional organizations such as Ars Lyrica Houston, Les Touches Consort, and in the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. During his graduate studies as a bassoonist at the Chicago School for Performing Arts and undergraduate at the University of Houston and Longy School of Music, he has sought to broaden his knowledge of historical context with his pursuit of early music under the tutelage of many professors, including bassoonist Andrew Schwartz and flautist/oboist Kathleen Staten. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Reyes is a high school English teacher at Harmony School of Advancement, Houston.
John Paddie is an active composer, arranger, percussionist, vocalist, and lesson teacher in the Houston, Texas area. He holds a degree in composition from Sam Houston State University, where he studied under Drs. Kyle Kindred and Brian Herrington. He performs on drumset, auxiliary percussion, and as a singer in Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and many other surrounding areas.
John has been fortunate enough to be part of musical ensembles that spread across several genres. He has performed in bands playing country/Americana, punk rock, jazz, indie, and musical theater.
Mr. Pacheco obtained his Bachelor Degree in Percussion from the Superior
Conservatory in Seville, Spain. Soon after he was part of the Andalusian Youth
Orchestra, as well as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, under the baton of Michael
Thomas and Daniel Baremboim respectively, for several years. A versatile
percussionist, he performed with the FestivalEnsemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the
Bach Collegium (Stuttgart Bachakademie) under the direction of Helmut Rilling, touring through Europe and China. He arrived to Houston in 2012, where he became a very prolific performer and music educator. Versatile percussionist, he has already performed with many ensembles and companies in town such as the Bach Society, Mercury, Ars Lyrica, Octave Illusion, Latin American Philharmonic Orchestra, and Houston Brass Band, among others.
Jesús is the current Assistant Band Director at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in
Houston while keeping a really active life as a performer in the city.
PHILLIP W. SERNA performs on double bass with various Midwestern orchestras as well as on viols with ensembles including Black Tulip, Burning River Baroque, Les Touches, New Comma Baroque, the Newberry Consort of Viols, the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago consort of viols, and many others. He has appeared on WFMT Chicago, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio, and can be heard CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, and Varèse Sarabande Records. Holding Masters and Doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, Phillip teaches double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University, double bass at North Central College, viola da gamba and viol consort at the Music Institute of Chicago, and is assistant director of Illinois' first public-school period-instrument program at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Phillip has served on the faculties of the Madison Early Music Festival, Music on the Mountain Winter Workshop, the Whitewater Early Music Festival, the VdGS Third Coast’s Memorial Day Workshop as co-music director. Phillip is the founder and music director of the outreach program Viols in Our Schools - earning him Early Music America’s Outreach Award for 2010 and their Early Music Month prize for 2016.
Phillip W. Serna
Wendy Gillespie has organized and taught at workshops and seminars in early music performance all over the United States and elsewhere, including the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and New Zealand. In addition to being the chair of Historical Performance at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, she is Past President of the VdGSA and a member of the EMA Higher Education Committee.
A native New Yorker, Gillespie has performed medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music with ensembles ranging from the English Concert to Ensemble Sequentia and has participated in more than 100 recordings for hmUSA, EMI, Virgin Classics, BIS, Channel Classics, Avie, and other labels. With her colleagues, she has shared three Gramophone awards, several Gramophone and Grammy nominations, and a French Grand Prix du Disque.
In 2010, Gillespie received the Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding director of a college early music program, and in 2011 she received the distinguished Alumnae Achievement Award from her alma mater, Wellesley College.
Joe Mynhier studied at Indiana University, where he gained experience in with many sizes of viols and a wide selection of consort repertoire. While at IU, he was a founding member of Les Touches, performing at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and the Viola da Gamba Society of America's Gamba Gamut at the Boston Early Music Festival. He currently plays guitar, viola da gamba, and cello with Willoughby Sprig, a chamber folk and dance band based in Indiana. He is currently pursuing a degree in computer engineering at Purdue University.