Sagar Anupindi is a founding member of Vanguard Reed Quintet, who were awarded second prize at the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition in 2017. Sagar competed in the same competition in 2018 with his woodwind quintet, Vayu Quintet, and received third prize. An avid performer of new music, Sagar has been involved in upwards of 15 premieres and commissions, including the 2018 world premiere performances of Jules Pegram’s one-act opera Higher Ground.
In 2016, Sagar had the privilege of performing Charles Gounod’s Petite symphonie alongside faculty members at the Orford Academy. In 2018, he performed in a side-by-side concert with the Grammy-nominated ensemble, Imani Winds. He has also made appearances performing with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Ann Arbor Camerata and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Sagar has performed in a number of master classes for renowned oboists including Alex Klein (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Christoph Hartmann (Berlin Philharmonic).
Sagar completed his Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in April 2018, where he studied with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King. He has performed with the University of Michigan Symphony Band under the direction of Michael Haithcock and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler and Oriol Sans. He can be heard on a recent album by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Bolcom and Friends, in works featuring soloists Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic) and William Campbell (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Symphony). Sagar is presently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Richard Killmer.
Mickayla Chapman is currently working full time as the Training Ensembles Development & Recruitment Coordinator with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she maintains private clarinet studio and appears as an educator throughout southeast Michigan.
As an avid chamber musician, Mickayla has dedicated much of her life to collaboration. As clarinetist in the Vanguard Reed Quintet, she has been awarded the Silver Medal in the Senior Winds Division at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Vanguard has also just recorded it’s debut album of six new commission for the reed quintet. In addition to Vanguard, Mickayla was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2018 Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition with the Saros Trio, where they were also awarded an additional prize for the best performance of a work by a University of Michigan composer. With her chamber music groups Ensemble Kiowa and Ensemble L’Aube, Mickayla was a National Finalist for two consecutive years in the MTNA Young Artist Chamber Music Competition. With Ensemble Kiowa, she also won 3rd Prize in the Enkor Chamber Music Competition. Mickayla’s various chamber ensembles have appeared for performances and educational activities throughout Southeast Michigan, New York City, and the Kansas City area.
As a soloist, Mickayla has been invited to play with the Kansas City Philharmonia Orchestra and has performed as principal clarinet of the Neue Eutiner Fespiele Orchestra in Eutin, Germany, and has also recently performed with the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Kansas Sinfonietta Orchestra, Kansas Repertory Theatre, and Lawrence Community Orchestra. As a member of the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble she premiered Mohammed Fairouz’s piece In the Shadow of No Towers at Carnegie Hall, a performance hailed by the New York Times as “technically impressive” and “deeply moving.” She also recorded Michael Torke’s Bliss as an E-flat clarinetist with the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble. Both of these performances have been recorded and released on the Naxos label.
Mickayla completed her Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Kansas, and her major teachers include Chad Burrow, Daniel Gilbert, Fred Ormand, and Dr. Stephanie Zelnick.
Praised by the Baltimore Sun for his “technical aplomb and keen expressive nuance,” saxophonist Sean Meyers performs as a soloist and collaborative artist across the United States. He has given world premieres of more than twenty new compositions for saxophone, including the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra by Andrew Boss, which he premiered and recorded in Baltimore in 2015.
Other world premieres include compositions with electronics and multimedia by Monte Taylor, Hunter Prueger, and Nicholas Perry Clark, and several new works for reed quintet commissioned by Vanguard Reed Quintet. Equally at home with the full expanse of the saxophone’s wide-ranging repertoire, Sean enjoys performing music by composers ranging from Alexander Glazunov to Luciano Berio to Jennifer Higdon.
Sean’s passion for making music exciting and accessible to everyone and his enthusiasm for new music and innovative concert experiences drives much of his work as a performer and educator. As a co-founder and former executive director of the Baltimore-based non-profit chamber orchestra Symphony Number One, he fueled the orchestra’s mission to develop close working relationships with young and emerging composers, give new works multiple hearings, produce substantial recordings of new works, and create innovative musical programs for the community.
Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Sean is pursuing post-graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music and runs a private saxophone studio in the Austin area. Sean holds bachelor’s degrees in saxophone performance and music education from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Sean’s principle teachers include Gary Louie, Timothy McAllister, and Stephen Page.
Clarinetist Nicolas Chona is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, having completed his master of music studies under Jonathan Gunn in 2018. He received his B.M. in music performance from Rice University in 2014, where he studied with Richie Hawley. In the summer of 2012, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, working with recognized clarinetists Joaquin Valdepenas and Bil Jackson and conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Jane Glover, Ludovic Morlot, Hugh Wolff, and Osmo Vanska.
While living in Houston, Nico was a founding member of the Noctua Wind Quintet, bronze medalists at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Additionally, Noctua has won prizes at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Chamber Music Yellow Springs competition, and was the only American group invited to the live rounds of the 63rd ARD International Music Competition in 2014. Nico made his Kennedy Center Millennium Stage debut with the group that same year while on tour with Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Larry Rachleff. As a freelancer in the area, he appeared on The Woodlands Salon Series and the Aperio: Music of the Americas chamber music series while also performing with larger groups like the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Additionally, Nico worked as operations manager for the Houston Youth Symphony before moving to Austin for his graduate studies.
In Austin, Nico has performed extensively with Density512, a new music collective led by current and former UT students devoted to bringing contemporary classical music to the Austin live music culture by supporting local musicians and composers. He was also a musician in the Zilker Theater Productions' 2017 run of The Wizard of Oz, where he doubled on saxophone.
Nico is currently in his first season with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph Swift is a freelance orchestral musician, chamber musician, and teacher whose work has taken him across the Midwest, New York, California, Canada, and Europe. In 2013, he was chosen as a featured soloist and chamber musician at the British Isles Music Festival in London, England as one of four Americans in attendance of the festival, at which 24 different nations were represented. In 2014 he was selected as one of three grand finalists and winners of the Western Michigan University Concerto Competition and performed Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major with the university orchestra later that spring. In 2017, Joseph joined the Vanguard Reed Quintet, taking second prize in the 2017 Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition. Additionally, that summer he performed side by side with professional musicians from the Orchestre Symphonie du Montreal, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and other major symphonies in concerts at the Orford Academy in Orford, Quebec and at the Festival Napa Valley Orchestra in Napa, California.
He has attended the British Isles Summer Music Festival, Madeline Island Summer Music Camp, Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA), Orford Academy, and Festival Napa Valley’s Blackburn Music Academy. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and Master’s degrees in Bassoon Performance and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan. His primary teachers have been: Robert Williams, Gwendolyn Rose, and Jeffrey Lyman.
An active freelancer, Joseph has performed with the Ann Arbor Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic and the South Bend Symphony as well as many small ensemble performances across the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Joseph hails from Howell, Michigan and currently resides in Ann Arbor. He enjoys running, reading, and solving Rubik’s cubes in his free time.