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Community concert

Come one, come all! Join us at the Marigny Opera House for a special side-by-side concert featuring our NOLA Chamber Fest Community Partner students and educators. Celebrating the announcement of our 2023 festival, it will be an afternoon of chamber music, community and celebration. See you there!

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Morgan Stewart

Morgan Stewart is an active musician and educator hailing from New York City, currently living in the New Orleans area. After graduating from LaGuardia High School for Music and Performing Arts, Morgan moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in music education at Temple University. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Music, she accepted a position to serve as a Woodwind Specialist itinerant teacher for the School District of Philadelphia. She went on to receive her Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from Loyola University New Orleans. Her principal teachers have included Dr. Stephanie Thompson, Victor Goines, John Reeks, Renee Rosen, Cheryl Y. Boga, and Lawrence Wagner. Morgan has participated in clarinet master classes with Paquito D’Rivera, Anthony McGill, Mariam Adam, and Paul Demers. She is a free-lance performer with various chamber groups in the Greater New Orleans area and has collaborated with Grammy nominated producer and composer Khari Mateen on his album Wait for Sunrise. While completing her studies at Loyola University New Orleans, she joined the staff at Roots of Music in 2014. As the Chief Programs Officer, she has traveled the world with the Roots of Music students. She accompanied them to the North Sea Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival at Curacao, the Harvest Jazz and Blues fest in Fredericton Canada, the French Jazz Sous Les Pommiers Festival and the festival Jazz Ascona in Switzerland. As the Chief Programs Officer, she is thrilled to work with the teachers, staff, and directors to create enriching and life changing experiences for the youth of New Orleans.

Moises Cunha

Increasingly recognized as a versatile and passionate performer, Brazilian-born violinist Moises Bonella Cunha has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Brazil, Italy, Russia, and United States. Moises has been featured as a soloist with major Brazilian symphonic and chamber orchestras, including Bahia Symphony Orchestra, Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, and Theatro Sao Pedro Chamber Orchestra. Moises has also performed on Brazilian television such as TV Educativa and TV Senado as a soloist of the Projeto SESI Catedrais.

At the invitation of renowned pianist Arnaldo Cohen, Moises Cunha performed a solo recital for a full audience at the prestigious Sala São Paulo in Brazil. Passionate about chamber music, Moises is Artistic DIrector of the Northern Neck Chamberfest, and a frequent artist at the Northern Neck Chamber Music Series in Virginia. 

Since 2018, Moises has served as Concertmaster and Artist-in-Residence of the Northern Neck Orchestra in Virginia and makes regular appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans.

Moises is passionate about educational outreach, and has given numerous masterclasses in the United States and Brazil. He has given masterclasses at Xavier University of Louisiana, FUNDARTE, and Pelotas Federal University, and frequently presents masterclasses, and coaches chamber music and orchestra sectionals to the Orquestra Jovem Recanto Maestro in his native Brazil. He has also been a guest artist at Loyola University New Orleans, working closely in sectionals with undergraduate and graduate students in orchestra repertoire. Dr. Moises Cunha is director of the Crescent City String Academy and the Crescent City String Camp & Festival in New Orleans.


Elizabeth Cunha

Violinist Elizabeth Almond Crute Cunha enjoys an active career as a chamber musician, orchestra player, and music educator. As the winner of the Augusta Symphony’s Concerto Competition, she performed Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G Major with the Augusta Symphony. Elizabeth was a member of ARCO Chamber Orchestra and was involved in multiple performances and recordings of classical and contemporary music with the ensemble. She toured with ARCO in Italy, which included performing at the 2011 UNESCO Conference in Venice at Teatro La Fenice. In 2018 she was featured as a soloist with the Tidewater Intergenerational Orchestra and she also performed with the Molto Chamber Ensemble for the First Lady of the Republic of Haiti in New Orleans. As an orchestral musician, Elizabeth has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Northern Neck Orchestra, Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Philharmonic, Augusta Symphony, Asheville Jazz Orchestra, North Georgia Chamber Orchestra, and Hendersonville Symphony Chamber Orchestra. In 2021, Elizabeth performed with Bell’Anima Productions in Recanto Maestro, Brazil. She has performed with popular artists including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Sarah Brightman, and appeared in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Elizabeth currently performs regularly for the Fever Events Candlelight Concerts series throughout New Orleans. 

A passionate music educator, Elizabeth is the Co-Director of the Crescent City String Academy, where she teaches private lessons, group classes, and chamber music, and is the founder and artistic director of the Crescent City String Camp & Festival. It is her aim to instill a life-long love of music and intellectual curiosity in her students through developing a strong technical foundation while focusing on music as artistic expression. She has worked with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts, and as the Children’s Program Director and a chamber music coach with the Philadelphia International Music Festival.


Raudol Palacios

Raudol Palacios is a Cuban-born cellist and the artistic director at Palacios House of Arts. Palacios began his studies in Venezuela through El Sistema and Mozarteum School of Music under Professor German Marcano and continued studying cello with Susan Ribicky-Varga in Switzerland at the Conservatoire Cantonal du Valais-Sion. He completed his Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at Louisiana State University with Professor Dennis Parker. One year after graduation, he founded Palacios House of Arts, a non-profit organization aimed at educating children through immersive music and arts programs that promote culture. Along with his classical music studies, Raudol Palacios performs regularly with his band Favorite Friend.

Catherine Matushek

Catherine Matushek grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where she started playing viola in school at age 8. She moved to New Orleans in 2015, and became a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. She also plays in the Radio Bird Quartet, which performs original pop and rock arrangements.

Catherine earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she also studied Suzuki Pedagogy. She teaches privately and is the lead teacher for the LPO’s “Music for Life” program.

Catherine lives in Gentilly with her husband, Michael, their cats, Clover and Percy, and a rotating assortment of foster kittens from the Louisiana SPCA. 


Jesse Reeks

Jesse Reeks has been organist of St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica since fall 2013, after previously serving as music director/organist at St. Francis of Assisi. In 2014, Jesse was honored as one of Gambit Weekly’s 40 under 40 and continues to distinguish himself in the New Orleans musical community. In 2009, he graduated cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans with the distinction of Outstanding Jazz Major in Jazz Studies. He recently returned to Loyola as the Elise Cambon organ scholar and earned his Master of Music, studying with Dr. Marcus St. Julien, and was named Outstanding Graduate Student in Music Performance. In addition to being staff accompanist at Loyola since 2006, he has been an in-demand collaborator and recitalist, making frequent appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the John Mahoney Big Band, and on numerous film scores.

Jaren Atherholt

The founder of Lyrica Baroque, Jaren Atherholt is currently the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She previously served as principal oboist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra from 2007 – 2018. A native of Alaska, Jaren has performed to stellar reviews as a featured concerto soloist and has been guest principal oboist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony, as well as guest associate principal oboist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Jaren spent four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and currently performs each summer with the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has served on the faculty of John Mack Oboe Camp, Interlochen Oboe Institute, the Wintergreen Music Academy, and the Vianden International Music School. Jaren plays Loree oboes.
Ben Atherholt

Benjamin Atherholt

Benjamin Atherholt is Programming Director for Lyrica Baroque, and the Contrabassoonist and Assistant Principal Bassoonist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also the Contrabassoonist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performing each summer in upstate New York. His specialty as a Contrabassoonist has engaged him in performances with orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony, where he is featured on the 2013 Grammy Award winning recording of Berg’s Wozzeck. A passionate educator, Ben is the Instructor of Bassoon at Tulane University and frequently teaches as a featured guest artist in masterclasses and residencies across the country. Ben grew up in Houston, Texas and holds a B.M. in performance and composition from Oberlin Conservatory studying under the tutelage of George Sakakeeny and Jeffrey Mumford respectively.

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