Four open positions in the KSO--two principal chair positions and two horn section positions--were filled this summer in auditions.
At Principal Trumpet, replacing the retiring Cathy Leach, is Phillip Chase Hawkins. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at Centre College in Danville, KY while also pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Kentucky. His Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees are from the Eastman School of Music. Highlighting several competition wins, Hawkins was the first place winner in the Graduate Solo Division of the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, VA, in 2012.
Aaron Apaza, Principal Bassoon, has most recently been Acting Assistant Principal bassoon with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra during the 2011-12 season. Apaza's studies included the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and Yale University's School of Music. After Yale, Apaza joined the New World Symphony in Miami, where he performed under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, Artistic Director.
The KSO principal bassoon position was elevated to full-time core status this season (along with the other principal woodwinds) thanks to a grant from Knoxville's Aslan Foundation.
In the Horn Section, Gray Ferris is holding down a one-year position at 2nd Horn for the on-leave Jennifer Roche. Ferris received his Bachelor's in Music Education at the University of New Hampshire, and his Master's in Music Performance from the University of Arizona.
At 4th Horn will be Sean Donovan. Donovan is currently pursuing his Master of Music Theory degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He holds a Master of Music degree in Horn Performance from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance from Middle Tennessee State University.