Matt Rynes is a freelance musician and teacher working the greater Baltimore/ Washington D.C. area. Born and raised in Baltimore, his aim as a performer is to engage the greater Mid-Atlantic area through a variety of musical styles from classical, jazz and contemporary chamber music. He began his clarinet studies in high school and attended Towson University on scholarship to study with Marguerite Leven and Edward Palanker. While at Towson, he won the Peggy Freidman-Gordon and Lieberman prizes for outstanding soloist and performed on several side-by-side concerts with members of the United States Navy Band, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Towson University faculty. Matt then attended the University of Michigan for his masters working with Chad Burrow and Daniel Gilbert. His playing was often featured as a principal clarinetist in the University of Michigan’s Symphony Band under Michael Haithcock and as a member of the clarinet section of the Symphony Orchestra under Kenneth Kiesler and Christopher Lees. Matt’s bass clarinet playing can be heard prominently on the Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere recording of Darius Milhaud’s “L’Orestie d’Eshcyle” (the Oresteia of Aeschylus) which was nominated for the “Best Opera Performance” Grammy in 2015 (Naxos Records). He also performed in masterclasses with Anthony McGill, Michael Wayne, Shannon Schott, Greg Oaks and Cecilia Kang. Since graduating from the University of Michigan, Matt has been a regular member of the Baltimore classical music scene performing with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra and Towson University New Music Ensemble. Matt’s dedication to working with composers and performing new music has allowed him to work with several important young composers in the area like John Haggerty, Douglas Buchanan and Ruby Fulton. In a recent collaboration, he performed with jazz saxophonist Ellery Eskelin in a chamber piece written by the composer and trumpeter Dave Ballou as a part of the Towson University Jazz Residency 2016. Matt is also an accomplished jazz saxophonist and has been fortunate to study and perform with several of the greatest musicians in jazz and improvised music today. Through the Towson University Jazz Residency, he performed with Drew Gress, John Hollenbeck, Gerald Cleaver, Craig Taborn and Wadada Leo Smith, Bobby Shew, Dennis DiBlasio and Tim Hagans. His saxophone teachers include Andrew Bishop, Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin and Darryl Brenzel.
Natalie Groom is currently clarinetist of Wavelength Winds, UMD's fellowship wind quintet. A freelance musician, business consultant, and private instructor, she is a doctoral student studying with Robert DiLutis at the University of Maryland. A recent concerto competition winner, she performed Louis Spohr’s Concerto No. 1 with the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra in April 2017. Other solo appearances include Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs and Duke Ellington’s Tiger Rag. This summer, Ms. Groom was accepted to the Henri Selmer Clarinet Academy on a Selmer-sponsored scholarship of the highest award. She previously attended the Miami Music Festival and Orford Centre d’Arts on scholarship as an orchestral, opera, and chamber musician. Additionally, she has performed in masterclasses with artists such as Philippe Berrod, David Krakauer, and the Imani Winds and conducted clinics and masterclasses herself at local institutions. Ms. Groom was clarinetist of the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet (2013 – 2015), a group which competed in the 2014 MTNA Chamber Music Division National Finals and the 2015 Plowman Chamber Competition Semi-Finals. The quintet also served as university ambassadors to China during a three-week tour across twelve cities. This ensemble was integral in the Fox family’s decision to bestow a $20 million endowment to the UA School of Music, and the quintet was featured in press releases and a TV interview centered on the gift. Ms. Groom filled the role of ensemble manager during that year. Ms. Groom earned her M.B.A. and M.M. from the University of Arizona and a B.M. and double minor in Jazz Studies and Entrepreneurship from Kent State University. She studied with Jerry Kirkbride, Dennis Nygren, Amitai Vardi, and Jackie Glazier. During this time she served as a substitute in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and principal of numerous ensembles while teaching Business Communications, Rock and American Popular Music, Clarinet Studio, and Clarinet Choir. She has received many awards, including the UMD Quintet Fellowship, UA Quintet Fellowship, Lee T. Hanley Memorial Scholarship, Timothy Hay Clarinet Scholarship, Roy D. Metcalf Musicianship Award, second prize in the Intel Case Competition, and second prize in the 2012 Business Concept Competition. A recent graduate of the Eller College of Management, Ms. Groom’s focus was on market research and data analytics. At her new home in Maryland, she looks forward to combining her passion for music and business in ways that enable the industry to thrive.
Darien Williams is currently studying with Robert Dilutis as a master's student, and completed his bachelor's at Columbus State University. Darien made his recital debut in Carnegie Hall, as Second prize winner of the Golden Classical Music Awards, and was a also a finalist in the Orchestra Noir Competition. Darien has attended the Brevard Music Center and Clarinet Academy of America.
Howard Perry is a clarinetist from East Tennessee pursuing his Master's degree in Clarinet Performance and studying under Robert DiLutis. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville studying under Dr. Victor Chavez. During his time at UT, he performed in many ensembles, including Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and Marching Band. He premiered an opera titled Follow Suit by Griffin Candey with the Marble City Opera Company in March 2018. In 2016, he won Grand Prize in the River City Clarinet Fest in Chattanooga. Howard also worked part time in the School of Music auditorium as a sound and light technician. Mr. Perry aspires to become a professional orchestral musician.
Andrew Zhang is a clarinetist from Rockville, Maryland currently attending University of Maryland to study clarinet performance with Professor Robert Dilutis as well as pursue a math major. He attended Richard Montgomery High School where he served as principal clarinet of the symphonic band and as a member of the pit orchestra. He also played principal clarinet with the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra Wind Ensemble, as well as played in the section of Montgomery County's Senior Honors Band. Andrew is a graduate of UMD's High School Music Academy and University of Michigan's mPulse. In his free time, he likes to play alto sax.
My name is Adrian Paras. I am currently a freshman studying clarinet performance under Robert DiLutis. I am originally from Charles County, Waldorf Maryland. I have been playing the clarinet for 8 years and studied under Takako Mato for 6 years. I have taken part in the UMD High School Music Academy during the summer after my junior year in high school. I was the principal clarinetist for the St. Charles High School Symphonic Band, Charles County All-County/Tri-County band, and the Charles County Youth Orchestra. I also participated in the Maryland All-State band for five years.
Casey Schreck is a freshman from Rochester, New York currently pursuing a double major in clarinet performance and English. In high school, she was a student at the Eastman Community Music School studying under Andrew Brown. Before coming to Maryland, she was a first clarinet in the NYSSMA Conference All-State symphonic band, as well as principal in ensembles such as the Rochester Area All-State band, Hochstein Youth Wind Symphony, and FLMEA All-County band and orchestra. She is also part of the University Honors program, and enjoys art and beekeeping in her spare time.