A native of Japan, Ai Yamaguchi is an active flutist, adjudicator, and music educator in central Illinois. She has recently graduated with a Doctorate in Flute Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she holds a Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Wright State University. Ms. Yamaguchi has performed with numerous orchestras in central Illinois including the Urbana Pops Orchestra, the Danville Symphony Orchestra, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her relocation to Champaign, IL, she has performed as an assistant principal flute in the Gulf Coast Symphony in Mississippi and the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra in Ohio. Aside as an Executive Manager of Sinfonia da Camera, she also serves as a Visual and Multimedia Communication Chair for the Flute New Music Consortium, a non-profit organization with the shared mission of commissioning and supporting new music for the flute.
Ms. Yamaguchi has gained inspiration from her principal teachers, Dr. Jonathan Keeble, Dr. Danilo Mezzadri, Rachel Taratoot-Ciraldo, Dr. Christopher Chaffee, Dr. Leslie Goldman Maaser, and Diane Gilley.
Jefferson Howard is a bassoonist, music educator, and academic from Denver, Colorado. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Colorado, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an active freelance bassoonist both in central Illinois and the Denver metro area. He has performed with the Littleton Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Greeley Philharmonic, Loveland Orchestra, Stratus Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, as well as the Eastern Festival Orchestra in Greensboro, NC. His principal teachers include Tristan Rennie, George Sakakeeny, and Timothy McGovern.