Michael W - Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo
Updated bio to come.
Patrick Medina - Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute
Patrick Medina grew up in Spokane, Washington where he started playing music at the age of 8. Some of his earliest memories include hours spent listening to the likes of John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis in his father’s home office, but it wasn’t until hearing the song “Put Down the Duckie” on Sesame Street that he honed in on his instrument of choice: the saxophone.
In his school days Patrick played saxophone in concert and jazz band and was a featured soloist when his middle school band took first place at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. As Patrick entered high school he was regularly performing professionally in the Pacific Northwest and further expanded his creative outlets by picking up the piano, flute, clarinet, and percussion. It was also at this time that he began studying privately at Cornish College of the Arts with west coast saxophone legend Hadley Caliman, former tenor saxophonist with Freddie Hubbard’s band and rock legend Carlos Santana.
Throughout high school Patrick found additional performance opportunities by joining the Spokane Falls Community College Jazz Band as a freshman and later by attending the school fulltime his senior year. As a member of this ensemble he performed with Grammy Winners Eddie Palmieri and Ernie Watts as well as southern California jazz legends Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton and Jeff Clayton.
Since age 12, Patrick knew he wanted to attend the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, so when his senior year approached he was dead set on going. After submitting his audition CD he was awarded the maximum Berklee Entering Student Talent scholarship and he was ready to hop on the next plane to Beantown.
At Berklee Patrick had the honor to study and perform with some of the greatest names in Jazz including Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, George Garzone, and Hal Crook. In his four years at Berklee, Patrick was awarded additional scholarships including the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, Woodwind Achievement Award, and his departments highest accolade the Charlie Parker Scholarship.
For two years Patrick sat as lead alto in the college’s Urban Outreach Big Band, which toured the greater Boston area performing in lower performing schools. This experience ignited his passion for sharing the joy of music with children, especially those who may not normally have that type of opportunity otherwise. Notable alumni of his time in this band include members of Grammy Winners Imagine Dragons and the pop duo Karmin.
Beyond his jazz studies at Berklee he also took the opportunity to formally continue his studies on piano, flute and clarinet, which led to his next musical endeavor after Berklee. Weeks after graduating Patrick hit the high seas performing as a multi-instrumentalist on Celebrity Cruises. After a year of traveling the world he decided that it was time to consider graduate school.
Largely based on the recommendation of his last saxophone teacher at Berklee, Patrick chose to move to New York City where he received a scholarship from New York University for his Masters Degree in Jazz Studies. At NYU he formed close bonds with Grammy Winner Brian Lynch and Saxophonist Lenny Pickett, former saxophonist with Tower of Power and David Bowie and band-leader of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Patrick was quickly asked to join as an adjunct faculty member at NYU and had the honor of performing in some of New York City’s best venues, including multiple performances at the legendary Blue Note, and around the world with artists like Wayne Krantz, Kenny Werner, and Brian Lynch.
In September, 2015 Patrick relocated to Denver, Colorado where he is continuing his career as both a performer and educator.
Mark Harris - Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute
Mark is a dedicated and exploratory educator and performer. He has been a first call show player, playing in bands backing artists including Billy Eckstein, Joe Williams, Cab Calloway, Bob Hope, Natalie Cole, the Temptations; performed with Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd), Fred Frith, recorded with Bill Frisell, and Matt Wilson. His more recent performance focus is with original music bands Hamster Theatre, Thinking Plague, improv group Random Axe, and classical chamber ensembles Metro Wind Consort (where he replaces the french horn of a woodwind quintet with alto saxophone), and the Lamont Sax Quartet. He became certified in Soundpainting in 2013, and uses it to help with another area of focus, improvisation for musicians of all styles and skill levels.
Ben Porter - Saxophone
Saxophonist Benjamin Porter is an active soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and composer looking to push boundaries of what is typical in classical music. Having been a finalist and placed second in the Music Teacher’s National Association Regional Chamber Music Competition with both the Crash Quartet and Equilibrium Trio, he is putting himself on the map as a serious force in classical music. In 2015, he collaborated with Evan Ziporyn and Terry Riley as part of the Boston Phantom Saxophone Consort on a world premiere of the multi-saxophone version of Mr. Riley’s Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band on the MIT Sounding Series. He has maintained a large saxophone studio throughout Western Massachusetts since 2012. His students have made all-state bands at both the middle and high school levels, with some moving on to attend college in both the U.S. and Canada. Ben relocated to Denver, CO in 2018 and is eager to continue growing his studio and work with young saxophonists.
Benjamin Porter received his Bachelor’s Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied with Jonathan Hulting- Cohen and Lynn Klock. He also spent two summers at the American Saxophone Academy at the Eastman School of Music, where he received instruction from Otis Murphy, Timothy McAllister, Carrie Koffman, Chien-Kwan Lin, Griffin Campbell, and Kenneth Tse.
Catherine Flinchum - Flute and Piccolo
Known to be a versatile musician, flutist Catherine Flinchum has been able to create music through her instrument and with her pen. As an active performer in the Denver area, Ms. Flinchum performs with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. Other performances include the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and the Stratus Chamber Orchestra, as well as Atlanta performances with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and American Patriot Winds. Ms. Flinchum’s avid interest for contemporary music has led her to become a member of the Nebula Ensemble, the Flinchum/Herring Guitar and Flute Duo, and the HPF Project (harp, percussion and flute). Highlights include the U.S. premiere of Song Without Words: for flute and guitar by Japanese composer Noriyasu Tanaka, and the winnings of the Bronze Medal for the Global Music Awards and First Prize with The Music of the 20th Century (Great Composers Competition) with Robert Paterson’s, The Book of Goddesses.
As a soloist, Ms. Flinchum performed André Jolivet’s Suite en concert for solo flute and percussion with the Lamont Percussion Ensemble in May 2018. Other solo achievements include the selection as a concerto competition finalist for both the KSU School of Music (performing, Georges Hue’s Fantasie in 2013) and the Lamont School of Music (Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto in 2016).
Her musical endeavors have allowed Ms. Flinchum to travel to new places, meet phenomenal musicians, and perform a wide range of genres to the public. In 2011, she completed a three-concert tour in China with the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra, performing at the Beijing Conservatory, Jiao Tong University and Xi’an Concert Hall. Other tours include the 2011 Collegiate Symphony tour with the band KANSAS, and the 2018 tour with Thee Phantom and the Illharmonic Orchestra.
As a composer, Ms. Flinchum’s music presents a unique voice, reflecting elements of nature (A Sparrow’s Rain Song, for flute, cello and marimba), improvisation (The Cereal Diaries: OPERATION COCOA PUFFS, for solo percussion), mixtures of repetition and funk (Hiccup-pated Groove for flute, clarinet and bassoon), and imitation between players (Shadowplay for bass flute and guitar).
Ms. Flinchum completed a performance certificate and master’s degree at the Lamont School of Music, studying under Julie Thornton of the Colorado Symphony and bachelor’s degree at Kennesaw State University, under Christina Smith of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Other teachers include Cecilia Piehl Price and Anna Hobgood. Her instrumental performances include flute, piccolo, alto and bass flute.