Stamps Woodwind Quintet Class of 2023

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  • Emily Mendez

    Major: Instrumental Performance

    Instrument: Oboe

    Profile: 

    Emily Mendez is currently attending the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami majoring in instrumental performance. She is a Stamps Ensembles Distinguished Scholar, the oboist in the Woodwind Quintet Class of 2023.

    Emily Mendez is from Miami, Florida. She started playing the oboe in 9th grade. She graduated from Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer, where she was principal oboe in their top group, the Wind Symphony. She has studied primarily with Dr. Joseph Wenda. She has participated in many honor festivals. She sat first chair in both the Green Band and, this past year, the Wind Ensemble, at the University of Miami Honor Band. At both Tri-State Honor Festival and Superintendent’s Honors Festival, she has sat first chair. She recently participated in the Honor Band of America, where she was chosen among four oboists from across the country. She was principal oboist in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and co-principal with the Miami Music Project Leader’s Orchestra. She was runner-up in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony’s Concerto Competition, the first wind player to earn that distinction in over ten years. She participated in FBA’s Solo and Ensemble competition for two years, where she got superiors at regional and state levels both years, this past year earning a superior with distinction, the highest possible honor. Emily has also volunteered in her local community performing at nursing homes with the Tri-M Honor Society at her school and teaching younger students oboe at the Yes! Movement. She has also participated in local performances with professional groups in the community, recently playing with a chamber group, and being invited to be a part of the Palm Beach Wind’s inaugural concert.

    Besides playing oboe, Emily enjoys watching true crime documentaries and sitcoms, art, and spending time with her family and friends.

  • Benjamin Fowler

    Major: Instrumental Performance

    Instrument: Horn

    Profile:

    Benjamin Fowler began studying French Horn at age 11 studied under Diana Morgen, second chair hornist of the Louisville Orchestra. He comes from Louisville Kentucky and graduated from DuPont Manual High School’s Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS). While at YPAS, he was very fortunate to be offered several opportunities that would allow him to play in many ensembles and receive tutelage in many aspects of musicology, including parts not very common for French Horn players, such as jazz improvisation. He has also attended several prestigious musical institutes, such as the Tanglewood Academy and the Interlochen summer program. Benjamin has also placed in Kentucky All-State ensembles all four years and served at first chair of the Interlochen Art Camp’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra for two of the six weeks. He was also a finalist in the Louisville Young Artist Concerto Competition. 

  • Cameron Leonardi

    Major: Instrumental Performance

    Instrument: Clarinet

    Profile: 

    Cameron Leonardi, a South Florida native, began playing the clarinet when he was 13. He graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Cameron served as principal clarinet in his high school wind symphony, where they played at Carnegie Hall and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Throughout his high school career, he played in the Florida All-State band and All-County band/orchestra every year. Cameron has also played principal clarinet with the New World Symphony in their side-by-side concert series. He has spent his summers in Lenox, Massachusetts attending the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. During his senior year of high school, he studied with New World Symphony Clarinetists Daniel Parrette and Angelo Quail. He currently studies with Margaret Donaghue at the University of Miami.  

     

  • AJ Meyer

    Major: Instrumental Performance

    Instrument: Flute

    Profile:

    A.J. Meyer, Flute, is majoring in instrumental performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he is a Stamps Distinguished Scholar and the flutist of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, Class of 2023.

    He is from Boynton Beach, Florida and graduated from A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (DSOA), where he was a member of their wind ensemble for 3 years. He started playing the flute at age 11, and since then has been the first chair flutist in 3 FMEA All-State bands. He has also participated in 5 district honor bands and was first chair flutist of his last district honor band. He has also participated in district honor jazz bands for saxophone.

  • Sofia Friedlander

    Major: Instrumental Performance

    Instrument: Bassoon 

    Profile: 

    Sofia Friedlander is majoring in Instrumental Performance in Bassoon at the University of Miami, where she is a member of the Stamps Brass Quintet. Originally she is from Seattle, Washington, where she began playing bassoon in 2013, after having played the flute for the previous three years. Before attending the Frost School of Music, she studied bassoon with Francine Peterson for five years and now studies with Professor Gabriel Beavers.

    She is a proud alumna of the Garfield Orchestra program, Seattle Youth Symphony program, and Seattle Collaborative Orchestra. In 2018, she performed in the WMEA All-State wind ensemble. She has also participated in multiple summer programs including the Vianden Music Festival, Vivace Chamber Players, and the Cornish Chamber Music Program, and the Interlochen Arts Camp Orchestra program.