JJ Sechan is Principal Bassoonist of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic,
a position he won while simultaneously finishing his Artist Diploma at
Oberlin Conservatory, as a student of George Sakakeeny. In addition to
performances in Colorado Springs, Mr. Sechan also performs regularly with
Opera Colorado, and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he
toured to the Kennedy Center as part of the 2017 Shift Festival for American
Orchestras. He has spent his past summers as a fellow at the National
Repertory Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival, among others.
Born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois, Mr. Sechan began his musical
studies in jazz saxophone at the age of ten. He started studying bassoon at the
age of 15, and has pursued this passion ever since.
Clarinetist Sergei Vassiliev is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and teacher. His recent solo engagements include the Mozart Concerto with the Kharkivsʹka Filarmoniya in Ukraine and "Signature Series" recitals with Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. In the latter, Sergei played the role of both soloist and artistic director. Sergei appears at Festival Mozaic, Green Box Arts Festival, and Colorado College Music Festival and recently collaborated with Carnegie Hall based DECODA ensemble.Sergei has held principal clarinet positions with Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra and Boise Philharmonic, has appeared with Houston, Colorado Symphonies, and many other symphony orchestras. He is the tenured principal clarinetist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Vassiliev is an adjunct instructor of clarinet at Colorado State University - Fort Collins and University of Colorado - Colorado Springs.
Hornist Sarah Ford joined the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in September 2016. Sarah began teaching at CSU-Pueblo that same fall and now begins teaching horn at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs this September, 2017. Before moving cross-country to Colorado, Sarah earned her Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has studied with some of the great horn pedagogues such as Denise Tryon, Eric Reed, Bill Purvis, and Radek Baborák in Prague, CZ. During her summers, Sarah has participated in the National Repertory Orchestra, Crested Butte Music Festival, the Pierre Monteux School, the National Music Festival, the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute, and other programs. Sarah enjoys playing music of all styles and genres and enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities!
Paul Nagem has been principal flute for the Colorado Springs Symphony/Philharmonic since 1994. A native of San Diego, he studied flute there with Damian Bursill-Hall, then principal flute of the San Diego Symphony and now with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony. Mr. Nagem is the Instructor of Flute at Colorado College. He has performed with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony and the Singapore Symphony. Mr. Nagem plays Straubinger flutes.