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Player Profiles

Brass of Peace 2019-2020

Trumpets – Christina Alegre, Ben D’Haiti, Beth Johnston, Josh Levy

Horns – Olivia Arbach, Elizabeth Crafton, Danny Harkin, Audrey Smith, Rachel Smith-Cohen

Trombones – Don Crafton, Liam Barron (bass).     Tuba – Miles Devlin

Trumpets

Christina Alegre is a senior at James Madison High School in Vienna, Virginia. She has been studying trumpet for nine years under the direction of Dave Detwiler. She is incredibly excited for her first year in Brass of Peace and is honored to be playing among such talented musicians. Outside of BOP, Christina is a member of AYP, the NSO Youth Fellowship Brass Quintet, and her school’s marching band. Christina has also had the privilege to play in the District 12 Honor Band, Northern Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra, All-Virginia Jazz Ensemble, and All-Virginia Orchestra. When she’s not playing, you will probably find her playing basketball, watching Drum Corps videos, or eating Peruvian food!

Ben J. D’Haiti, is a 16-year-old musician who lives in Oakton, Virginia. Ben has been a student of music since he was a toddler. He first learned to play the piano before taking up the trumpet. As a trumpeter, Ben has participated in Fairfax County District and Honors bands between 2013 and 2018. In the spring of 2018, Ben was accepted into the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Trumpet Workshop and Young Artist Wind Ensemble in Lennox, MA.  Ben was selected to participate in the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellowship Program at the John F. Kennedy Center in the 2018-2019 season where he performs with the Brass Quintet Chamber Ensemble. As an NSO Fellow, Ben enjoys the challenge of becoming a better musician and also attending Kennedy Center orchestra, jazz, and opera performances. Ben was again accepted to BUTI and the NSO Fellowship for the 2019-20 season. Ben also currently performs with the American Youth Philharmonic. In addition, Ben won the Fairfax Chamber Players Concerto Competition and was a featured soloist on the Haydn Trumpet Concerto with the FCP orchestra.

He thoroughly enjoys performing as a soloist, chamber ensemble player, and an orchestral musician. Ben currently studies with Mr. Tom Cupples of the National Symphony Orchestra. He has studied with Mr. Steve Hendrickson, National Symphony Orchestra; Mr. Rodney Marsalis of the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Brass Band; Dr. Nate Hussell, formerly the principal trumpeter of the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble; Mr. Terry Everson of Boston University; and Mr. David Boltz, a soloist formerly of the U.S. Air Force Band. Ben aspires to be a distinguished trumpet player and tries to live his life to the fullest.

 Josh Levy is a junior at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. He’s been studying piano since he was 7 and trumpet since he was 10. Joshua is thrilled to be part of the 43rd season of Brass of Peace. He is also a current member of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and former member of the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra (2017-18). He has been a member of the McLean High School Symphonic Band, Chamber Ensembles, and Marching Band since his freshman year. Joshua has participated in the VBODA District XII All-District Band and All-Virginia Band in 2018 and 2019 and the Northern Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra in 2019.  He also won first place (2016) and third place (2018) in the NVMTA Piano Concerto Festival Competition. Josh has spent the last two summers studying trumpet at the Oberlin Conservatory Trumpet Workshop and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Trumpet Workshop. Joshua enjoys performing on the trumpet as a soloist and ensemble member, and he hopes to study music performance in college. He also spends his time watching movies, creating piano arrangements of his favorite orchestral pieces, and hanging out with friends and family. Most importantly, Joshua likes connecting with people who share his sincere commitment to making beautiful music.

French Horns

Elizabeth Crafton, a freshman homeschooler who is the second oldest of her five siblings, started her musical studies on piano at the age of three.  At the age of five, she began studies on cello and at age nine began studying the horn. She is currently principal horn of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra and Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble and a member of the Brass of Peace.  She has also won principal horn positions in District 1 Honor Band and South Central Senior Regional Orchestra. She currently studies with Sylvia Alimena and has been a student of Erin Lano of the Richmond Symphony. She loves playing in the Brass of Peace because of the challenging repertoire and talented musicians she gets to play with.  She also enjoys playing softball, baking (and eating what she bakes), and watching funny dog videos.

Danny Harkin is a junior at Oakton high school in Vienna, Virginia and has been playing French horn for six years. He is currently studying with Shane Iler and is proud to be a two year member of Brass of Peace. Danny participates in Oakton High School’s concert and marching bands, as well as Virginia Wind Academy (formerly known as Northern Virginia Youth Winds). He has also been in district 12 All-District Band, Northern Virginia Regional Orchestra and all-Virginia Orchestra the past two years.

Rachel Smith-Cohen is a junior at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Maryland. She has been playing horn for seven years and is currently studying with James Nickel, the third horn of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). She is ecstatic to be a part of this season’s Brass of Peace and is looking forward to her future of learning and experience with Ms. Alimena.

Rachel was selected to participate in the NSO Youth Fellowship Program at the Kennedy Center starting in the 2019-2020 season, and she is a part of the Fellowship Brass Quintet coached by Bob Reardon, a horn professor at the Peabody Conservatory and a member of the NSO horn section. She attended the music arts camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts the last four summers and played with the World Youth Wind Symphony.

At Interlochen Rachel studied under Joshua Michal, horn professor at the University of Massachusetts, Anne Scharer, second horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Aaron Given, and Katherine Jordan, the associate principal of the Sarasota Opera orchestra. She participated in the Interlochen Horn Institute 2019 and studied under Corbin Wagner, a horn professor at Interlochen Academy, Julia Pilant, Assistant Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Richard Deane, Principal Horn of the New York Philharmonic.

Rachel also participated in Maryland All-State Band for three years and is Co-Principal of the Maryland Classical Youth Orchestra Philharmonic. She thanks Jonathan Eising, who taught her for six years and has pushed her to be the musician she is today. Until recently she studied classical ballet for many years through preprofessional level. Now she enjoys spending her free time with family and friends and doing yoga.

Trombones

Liam Barron is a senior at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia. He began playing tenor trombone in fourth grade but quickly fell in love with the dark sound of the bass trombone which he began playing in the

eighth grade. He is currently the bass trombone for the American Youth Philharmonic and the National Jazz Workshop’s All-Star Jazz Orchestra. In addition, he plays with several groups at his high school. For past years, he was the principal bass trombone in the Northern Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra and the All Virginia Jazz Ensemble. He also was the principal bass trombone for the All Virginia Orchestra. When he isn’t belting out pedal tones until he gets lightheaded, he enjoys designing and creating objects with 3-D printers.

This is Liam’s fourth year playing bass trombone in Brass of Peace. He finds it refreshing to work with such high caliber musicians that truly care about the music. He was very excited to have the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall – a stage that regularly hosts the world’s greatest musicians.

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Donald Crafton has studied music since the age of three. He began his musical journey on piano and violin, and switched to trombone at the age of eight. Currently, he studies with Craig Mulcahy, Principal Trombone in the National Symphony. His former teachers include Joseph Dubas, a Brass of Peace alumni, and Don Crafton.  Donald plays Principal Trombone in Richmond Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble. Donald has had the opportunity to perform in the Virginia District 1 Band and also performs with his family in the Crafton Brass. He is a sophomore homeschooler and enjoys extracurricular activities such as playing baseball, singing in the Ward Centre of Richmond Schola, and being a part of the Hanover Law Enforcement Cadet program.


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