Makenzie Mattis is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, with an emphasis in percussion. She continues to study percussion with performance honors under Greg Secor, as well as jazz performance under Michael T. Drost and Tim Froncek. Makenzie is a member of the New Music Ensemble and Jazz Orchestra at GVSU, and works part time while attending school part time. She will be attending graduate school in the Fall of 2018 for further studies in music.
Drew Mayhew is a double bass player from Lowell, Michigan. Before college he studied with Aaron Tenney for seven years. He has a B. M. in double bass performance at Grand Valley State University. Drew studied with Michael Hovnanian (assistant principal of the Grand Rapids Symphony) and Michael Drost. He is planning on pursuing a Masters of Music degree in double bass while continuing a focus in the jazz genre.
Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.M. in violin performance from Grand Valley State University. At GVSU, Sarah studied classical music under the leadership of Gregory Maytan (graduate of the Jacobs School of Music) and Megan Crawford. Prior to that she received training under Erica Michaud and Carla Trynchuk (graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and former student of Dorothy Delay), head of the strings department at Andrews University. Sarah studied jazz performance under professors Michael Drost (graduate of Western Michigan University), Kurt Ellenberger, and Tim Froncek at GVSU.
Sarah competed in the Berrien Springs Fiddle Fest, winning first and second prizes on numerous occasions. She also performed in the Michigan State Championship Old Time Fiddler's Contest, receiving various prizes. In 2015, Sarah placed first in GVSU's Concerto Competition, soloing the first movement of Jean Sibelius' Concerto in D minor with the Grand Valley State University Orchestra. In the summer of 2016, she was hired to assist in the premiere of several new works composed for the GVSU New Music Ensemble National Parks Tour. Sarah performed with the ensemble in Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Tetons National Park.
She has served in various orchestras, including the Andrews University Orchestra, Grand Valley State University Orchestra, and the Battle Creek Symphony. Sarah served as principal first, principal second, and co-concertmaster in the GVSU orchestra. She has been involved in several violin master classes, performing for Stephen Shipps, Elizabeth Holowell, Walter Verher, Philip Greenberg, Felix Olschofka, Jonathan Sturm, and Kia-Hui Tan. Sarah also performed in an orchestra master class with Maestro Herbert Blomstedt. She has attended a variety of violin camps and conferences, including the Starling-Delay Symposium, Mark O'Conner Fiddle Camp, and Leahy Music Camp. She has also attended several violin master classes, featuring Jennifer Koh, Roland and Almita Vamos, Ayako Yonetani, Ming Geng Hsin, Rudolf Haken, Renee Skerik, and Jeffrey Lastrapes.
Steve Rothstein has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Grand Valley State University. While studying classical guitar under Carlos De La Barrera, Steve also studied jazz with professors Michael Drost and Tim Froncek, known for their work in the West Michigan jazz scene.
Steve gained an interest in Japanese jazz fusion as well as the country's intriguing interest in the greater jazz genre. Deciding that study abroad was the best course of action to gain both proficiency in Japanese as well as insight into the culture, Steve applied to and was accepted by the International Christian University of Tokyo to continue his studies in Japanese for a full academic year. He was awarded the Padnos Study Abroad Scholarship to fund this endeavor.
During his tenure in Japan, Steve joined the university's jazz band, "The Modern Music Society," where he played with both their junior and regular bands. At the same time he joined a project with alumni of the university to form the group "MCP Volume III," a sextet which recorded an album and then toured Tokyo. The group was also invited to play at the Sadogashima Festival off the coast of western Japan.