Tess Coffey, trumpet
Tess Coffey is a freelance trumpet artist in the Washington DC Metro Area. Having completed her Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University with Charlie Geyer, she is currently a second-year Master of Music student at the University of Maryland School of Music with private instructor Chris Gekker.
Tess is also an active trumpet instructor, holding a position at Holy Trinity Episcopal School in Bowie in addition to teaching her own private studio. Tess has also worked as one of four lead teaching artists at Chicago’s Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School as a part of the Ravinia Festival Association’s Sistema Ravinia, a program that uses music education to help underserved communities, based on Venezuela’s revolutionary “El Sistema” program.
Tess attended Dublin Brass Week, where she was a finalist in the concerto competition in 2014. She has also attended Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, Domaine Forget Music Academy, Chautauqua Music Institute, and the Eastern Music Festival, where she performed with the faculty orchestra in 2012.
Tess enjoys running, photography, and writing in her free time. She loves elephants, the Tiny House Movement, and rapping enthusiastically to Eminem (when the time is right). Tess recently backpacked through Europe, and hopes, some day, to see the festival of lanterns in Thailand.
Rachel O'Connor, horn
Rachel O’Connor is a classically trained French Horn and Trumpet player from Toronto, ON currently living in Los Angeles. Rachel’s musical studies began early in life, when she started playing the trumpet at her middle school. Rachel attended the Etobicoke School for the Arts for high school and continued to the University of Toronto, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance studying with Barton Woomert, Jeff Reynolds and Jim Spragg.
At the end of her undergraduate degree, Rachel decided to alter her path slightly and pursue the French Horn as her main instrument. She studied at California Institute for the Arts with Robin Graham Elias in 2013 and is currently working on her Masters in horn at UCLA, studying with Amy Sanchez.
Rachel has also attended and performed at various summer festivals, such as Pacific Regional International Music Academy, Musikallpa (Peruvian Brass Week)., Domaine Forget and Bar Harbor Brass Week. She has performed with many groups such as the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra, University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra and the Mississauga Youth Orchestra. She also spent several seasons as the Soprano Cornet player with the Hannaford Youth Band, with whom she was a finalist and featured soloist with the band through the “Rising Stars” solo competition (2010, 2011).
Rachel is also an experienced and sought after upper brass specialist, having taught privately and in group settings on both French horn and trumpet. Rachel’s other pursuits in music include Performance techniques for Palliative care as well as North Indian Classical music.
Taylor Blanton, trombone
Taylor Blanton is a trombonist in the Boston area originally from Tallahassee, Florida. Taylor currently is in the third year of her undergraduate studies in Trombone Performance at the New England Conservatory, where she studies with Norman Bolter. She has also attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Thomas Riccobono. Taylor is an active musician on the Boston scene, having played with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra during the 2013-2014 season, as well as participating in many ensembles through the New England Conservatory.
Taylor has partaken in several distinguished summer music festivals, such as the Chautauqua Summer Music festival and the Miami Summer Music Festival. Through summer music festivals, masterclasses and lessons Taylor has worked with many notable Trombone teachers such as John Marcellus, Scott Hartman, Craig Mulcahy, Jim DeSano, Michael Mulcahy, Mark Fisher, Peter Ellefson, Mark Lusk, and Ava Ordman. She has also performed onstage at many of the nation's most prestigious concert venues - Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, DC’s Constitution Hall, and Detroit’s Max M. Fisher Music Center. In Taylor's free time she enjoys vegan cooking, yoga, and art museums.