Fifth Concert – Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 5 pm


Black Squirrel Winds

Danna Sundet, oboe
Diane McCloskey, flute
Amitai Vardi, clarinet
Mark DeMio, bassoon
Kent Larmee, horn

Black Squirrel Winds took their name from the unofficial mascot of Kent State University — the black squirrel. Prior to their formation, lifetime pursuits of precision and craft brought each musician together as faculty members at one of the most distinguished schools of music in the country. When performing as one, their pursuits converge again — this time into a selfless and exhilarating give-andtake of discovery and refined musicianship. Black Squirrel Winds is Danna Sundet, oboe, Diane McCloskey, flute, Amitai Vardi, clarinet, Mark DeMio, bassoon, and Kent Larmee, horn. Accompanying them for the evening will be acclaimed recitalists and soloists Tiago Delgado, clarinet, and Elizabeth DeMio, piano.

Diane McCloskey, flutist, is currently Associate Professor of Music at Kent State University where she performs with the Black Squirrel Winds faculty chamber ensemble. She performs in solo and chamber settings at the university and for series such as Music from Stan Hywet, Music from the Western Reserve, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Ms. McCloskey currently plays with the Lake Erie Ballet Orchestra and as substitute with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (PA). Previously, she served as Principal Flute with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Akron, Canton, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. Ms. McCloskey has won the National Flute Association’s Convention Performer’s Competition several times, most recently performing at the Pittsburg convention. McCloskey was Workshops Coordinator for five consecutive NFA annual conventions, and has also served that organization as Bios Editor for the Convention Program Book as well as adjudicator for several competitions. She has served as artist/faculty for Kent/Blossom Music and the Lutheran Summer Music Program, and has presented master classes for the Ohio Music Teachers Association. Before her appointment at Kent, she held teaching positions at Kenyon College and Northeast Missouri State University, and later engaged in doctoral study at Indiana University (Bloomington).  Her flute teachers include Peter Lloyd, Kyril Magg, and Katherine Borst Jones. Ms. McCloskey holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Capital University Conservatory of Music.

Clarinetist Amitai Vardi, an avid soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician, was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Kent State University. Vardi made his solo debut at the age of sixteen with the Madison Symphony Orchestra as a first place winner of the Steenbock Young Artist Competition. He has since won several concerto competitions, including the Round Top International Festival Competition, The Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition, and the Agnes Fowler Competition. In addition, Vardi has been a featured soloist with the Spoleto Symphony Orchestra, and performed the North American premiere of Srul Glick’s concerto, The Klezmer’s Wedding, with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Vardi received his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, where he studied with Eli Eban, and his Master of Music degree at The Cleveland Institute of Music, as a student of Franklin Cohen. Mr. Vardi pursued his post-graduate studies with Yehuda Gilad in Los Angeles.

Vardi has extensive teaching experience both at the college level and with youth.   He was on the faculty at the University of Akron teaching both clarinet and chamber music from 2008-2012. During that period he has also been the Director and Conductor of CityMusic Kids, an El Sistema type program in inner-city Cleveland.

His enthusiasm for chamber music has led to performances across the United States, South America, Europe, and his native Israel. Vardi is a member of the Black Squirrel Winds featuring the woodwind faculty at Kent State University. He is featured in several chamber music CDs, and later this year will appear on a recording with his father, cellist Uri Vardi.

As an orchestral player, Vardi served as principal clarinetist of Red {an orchestra}, and Lyric Opera Cleveland. He currently holds positions with Opera Cleveland, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, City Music Cleveland, and Blossom Band and Orchestra. Vardi has performed with many orchestras, including the American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, with which he performed dozens of concerts and has toured to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami.

Danna Sundet  serves as full-time Assistant Professor of Oboe at Kent State University.  She is Artistic Coordinator of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival.  Her artistry, broad range and versatility has its roots in her exotic upbringing.  She grew up in Brazil, the Canary Islands, and Texas, speaking three languages fluently from early childhood.  Danna moved to Cleveland in 1982 to study with John Mack and stayed.  She received her B.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her M.M. from Kent State University.  Since 1987, Danna has been the principal oboist and regular featured soloist with The Erie Philharmonic.  She is a founding member of Panoramico’s, a Cleveland chamber ensemble and serves as co-principal with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra.  As a soloist and chamber musician she regularly collaborates with world renown musicians.  She has recorded three CD’s with Panoramico’s, four CD’s with WorldView International (now known as Ancient Path).  She records regularly for Ludwig Publishing Company and can be heard on numerous educational CD’s.

Danna Sundet is the musical Director of the John Mack Legacy Oboe Camp in Little Switzerland, NC, having had the honor of being chosen for that role by her oboist colleagues from all over the United States.  Additionally, she is administering the archives and musical library of the late John Mack.  In November, 2006 she organized an unprecedented concert of over 100 world renowned musicians who performed in Severance Hall as tribute and memorial for the late John Mack.  She produced and performed on the John Mack Memorial CD.

Mrs. Sundet’s enthusiastic and motivational style of teaching and her clear and logical approach to musical instruction heralds her as one of the most prolific and influential teachers of oboe students in the United States.  Her students are dynamic soloists, chamber musicians and section players.  She models to her students a high level of mastery, musical integrity and a hard work ethic that encourages them to become successful artists, teachers, arts managers and instrument repair technicians throughout the United States.

Mark DeMio  received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He  performs frequently with the Cleveland Orchestra including tours and recordings on both bassoon and contrabassoon. Among the other groups he performs with are Kent Sate University’s Black Squirrel Winds, Akron Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Trinity Cathedral Chamber Orchestra and Trinity Chamber Players, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony and Cleveland Pops.  Mr. DeMio balances a busy performance and teaching freelance lifestyle. He is on the  faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory, Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory Preparatory, and the Music School Settlement, helping younger bassoon students get off to the right start and prepare their way to a fun, musical life. As a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mark DeMio took the opportunity to study extensively with the fine bassoonists of the Cleveland Orchestra; Principal George Goslee, Assistant Principal Ronald Phillips, Second Bassoonist Phillip Austin and Contrabassoonist Stanley Maret. Thus he continues the Cleveland style of woodwind artistry in his teaching and performing.

The fine art of reed making is a specialty of Mr. DeMio’s, which he began learning in the earliest years of his study with the Cleveland Orchestra  bassoonists, and and subsequently with other great bassoon players.

Mark DeMio especially enjoys time at home with his pianist wife Elizabeth, children Teresa and Vincent, and the rascally dogs.

Kent Larmee, a native of Ohio, is associate professor of horn at Kent State University where, in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate horn, he performs with the Kent Brass and Wind Quintets. He has served on the faculties of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hiram College, Denison University, and the New England Music and Westchester Music and Arts Camps. Mr. Larmee holds degrees in Music Education and Horn Performance and Pedagogy from Ohio State University, and has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Blossom Festival School. His professional performing experience includes principal horn with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Opera and Ballet, Sinfonia da Camera (of Illinois), and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. He was a charter member of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra (of Columbus) and a member of the Columbus Symphony, Canton Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, and Springfield (IL) Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Larmee has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua (NY) Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Metropolitan Brass Quintet, Burning River Brass, and Keith Brions’ New Sousa Band.