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New Chinook Winds and Cascade Quartet members join the Great Falls Symphony for the 2019-2020 season

The Great Falls Symphony Association is pleased to welcome oboist Dr. Paul Chinen and violinist Luis Angel Salazar to the organization for the 2019-2020 season.

Auditions were held at the end of May this past spring. Highly qualified candidates from throughout the country travelled to Great Falls to perform for an audition committee consisting of members of the Chinook Winds, the Cascade Quartet, and the Great Falls Symphony Music Director, Grant Harville.

Paul will be the new principal oboist in the Symphony and the newest addition to the Chinook Winds, the Symphony’s resident wind quintet. He succeeds Lauren Blackerby, recently appointed principal oboe of the Boise Philharmonic. Prior to joining the Great Falls Symphony and Chinook Winds, Paul held the position of 2nd oboe with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and 2nd oboe/english horn with the Palm Beach Symphony and Florida Grand Opera Orchestra. During his time in Miami, Paul also performed with the Miami City Ballet, Symphony of the Americas, and the New World Symphony, where he was a finalist in 2016. Outside of Florida, Paul has performed with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, American Festival Pops Orchestra, and Fairfax Symphony, among others.

Paul recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a graduate teaching assistant and fellow in the Henry Mancini Institute. Previous degrees include a Master of Music from the Lynn Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music from George Mason University where he also studied saxophone. During the summer months, Paul has performed across the United States and abroad as a part of many music festivals including the Kent Blossom Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Hot Springs Music Festival, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler, Talis Music Festival, and various others. He also has taught at the Pacific Music Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. Originally from Honolulu, and most recently residing in Miami, FL, Paul is excited to be moving to Great Falls to experience a real winter season. He is excited to go hiking, learn how to ski and play hockey.

Luis Angel Salazar will be the interim principal second violin in the Symphony and perform with the Cascade Quartet for the 2019-2020 season. At the end of the last season Mary Papoulis, Cascade Quartet member and concertmaster of the Symphony, requested and was granted a leave of absence for the 2019-2020 season. Cascade Quartet member and violinist Megan Karls will assume the role of concertmaster in the Symphony and new-hire Luis Angel Salazar will serve as the principal second violinist and as the second violinist in the Cascade Quartet during this period. Entering her eighth season with the Symphony and the Cascade Quartet, Megan is a very familiar performer and teacher in Great Falls and with other orchestras in Montana.

Mary Papoulis’ well-earned leave comes after 29 years of service with the Great Falls Symphony. During her tenure with the Symphony and the Cascade Quartet she was part of performance collaborations with the Ying Quartet, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Phil Aaberg. Her solo appearances with the Symphony include Bach’s double violin concerto and oboe and violin concerto, Haydn’s Symphonie Concertante, Vivialdi’s concerto for cello and violin, Massenet’s Meditation from Thais, Saint-Saëns’ Dance Macabre, Bukvich’s Hanukkah Dance, Improvisations in D Minor with Phil Aaberg, Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, and most recently, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnol. As an educator, Mary has regularly coached young musicians in the Great Falls Youth Orchestra, built a private violin studio over the years, and taught at the Olympic Music Festival in Washington and Summer Youth Orchestra Workshop in Bozeman. She was recently honored at the YWCA’s 2018 Salute to Women Gala for her contributions to the community as a performer and educator.

Mexican-American violinist Luis Angel Salazar has given tours nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He joined the St. Petersburg String Quartet in April of 2014, and has toured with them throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. As a member of the quartet, he has performed in festivals and halls such as Toronto Concert Hall, Music Barge in New York, Christophori Piano Salon in Berlin, Zaubersee Russian Music Festival in Lucerne, Henschel String Quartet Festival in Germany, and many others. He has also performed with artists and groups such as Arianna String Quartet, Borealis String Quartet, James Dick, Oleg Poliansky, Stefan Milenkovich, and a number of orchestral ensembles in Mexico and the United States.

As an educator, Mr. Salazar has taught many masterclasses and conducted youth orchestras in national and international tours. In his native town of Ensenada, Mexico, he has given masterclasses to students from different institutions such as Centro de Estudios Musicales, UABC (University of Baja California), Esperanza Azteca, and REDES. In the United States, as a member of the St. Petersburg String Quartet, he has had the opportunity to teach solfege, harmony, history and chamber music in the St. Petersburg String Quartet Summer Academy. In Canada, he has given masterclasses at the Glenn Gould Conservatory of Music. In the city of Chicago, Luis founded “Cuerdas Mexicanas”, a free music program dedicated to Mexican families as an added program to Centro Autonomo, an institution dedicated to the support and well-being of the Mexican community in Chicago. Luis was a teaching artist at Kenwood Academy High School as part of the DePaul Music Community Division from 2016 to 2018. Looking forward to his move to Great Falls, Luis says, "I am beyond excited to be part of this community oriented organization, their dedication to their audiences is inspirational! I will do my best to contribute positively to this relationship!"

Paul and Luis will perform in Great Falls for the first time with the Chinook Winds and Cascade Quartet respectively at the Paris Gibson Square’s Arts on Fire Family Day event on Saturday, September 14, 12pm. This event is free and family-friendly. They will play their first concert as principals in the Great Falls Symphony’s first concert of the season on Saturday, October 5, 7:30pm, at the Mansfield Theater. Tickets and information are available at and

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