Faculty-Artist Ensembles

GVSU Brass Quintet

brass quintet

The Grand Valley State University Brass Quintet is composed of Department of Music faculty members Alex Wilson (trumpet), Richard Britsch (horn), Mark Williams (trombone), Paul Carlson (tuba), and visiting performer Paul (trumpet). The ensemble performs outreach concerts, master classes, and coaching sessions for high schools throughout Michigan.

To request a performance by the GVSU Brass Quintet, please contact
Dr. Mark Williams:

GVSU String Trio

The GVSU Faculty String Trio was formed in 2009 as a cultural and educational outreach of the GVSU Music and Orchestra programs in Allendale, Michigan.  The versatile ensemble performs a wide variety of trio repertoire and also enjoys their time coaching high school string ensembles.  Members of the trio are Gregory Maytan, violin, Paul Swantek, viola, and Pablo Mahave-Veglia, cello.

In 2012 the trio collaborated with GVSU Professor of Clarinet, Arthur Campbell, to record all of the Carl Philipp Stamitz Quartets for Clarinet.  Recorded and produced in Munich under the Audite label, the CD is available from the iTunes Store.

For more information about performances and coaching contact Henry E. Duitman, GVSU Director of Orchestras.

Grand Valley Winds

gv winds

The Grand Valley State University faculty chamber music ensemble's mission is to:

1. enrich Grand Valley State University and its community by performing concerts of varied repertoire

2. promote chamber music in the region

3. serve the state by offering free public school clinics and recitals

4. host instrument days for middle school and high school students (Clarinet Day, Double Reed Day)

To listen to excerpts click HERE
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Grand Valley Winds

Christopher Kantner - flute

Christopher Kantner received his musical training at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Michigan and S.U.N.Y. Stonybrook where his teachers were Bonnie Lake, Keith Bryan, Clement Borone, Samuel Baron and Albert Tipton. He studied most recently with Jacques Zoon of the Boston Symphony, working with him on reintroducing the wooden flute as a solo and orchestral medium. Since joining the Grand Rapids Symphony as Principal Flutist in 1976, Mr. Kantner has made numerous solo appearances with the orchestra, playing works of Bach, Mozart, Lucas Foss, Nielsen, Martin and Schoenfeld. His work as a soloist and chamber player is well known to Michigan audiences through his association with the Fontana Ensemble and as a charter member of Baroque and Beyond, the Mackinac Trio, and the Hartwick Duo. A Naumburg finalist, Mr. Kantner has been a fellow of the Aspen and Bach Aria Festivals. He has appeared with the Bach Aria Group in a cycle of the complete Brandenburg Concertos and as Principal Flutist and soloist with the Colorado Music Festival. Mr. Kantner's other solo appearances within Michigan include the Ann Arbor Symphony and Lansing's Renault Chamber Orchestra. He has held appointments on the faculties of Interlochen, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University.


Marlen Vavrikova - oboe

With a doctorate from the University of Illinois, Marlen Vavrikova has performed in Sarasota, Hot Springs, Banff, and Ostrava New Music festivals, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music and International Double Reed Society conferences, and has been a soloist with the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble, the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, and the Janacek Chamber Orchestra. Besides receiving a stipend from the Czech Musical Fund and travel grants from the Ostrava City Council and the Civic Foundation, Marlen won the Presser Musical Award and the Kate Neal Kinley Musical Fellowship, and was awarded the Fellowship for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Illinois. A member of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra 2005, she has taught chamber music and oboe at the AMEROPA international festival in Prague and the Illinois Summer Youth Music Festival. Her primary teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, Richard Killmer, Daniel Stolper, and Josef Zidek. For a more detailed bio, you may visit her website at www.marlenvavrikova.com


Gary June - clarinet

Dr. Gary June is a clarinetist and educator based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds teaching positions at both Saginaw Valley State University, where he is the Adjunct Professor of Clarinet, and Grand Valley State University, where he teaches clarinet and general music courses. As an orchestral musician, he has held the position of 2nd/Eb clarinet with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and was an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has likewise regularly played with Sinfonia da Camera, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. As a committed educator of primary and secondary-aged students, he spends summers teaching and playing at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and the Illinois Summer Youth Music Pre-College Clarinet Camp.

Dr. June can be heard on the GVSU New Music Ensemble’s celebrated recording of Terry Riley’s In C: Remixed and Sinfonia da Camera’s to-be-released recording of Bohuslav Martin’s ballet, Stin. He holds degrees from Grand Valley State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, and recently completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as the clarinet studio Teaching Assistant and wrote his thesis on contemporary Finnish clarinet music. His principal teachers include Dr. Arthur Campbell, Daniel Silver, and J. David Harris. 


Victoria Olson- bassoon

Victoria Olson was recently appointed Assistant Principal of the Grand Rapids Symphony by Maestro Marcelo Lehninger but is currently Acting Principal. Prior to joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, Ms. Olson has held positions with the Missouri Symphony, Symphony in C, and Colorado MahlerFest. In addition, she is frequently asked to substitute with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Philadelphia Ballet, Harrisburg Symphony and more. Ms. Olson has attended numerous festivals such as Castleton Music Festival under the direction of Lorin Maazel, National Music Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was awarded the prestigious Emerson Scholarship, and the Aspen Music Festival as a New Horizons Fellow. An active soloist, Ms. Olson has appeared with the Concord Chamber Symphony where she performed the Gordon Jacob Concerto for Bassoon, and the Longmont Symphony Orchestra where she performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto. Her Primary teachers include Daniel Matsukawa, Nancy Goeres, and Eric Stomberg.


Richard Britsch - horn

Richard Britsch teaches French Horn at Grand Valley State University and is the Principal Horn of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a position he has held since 1990. Formerly with the Florida Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony, he has appeared as soloist numerous times with the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Peninsula Music Festival on the scenic Door County peninsula on Green Bay in Wisconsin, where he has also been Principal Horn since 1992. He performs regularly with the Detroit Symphony and has performed as guest Principal Horn with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Taegu City Symphony in Korea. In addition to being a founding member of the Florida Wind Quintet, he was a member of the Emerald Brass, which won first prize in both the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the Yamaha/Summit Brass International Brass Competition. He holds a BA from the University of South Florida in Tampa where his principal teacher was Ralph Froelich and participated in such festivals as the Southern Illinois Music Festival, the Florida Music Festival and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. He has taught horn at Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida, as well as horn and brass ensembles at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and the Luzerne Music Center in New York's Adirondack Park. He is a member of Beyond Classical and Ensemble Montage, two music groups dedicated to introducing great music to new audiences.


To book a HS/MS clinic, contact Dr. Marlen Vavrikova at (616) 331-2999, or email vavrikom@gvsu.edu.