The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Roger Kalia announce the recent appointment of three principal musicians who join the EPO’s 2021-2022 season.
Michael Chu was appointed Principal Second Violin for both the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eykamp String Quartet. The Orchestra and University of Evansville collaborate fully in the selection and employment of Eykamp Quartet personnel, having them participate in orchestra performances as principal string players and as artists-in-residence at the University of Evansville.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Michael is both an active performer and music educator. Coming from a diverse musical education including violin, piano, trumpet, and saxophone, Michael enjoys drawing inspiration from many different influences and cultures. He actively seeks to expand his knowledge and understanding of both historical and contemporary styles, respecting traditions while embracing new directions.
Michael also plays with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, and has previously played as a Substitute Violinist in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and as a Substitute Concertmaster for both the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra. He has placed in numerous competitions, including first prize in the Mary West Symphony Solo Competition, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Youth Chamber Music Competition, Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition, Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition, and was a National Finalist in the MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, where he received his B.M. in Violin Performance and Music Education as a student of Sally O’Reilly. He later went on to receive his M.M. in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a student of Chen Zhao.
Rebecca Salo was appointed Principal Horn and Consortium member for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra and University collaborate fully in the selection and employment of consortium personnel, having Salo act as Horn Faculty at UE and participate in performances and other educational activities.
In addition to teaching at the University of Evansville, Rebecca maintains an active private studio, and she regularly organizes a variety of events for young horn players. Her experiences include teaching natural horn (historical performance) at the Eastman School of Music, working as a sectional coach at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, directing a summer horn choir program, and founding the Purdue Christmas Horn Extravaganza.
Recently, she appeared as a soloist with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Purdue Wind Ensemble, and Kokomo Park Band and co-founded a horn and piano duo, Duo Giústo, which will be releasing their first professional recording this fall.
Rebecca pursued doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for her recital performance. She completed her Master of Music degree at Indiana University, and she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Prior to beginning her undergraduate degree, she spent a year studying music at the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland.
Mackenzie Brauns was appointed as Principal Bassoon for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and is an active performer throughout the Midwest. She is a Fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Principal Bassoon of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Mackenzie has also performed with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and many others.
A founding member of Cleveland Wind Trio, Mackenzie is an avid chamber musician. Cleveland Wind Trio has rapidly expanded its performance calendar across the Cleveland area and multiple states, including the National Music Festival Resonance concert series in Chestertown, Maryland and the Third Place MusicFest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has also performed as a soloist with the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra in 2015 and won prizes in the 2013 Cincinnati Three Arts Scholarship Competition and the 2011 Arapahoe Philharmonic Concerto Competition.
Mackenzie received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and an Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Barrick Stees. Mackenzie has also attended the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Round Top Music Festival, Colorado College Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Festival Napa Valley, and the National Orchestral Institute.