The Yale Symphony Orchestra Roster
Vivian Mayers Leader
Violinist Vivian Mayers is a junior History major in Branford College. Outside of YSO, she plays in a string quartet and serves as Orchestra Manager for the Opera Theater of Yale College. Vivian plays the baroque violin, and studies historical performance with Professor Daniel Lee (YSM).
Alex Goldberg Sub-Leader
Serena Shapard Principal
Serena Shapard is a senior Psychology major in Davenport College. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and can tell you many reasons why the midwest is, in fact, best. When Serena isn’t playing the violin, she is likely working on her thesis about humor and artificial intelligence, spending time with her twin brother Henry (see the cello section), or finding a dog to pet.
Aditya Chander Principal
I’m Aditya, and I’m a violinist from London, UK! I’ve just come to Yale from Stanford (where I did my masters) and Cambridge (where I did my undergrad), to study for a PhD in Music Theory. I’m focusing in music psychology, especially the perception of expressive physical gesture in performance, and computational methods for studying large corpora of music. Talk to me about floral shirts, artificial intelligence, modern art and Bach cantatas.
Phoebe Liu Principal
Phoebe Liu is a sophomore violinist in Trumbull College from Atlanta, GA. She writes arts journalism for the Yale Daily News and has a stuffed cactus sitting, smiling, on her desk. Despite being a computer science and math major, she finds counting difficult—come to our concerts for evidence!
I am a new violinist in YSO!
I am a freshman in Pauli Murray, and I have been playing violin for 12 years. Some musical groups I’ve been involved in are NYO2, Michigan Youth Arts Festival All-State Honors Orchestra, and Oakland Youth Orchestra. Some fun facts about myself: I was born in South Korea, and I moved to Michigan when I was one years old. I’ve soloed concertos with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Oakland Symphony.
Call me Jun-Davinci Choi. I am a first year in Benjamin Franklin. Orchestral playing has been an important part of my life. Having joined my school’s orchestra in the first grade, I played in the Sydney Youth Orchestras and served as concertmaster for the New York Youth Symphony and Claremont Chamber Orchestra. More recently, I have turned my attentions to conducting, having participated in the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program for four seasons and attending a workshop in Hungary this past summer. I hope to pursue a degree in economics and mathematics.
Nanki Chugh is a sophomore violinist in Grace Hopper College from Santa Monica, California. She is currently studying with Wendy Sharp and loves performing with The Jef Quartet, which includes YSO members Oliver Leitner and Brian Isaacs. She is interested in pursuing both music and the Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics major at Yale. She also enjoys dancing on the Yale Jashan Bhangra Team and is intrigued by all marine creatures, especially comb jellies!
I am a violinist from Los Angeles, California, and I have been playing the violin since the age of four. I have been involved in multiple orchestras and have performed solo repertoire as well. I happily reside in Timothy Dwight College at Yale. I spent my early childhood in Korea and my adolescent years in LA, so I consider myself a huge fan of both Korean BBQ and In-N-Out burgers. One of my greatest passions is watching films over the ratings of 7.6 and 74% on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
I’m a first-year in Johnathan Edwards college. I’m from London, UK, and I have played the violin since I was four, and attended the Royal College of Music Junior Department. I also played the trumpet for five years!
I am a junior in Grace Hopper college and I play violin. I’m majoring in comparative literature with Chinese and Korean and my favorite thing to do is to eat fruit with friends and think about my favorite animal: the Scottish Terrier.
My name is Epongue and I am from Rochester, NY! I am a junior in Davenport College and am majoring in Environmental Studies. In addition to being in YSO, I am a stage manager at the Yale School of Music and am in the Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra. I am also a part of Students for Carbon Dividends and the Yale Dramatic Association. In my free time, I like to read and play a bit of squash!
Dylan Fernandez de Lara
My name is Dylan Fernandez de Lara and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I am a member of Berkeley College!
Ava plays the violin and is from the Seattle area. She lives in Benjamin Franklin college and enjoys teaching violin lessons and playing chamber music with friends.
Albert is a first-year in Saybrook College. He hails from Chapel Hill, NC, where he first picked up the violin at age 8. Since then, violin playing has taken him on an exciting musical journey—from spending summers in the Adirondacks to exploring the surprising acoustical properties of his bathroom. Before coming to Yale, he studied with Eric Pritchard at Duke University and was a member of the MYCO Youth Chamber Orchestra. Outside of music, Albert enjoys running and reading. Or, he can be found devouring a party-sized bag of Sour Patch Kids, perhaps while binge-watching the many Key & Peele sketches, Gordon Ramsay videos, and Got Talent compilations on YouTube. At Yale, he hopes to graduate with a double major in Computer Science and Economics.
Janet Hsu plays violin and is a sophomore in Berkeley College. She enjoys solving sudoku puzzles in her free time.
Hi! I’m Samhitha Josyula. I’m a violinist from Ossining, NY and a first year in Davenport College at Yale. Music is my first passion and has influenced many facets of my life, from my drawing concentration illustrating musician’s inspiration to bringing about many of my closest friendships. Aside from performing, I love to run and eat, which often happen back to back.
Hello, my name is Lea Kim! I am from Solon, Ohio and I am a freshman in Grace Hopper College. I have played the violin for 14 years and have been member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra for 4 years. In addition to violin, I have studied piano, cello, and classical guitar. My favorite composer is Prokofiev.
I’m a first-year at Benjamin Franklin, and I love playing the violin. I’m also a huge fan of chamber music and Franklin’s dining hall food. Looking forward to the repertoire this season!
Hi, I’m Juwon from Yale-NUS College in Singapore, here at Yale and YSO for the 2019 Fall Semester. I was born into a musical family, my mom being a violinist and my grandmother a pianist–inevitably starting a journey (that I’ve come to love) as a violin player since age four. I also love playing the guitar but didn’t bring one to campus, so if you have one and would like to jam, hit me up (especially PauliMurs)!
Oliver Leitner (PC ’22) is a violinist from Reno, NV and is majoring in Biochemistry. He started the violin at 4 years old playing the Bob The Builder theme song and has been in love with the instrument ever since, having participated in multiple music festivals in Germany and Aspen, among others. Outside of music, he loves to run and ski, and is also highly particular about the chocolate he eats, only considering “real” chocolate to be 90% or higher.
Emma Mueller is a junior in Pauli Murray College, majoring in History and Statistics & Data Science. She is from Chicago, IL and enjoys political debates, movie nights, baking, afternoon tea, and long walks on the beach.
Hello!! My name is Jocelyn and I’m a sophomore in Davenport College. I’m from Seoul, South Korea, and, more importantly, am a violinist for YSO. I first picked up the violin ten years ago and never looked back! My favorite violin composer is Bach, my favorite piano composer is Chopin, and my favorite music genre is probably jazz.
Hello! My name is Christine Ramirez. I’m a violinist from Long Island, NY and a first year in Saybrook college. I also love to play the piano and sing for fun. Music has always been a significant part of my life. It has allowed me travel to amazing places, have memorable experiences in various music programs, and meet life long friends. In addition to playing my violin, I love to read, exercise, watch Netflix, and spend time with family and friends .
Julia de los Reyes
My name is Julia and I’m a first year in Pauli Murray. I’ve been playing the violin for ten years and have played in many Boston-based youth orchestras, such as the Boston Youth Symphony. My favorite composers are Mahler, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff (who would be my all-time favorite had he written a violin concerto!). Aside from violin, I love to run, read, and make terrible puns.
Jasmine is a Saybrook senior who studies computer science and is interested in computational neuroscience. She’s been a synchronized swimmer since age 8. In YSO, she plays violin.
Stella is a sophomore in Saybrook and originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Her academic interests are varied, but some topics she enjoys discussing include the human brain and poetry since 1950. Outside of school and playing the violin, she loves to run, hike, lay in the grass (ask her about the best spots for doing this on Yale’s campus!) and spend time with friends.
My name is Julia Wang and I am a first-year violinist from Orange County, California. I am a pre-med in Berkeley College here at Yale. I love ice cream and playing in orchestra!
Margo Williams - Spring Semester Only
My name is Adam Zhang. I’m from Audubon, Pennsylvania, and I attend Pierson College at Yale. Music has always been a big part of my life - I love listening to music and play both the piano and violin. Some of my other hobbies include tennis, hanging out with friends, and watching cooking videos. And I absolutely love Starbucks.
Brian Isaacs Principal
Brian Isaacs (TD ‘22) is a violist from Queens, NY. He began studying the violin at age 4, and switched to the dark side at age 13. Ever since, Brian has enjoyed playing the viola in numerous ensembles, including the New York Youth Symphony, New York String Orchestra Seminar, and NYO-USA. In his free time, Brian enjoys biking, watching Netflix shows/YouTube videos, and thinking about his dog, Timber.
Ryan Zhou Sub-Principal
Lili Cerise (violist) is a sophomore in Branford College from New Orleans, Louisiana. When she’s not playing viola in the YSO, Lili enjoys performing with Yale’s folk music group, Tangled Up in Blue, and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream from Arethusa.
Daniel Chabeda is a sophomore violist in Ezra Stiles College who is majoring in Chemistry. He is from Charlotte, North Carolina and has performed with multiple orchestral and chamber groups including the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, and the NC Governor’s School Orchestra. Daniel enjoys watching cooking videos, discussing religion, and skateboarding!
Jisoo Choi is a sophomore in Davenport College and has been playing the viola for eleven years. In her spare time, she can be found watching TwoSet Violin videos or trying to answer the classical music questions on University Challenge episodes.
Sonali is a senior in Berkeley College majoring in mathematics. She grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, and began playing the viola at age 9. She enjoys playing Bananagrams, backpacking, making focaccia, thinking about art, and many other things!
My name is Doyoung Jeong, and I’m a sophomore in Pierson majoring in neuroscience. My time at Yale so far has been an exciting mix of rushing to science hill, playing the viola, and making lovely memories with my friends. Outside of school, I love watching food videos, thinking about my cat, and searching for good coffee!
Sophia (Yewoon) Lee
My name is Sophia (Yewoon) Lee. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Alabama when I was six. In my free time I like to watch foreign shows in their native language and jamming out with friends whether it be on the viola, keyboard, guitar, or just singing. My potential major is East Asian Languages and Literature.
Timothy White is a violist hailing from Long Beach, California. A senior English major in Silliman College, he is passionate about Democratic politics, ice cream, and Tchaikovsky.
Grant plays viola in the YSO and is originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut. He is a senior double majoring in history and molecular/cellular/developmental biology, and wants to pursue a career in medicine following graduation. Apart from music, Grant enjoys hiking, skiing, and cooking during his free time.
Henry Shapard Principal
Henry Shapard (Principal Cello, Assistant Conductor), is beginning his final year at Yale. In his time with the organization, he has performed as soloist with the orchestra, lifted several thousand chairs, and conducted at least one concert while wearing a dress. He scares his parents with aspirations of a career in music, and has twice been a fellow of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center. This year, when he’s not hastily writing essays or forgetting to wear clean clothes, he will begin to serve as a substitute cellist with the Nashville Symphony. The YSO has been the centerpiece of his Yale experience and he will be sad to bid it goodbye at the end of the year.
Alma Bitran Sub-Principal
Alma Bitran is a junior majoring in psychology. She serves as one of the three legs of the YSO Social Chair, which means that she is an expert at sending emails with lots of different font colors. Outside of class and YSO, she works as a tour guide at the Yale University Art Gallery and plays in a string quartet. As a member of stage crew, you can find her on the stage of Woolsey Hall during the intermission of any YSO concert, repeatedly trying and failing to lift two chairs at once.
Spencer Adler is a first-year in TD hailing from Durham, NC, a town known for its barbeque, minor-league baseball, and mediocre regional university built in the Collegiate Gothic Style. When he’s not practicing, he’s probably studying chemistry, going for a run, or making dad jokes.
Hi everyone! My name is Jason Campe, I’m a junior in Davenport College, and I’m from New Canaan, Connecticut! I’m majoring in Applied Physics and doing research in a quantum computing lab, and outside of YSO you can find me organizing (and playing) intramural sports and working in the Davenport buttery. I love reading books, playing and watching sports, and eating all of the amazing food in New Haven.
Sofia Checa - Spring Semester Only
Anastasia Dalianis is a junior in Morse College majoring in Humanities. She plays cello in a variety of Yale ensembles and enjoys reading, creative writing, and learning about art history.
Francis Fedora is cellist from Croton-on-Hudson, New York. He is currently a first year in Timothy Dwight College. He is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music Precollege and an alumni of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program He has a deep love of chamber music and has enjoyed attending Greenwood Music Camp for the past 8 years. He also enjoys composing in his spare time.
Giacomo Glotzer, a cellist, is a second-year in Berkeley College. He started playing cello at the age of five. This is his second year in the YSO.
Julia is a sophomore cellist in Saybrook originally from Long Island. She wanted to play the trumpet in fourth grade but couldn’t because she was too “asthmatic”, so she opted for the cello instead (she’s glad she did!). Outside of rehearsal, she can be found doing yoga, running, and looking for Coco Roos in every dining hall. This is her second year in the YSO.
Emery Kerekes is a junior Music/Linguistics double major in Silliman College. He is a student conductor and member of the Yale Glee Club, is one of the directors of the Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra, and serves on the board and conducts for the Opera Theatre of Yale College. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and writing music criticism for Opera News and other outlets. You can follow his music blog at https://www.theclassicalmusicgeek.com/.
Gregory Llewellyn ‘23 comes from the New York metro area. In his free time, he likes to fool around at the keyboard and watch anime on Netflix. His favorite composer is Poulenc.
A member of the esteemed Branford College, Sungho Moon is a freshman from Amherst, Massachusetts. For the past three years, Sungho studied with Mr. Ronald Lowry in the Boston area. Throughout high school, he was also a cellist in the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, led by Maestro Benjamin Zander. Sungho would like to thank Mr. Lowry and Maestro Zander for all they have done to help him grow as a musician. He would also like to express his utmost gratitude to his parents and sister who sacrificed incredibly to allow him to pursue his studies in music. Apart from music, Sungho enjoys studying Chinese and spending time with his friends and family. He is currently considering majoring in Global Affairs or economics.
Daniel Yoo is a cellist from Irvine, California. Daniel has played the cello for ten years and has participated in orchestras and other musical opportunities in various countries and venues. Daniel has studied under the tutelage of Sarah Koo. Daniel is currently in Trumbull College and enjoys swimming as well as playing basketball. He also has a sister that is eleven years younger than him.
Alice Zhao Principle
My name is Alice Zhao, and I am a junior in Jonathan Edwards College. I grew up in Plano, Texas, and am currently double majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, as well as the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. I have been playing the double bass since I was about 11 years old and have loved it ever since!
Antonis Christou Sub-Principal
Born and raised in Moorestown, New Jersey, Antonis Christou has been playing bass since the 4th grade. He has played in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kimmel Center with groups like the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra 2. As someone with Greek-Cypriot heritage, Antonis enjoys Greek food and music, as well as competitive swimming and etymology.
I have been playing bass since I was in the fourth grade, and I also sing and write my own music!
I am a senior in Silliman College, majoring in Statistics and Data Science. This is my fourth and final season with YSO and I have been playing bass since age 10. Outside of the orchestra, I am an avid amateur baker and homebrewer.
Thomas Spencer Parish
I’m Spencer Parish (he/him) and I’ve been playing the upright bass for 12 years. I am from Manhattan, Kansas, and I am a FroCo in Morse. I’m one of the two co-president emeriti of the YSO, I come from a family of ten, and I moved nine times while growing up.
Lia is currently the lab manager of the Holmes Lab at Yale, studying the neurogenetic bases of psychiatric disorders. When she’s not in lab or playing flute in YSO, she enjoys singing, beatboxing, playing ukulele, and producing hip-hop beats on her computer.
A junior at Yale yet a first-year in YSO, Jeremy is a flutist majoring in Statistics and Data Science. He hails from the suburbs of San Francisco, where he studied with Andrei Gorchov for 8 years. In all his spare time, Jeremy can be found babbling in Yiddish and dabbling in jazz flute.
Supriya Weiss is a first-year flautist in Saybrook planning to study astrophysics. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Supriya is a former student of Brian Gordon and a 2019 NFA High School Soloist Competition Finalist. When not listening to Mahler 9 or making the hike up to the Leitner Observatory, she can be found searching the streets of New Haven for a good iced chai latte.
Alec Chai is a sophomore oboist in Morse majoring in Chemistry. He is from Colorado Springs, CO, and does in fact like to ski. In addition to the oboe, Alec is also a member of the Yale Undergraduate Piano Collective and dabbles in jazz on the saxophone. When he’s not making reeds, Alec is probably playing basketball or being sad about his reeds.
Miranda Margulis-Ohnuma is a first-year in Branford and plays oboe, English horn, and cello. She has played with the New York All-State orchestra, All-Eastern Band, and other orchestras, bands, chamber groups, jazz bands, and pit orchestras, but never in anything as big as the YSO!
Laura is a Senior in Pierson College majoring in Statistics and Data Science. She plays the oboe and was the 2018-2019 co-president of the YSO along with her bud Spencer Parish. Outside of the YSO, Laura has played on campus with the Opera Theater of Yale College, the Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra, and in Wendy Sharp’s Chamber Music class. This summer, she was a fellow at the Round Top Festival Institute, where she was roommates with YSO violinist Vivian Mayers. When not practicing or making reeds, Laura can be found in her suite common room alongside her faithful study partner, YSO bassoonist Kenny Wang.
Allison Chu is a PhD student in Music History. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance (2019) and a Bachelor of Arts in English (2019) from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, she worked with the UM Gershwin Initiative as an Editorial Assistant and conducted research into George Gershwin’s Blue Monday through a grant from the UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance EXCEL program. Her research interests include 19th and 20th century opera as the basis for contemporary opera, stage works, race and reception on stage, and intersections of language and music. Allison also enjoys recreational reading, traveling, and playing chamber music.
Daniel Kim, a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College, is a clarinetist from Skillman, New Jersey. In his free time, Daniel enjoys playing basketball and cooking Korean food.
Hello! My name is Dawson, and I am in Ezra Stiles Class of 2023. I am from Atlanta, GA, and I fell in love with the bassoon in middle school. I am currently planning to study physics, but outside of classes and rehearsals, I enjoy exploring the city, reading, listening to music, and being outdoors. I am so excited to be a part of YSO!
Maddy Tung is a junior in Timothy Dwight College pursuing a combined BA in Music and Humanities. She began playing bassoon at age eleven and has performed in Italy, Australia, and Chicago’s Symphony Center. In her free time, she likes to read, write, draw, dance, dine, deliberate, and engage in various other (less alliterative) pursuits.
Kenny is a senior in Pierson College currently double majoring in biology and history of medicine. Alongside his passions of music and medicine, Kenny likes to practice his Spanish and Chinese, and is currently trying to learn salsa. When not making reeds, Kenny can be found studying in his suite common room alongside his faithful study partner and YSO oboist Laura Michael.
Hello! I’m Benjamin Beckman. I’m a first-year in Saybrook College and am so happy to be playing horn this year in the YSO! In addition to horn, I sing bass in Yale’s Schola Cantorum, and write a lot of music. If you want to listen to some, check out www.benjaminbeckmanmusic.com!
Mary is a JE senior majoring in Humanities and MB&B. She’s from Oak Park, IL, but she’ll tell you she’s from Chicago because it’s close enough. Other than YSO (obviously), her favorite things include Bananagrams, road trips, snacking, and movies that pass the Bechdel test.
Ryan Petersburg Principal
Ryan is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Physics Department. His research focuses on developing novel equipment, such as high-precision spectrographs and laser frequency combs, to find Earth-like planets outside of our solar system. Before Yale, he received a degree in Physics with a second major in Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
James Brandfonbrener is a junior Music major in Morse College. He studies composition with Kathryn Alexander. James plays trumpet in the Concert Band and the Marching Band, as well as in a Jazz Combo and in Coup de Brass. He also plays piano and music directs.
Daniel hails from sunny Southern California, though unfortunately for him, he prefers the rain. Besides the trumpet, his pursuits include linguistics, piano, and sleep.
My name is Aria Harris and I’m a freshman in Morse College. I grew up in Lexington, MA, a suburb outside of Boston. I started trumpet when I was 11, at which point my favorite song to play was Jingle Bells. More recently in my career, I played in the Boston Youth Symphony and Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble throughout high school. I’m most looking forward to playing the Halloween show this year!
Eli Mennerick Principal
My name is Eli, and I’m a junior English major in Stiles. I grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri and started playing trombone in my fifth grade band class. Since then, I’ve played in a lot of ensembles that aren’t nearly as fun as the YSO. Aside from being in orchestras, I like reading, hiking, writing, eating, running, and coffee.
Hi! My name is JT, I’ve been playing the trombone for nine years now, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it now. I hail from Hershey, PA, and I’m a first-year in Yale’s best residential college (Pauli Murray, of course). My (not so) fun fact is that I’m allergic to fruit, but it’s okay because now I have an excuse to not eat healthy.
Fernando Trejos Suarez
Fernando is a bass trombonist from San José, Costa Rica. He is a sophomore math major in Ezra Stiles, and can often be found working on problem sets in the Stiles common room in the middle of the night, practicing his Russian, and doing his best to understand Americans.
My name is Max Hammond, and I’m a first-year pianist in Silliman! I hope to study math and music —and explore the connection between them — while at Yale. I’ve been playing piano since I was four, and I’m so excited to get to be a part of YSO this season!
George is a sophomore in TD college. Winner of the 2014 Canadian Chopin Competition, he has performed numerous times with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He is excited to be a part of YSO and looks forward to making beautiful music with his fellow musicians.
Annette Lee is a first-year in JE. She plays the harp and piano and has played both instruments since the ages of nine and four, respectively. Annette was a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, 2018 YoungArts Finalist, and 2018 Classical Instrumental Grand Finalist in the Music Center’s Spotlight Competition through which she performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In addition, Annette won 1st prize in the American Harp Society National Competition’s 2019 Intermediate II and 2017 Intermediate I categories. Besides playing and listening to classical music, Annette loves listening to K-indie and lo-fi music. Also, fun fact: Annette discovered the harp through her love for Greek mythology!
Charlotte has been playing the harp for 11 years and lives in Trumbull College. She has a soft spot for Russian composers, especially Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky (although her heart belongs to Debussy). When she’s not swooning over composers, she often spends her time writing songs with her guitar or eating sushi.
Alvin Chung, Principal
Alvin is a junior in Silliman College majoring in economics. When he isn’t sleeping or working on psets, he is spending his time playing pool in various residential colleges, jumping on random objects, and working out.
My name is Nevin George and I’m a freshman in Silliman College. I began learning percussion in the 5th grade, and since then I have performed with many different orchestras. Along with music, I am also an avid basketball player, meat lover, and Monopoly Deal expert.
Hi! My name is Angelica Lorenzo and I’m a first year in Grace Hopper College. I’ve been playing percussion since second grade with ensembles and programs such as The Percussion Scholarship Group, National Youth Orchestra 2, YoungArts, From The Top, and Interlochen Arts Camp. One of my most memorable musical experiences was playing timpani for Shostakovich Symphony 5 at Carnegie Hall. Outside of music, I enjoy biking, reading, eating food, and exploring new places with friends.
Tristan Weaver is a sophomore in Silliman College studying mathematics and physics. He performed 171 times with his various high school ensembles (yes, he counted) including recording a scene for a movie with Dick Van Dyke!
Student Officer Corps