Craig Fry, Violin
Craig is a versatile violinist who has performed in numerous musical settings. His musical experiences include classical soloist, symphony orchestra, vintage jazz, klezmer and studio musician just to name a few. He was featured soloist with the Berkeley Symphony in the world premier of David Sheinfeld’s “The Earth is a Sounding Board.” Craig also performed and recorded with the Paul Dresher Ensemble, as both featured soloist and member of the ensemble, for over a decade and was also a featured performer with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and ODC. Craig has toured internationally, performing in numerous venues, from the Lincoln Center, N.Y., to Japan, Europe and Indonesia. He also performed with the Speakeasy String Quartet and Klezmania of San Francisco. Craig also currently works as Composer and Senior Sound Designer for Creativity, Inc.,
Fred Randolph, String Bass
One of many press quotes has aptly acclaimed Fred as “an artist that possesses an expansive vernacular, “an artist of acute musical skills who deserves widespread recognition”. Fred has an impressive list of top-notch groups and venues for whom he has performed and recorded. He is well-seasoned artist who is often the ”go to guy” when bands need to do a studio recording. ” As well as playing on many recordings he has composed original music and performed on two of his own CDs, Learning Curve and New Day both of which have received high accolades in the music world.
Lew Richmond, Piano
Lew is the principal composer and pianist for Melanthium. As a composer he has created numerous works for a diverse combination of instrumentations including, chamber ensembles, piano, guitar, vocal ensembles and solo instruments. A number of his works have been performed on public radio including his composition, Gabriel’s Trumpet, which was premiered in live performance on KQED’s “West Coast Weekend” by the California Brass Quintet. Lew is a classically trained pianist and composer. He studied composition with Leon Kirchner at Harvard University and piano with Russell Sherman and Edward Steuermann. While he is best known as a Buddhist meditation teacher and author of four books—most recently Aging as a Spiritual Practice. Lew has issued two CDs of original piano solo compositions—Lake of No Shore and Songs of Lazarus.
Jay Rizzetto, Trumpet
The San Francisco Chronicle praised Mr. Rizzetto as “an impressive soloist of considerable merit” and other press praise has called him “a musician of the first rank” and “a trumpeter with a beautiful soaring tone”. Jay has a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, a Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts. As a postgraduate, he was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland and completed postgraduate studies in conducting at the Eastman School of Music.
Jay has performed in many generes of music, from the “Three Degrees “ to original broadway musicals to thirty years with the San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Rizzetto has premiered numerous compositions for trumpet including those by Pulitzer Prize winning composers Norman Dello Joio and Henry Brant. Also included in his many first performances are King Lear Sonata for Trumpet and Organ by the award winning composer Larry Delinger and with Pauline Oliveros, he performed Calpurnia’s Dream Obscured, pioneering one of the first live Internet performances. He has performed with many of the world’s musical icons including Aaron Copland, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Krysztof Penderecki, and Arturo Sandoval to name but a few.
Mr. Rizzetto was a visiting professor at Xinjiang Arts University in Urumqi, China, where he held master classes and performed as a soloist. He has also been a guest speaker at various schools and colleges including Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley. He has served on the faculties of California State University East Bay/ Hayward, where he was a faculty member for two decades, The University of Massachusetts and Mills College in Oakland, California.
Ward Spangler, Percussion
Ward Spangler is an active musician throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, performing diverse styles of music. He is Principal Percussionist with the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Fremont Symphony, and is a member of the Marin Symphony. Ward is also a member of the Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music, performing as Principal Percussionist with conductors Dennis Russell Davies, John Adams, and Marin Alsop. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, California Symphony, and the Santa Rosa Symphony.
Ward is currently on the faculty at the Oakland School for the Arts teaching drums and percussion to middle and high school students. Ward received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music at California State University, Hayward, where he studied with Jack Van Geem (Principal Percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony), Jerome Neff, and Danny Montoro.