Ginger Mongiello (founding member) is an award-winning Taos artist. She has lived and worked here since 1975. Her media include painting, ceramics, photography, and mixed media. With over 20 solo exhibitions across the country, her work is also in the collections of museums, corporations, and significant private collections. She holds a BFA in painting from the University of Michigan and an MA in Art Therapy from the University of New Mexico. Throughout her life her love of music and the piano have underscored her artwork. After studying and playing classical piano since she was a child, she is now captivated by the possibilities of improvisation. With kinetic gesture, and a love of the “not knowing” she approaches musical exploration from the same point of view as she does her paintings…”surrender and be surprised.”
As in painting, “…dissonance and harmony appear, disappear and reappear in new combinations…my role is to step into this dance as a participant – Immersion. Navigation. Emergence…. seeking to bring felt energy into form.”
Ana Borzha (founding member but no longer active) started playing piano as soon as she was old enough to sit on the bench and hit the keys, but did not start to study until age 33.
She studied piano for 4 years in the San Francisco Bay area, but when she relocated to Taos in 1978, her attention turned to theater and
painting, and no musical connections were made until 2014, when she studied with Annata Black and Kim Bakkum.
Martha Shepp (founding member) is a multi-disciplinary artist who has studied piano, publishing, and art. She has a BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA from University of Tennessee. Her teachers were Grace Trebert (Eastman School of Music), Alan Crooks (Trent Nottingham University, UK), and Dr. David Northington (University of Tennessee, Knoxville). A chamber player and an accompanist of dancers, instrumentalists, and vocalists in both educational and professional settings, she also loves to create performers that incorporate moving image, poetry, dance, visuals, and music, and has been a lively collaborator with artists from all these disciplines in her many years as a practicing artist and classical musician.
Vickie Ford (founding member) is a native of Southern Colorado. Vickie Ford began playing the piano at age 4. Her first accompanying job was playing “Jingle Bells” for her 1st grade class to sing. When Vickie reached the 7th grade, she studied at Adams State College in Alamosa, CO with piano professor Dr. Robert Neill, whose teachers included Stanley Fletcher at the University of Illinois and Paul Parmalee at the University of Colorado. Vickie attended Adams State College, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1971 with a degree in piano performance. While there, she was the studio accompanist for voice professor Dr. Ed Richmond, father of beloved Taos musician Don Richmond. She also participated in the ASC woodwind quintet as flautist and in many college productions. After college, Vickie helped her husband run the family potato farm, all while giving private piano and flute lessons and accompanying many local singers and instrumentalists. Vickie also served for many years on the Board of Trustees for the State Colleges in Colorado and on the governing board for Adams State College. She retired from the farm in 2006, and enjoys living in Taos with its lively music scene.
Martha Grossman (founding member) began playing piano at the age of six, but she took a time-out from it for twenty-three years, beginning in the sixties. That's a long story, part of her memoir, Coming of Age: Come Rain or Come Shine. In the past Martha has accompanied the Taos Community Chorus, Missoula Children's Theater, and Taos Youth Music School, and currently holds positions providing music for Sangre de Cristo Lutheran Church, the Unitarian Congregation of Taos, and Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Angel Fire.
Kim Bakkum (founding member) has recently relocated to Taos from the Akron/Cleveland area, where she has been performing, teaching, adjudicating, and working in community arts for twenty-five years. She holds her professional degrees in piano performance from Montana State University, Western Michigan University, and the AIMS Opera and Lieder program in Graz, Austria.; and a year of additional studies in collaborative piano in Vienna, Austria, including summer seminars with members of the Vienna Symphony. Kim has also performed internationally in competition with the Singers Companye, of Akron, including residencies in Italy and Spain; and featured performances at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C..
Anata Black (founding member but no longer active) has a wide range of experience in piano performance, music education, and somatic practices. Annata has studied with such piano luminaries as Rhosina Lhevinne and Jeannine Dowis of the Juilliard School & Aspen School of Music, Gladys Gladstone at the University of Utah (student of Schnaebel), Paul Pollei at Brigham Young University (founder of Gina Bauchauer Competition), Suzanne Rabaud (student of Rachmaninoff). She studied at the Juilliard School of Music, as well, and holds a B.A. in Musicology (University of Utah) and a B.A. in Music Education (University of Wyoming). She was on the faculty of Western Wyoming College and an Artist-in-Residence for the State of Wyoming as a solo performer, founder of Prisma Chamber Artists (a touring chamber music ensemble), music educator and curriculum developer for the Integrative Arts for Gifted and Talented Programs. She taught Classroom Music (K-12). As a solo recitalist and chamber music player Annata performed outreach programs extensively in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho. Annata has incorporated into her teaching approach principles of Mind/Body Disciples. She holds certifications in Massage, Cranial-Sacral, Touch for Health, Reiki, Human Design, and has studied forms of Qigong & Taiji.
Pianist/musicologist Claire Detels (founding member) is a University of Arkansas Professor Emerita, who recently moved to Taos to pursue music and art in the most beautiful place in the world. She is pianist and Asst. Director for the Taos Community Chorus and accompanist for the Taos Opera Institute’s 2015 season, as well as performing as jazz pianist/singer in local restaurants. As solo pianist, she specializes in music of women and African-American composers; as musicologist she has numerous publications on opera and aesthetics. Her fiber artwork can be viewed at the Taos Community Co-op and the High Road Marketplace.
Hae Won Kwon will shortly post her bio here, and photo on the Members page!