Ensemble Members

Our own Ensemble members are New York professionals who perform a variety of styles of music in accessible venues throughout the Bronx.  They are frequently accompanied by exceptional guest artists. 

Violinist JORGE ÁVILA has won attention as an outstanding performer through numerous appearances as soloist, recitalist, concertmaster and chamber musician. He has appeared as a soloist with the Ridgefield Symphony, Colonial Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony and Riverside Orchestra, and as concertmaster with the Stamford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, Jose Limon Dance Company and Gotham Opera Orchestra. On Broadway he has performed in such productions as Wicked, South Pacific and West Side Story, and with such chamber ensembles as Simon String Quartet, Abaca String Band, Prism Ensemble and Musicians’ Accord. A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Jorge began his violin studies at age 14. In New York, he received both Bachelor of Music and Professional Studies diploma at the Mannes College of Music. Major teachers have included Jorge Corpus, David Nadien, Charles Castleman and José Chaín-Barbot. His Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the DCINY Orchestra was in 2012, and recent performances include the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Ridgefield Symphony in 2011.

MITCHELL KRIEGLER was born in the Bronx and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. He studied clarinet with Charles Russo, Conrad Kuchay, and Robert Renino. Mr. Kriegler performs at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, and at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops. He is an artist member of The Bronx Arts Ensemble, the Linden Quintet and the New York City Opera Orchestra.

Artist Member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble, oboist MARSHA HELLER is a graduate of Oberlin College and pursued advanced studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Juilliard School of Music. She made her New York solo debut as 1971 Winner of the Concert Artists’ Guild Competition, and has enjoyed a busy schedule of performing with the American, Colonial and Queens Symphonies, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham Dance Company and New York Pops. Ms. Heller has been a frequent soloist at the Berkshire Bach Society, Ogunquit Chamber Music Festival, Double Entendre, New Jersey Chamber Music Society and Bronx Arts Ensemble, and is featured as solo performer on many of BAE’s CDs. Marsha Heller is a faculty member at Montclair State University, where she has taught oboe and chamber music since 1993. An accomplished painter, she exhibits regularly throughout the Northeast as well as in Florida; her website is Marsha Heller Gallery, which lists her busy schedule of exhibits.

Cellist ELIANA MENDOZA has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Winner of the Artists International Competition, she debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In Boston she performed a solo recital broadcast live on WGBH, National Public Radio. Praised by critics, her reviews have read “Fire and flash…rich pathos and refreshing singularity,” (The Washington Post) and “She is a total artist…with fluid touch, an impassioned mood and a notable bearing.” (The Enterprise, Brockton, MA). She is a tenured member of the American Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic and American Composers Orchestra, and has toured as soloist in approximately 50 concerts, performing the Paganini-Lloyd Webber Variations in venues such as Universal Studios Amphitheater, Blossom Music Center and Radio City Music Hall. Along with recording for movie soundtracks, commercials and television, she has recorded chamber music for the labels of New World Records, Soundspell Productions and Centaur Records.

Flutist THERESA NORRIS is an active orchestral and chamber musician in New York and the surrounding area. She began her musical career in her hometown of Detroit, where she performed with the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theatre while studying flute performance at Wayne State University. Currently Ms. Norris teaches flute at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, and often races to Broadway for an evening of Phantom of the Opera. She has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Stamford Symphony, Westfield Symphony, Center for Contemporary Opera and Long Island Philharmonic. She has been performing with the Bronx Arts Ensemble for over twenty years.

VERONICA SALAS, a native of Chile, is a versatile performer and teacher who has been featured as soloist, chamber musician and master class artist throughout the world. As soloist Salas has performed with Mostly Mozart, Aspen Music Festival, USC Symphony, CW Post Orchestra, Colonial and Westfield Symphonies. Salas has performed at the White House as acting principal of the Eos Orchestra and is presently principal violist of American Composers Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Manhattan Philharmonic, Phantom of the Opera on ‘Broadway and Westfield Symphony. She is on the faculties of Long Island University and Bennington Chamber Music Conference. Salas received her BMA, MMA and DMA from the Juilliard School where she studied with Lillian Fuchs.

SALLY SHUMWAY, viola, grew up in Kansas and received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola from the University of Kansas. She got her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she received the Hugo Kortschak Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. Since then she has been a freelance viola player in the New York City Area. As a freelance musician, Ms. Shumway has had the opportunity to do a wide variety of work. She has played on many recordings ranging from Strauss operas to video games, movie soundtracks such as Snake Eyes, A Time to Kill, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Broadway shows including Sondheim’s “Passion”,” Titanic: A New Musical”, and ”Gypsy” with Patti LuPone. Ms. Shumway has performed with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony, the Portland (Maine) Symphony and the Cedar Rapids Symphony, where she was the principal violist. She has been a member of the Riverside String Quartet and “Infusion”, a chamber music group which specialized in music of the 20th century. She currently performs with the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. She can be heard on the Bronx Arts Ensemble recordings of composers Carlos Surinach, Robert Baksa, Meyer Kupferman, Soong Fu Yuan, and Roberto Sierra.

ATSUKO SATO, bassoonist of the Tony-winning musical ” Phantom of the Opera”, graduated from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Harold Goltzer. She was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and since returning to the New York, she freelances with many ensembles. She is a member of the Queens Symphony and Englewinds ensemble. She is very excited to perform with Bronx Arts Ensemble this season.