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Orchestra Musicians



Joseph Deller received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Violin Performance from Hope College and has pursued a free lance career in the Detroit Metropolitan area. He currently serves as Concertmaster for the Michigan Philharmonic and is a member of the Flint and Dearborn Symphony Orchestras. Also a member of the Troubadours, an outreach group through the Flint School of Performing Arts, he is highly engaged with young people, telling stories and sharing character building through music and the arts. He is Conductor of the Concert Orchestra for the Dearborn Youth Symphony and maintains a private studio at home. He is a founding member of the New Verse Chamber Ensemble, which performs annually at the Black Crystal Cafe in Ann Arbor. Recently, he has become involved with the Lullaby Project through the Carnegie Institute in New York.


Principal Second Violin

Hektor Qyteti served as the Assistant Concertmaster for the Michigan Philharmonic for the seven years beofre being promoted to his current position of Principal Second Violin. He is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the Grosse Pointe Symphony as well as playing in the violin section of numerous other Detroit Metro area orchestras, including symphonies in Dearborn, Warren, Rochester and Pontiac. Prior to moving with his family to the U.S., he had a five-year tenure as Concertmaster of Korce Philharmonia Orchestra in Albania, during which time he performed as soloist on the Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and other major concertos. A dedicated and highly sought-after teacher, Mr. Qyteti maintains a busy schedule teaching violin and chamber music privately at PARC and Evola Music Center. He has also served on the faculty of Steppingstone School for the Gifted in Farmington. He is the conductor of the Strings and Sinfonia ensembles of the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. For 10 years in Albania, he was the Music Director of the Board of Education at the prestigious Korce Tefta Tashko K-12 and High School, essentially the equivalent of magnet/pre-conservatory schools in the U.S. He received a Performance and Teaching degree from the Academy of Arts in Albania and later continued with advanced studies in teaching at Oakland University.



Principal Viola

Mircea Cure was born in Romania. After receiving his diploma in performance and chamber music from the Gheorghe Dima Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca, he played with the Timisoara and Arad Symphony Orchestras, touring extensively in Italy, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Bulgaria. In addition to his position with the Michigan Philharmonic, he has also played with numerous local orchestras including Dearborn Symphony, Warren Symphony, Southern Great Lakes Symphony, and Livonia Symphony, among others. He has performed as a soloist with Rochester Symphony, Southfield Symphony, Southern Great Lakes Symphony. Additionally, he has recorded classical music with a number of smaller groups, as well as the Michigan Philharmonic on their Magical Tunes & Marvelous Tales album. Mr. Cure is a sought-after freelance performer and teacher in the metropolitan Detroit area. He also gives private instruction at Berkley Music, Cranbrook Schools, as well as maintaining his own private studio.


Principal Cello

Amy Kuras was born and raised in New York, where she studied cello at Manhattan School of Music, Chautauqua Institute and the Downeast Chamber Music Program. She studied music performance as an undergraduate at Northwestern University and has a Master's Degree from the University of Michigan in Landscape Architecture. Ms. Kuras continues to practice landscape architecture as well as cello, serving as the park planner for the City of Ann Arbor as well as the principal cellist for the Michigan Philharmonic. She has played with several symphonies around Southeast Michigan, including the Ann Arbor Symphony and the Adrian Symphony and regularly free-lances in the area. She also enjoys playing chamber music in and around Ann Arbor.


Principal Bass

Andrew Monefeldt originally began his music studies on violin, which he played through high school. In his junior year, the jazz director convinced him to take up the electric bass and play in jazz band the following year. In college he started as a police science major, but after two years switched to music education and studied with the jazz professor, also the euphonium teacher, as they had no bass teacher. He transferred to University of Wisconsin at Madison and finished his bachelors in music education there, studying with bassist Richard Davis. He taught in the Madison area for several years and then decided to continue his studies at the University of Michigan where he earned a Mater's degree in music performance, studying with Diana Gannett. Mr. Mondefelt currently works full time at Shar Music, a string instrument specialty store based in Ann Arbor, while contracted to play with three different orchestras. He also teaches a bass studio of local middle school and high school students, both jazz and classical players.


Principal Flute

Dennis Carter is a rising star in the Detroit classical music scene and was awarded Best Classical Instrumentalist at the Detroit Music Awards 2009. Dennis Carter has a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Wayne State University. His teachers were Ervin Monroe and Clement Barone. He continued his studies by winning an Orchestral Apprenticeship with Operalaboratorio in Palermo, Sicily and by invitation to attend Julius Baker’s Masterclass as a Performer. He is well known as a soloist in the area, having performed with the Wayne State University, Warren Symphony, Emerald Sinfonietta, National Association of Negro Musician Association-Collegiate Young Artist Concert, African American Composers Concert at Wayne State and with the Brazael Dennard Community Chorus. He has toured the U.S. with the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players, The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and Carl Rosa Opera Company (UK). Currently Principal Flutist with the Michigan Philharmonic, Dennis also holds that position with the Fisher/Masonic Theater Orchestra of Detroit, Warren Symphony. and the Dearborn Symphony. A busy free-lancer, he has performed with the all of the area orchestras including Detroit Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony and most recently the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra. In addition to performing, Dennis taught flute for Henry Ford Community College, is an Assistant Teacher with the Southfield Public Schools Elementary Band and Orchestra and is a Performance Coach/Theory Instructor for the Sphinx Preparatory Institute.


Principal Clarinet

Principal Clarinetist for the Michigan Philharmonic, Lisa Raschiatore is a freelance musician and teacher originally from Southern California.  She is a regular performer with the Dearborn, West Michigan, and Traverse Symphony Orchestras and has also appeared with the Windsor, Grand Rapids, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. An active proponent of contemporary music, she has commissioned works from composers David T. Little, Andre Myers, and Kirsten Volness. She co-founded a new music ensemble called Warped Consort, and premiered numerous works by prestigious young composers as a member of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School.  She worked with composer Michael Daugherty in the creation of his clarinet concerto, Brooklyn Bridge, which was commissioned by the International Clarinet Association and premiered by Michael Wayne (of the Boston Symphony) at Carnegie Hall.  She has participated in the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, and the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. She completed her undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University under the tutelage of Mary Gale, and earned both her Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan with Fred Ormand, Dan Gilbert, and Monica Kaenzig.  In 2009, Dr. Raschiatore served as the Interim Professor of Clarinet at Central Michigan University, and is currently on several faculties in Michigan, including Madonna University, Alma College, and at Adrian College where she teaches music theory.




Principal Timpani/Percussion

Ray Riggs grew up in Detroit, graduating from Cass Tech High School. He studied percussion with Norman Fickett and Salvatore Rabbio, both of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York where he studied with John Beck, and at Wayne State University in Detroit, resuming his studies with Salvatore Rabbio. Ray received a Bachelor’s of Music from Wayne State in percussion performance.

While at Eastman, Ray became interested in emergency work, became certified as a New York State Emergency Medical Technician and began working for the EMS system in Rochester, NY. Upon returning to Detroit, Ray was the Timpanist with Michigan Opera Theater, 1978-80 as well as playing many other free-lance jobs, including extra and substitute with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Ray was hired by the West Bloomfield Fire Department in 1979 as a firefighter/paramedic. He rose through the ranks, retiring from the fire department in 2009 as the Assistant Fire Chief in charge of emergency operations; he continued to carry on an active musical performing schedule throughout his career with the fire department.

Currently, in addition to his position as timpanist with the Michigan Philharmonic, Ray is principal percussionist with the Birmingham/Bloomfield Symphony, percussionist with the Dearborn Symphony, timpanist with the Rochester Symphony, and a member of the Golden Rain Percussion Ensemble. Ray is also working as a consultant with SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments as their public safety expert.

Ray is married to Tracey, an active freelance violist and middle school orchestra teacher. They have three grown children and two grandsons.



Patrick Johnson was born and raised in Lansing. He started piano lessons at age 4 and won several regional and state competitions in the following years. He attended the University of Michigan School of Music and completed his Bachelor's degree in piano performance in 2002. Since then he has worked as a church organist, piano teacher, and free-lance accompanist. He has accompanied dozens of operettas and early twentieth-century musicals by Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, and others. He enjoys playing music for "piano four-hands" and for two pianos. In 2009, he began graduate studies at Michigan State University in piano and music theory. Pat is currently a doctoral student in piano at MSU and he maintains his position as organist at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Hazel Park.



Maurice Draughn is a native of Detroit. He began his harp studies at Cass Technical High School with Patricia Terry-Ross, principal harpist of the Michigan Opera Theatre. He continued his studies with Ms. Ross, earning a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Harp Performance from Wayne State University. Mr. Draughn completed two summers of study with world-renowned harpist Lucile Lawrence at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts. He earned a Master of Church Music with a concentration in Harp and Organ Performance from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also studied harp with Elaine Cook and Laura Byrne at the University of Louisville. Mr. Draughn has appeared as soloist with the Michigan Philharmonic, Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Detroit Symphony Civic, and Southern Seminary Orchestras. He has performed with noted performers such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Robert Sims, the Three Irish Tenors, and Glen Campbell. Mr. Draughn is also an arranger and composer of music for the harp, voice and choir. He is currently the principal harpist for the Michigan Philharmonic and a freelance harpist, performing with several other orchestras including Windsor, Warren, International Symphony Orchestras as well as the Brass Band of Battle Creek. He performs regularly in solo and chamber recitals. He can also be heard on several educational and commercial recordings as a studio harpist.



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