Welcome Home Concerts 11th Anniversary

If we were not still concerned with the spread of Covid-19, we would have been presenting another of our Bellingham trained young musicians in our Welcome Home recitals. As we have every year since 2011, we would be honoring a promising artist who was now studying at a conservatory or university music school to become a professional musician. Not only would we be showcasing the students’ talent and hard work, but also acknowledging the excellent training they received here in their formative years.

Sadly, we cannot do a live event this year because of the ongoing pandemic. But, with great joy, we can celebrate the musicians we have presented over the years and marvel at their exciting and gratifying development.

This project is the brainchild of our indefatigable Karen Berry, who masterminded the Welcome Home series from its inception. Thank you, Karen!

The Festival cannot exist without the generous support of its friends. Gifts in any amount are greatly appreciated. You may donate to the Festival via our Paypal account. Just click the button above.

Featured Artists

2011 Jeremy Berry, Viola

Jeremy holds degrees from the Juilliard School (BM) and Colburn Conservatory (Artist Diploma and Professional Studies Certificate). He continues as violist in the Calidore String Quartet. Performing across the globe the quartet has won a world audience. Though their 2020 live season has been cancelled due to the pandemic, they are recording and streaming from their NY apartments and doing an occasional outdoor, socially distanced concert. They continue to work with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and will continue their residencies with University of Delaware and University of Toronto when it is deemed safe to do so. On October they released their sixth album “Babel”, a compilation of quartets by Schumann, Shostakovich and Caroline Shaw exploring the visceral forms of expression that exist at the intersection of music and language.


2012 Lindsey Nakatani, Soprano

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Lindsey Nakatani began singing in her local community at an early age and discovered a deep love of music, and a passion for singing which has led her to many great opportunities. In 2009, she was accepted into The Juilliard School, where she began honing her craft. After graduating with her Bachelors of Music in 2013, she was accepted into the Mannes Conservatory of Music at the New School, where she received her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance in 2015. Ms. Nakatani has had the honor of attending the Caramoor Summer Music Festival, the Franz Schubert Institute, Opera on the Avalon, and OperaWorks. She found great success in the role of Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, with the Princeton Opera Alliance, and recently covered Marzelline in the Princeton Music Festival’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio. Ms. Nakatani was most recently seen performing the roles of Lady Ella in Patience, The Plaintiff in Trial by Jury and the title role of Ida in Princess Ida with the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Ms. Nakatani was also recently awarded the first place prize in the Seattle Opera Guild’s Development Awards Competition in 2020. Ms. Nakatani currently studies with PNW voice instructor Ms. Janeanne Houston and is looking forward to furthering her blossoming opera career.

During these unprecedented and chaotic times, it has been difficult for people to come together, to find balance, and maintain optimism. I have found myself having moments of true sadness as the suffering of others increases and the global community reals from an unprecedented pandemic. And yet, throughout it all, I have been encouraged and inspired by the actions of my fellow artists who refuse to lose their optimism and have continued to come together to find new ways to make art and to help others! I hope to embark on some artistic projects throughout the next few months that I hope, will help keep the arts alive and will encourage and inspire others to keep the world’s hope thriving! I wish everyone continued safety and health.

2013 Albert Diaz, Guitar

Albert lives in Waitsburg, Wa with his spouse Brigid Boyle. He holds degrees in classical guitar performance from the University of Southern California, (BM 2010, MM 2012), and degrees in musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, (MA 2014). Albert was a founding member of the Helios Guitar Quartet which formed in LA at USC in 2011.A while back, Albert left the position of Associate Chair of the Music Department at Walla Walla University and is now working in the Walla Walla wine industry where he manages the tasting room and restaurant at Valdemar Estates.If you’re on a wine tour there, stop in and say hello!

2013 Jon Hansen, Tuba

Jon is a Zurich, Switzerland based based tubist, composer and producer. He studied at University of Washington (DMA and MM) and received a BMA from University of USC. He has performed/recorded with Norvmbega, The Fabulous Party Boys, Ahamefule J. Oluo’s Now I’m Fine, ODESZA, Slipstitch, Heatwarmer, The Polyrhythmics, Pickwick, Industrial Revelation, The Seattle Symphony, Tubaluba, and The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist in North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2016, Being in Switzerland where Covid is currently more under control, Jon with his partner Rita have their 3 young children back in school again, leaving time to work on a new solo album and various collaborative recording projects.


2014 Roman Yearian, Violin

Roman is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin where he studied with Brian Lewis.Roman won a position with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa and spent a summer with the Orchestra of the Americas, performing throughout Latin America.In the fall of 2019, he joined the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato as Principal Second Violin. He also teaches at Orquesta Jóvenes Líderes del Sistema Bajío, a part of the Sistema Nacional de Fomento Musical in León, México. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has performed outdoors and, recorded concerts on La Bufa, a mountain at the edge of Guanajuato in central Mexico.

2015 Jeff Seigfried. Sax

Jeff serves as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at West Virginia University. He holds masters degrees in saxophone and in musicology from Northwestern University and a doctorate in saxophone with certificates in musicology and in performance studies from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers are Timothy McAllister and Andrew Bishop. He is a Selmer Artist-Clinician and plays Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces exclusively. He has used COVID as an opportunity to draw close (in spirit though not distance) with friends and family and to record an album.


2016 Cole Anderson, Piano

Cole graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a BM in Piano Performance. He holds MM degrees in both Piano Performance and Chamber Music from University of Michigan a received his doctorate degree from UM. Cole maintains a private teaching studio teaching and is freelancing as a soloist and collaborative artist, based in Ann Arbor for the time being. Cole just started a new video series at the beginning of September which has been great at keeping him centered and focused during the pandemic. They are performance and analysis videos which eventually will cover his entire solo repertoire.


2017 Eli Schille-Hudson, Guitar

Eli completed degrees (BM and MM) and in classical guitar at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As I’m a musician who primarily makes a living through private (in-person!) teaching, my work was reduced to essentially nothing when things began shutting down in March. In April I took my lessons online. Since March, I have sorely missed working with other musicians and performing. Both of those activities have picked up again thanks to some recording projects and busking in downtown Bloomington—a particularly satisfying thing to do because live music in unexpected places seems to really delight people who have been so isolated for so long. In general, this time of pandemic has put into even more focus than usual how much I love and value my connection to students and other people I interact with through music, and also reassured me at how adaptable those connections have proved to be.


2018 Hannie McGarity, Violin

Hannie McGarity graduated with her Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College in 2019, and moved to Minneapolis.She began freelancing and nannying for a family with two young violinists, which was working out wonderfully until the COVID-19 pandemic began. She returned to Bellingham for a few months to be with family, and was able to teach a few students through video calls and backyard lessons. When she moved back to Minneapolis, she started a job as a cashier, but is now in the process of transitioning into teaching as much as she can!She has been offered jobs with several teaching schools in the Twin Cities, and is looking forward to starting lessons with new students. The pandemic has made live performances impossible for now, but Hannie hopes she can start performing at events and concerts again soon. She is applying to graduate schools this fall and winter with the plan to begin pursuing her master’s degree in the Fall of 2021.

2019 Adam Billings, Composer

Adam Billings is a Pacific Northwest-based composer of contemporary music. Adam is a graduate of the Juilliard School and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Composition with a minor in Impact Entrepreneurship at The New School. Adam studies with Mr. Timo Andres at the Mannes School of Music. His aesthetic interests include the sonic depiction of natural events and elements, as well as the human response to sound and music. Adam has a dual love for contemporary acoustic music as well as intricate electronic music. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Adam has been experimenting in the Contemporary Electronic music world, creating a multitude of works evocative of nature, ambience, and tranquility. Adam feels that now, more than ever, we need music to help us through our feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Adam is currently writing a set of miniatures based on the challenges that come from performing music while socially distant. He plans to have the pieces performed online by students and faculty of Western Washington University


2020 Maya Enstad, Cello

Maya is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory in cello performance.She has been accepted to the masters program at McGill University in Montreal.Due to the pandemic, she has chosen to defer enrollment until Fall 2021, and is currently living in Cleveland, Ohio.Life during quarantine has included lots of music making with her partner Anders, who plays viola.She has also coped by cooking, watching virtual concerts, and hanging out with her family and dog Wally.