MAY 13-15, 2016

2016 Festival Artists

Allen Biggs, Percussionist

Founder of the Moke Hill Music Festival 
Principal Percussionist, Santa Rosa Symphony
Director, SFSU Percussion Ensemble

A professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area, Biggs performs regularly with the California Symphony in Walnut Creek and has performed with a wide range of Bay Area groups, from touring Broadway productions to Bay Area Jazz Composer's Orchestra. He earned his Masters from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  

Rob Bailiss, Clarinet 

Rob Bailis is a musician, writer, and performing arts curator living in his native San Francisco. A classical clarinetist, known for his “Sweet, singing sound and technical wizardry…”  - SF Classical Voice, he has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as a recitalist across the U.S., Canada, Asia, and the U.K. From 2003 – 2011, he was Director of ODC Theater in San Francisco. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the theater’s $9 million dollar expansion of its facility. He elevated the theater’s platform from regional to national and international visibility, and received numerous awards in recognition of his presenting, advocacy, and residency programs. In 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle named him “MVP” in dance presenting, describing his curation as, “…smart…instinctive, and infectious.” He has commissioned over 40 new works in a variety of genres, and has served as a panelist / program  / policy consultant for foundations and arts funding organizations across the nation. A frequent public speaker on arts and culture, he has been heard at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, on KPFA’s Against the Grain, and on NPR’s West Coast Live. A widely produced lyricist and librettist, his newest piece, Love/Hate, was co-commissioned by American Opera Projects and ODC Theater and premiered in April 2012 as a co-production of ODC and San Francisco Opera. The work has also enjoyed performances in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. In June of 2013, he was appointed Associate Director of Cal Performances at the University of California Berkeley, where he has been the lead designer of Berkeley RADICAL, Cal Performances comprehensive new initiative for Creativity, Arts, and Learning. He also leads the artistic programming team in areas of dance, contemporary theater, and world stages. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale School of Music.

Edith Dowd, Dramatic Mezzo

Edith Dowd is a dramatic mezzo, with all of the richness of sound that that word implies.  She has the versatility and flexibility of technique and sound to sustain the roles that require utilizing the lower part of her range while still maintaining the integrity and color for the most upper reaches in the mezzo/alto roles.  For the 2016-17 season, she has already been engaged to sing the role of Mary in Der fliegende Holländer and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro for Livermore Opera.  Noted soprano Olivia Stapp will direct the Dutchman.

This current season (2015-16), she will be singing the role of Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore for the New Rochelle Opera in June.   She debuted with the Long Island Opera Company in October for their production of Le nozze di Figaro in the role of Marcellina.  In December 2015, she made her debut with the Santa Rosa Symphony for the Folk Songs of Berio (the full orchestral version) under the baton of Bruno Ferrandis.  She was also the mezzo soloist for Beethoven Symphony no. 9.

Her appearances with other companies include multiple years with New York City Opera, Sacramento Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Intermountain Opera, Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg Festival, Pacific Repertory Opera, Nashville Opera, Les Amis du Lyrique en Bretagne, Phoenix Symphony, Bozeman Symphony.

A native of Tennessee, she received her undergraduate training at San Francisco State University with graduate work at the prestigious Curtis Institute.  She went on to be a part of the Merola Opera program at San Francisco Opera and was an apprentice artist with the Santa Fe Opera for two seasons.  Honors and awards include the Ellen Faull Gordon Competition, multiple grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation and a finalist in both the Pacific and Northeast Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

Join us for our second annual weekend celebrating musical invention and innovation through an array of performances, this year featuring the music of Frank Zappa and his musical mentors.
Bruno Ferrandis, Conductor
​​This highly acclaimed and very versatile conductor has been music director and conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony (the third oldest symphony in California) since his appointment to that orchestra in 2005 and is currently in the midst of his tenth season. His contract has been extended through the 2017-18 season.

He has been a guest conductor with a number of orchestras worldwide. In Asia those have included the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, The Seoul Philharmonic and the Tokyo New National theatre.  His European symphonic engagements have included the BBC Northern Orchestra, the Lübeck Hanseatic Orchestra, the Mainz Bach Choir, the Wiener Klangforum, the Orchestra Regio di Torino, the Opera of Genoa Orchestra, the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Orchestra, the Pamplona Sarasate Orchestra, the Madrid Radio-Television Orchestra, the Seville Symphony Orchestra, the Valencia Orchestra, the Polish Radio Orchestra, the Prague State Theater Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, plus all of the major cities in France including Bordeaux and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.  He conducted the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as well. 

Equally adept at conducting opera, maestro Ferrandis most recent triumph was a production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at the Opéra de Nice, France. The previous season, he led performances of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and was engaged by them in 2004 for a production of Manuel de Falla’s La Vida breve.  He has worked a number of times with Opera Ireland (Dublin) that have included performances of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Gounod’s Faust. Being in close proximity to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he was engaged for productions with their opera program for performances of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress and Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers.  

Maestro Ferrandis is a champion of working with contemporary composers.  Those have included Jacob Druckman (for whom he created a workshop production of his opera Medea), William Schuman, George Tsontakis, Edmund Campion, the Kronos Quartet, Behzad Ranjbaran, Osvaldo Golijov, Pablo Ortiz and in 2015 with Mohammed Fairouz and Daniel Brewbaker.  His international collaborations have included Randolph Peters and Harry Sommers (in Canada), Martin Matalon (the music for Fritz Lang’s movie “Metropolis”, internationally acclaimed in the press), Mauricio Kagel and his lively theater music (Warsaw Autumn Festival), Ahmed Essyad, Claude Ballif, Yves Prin, Pascal Dusapin and composers Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio.  

​​Chris Hanson, Bass

Quartet Rouge
Kathy Marshall and Genie Wie, violins Michi Aceret, viola Vanessa Ruotolo, cello

Alternative String Quartet creating original arrangements of pop and rock music, known for their 'chopping' a new percussive sound they created.
Quartet Rouge performed in the Berkeley Repertory Theater's production of Green Day's "American Idiot" which travelled on to Broadway.  They are also featured on the CD soundtrack for the show and performed with Green Day at the 2010 Grammy's award ceremony in Los Angeles.  They recently were the winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in the American Idiot cast recording.

Quartet Rouge has performed as back up strings for Tommy Lee, Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Peter Cetera, Smokey Robinson and Trans Siberian Orchestra. They have enjoyed recording and performing with numerous local SF Bay Area artists. 

​​SFSU Percussion Ensemble

Allen Biggs revived this program at San Francisco State University that he participated in as a student.  Students compose or arrange most of what they play, using many everyday found objects in their work.

Hear more about the vision and process of the ensemble:


Drew Zingg, guitar

Drew Zingg was lead guitarist and musical director of Steely Dan for their reunion tour in 1993 and continued in that capacity through 1995. During this period he toured with the band throughout the United States, performing at such venues as Madison Square Garden in New York, the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and the Shoreline Amphitheater in San Francisco, as well as stadiums across the country. A sampling of these appearances were recorded and released as the Giant Records release, “Steely Dan; Alive in America.” His tenure with the band also included a tour throughout Japan in 1994. Drew’s guitar work is featured on the Donald Fagen Box Set, “The Nightfly Trilogy.”
Preceeding his work with Steely Dan, Mr. Zingg worked with Donald Fagen as lead guitarist and music director for Mr. Fagen’s “New York Rock and Soul Revue”, an aggregation of artists that included Walter Becker, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow, and Patti Austen. “The New York Rock and Soul Revue” toured extensively throughout the States and culminated in the Giant Records release, “Live at the Beacon.”
Drew has been touring for the last several years with Boz Scaggs, his work with Mr. Scaggs is prominently featured on the “Greatest Hits Live” CD and DVD. 2010 has found Drew touring the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East with Mr Scaggs and Michael McDonald.

Listen: 'Teeth'
Listen: 'Human Nature'
Listen: 'Ain't No Sunshine'
Percussion Ensemble
​​Roy Zajac, Clarinet

During the course of his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, Roy Zajac studied in Vienna, Austria with Peter Schmidle, the principal clarinetist of the Vienna Philharmonic.  After completing his undergraduate degree, Roy performed for one season with the Filharmoni del Bajio Orchestra in Guanajuato, Mexico, before returning to the United States and earning his Master’s degree in Music Performance at the University of Minnesota as a student of Burt Hara, the principal clarinetist of the Minnesota Orchestra. After earning his graduate degree, Roy joined the Air Force as a clarinetist with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. In 1998, Roy was selected as the principal clarinetist of the Santa Rosa Symphony under the direction of Jeffery Kahane. Roy frequently performs chamber music with members of the Santa Rosa Symphony and many other Northern California symphonies including Berkeley, Marin, Monterey, Napa and Sacramento.  In 2013 Roy performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Santa Rosa Symphony under the direction of Maestro Bruno Ferrandis. Roy enjoys teaching private lessons and coaching clarinet, woodwinds, and wind ensembles for the Santa Rosa Symphony youth orchestras, as well as at Marin Arts Academy, Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, and Sonoma State University.

Drew Zingg