The members of the Trio Sospiro faculty and staff trio at Hope College have been chosen through competitive audition to perform during two major music conventions this summer.

The trio, which consists of flutist Gabe Southard, oboist Sarah Southard and pianist Sarah Bast, has been selected to perform during the 2016 Annual Conference of the International Double Reed Society later this month and during the 2016 Annual Convention of the National Flute Association in August.  In addition, Gabe Southard will present a solo performance during the August event as one of only four individual winners of the National Flute Association’s Convention Performers Competition.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Gabe Southard, an associate professor of music.  “”It’s going to be a busy summer, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The trio is still in its first year, having debuted with a recital at the college’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts—also in its first year—in November 2015.  Trio Sospiro’s aims include working with living composers to create new works of music for the instrumentation of flute, oboe and piano.  During both of the conventions, the trio will perform “Gold Mosaic” by Dana Wilson, a composer recently retired from Ithaca College, which Trio Sospiro premiered at Hope in February.

Gabe Southard will be performing a solo work determined by organizers of the National Flute Association event.  The pieces that he and the other three Convention Performers Competition winners are performing are also being selected competitively.

The conference of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) will be running Sunday-Thursday, June 26-30, in Columbus, Georgia.  The IDRS was established in December of 1971 and is a world-wide organization of double reed (oboe and bassoon family) players, instrument manufacturers and enthusiasts. The society has more than 4,400 members from 56 countries.

The conference of the National Flute Association will be running Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 11-14, in San Diego, California.  The National Flute Association, founded in 1972, is the largest flute organization in the world. Approximately 5,000 members from more than 50 countries join together in person, online, at conventions, informally and in forums, through publications and classrooms, in performance, in friendship and collegiality. Guided by its goals to encourage a higher standard of artistic excellence for the flute, its performers and its literature, members include leading soloists, orchestral players, jazz and world music performers, teachers, adult amateurs and students of all ages.

Bast has been a staff accompanist at Hope since 2015, collaborating with faculty, students, guest artists and ensembles.

She studied piano performance and received her Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, where she graduated summa cum laude.  She received additional training in the piano program at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her former teachers include Louis Nagel, Kenneth Graber, Arthur Greene, Rebecca Penneys and Kent McWilliams.  She has also participated in master classes with Martin Katz.

Bast was the 2001 winner of the MTNA Collegiate Piano Competition in Minnesota. At St. Olaf she performed as a Senior Soloist Competition winner with the St. Olaf Orchestra. Her past teaching positions include private piano instructor in Ann Arbor, graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan, and piano instructor at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor’s Conservatory community music program.  She lives in Holland with her husband Peter and their three children.

Gabe Southard has been a member of the Hope music faculty since 2007, and conducts the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, teaches flute and heads the department’s instrumental division.  In addition to his collegiate teaching, he has served as clinician at several high schools and taught at the New England Music Camp in 2002.  As a flute player, he maintains an active performing schedule by playing principal flute in the Holland Symphony Orchestra, giving recitals and playing in chamber ensembles.  He has also performed with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Lucca, Italy Opera Orchestra, and community orchestras.

He completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in conducting at Michigan State University, where he worked with Professor John Whitwell. Prior to his residence at Michigan State University, he served as Wind Symphony conductor and Flute Studio teacher at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he also taught Orchestration, Music Appreciation, and Advanced Conducting. While living in Cincinnati, Ohio, Southard served as conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble from 1999 to 2002. Under his direction, the ensemble toured England and Scotland, taking first place at the Bournemouth International Musicmakers Festival, completed a CD of the works of Mark Camphouse and was invited to perform at the Ohio Music Educators Regional Conference.

Gabe Southard received his Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied conducting with James Smith.  At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he created the UW Brass Choir and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras Brass Choir program.  At Ithaca College, he completed a bachelor’s degree in flute performance under the tutelage of Wendy Mehne, where he was instrumental in creating the Ithaca Chamber Winds.

Sarah Hustad Southard joined the Hope music faculty as instructor of oboe in fall of 2007. Additionally, she has taught as temporary instructor of oboe at Central Michigan University and as adjunct professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and Northern Kentucky University. Along with her collegiate teaching, she keeps an active studio of area oboists and has enjoyed working with many youth programs like the Interlochen Center for the Arts All-State Orchestra and All-State Band, the Holland Area Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Program, the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Besides teaching, she is an active performer, playing regularly with the Midland and Holland Symphony Orchestras. She has also had the pleasure of performing with other groups such as the Lansing Symphony in Lansing, Michigan; the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami, Florida; the Cincinnati Symphony Opera Orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Madison Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Madison, Wisconsin. As well as her orchestral playing, she has performed in chamber groups at Hope, the Chamber Music Festival or Saugatuck, and the Free at Three Concert Series (formerly the Herrick Library series in Holland which she also took part in) and has soloed nationally and internationally including locations in Italy, England, and Scotland.

Sarah Southard received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University with oboist Jan Eberle, her Master of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Mark Ostoich, and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying with Marc Fink.