As a section coach for the Anchorage Youth Symphony and Anchorage Youth Philharmonic, I enjoy working with students who are new to symphonic literature and orchestral etiquette.
I have been a member of the music community in Anchorage, Alaska for over 30 years. Outside of private teaching and coaching, I am the second violin principal for the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Anchorage Opera, and Anchorage Concert Chorus and other local productions. In addition to performing chamber recitals, I also enjoy performing with my string quartet, ENSEMBLE in black & white.
Kirby holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Music History/Musicology with high honors from University of Michigan and her principal teachers include Richard Beene, Robert Williams, Paul Rafanelli and Francine Peterson.
Private teaching, ASO’s Coaching in the Schools program, and coaching the Youth Symphony bassoon sections bring out Kirby’s passion for working with youth: helping students develop a command of this challenging instrument, and an appreciation and enjoyment of the many different characters bassoon plays in large ensemble literature and chamber music.
After earning a Bachelors of music in music composition, Bill continued to moonlight as a free-lance musician playing in several orchestras in the greater Houston area including the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Energy Corridor Houston Orchestra (ECHO), and The Texas Medical Center Orchestra.
At the end of 2017, Bill took early retirement from Rice University in Houston, TX, and traveled to beautiful Southcentral Alaska where he now calls home.
Joanna Mergler Mayer
Joanna received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alaska, having studied music and visual art in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. She also studied mixed media art, jewel-making, and graphic design at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.
Joanna gives solo performances for wedding ceremonies, receptions, fundraisers, holiday, political functions, and private parties. Joanna is currently the Harpist for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra and the Anchorage Civic Orchestra. Joanna has also performed with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Anchorage Opera Orchestra, Anchorage Concert Chorus, Opera Fairbanks Orchestra, the Fairbanks Symphony, and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra.
Joanna is the creator and director of the Aurora Harp Ensemble, Alaska’s only harp ensemble, established in 1999. The harp ensemble currently involves local harpists of all ages and levels, on all types of harps. Joanna is a member of the American Harp Society and the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen. In her free time, Joanna enjoys playing harp/guitar duets with her husband, micro-managing the lives of her two adult children, gardening, and playing with beads.
Linda holds performance degrees from the University of Washington and has taken Suzuki teacher training. She is thankful for the wisdom and guidance of her teachers. They include Seattle Symphony principal cellist Raymond Davis, Professor Eva Heinitz, soloist Lynn Harrell and San Francisco Symphony principal cellist Michael Grebanier.
Besides being a member of the Anchorage Symphony and Opera, Linda is the principal cellist of the Anchorage Concert Chorus Orchestra and Alaska Chamber Singers and a frequent performer with the Anchorage Festival of Music. She has served as adjunct faculty for the University of Alaska Anchorage. In January 2016 it was her privilege to join Anchorage Symphony concertmaster Kathryn Hoffer in the premier of Eric Ewazen’s Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra.
In addition she has performed in CrossSound, Spirit-The Seventh Fire of Alaska and in the orchestras for touring productions of Lion King, Mannheim Steamroller, Mary Poppins and Les Miserables. She enjoys an active private teaching studio as well as working with the cello sections in AYO.