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  Guest Conductors/Artists  

Meet WIO's Guest Artists

WIO’s Special Guest Conductor, John H. Steinke - December 2022


John H. Steinke is a musician and former music educator.  He served as Principal trombonist with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra for nearly 30 years (also serving as the Ballet Orchestra’s “cover” conductor) and held principal trombone chairs with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Waukesha Symphony.  His experiences range from recording studios to symphonic venues and cover the gamut from Broadway shows to big band jazz and the circus. 


From 1978 to 2009, Mr. Steinke was the Music Director of the Knightwind Ensemble.  He established high musical standards for the band, providing talented musicians an opportunity to perform music of significance and quality.  His selection of repertoire, although often favoring original wind compositions, included a variety of styles and genres.  And while his programming was once referred to as “somewhat eclectic,” in point of fact, he maintains that he was merely trying to choose an interesting mix in his musical selections – without, he adds, “causing undue panic for the players or inadvertently frightening the audience.”


A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Mr. Steinke earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music performance and a Master of Music degree in conducting.  His principal trombone teachers were Frank Crisafuli of the Chicago Symphony and George Powers of the Milwaukee Symphony, and his conducting mentor was Tom Dvorak.  Additionally, he has pursued course work in music technology at the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.


Mr. Steinke’s music affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha-Sinfonia, professional music fraternity; the International Trombone Association; the National Band Association; the College Band Director’s National Association; and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.


Besides his involvement with music, Mr. Steinke appreciates good coffee, good theater, reading, gardening and landscaping, and an occasional glass of fine wine.  Also an avid road cyclist, he won the Gold Medal in the 2010 Wisconsin Road Race Championships.    


Meet our December 2022 Guest Artists,  Trio Festivo


Darlene Rivest

Darlene Rivest is a violinist and violist from the Racine area. She performs in the Racine Symphony, Kenosha Symphony and Festival City Symphony and is the concertmaster of the Milton-Janesville Choral Union Orchestra.

An avid chamber musician, she performs on violin in the Driftless String Trio. As a violin soloist, she has performed with the Carthage College Chamber Orchestra, the Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale Orchestra, the Milton-Janesville Choral Union Orchestra, the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra, the Rock Prairie Chamber Orchestra and the Lakeshore Youth Orchestras.

Darlene received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In addition to her performing career, Mrs. Rivest is an active teacher, conductor and clinician. Darlene is the former conductor of the Lakeshore Youth Philharmonic Sinfonia Orchestra in Kenosha. She has taught on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Beloit College and Carthage College. Additionally, Darlene teaches private violin and viola lessons and has presented music clinics with students from throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.


Andrea Buchta

Violinist and Waukesha native Andrea Buchta has taught for around 20 years in southeastern Wisconsin. She has directed string programs in both public and private schools and has maintained for 18 years a private violin and viola studio of young beginner through advanced high school students in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Andrea performs professionally in several area orchestras, including the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra, Festival City Symphony and the Racine Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing as a freelance violinist. Andrea holds a BA in Music Education from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a MM in String Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Ingrid Tihtcheva

Ingrid Tihtcheva, grew up surrounded by music and came to the US as a young cellist to study at The Meadowmount School of Music in NY under Tanya Carey. Soon after, was awarded a full scholarship to The University of Southern Mississippi graduating with honors with a BFA in Cello Performance. After an invitation from The Fine Arts Quartet, she came to Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 


Ingrid performed widely as a member of the Gulf Coast Symphony, The Meridian Symphony, The Pensacola Symphony and played under personalities like Itzhak Perlman, Leslie Parnas, Doc Severinsen, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart and also premiered a piece by Samuel Adler at The Lincoln Center in NY with the USM Symphony Orchestra. In Wisconsin, Ingrid has played with Green Bay, Waukesha, Kenosha, and Racine Symphony Orchestras accompanying artists like Maxim Vengerov, Josh Groban, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and Charlotte Church among others. 


Teaching the cello has always been one of her highest joys and she’s grateful to have coached summer music camps at The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, instructed group lessons at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) and United Community Center (UCC).


Today, Ingrid proudly calls Milwaukee her home and is currently a member of the Wisconsin Philharmonic and Festival City Symphony. She loves playing chamber music, weddings and private events and keeps a successful private cello studio. Her passion is to help students of all ages reach their goals and find their own confident voice through music. 


Pete Lange - Trumpet Soloist


Pete Lange is Director of Homebuilding Services for Tim O’Brien Homes, Inc., Milwaukee Division.  Pete original career in homebuilding began in 1990 and continued until 2009, as he served in roles ranging from Customer Service Manager to Production Manager to Vice President of Sales.  Pete then followed his passion for teaching and music, teaching Band and Choir at Waukesha’s Catholic Memorial High School from 2009 -2017, re-entering homebuilding and joining TOH as a New Home Sales Professional in 2016.  Beside his homebuilding experience, Pete has experience as an actor, singer, and brass player, and he performs and records regularly in the Milwaukee area. Pete earned his Bachelor’s Degree in General Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he also studied Music Education, in 1990.  In 2013, Pete received the Bachelor of Music Education from Carroll University, where he has also served as an adjunct lecturer in the Music Department.  In 2013 Pete was the inaugural recipient of the Carroll Education Department’s “Promising Pioneer” award for demonstrated potential to make a significant impact in the field of Education. Also in 2013, Pete was one of 100 teachers in the State of Wisconsin who received a Fellowship from the Herb Kohl Education Foundation, for his skill as a leader and agent of positive change, and his superior ability to inspire love of learning.  Pete is excited to continue teaching Sales, Customer Service, and Construction 101 at Tim O’Brien Homes!!


The Zitoun Family - our December 2021 guest soloists


Cellist Adrien Zitoun joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2001. He also performs with Present Music and the Philomusica String Quartet, which has residency at the Wisconsin Lutheran College. Mr. Zitoun teaches at the Wisconsin Lutheran College, coaches the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestras, and has a handful of dedicated private students. He also received the 2017 CIVIC MUSIC Certificate of Excellence for Studio Music. In 2001, as a member of the Eusia String Quartet, he was awarded the Gold medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the Music Pen club award in Japan for the best Chamber music recording in 2006 for their recording of music by Britten, Purcell and Takemitsu. In his native land of France, Mr. Zitoun studied cello at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon with Yvan Chiffoleau. In the United States, Mr. Zitoun earned his Artist Diploma and a Masters of Music from Indiana University where he studied with Tusyoshi Tsutsumi and Janós Starker.


Braden holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in cello performance from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is also a very dedicated cello teacher. She taught at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music from 2002-2010, and currently has a private cello studio. Braden is also a very active performer in the Milwaukee area. She has been a member of the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006 and is currently Assistant Principal Cellist. She has also played with Bel Canto Chorus, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, Festival City Symphony, Kenosha Symphony and Racine Symphony. Since 2003, she has been involved in the ACE program with Present Music. In 2016, Braden, along with her husband Adrien, co-authored the book Play Cello Today!, published by Hal Leonard. Braden is the owner of Gabriel's Horns, a sought after ensemble in the Milwaukee area for special events and weddings.


Amelia, 15, is a scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college students. She studies cello with Horacio Contreras. She was the winner of the 2020 DePaul Concerto Festival, where she played the Kabalevsky Concerto with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra. She also was a First Place Winner in the 2021 Schubert Competition. As a member of the Aurora Piano Quartet, she won First Place at the 2020 Rembrandt Young Artists Chamber Music Competition, and were Quarterfinalists at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Amelia is a 10th grader at Shorewood High School. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, solving difficult math problems, and painting.


Henry, 13, is an 8th grader at Shorewood Intermediate School. He began cello lessons at the age of 6, and is currently taking lessons with both of his parents. In his free time he enjoys mountain biking, watching movies, and reading French comic books. 

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