BSO Highlights Its Own Members At January 28th Concert

Bangor, ME – The Bangor Symphony Orchestra will feature five of its own members as soloists in its next Masterworks concert on Sunday, January 28, 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. The program led by Music Director and Conductor Lucas Richman will offer audiences a diverse menu of works by Arnold Schoenberg, Maurice Ravel, Conni Ellisor, Samuel Barber, and Edvard Grieg. The featured soloists are Principal Harp Mo Nichols, Principal Flute Jonathan Laperle, Principal Clarinet Kristen Finkbeiner, Principal Oboe Michael Dressler, and Co-Principal Trumpet Bill Whitener.

Concert tickets can be purchased online at and by phone at 1-800-622-TIXX. Tickets range from $19 to $49 including all fees, with student tickets available for $14. The UBS Pre-Concert Talk will be held at 2 p.m. and features the soloists in conversation with Maestro Richman. This concert is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

Full program information, and artist bios, can be found below:

  • Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) |Notturno for Harp and Strings, featuring Mo Nichols, harp
  • Conni Ellisor (1953) | Conversations in Silence
  •  Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) | Introduction and Allegro, featuring Mo Nichols, harp;  Kristen Finkbeiner, clarinet; Jonathan Laperle, flute
  • Samuel Barber (1910-1981) | Capricorn Concerto, featuring Michael Dressler, oboe; Jonathan Laperle, flute; William Whitener, trumpet
  • Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) | Holberg Suite

Michael Dressler began his musical training at the age of ten with Sara Funkhouser, former Principal Oboe of the Kansas City Symphony and student of Harold Gomberg. He went on to complete his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music Performance at the College of Fine Arts at Boston University with Ralph Gomberg and John Ferrillo, former Principal and current Principal Oboe of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, respectively. Michael also has had extensive study with Eugene Izotov, current Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony. Michael has participated in numerous music festivals including Interlochen (where he was a Governor’s Scholar), Aspen, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, National Orchestral Institute (Washington D.C.), Campos do Jodao Music Festival (Brazil), Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO), Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), and Luzern Music Festival (Luzern, Switzerland). Michael was a finalist and frequent substitute with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL, and a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2004-2006. From 2006-2014, Michael was a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. This is Michael’s third season as Principal Oboe of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Michael also makes regular appearances with the Springfield and Albany Symphonies as well as the Boston Opera Company and Boston Ballet Orchestra.

Kristen Finkbeiner was raised in Maine.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Fred Ormand, a Master’s degree in music from Yale University, where she studied with David Shifrin, and a Doctorate in music from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Yehuda Gilad.  As a Tanglewood fellow, she was the recipient of the Gino B Cioffi award in 2000.  She has participated in many music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the National Repertory Orchestra.  She has performed with the New World Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Boston Ballet, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Maine, the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and appeared as a soloist with the Portland (Maine) Chamber Orchestra in 2007.  She also enjoys performing chamber music and has appeared with the Southern Maine chamber ensemble VentiCordi and with various artists at Bowdoin College, Bates College, and the University of Southern Maine.  She taught at Los Angeles City College and now maintains a small private studio.

Originally from Saint-Ours in Montérégie, Jonathan Laperle began learning music at the age of 7 under the tutelage of Nathalie Simard, flute teacher in Saint-Denis sur Richelieu. In 2007, he began his musical studies at the Montreal Music Conservatory in the class of Marie-Andrée Benny, with whom he studied for nearly five years. Holder of a master’s degree in interpretation from the Université de Montréal, under the direction of Mr. Denis Bluteau, Jonathan Laperle had the chance to complete his apprenticeship with several renowned flutists such as Susan Hoeppner, Guy Vanasse, Carolyn Christie, Timothy Hutchins, Camille Churchill and Danielle Bourget. During his stays at Domaine Forget, Jonathan was selected to participate in a masterclass with internationally renowned flautist Emmanuel Pahud.

Jonathan has participated in various competitions and won several awards such as:  4th prize at the Grand Finale Desjardins of the Bas Richelieu Classical Music Festival in 2010; 1st place in 2005 and 2010 at the Bas Richelieu Classical Music Festival and 2nd place in 2003, 2006 and 2007; 4 first prizes at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition during 6 participations; 5 gold medals at the Vincent d’Indy Music Competition; 1st place at the Montreal Classical Music Festival in 2006 and 2007; and 1st place four times at the Concours de soliste of the Quebec Federation of Harmonies and Symphony Orchestras. He has performed as an orchestral musician under the direction of Jean-François Rivet, Raffi Armenian, Alain Trudel, Lucas Richman, Kent Nagano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Originally from Machiasport, Maine and currently a resident of Portland, Mo Nichols is the principal harpist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Nichols first performed with the BSO in 2005 and has served as principal harp since 2015. Nichols studied harp with Jara Goodrich in Maine, the former principal harp of both the Portland and Bangor Symphony Orchestras. Nichols earned a BA from Carleton College in psychology and completed an MA at the University of Maine-Orono in speech-language pathology. In addition to performances with the BSO, Mo Nichols can regularly be seen with the Portland Ballet, Opera Maine, the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, and various choral ensembles around the state.

Mr. Bill Whitener lives in Lamoine, Maine; is the private brass instructor at the Mt. Desert Island High School; and since 2012, is also the adjunct Trumpet Instructor and Brass Ensemble Instructor at Colby College. He has been teaching brass students for over thirty years in Maryland and Maine. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Trumpet Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD. Mr. Whitener has performed throughout New England as a soloist and is a thirty-five year member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra as co-principal trumpet. He is a founding member of the Acadia Brass Ensemble. He has performed with many organizations including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Maine Chamber Orchestra, Maine Music Society Orchestra, Portland Opera Repertory Orchestra, Blue Hill Brass Quintet, Peabody Conservatory Brass Quintet, Portuguese Embassy Symphony, the Maine Grand Opera, Maine Pro Musica, Bagaduce Chorale, Mt. Desert Summer Chorale, Acadia Chorale, and in back-up bands for Manhattan Transfer, Joan Rivers, Jekyll and Hyde, Beatle Mania, Music of Queen, Frankie Valli, Noel Paul Stookey, Rocktopia, Mannheim Steamroller, and Anne Murray. He continues to free-lance and solo throughout the New England area and Canada.