Winds & Brass Sessions 2021

This winter, the BSYO is pleased to offer a series of online training sessions for middle and high school wind and brass players throughout the state of Maine and beyond, led by the experienced professionals of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

$20 per student includes two 1 hour sessions, where students will work via Zoom to improve core musical skills in their instrument, learn about life as a professional musician, and have the opportunity to receive feedback on their playing.


All sessions are held Mondays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • OBOE with Ben Fox, January 18th and 25th
  • FLUTE with Jonathan Laperle, January 25th and February 1st
  • TRUMPET with William Whitener, February 1st and 8th
  • FRENCH HORN with Scott Burditt , February 1st and 8th
  • CLARINET with Kristen Finkbeiner, February 22nd and March 1s
  • BASSOON with Wren Saunders, February 22nd and March 1st
  • TROMBONE/LOW BRASS with Michael Tybursky, March 8th and 15th

About the Musicians

Oboist Benjamin Fox has been a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2015 and is currently Interim Principal Oboe. He is in high demand as an orchestral player, chamber musician, and teacher in the Boston area. His versatility and virtuosity are showcased in a variety of venues. From Carnegie Hall to retirement homes, rural churches in Panamá to nightclubs in Honolulu, Ben’s joy comes from sharing music with everyone.

For years, Dr. Fox has been Principal Oboist of the Marsh Chapel Collegium, whose performances of cantatas and oratorios by J.S. Bach and Handel reach a worldwide audience via WBUR radio and internet broadcasts. He is an active freelancer, frequently appearing with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Emmanuel Music, Portland Symphony, and has also performed with the Canton (OH) and Charleston (SC) Symphonies. In addition to his orchestral career, he has presented numerous chamber music recitals at libraries, churches, nursing homes, and schools, collaborating with groups such as the Weston Wind Quintet, New England Chamber Players, and the Boston Zelenka Project.

Dr. Fox is the oboe instructor at Boston College, St. Anselm College, New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Powers Music School, and teaches students in many communities around Boston. When not performing, teaching, practicing, or making reeds, Ben enjoys an active lifestyle, running, yoga, and swing and blues dancing.

Originally from Saint-Ours in Quebec, Canada, Jonathan Laperle began learning music at the age of 7 under the tutoring of Nathalie Simard, flute teacher. 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 Montreal University, under the direction of Mr. Denis Bluteau, Jonathan Laperle had the chance to perfect 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 the Domaine Forget, in Quebec, Jonathan was selected to participate in a masterclass with internationally renowned flutist Emmanuel Pahud.

Jonathan has been Principal Flute of the Bangor Symphoy Orchestra since 2013. As an orchestral player he has performed under the direction of Jean-François Rivet, Raffi Armenian, Alain Trudel, Lucas Richman, Kent Nagano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Bill Whitener received his Bachelor of Music from The Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore. He has performed with the Portland Symphony, the Portugese Embassy Symphony, Bangor Symphony Quintet, Acadia Brass Consort, the Maine Chamber Orchestra, the Pro Musica Orchestra, and has been a soloist with various orchestras in New England and Canada. Mr. Whitener has performed as lead trumpet in back-up bands for Frankie Valli, Anne Murray, Manhattan Transfer, Beatlemania, and others. He is Co-Principal of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra

Maine native Scott Burditt has been a public and private school music teacher for more than 35 years, working with students from grade 3 through college. Principal Horn and Personnel Manager for the Bangor Symphony, he is also Co-Principal Horn, Assistant Conductor and Librarian for the Bangor Band, and the Horn instructor at the University of Maine.

As a professional horn player, he has played with most of the performing groups in Maine, including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony, Maine State Music Theater, college orchestras, brass quintets, woodwind quintets and community bands.

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.

Wren Saunders holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern Maine, a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance, and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law. Ms. Saunders is currently principal bassoon of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra (MA) and formerly held the position of associate principal bassoon with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (TN). In 2007 she was a concerto soloist with the Bangor Symphony.

As an active freelancer she has played with the region’s top orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, BMOP, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Ballet, and the ProArte Chamber Orchestra among others. Ms. Saunders can be heard playing principal bassoon with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra performing Violin Concerto No. 6 “Old Brass” on Mark O’Connor’s CD “Americana Symphony” on the OMAC label. Ms. Saunders’ bassoon students are regularly accepted into the Maine All-State and District festivals, the University of Southern Maine’s Youth Ensembles as well as New England Conservatory’s Youth Orchestras and the Boston Youth Orchestras in Massachusetts. She has had five students perform on From the Top, a national radio show featuring remarkable teenaged classical musicians. Ms. Saunders is currently on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine and the Portland Conservatory of Music.

Trombonist Michael Tybursky is a performer, educator, composer, and arranger. He is the principal trombonist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of Back Bay Brass and the Boston Trombone Project, chamber groups performing a diverse repertoire of music for brass. He recently earned his Doctorate from Boston University and now serves on the faculty at Powers Music School in Belmont, MA and the Community Music Center of Boston, as well as the Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston. He has also earned degrees from Northwestern University and New England Conservatory and currently lives in Auburndale, MA with his wife, soprano Jessica Jacobs, and their 2 children, who are also sopranos.