Maricopa Music Circle
Our Musicians

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Judith Lang Zaimont

Piano, Co-founder, Composer

     Her 100+ works cover every genre and are performed widely throughout the world: Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore and Mississippi symphonies, Berlin and Czech Radio symphonies, Slovak National Philharmonic, Zagreb Saxophone Quartet, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, etc. and has been heard repeatedly at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Two dozen CDs of her works are currently available.
      She is the subject of 18 doctoral dissertations (including 2 recent ones from ASU), and is frequently a Featured Composer at US Festivals and Residencies. Her works serve as required repertoire for major international performance competitions in voice, conducting and piano (Cliburn '01, San Antonio, '03, Jordania '05, Kapell '12), and two of her compositions are on Century Lists: Doubles (oboe and piano; Chamber Music America), and Sonata (Piano & Keyboard magazine). Her prizes and honors include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, awards from both National Endowments (NEA: composition / NEH: scholarship), a project (2011), The American Prize in Orchestral Composition 2012, a 2005 Bush Foundation Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Award (2003), and ASCAP and Meet The Composer awards for more than 35 years. Also grants from arts councils in 5 states (including Arizona).
      Also a distinguished educator with professor appointments over 36 years at US universities, including Peabody Conservatory-Johns Hopkins University ("Teacher of the Year" 1985), CUNY, Adelphi University and the University of Minnesota (Professor of Composition and Scholar of the College of Liberal Arts). Her books and articles include the Greenwood Press book series The Musical Woman: An International Perspective (which received the Pauline Alderman musicology prize); and her American Music Teacher magazine article "Embracing New Music", named 2009 Article of the Year by Music Teachers National Association.
      Educated at Juilliard, Queens College (CUNY), Columbia University (MA in Music Composition with honors: Woodrow Wilson Fellowship), plus additional study in orchestration at the Paris Conservatory (Debussy Fellow of the Alliance Française de New York). A Maricopa resident for seven years, she is co-founder of Maricopa Music Circle.

Louvenia Samford


     Co-founder of the Cross Timbers Music Teachers Association and distinguished long-term member of the National and Texas Music Teachers Association, Louvenia Samford began piano study at age 7, adding organ at age 11. She was the youngest organist to play her hometown's Good Friday service, and has taught and performed on both instruments for more than 40 years. After university study in piano at Sam Houston State University and Tarleton State University, she continues to provide private musical training for many students in her studio and has seen her dedicated pupils go on to college graduation as music majors. She joined Maricopa Music Circle shortly after moving here in 2009. She currently serves as Music Director for the First Baptist Church of Stanfield, has accompanied the Maricopa High School Choir since 2011, and has also played keyboard for several Maricopa Community Theatre main-stage productions in 2011 and 2012.

David Kordahl

1st Violin

     David Kordahl has a long history in music. After beginning to play when he was just four years old, he joined his first symphony orchestra in the fifth grade. By the time he graduated from high school, he had been selected multiple times as an all-state performer, had performed for several years with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra, and had soloed with the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts orchestra. In college, he went on to major in violin performance, along with studies in English and physics. His collegiate experiences allowed him to tour internationally and to take on leadership roles in various ensembles, including the Wartburg Community Symphony and the Wartburg String Quartet. After college, he has continued to play for various events, though much of his professional life has been spent in diverse pursuits. After earning a master's degree in physics from the University of Kansas, he now works as a high school teacher and a freelance writer, as well as being a violinist. In the greater Phoenix area, he has performed with the Chandler Symphony Orchestra, La Forza Chamber Orchestra, and now the Maricopa Music Circle. He also plays for weddings with his wife, a pianist, as a member of Catalyst Duo.

Laura Olivieri


     Laura Olivieri is a violist from Muskegon, Michigan. She studied viola from elementary through high school and has attended Interlochen Fine Arts Camp – Summer Music Program for three years. She has performed with the West Shore Youth Symphony Orchestra in Muskegon Michigan and has also played with the Nassau Community College Community Orchestra in Garden City, New York. She has been a resident of Maricopa since 1998.

Mary Mullarky

Cello, Co-founder

     Mary started on cello at the age of 9 in Santa Monica, California and has been a member of the Marshall, Ohio, and Long Beach college orchestras as well as Houston, Singapore, and Crystal Cathedral semi professional performance organizations. For 25 years she has performed an average of four to six concerts a year. All this while teaching for 30 years at preschool and elementary school levels, and in an after school Gifted and Talented programs instructing primarily in violin. She maintains homes in Maricopa and California, and in addition to performances with MMC, she continues to play with Orange Coast College and Symphony Irvine orchestras.

SaraCatherine DeCristoforo

Harp, Percussion

     Sarah joined Maricopa Music Circle in the fall of 2014.

Suzette Moe


      Suzette learned to play flute as a child from her mother who was a talented flutist and music teacher. Playing from the age of 9 years old; Suzette played in the school band and competed in competitions through her early years of high school; earning top score and placement in All-Star and All-State bands. Although Suzette took a hiatus from flute after high-school, she is thankful for the early childhood lessons and the love of music given her by her mother. Suzette was given her mother's flute by her father after her mother passed away. Since then she has played occasionally in church and for own enjoyment. Suzette joined Maricopa Music Circle in the fall of 2014.

Gary Zaimont

Bass Clarinet, Flute, Composer

Gary is an Artist as well as Musician. His first instruments was trumpet, and he holds bachelor and master's degrees in Music and Music Education. Gary taught himself all the wind and string instruments (including guitar) and has performed on several of these in New York, Paris (France) and Minnesota. He creates the excellent, skilled arrangements so central to MMC's performances, using imagination and a good ear effectively.

Cat Ackerson

Trombone, Flute, Webmaster

     Cat played trombone in school in Concert, Symphonic, Marching and Jazz Bands, and earned 1st and 2nd ratings in several solo and ensemble festivals. She sang in choir in high school as well as church, where she also sang a duet. She played flute in ensemble with friends and has dabbled in several other instruments. In 2009 she began teaching music privately while working in accounting, and she joined Maricopa Music Circle in May of 2012. Currently she teaches piano & guitar full time while playing trombone & flute with MMC.

Dieter Knecht

Tenor, Percussion

In-active Members

Zhenevyeva (Genevieve) Ehrbright

1st Violin, Co-founder

      Born 1976 into an artistic family in the former USSR. Child prodigy in both art and music performance. Began solo performances age 8, holds degrees as an honors graduate from a music academy and music college in Apahasia (USSR), and college and graduate degrees from the Music College of Rimsky-Korsakov and St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia). Came to the US in 1998, and began solo and ensemble performances in the Phoenix area from 1999 to the present; at the same time established a private studio for music instruction in violin and piano.
      Began a tradition of in-home Winter Musicales in 2007 which continued until she co-founded Maricopa Music Circle in 2010. Performed before Governor Napolitano in 2008 (as a member of a Casa Grande-based string quartet).       United States citizen since 2003. A Maricopa resident for more than six years, she represents the Arts in Maricopa on the cover of InMaricopa Magazine's Spring 2010 issue.

Adam Poland

2nd Violin

      Adam has played in several different orchestras and around Arizona. He started learning violin in 8th grade in an after school program and then taught himself how to play Viola, Cello and Bass when he was in High School. Poland played with the Maricopa High School Orchestra for four years as a Violinist and bassist. When He graduated he was awarded with the National School Orchestra Award. He was the Assistant Orchestra Director at Pathway Elementry school for two years. He was also a Violin instructor at Xpressions Center for the Arts and a choir director at his church.

Patricia Tillery

2nd Violin

     The violin has been a part of Patricia's life since she was a child and was given lessons by her grandfather, who himself grew up in a family that brought the oomph band tradition to the United States in the late 1800s. She became more serious about the violin and music as her own children took lessons and became proficient on strings. For many years she played in the Los Alamos (NM) Orchestra, but retired the violin after she left there with her husband in 2000. However, when in Fort Collins (CO), Patricia began to participate in an Elderhostel orchestra program held in the Rocky Mountains, which contributed to her awakened interest. When she moved to Arizona in 2006, Chandler Symphony became a big part of her life. She began lessons again and is enjoying practicing and performing with Chandler Symphony and Maricopa Music Circle, which she joined in the spring of 2013.

Wendy Janzen

1st Flute, Piccolo, & Alto Flute

      Holds degrees in Music from Mennonite Brethren Bible College and University of Winnipeg, and a Master of Music in Flute Performance from University of Minnesota.
      Skilled and experienced performer as both soloist and ensemble member (orchestra, symphonic wind ensemble, concert band, chamber ensembles of many configurations). Performances with Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Minneapolis), Allegro Sinfonia (Minnetonka), Grand Symphonic winds ( St. Paul), St. Paul JCC Symphony Orchestra and St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.
      Held leadership positions both artistic and administrative: Founder and former Director of the Crystal Flute Choir; President of the Upper Midwest Flute Association, and Examiner for the Repertoire section of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Comprehensive Flute Exams (2003-2008). Served as Clinician with the Mason City High School and various Iowa middle schools, and maintained a private flute studio for over two decades.
      Was invited to join the Maricopa Music Circle in spring of 2010. First flute and piccolist for the Maricopa Community Theater production of "The Music Man" at Maricopa Performing Arts Center, Spring 2012.

Justice Moore


      Justice has been playing music for the past 6 years, and has really enjoyed his time discovering the wonders of various instruments. He began playing cello 2 years ago, and began playing bass 1 year ago. Now he was very happy to be a part of the Maricopa Music Circle for a few months in 2014.