Jason Lim. Artistic Director
Recognized by the Denton-Record Chronicle as one of “2012’s Most Fascinating People,” the career of conductor Jason Lim is on the rise. Lim was born in Penang, Malaysia and began his formal training in viola performance when he won a scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with Alice Waten. He commenced his studies at the Canberra (Australia) School of Music, and completed his bachelor’s degree with honors at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Jason received his Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Texas.
Known for his fine technique in performances and innovative programming, Jason began his conducting studies in Australia: first as an apprentice with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and later as an Assistant Conductor with the Ku Ring Gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, a position that was awarded in conjunction with winning 1st Prize in the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Prize. Most recently, Jason won 1st prize in the 2021 The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming and in 2020, Jason was selected by the Texas Commission on the Arts into the Texas Touring Roster Inclusion. In 2016-2017 Jason was the 1st Prize Winner of the American Prize Competition for professional conductors. In 2015 Jason was the 2nd Prize Winner. Additionally, In 2016 Jason received the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for excellence in performing American Music. In 2013 Jason made his European conducting debut with the Academic State Concert Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev and in 2014 appeared as guest conductor with the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Jason has also appeared as guest conductor with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and Johnstown Symphony Orchestras and has appeared as guest conductor with choruses around the globe. In addition, Jason's work extends to other art mediums such as visual arts and dance notably with collaborations with prominent dance choreographers like Bill Evans. Jason has also appeared as guest conductor of the Denton Bach Society and the American Baroque Opera Orchestra.
A champion of new music, Jason has conducted at conventions including SEAMUS Y2K (the acousma tex conference) and the North American Saxophone Alliance. In 2001, he was a guest conductor with the Composer’s Forum Orchestra which he conducted world premiere performances of aspiring young composers. In 2012 Jason commissioned the world premiere of BREATH by Brad Robin. During his tenure as Music Director of the NOVA Ensemble, Jason led the group in its first commercial recording in 2000 on the “Equilibrum” label. Jason conducted the world premiere performance of Brian Bavelander’s Distant Visions for orchestra and pre-recorded tape.
In 2010, Jason was among eight conductors selected to participate at the Ithaca International Conducting Workshop under the tutelage of Gustav Meier. Jason has also attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine. Jason remains an active performing violist, having performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Malaysia, Australian National Opera Orchestra and Texas Baroque Ensemble. Jason was also a member of the University of North Texas Graduate String Quartet.
Jason is known for his commitment to community and a strong believer in education while dedicating his talents working with young musicians, and conducting orchestra workshops in Asia and the United States. He served as conductor and educator for 10 years with the Abilene Summer Music Festival in conjunction with Hardin Simmons University, the Pan American Music Festival in Edinburgh Texas, as well as the Penang State Orchestra Workshop in Penang, Malaysia and serves as Artistic Director of the Summer Music Intensives in McKinney, TX since 2015. Jason’s mentors include distinguished conductors: John Farrer, Nicholas Braithwaite, Henryk Pisarek and Max McBride. Jason currently also serves as Artistic Director of the Greater North Texas Youth Orchestra and is also Artistic Director of the Summer Music Intensives in McKinney, Texas.
Currently, Jason is the Artistic Director and conductor of the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra a group he founded in 2012. In 2014 the orchestra was awarded second prize in the Professional Orchestra division of the American Prize Competition and third prize the previous year. Thanks to Jason’s commitment to education, the group pioneered a unique mentorship program that gives talented high school students the opportunity to perform side-by-side with professional musicians.
Yesenia Campos Wong, Conductor, Symphony, Violin and Chamber Music.
A native of Amarillo, TX, Yesenia Campos completed her graduate studies in Violin Performance at Southern Methodist University and her undergraduate studies in Violin Performance at West Texas A&M University. Her studies included work with world renowned soloist Chee-Yun Kim, mentors Annie Chalex, Tomas Cotik, and Dr. Keith Redpath. While at SMU, Mrs. Campos served as the graduate assistant for the chamber music program and while at WTAMU, Mrs. Campos served as concertmaster of the West Texas A&M Symphony Orchestra for three years. While at WTAMU, Mrs. Campos was also a recipient of the West Texas String Quartet scholarship all four years and a winner of the West Texas A&M Concerto Competition. As a violinist, Mrs. Campos has performed at several music festivals including the American Festival for the Arts, the Hot Springs Music Festival, and the Midwest Young Artist Music Festival which included masterclasses with Mark Kosower, Eugene Purdue, Young Nam Kim, and William Preucil. As an orchestra director, Mrs. Campos’ orchestras have received consecutive Sweepstake awards and have received numerous recognitions at various festivals including being awarded Outstanding Performance and Best in Festival. Mrs. Campos currently resides in the Dallas area as Director of Orchestras for Kimbrough Middle School and plans to join the McKinney Philharmonic for their upcoming season.
Sarah Dominguez. Guest Conductor, Sinfonietta.
Mrs. Dominguez is currently in her 12th year of teaching orchestra. She was born in San Antonio where she first began playing the viola in the 5th grade. Shortly after, her family moved to Austin where she attended secondary school in Round Rock ISD. After graduating high school in Austin, she was accepted to the University of North Texas College of Music where she continued her studies on viola and focused her time on Music Education. During her time at UNT, she played with the UNT Symphony, UNT Repertoire Orchestra, and the UNT African Drumming Ensemble. She also taught with the UNT String Project for four years while attending college.
After college, Mrs. Dominguez was offered her first teaching position in Frisco ISD teaching Middle School and High School Orchestra. She spent two years in Frisco before accepting another job in Plano ISD as an Assistant Director at Williams HS and Plano East Senior High School where she was the assistant director to the Texas State High School Honor Orchestra 2011. To expand her experience, she then accepted a position teaching Elementary Strings to grades 4 & 5 with Alamo Heights ISD in San Antonio, Texas. Throughout her experience with all grade levels, she learned that she naturally gravitated towards the middle school level and began seeking out her "forever" job. And that's when she was offered the Head Director position at Navo MS! This is her 8th year as a Navo Panther!
Mrs. Dominguez is happily married to her husband John of ten years and is a mom to Nina Josephine and John Oscar Louis (who we lovingly call Buster). They have two cats, Buju and Diva and enjoy nature, hikes, naturopathic remedies & healing, gardening, cooking, farmer's markets, music, camping, and making their house into a home.
SARA SASAKI , VIOLIN
Sara Sasaki is a violinist based in Dallas, Texas, and has a 15 year teaching and performing career. She became a graduate of The University of Texas Butler School of Music with an Artist Diploma degree in 2018, studying primarily with Sandy Yamamoto. Previously she has earned her Master of Music degree from The University of Texas Butler School of Music and Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with David Bowlin.
While studying at UT, she held the positions of Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin with the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, Concertmaster with the University of Texas New Music Ensemble, and Concertmaster of the Bach Cantata Project under the direction of Dr. James Morrow. She has been a performer and fellow at The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, soundSCAPE composition and performance exchange, Heifetz International Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, and Eastern Music Festival.
In the DFW area, she performs with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Lawton Philharmonic, McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra, and Plano Symphony Orchestra. She additionally enjoys playing bluegrass and jazz music, and has been a featured artist with The Quibble Brothers and Anthony Nagid. Sara resides in Dallas with her husband Charlie and cats Kikko and Yoshi, and loves working with her wonderful students on a weekly basis.
MICHAEL FANG, VIOLA
Violist Zefeng(Michael) Fang began to play violin when he was four years old. Later, he studied viola with Wing Ho, who was the President of the Chinese Viola Society and Chairman of the Viola Department of the Central Conservatory of Music. Dr. Fang hold Doctoral of Musical Arts at Michigan State University. Previously, he holds Bachelor degree at Lynn University, Master degree at Cleveland Institute of Music and studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey. Dr. Fang has performed in Severance Hall in Cleveland Ohio, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Liaoning Grand Theatre, and has been featured on Jining Television. Dr. Fang is the winner of the South Florida Young Artist Solo Competition, attended Primrose Viola Competition in 2008 and Viola Congress in 2012.
Dr. Fang had working experience with many orchestras including Erie Philharmonic, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, Mckinney Philharmonic Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, and Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Fang currently is violin and viola instructor at FCA Frisco and Prosper, Previously He taught the CMS and Warner Elementary School.
Dr. Fang had master classes with Kim Kashkashian, Pinchas Zukerman James Dunham, Wayne Brooks, Robert Vernon, Carol Rodland, Hsinyun Huang. Principal teachers including Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Wing Ho, Ralph Fielding, Eric Nowlin.
Emmanuel Kwok, Cello
Native of Hong Kong, Tsun-yuet Emmanuel Kwok has appeared as soloist in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and has also performed over 30 world premieres of contemporary music. Kwok is currently member of the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra and has previously played with orchestras including the Dallas Chamber Symphony, Plano Symphony, Irving Symphony, Hong Kong New Philharmonic, Collegium Musicum Hong Kong and Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. He played solo and chamber recitals both in Asia and in the States, and solo appearances with orchestras including Mesquite Symphony, Collegium Musicum Hong Kong, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Art Academy Orchestra and Hong Kong Baptist University Symphony Orchestra. He has received numerous awards, including 1st prize in the Hong Kong Music Festival and 2nd prize in the National Competition of Asia. In addition to his classical performance, he worked with worship ministries and pop singers in Southeast Asia, recording more than ten CDs as solo cellist; in 2021, he also worked with RedSeaMusic (CA, USA) to produce music videos. Kwok’s future commitment including playing chamber recitals in Dallas-Fort Worth area and solo performances with Mansfield Philharmonic and Coppell Community Orchestra in the season of 2021 to 2022. Kwok began cello study at the age of 6 in Hong Kong under Ms. Tung Hiu-lo, later he has finished his Master of Music in cello performance with Professor Ray Wang at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) at TCU School of Music, majoring in Cello Performance with cognate in Music Theory. In the U.S. his primary teachers included Jesús Castro-Balbi and Eugene Osadchy. He also had the privilege of coaching by Johannes Moser, Lynn Harrell, Steven Isserlis, Bagram Saradjian, Dmitri Atapine, Maja Bogdanovic and Li-Wei Qin. As musician and scholar, Kwok holds memberships of Pi Kappa Lambda International Music Honor Society and Golden Key International Honor Society. Kwok was appointed as Assistant to Artistic Director of the Texas Cello School in 2021. He was previously served as faculty of Clear Creek Music Festival (OR), TCU Summer Cello Academy and Fort Worth B Sharp Youth Music Program. During his stay at TCU, he also serves as Professor Castro-Balbi’s teaching assistant as well as assistant director of TCU Cello Ensemble. Kwok believes in Authentic Christianity and the philosophy of Authentic Music Performance. Besides cello playing, he loves fishing, reading, trying new foods, enjoying movies, video games and music arranging
LAUREN PIERCE, DOUBLE BASS
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren began her studies with the late Douglas Sommer before continuing under the tutelage of Dr. Craig Butterfield at the University of South Carolina. There, Lauren was given the Presser Scholar Award, named a Magellan Scholar, and in 2010, performed a concerto with the University of South Carolina Symphony. After graduating from USC Lauren moved to Denton, Texas to study with Jeffrey Bradetich. In 2016, she was named a Pirastro Strings Artist, sponsored by the largest bowed string company in the world, Pirastro Strings.
Lauren brings an impressive and formidable repertoire to the table, taking many a risk playing works often designed for more versatile and manageable smaller instruments. Most critics find her flair and presentation almost magical. She has prompted glowing praise from audiences and respected colleagues, including Catalin Rotaru (“She is among the very few bass players in her generation who is using her brilliant virtuosity and mature musicianship to bring out the most subtle and refined emotions in any musical work performed on bass.”), Roman Patkolo (“She is one of the best bass players I have ever heard in my life.”), and Edicson Ruiz (“She is simply an exception.”).
Lauren has garnered an extensive international following through her performance videos on her YouTube channel where she is famous for playing works written for other instruments on her double bass with ease and virtuosity. She has been featured in many major publications and podcasts, including Classic FM, The Entreprenurial Musician, Contrabass Conversations, Patternroot, and more.
Lauren has worked across many different genres and artistic mediums. In 2008, she became the youngest member in the South Carolina Philharmonic, and has since worked with prestigious orchestras around the world, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, the Austin Lyric Opera, and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra. Lauren performed Cesar Franck’s Violin Sonata for the 2011 film "Luz" by Los Angeles filmmaker Ellie Ann Fenton. She has recorded as a soloist on multiple albums, including singer-songwriter Collin Hauser's debut album with Grammy-award winning recording engineer Tim Kimsey, Fall River 'Footman's Mullen Road', and R&B artist Mikaela Kahn's 'Milk And Honey'.
Also a passionate and dedicated educator, Lauren has devoted much of her energy to furthering the accessibility of double bass education worldwide through her work with the online school, Discover Double Bass. She has published several full-length courses and countless individual video lessons, and has reached thousands of students of all ages and career paths.
Lauren is a frequent clinician at workshops of all levels, including the University of North Texas Summer Strings Institute, the Bavarian Bass Days in Mühldorf, the Bradetich Summer Bass Camps, the Austin Bass Workshop, and Bassmania at Columbus State University.
Lauren resides in Dallas, Texas, where she regularly performs and teaches. She plays on a small Italian instrument, built by an unknown maker ca 1850s.
Anthony Nagid, Music Theory
Anthony performs over one hundred and fifty times a year across the D/FW metroplex's most prestigious music venues, clubs and educational institutions. Anthony is a resident of McKinney, Texas where he is the founder of the McKinney Piano Dojo and producer of The Vintage Piano Hour Show. In 2015 he won the Grand Prize at the McKinney Repertory Theater's 'McKinney Has Talent' competition and since 2018 has been a artist grant recipient through the McKinney Arts Commission. Anthony's past professional experience was with Carnival Cruise Lines as a keyboardist and shipboard music director. He graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a degree in music composition and was a student of the jazz piano studies program at The University of North Texas.