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The Pioneer Consort: Bio

chrishead.jpgChris Devine is a musician of diverse talents, performing on electric and acoustic violin, mandolin, and guitar, as well as flute, saxophone, and keyboard. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in violin from the University of Massachusetts, where he studied with internationally known concert violinist Julian Olevsky. As a session musician he has appeared on over 100 CDs in many different styles of music, including classical, jazz, pop, country, and folk. As a composer, he is a contributor to the Fresh Music Library, an international commercial music supplier, and has written the music and lyrics to three original musicals sponsored by the Massachusetts Arts Commission. His compositions and performances have been aired on Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and PBS. Chris has repeatedly toured Europe and Russia as a featured soloist with Blackmore's Night, starring the influential guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, and also appeared on their gold CD "Fires at Midnight". He has also been appearing with The Bobby Darling Show, a Northeast-based music and comedy quartet, since 1989, and is the musical director of Birds of Flame, a tribute to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and other jazz fusion greats.


michaelhead.jpgMichael Nix has performed traditional classical repertoire, new classical, and original music on guitar, lute, banjo and mandolin, in concert halls throughout the United States and Asia. He has composed solo music, songs, chamber music, symphonic works, electronic music, and opera. Nix designed the seven string Banjar, combining elements of the classical five string banjo, the lute and the classical guitar. His awards and commissions includes a 2002 assignment by The Ann Sorvino Dance Project, for a dance work commemorating the 9-11 tragedy. In 2004, he was resident composer and string master at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA. Nix was awarded grants to perform "New Music From the Northeast", a program of original music and works by composers from New York and New England. In 1991 he was selected as Massachusetts Music Teacher's Association composer of the year. Nix is currently on the Massachusetts Touring Program, and as a lute and guitar soloist he was on the New Hampshire Touring Program . He was a featured performer for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society's Andres Segovia outreach program. In the mid 1980's, Nix formed Mythos, a flexible chamber ensemble performing newly composed and older chamber music. Nix wrote the libretto for a children's opera, "Liombruno" with music by Salvatore Macchia, premiered at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1989. In 1988, he performed at the Bushnell Hall in Hartford CT, commemorating a 1931 Andres Segovia performance. Nix produced a John Cage memorial theater piece in 1992, incorporating musicians, dancers, visual artists, and improvisational theater.

greghead.jpgGreg Snedeker has been playing cello for thirty years. He received his B.A. from Boston University, his M.M. from UMass at Amherst, and his D.M.A. in composition from University of Hartford (The Hartt School).  He has been a member of the music faculty both at The Hartt School and UMass/Amherst, and is currently the head of the music department at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School.  He has recorded as a cellist and jazz pianist with many local and national artist’s CDs including Grammy Award winning saxophonist Yusef Lateef, and noted Nashville fiddler Randy Howard. As a composer, he writes in many different styles and his music has been performed across the country and has received various grants and commissions.