DIFFERENT DRUMMER BAND MEMBERS
Anna Doak graduated magna cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a B.A. in double bass performance. She is currently a member of the Northwest Sinfonietta and on faculty at the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute. Formerly principal bassist with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Anna has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Astoria Music Festival, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, and on numerous recording projects. Anna taught bass at Western Washington University in Bellingham for four years and now has an active teaching studio in Seattle. Her arrangements for double bass ensemble have been published and performed worldwide.
Recording credits include:
- Return of the Frog Queen, Jeremy Enigk (1996) Sub Pop
- Some Devil, Dave Mathews (2003) RCA
with Northwest Sinfonietta
- Mozart Symphonies No. 40 & 41 (1997);
- Mozart Piano Concertos No. 23 & 25, Mark Salman, Pianist (1998);
- Arabesque—A Journey Into Harp Artistry, Isabelle Perrin, Harp (2004);
- Dances for Piano and Orchestra, Joel Fan, Pianist (2014)
Brandon Vance graduated born and raised in the Northwest, has an impressive and eclectic résumé as a concert violinist, fiddler, and composer. As a classical violinist, he has been the recipient of multiple fellowships and received both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under renowned violin pedagogue, Mr. Paul Kantor. At the age of 14, he made history as the youngest fiddler to win the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship. He has performed and recorded extensively with international folk, jazz, and classical musicians, including Alex Fedoriouk, Steve Rice, Mark Minkler, “Rouge,” and his own Celtic-Eastern European Crossover group, “Alchymeia.” His composition “Twin Towers Lament” received a nomination for “Best Celtic Instrumental Song” from “Just Plain Folks Music Awards” in LA, and he has had the honor of premiering his composition “Gael Storm” for fiddle and orchestra with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall. Brandon is currently a member of the Northwest Sinfonietta.
Locally grown cellist Gretchen Yanover earned her BA in Music (1994) from the University of Washington, as well as her state teaching certificate. She taught orchestra in public and private schools for 17 years, becoming a full time performing artist in 2016. She performs solo with her electric cello, creating all of her layers of sound live with a loop sampler and spinning her spacious melodies for a wide-spanning audience. Her music has been featured on a number of radio programs, and in contexts ranging from film to dance to yoga and healing. She has recorded three solo albums to date. Gretchen’s music in some ways reflects the blend of her African American and Russian Jewish cultural identity, while European classical tradition and contemporary styles mix in her cello playing. In the classical world, Gretchen has been a member of the Northwest Sinfonietta since 1998. In addition to living music, Gretchen loves walking around Seattle, practicing yoga, exploring the world of food, and raising her daughter.
Jessie Sawyers is a performer, educator, leader, and force of positivity who has traveled across 6 continents to over 10 countries. She has been teaching tap dance for 15 years and working professionally for 18. Her first professional work was as a tap dancing clam in the Seattle-based Ivar's Seafood Restaurant TV commercials. This gig helped finance her continued studies as a young dancer, carrying over into her first two years at the University of Washington where she received an education in Business. Jessie has shared the stage with Savion Glover and Gregory Hines, and has taught at international tap dance festivals in Australia, Brazil, Calgary, and Vancouver. In 2016 she released a global music video through her project Music of Humankind, which involved a solo trip around the world collaborating with over 100 dancers and musicians she met along the way. She is currently writing original music with GRAMMY-nominated pianist and composer Josh Rawlings under the band name ViMM, and has recently launched an eCommerce business in the realm of collective self-expansion called Getting Unlocked.
Mark Mendonca’s extensive career as a performer and choreographer includes performances for the past three U.S. Presidents, as well as performances on Broadway, television, and concert stages around the world. Mark's dancing was motion captured for the animated feature film, "The Polar Express," directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. On Broadway, Mark danced in the Tony Award-winning production of "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk,” and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, the Biennale de la Danse, the Joyce Theater, Jacobs Pillow, The Tiger Palast in Frankfurt, Germany and the Apollo Theater, among many others. He has shared the stage with the late tap masters the Nicholas Brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Charles 'Honi' Coles, Eddie Brown, Steve Condos, Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs, Lon Chaney and Buster Brown, and has made numerous appearances with friend and mentor, Gregory Hines. Mark has also worked with director James Brooks, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and fellow tap dancers Bill Irwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Berkley, and Christopher Walken. Mark was the first person to receive a Princess Grace Foundation Award for tap dance and was the winner of a Lester Horton Dance Award for outstanding achievement in individual performance in Los Angeles. Mark has also received a Brody Art Fund Artists Fellowship.