Newly established, the Velvet and Tweed horn quartet features some of the finest horn players the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area has to offer! The group has performed as part of the Hopkins Symphony Chamber Orchestra concert series in addition to private performances.
Described as “impressively solid” by the Dallas Morning News, Amanda Collins has quickly become one of the most sought after performers in the Mid Atlantic area. Ms. Collins is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University (BM) and Southern Methodist University (MM). An active performer, she is currently Second Horn with the American Studio Orchestra and has performed with several notable ensembles, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Soulful Symphony and the Lyric Brass Quintet. Currently on faculty at the Peabody Preparatory, Ms. Collins’ students are current and former members of prestigious groups, including the Maryland and Texas All State Music Ensembles, the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras and the Peabody Youth Orchestra. A passionate educator and mentor for the musicians of tomorrow, Ms. Collins maintains a busy schedule teaching private lessons, masterclass and clinics throughout the Baltimore/Washington DC area.Ms. Collins’ passion for chamber music is reflected in her innovative chamber ensembles, including Velvet and Tweed and the Duke Street Brass. These groups specialize in new works and arrangements fused with multicultural flare.
Shona Goldberg Leopold
Shona Goldberg-Leopold is a multifaceted horn player, passionate about chamber music as well as orchestral and solo playing. Originally from Philadelphia, Shona migrated south to Nashville, TN to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Vanderbilt University, where she studied horn with Nashville Symphony’s Principal Horn, Leslie Norton. Shona then earned a Master’s in Music at the Peabody Institute, studying with Denise Tryon of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Shona is a freelance hornist in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area and is an active brass teacher as well. She is a member of the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, Washington D.C.’s first self-conducted orchestra, and also plays principal horn with the innovative new Baltimore group, Occasional Symphony. Shona has played with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Shona has enjoyed spending her summers at the Aspen, Chautauqua, Siena, and Eastern Music Festivals. Shona is a proud member of the Charm City Wind Quintet and the Velvet and Tweed Horn Quartet.
Horn chamber clinician, Jacob Poulos, performs in a wide variety of venues with the sole purpose of making classical music more accessible to everyone. He has appeared in art galleries, bars, coffee shops, museums, libraries, churches, and schools across America and the UK playing in a wide array of ensembles allowing the new generation of audience members to appreciate music without the stigma of the concert hall.As an advocate for new music, Jacob has collaborated with Robert Beaser of the Juilliard School at the 2011 Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music. He also was a member of the Colorado Composer Collective where he premiered new works by local composers. He has appeared in the Blackbook Art Gallery, Bender’s Tavern, Aspen’s Belly Up, and the highly esteemed Walnut Room.While living in Colorado, Jacob was a regular substitute horn with the Denver Brass and can be heard on their CD Cathedral Brass and Organ: Feel the Sound on the Denver Brass’s self-titled label released in 2012. He has also played with the Boulder Symphony, Patriot Brass Ensemble, and the Boulder Philharmonic.Though chamber music has become his primary focus, orchestra was Jacob’s initial attraction to music. He was awarded full-tuition scholarships to the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival in 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. He has also been featured as a guest artist in the Bay Area Summer Music Festival on two occasions. Jacob is also a member of the University of Denver’s chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda in recognition of outstanding scholastic and musical achievement.Jacob is currently pursuing his Masters in Music at the Peabody Institute of Music at the Johns Hopkins University where he was awarded the Barbara W. Pickus Memorial Scholarship. Prior to this, he graduated in 2012 cum laude from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. He also studied abroad in London to study at both The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and City University of London. Jacob’s primary teachers have been Denise Tryon, Bruce Atwell, Susan McCullough, and Jonathan Lipton. Jacob is a native of Frankenmuth, Michigan where he remains an active performer in his community. In his spare time, Jacob is a coffee lover and is currently going through barista certification at the Counter Culture Training Center in Washington D.C.
Stephen A. Slater
French horn player Stephen A. Slater was most recently Assistant/Utility horn of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. While in Israel he has also performed on tour as Guest Principal horn with the Israel Chamber Orchestra of Tel Aviv and Substitute horn of the iconic Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Before his work in the Middle East, Stephen was awarded Principal horn of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in Daejeon, South Korea. In February 2007, he was invited to play and performed with the Macau Symphony Orchestra in the S.A.R. of Macau (Asia). From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Slater was Solo horn of the ensemble Tales & Scales,spinning music, story, theatre and dance into over 200 ‘musictelling’ performances. Stephen lived in Denver, Colorado from 2001 to 2004 playing Second horn with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, founding the award-winning ensemble Tonic Brass, and soloing with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. A current Graduate Performance Diploma candidate at the Peabody Institute with Denise Tryon, Stephen also completed his master’s degree at the University of Colorado, studying with Michael Thornton, and undergraduate degree with David Jolley at the Manhattan School of Music. He kept solo engagements in New York City with Manhattan Virtuosi and the Montauk Music Festival, as well as frequently performing with the critically-acclaimed Atlanta Boys Choir in Atlanta. Stephen has also performed at length with the Atlanta, Colorado, Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, Evansville and Wyoming Symphony Orchestras. During the summer months, Stephen Slater performed with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder (2007), was guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet at the Madison Music Festival (2007), substitute horn of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO (2002 & 2003), was a fellow at the Cape May Music Festival in New Jersey (2000 & 2001), guest of the 2000 Venezuelan Music Festival in Caracas, and was a scholarship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival in 1998 & 1999. He was a guest artist at the 31st Annual International Horn Symposium and grand prizewinner of the Sixth Annual Sister Mary Faustina Memorial Concert Competition in Marylhurst, Oregon.