The Crosswinds Quintet formed in September of 2009 at Montclair State University under the tutelage of Jeff Scott, horn player of New York’s Imani Winds. They have also been coached by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra clarinetist David Singer and Andrew Adelson, English horn player of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. The quintet performs works ranging from classical to contemporary throughout the Greater New York area, striving to bring a new voice and fresh ideas to the standard repertoire as well as to modern works. Crosswinds’ members are all alumni of Montclair State University’s Cali School of Music.
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Flutist Natasha Loomis has her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music and Flute Performance. At Franklin & Marshall College, she was the recipient of the Gault Departmental Award for Music and the Nolt Music Travel Award, winner of the Concerto Competition in 2009, and student conductor with the wind ensemble and Philharmonia. While at MSU, Natasha served as the Music History graduate teaching assistant and as principal flute in the Orchestra and Wind Symphony. She has performed in masterclasses for Ransom Wilson, Tara Helen O’Connor, Jeffrey Khaner, Gary Schocker, Keith Underwood, and the Imani Winds. Natasha has also performed as a soloist with the Franklin & Marshall Orchestra and Teaneck Community Band; played with Opera Lancaster, Allegro Chamber Orchestra, and the Delaware Theatre Company, and is currently 2nd flutist of the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra. She gave featured chamber performances at the New York Flute Fair in 2011 and Weill Recital Hall in New York City in 2012, and is currently an active freelancer and teacher in the Northern New Jersey area.
Oboist Matthew Schmidt has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Montclair State University, where he played principal in the MSU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony, as well as in the operas and musicals. He also performs with several local ensembles, including the Cali Camerata, FEA Orchestra, and the JCU Band. Matt has played over twenty musicals with local high schools as well as professional theatre companies, including Sweeney Todd, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Pippin, and Into the Woods.
Alexander Knox received his degree in Clarinet Performance from Montclair State University. While at Montclair, he performed both the Mozart and Nielsen Clarinet Concertos with the University Orchestra, played principal clarinet in the Orchestra and Wind Symphony, and played lead alto saxophone in the Jazz Ensemble. Alex was also first chair clarinet in the New Jersey All State and Region III Wind Ensemble and Orchestra while in high school. Alex has performed multiple runs of reed books in over twenty musicals and also has experience as a conductor/music director. Alex is currently an active woodwind player in Northern New Jersey, maintaining a full private lesson studio, as well as serving as the music instructor and arranger for the Fair Lawn High School Marching Band, Indoor Percussion Ensemble and Summer Music Program. He is also a chamber music coach for the New Jersey Youth Orchestras.
Bassoonist Daniel Parente, a native of Montclair, NJ, graduated from Montclair State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance. Danny is proficient at several instruments, including piano, bassoon, guitar, and bass, and has performed in a wide variety of groups ranging from rock to classical, including rock and jazz bands, marching bands, concert bands, wind quintet, and symphony orchestras. He is also an instructor at TK Music in Nutley and a consultant for the National Music Education Franchise School of Rock, arranging and transcribing for their educational materials collection. He also maintains his own business transcribing and arranging music for many songwriters and artists from cities across the country.
Matthew Searing is an active freelance hornist in the the New York City area. He has performed with the Washington Square Music Festival, the Canterbury Choral Society, the Garden State Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of Musica Sacra under Kent Tritle. In 2011, Matt performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #1 at Merkin Hall with the Korean Chamber Orchestra. Matt is an alumni of Montclair State University and the University of Maryland. His primary teachers include Richard Hagen, Angela Cordell, Nancy Billmann, and Greg Miller. Matt joined the Crosswinds Quintet in 2012.