2023 CAMP COUNSELORS
Esmeralda is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado. She will soon earn her Bachelors degree in Music Education. At UNC, Esmeralda enjoys teaching for the String Project, as well as instructing private lessons around the area. Her primary instrument is viola, though her love for orchestra has led her to learn every stringed instrument. She has been playing in orchestra for almost a decade and has taught for approximately five years. This will be Esmeralda's first year with Camp Con Brio, and she is excited to meet and work with new musicians.
Apart from music, Esmeralda makes it a priority to get outdoors. Hiking, hammocking, running, or walking are all activities she enjoys making time for.
Samuel Conner is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied Music Education (Emphasis in Strings). He is a lower strings specialist, as he plays cello and double bass. Sam is highly involved as a music teacher; he is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), and an active member of the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). Sam has engaged in leadership opportunities within the music education sphere; he is Past-President of the CU Boulder ASTA Chapter, and served as a Mentor for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra. Sam has had opportunities to present at local and national music education conferences on various topics. Sam received the 2022 Student Exemplary Service Award from National ASTA.
During the summer months, Sam has been a Counselor at different music camps, including a high school program involved with Interlochen Center for the Arts. He developed a passion for music education from his own experiences in orchestra programs growing up. Sam wishes to create a sense of community and belonging through excellence in string playing within his future orchestra programs; just as he himself was provided. Sam teaches strings - in seven different schools, 5th through 12th grade - within the Green Mountain area of Jefferson County Public Schools.
Raquel is will be a freshman at Colorado Mesa University this fall, studying Business and Economics. She graduated from Grand Junction High School on the Western Slope in December 2022. Raquel has played cello since 2017, and attended Camp Con Brio for each summer ever since! She has loved music from when she started learning how to play instruments at age 7. Raquel likes all sorts of music from pop to rock, and of course classical! She loves sports, going to the gym, traveling, drawing, and many other things. Raquel is very excited to continue coming to camp as a counselor starting this year!
Arianna has played the violin for six years with her school's orchestra program. She will be a freshman at Colorado State University in the fall, majoring in Biochemistry. She graduated from Highlands Ranch High School in May 2023. She has attended Camp Con Brio each summer for the past six years, and she always looks forward to it every summer.
In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing piano, playing guitar, and hanging out with friends. Arianna loves listening to all types of music, but her all-time favorite genre is R&B.
Leah Dunphey is entering her fourth year as a Music Education student at Colorado State University. She has loved and pursued music her entire life, studying vocal and instrumental jazz, piano, and guitar in addition to horn. She studies with Dr. John McGuire at CSU. She has extensive experience as a player, camp counselor, and preservice teacher, and delights in making music with others. She is honored and excited for the opportunity to expand her knowledge as a musician and educator at this camp!
Garrett is a violinist, having taken private lessons throughout middle and high school. This fall, he will begin his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Kansas, majoring in Chemistry. He is excited to continue playing violin in the KU Orchestra. Garrett graduated from Blue Valley Southwest High School in May 2023. During his time at BVSW, he was on the track and field team as a pole vaulter and also played on the soccer team.
Garrett listens to all types of music, loves going to the gym, and plays chess.
Clara is going into her first year at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Double Majoring in Environmental Science and Double Bass Performance. She graduated in May 2023 from Fort Collins High School. She grew up in a very musical family and started on the violin when she was four, and switched to the bass when she was 11.
Clara has been a part of numerous ensembles, including the Northern Colorado Youth Orchestra and Western States Honor Orchestra. She was also Principal Bass of the All State Symphony Orchestra. She has also been in the pit orchestra at FCHS, and was selected to perform at the Colorado Thespians State Conference in 2022 as the outstanding production and ensemble. Clara loves both the community and the opportunity that orchestra brings and couldn't imagine her life without it.
Outside of her music career, Clara is also an avid rower. She has traveled across the country for competitions, the highlight of which was competing at the Head of the Charles in 2022. She will continue rowing, as she has earned a spot on the CU Rowing Team. Clara is an accomplished competitive gymnast of 13 years and has won many state titles. Clara loves to ski, hike, camp and be outdoors. This is her first-ever year at Camp Con Brio and she can't wait to be a part of it!
Bethany has been a string player for 14 years; first on violin, then viola. She studied privately with under Ruth Sadasivan. Bethany has been a member of the Kansas City Youth Symphony, as well as Assistant Principal viola for the Olathe Youth Symphony Orchestra and Olathe Youth Chamber Orchestra. During the 2021-2022 school year, she was a part of the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra and the Kansas High School All State Symphony Orchestra.
Bethany is a 2022 graduate of Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park. During her time at BVSW, she served as Tri-M Music Honor Society President and GSA Club President. Bethany enjoyed traveling with the BVSW Orchestra Program, and consistently earned excellent and superior ratings at both Regional and State Solo and Ensemble Festivals each year. She also was selected as a BVSW Orchestra Program Outstanding Senior. Bethany performs in the Symphony Orchestra at the University of Kansas, where she is attending as an Aerospace Engineering Major. In her spare time, she bakes cookies for Crumbl and enjoys cuddling with her cats.
Diana started her music journey at the age of six when she learned to play the piano. Her curiosity only grew from there, as she began playing violin at age 11 for her school's orchestra program. Now it has become a huge part of her life! Diana is studying Music with a Minor in Elementary Education at the University of Northern Colorado, where she has continued her educational experience as a violinist as well as learning other instruments.
This is Diana's third year at Camp Con Brio. She is very excited to return! The last two summers taught her a lot as a musician and future educator. She also met lots of amazing people who all share the same love for music.
When she isn't playing the violin, Diana enjoys listening to Latin music, traveling, arts and crafts, and camping!
Alexa is from Kansas City, Kansas and has been playing the violin since she was 11 years old. She loved being a part of orchestra in middle and high school, even through the complications of the pandemic. Alexa performed the second violin solo of Bailes Para Orquesta (with fellow Counselor Jonathan Staten on the first violin solo) for her final high school orchestra concert at Blue Valley Southwest in May 2022; where she also received the award Most Improved for the 2021-2022 school year. This fall, Alexa will be a sophomore at Pittsburg State University (Kansas), majoring in Media Production and Broadcasting.
Alexa likes to travel, hang out with friends, read, and listen to music. This will be her first year at Camp Con Brio, and she couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it this year!
Thomas began his musical career with the saxophone 10 years ago, and he can play all of the variations of the instrument, from soprano to baritone. He was accepted into the 2022 Kansas High School All State Band and the Eastern Central Kansas District Honor Band in both 2020 and 2021. Thomas was a member of the Blue Valley Southwest Jazz Band and Emerald Regiment Marching Band for all four years of his high school career; the latter as Saxophone Section Leader and soloist. Thomas is double-majoring in Music Education and Saxophone Performance at the University of Kansas.
When he's not practicing, rehearsing, or performing, Thomas likes to play video games, cook, and spend time with his dogs.
Jonathan was born in Montana and raised in Kansas City. He began playing violin at the age of 6. Jonathan loves the summer camp experience; it has always been one of his favorites. Summer camps and camping trips are a big part of who he is today.
A proud graduate of Blue Valley Southwest High School, Jonathan has been involved in orchestra since elementary school. He has been a member of the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra and the Kansas High School All State String Orchestra, with the latter in its inaugural year. As a high school senior, he was a Sound Technician for the Blue Valley Southwest Emerald Regiment Marching Band, and loved getting to be an orchestra kid AND a band kid. He also had the opportunity to study Aerospace Engineering in the CAPS Program, through Blue Valley School District. Jonathan will be attends Kansas State University as a Mechanical Engineering Major, and performs with the University Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathan has been involved in 4H for many years, and often mentors younger students with their projects. He also enjoys mountain biking, gaga ball, road trips, and hammocking. When he isn't eating Kansas City BBQ or practicing violin, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or spending time at his family's lake house in the Ozarks. Jonathan is really looking forward to making even more memories this summer at string camp!