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MICHAL SCHMIDT - Israeli musician Michal Schmidt has been a double major instrumentalist throughout her career. She received her musical training in Israel at the Rubin Academy of music of the Tel Aviv University, studying piano with Ilona Vincze and cello with Uzi Wiezel. She later continued to study in the Advanced Performance Course of the Royal Academy of Music in London England. There, she was the only student in the history of the school to receive Artist Diploma for two instruments in one year.

In the United States Ms. Schmidt studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Guarneri Quartet cellist David Soyer, and at the University of the Arts (Masters Degree) with former New York Philharmonic principal cellist, Lorne Munroe. She completed her Doctoral studies in Cello Performance at Temple University in Philadelphia in 2002, under Jeffrey Solow. Michal has taken part in seminars and master classes with William Pleeth, Lynn Harrell, Mischa Schneider, Mischa Maisky Josef Gingold, Karen Tuttle and many others. Her piano teachers in the United States were Raquel Adonaylo, Peter Serkin and Claude Frank.

Ms. Schmidt won numerous awards and scholarships in both piano and cello including ones from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation, the Israeli Arts Council, the Harold Samuels and Tobias Matthay awards of the Royal Academy of Music and the Josef Hoffman Competition award. She was also awarded prizes at the Jean Fédéric Perrenoud String Competition in Vienna, the Palm Beach International Piano Competition and the University of Maryland Piano Competition. She was selected to “Who is Who among Students in American Universities & Colleges” for four consecutive years and was inducted to the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda in 2000. Ms Schmidt was selected for the” Who Is Who in America”, 2009 edition.

Her performances have been heard on radio stations WFLN and WHYY in the Philadelphia area and her recent recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas, which features Ms. Schmidt as both cellist and pianist, were broadcast on Israeli Classical Radio “Kol Hamusika” . As a Contributing Faculty at Dickinson College from 2000-2008, Ms Schmidt was the cello professor as well as the chamber music coordinator at the college. Ms. Schmidt is an active performer as recitalist, chamber musician and soloist. She is a member of the Network of New Music, the Hildegard Chamber Players and Four Horizons, and has performed with 1807 and Friends and Liberty Strings, as well as with various performing organizations in the Philadelphia area. She has appeared in concerts and conducted master classes in various cities in the US, Israel, South Korea, France, Costa Rica and Canada.

In January 2007 Michal Schmidt performed a program consisting entirely of works by composers who she has worked with closely. The concert, Tribute, took place in Philadelphia. Her Brahms Marathon concert in May of 2007 was a celebration performance of the cello sonatas and violin sonatas of Brahms. In October 2007 she was the featured soloist in Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations for cello and orchestra, in solo cello recitals and numerous chamber music performances at Dickinson College (PA) Hamilton College (NY) Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College (PA). In April of 2008 Ms. Schmidt was re-invited to teach at the International Cello Festival in Israel, where she was on the faculty in Dec. of 2006. 

The summer of 2008 was dedicated to numerous recording projects including a number of contemporary trios for piano, clarinet, cello/ piano, violin, cello (Network of New Music, Hildegard Players) and recording of all three Brahms sonatas for violin and piano with violinist Diane Monroe.




CHRISTOPHER HANNING, is the director of percussion studies at West Chester University and a recording artist for NFL Films. He recently released an instructional drum set DVD Island Grooves through Panyard, Inc. covering Caribbean drumming styles and featuring the Panyard Steel Orchestra. In addition to regular engagements with the Panyard Steel Orchestra, Hanning performs with the West Chester Jazz Orchestra and the Peter Paulsen Quartet. He is the principal percussionist/timpanist with the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, timpanist with the Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem, and percussionist for Philadelphia's premiere contemporary music ensemble Relâche.


Chris Hanning has performed on numerous recordings for NFL Films over the past eight years including two Emmy Award Winning projects. His most recent recordings include sound tracks for My Father’s Gun and Blood From a Stone (History Channel Movies), and various selections for the closing ceremony of the 2006 Super Bowl. Other recent recordings include a CD with legendary saxophonist David Leibman and the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet titled The Seasons Reflected (Soul Note), and a CD by the M.P.H. Trio titled Curves (GPC Records). Reviews of Chris Hanning’s performance on The Seasons Reflected include “…drummer Hanning is magnificent.” (Wire Magazine, England) and “…profound African drumming” (All about Jazz).


Chris Hanning has been teaching drum set and percussion for the last ten years at the SFA Percussion Symposium, WCU Marching Percussion Camp, Kutztown Marching Percussion Camp, and has also been a guest clinician at Marimba Madness in Dallas, TX. Chris was the drum set guest artist at the first and second annual International Association of Pan Conventions performing with Ken “Professor” Philmore, Junior Gill, and the Panyard Steel Orchestra. Chris Hanning is an artist/clinician for the Pearl/Adams Corporation, Panyard, Pro-Mark, Remo, and the Zildjian Company. His teachers include Doug Walter, Larry Snider, Bob McKee, and Robert McCormick.