Mara Gibson


Composer Mara Gibson is originally from Charlottesville, VA, she graduated from Bennington College, and completed her Ph.D. at SUNY Buffalo. She has received grants and honors from the American Composer’s Forum, the Banff Center, Louisiana Division of the Arts, ArtsKC, Meet the Composer, the Kansas Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the International Bass Society, ASCAP, the John Hendrick Memorial Commission, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Yale University. Internationally renowned ensembles and soloists have performed her music throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, and Europe. Dr. Gibson has worked at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance for over ten years and will be also teaching this fall at Louisiana State University this year. She released her first compilation album ArtIfacts in May 2015.
















For over three decades, the Cascade Quartet has inspired audiences with their depth of sound and insightful interpretations. With an incredible level of artistry and an irresistible energy, the quartet draws in new and seasoned listeners through creative programming, informative and engaging interactions from the stage, education, and communicating a passion for music in all that they do.


Since making her orchestral debut at the age of 13, Holly Roadfeldt has continued to be an active solo pianist and chamber musician performing standard and eclectic recital programs in the United States, Europe, and Asia. With her most recent endeavor, she commissioned 16 composers to write preludes to be performed alongside works from the standard repertoire. Holly’s debut album The Preludes Project, released by PARMA Recordings in November 2016, shows this dedication to mix newly composed music with established masterpieces.


JoDee Davis is associate professor of trombone at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. She is a member of the Missouri Brass Quintet and performs regularly as an extra with the Kansas City Symphony. Davis has served on the faculties of Kent State University and Eastern Washington University, and performed for twenty years as second trombone of the Santa Fe Opera.


Trevor Thornton is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, where he studied music at the Blair School of Music for five years of high school. Trevor received his Bachelor’s of Music  and Master’s of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri—Kansas City.


Emily M. Trapp is a recent Masters of Arts graduate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in piano performance.  She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Music (Piano Performance/Pedagogy) from Goshen College (Goshen, IN) while studying with Matthew Hill and Beverly Lapp. She is currently serving as the owner and instructor for her home studio and Instructor of Piano at the Northland Cathedral School of Music in North Kansas City.


Zach Shemon is assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and alto chair in the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. Shemon’s performance career has led to appearances around the globe as a soloist, chamber musician, and various other concert settings.


Prior to his appointment at UMKC, Dr. Robert Bode served on the faculty at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, where he was the Alma Meisnest Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Director of Choral/Vocal Studies. Currently, he is the Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at UMKC and leads the UMKC Conservatory Singers which is a select chamber ensemble dedicated to performing music of the 16-21st centuries at the highest possible artistic level.


Michael Hall lives in Chicago and has performed and taught across Europe, Asia and the United States. Described by the New Music Connoisseur as “utterly masterful,” and Chamber Music Today as having “superb technique,” he recently made his Chicago Orchestra Hall solo debut and concluded a recital tour to Vienna, Austria, and Udine and Tolmezzo, Italy. Michael and Mara have worked together on four pieces to date.


Megan Ihnen is a mezzo-soprano on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music.





Robert Beck serves as Chief Recording Engineer for the Conservatory of Music and Dance at UMKC. Bob has worked in professional audio for over two decades, and during that time has been involved in nearly every aspect of the industry. He has engineered thousands of recordings, taught hundreds of students, and mixed sound for countless performances ranging from lectures to full-scale musicals and rock concerts.


John Gemberling and Sam Krahn recorded Blackbird in Great Falls, Montana where the piece premiered. Sam Krahn is a composer, guitarist, performer, and teacher. Sam received a Ph.D. in music composition at the University of Minnesota. He is currently teaching at the University of Great Falls in Montana.




Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

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