DAVID MILNE (leader, soprano saxophone, flute, wood flute, ocarina, and penny whistle)

David Milne serves as Professor of Music-Saxophone/Jazz Studies and Chair of the Music Department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. At UW-River Falls, David teaches applied saxophone, jazz improvisation, and directs the UW-River Falls Jazz Ensemble and the RADD Jazz Series. Originally from Rochester NY, David holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Ramon Ricker, and Master of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with Eugene Rousseau. David serves as an Artist-Clinician for Selmer Saxophones and Vandoren Reeds.

David Milne has performed throughout the USA, and on tours to Europe and Asia, as a featured soloist, artist-clinician, and guest artist faculty. As a saxophonist, David has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra, JazzMN Big Band, Phil Woods, Doc Severinsen, Mike Stern, Gordon Goodwin, Bob Florence, Rob McConnell, Bob Mintzer, Bobby McFerrin, Ray Charles, Jack McDuff, Lou Rawls, Ernestine Anderson, Terry Gibbs, Smokey Robinson, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, among others. David has received awards, grants, and commissions for performances of new works from the American Composers Forum, Jerome Foundation, THE Commission Project, Twin Cities Jazz Society, and Downbeat jazz journal.

Dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, David Milne has fostered, commissioned, premiered, and recorded new works for chamber music ensembles with the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet, JAZZAX Saxophone Quartet, and Zeitgeist. David has recorded contemporary music for NAXOS International, New World Records, Innova Recordings (American Composers Forum), Artegra Records, and Artists’ Quarter Records. David’s compositions and arrangements for saxophone ensembles have been performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance and World Saxophone Congress conventions.

MARY LOUISE KNUTSON (piano/keyboards)

Minneapolis-based jazz pianist and composer, Mary Louise Knutson has been called “one of the most exciting and innovative artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time.” Her warm, inviting tone, broad range of emotional expression, and distinctive compositions have brought her much recognition on the national music scene.

Knutson’s trio CD, In the Bubble, charted in JazzWeek’s Top 10 and remained in the Top 50 for 19 weeks straight. In 2006 Knutson was a Minnesota Music Awards nominee for both Jazz Artist of the Year and Pianist of the Year, and in 2005, she was a Top 5 Finalist in the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams “Women in Jazz” Pianist Competition. In 2004, Knutson was the recipient of Lawrence University’s distinguished Nathan M. Pusey Alumni Achievement Award for significant contributions and achievements in a career field, and in 2001, Knutson’s debut jazz trio CD, Call Me When You Get There, charted in JazzWeek’s Top 50 for eight consecutive weeks, and earned Knutson the award for Top New Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year from KWJL Radio in California.

Knutson has toured with former Tonight Show bandleader trumpeter Doc Severinsen and his big band (featuring two-time Grammy Award winner tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts).  Knutson has also toured the U.S. with her own group, the Mary Louise Knutson Trio, and Italy with vocalist Debbie Duncan. Mary Louise has performed with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves, Kevin Mahogany, Nicholas Payton, Terrell Stafford, Bobby Shew, Richie Cole, Greg Abate, Von Freeman, Slide Hampton, Mike Stern, Peter Erskine, Billy Hart, Ed Shaughnessy, and Richard Davis.

ERIC GRAHAM, acoustic/electric bass)

Eric Graham is active as a jazz bassist and musicologist. He holds a Masters Degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Johns Hopkins University and is a full-time music professor at Century College where he teaches courses in jazz, world music, and popular music; he is also currently an adjunct music faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical. He taught formerly at Moorhead State University, Baker University, Washburn University, Kirkwood College, University of Iowa, and University of Alaska.

For his creative and scholarly endeavors Graham has received a Presidential Innovation Grant, a National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Scholarship, a Minnesota State Arts Board “Arts Leader” Award, two Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, an LRAC/McKnight Foundation Career Development Grant, a Mid-America Arts Alliance Grant, the Virginia Carty deLillo Prize for Composition, a Peabody Institute Merit Scholarship, the ASCAP Raymond Hubble Music Award, and a National Honor Society Scholarship.

He has appeared on the Today Show, C-SPAN, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, and CBS Radio. His music has been featured at various contemporary music festivals, including the Society of Composers National Convention, Ernest Bloch Composers’ Symposium, and NEA-funded “Windows” exhibition. Graham was raised in Barrow, Alaska–an Eskimo village 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

CRAIG HARA (drums/percussion and electronics)

Craig Hara is a multi-faceted musician, educator and producer, playing trumpet, drums/percussion, EVI (electronic valve instrument), guitar, keyboards and synthesizers.  Craig earned Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the California Institute of the Arts, after starting his undergraduate studies at California State University, Northridge.

Craig is currently living in Minnesota where his wife, Marni Hougham, plays English Horn in the Minnesota Orchestra.  He continues to perform in California with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and the Asia America Symphony.  Craig is a faculty member of the UW-River Falls Music Department, where he teaches Applied Percussion-Drumset, History of Jazz, American Music, Recording Techniques, directs the Falcon Band, and is a member of the River Falls Brass.

Craig has performed in North America, Japan, and Europe with many of the world’s most eminent musicians, including Leonard Bernstein, José Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Zubin Mehta, Itzhak Perlman, Helmut Rilling, Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, Louis Bellson, David Benoit, Bill Conti, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Michael Davis, Mark Isham, Chuck Mangione, Bob Mintzer, Doc Severinsen, Sarah Vaughn, and Ernie Watts.

Craig can be heard on recordings and in live performance with various artists and groups, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence [formerly Plymouth Music Series], Charles Lazurus, Laura Caviani, Global Jazz, Mary Louise Knutson, River Falls Brass, David Singley Trio, Pete Whitman, Zona, Bach Society, and on scores for motion pictures and television, including Solstice, The Legend of EarthSea, Netforce, Chicago Hope, High Incident, Face/Off, Time Cop, Speechless, and Death Wish IV.


Laurie Petruconis, violin
Allison Ostrander, violin
Susan Janda, viola
Rebecca Arons, cello


Laurie Petruconis maintains a diverse musical career as an orchestral and chamber music player.  Ms. Petruconis performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra as a substitute violinist.  She also performs with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and is Principal Second Violin in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.  Ms. Petruconis plays often with other Twin Cities ensembles, including VocalEssence (formerly Plymouth Music Series) and North Star Opera Company.  She is violinist and manager of The Four Voices String Quartet, an ensemble in demand for recitals, weddings and receptions.   She received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Minnesota.


Allison Ostrander performs as a member of the Minnesota Opera (including serving as Concertmaster for several seasons), the Iris Chamber Orchestra, The Four Voices String Quartet and as a regular substitute violin with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  Previously, she has held positions with the Naples Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Spoleto festival.  In addition to her performing schedule, Ms. Ostrander maintains a private violin studio, and has taught violin and viola at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her teachers include Margaret Pressely, Vartan Manoogian, David Perry and Paul Kantor. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Susan Janda is a freelance violist in the Twin Cities area.  Ms. Janda performs with the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Four Voices String Quartet, touring Broadway and arena shows, and plays recording projects from jingles to jazz to new music.  Susan’s performance studies were at Indiana University (B.A.), University of Minnesota, Northwestern University (M.M), and at the Eastman School of Music, including seminars with the Cleveland Quartet.  Ms. Janda currently teaches a private studio of students and has taught viola and violin at MacPhail Center for the Arts, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, St. Olaf College, Concordia University, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Hamline University.  Her teachers include Abe Skernick, Peter Slowik, and John Graham.


Rebecca Arons is one of the founding members of the Four Voices String Quartet and is an active performer in the Twin Cities.  She has played with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is a member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and has performed on Garrison Keillor’s, “A Prairie Home Companion.”  From recording with Prince, to Broadway (“The Lion King”) to new age and classical albums on the Lifescapes label, Rebecca also has a broad range of studio recording experience. She has produced over twenty albums on the Lifescapes Label for Target, selling over a million copies worldwide, including “Relaxing Classical” and “Bach’s Desiring”, featuring the Four Voices String Quartet.  She received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and Master and Doctoral degrees in Music Performance from the University of Minnesota School of Music in Minneapolis.  Rebecca has taught cello and chamber music at Gustavus Adolphus College, Macphail Center for the Arts, and at the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Festival.  Rebecca is Principal at RDA Productions, LLC and STRINGenius (music contracting, performance and production).