Carole Teegarden is a (mostly) retired clinical laboratory technologist who greatly values the abundant musical resources of the Rochester area. She and husband Dave discovered by chance, after many years of marriage, that both played the ukulele in their youth, and are now members of the First Unitarian Church Ukulele Choir and the East Street Ukes ensemble. She also studies clarinet and plays in the New Horizons Green Band. As a 15 year RAIHN volunteer, she was inspired to coordinate an annual festival that would not only bring together the western New York ukulele community, but raise much needed funds to provide services to area homeless families with children.
Mona Seghatoleslami is the host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI. When she’s not on the radio, you can find Mona attending concerts and movies, playing viola in community orchestras, occasionally strumming the ukulele, riding her bike everywhere, and reading as much as she can – especially The New Yorker and sci-fi novels. She also books the bands for one of the coolest live music venues in Rochester – The Little Theatre Café.
Janice Hanson was inspired to pick up the ukulele after seeing Jake Shimabukuro at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2009. She is an active member of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society – a volunteer-operated non-profit organization dedicated to presenting, promoting, and preserving folk music in the Rochester, NY area since 1971 – and chair of Golden Link’s monthly concert series. She has also worked on Golden Link’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival and the Champlain Valley Folk Festival in Vermont. She has more than 25 years of experience in arts marketing, currently at The Hochstein School. Prior to that, she worked for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. She owns her own freelance proofreading and editing business, JK Hanson Wordcraft.
Chris Zielinski is a late-blooming ukulele enthusiast ever since retiring and giving a family member a uke for Christmas, and then discovering how much fun it was. Playing a ukulele with friends is a great legal high! She now own a family of 4 ukes and 2 banjoleles. She thanks Bernunzio Uptown Music Store, the Hochstein School of Music, Oasis, and the First Unitarian Ukulele Orchestra for accompanying her on this musical journey, as well as her rescue dog Izzie for not moving out despite some pretty dismal practice sessions.
Gaelen McCormick leads the arts in health program, Eastman Performing Arts Medicine, for the University of Rochester and teaches double bass to students of all ages at the Eastman Community Music School. For over 20 years, she was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s double bass section. After losing her hearing in 2017, she began a career shift into arts administration and coaching others to find their creative purpose.She is the arranger/editor of three books on double bass bow technique, titled “Mastering the Bow” and composed a book of duets for developing double bassists titled “Double Trouble”, all published by Carl Fischer. She has been giving masterclasses around the country, thanks to zoom, and will be present on the Mastering the Bow series at Hartt School of Music in November. Gaelen is happy to be on the boards of the National Organization for Arts in Health, the International Society of Bassists, and the Rochester Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Gaelen found her passion for ukulele when she was pregnant and couldn't belly up to the bass for a while. Her cowgirl-themed uke by Flea still makes her giggle every time she picks it up.
Robin Fisher is a Rochester native and lives near Highland Park with her husband Keith. She took up the ukulele six years ago after being inspired by a Rochester Ukulele Orchestra performance. Robin learned to play by attending Bernunzio’s monthly ukulele support group and taking classes from Randy Pollok at The Hochstein School. The Rochester ukulele community is very important to her and she says it is an honor to be on the festival committee that brings musical delight to the attendees and financial help to RAIHN.
Randy Pollok is a music teacher in Rochester, who offers lessons in piano, organ, guitar, ukulele and other instruments. He is a dedicated instructor with specialized programs for recreational learners and aspiring professional artists. Randy is the music director at First Presbyterian Church in Brockport and is a Rochester Ukulele Orchestra and clarinet quartet member. Randy helps to lead and teach the Rochester Ukulele Support Group and teaches workshops at Bernunzio Uptown Music as well as group ukulele classes at the Hochstein School of Music.
Stephen Jacobs is a proud member of the Rochester Ukulele Orchestra and a faculty advisor for the RIT Ukulele Club where he teaches game design.
Julie Schnepf is a ukulele enthusiast and the co-owner of Bernunzio Uptown Music in Rochester, NY. She has organized many workshops and jams hosted at the store and is particularly proud of the success of the Rochester Ukulele Support Group and Saturday Ukulele Hour. "Sharing music creates community and builds friendships. The power of music cannot be underestimated."