We are a small collective of musicians based in New England and New York. Our musicians are highly educated in performance, and each has a vibrant career as a concert/recording artist in their own right. Our musicians are auditioned and vetted carefully before becoming a part of the GSS family. It takes a unique set of skills to be able to perform in a fast paced, ever changing wedding and event environment. Songs must be tailored on the spot, moods must be read, and the musicians almost always are playing in conditions far less controlled than on a concert stage. These skills aren't taught in even the best of music schools. They are skills honed with time and experience. Our musicians have that experience. All our musicians know the unique, one-of-a-kind GSS collection of music like the back of their hand. Below are some examples of the musicians you might see at your event.
Aaron Packard, violin
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance - Oberlin Conservatory
Master of Music in Violin Performance - State University of New York at Stony Brook
Violinist Aaron Packard is a founding member of Cuatro Puntos, a Connecticut-based chamber ensemble committed to cultural dialogue and universal access through the performance, writing, and teaching of music. With Cuatro Puntos, Aaron has toured across the USA as well as in Bolivia, Brazil, England, and Germany. He is also a member of the the New England Piano Trio and Praxis, an experimental ensemble based in New York City. He has recently played chamber music premiers with Skogensemble, a group of musicians dedicated to contemporary classical music by Nordic composers. As an orchestra musician he is a member of the Aternus Chamber Orchestra and Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. He is currently a faculty member at Pakachoag Community Music School and the Groton School, as well as a teacher for the Joy of Music program. He has served as concertmaster of the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra and the Round Top Music Festival Orchestra in Texas, and as adjunct professor of violin and viola at the Hartt School of Music Community Division. He appears as a chamber musician on an internationally praised album published on Toccata Classics titled The Rosegarden of Light, which has also been featured in film scores.
Marianne Vogel, violin and client manager
Bachelor of Music Degree in Music - University of Connecticut
Graduate Studies in violin performance - The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Marianne has nearly two decades of experience in playing and planning weddings as a freelance musician, and as the former assistant, then manager of the Hartt GigLine. She also has over a decade of experience as a professional church organist every Sunday. Marianne plays regularly with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Springfield and Waterbury Symphonies. As a chamber musician she is a member of the West End String Quartet and has been a guest violinist with Cuatro Puntos. Marianne Vogel holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory from the University of Connecticut, and later continued with graduate study towards a performance certificate in violin from the Hartt School of Music. Major teachers have been Mickey Reisman and David Spicer. Other interests include historical performance on strings, keyboard accompaniment, and organ playing.
Kevin Bishop, viola and business manager
Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance - University of California, Santa Barbara
Master of Music in Viola Performance - The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Kevin’s life work serves the ideal of “music as social action”: the belief that long-term music education can aid community building, personal elevation, and reconstruction. His varied career as a violist, violinist, conductor, composer, educator, researcher, and arts administrator has taken him around the world to study, witness, engage with, and lead social music projects. Having grown up in a broken home amid a troubled neighborhood near Los Angeles, his entrepreneurial career began young when he founded the Western Society of Chamber Music after tragedy caused the demise of his school’s music program. He led this organization and its community-minded efforts for 8 years before moving to Connecticut and founding Cuatro Puntos in 2012. Vía Cuatro Puntos he worked with an El Sistema program in Bolivia for two summers, then in Afghanistan for three. Kevin eventually became Director of Orchestral Studies at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, living in Afghanistan for an extended period. During this time he led the country’s only orchestra in numerous concerts for presidents and ambassadors. He prepared and led the country’s first female conductors with the Afghan Women’s Orchestra "Zohra" in concerts across Europe, including the closing ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. As part of his founding and directing of Cuatro Puntos Kevin is currently music director and co-founder of the Music Moves Hartford Street Choir, a program in shelters and soup kitchens that serves adults in Hartford who face homelessness and displacement. He was previously Co-Founder and orchestra director of Müzikhane Social Music School, teaching local and refugee children while living near the Syrian border in Southeastern Turkey. Kevin composes and records music inspired by the traditions and people he encounters, and he has both compositions and performances published on albums via the Arkadash, Toccata Classics and Métier labels. Speaking of a solo viola track on the Toccata Classics label, Fanfare Magazine said he plays with “great intensity”. In a review of one of Kevin's compositions on the Métier label, Fanfare said "Bishop’s music has a convincing unity of purpose and direction that is captivating, even engrossing". Kevin has conducted on some of the biggest stages in Europe the likes of the Zurich Tonhalle, performed viola recitals at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, won international competitions, performed chamber music on four continents, lectured at universities across the USA and Europe the likes of New England Conservatory (Boston) and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Germany), and presented at conferences on "music as social action" around the world. Kevin is also founder of the Connecticut Elementary Honor Orchestra, which he first organized with a group of 100 elementary students from around the state while he was teaching at UConn. Two years later the ensemble became part of CMEA, and is now the an All-State orchestra equivalent for elementary level. Kevin likes to keep things light, and has performed and recorded over 500 of his own arrangements of popular music. This has led to performances at the Grammy Awards, with the band Foo Fighters, and with members of Led Zeppelin. He practices the dumbek for fun. Kevin has degrees from the University of California (BM), University of Hartford (MM) and Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. His primary teachers (viola) have been Helen Callus, Donald McInnes, and Steve Larson. In all of his work Kevin aims to have fun and cultivate lasting friendships while exploring music's potential as one of many relevant, viable, and complementary methods for creating a more just and inclusive society.
Samuel Decaprio, cello
Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance - University of Connecticut
Master of Music Degree & Performer's Certificate in Cello Performance - Eastman School of Music
Graduate Diploma in Cello Performance - Mannes School of Music
Master of Musical Arts in Cello Performance- Yale University
Doctor of Musical Arts - Juilliard School
A versatile performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire, cellist Samuel Decaprio has been a top prizewinner in the Arlington Young Artist, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Young Artist, Musical Club of Hartford, UConn Concerto, William C. Byrd Young Artist, Windham Regional Arts Council, and the Yale School of Music Chamber Music competitions. He has made concerto appearances with the Capstone, University of Connecticut, and Willimantic Symphony Orchestras, and has participated in numerous music festivals, including Aspen, Domaine Forget, IMS Prussia Cove, Kneisel Hall, Meadowmount, Orford Arts Centre, Pinchas Zukerman Young Artist’s Program, SoundFest Quartet Institute, and Three Bridges. His passion for chamber music has led to collaborations with musicians such as Miranda Cuckson, Steven Doane, Vladimir Feltsman, Mark Fewer, Mikhail Kopelman, Anton Miller, Daniel Phillips, Rita Porfiris, and Barry Snyder. Other projects include recording an album with Cuban-jazz composer/pianist David Virelles, which will be released on ECM Records in the fall of this year. Mr. DeCaprio received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Music degree and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and a Graduate Diploma from the Mannes School of Music. His previous teachers include Steven Doane, Kangho Lee, Marcy Rosen, and Peter Wiley. Mr. DeCaprio currently plays a G. Lucchi bow on generous donation from the Maestro Foundation.
Elizabeth Vysin, cello
Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance - Hall-Musco Conservatory, Chapman University
Master of Music in Cello Performance - The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Graduate Performance Diploma in Cello Performance - Longy School of Music, Bard College
Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance - The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Elizabeth Vysin recently graduated with a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she studied with Dr. Terry King. She received her Master of Music Degree in Cello Performance and Music Theory from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford under the instruction of Dr. Terry King and Mihai Tetel. Her Bachelor’s Degree is from the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University in Cello Performance and Music Education with a special focus in string pedagogy. Elizabeth’s recent performances have included the Faculty Concert Series at Rosch Hall (SUNY Fredonia) with The Castleman Quartet Program; ArtsAhimsa, Music Festival at Belvoir Terrace as a visiting artist; Lyrica Boston Chamber Music Concert Series (LyricaFest Festival); Laguna Beach Music Festival, a chamber music collaboration with renowned cellist Lynn Harrell; soloing with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra with the Dvorak Cello Concerto; principal cellist with the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra, Longy Conservatory Orchestra, and Hartt Symphony Orchestra; solo recitals at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and The Hartt School of Music; and chamber music performances throughout the New England area with both Golden Scroll Soloists and members of LyricaBoston. Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA, and is cello faculty at the Viola Workout Summer Festival in Crested Butte, CO, where she works with undergraduate cellists in solo and chamber playing.