Brian Spero Jr.
Recently Featured Musicians
Eric Gargrave, Saxophone, is Assistant Professor of Music at the Community College of Rhode Island. A frequent performer in a number of styles, Eric’s prior engagements have included concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Wheaton Municipal Band and the Villa Musica festival in Mainz, Germany amongst others. He has held faculty positions at schools including the University of Missouri-Columbia and North Carolina A&T University, and additionally served as instructor at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan and the Australian Winds National Music Camp in New South Wales, Australia. A recipient of the prestigious Performer’s Certificate as well as degrees with distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, he also holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His major teachers have included Steven Stusek, Eugene Rousseau, James Campbell and Howard Klug. Originally from the Midwest, Eric is married to Ann-Renee Gargrave. Together they enjoy reading, competitive running, participating in the life of their church and parenting their four children.
Stephen Martorella, Piano, a native New Yorker, is currently Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church in America, Providence, Rhode Island; artistic director for South County Chamber Singers, Kingston and an adjunct instructor at Rhode Island College. He has also served as organist for Temple Torat Yisrael, Cranston, and as adjunct instructor at the University of Rhode Island and adjunct assistant professor at Salve Regina College. In 1989, Stephen Martorella was both soloist and conductor with the American Wind Symphony in a joint concert with the Wind Orchestra of the Soviet Army in St. Petersburg’s (formerly Leningrad) October Hall. He has also appeared as soloist in Belfast, London, Paris, and Miami and on live broadcast as part of the Kerkrade summer festival in Netherlands. As both soloist and conductor, he has given U.S. and world premieres of several major works of contemporary composers, including the New York premiere of FlorPeeters’ Concerto for Piano and Organ; and the world premieres of Geoffrey Gibbs’ Partita for Organ, Strings and Percussion and Intavolatura of Song, A Chamber Symphony. A resident of Rhode Island since 1975, Stephen Martorella has made frequent appearances with such groups as the Rhode Island Civic Chorale, the Rhode Island State Ballet, the Providence New Music Ensemble, Music on the Hill, the Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Series, Swanhurst Chorale and the American Band. The Providence Journal-Bulletin writes: Stephen Martorella is, ”a performer of the most refined musical tastes and abilities.”