Meet Our Soloists
Claire-Jeanne Martin, Violin
Violinist Claire-Jeanne Martin started her violin studies at the age of six, and received her Bachelor of Music degree with academic honors from the North Carolina School of the Arts. There she served as Teaching Assistant to both violin faculty Elaine Richey and Steven Shipps. Awarded the Gianini Scholarship, she performed numerous solos and recitals, and played in master classes for such artists as Isaac Stern and Franco Gulli. Although offered a full scholarship to study with Jaime Laredo at St Louis Conservatory, and invited to Oxford to study with Kato Havas, she chose to pursue her graduate studies with Alice Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, awarded an Assistant Lecturer Fellowship. After receiving the USC Symphony Award for her concertmaster solos, and graduating with a Master of Music degree, she left California to freelance as a violinist and violist in Philadelphia.
There Ms. Martin established herself in various musical venues from classical to popular, as a member of the Philadelphia Opera Company, Concerto Soloists, Pennsylvania Ballet, Delaware Symphony, OperaDelaware, Princeton Opera Festival, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and Atlantic City shows - collaborating with such stars as Henry Mancini, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Sarah Brightman, ELO, Diana Ross, etc. Since returning to Los Angeles in 2002, Ms. Martin played with the Los Angeles Opera, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, musical shows at the Ahmanson (Los Angeles Music Center) and Orange County Performing Arts Center, various recording studios (Capitol Records, etc) and in major studios for film and video scoring (including Fox, Paramount, Todd-AO, Sony, and Disney).
Other musical diversions have included a chamber music tour of China, summer Opera and Chamber Music Festivals, solo gypsy concerts in Los Angeles and Toronto, and performing with the Nidom String Quartet in Japan. Since relocating to the San Francisco Bay area, Ms Martin has continued to freelance, perform recitals, and teach privately.
Alapaki Yee, Percussion
Alapaki Yee is from Honolulu, Hawaii; a city known for its warm weather and beautiful beaches. Many may not know this, but it’s also known for football – and Alapaki went to a lot of them at a young age. Ever since Alapaki was 6, he noticed the marching bands, with their shiny, flashy and loud drums matching by and playing in the stands. Alapaki snatched at the chance to play the drums the first moment he could when he entered 6th grade. He loved it so much, that he practiced after school every day. A year later, Alapaki’s first solo was called Connecticut Halftime (a standard in the percussion repertoire). This would be one of many performances that helped strengthen his skills.
For years to come, he went onto studying music in high school and college – winning numerous music awards including music scholarships, Musician of the Year awards, and gold medals in competitions. To become a well-rounded percussionist, he concentrated on playing in different types of groups, including orchestra, marching band, and jazz band. His favorite instruments are the timpani and snare drum, although his friends always make fun of him for being the “best triangle and cowbell player in the Bay Area!”
Alapaki currently plays with The Parnassus Symphony, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony and Echo ChamberOrchestra.
It’s become a great joy for him to play duets with Christian Foster Howes – whom he met over 10 years ago. Music has been such a pivotal part of his life. It’s been a great stress reliever, a way to express himself emotionally (when sad, happy or angry) and gave him an opportunity to meet some extraordinary like-minded people from all over the world. Alapaki feels very fortunate he’s able to continue sharing his 30 years of experience with all of you.
Christian Foster Howes, Percussion
Christian Foster Howes has enjoyed hitting inanimate objects for many years. He finds all aspects of percussion to be fascinating – from all the sounds he can make, to finding and building his own instruments to create new sounds. Some of the instruments you will hear in this performance were crafted by him. Christian is an active performer and educator in the San Francisco bay area. He can be found performing with various local orchestras and other ensembles.
Christian is a co-founder of Little Mission Studio, a fun-loving, independent music school in the Mission District of San Francisco. Little Mission Studio is where you can find Christian teaching percussion lessons and group classes. In addition to being a musician, Christian is also a technologist working to bring people’s technological ideas to life. Recent projects include creating real-time audio processing experiences for a mobile karaoke app.