MEET OUR MUSICIANS

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Eric Abis holds degrees in Music Education and Computer Engineering; he currently works as a Software Engineer. A former Army Bandsman, Eric defended our country with a Tuba. Since then, he has performed with many community bands on, in order of frequency, Euphonium, Tuba, Bassoon, and Clarinet. Eric has also branched out into Musical Theater; singing, dancing and directing.

In 2010, Eric was nominated by the New Hampshire Theater Awards for Best Musical Director in a Community Musical. Seeking even greater challenges, Eric is currently studying Cello with Gary Hodges, Principal Cellist of the NH Philharmonic.

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Matt Benston is an accomplished trumpeter and resident of Lowell. Before becoming a member of the LPO in 2009, he was active in performance at UMASS Lowell.

Dennis Geary, Board Member, played both trumpet and French horn in high school. After serving in the Navy, he settled in Tyngsboro with his wife and children. Dennis enjoys playing with the LPO, as each season he never knows whether he will play trumpet or horn - or both!

Photo by Kevin Harkins

Kathy (Jenkins) Weal, Board Member, and a resident of Dracut, has been a proud member of the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly 30 years. She also coordinates and manages the LPO's annual Jeanne Selander Memorial Concerto Competition.

In addition to playing principal second violin with the LPO, she founded and directed her church's hand bell choir. Before moving to the area, she was a member of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra.

Steve McCarron, Co-President, has been a trombonist and active board member since 2000. In addition to his involvement here, he is also a frequent volunteer at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (LTC).

Charles Needles, Board Member, is a former Air Force pilot and Engineering Program Mgr. for a defense contractor. Now that he is retired he can devote more time to his passion for orchestral music. He began playing the cello in 2005 and joined the LPO five years later. Currently Charles is studying cello with Timothy Terranella, prominent cello and flute instructor at the Groton School and Indian Hill Music.

John Saxelby rows on the Charles by morning, works by day, and French horns by night. A resident of Lowell, John first became a member of our brass section in 2003. Growing up, he played trumpet until taking up French horn in the 11th grade.

Paula Bingham has been playing flute with the LPO since 1999 and is a software engineer by day. A resident of Westford, she is also a member of Symphony Pro Musica and performs with other area groups.

Jeannette Clemons, Board Member, has played in the LPO since 2006 and has studied oboe with Margaret Herlehy since 2007. She and her husband, a bassoonist, live in Southern NH with three Standard Poodles.

Shawn Foti, Vice President, joined the LPO in 2012 and served as Co-President & President during 2013 - 2017. A native of Rhode Island, Shawn has played horn in various ensembles since the age of twelve.

During college he performed with the University of Vermont Orchestra where he studied horn with Alan Parshley, and the Northeastern University Orchestra.

In 2015 he played at Boston Symphony Hall as part of the BSO "Onstage at Symphony" program. He currently studies with James Mosher of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Photo by Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Annalisa Peterson is a Lowell resident who has been playing French horn with the LPO for since 2000. For her profession, she teaches high school math and physics. She alsoperforms with several other groups in the area.

Ward Rosenberry, a member of the violin section since 1995, served as President from 2008-2010. During the day, Ward is a technical writer at his own information design company, Rosenberry Associates.

Jen Winiarski, Board Member, is a resident of Dracut and has been a member of the LPO since 2010. She earned her Bachelor of Music at UMass Lowell in 2007. Since starting violin at the age of seven, Jennifer has received musical training from Robin Mallory, Heidi Braun-Hill, and Elliott Markow.

Currently, Jennifer is working at an independent pharmacy. She studied music while studying to earn her pharmacy license.

Photo by Kevin Harkins. 

Jerry Vabulas has played clarinet in the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. A native of New York, he has been involved in music since taking up the instrument in grade school. After a life combining a love of music and the pursuit of business opportunities in the technology field, he and his wife moved to Massachusetts four years ago to be near their three young grandchildren.

A resident of Acton, he has performed with many local musical groups, including among others the Carlisle Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, the Concord Orchestra, and Opera51.