About the Talent:
Due to their unique instrumentation, Harris, Hershberger and Peterson have excellent chemistry as an ensemble; they are incredibly talented at their instruments. It’s obvious from the start that they are great friends and have a lot of fun playing together.
Because the combination of flute, saxophone and piano is a rather unusual instrument grouping, there isn’t a lot of repertoire out there composed specifically for this ensemble. Luckily, Peterson is also a composer, so he has been writing music for the group. They first discovered how much they enjoyed collaborating back in 2009; all three musicians are on the music faculty at Concordia College-Moorhead, and after performing a piece together that Peterson had composed at a recital, they decided to form Excelsior! Since then they have performed all over the United States, and even internationally in Italy and Scotland. Their repertoire is far more varied than just Peterson’s compositions, featuring also his arrangements of classical composers like Debussy to jazz standards like Chick Corea’s Spain. Peterson himself draws compositional inspiration from a variety of areas.
Every member of the Trio knew they wanted to become musicians at a very young age. “Music chose me,” said Harris succinctly, whilst Hershberger was inspired as kindergartner attending his first orchestra concert with his dad. “There was no question for me while growing up,” said Peterson, adding that he “just needed to figure out how to get paid to play music.”
Sonja Bosca-Harasim, Principal Violinist FMSO
Dr. Harasim is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she is Co-Founder and Director of the Concordia String Preparatory Program and serves as String Area Coordinator. Additionally, she maintains an active performing career locally, nationally, and internationally as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. Harasim currently serves as Concertmaster of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and collaborates frequently in chamber music projects with her colleagues and students.
A native of Houston, Texas, Harasim began her violin studies at the age of 5 in the Suzuki program at Parker Elementary with Karen Somer, Kathy Karpicke, and Rosemary Jodeit and went on to study with Albert Muenzer while attending the critically acclaimed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She completed her undergraduate studies with David Updegraff at the Cleveland Institute of Music and returned to her hometown to pursue her graduate studies with Kenneth Goldsmith and doctoral studies with Cho-Liang Lin at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Harasim plays a violin made in 2011 by Mario Miralles, modeled after Mr. Lin’s “Titian” Stradivarius.