ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Clarinetist Rogelio Garza is originally from South Texas, where he completed his undergraduate degrees in Music Performance and Biology at Texas A&M University Kingsville. He then moved to the east coast to earn a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Peabody he joined The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia, where had the opportunity to perform in the United States, Europe, and Puerto Rico. In 2010 he was accepted as clarinetist with The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own” and has since had the opportunity to perform for presidents, foreign dignitaries, and other military functions in the United States and abroad. He is also an active chamber musician in the Washington, D.C. area, and the current principal clarinetist of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic.
Violinist Christina Wensel received her Bachelor of Music Degree in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Gregory Fulkerson. She earned her masters degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Ronald Copes. Christina has performed at many concerts and festivals including the UBS Verbier Festival, the MoMA Summer Garden Series, the New York String Seminar, and the New Hampshire Bach Festival. She has been a featured soloist with the Daton Philharmonic, The U.S. Army Strings, the Galesburg Symphony, and the Midwest Young Artists. As a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, she toured Europe and North and South America with Maestro James Levine. Christina has also performed with Kanye West, Duncan Sheik, and Euan Morton. Born in Evanston, Illinois, she is a much sought-after fiddler, playing for dances and workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe. Christina now lives in Fairfax, VA, with her husband and three children.
Violist Nicholas Hodges joined The U.S. Army Strings in 2013. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Performance and Education from the Eastman School of Music, his Masters Degree in Performance and Orchestral Conducting from Penn State, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland. SSG Hodges has performed with many ensembles including the National Philharmonic, Concert Artists of Baltimore, The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, The Adelphi String Quartet, and The Williamsport Symphony. He has served on the faculty of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and currently teaches at the Levine School of Music. Nicholas lives in Burke, VA with his wife Adrienne, a clarinetist with The United States Army Ceremonial Band, and his daughters Madeline and Emma.
Cellist Benjamin Wensel is a member of The United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own." Prior to his military service, Ben was a member of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and Syracuse Symphony. Ben earned degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Eastman - where he was assistant to renowned pedagogue Alan Harris. A dedicated chamber musician, Wensel performs with the Ledroit Chamber Players, is a member of the Piano Trio-in-Residence of the National Gallery of Art, and is the cellist of "Pershing's Own" Contemporary Music Ensemble.