5HE artist bios

At fresh inc, members of Fifth House Ensemble will be working, rehearsing, and performing alongside you.  Fifth House Ensemble is comprised of 10 musicians from various backgrounds.  Each one of them brings their unique background, training, and professional experience to lessons, coachings, workshops, and performances.  Here are the members of Fifth House Ensemble:


A passionate advocate for chamber music, Melissa Ngan is a founding member of Fifth House Ensemble. A dynamic educator and coach, Melissa currently teaches a music entrepreneurship course at DePaul University, and has served as professor of flute at Carthage College. As Fifth House Ensemble’s Executive Director, Melissa drives the organization’s entrepreneurship programs, having created training programs for New England Conservatory, the Colburn School, Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, TEDx Michigan Ave, and the fresh inc festival on arts entrepreneurship and creative programming. Her writing has been featured on the Entrepreneur the Arts blog and Huffington Post.

Having held positions with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Peninsula Music Festival, Melissa’s performance activities have spanned South America, Europe, Russia and Japan. Previous award credits include First Prize at the National Flute Association’s Orchestral Audition Competition.  Melissa is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, with principal teachers including Bonita Boyd and Walfrid Kujala. Melissa is not only a well-known flutist and educator – she also makes a mean spread of Brazilian food and a mouth-watering chocolate pecan bourbon pie.


A native of Seoul, Korea, oboist Grace Hong enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. She had the honor of performing with the Chicago Symphony for their 2008 European tour under maestro Bernard Haitink, the LA Opera’s Ring Festival LA, and as a guest artist with Prairie Winds Quintet. Grace has appeared at the Colorado College Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Festival Mozaic WinterMezzo Series in San Luis Obispo, CA, and the Aspen Music Festival as a New Horizon Fellow.

Grace is a dedicated educator, currently serving on the faculty of DePaul University, Concordia University Chicago and the New Music School. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, Roosevelt University and Depaul University under the tutelage of John De Lancie, Louis Rosenblatt, James Caldwell, Robert Walters, Jelena Dirks and Eugene Izotov.

Grace lives in Chicago with her husband and a beautiful daughter, Isabella.


Elizandro is an active performer and educator who has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Jacksonville Symphony, and was Principal Clarinet of the State of Mexico Orchestra in Toluca, Mexico. A silver prizewinner in the 1999 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Elizandro continues to pursue his chamber music career and performs regularly with the Chicago Ensemble and Midsummer’s Chamber Music Festival. He has also performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Pilgrim Chamber Players and the Ondas Ensemble, group that specializes in Latin American Music.

Elizandro has performed at numerous music festivals including Tanglewood, National Repertory Orchestra, Kent/Blossom Music, International Festival at Round Top, Spoleto/USA and Yale University’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. During the summers, he performs at the New Hampshire Music Festival and travels abroad for international outreach projects with Sound Impact. He completed his Master’s degree at Rice University and also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a Professional Studies diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Elizandro lives in Chicago and teaches clarinet at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Elmhurst College, DePaul University Community Music and The People’s Music School.

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Originally from Merrillville, IN, Eric holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Ball State University, and is presently working toward his Masters in Music Degree from DePaul University.  Eric has previously held positions in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and the Laporte County Symphony Orchestra.  Eric has performed as a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and MusicNOW.  Outside of performing, Eric is a casual arranger of 1990s power ballads and an even more casual skateboarding enthusiast.  Over past summers, Eric has attended the Aspen Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival.  Eric’s primary teachers are Steve Ingle, Keith Sweger, and Bill Buchman.




Parker Nelson is a horn player currently based in the greater Chicago area. As a fervent soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, Parker has given performances in six countries on four continents. Parker is a dynamic soloist, frequently performing in concerts and recitals and has recently appeared with the DePaul University Chamber Orchestra and New England Repertory Orchestra. Awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center in 2014, Parker has studied with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and performed under such prolific conductors as Andris Nelsons, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Stephane Denéve, Marcelo Lehninger, Stephan Asbury, and many others. Parker also performs with a variety of professional orchestras that include multiple appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others. He recently premiered works by American composers Augusta Reed Thomas and Thomas Weaver. Parker’s primary teachers have been soloist and chamber musician, Eric Ruske, James Smelser, Second Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and, Dale Clevenger, former Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

An active educator, Parker has given lectures and master classes at a variety of events throughout the United States. He particularly enjoys community outreach such as making appearances at local institutions and inspiring the next generation of musicians, as well as teaching individual lessons out of his private studio. Parker credits his love of education to his membership and close relationships with organizations such as the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Muskegon, Michigan.

Parker is an ardent fan of the Green Bay Packers and loves supporting them at his favorite Chicago bar, Will’s Northwoods Inn in Lakeview.


A versatile chamber musician and recitalist, Charlene Kluegel won first prizes at the Swiss National Youth Music Competition, the Cornell University Concerto Competition, and the Peabody Institute Chamber Music Competition.

Ms. Kluegel has appeared in concert in Germany, Switzerland, China, and North America with highlights at the Kennedy Center, the Zurich Tonhalle, and the Banff Centre. She has collaborated with artists like the Cuarteto Casals, Joseph Lin, Michael Kannen, and Frank Morelli and is currently the founding violinist of Duo FAE and the core violinist of Fifth House Ensemble.

As a collaborator at several prestigious music festivals, Ms. Kluegel was most recently a Kaplan Fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in the summer of 2014. She has also attended the Banff Centre, Heifetz Institute and Aspen Music Festival and received further training from the Juilliard String Quartet, Orion String Quartet, Igor Oistrakh, Leon Fleischer, and Soovin Kim.

Prior to graduating from Cornell University, Ms. Kluegel studied at the Hochschule der Künste Bremen and the Hochschule der Künste Bern. She completed her Masters of Music under Pamela Frank at the Peabody Institute of Music. As a recipient of the Indiana University Artistic Excellence Award, she is currently completing a Doctor of Music at Indiana University under Jorja Fleezanis.


Violist Michael Lieberman pursues a busy and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. During the 2000/01 season, he performed for the World Premier production of Philip Glass’s opera, “In the Penal Colony” written for a single string quintet that was on stage and in costume during the entire performance. With over a hundred performances in New York, Chicago and Seattle, the production was reviewed to critical acclaim. In 2007 Michael was the Violist and Music Director for “Tempo of Recollection”, an innovative collaboration of Chamber Music, Dance, Drama, Projected Images and Sound set in a 1920s Prague dance-hall bringing to life the music of Czech composer and holocaust victim, Erwin Schulhoff. From 2011-2013, he was the Assistant Music Director and Violist for Cirque Du Soleil’s “IRIS” at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. With the musical score written by Danny Elfman, Michael is featured as the solo violist on the Soundtrack Recording. The production ran for over 500 performances including an appearance on the Tonight Show.

Since 2013, Michael has been composing, arranging, writing and performing as the violist in Wet the Hippo. Wet The Hippo, nominated for Best Comedy in the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival, is a collection of LA’s most twisted and uncontrollable performers in sublimely irreverent and beautifully chaotic live performance. Michael has played principal Viola with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and Opera Santa Barbara in addition to performances with the Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Oregon Symphony among many others. For 10 years he was Violist in the Saint Helen’s String Quartet with performances in every major venue, on television and radio throughout the Pacific Northwest including a residency at Cornish College of the Arts. The Saint Helen’s String Quartet released its debut recording in the fall of 2015. Michael has taught at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Michael studied at the Peabody Conservatory and currently lives in Evanston.


Cellist Herine Coetzee, originally from South Africa, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Indiana University School of Music, where she was a student of Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Ms. Coetzee has appeared as a features soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Nittany Valley Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra, as well as in recital as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. Her master class performances include those for Yo-Yo Ma, Anner Byslma, Truls Mork and Orlando Cole. In 2002 she was a prizewinner fin the Indiana University Cello Concerto Competition, playing Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo-Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Herine has held titled positions in such groups as the National Repertory Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As a teacher, she serves on the faculty of the Merit School of Music. She resides in Evanston and enjoys taking on the Viking Breakfast at Svea’s in Andersonville.



Eric Snoza received his Bachelors and continuing Masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. At Eastman, Eric studied solo performance with one of the world’s leading double bass performers, James VanDemark. He has performed with many leading new music ensembles including OSSIA, Musica Nova, and Ensemble X. Eric’s solo accomplishments include the Rochester debut of the Eduard Tubin Double Bass Concerto and his own world premier transcription of the Elgar Cello Concerto for Double Bass led by Rochester Philharmonic Pops Conductor, Jeff Tyzik. He currently teaches bass and Suzuki bass at the Merit School of Music and the Music Institute of Chicago. As well as performing with Fifth House he also owns and operates SnoStudios Photography and provides much of the marketing and promotional material for the group.



Described as a “strong and exciting performer” who plays with “musical feeling and great technical skill” by the New York Classical Review, Katherine Petersen enjoys a versatile career as a chamber musician and soloist. She has collaborated with artists such as Charles Castleman, Matt Haimovitz, Sara Laimon, and Michal Schmidt, and has appeared at venues such as the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, the Empire Saal at Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria, Jordan Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. Additionally she was invited to perform the inaugural concert of the Abramson Family Recital Hall at the American University. A founding member of ensemble Duo FAE, Ms. Petersen collaborates frequently with violinist Charlene Kluegel. The duo has recently been featured on the Journées de la Culture Series in Quebec, and many other series across Canada and the United States.

An active collaborative pianist, Petersen has held staff positions at Conservatory and Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Killington Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Recently she was also a competition pianist for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Standard Life Competition. Additional summer festival performances include those at the Maine Chamber Music Seminar, Castleman Quartet Program, Yellow Barn YAP, Heifetz Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Ms. Petersen received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Vivian Weilerstein. She went on to attend the Schulich School of Music of McGill University for her Masters and DMus under the tutelage of Stéphane Lemelin and Sara Laimon, where she was a recipient of the Harold Helm and Provost Fellowships, the Schulich and Graduate Excellence Scholarships, the Susan Tajra Scholarship for pianists, harpsichordists and organists, and the Dale Bartlett Prize for Collaborative Pianists.

In her free time, she is an avid cyclist and enjoys watching sci-fi movies. She also makes a mean cheesecake.

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