Meet the Artists
Born in California, Kristen Folden grew up involved in various musical activities from choirs to orchestras, the most significant being her study of the piano. She earned her BM from Biola University and her MA from San Jose State University. Kristen began teaching young piano students in 1987 and is a certified Suzuki Piano Instructor. She has enjoyed working with children as young as 3 years old as well as adjudicating and teaching for various camps and festivals. In addition to teaching, Kristen has been active performing in chamber music concerts while in California and currently in the Four Corners Area.
Elaine Heltman has performed as Principal Oboe of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus since its inception, and with the Musica Camerata Ensemble and many other chamber ensembles in and around New Mexico. As principal oboist, Elaine performed with the Four Corners Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and at the Britt Music Festival in Oregon. She has also performed with the Santa Fe Opera onstage and in the pit, and can be heard on various Indie film scores and CDs. She played in Albuquerque for many years with the New Mexico Woodwind Quintet and as Principal Oboe with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque and Southwest Opera. Elaine is the adjunct oboe teacher at the New Mexico School for the Arts, and works by day as a project manager at the New Mexico State Land Office in the Office of General Counsel.
Lori Lovato is clarinetist for the Santa Fe Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Sphinx Symphony in Detroit, San Juan Symphony, and Opera Southwest Orchestra. She has also appeared with the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Music at Angel Fire, Chamber Music Albuquerque, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Santa Fe New Music, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Monterrey, Mexico, and toured with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players. Ms. Lovato is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico. Prior to her performing career, Ms. Lovato was the band and orchestra director at West Mesa and Cibola High Schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Erica Otero, principal horn with San Juan Symphony, earned a doctorate degree in Horn Performance and Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado subsequently gaining a principal horn position with the Sinfonica del Valle Orquesta in Cali, Colombia in 1994. She taught brass studio with the Conservatorio de Cali as well as implemented and conducted the Coro de Bronces brass choir. She has taught all ages, children through adults, for twenty five years in New Mexico including teacher preparation courses at the University of New Mexico, toddler music classes at the UNM Music Prep School, middle school and high school band and kindergarten through sixth grade general music classes. She has recently retired from teaching and continues to freelance with local groups in New Mexico as well as to pursue new interests.
Kathryn Shaffer, flutist with the San Juan Symphony, is a native of San José, California and has performed with Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, West Valley Symphony, The Continental Orchestra, and Longitude, a new music chamber ensemble, throughout the United States and Europe. She collaborates with twin sister and pianist Kristen Folden, performing chamber music concerts in their hometown and locally with the Durango Bach Festival, Dead Composer's Society, and Durango Chamber Music Festival. She was recently honored to perform an award-winning new composition at the College Music Society conference, working with composer Heather Gilligan. Kathryn has been a private flute instructor since 1987, is a certified Suzuki flute instructor, and flute instructor at Fort Lewis College.
Denise Reig Turner, is principal bassoonist of the San Juan Symphony, Opera Southwest, the NM Performing Arts Society, Festival Ballet Albuquerque and is second bassoon/assistant principal of the New Mexico Philharmonic/New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. She was principal bassoonist and frequent soloist with the former Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque for 18 years and has been on the faculty at UNM since 1995 where she teaches bassoon, coaches chamber music and performs with the "New Mexico Winds" faculty woodwind quintet. Ms. Turner has performed and taught masterclasses throughout Europe, Mexico and the Southwest.
3rd Ave. Arts • PO Box 1383 • Durango, CO 81302 • (970) 903-8854