Featured Musician: Erin Erdos, flute

SHO Member Since: Fall 2016

Current job: Director of Operations – Al McCree Entertainment. Freelance graphic designer.

Degree/college attended: BS in Music Business, Master of Music in Performance. Lee University.

At what age did you start playing flute and when/why did you decide to pursue music as a career:

I started playing flute in 5th grade at age 10. It’s something that came naturally at first, and was more fun to practice (to me) than other instruments I had tried. I had amazing band teachers and musical mentors who poured into me at an early age. I attended a summer music camp for 9 years and there I was surrounded by musical heroes who taught me that practice and experience was just as important if not more than natural talent. I can honestly say that I am probably at my happiest when I’m playing in a room of talented and dedicated musicians. I loved and still love being one little puzzle piece among many that create the final beautiful sound. If you’re sitting in the audience and you get goosebumps from a symphony, it’s because everyone was making something beautiful, not just one person. I love that.

Who is your musical hero or inspiration: Definitely my family. My mother grew up in a musical family and she raised me in the same way. Our house was filled with music and instruments and I’m so glad that it was my “normal.” I also owe a lot to my first flute teacher/band instructor Paula Humphreys. She stayed after school and gave me extra instruction and pieces to work on when I ran out of things to play in the band book. She was always incredibly encouraging and I’ll always appreciate the time and thought she put into my life.

A funny musical experience: At my first solo and ensemble band competition, my stand partner forgot a page from one of our pieces and we didn’t realize it until we were playing, in the concert. We froke out for a second but I kept playing, and at that moment I realized that I had memorized the piece. My band director said I had really excellent eye contact, and I said explained later why that was and he couldn’t stop laughing. That experience always stuck in my mind and lead me to do research in grad school on muscle memory and how our brain processes short term and long term information during practice sessions. Memorization comes easier to some people, and I wanted to learn how to teach it to anyone.

What was your first orchestral experience: I played in my church orchestra in middle school, and I remember being terrified. This wasn’t music camp, it was a bunch of adults who knew their stuff and for some reason they were letting me play long with them. It taught me to have confidence to play in the “silence.” Church orchestrations can be kind of sparse, so sometimes there’s only one flute playing at a time and if you’re too scared to play… nothing gets heard. It taught me to play loud and strong even if it was a wrong note, being too scared to play feels worse than a mistake.

Favorite composer: I love a good moody composer, so I’m very fond of French and Russian/czech music. Guys like Dvorak, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich wrote music that seemed so full of angst. In some cases it felt like their way of protesting political or personal issues, pouring all of it into music. And then Debussy and Faure are wonderful, they’re like stepping into a dream.

What music do you listen to in your free time: I listen to a lot of everything. Anything I listen to ends up getting a little analyzed so I appreciate artists like Ben Folds or Jack White who seem to know how to make every instrument sound the best. I love a lot of Classic Rock, Alt 90’s and singer songwriter styles. You’ll find anything from Metallica to to Simon & Garfunkel on my playlists. I’m also weirdly fond of Skrillex. He makes sounds that are almost alien, it can be a little mesmerizing.

Other: I’m big nerd. I can waste a lot of time talking about Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or the timespace plot holes in the Terminator franchise. I loathe running, but I’m very into fitness and eating healthy. I’ve been told that I know more about planning a Disney vacation than the average adult should know. I love to read and I love to cook. When I’m stressed, I make an absurd amount of baked goods, mostly Cake Pops. That’s about it. Oh and coffee. I drink a lot of that.

STRAUSS, Beautiful Blue Danube: July 27 & 28

Summer Spectacular Concerts

Fri, July 27th, 7:30pm – Calvary United Methodist Church, Nashville
Sat, July 28th, 7:30pm – Cherry Theater, Columbia State Community College Rebecca Vendemo, conductor
Melissa Emerson, horn

SUPPÉ Light Cavalry Overture
STRAUSS Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat Major, mvt 1
STRAUSS The Beautiful Blue Danube
BIZET L’Arlésienne Suite II

No tickets required. Donations appreciated at door.

Summer Chamber Concert with John Johns: August 25th

Sat, Aug 25th, 7:30pm
Faith Lutheran Church, Thompson Station

Special Guest: John Johns, guitar
Rebecca Vendemo, conductor

Also featuring soloists:
Chloe Evans, violin
Luke Guelcher, horn

Program includes:
VIVALDI Guitar Concerto in D Major
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major (mvt 1)
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 2 (mvt 3)
BACH Prelude, Gavotte I & II
HAYDN Symphony No. 59 “Fire”


John Johns
At his New York debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, The New York Times praised John Johns as a “first-rate performer with sure fingers and a firm technique….a sensitive instrumentalist.” The Guitar Review described him as “an unforgettable guitarist!” The Nashville Tennessean called him “a superb musician” and “a classical guitar wizard” while England’s Classical Guitar said that he was “always musical and often poetic.” Johns first received national recognition as a student at Peabody Conservatory of Music when he appeared on the Westinghouse-ABC television special “A Pride of Guitars”.

He performed to critical acclaim on National Public Radio’s “Concert Guitar” which featured some of the world’s leading guitarists, among them Manuel Barrueco, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Leo Brouwer, Sharon Isbin, and Oscar Ghiglia. His recording, “John Johns Plays Bach, Bennett, Brouwer and Others” has received international acclaim by leading guitar periodicals and journals. He made his Paris debut performing a concert for the American Ambassador to the Office of Economic Development and Cooperation and invited guests and dignitaries from the French, American, and Canadian governments. He has also performed in Nice, France in the Kautalus Guitar Association’s Guitar Festival.

In June 2003 he presented a recital at Chitarra Imperia International Guitar Festival in Imperia, Italy. John Johns holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory of Music where he was a scholarship student of Aaron Shearer, and from George Peabody College. He joined the faculty at the Blair School of Music in 1972 and has been Chair of the Guitar Department since 1986. Johns retired from the Blair School of Music in 2017 as Professor of Guitar, Emeritus.


Featured Musician: Daphine Browning, cello

SHO Member Since: Summer 2015

Current job: Public Health Nurse Consultant

Degree/college attended: B.S. in Biology, Tennessee State University and B.S. in Nursing, Tennessee State University

At what age did you start playing cello and when/why did you decide to pursue music as a career: I was about 7 or 8 years old and I remember being at festival in my hometown, Mesa, AZ, watching a cellist playing in a quartet. I remember just falling in love with the sound of the cello and I grabbing my dad’s hand and pointing, telling him, “I want to play that!” So, when I entered the fourth grade, I began to play the cello and  continued playing throughout my high school years at Mountain View High School and in college at MTSU and TSU. I took private lessons in Arizona at a very serious studio where my teacher enhanced my natural playing ability and tried to encourage me to enter competitions and play in different settings. Although I loved playing, I didn’t have a longing to practice as a teen and young adult, so I didn’t pursue music as a career. Nevertheless, as time went by and I accomplished other career goals, I found myself longing to play again and my mother saw an ad in the paper about the Spring Hill Orchestra. Perfect Timing, God’s Timing. It had been about 6 years since I plucked a string, but I began playing like I had never put it down and it brought back a such an overwhelming feeling of joy. I fell in love all over again and began taking lessons again in hopes of starting my own cello studio in Spring Hill soon.

Who is your musical hero or inspiration:  Oh wow, well I really love listening to the cello icons Jacqueline Du Pre, YoYo Ma, Rostropovich, etc. Lately I am really feeling a lot of the classically inspired modern, pop music so The Piano Guys, Damien Escobar, 2Cellos, and ThatCelloGuy are definitely musical inspirations. Also, I like to follow the young cellists Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Sujari Britt. Truly inspiring to watch them tap into their craft and be able to develop it the way they have.

A funny musical experience:  Honestly, I think some of the funniest musical experiences I have come from the conductor’s podium in the form of Corny Conductor Jokes. Thank you to all the conductors who think of themselves as comedians, especially Dr. Walter Temme, my high school orchestra conductor. You keep music fun.

What was your first orchestral experience: My first orchestral experience was actually my own concert! I still love playing in a full symphony orchestra!

Favorite composer: Some of my favorites are Bach, Haydn, Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky.

What music do you listen to in your free time:  I listen to pretty much every type of genre there is (except heavy metal). Southern and contemporary gospel, rock, jazz, classical, pop, hip-hop, R&B, country, classical, you name it. I love music and I love to explore all it has to offer.

Featured Musician: Melissa Emerson, horn

SHO Member Since: 2017

Current job: Director of Music Ministries, Calvary United Methodist Church, Nashville, TN

Degree/college attended: Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance, University of Iowa; Master of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting, Boston University

At what age did you start playing horn and when/why did you decide to pursue music as a career: I started on flute when I was in 4th grade, but loved music long before that.  In my small town, I didn’t have access to a piano teacher, so tried to take a few lessons from my mom, but that didn’t last long.  I wanted to play flute for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as they were the recording group for the Star Wars soundtrack conducted by John Williams (also an idol of mine).  However, as I grew older, I realized that there were typically only two flutes in an orchestra, and I’d have a better chance of making it professionally if I played a different instrument.  I ended up switching to horn as a junior in high school, and then went on to college with that instrument.  Along the way, I ended up also playing piano, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, percussion, and just about anything else except strings.  I always knew I do something musical – and thought it would be through teaching.  I did teach middle school band, but then found a calling into music ministry and have been doing church music as a full-time paid staff person for the past 18+ years in Maryland, Ohio, Iowa, and now Tennessee.

Who is your musical hero or inspiration:  I love all types of music – so I have idols in about every genre – from Garth Brooks, Madonna, and Common, to Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams (of course), and Michael Daugherty who happens to be from my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA.

A funny musical experience:   I think the funniest thing that ever happened was a production of Pirates of Penzance in high school, when the Modern Major General is challenging the Pirate King.  Our Major General had this umbrella that he was using as a “sword” to fight with the Pirate King.  In the middle of the fight, the umbrella portion flew off, and all the Major General had left was the curved handle to the umbrella.  So he used that to “stab” the Pirate King… I was playing one of the Major General’s daughters and had to sing just after this had happened.  We were all laughing so hard at the umbrella handle, that we had a hard time continuing the song.  The audience was also laughing hysterically, thinking it was all a part of the show, but it wasn’t planned that way – it just happened!

What was your first orchestral experience: My first orchestra was a youth community orchestra in 8th grade, and then playing with the high school orchestra and band.

Favorite composer:  Dvorak

What music do you listen to in your free time:Country, Classical, Contemporary Christian, Classic Rock, 80’s Rock

Fall Frenzy Oct 20-22: Bizet, Rachmaninoff, Dvořák

Join the SHO for a packed weekend of free classical music!

Rebecca Vendemo and the Spring Hill Orchestra share the stage with special guests Joseph Kingma, Daniel Martins and strings of the Filharmônica Jovem Camargo Guarnieri from São Paulo, Brazil. With crowd pleasers like Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, Bizet Carmen Suite and Dvořák Symphony No. 9, you won’t want to miss the SHO!

Friday, Oct. 20th, 7:30pm: Columbia State Cherry Theater (Columbia)
Saturday, Oct. 21st, 7:30pm: Calvary United Methodist (Nashville)
Rebecca Vendemo and Daniel Martins, conductors
Joseph Kimgma, piano

AGUIAR Quatro Momentos
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
BIZET Carmen Suite No. 1 and 2 (selections)
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 (mvt I & IV)

Sunday, Oct. 22nd, 3pm
Piano and Violin Recital at Steinway Gallery of Nashville
Joseph Kingma, piano and Rodrigo Leitte, violin
A free masterclass will be given by Mr. Kingma at 1:30pm at the Steinway Gallery prior to the recital. All are invited to attend.

VALE Two Preludes for Solo Violin
GOMES Quem Sabe?
MOZART Violin Sonata in G Major, K. 301
BARTOK Romanian Folk Dances
LISZT Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178

Sunday, Oct. 22nd, 7:30pm
String Chamber Concert at Faith Lutheran Church, Thompson Station
Daniel Martins, conductor
Strings of the Filharmônica Jovem Camargo Guarnieri and Spring Hill Orchestra

Featuring Music by Brazilian and American Composers

About the Artists

Rebecca Vendemo, artistic director and founder of the SHO
Rebecca Vendemo is the founder and conductor of the Spring Hill Orchestra (SHO) located in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Prior to starting the SHO in 2014, Rebecca lived in New York City eight-and-a-half years first as a teaching artist for the Brooklyn Conservatory before beginning a seven-and-a-half-year journey in arts administration at the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic.

While at the Philharmonic, Rebecca studied orchestral conducting privately with Assistant Conductor Daniel Boico, and composition at Juilliard’s Evening Division with Conrad Cummings. She attended conducting workshops with Maestros Gustav Meier, Mark Gibson, Nicholai Ulrich, Alexander Polishchuk, Jorma Panula, Robert Gutter and Ovidiu Balan among others. She was a competition winner at the St. Petersburg workshop, conducting the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in concert. In 2012 she was invited to guest conduct the Filarmonica Jovem Camargo Guarnieri and Laetare Chamber Orchestra in São Paulo, Brazil.

Rebecca has a master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Tennessee, and bachelor’s degree in music education from Valdosta State University. Her graduate assistantships included co-teaching the trumpet studio, performing with the faculty brass quintet, and playing principal trumpet with the Oak Ridge Symphony. Rebecca has also performed with the Bronx Opera, Musica Bella, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Conservatory, Valdosta Symphony and Albany Symphony. In addition to directing the SHO she has a growing studio of trumpet and cello students.

Daniel Martins, conductor
Conductor, violoncellist and composer Maestro Martins is a professor of various socio-cultural projects and conservatories in São Paulo. He held the position of Artistic Coordinator for the youth orchestra of the Municipal Theater of São Paulo, one of the most prestegious youth orchestras from Brazil.

As a conductor, he has conducted a huge range of performances including operas, musicals, symphonies and educational concerts with the Philharmonic Youth Camargo Guarnieri. From 2010-2012 he partnered with the Methodist University from São Paulo performing more than 80 concerts for thousands of people in São Paulo.

As a cellist Maestro Martins has played in various orchestras and appeared as a soloist in many concert halls. In 2016 he toured with the Sonare Trio through India, playing in the main Center for the Arts in Mumbai.

In 2014 he partnered with the Lutheran Church from Santo Andre City and Mission Eine Welt to perform his chamber orchestra’s first international tour of Germany. They performed 19 concerts across Germany. In commemoration of the 500 years of Lutheran Reform he composed a special work commissioned by the Luteran Church from Santo André City.

Joseph Kingma, piano
Praised as “spell-binding”, “poetic”, and “flawless and expressive”, by conductors and concert presenters across the United States, pianist Joseph Kingma performs regularly in venues across the country.

Recent guest artist appearances include the Manassas Symphony, Illinois Valley Symphony, and Brazos Chamber Orchestra, as well as solo recitals in Chicago, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Hershey, and New Canaan. He has also competed in numerous international competitions, winning Audience Favorite in rounds one and two of the 2015 Cincinnati World Piano Competition, as well as prizes in the 2012 Sorantin International Young Artists Competition, the 2011 Brevard Music Festival Concerto Competition, and the 2010 Brevard Music Festival Piano Competition. As a semi-finalist in the 2012 New Orleans Piano Competition, the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans blog applauded his “dazzling technique” and described his performance of Liszt’s Sonata in B minor as “an especially personal account”.

A committed teacher, Dr. Kingma is the Assistant Professor of Piano at Louisiana College, in Pineville/Alexandria, LA, where he teaches piano and piano-related courses. He is also regularly asked to teach master classes and adjudicate competitions nationally. In 2017, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Anton Nel. Previously, he earned his BM and MM from Rice University, where he studied under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Roux. Former teachers include John Mortensen, Aviram Reichert, Philip Pletcher, and Elena Arseniev.

Rodrigo Leitte, violin
Violinist Rodrigo Leitte was born in Campinas, Brazil. His mother is a pianist and his father a writer. He began playing violin at the age of eight at Carlos Gomes Conservatory of Campinas, where he was a scholarship winner.

After his studies at the conservatory he moved to São Paulo to study at the Municipal School of São Paulo under pedagogue Cecilia Guida, a pupil of Max Rostal. Rodrigo finished his Bachelors degree at the Mozarteum University of São Paulo and then continued his studies with renowned violinists Salvatore Accardo from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and Igor Ozim in Salzburg, one of the most respected masters of the violin.

In 2014 Rodrigo was invited to travel to Germany with the Camargo Guarnieri Orchestra as concertmaster and soloist. Currently, in addition to a busy performing  and teaching schedule, Rodrigo is also the Artistic Director of the São Paulo Strings Academy and Valinhos Philharmonic Orchestra.

We are thankful for our sponsors:


The Viking Pizza Co. | Jack of Hearts BBQ | Red Robbin Delta Bound | Long Horns

Middle Tennessee Home Education Association (MTHEA | KROGER Thompson Station 


Sponsors from Brazil:

UNISEDHitmaker StudioInstituto EncantosBloom Eventos
Adionan Pitta | Alba Araujo | Amélia Fernandes | Soares Analena | Augusto Arrais André Lahoz | Carol Lahoz | Antônio Flavio Pacini | Camila de Jesus Mello Gonçalves Claudia Schaeffter | Claudio Luiz Bueno de Godoy | Eliane de Fátima | Oliveira Eliza Inoue Humberto | Nomura Nishizaki | Laudelino Ramos | Lourdes Scalabrin Luiz Carlos Modesto | Marcia Maria | Abbud Maria | Carolina Mendonça de Barros
Maria Djanice | Augusto Arrais | Matheus de Almeida Arrais | Maria de Lourdes
Dias Freitas | Analena Augusto | Arrais Liana | Augusto Arrais | Fabio Orlovas
Maria Silvia | Orlovas Marisa | Martins Marta | Augusta Mann Prado
Plastino Pedro | Giavina Bianchi Pedro | Pires Sayão | Masaru Kawamura
Rosa Mizuyo Kawamura | Silvia Manami Kawamura | Suzana Honorio Fernandes



Guest Conductor, Joseph Eunkwan Choi: July 29th, 7:30pm


We are pleased to announce that Maestro Joseph Choi will be guest conducting the Spring Hill Orchestra on July 29th, 7:30pm at Faith Lutheran Church. No tickets required.

Maestro Joseph Choi is originally from South Korea but is currently the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Maryland Chamber Orchestra and the newly appointed Orchestra Conductor for the Loudoun (VA) Symphony Youth “Concert” Orchestra and Orchestra Director at Grace Academy in Hagerstown, MD. He is concurrently working on his Doctoral Music Studies (DMA) in Orchestral Conducting at the Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia.

In the past, Maestro Choi has conducted the East Texas Symphony (TX), Astoria Symphony (NYC), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Beethoven Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic), Phoenix Symphony (AZ), Scottsdale Symphony (AZ), University of Maryland Symphony (MD), Hartt Symphony Orchestra (CT), Maranatha Chamber Orchestra and served as Associate Conductor of Owensboro Symphony (KY) and Assistant Conductor of Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN) and Asheville Symphony (NC). In the past, Maestro Choi also served as Music Director of Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra (KY) and Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (IN).

In October 2015, Maestro Choi made his Conducting Debut at Carnegie Hall conducting to a nearly sold-out concert. In 2003, Maestro Choi made his conducting debut at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall where his performance was broadcast to Prince George’s County residents for several months after the performance. In the past, Maestro Choi had also participated in many International Conducting competitions such as Pedrotti International Conducting Competition (Italy), Besancon International Conducting Competition (France), Fundacao Oriente International Conducting Competition (Semi-finalist) and as winner of Macon International Conducting Institute in Georgia. Due to his winning title, he was invited to attend St. Petersburg (Russia) Conducting Workshop to study with Yuri Temirkanov and work with St. Petersburg “Congress” Orchestra.

Maestro Choi is equally comfortable with the band and choral where he continues to attend US Army Band Conducting workshops annually in Washington DC working with US “Pershings Own” Army Band. In 2003, he was named one of two finalists with US Army Band Conducting Auditions, also that same year; he was also named one of 7 finalists for the US Air Force Band Conducting Audition.

In the past, he served as Assistant Conductor and Doctoral Graduate Choral Conducting major at the University of Maryland where he conducted University of Maryland Chorus and Chorale on a regular basis. He also sang “Vespers of Confessore” as a soloist with University of Maryland Chorale and with Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Also, in the past, he served as paid tenor section leader with Baltimore Choral Arts & Baltimore Symphony Chorus for the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and as Tenor Section member with CONCORA at the Bard Festival and with American Symphony Orchestra in NYC.

Currently, he is serving as Music Director/Conductor of Gettysburg United Methodist Church (PA), Hagerstown SDA Church (MD) and working as Music Teacher with Mt. Aetna Adventist School in Hagerstown, Maryland. Currently, he and his wife (Angela) have one son Nathaniel (10 years).


Summer Chamber Concerts, July 29 & 31

Join us for a journey through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods as the orchestra presents two free summer chamber concerts. Special guests include conductor Joseph Choi (Saturday concert only), and cellists Daphine Browning and Hannah Koshgarian.

The program will include Gabrieli Canzonas for brass choir, Handel’s Water Music, Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto and Haydn Symphony 92 among other works. We hope to see you there!

July 29th and 31st @ 7:30pm
Faith Lutheran Church
2640 Buckner Rd
Suggested donation at door