The core group of Onyx Chamber Players forms a piano trio. While they most frequently play the classical piano trio repertoire, they are often joined by guest artists to perform chamber music written for additional strings, woodwinds, brass and voice.


James Garlick    Violinist James Garlick was born in Port Angeles, Washington and began studying violin at age five. He made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut performing Saint-Saens' Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso to a packed house in the Isaac Stern Auditorium. James has performed concerti with many orchestras, including the Northwest Sinfonietta, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, Philharmonia Northwest, and Octava Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights include Brahms' Double Concerto with Joshua Roman and the Everett Philharmonic and a tour to Cuba as concertmaster of the Northwest Sinfonietta.

    As a concertmaster, James has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Cascade Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, and Oberlin Orchestra. An advocate for music of our time, he has worked closely with such composers as Steve Reich, Olga Neuwirth, and Sir Harrison Birtwistle; and performed with NYC-based AXIOM, New Juilliard Ensemble, Mimesis Ensemble, and Oberlin Conservatory's Contemporary Music Ensemble. James is also a core member of New York's conductorless ensemble, Salomé Chamber Orchestra.

    James studied with Gregory Fulkerson at the Oberlin Conservatory and Paul Kantor at the Aspen Music Festival. He recently completed his Master's degree at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Stephen Clapp, and Joseph Lin. James currently performs on a 1775 Guadagnini, generously on loan from The Juilliard School.

Meg Brennand
    Cellist Meg Brennand is known for her work on both modern and baroque cello. Brennand is professor of cello at Seattle Pacific University. Her interest in historically informed performance practice led to the study of the baroque cello and she has performed with many baroque orchestras on the West Coast. Meg is cellist with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and she was a founding musician of Gallery Concerts, specializing in 18th century chamber music on period instruments. An avid chamber music performer, she has performed throughout the Northwest, including Bloedel, Jacobsen, Second City, Mostly Nordic, Belle Arte, Camerata, First Sundays, La Conner. Meg is also a member of the Auburn Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. She has recorded for NPR, Wild Boar, and Centaur. Meg is proud to be a stage III cancer survivor, and she is overjoyed to be back performing with Onyx.

   David White
    David White is equally at home as pianist, organist, harpsichordist, fortepianist, composer and conductor. He enjoys a national and international career as chamber musician, soloist, composer and church musician. White, a native of Chicago, gave his first public concert at the age of six, and won prizes in contests by the time he was 12 from the Society of American Musicians, Chicago Symphony Young Musicians' Guild, and Blue Lake Fine Arts. As soon as his feet could reach the pedals, he started studying organ, and has been a liturgical musician ever since. He served as Organist and Director of Music for several prestigious congregations, most recently Temple Menorah in Chicago, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina, and St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago. He has given organ recitals throughout the world, including Vienna, Australia, New Zealand, Leipzig and numerous cities in the United States and Canada. He is a sought-after accompanist and has won wide critical and public acclaim for his performances of lieder and chansons in recitals with many outstanding singers. His conducting career has touched many genre, including opera, symphony, Broadway musical and choral. As a composer, he has received commissions from choral and orchestral groups all over the world. His canon of works number more than 150, including many written specifically for the musicians who gave the premier performances. He has just completed his fourth commissioned opera, "The Adopted Son", and is writing a trio for Onyx.

GUEST ARTISTS, 2013 - 2014 Season

Jennifer Nelson

    Jennifer Nelson received her undergraduate degree in Music Performance from USC as a student of Mitchell Lurie, and continued her clarinet studies at Temple University where she was a student of Anthony Gigliotti. Jennifer plays Principal Clarinet with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Auburn Symphony Orchestras. She also has a very active freelance career, including playing Broadway-style shows at the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theaters, extra with Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera orchestras, and records for various television and motion picture scores. She is Artist in Residence in clarinet at University of Washington, Affiliate Artist Faculty in Clarinet at University of Puget Sound, and maintains a very busy private teaching studio in her home in north Seattle. Ms. Nelson has also traveled throughout the United States with the national touring companies of Phantom of the Opera and New York City Opera. In addition to her stateside concerts, orchestral and recital performances have taken her to Mexico, Japan, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Honduras, and most recently, India.

    Jennifer Nelson will join Onyx on March 9, for their annual All Beethoven Concert


J. Melvin Butler

    Violist Mel Butler made his solo concerto debut with the North Carolina Symphony at age fourteen playing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with violin protégé Kenji Kobayashi. As an undergraduate at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Butler served as Associate Principal and Principal Violist of the Oberlin Orchestra while majoring in organ. During his graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, where he received a doctorate in Organ Performance, he was violist in the select graduate Collegium String Quartet. He served his country during the Viet Nam War as violist in the U.S. Navy String Quartet stationed in Washington, DC. During this time he was invited to study with esteemed violist Paul Doktor. Following his military service, he played viola with the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra for eighteen years and also performed as baroque violist with the Genesee Baroque Players. More recently, he has performed with the Allegro Baroque ensemble in Spokane, WA, and performs regularly with the Onyx Chamber Players in Seattle.

    Mel Butler has been Organist/Choirmaster at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Seattle since 1992. He has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Washington and was for many years Music Director and Conductor of the Rochester Bach Festival. He is a published composer and presents organ concerts nationally and internationally. His organ and choral recordings appear on the Loft/Gothic label.

    Mel Butler will join Onyx on October 20, 2013 and June 22, 2014.



Onyx Chamber Players


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