Gabriel Gaw (Double Bass)

Fantasia on “La Sonnambula” by Bottesini

1st prize at Fredonia Double Bass Competition

PMAY Artist with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

Gabriel Gaw, 16, is a junior at Gaw Academy Conservatoire (home school) in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Gabe is a multi-instrumentalist. He started playing the piano when he was 5. He was a four-time Piano Guild National Gold Award winner. He has been selected for piano in NJMEA regional band. He still studies piano under Donna Battista of Bay Atlantic Symphony. Gabe started playing percussion in 4th grade with much success. Since 6th grade, he has always been selected for percussion in NJMEA regional bands, as high as 1st chair for both Battery Percussion and Keyboard Percussion. Gabe studied percussion under Dean Witten of Rowan University until Dean Witten passed away. Gabe never found another teacher and eventually gave up percussion in favor of bass. Under Dean Witten, Gabe, then 14, was selected to play in the Marimba Masters Junior ensemble, comprised of Juilliard Pre-College percussion students.

Gabriel started playing the bass in 6th grade. Since 7th grade, Gabe has been a double bassist in NJMEA All-State orchestras.  As a sophomore, Gabe became the principal bass for 2018 NJMEA All-State Orchestra and All-State Wind Ensemble. He is also a member of the 2019 NAFME All-Eastern orchestra. Besides the regional and state level NJMEA competitions and ensembles, Gabe plays in Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Cape Shore Jazz Orchestra, and Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey. He was a finalist for the 2018 New York String Orchestra Seminar. Jazz, besides classical, is Gabe’s another passion in music. He has always been 1st chair bass for All-South Jersey Jazz Band ever since he was old enough to compete. Gabe has attended the Kimmel Center Advanced Jazz program. This year, Gabe decided to discontinue participating in NJMEA events and spend most of his time and energy in Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and music competitions. Gabe’s been fortunate enough to study classical double bass with Francois Rabbath, Nancy Merriam, Douglas Mapp, John Hood, Nate West, Mary Javian, and Brent Edmondson. His current jazz bass teacher is Andy Lalasis.

Gabe attended 2014 Rowan Jazz Camp, 2015 and 2016 Metro Bass Camp, 2017 International Society for Bassists convention (on a full scholarship) and 2018 Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Orchestral Institute at Whistler, BC, Canada (on a half scholarship).

In early 2018, Gabe was named the alternate winner in Rowan Concerto Competition. That same year, he also received a third prize in ENKOR International Music Competition. In 2019, Gabe won first prize at the Fredonia Double Bass Competition, second prize at the ENKOR International Music Competition and is a finalist at the International Society of Bassists this summer.

Gabe was admitted to American MENSA in 2010. As a mathematician, Gabe competed in Mathlete Competitions when he was younger and placed as high as 3rd (individual) and 1st (group). In 8th grade, he scored 740 in SAT math section to receive High Honors Award from John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. Despite his high ability in math and science, Gabe wants to pursue a career in music and continue his musical studies in college to become a classical double bassist. He is a proud a PYO member and a PMAY Artist.


Christian Kercy (trombone)

Cavatine by Camille Saint Saens

PMAY Artist with The Primavera Fund and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

Christian is a high school junior and has always loved music. When he was three years old, he performed Amazing Grace as a vocal soloist for the children's charity Variety, and went on to participate in the Archdiocese Boys Choir of Philadelphia. Christian started playing the trombone in Play On, Philly! and loved the trombone as soon as it was introduced to him. Christian also participated in the Philadelphia Sinfonia. 

Music is a means of expression for Christian and helps him to overcome his shyness. Play On, Philly's staff and teachers have helped Christian gain confidence, and he is extremely grateful for their guidance and encouragement. Christian hopes to attend college as a trombone major, and studies privately with Jarred Antonacci. He is a PMAY Artist with The Primavera Fund and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.


Vibha Janakiraman (Violin)

Recitativo und scherzo-caprice by fritz kreisler

pmay artist with settlement music school and Philadelphia youth orchestra

Vibha Janakiraman, age 13, started studying violin at age 6 with Jessica Hoffman at The Music School of Delaware. Since the summer of 2016, she has been studying with Lee Snyder at the Settlement Music School. An 8th grader at the PA Leadership Charter School (PALCS) University Scholars Program, Vibha is currently the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO) and was the first runner up in the 2018 PYAO concerto competition. She has played in the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (2015-2017) and the Philadelphia Region Youth String Music Young Artists (PRYSM-YA) Orchestra (2014-2015), serving as concertmaster in the latter.

She has also performed as a soloist with the Wilmington Community Orchestra as a winner of the 2017 Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians and was the winner of the 2018 Tri-county youth competition’s junior strings division. Vibha is the violinist of an Advanced Study Piano Trio coached by Sandra Carlock at Settlement Music School. She has also been a member of the PMAY Artists’ Initiative since 2017.

Vibha has played in masterclasses taught by many distinguished violinists, including Barbara Barber and Hilary Hahn. Aside from playing the violin, Vibha’s interests include playing Indian classical music (violin), learning Sanskrit, math, biking, composing, and penguins.


Marquise Bradley (Clarinet)

Three Pieces for Clarinet by Igor Stravinsky

PMAY Artist with The Primavera Fund, Philadelphia Orchestra All City Fellowship, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and Project 440

Marquise Bradley, a clarinetist and native Philadelphian, is currently a senior at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). He started playing the clarinet in his middle school's music program and the following year, joined Temple University's Community Music Scholars Program. There, he took private lessons, theory classes, and played in the wind and jazz ensembles. 

During his sophomore year, he was accepted into The Primavera Fund, an organization that mentors and financially supports young Philadelphians with their musical endeavors. With Primavera’s support, he was able to attend the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont. That fall, he joined the Philadelphia Young Artist Orchestra, under the direction of Rosalind Erwin. The following season, he was promoted to the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under the direction of Louis Scaglione who subsequently appointed Marquise as clarinet section leader. Marquise has also participated in the All-City band and orchestra since his freshmen year and has been the Principal Clarinet for the past two seasons. In spring of 2018, he was a finalist in the All-City concerto competition and is now a Philadelphia Orchestra All City Fellow. 

Marquise also regularly participates in Pennsylvania Music Educators Association festivals at the district, regional, and state levels. He ended the PMEA season as principal clarinet of the 2018 All-State Orchestra. Marquise has played for some of the world's most sought-after clarinetist, including Richard Hawkins, Anton Rist, Anthony McGill, Jerome Simas, Ricardo Morales, and Samuel Caviezel. Marquise's most influential teachers are his primary teacher, Sean Bailey, and his teacher from the Kinhaven Music School, David Sapadin. 

In addition, Marquise is a member of Project 440’s Youth Advisory Council and the Artistic Director of the Center City Chamber Orchestra. He also enjoys weekly attending Philadelphia Orchestra concerts with friends and binge-watching Netflix series. Marquise is a Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY) Artist.


PEirce Ellis (Viola) - Sonata by Rebecca Clarke

PMAY Artist with The Primavera Fund and Temple University Music Prep

I am a violist and have performed at the White House and in Chicago, New York, and California. I currently play viola in the Youth Chamber Orchestra in Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians and perform nationally with the Perfect Fourth Quartet through the Sphinx Organization. After training with Project 440, I co-designed a classical music presentation and presented it to Philadelphia elementary school students. I have attended summer programs at NYO2 (where I performed at Carnegie Hall), Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) for their 2017 and 2018 seasons, Luzerne Music Center, and the Sphinx Performance Academy in Chicago and Cleveland. I am a student of Kerri Ryan, assistant principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

During the summer of 2016, I was selected to represent the United States at a two-week leadership program at the International School of Karuizawa in Japan with middle school students from 30 different countries. I also participate in the Kimmel Music Center’s Showstoppers musical theater program and I am an alumnus of Schoolyard Ventures, a program that trains middle and high school students to develop their own entrepreneurial ideas. I am a recipient of the Marian Anderson Award grant and a proud PMAY and Primavera Foundation Artist.

I am a 15-year-old homeschooled, tenth-grade student dually enrolled in courses at Drexel University and Delaware County Community College.