Timothy Ruszala is an avid bassoonist from Fairfield, NJ who settled on bassoon
in the 8th grade, after first meddling with both the clarinet and french horn. Since
then, he has auditioned for many regional concert bands and orchestras, successfully
winning the first bassoon seat in the North Jersey Area, Region, All-state, and
NAFME all-national honor ensembles each time he auditioned. This year, he will also
be performing with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
for their fourth annual tour, which after playing in carnegie hall, will travel
to Montpellier, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Prague to give additional concerts under
the baton of Valery Gergiev. This is his first time playing a concerto with full
accompaniment, and he couldn’t be more excited!
Daniel is a junior at Parsippany High School, where he plays in the wind ensemble,
and has studied the flute for three years. In his time as a flutist, he has been
a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and attended the Mannes Precollege Division,
where he studied with Judith Mendenhall.
Additionally, he was selected to perform with the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble
and All-State Orchestra, where he served as principal flutist. Afterward, Daniel
had the honor of joining NAFME's All-National Symphony Orchestra in Nashville, Tennessee
to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
Among other stages, Daniel has appeared at Carnegie Hall as the winner of multiple
competitions. He has played in masterclasses for pedagogues from top conservatories
around the country and is highly active in the music community. Despite his age,
Daniel is a freelancer always eager for a gig! Although currently self-taught, he
would like to send great thanks to his former teachers Chia-Hsiu Wang and Professor
Mendenhall for their diligence and inspiration. When away from his flute, Daniel
enjoys playing tennis and learning about home recording. His favorite flutist is
the one and only Marina Piccinini!
Carolyn Douthat is a student at Wayne Valley High School, and began playing trumpet
when she was 9. She has been awarded top seats in the NJMEA and NJAJE Honors Bands
every year since Seventh Grade, when she began auditioning for them.
This school year, the 15-year old Sophomore was principal player in the NJ All-
State Wind Ensemble. She also played first chair in the Region 1 and North Jersey
Area Band Wind Ensembles. She is also currently playing second trumpet with the
NJ Association of Jazz Educators Region 1 Senior Honors Band. Carolyn attributes
a great deal of her success to her private trumpet teacher, Matt Testa, who has
been coaching and inspiring her for years. She would also like to thank her friends
and family for their support, as well as her band director, Gabe Batiz, for supporting
her aspirations and volunteering in order for her to audition in many places.
Carolyn is also a member of her high school Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz
Ensembles I and II, and the newly formed Brass Quintet. She is also interested in
arranging music, which she has done for the quintet, and has played pit orchestra
at the Barn Theatre and the Old Library Theatre. She plans to continue playing trumpet
as a performance major in college, and aspires to make a living playing trumpet.