Meet the Musicians


Short biographies highlighting some of the NIH Philharmonia musicians.

Emily Bentgen —oboe—Graphic Artist/Web Designer
Emily Bentgen is a freelance musician and enjoys performing with NIH Philharmonia and several groups around the area playing oboe, oboe d’amore and English Horn.  In her spare time Emily enjoys designing websites, company logos and graphic art projects and of course constantly making reeds. 

Christine Chang—violin—Medical Officer
Christine is a family medicine and preventive medicine physician originally from Detroit, MI and trained at Wayne State University and Johns Hopkins University. She recently moved to the area and is a medical officer at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. After not playing for some time, she is glad for the opportunity to play again with an orchestra.

Amelia Colarco —viola—Atmospheric Scientist
Amelia Colarco received her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Colorado in 2002 and now is a research faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is currently looking at satellite measurements of atmospheric aerosols. Her primary interest is determining the quality of these measurements and how they can be used along with global atmospheric models to predict the effects of aerosols on climate. She also maintains an instrument to measure carbon dioxide at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Derek Crosier -Trombone
Bass trombonist Derek Crosier, a native of Montana, is an advocate for new music, chamber music for lesser used combinations of instruments, and anything of the unusual variety. He can be heard on the original motion picture soundtrack from the independent film The Last Winter (2006), and has been acknowledged by the New York Times for his refined technique. He holds degrees from the University of Montana and Mannes College of Music, and has studied under Dr. Robert Bailey, Lance Boyd, and David Taylor.

Amy DeLouise —violin—Nonprofit Marketing Consultant
Amy has built a career as digital storyteller, helping Fortune 500’s, nonprofits and associations tell their story and engage stakeholders through video. Her work includes directing more than 450 short non-fiction films for live/virtual events, social media and websites. Amy also trains other storytellers. She has authored two books with Routledge Press, speaks widely at international broadcast and media conferences, and has more than 190,000 views of her 11 LinkedIn Learning courses. She fell in love with the violin at age 9.

Scott Douglass–Double Bass–Teacher
Originally from Richmond, VA, Scott joined the NIH Philharmonia bass section in January 2016. He currently serves as Orchestra Director at St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC, where he teaches Strings, Concert Band, Jazz Lab, Music Theory, and Songwriters and Composers Workshop. He also co-teaches the Children’s Orchestra at Bunker Hill Elementary School, sponsored by Turn Around Arts and the DC Youth Orchestra Program. Scott earned his BA in Music and French from Dartmouth College and an MA in Music Education from New York University. He has studied with Christian McBride, Elias Bailey, Roland Guerin, Don Baldini, Kelly Ali, and Joseph Bongiorno. Scott’s wife Kristina is an archaeologist at the Smithsonian. They have a son named Percy.

Vivian Chang Freiheit,—violin—Teacher
Vivian is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she studied with Samuel Sanders and earned her DMA and MM in Collaborative Piano Performance. In 2016, Vivian was awarded the Julian Y. Bernstein Award for Distinguished Community Service by the Westchester Jewish Council for creating and developing musical special needs programming.  She currently serves as Department Lead and Piano Faculty of ‘Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard’ in Geneva, Switzerland and is on faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC.

Robin Gelman —bassoon—Senior Financial Analyst
Ms. Gelman, a native New Yorker, completed her formal education at Oberlin College and Conservatory (Math and Performance), The Juilliard School (1992-Masters in Music) and Johns Hopkins University (2000-Masters in Business Administration). Robin works for Lockheed Martin Corporation, where she is a Senior Financial Analyst. When not teaching, freelancing, or working, Robin is also active in sports and is a member of the Montgomery County Barncats, one of 6 teams that make up the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference, where she is a starting pitcher.

Susanne Goldberg —flute—Chemist
Susanne Goldberg has played flute for the last 35 years and has studied at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her BS in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill and her MS in Forensic Chemistry from The University of Virginia in conjunction with the FBI Academy. She moved to the DC region in 1999 and has worked as a Scientist/Project Manager for Celera Genomics and the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD. 

Xiaobin Guan —violin—Scientist
Xiaobin received his MD from Nantong Medical College in China, and Ph.D. in Neurosciences from Kent State University. He is currently working in the Bioinformatics Group of NIH Intramural Sequencing Center, National Human Genome Research Institute of NIH. Xiaobin also plays a Chinese fiddle (Erhu). He is the President of the Washington Erhu Association and a member of the Washington Chinese Traditional Orchestra. Dr. Guan also holds an adjunct faculty position at University of Maryland University College teaching database courses.

Ken Hawes – Horn – Pastor
Ken has played horn since he was 10 years old and continues to perform regularly with area chamber ensembles and orchestras. He holds a Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at Purchase. His primary teachers have been Paul Ingram, Richard Moore and J. Richard Webb. While in N.Y. he was a founding member of the Doansburg Chamber Ensemble, which recently completed its 30th season. Rev. Hawes is the Senior Pastor of Hughes United Methodist Church-El Buen Samaritano in Wheaton, MD. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, Ken enjoys photography, hiking, cooking spending time with his wife, and doing justice.

Dan Levine —Bassoon—Psychiatrist
Daniel earned his MD degree from Georgetown School of Medicine. He is a founding member of Old Georgetown Mental Health Associates, LLC, an eight member psychiatric practice in Bethesda. Dr. Levine was named among Washington’s Top Doctors in Washingtonian magazine several times.  Dan had his earliest orchestral experiences during the summers he attended the Red Fox Music Camp in Massachusetts where he worked his way up to eventually becoming the Head Boy’s Counselor. Though he did not know her at the time, Dan’s wife-to-be, Lynne, was also a young camper at Red Fox. It was not until many years later, when Dan was in medical school and Lynne was in her first year as a violist in the NSO, that they would actually meet.  In addition to the NIH Philharmonia, Dan is also a member of the Trinity Chamber Orchestra. Dan has performed with a number of other area orchestras and chamber groups.  Some of Dan’s other interests include cycling, yoga, and tai chi. Dan enjoys participating in the “Tour de Canal”, an annual biking event on the C & O Canal, to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

Fiona Little – violin – Editor
Fiona has a doctorate in musicology from the University of Oxford, UK, where she and her husband Mark Little (viola) met as members of a string quartet, and she has continued to enjoy chamber music ever since, as well as playing in community and volunteer orchestras. A copy-editor of academic publications, she has worked on some of the well-known Grove music dictionaries and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. She is also an experienced pianist and a member of the choir of All Saints Church, Chevy Chase.

Mark Little – viola – Statistician and Radiation Epidemiologist
Mark Little took a BA (+Part III of the Mathematics Tripos) from the University of Cambridge, then his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He has an awesome record at supporting the winning side in the Boat Race! After time spent at the UK National Radiological Protection Board and Imperial College, London, he came to NIH, as Senior Investigator in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch. He has a particular interest in radiation-induced cancer, cardiovascular disease and cataract. He plays violin and viola, orchestrally and in chamber music.

Nancy Maaty – violin – physician
Nancy is a native of the DMV area and continues to serve her hometown community as an ICU doctor in Arlington, VA.  Knowing that there is no medicine quite like music – she is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful orchestra, and humbled to be sitting alongside so many impressively talented individuals.


Ginger McLaughlin —viola—Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Violist Ginger McLaughlin earned a BS and MS in nursing from the University of Michigan and is certified as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In addition to her music endeavors, she is a fabric artist and the organizer of the Edgemoor Art and Fine Craft Show.

Kimberly Nath —viola —Graduate Student
Originally from Arizona, Kimberly Nath received her B.A. in history from the University of Arizona in 2007 and is now a graduate student in history at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently researching the confiscation of Loyalist property in Maryland during the American Revolution. Kimberly also works part-time as an archivist technician at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Ryan Peterson —Percussion – DPhil Student
Ryan grew up playing clarinet, bass clarinet, and contrabass clarinet and transferred to percussion while studying for his BS. After spending two years at the university of Oxford, he returned to the NIH/NINDS to finish his doctorate degree on mitochondrial dynamics in Parkinson’s Disease. When not playing music or doing science, Ryan enjoys cooking, knitting, and crafting with his fiancé.

Allison Saunders – violin – Postbaccalaureate Research Fellow
Allison Saunders works as a research fellow at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research as part of the Postbaccalaureate IRTA Program. Originally from Maine, she graduated from Georgetown University in 2016 with a B.S. in Biology of Global Health. She is currently applying to medical schools and hopes to become a pediatric neurologist. Allison has played with the Georgetown University Orchestra, the Georgetown University Quartet, and several youth orchestras in Maine. In addition to playing the violin with the NIH Philharmonia, Allison also sings in the NIH a capella group, Nerds in Harmony.

Vera Schneider —violin— Business Development
Retired from IBM and now working for defense technology company QinetiQ North America in business development, Vera is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in mathematics and has been playing violin since childhood. Summers were spent at the UNC Summer String Institute with her six siblings, all string players. While a UNC undergraduate, she also studied violin and is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity. Playing chamber music with friends and family has been a favorite past-time since middle school. In addition to the occasional pit orchestra or family wedding, she has played in community orchestras in North Carolina (Greensboro Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, UNC Symphony), New York (Westchester Symphony Orchestra) and the DC Metro area (Prince Georges Orchestra, American University Orchestra, McLean Orchestra, Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra and the NIH Philharmonia).

David Spiegelthal – bass clarinet/saxophones – Aerospace Engineer
David is an engineer with The Aerospace Corporation, having bounced between the fields of aerospace and underwater acoustics following a post-college stint on a U.S. Navy submarine. Other than a few years of private clarinet lessons in middle and high schools, he is self-taught on the woodwind instruments. For more than 35 years he has performed on all sizes of clarinets and saxophones in numerous local orchestras, jazz big bands and combos, rock and Top-40 bands, and theatre pit orchestras. Unfortunately he has not studied with anyone famous nor played with any well-known groups (other than subbing for a week with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra), so has no tangible musical pedigree. But he still loves to play, and supplements musical performance with a spare-time ‘subsidized hobby’ repairing and restoring woodwind instruments.

Michael Stein —cello —Computer Programmer
Mr. Stein is a computer programmer with the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. He currently works on software for the Defense Information Systems Agency. In addition to the NIH Philharmonia, he is a ‘cellist and board member of the Arlington Philharmonic, and plays with the Forest Glen String Quartet and Victoria Lyric Opera Company. He is an officer of Congregation Etz Hayim in Arlington and a member of the board of the Holocaust History Project.

Andy Tangborn —clarinet —Computational Geophysics
Andy works as a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and is on the faculty at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he teaches in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He grew up in Tacoma, Washington, where he began playing clarinet at age nine. He was an undergraduate at the University of Washington, where he studied clarinet with William McColl. He did graduate studies at M.I.T. in Mechanical engineering and where he received the Ragnar Naess scholarship in music. This allowed him to continue studying clarinet at the New England Conservatory, where he was a student of Robert Annis. In addition to playing in the NIH Philharmonia, Andy also organizes and performs in the Chamber music at Chevy Chase concert series.

Alyson Williams – Horn – Reader Services Librarian
Alyson is a librarian at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, a research institute for the humanities affiliated with Harvard University.. One of the many musical highlights with the NIH Philharmonia was playing Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, commissioned by the founders of the Dumbarton Oaks Library and Collections. Music has always been a central part of Alyson’ life. She has a BA in Music History and studied horn with Douglas Hill, Lyn Foulk, Bernard Scully, and Justin Drew. Alyson has played with diverse groups from community orchestras, college wind ensembles, chamber groups, and even a now defunct Punk/Ska band called Sunshine Policy. The NIH Philharmonia allows her to combine her passions for music and librarianship through the opportunity to play fantastic repertoire and her volunteer role as the orchestra librarian.
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