Laurel Health Centers

EMMF – Behind the Scenes

Meet the musicians behind the music!


by Sara Vogt - July 24, 2015

EMMF is beginning it’s tenth season, starting this Friday night at 7:30 PM at Mansfield University’s Steadman Theatre. On today’s broadcast we speak with a few of the musicians, who have been performing here for a number of years.

Gita Ladd has been performing for EMMF since the very beginning of the festival. Stephen Gunzenhauser, the music director and conductor of EMMF, asked her to perform in the festival on five different occasions before she finally agreed. Upon arriving for that first concert season, she realized why Stephen wanted to start a music festival in this region. She loves the beauty of the area and the hospitality of those who live here. Ladd has played with artists such as Stevie Wonder and YoYo Ma among countless others during her career. She also teaches cello at Maryland University and encourages the young musicians to pursue their passions. For a complete bio, visit:

Francisco Salazar started playing violin when he was six years old. His parents chose the instrument for him. After playing for a few years, he began to enjoy the sounds he was producing! He studied music at Juilliard where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree. He loves being able to convey his deep feelings to his audience when he plays these amazing works. For a complete bio, visit

Another musician who has been playing in the orchestra for many years is Lukasz Szyrner , who was born in Poland. He also started at the young age of seven. Over the years he has had many opportunities to enjoy and display his talent. Szyrner was the former principle of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the National Chamber Ensemble. He also plays for Quintango. Szyrner enjoys his time playing here for the festival and riding his bicycle across our hills. For more information about Lukasz, visit here:
Or here: National Chamber Ensemble

Another important facet of the festival is their internship program, which is available to students pursuing a musical career. We spoke with Susan Bengtson who interned two years ago and now comes to play as a professional. She stated that most summer festivals are comprised of all students, while EMMF is mostly professional with students having the opportunity to play among them. She will receive her bachelor’s degree this next year. One of our Wellsboro High School students is interning this year with EMMF. Andrea Tsao joined the festival this season. This experience gives her a tremendous opportunity to play with professional musicians and learn from their years of performance and experience.

For a complete schedule of all of the concerts you can visit


Writing: Sara Vogt


Produced by Vogt Media

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