Larkin Sanders is a native of Branson, Missouri and recently completed her Doctor of Music degree in clarinet performance and a certificate in arts administration. She is also a Reserve Method Artist for D'Addario Woodwinds and frequently gives masterclasses and lectures throughout the southeast. Most notably, Dr. Sanders is the founder, executive and artistic director, and clarinetist of the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra, a nonprofit music festival in Branson, Missouri.
As a composer, Larkin has had her works performed in a variety of settings. Her works are inspired by then talents of her friends and colleagues, and the genres of her works span from chamber operettas, art songs, children's music, and more.
At FSU, she has studied clarinet with Dr. Frank Kowalsky and Dr. Deborah Bish. Larkin also holds a master of music degree from Michigan State University where she studied clarinet with Dr. Justin O’Dell and composition with Dr. Ricardo Lorenz. Previously, she earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kansas while studying clarinet with Dr. Stephanie Zelnick and Dr. Larry Maxey.
Born and raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, Patti graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Marketing. Currently she is surrounded by the Arts and is responsible for securing funding, venues, housing, and meals for the traveling musicians of TFO. Her husband, Sandy, is a drummer and professor of English, daughter, Dr. Larkin Sanders, is a free lance musician in Kansas City, and son, Hart, is an architect in Phoenix with Will Bruder Architecture. The Sanders family has resided in Branson since 1992.
Saxophonist and pedagogue Neal Postma holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM) and the University of Colorado (BM) and is a currently a DMA Candidate at the University of South Carolina where he serves as a lecturer of Music Appreciation. He is also on the faculty of Claflin University teaching applied lessons on saxophone. As a concert saxophonist Neal has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia giving performances in such venues as Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Newman Center for the Performing Arts and The Idyllwild Performing Arts Center. He has given recitals at universities and various regional, national and international conferences. His primary teachers are Dr. Cliff Leaman, Dr. James Bunte and Tom Myer. Neal is a P. Mauriat, D’Addario Woodwinds and Jody Jazz endorsing artist performing exclusively on their products. In 2017 he will serve as the Orchestra Manager for the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in Branson, Missouri.
As an educator Neal currently is currently on the faculty at Claflin University where he teaches applied lessons to undergraduates on saxophone. Additionally he is the graduate assistant to the music history department at the University of South Carolina where he teaches undergraduate Music Appreciation. In the 2015-2016 academic year he was the saxophone studio teaching assistant to Dr. Cliff Leaman. He previously held the position of MYP Director of Western Music at the Guangdong Country Garden International School (an IB accredited institution) near Guangzhou, China. He is also sought after as a clinician having given masterclasses and recitals at the Cincinnati Conservatory, The University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Denver School of the Arts.
As a soloist he has been featured most recently at the World Saxophone Congress is Strasbourg, France premiering new music by Anthony Green. In recent years he has premiered two concerti for saxophone and wind ensemble. He has given solo performances at the World Saxophone Congress, the Idyllwild Music Festival, multiple North American Saxophone Alliance National and Regional Conferences, the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. He has also appeared as the principal/soprano saxophonist with the Idyllwild Wind Ensemble, and performed at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, OH.
As an adjudicator Neal most recently judged multiple events at the Thailand World Music Competition in Pattaya, Thailand and the first Indonesia International Marching Band Competition in Bogor, Indonesia.
An avid proponent of new music Neal has commissioned and premiered over a dozen solo and chamber works by composers such as Carter Pann, Marc Mellits, Anthony Green, Brendan Keenan, Matthew Browne, Greg Simon, and Hunter Ewen. Neal has personally led consortiums commissioning two concertos from Matt Browne and a work for two saxophones and piano from Grammy nominated composer Carter Pann. Recently he was a featured artist at the Front Wave New Music Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida working with composer John Fitz Rogers. Currently he is the head of a consortium commissioning a new work for saxophone, electronics and video by Anthony Green.
Active in the chamber music scene, Neal currently plays baritone sax in the Praenimis Saxophone Quartet. This group was a semi-finalist in the 2016 NASA Biennial Conference Quartet Competition and is currently planning a tour of Taiwan, Korea and China in 2017.
Neal currently works with D’Addario Woodwinds on their new Woodwinds Method Program. This program promotes products at universities, public schools, lessons studios and music studios across the US. In this capacity he has given over forty clinics at leading institutions in both the Southeast US and California.
Allyson is from the small town of Ekalaka, Montana. She plays the piano and recently earned an M.M. in Piano Accompanying from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Allyson and Larkin played together at FSU, and their musical friendship continues to blossom! Allyson is excited to be a part of the TFO team this year, helping to spread the word about this great organization.
Allyson holds a B.S. in Marketing and a B.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Montana in Missoula. She and her hubby Jake currently live in Denver where she accompanies and teaches the piano.
Peter Dutilly returns to TFO for the first time since 2014, when he joined the Orlando Philharmonic where he has also been Assistant Music Librarian since 2017. In 2019, Peter was appointed as section viola with the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans. In addition to being a vocational orchestral musician, Peter has a passion for chamber music, composing, cooking, fishing, and travel. Peter holds degrees from Jacksonville University (BM Viola Performance, BM Music Composition) and Florida State University (MM, Viola Performance). He performs on a 1950s Frederick Haenel viola crafted in Connecticut.
Nate Bliton is an active performer, composer, educator, and hobbyist and holds M.M and B.M. degrees in Music Composition from Michigan State University. He has written music for and performed in many settings, including a variety of Michigan orchestras, chamber music groups, popular music bands, theater companies, film scoring and sound design projects, and works with dancers and live improvising painters. With a special emphasis on interactive, low-budget physical electronics, his programming and electronics work has been featured in Make Magazine, as well as appeared in art installations and professional dance and theatrical productions. Nate is currently on staff in the Music and Dance department at Grand Valley State University.
Graphic Designer & Photographer
Steven is originally from Branson, MO and currently resides in Springfield, MO where he is an adjunct instructor in the Graphic Design and Technology Department at Ozarks Technical Community College. In his spare time, he works as the screen printer for the campus print shop and is a freelance graphic designer. Steven currently attends Drury University where he is in his last year working to complete a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Arts. As a musician, Steven plays contrabass clarinet with the Missouri State University Community Band where he has been a member for the last 8 years. This year also makes his 8th season playing flute with the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra. As well as being a founding member of TFO, Steven has dedicated much of his time as the graphic designer for the orchestra over the last five years.
Joseph Peters, Artistic Advisor
Victoria Lee, Artistic Advisor and Wind Coordinator
Daron Kirsch, Artistic Advisor and String Coordinator
Steve James, Artistic Advisor and Brass Coordinator
Jim Bartelt, Artistic Advisor and Percussion Coordinator
Pete Marcellus, Board President
Americanna Magness, Branson Arts Council Liaison and Board Secretary
Patti Sanders, Director of Development, Housing and Board Treasurer
Gail Lennon, Board
Amanda Marcellus Miles, Board
Alzora Hooker, Board
Marcia Schemper Carlock, Board
Crystal Wolfe, Board