American Dreamers will bring indie-folk music to town

American Dreamers

BEEVILLE – The American Dreamer orchestral folk group will present the Beeville Concert Association’s next offering Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 at the Coastal Bend Distillery Event Room, 201 N. Madison St.

The concert is partially funded by a generous grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

American Dreamer brings a heavy dose of strings to their unique blend of indie-folk. The group’s music begins with honest, relatable folk tunes, which are then interwoven with and realized by lush string arrangements (violin, cello, bass), and anchored with three-part harmony. 

American Dreamer’s members met pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music and share a lifelong passion for relentlessly crafting their art and using it to connect with people and communities. With their music, American Dreamer strives to honor America’s deeply rooted folk tradition while exploring contemporary elements that roll the genre ever forward.

Sasha Klare-Ayvazian (vocals, guitar, banjo) grew up Northampton, an arts community tucked in the rustic beauty of western Massachusetts. The son of a folk singer, Sasha has been playing music in one form or another most of his life. He received a BA in Music Theory from Oberlin College and later a Master’s in Music Education from UT Austin. He lives in Austin where he formed American Dreamer with friends from UT. Sasha also teaches music, leads ensembles, arranges music for string quartets, composes music for film and commercials and generally leads an ever evolving, rich musical life. 

Dana Marie (vocals, bass), originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Alma College in Michigan and a Master’s in Bass Performance from University of Texas at Austin. She has played with a variety of orchestras in both Michigan and Texas, including the Alma Symphony, Grand Valley Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, UT Symphony Orchestra, UT New Music Ensemble, and UT Wind Ensemble. She currently performs in a wide array of settings, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, rock and folk groups. In addition to performing, Dana is truly passionate about teaching and music education. She currently serves as the program coordinator and assistant director for the UT Austin String Project with Dr. Laurie Scott. She is also the bass teaching artist for Austin Soundwaves and director of the Prelude Ensemble for the Austin Youth Orchestra. She has been teaching classical double bass privately for 13 years.

Courtney Castañeda (cello) is the orchestra director at the UT Elementary School ( Little Longhorn Orchestra), and also works for the UT Austin String Project and the Center for Music Learning. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both cello performance and psychology from the University of California, Davis as well as a Master of Music degree in cello performance from Sacramento State University where she was a teacher in the Sacramento State String Project. Most recently, she completed her Master of Music degree in Music and Human Learning from the UT Austin and also earned her K-12 teaching certification. A native Texan, Courtney began playing violin and cello thanks to her public elementary school in Houston and is a strong supporter of public school music education.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Camille Schiess (vocals, violin) has given a wide variety of performances in solo, chamber and orchestral concerts. She received her master’s degree at UT Austin and previously got her bachelor’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a three-time winner of the Granada Music and Arts Soloist Competition, soloing with members of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Camille is a violin instructor at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Elementary School, holds her own private teaching studio and occasionally subs as a section violinist for the Santa Barbara Symphony in California. Her greatest love in her career, beyond her love for performing, is teaching children and inspiring their creativity in music.

Admission for adults is $10 at the door or a BCA season ticket (which may be purchased at the door for $40 for the season’s remaining six concerts).  Admitted free are all students through high school age, an adult accompanied by two students, and Coastal Bend College students.