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Dr. Molly Jones Castrucci, Co-Director

She's lean, she's mean, she's a cello playing machine! She is a founding partner of Lumino Festival of the Arts and lover of journaling, long walks, and snuggling with her cats.

Molly is the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Section Cellist in the Akron Symphony. She can frequently be seen performing in the cello sections of the National Symphony Orchestra and New Orchestra of Washington, and occasionally sings with the University of Maryland Concert Choir!

She received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance from the University of Maryland in May of 2018. Her dissertation was titled "Voices from the Holocaust, Remembered: Selected Works for Cello.


Nicole Wendl, Co-Director

When she is not exploring new cities, working on a new project, or drinking coffee on her porch, Nicole can be found freelancing in Boston. A founding partner of Lumino Festival, she is already an expert at program management. For the past four years, Nicole has been the Resident Director at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Based in North Carolina, she also frequently performs with the Fayetteville Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, and Salisbury Symphony. Most recently, she received the Kenan Spotlight Fellowship at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she works to create a strong digital footprint for the string department.

Julia Guichard

Julia Guichard, Guest Artist
Lumino 2019

Julia Guichard is Professor and Chair of Theatre at Miami University. She holds a BFA in Acting from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University in Chicago and an MFA in Acting from The Pennsylvania State University.   She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, holding certificates from The Performance School and Alexander Technique International. As a guest artist, she has taught the Technique in the BFA acting programs at Carnegie Mellon, Baldwin Wallace University and at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. Internationally, she has been a resident guest artist for the CCM Spoleto Festival and the Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti Training Intensive, both in  Italy. She has worked as a professional movement and vocal coach for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Actor’s Theatre of Middletown, CATCO in Columbus, and others. Most recently, Julia coached actors in two independent regional film projects, Monumental and UFO. She is an active member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and serves on its national board.

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Danielle Kärppälä
Lumino 2018-2019

Making great music with friends in the beauty of the Connecticut woods is one of Danielle’s favorite pastimes.  She has collaborated with Molly and Nicole for the past several summers and is looking forward to another great summer of music making! 

Danielle is a member of the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra as well as an active orchestral freelancer in south-central Pennsylvania.   She holds a Master of Music degree in cello performance from The Hartt School of Music and a Performance Certificate from The Pennsylvania State University School of Music.   This summer, in addition to performing at Lumino, she’ll be making more music this June at the Penn’s Woods Festival in State College, PA.


PG Hazard
Lumino 2019

PG is currently on staff at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a graduate of UNCSA (MM, 2018) and the Florida State University (BA, 2013). Most recently, Ms. Hazard musically prepared Fletcher vocal fellows and performed in Massenet’s Werther and Handel’s Rodelinda with UNCSA. She was assistant conductor for Piedmont Opera’s 2018 production of La Bohème with Maestro James Allbritten. She has appeared in masterclasses with Marilyn Horne, Speranza Scappucci, William Bolcom, Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Warren Jones, Wu Han, Jeanne-Michelle Charbonnet, Harolyn Blackwell, and Renée Fleming. Ms. Hazard has attended the summer opera festivals Music Academy International, Music Academy of the West, Si Parla Si Canta, and Miami Music Festival. While at Music Academy of the West she was the recipient of the 2017 Shirley and Seymour Lehrer Full Scholarship. Ms. Hazard was the répétiteur for the Charleston Opera's production of La Bohème and for Gianni Schicchi and The Crucible at the Miami Music Festival. She has also attended SongFest at the Colburn School and Si Parla, Si Canta. PG recieved her BA degree at FSU where she collaborated with The University Singers accompanying concerts in the U.S. and Europe and was given the opportunity to music direct the Student Opera Society's productions of A Little Night Music as well as their educational tour of The Magic Flute.

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Emily Sheil
Lumino 2018

A violist, teacher, and higher education administrator in the greater DC area, Emily freelances with various local ensembles and frequently performs in the viola section of the Richmond Symphony and the New Orchestra of Washington. Previous experiences include time as principal violist of Symphony Number One and as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra viola section.

Committed to bringing music out of the concert hall to her local community, Emily has been a DC Groupmuser, a serial recitalist at the Highland Farms community in Black Mountain, NC, and has performed in seven National Parks as a member of the Music in the American Wild Collective. In August 2018, Emily will be relocating to Berlin, Germany, where she will continue pursuing performance opportunities from the concert hall to the living room.

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Juliana Witt
Lumino 2018

Juliana is a performing pianist, organist, composer and pedagogue in the Phoenix area. She loves collaborative music, facilitating artistically engaging experiences and building community through music. She holds degrees in Solo and Collaborative Performance from Bob Jones University, Washington State University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Arizona State University.

Very passionate about continuing education and creative artistry for teachers and making the freelance artist life sustainable, Ms. Witt founded the Teaching Artist Collective of Arizona, an organization that seeks to support artists who teach in the greater Phoenix Valley (