Summer Orchestra Institute Faculty 2019

Marielisa Alvarez, Violin
Marielisa Alvarez

Venezuelan violinist Marielisa Alvarez is founder and director of the Boston String Academy, a non-profit organization inspired by El Sistema that provides a vibrant string orchestra program for inner-city young students in the Boston area. The Academy has received recognition from renowned artists including Midori Goto, Gustavo Dudamel and Sir Simon Rattle. It has collaborated with important organizations in the Boston area, such as the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Boston Cultural Council, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Longy School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Celebrity Series of Boston, New England Conservatory and Harvard University.


She is a graduate of El Sistema in Venezuela, where she was part of several orchestras, including Barquisimeto Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and Lara Symphony Orchestra. She has performed at festivals and master classes in countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, United States, Switzerland, Hungary, and Finland. Her principal mentors during her violin and string pedagogy studies have been Francisco Díaz, José Francisco Del Castillo, Sophie Vilker, Rictor Noren, Mela Tenenbaum, Mimi Zweig, and Geza Szilvay.


Marielisa holds a Master of Music Degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma from The Boston Conservatory. She is also faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College, and collaborates regularly with El Sistema in Venezuela, as well as other Sistema-inspired programs in the U.S. and abroad.


In Spring of 2016, Marielisa was chosen among the 100 most influential people for the Hispanic community in Massachusetts, and this Spring, she was nominated with her organization to the 2019 Commonwealth Awards, which honor exceptional achievement in the arts, humanities, and sciences in the state of Massachusetts.

Rebecca Bogers, Harp
Rebecca Bogers

A Boston native, Rebecca received her Master of Music in Harp Performance from Temple University and her Bachelor’s in Harp Performance from New England Conservatory. Ms. Bogers has successfully led many international youth orchestra tours, forging local and international partnerships around music education. In additional to her work at NEC, she is part of the L.A. Philharmonic Take a Stand team, working to create a strong summer orchestral experience for Sistema students from around the country. Prior to her time at NEC, she also worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a teaching artist presenting programs throughout Philadelphia Schools with orchestra members and helping write and design Philadelphia Orchestra Education curriculum materials. She also worked as the ensemble coordinator for the Temple Music Prep, helping run their string orchestra and chamber music programs at the Center for Gifted Young Musicians. Please click here to read more of Rebecca Boger's bio. 

Erica Cice, Oboe
Erica Cice

Erica Cice joined the oboe section of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra during the 2006-2007 season. As one of only five finalists selected for the 2011 Fernand-Gillet International Oboe Competition, Cice competed and was awarded Honorable Mention as part of the International Double Reed Society convention in Tempe, AZ. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic as guest oboist and English hornist, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. 


Cice is on the faculty of Davidson College and Queens University and enjoys teaching privately as well. Her private students have gone on to esteemed institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, the Mannes School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Prior to joining the faculty of the Summer Orchestra Institute at New England Conservatory of Music, Cice has been oboe faculty at the Performing Arts Institute summer program held in Kingston, PA. Along with enjoying teaching and orchestral performing, she gives recitals, masterclasses and is an avid chamber music performer in the greater Charlotte area and the Carolinas.


Cice is a graduate of Temple University where she studied under Louis Rosenblatt and Richard Woodhams of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a Fellow and was the only American oboist invited to the Académie Musicale de Villecroze oboe masterclass in France with Alexei Ogrintchouk of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Originally from the Boston area, Cice’s early studies were under the guidance of Ron Kaye and her mentor, Wayne Rapier.


Alexei Doohovskoy, Trombone
Alexei Doohovskoy

Alexei Doohovskoy is an active New England area freelance trombonist and music educator. He is a member of both the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Orchestra of Indian Hill. He has performed with the Boston Symphony and Pops Orchestras, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Ballet, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Springfield Symphony, and the Portland Symphony.  As a chamber musician, he has toured nationally and internationally with the Empire Brass Quintet. Mr. Doohovskoy has earned fellowships from the New World Symphony in Florida, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut. He has been a featured soloist with the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the U.S. Air Force Band, the Sounds of Stow Festival Orchestra, the Lynn University Symphony, and the Brown University Wind Symphony.

Mr. Doohovskoy currently serves on the faculties of Brown University and Rhode Island College. He has been an adjudicator for both the Junior and Senior District Festivals of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Since 2009, he has directed a unique summer trombone choir program in Concord, Massachusetts combining the talents of players from around New England.

Mr. Doohovskoy holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University.

Please click here to visit his faculty page. 

Eli Epstein, Horn
Eli Epstein

Acclaimed for his "glowing sound," "facility," and "lyrical freedom," Eli Epstein is a sought-after horn player, educator, and conductor. Epstein was second horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (1987–2005) and horn professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1989–2005). Epstein has appeared several times as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Epstein left the Cleveland Orchestra in 2005, and moved to Boston to devote more time and energy toward educational and creative endeavors. He serves on the faculties of New England Conservatory; NEC at Walnut Hill; NEC Preparatory School, where he is Brass Chair and the Director of the NEC Youth Brass Ensemble; and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.  Epstein has presented workshops, master classes, and recitals at conferences, conservatories and universities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Epstein’s students hold positions as chamber musicians and music teachers, and have won posts in more than 25 major orchestras in North America.

An active performer, Epstein has appeared on chamber programs at Jordan Hall, Severance Hall, Tanglewood, Philadelphia's Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, Music Academy of the West, where he was on faculty (2005-2013), and the Aspen Music Festival, where he served as principal horn of the Aspen Chamber Symphony (2000-2012). Epstein has collaborated with the Borromeo and Brentano String Quartets, and has served as guest principal horn of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Saint Louis Symphony. Epstein performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from time to time and has played on the BSO Community Chamber Concerts series.

Please click here to read more of Eli's bio. 

Bianca Garcia, Flute
Bianca Garcia

As a flute soloist and orchestral performer, Bianca Garcia has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Central and South America. Graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Bianca was the last student hand selected by the legendary Julius Baker, and her graduation recital was featured live on New York Times Classical Radio. She has taught masterclasses at the First Annual International Flute Festival of Costa Rica, the First Annual Ecole de Music Woodwind Festival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and in her native state of New Hampshire (USA). As a Fulbright Scholar to Rome, Italy in 2009, she performed as concert soloist at the American Embassy, the ancient Roman site of Teatro Marcello, and later at the International Fulbright Seminar in Berlin, Germany. Her experience also includes performances with Placido Domingo in Munich, Germany and her debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra at Symphony Hall. Bianca currently enjoys travel as guest principal flute of the Roma Tre Orchestra in Rome, Italy and as principal guest piccolo with the Jacksonville Symphony, Florida.

Greg Newton, Bassoon
Greg Newton

Gregory Newton is one of New England’s most active musicians, having performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. His performance schedule regularly includes the Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Musica Viva, New Hampshire Symphony, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, Granite State Symphony, Symphony New Hampshire, the Boston Classical Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and formerly as a Artist-Faculty member of the Brevard Music Center. He has also performed with the Bolshoi Ballet Orchestra and the Prague Radio Symphony.  Mr. Newton performs regularly in the Boston theater orchestras for many of the Broadway touring companies including the pre Broadway break-in of Tony Award winning The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

In addition to his orchestral performances, Mr. Newton maintains an active chamber music schedule as founding member of the Northwinds Quintet (affiliate with Young Audiences of America).

Mr. Newton has been a featured soloist with the Boston Classical Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra, the Granite State Symphony and can be heard on the A&M, Gasparo, North Eastern, Pickwick Masterworks, BMOP and New World labels.

Mr. Newton received his BFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Sherman Walt, former principal bassoonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Please click here to visit his faculty page. 

Aristides Rivas, Cello
Aristides Rivas

Aristides Rivas leads a versatile and international career as a multi-genre cellist, teacher, public speaker, and lecturer. Rivas was nominated for the Grammys for best contemporary jazz album in 2010 as part of the Julian Lage Group recording of Sounding Point [Emarcy Records]. He is a founding member of the fusion world music group Voci Angelica Trio with which he tours internationally and has recorded two albums. Rivas is also an active solo and chamber musician whose versatility in different music genres has brought him to some of the most prestigious international venues, including the Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Caramoor Music Festival, Tanglewood, Newport Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and North Sea Jazz Festivals, among others. He has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, the Narragansett Bay Symphony, University of Caxias do Sul Symphony in Brazil, and the Panama Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Baylor Symphony, among others. In 2017-18, he performed the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven with pianist Spencer Myer. Rivas has also served as the principal cello chair at the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Waco Symphony and the Orchestra of the Americas.


Since his early training in the Venezuelan El Sistema music program , Rivas has been an avid teacher, ranging from private lessons, chamber music, group lessons, strings technique master classes, and orchestral repertoire. Rivas has taught worldwide in a range of conservatories, universities, festivals, and youth orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory of Music, Skidmore College, and Stanford University in the US, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in Mexico, El Sistema Hanwha Youth Orchestra and Sejong Dream Tree Youth Orchestra in South Korea, the International Music Festival Presjovem in Spain, Vivace Vilnius International Music Festival in Lithuania and I Cordas POA festival in Brazil. Rivas has also served as a faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College, University of Massachusetts Lowell and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.


As a public speaker, Rivas gave a TEDxTalk at the TEDxBeaconStreet, where he spoke about his own trajectory out of an impoverished slum in Venezuela. He is also a frequent guest presenter and lecturer at music education conferences, including the International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC) at Carnegie Hall, the Orchestra of Dreams (El Sistema) Forum in South Korea, and the El Sistema USA Symposium, where he co-presented with renown author and teaching artists specialist Tricia Trunstall.


Rivas received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. Among his principal teachers are Roberto Zambrano, Gary Hardie, Natasha Brofsky and Bernard Greenhouse. For more information, visit

Cynthia Woods, Violin
Cynthia Woods

Hailed as a conductor with gusto and exuberance (Jim McDonald, the Boston Musical Intelligencer) whose performances have dynamic and immersing outcomes (John Galigour, the Sun Valley News), and recognized for her intelligent and out of the ordinary programming (Vance Koven, Boston Musical Intelligencer), Ms. Woods has become a recognized and respected conductor in the Boston community and beyond.  The Music Director for the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Woods is also a frequent guest conductor, having performed across the U.S., Europe and South America.  Recent engagements include working with the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Opera Southwest on their world premiere of National Endowment for the Arts Commission, Bless Me Ultima, by Hector Armienta.

Please click here to read more of Eli's bio.