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Mestizo Quartet

Based in Florence, Italy, the Mestizo Saxophone Quartet was formed in 2017 while studying with renowned Italian saxophonist, Marco Albonetti and now holds an active and diverse performing schedule throughout Italy. Mestizo is originally a word from Spanish, which translates to a person of mixed cultural ancestry - perfectly describing this quartet’s global diversity from Israel, Costa Rica, and the United States. Consequently, we are most passionate about integrating music from each of our ethnic musical traditions, as well as playing pieces by composers from our home countries. We also enjoy exposing audience members to the virtuosic and diverse sounds of the classical/contemporary saxophone quartet.

Most recently, Mestizo took first prize in Italy’s prestigious competition, il Premio Nazionale delle Arti in Messina, Sicilia and will return to Sicily for a concert tour in May 2020. Mestizo has performed concerts in the 62nd ed. of Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi, 2019 Spinacorona Festival in Napoli, LeAltreNote Valtellina Festival in Northern Italy, SetteNoveCento Festival in Rovereto, the International SaxArts Festival in Emilia-Romagna as well as the cities of Rome, Bologna, Cremona, San Marino, Messina, Trento, and Imola. As soloists, Mestizo played the European premiere of David Maslanka's Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble under the baton of Maestro Lorenzo Passerini. Mestizo also holds the special prize for best saxophone quartet and second prize in the chamber music division of the 43rd ed. Concorso di Esecuzione Musicale "Francesco Cilea", first prize in the 11th Concorso Nazionale di esecuzione musicale “Citta di Piove di Sacco”, and was a finalist in the 16th Concorso Internazionale “Luigi Zanuccoli”. As a chamber group, Mestizo has performed in masterclasses and projects with renowned saxophonists Marco Albonetti, Arno Bornkamp,Phillipe Geiss, Russell Peterson, Derek Brown, and pianist Alberto Miodini.

Meet the Members!

Caroline Leigh Halleck, Soprano Saxophone, United States

Hailing from Athens, GA, Caroline is pursuing a Masters degree in saxophone performance at the F.A. Bonporti Conservatorio di Trento in Italy.  She also holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia in the United States. As a soloist, Caroline has received prizes in numerous competitions including first place in the Hugh Hodgson Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition.  As a chamber musician before forming Mestizo, she has advanced to the finals of both the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition and Music Teachers National Association Chamber Competition. Caroline is the recipient of the Kenneth Fischer Memorial Scholarship, UGA Directors Award of Excellence, Faenza SaxArts Scholarship. She has also performed concerts and music festivals across the United States, Italy, France, Croatia, Cyprus and San Marino.  Her primary teachers include Marco Albonetti and Connie Frigo.  

Vered Kreiman, Alto Saxophone, Israel

Vered Kreiman was raised in Akko, Israel.  After completing 12 years in the Akko Conservatory in the class of Tal Varon, (also studying clarinet and piano), Kreiman completed her bachelor's degree in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with Prof. Gersh Geller.  Between the years 2012-2014,  she served in the IDF with the status of an "Outstanding Musician". Afterwards, Kreiman competed her Master’s degree at the F.A. Bonporti Conservatorio di Trento in Italy with Dr. Marco Albonetti. She has attended masterclasses in Israel, Italy and Germany with renowned saxophonists  Arno Bornkamp, Vincent David, Marco Albonetti, Margarita Shaposhnikova, Carrie Koffman, Ties Mellema, Koryun Asatryan, Philippe Geiss etc. In the years 2014-2016, she played in the “Tedarim”  contemporary music project of Meitar Ensemble while also participating in projects with the Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra. As a soloist, Vered has won 2nd prize in the music competitions of Piove di Sacco, Italy in 2018, 3rd prize in the national Kefar-Saba Wind competition in Israel in 2014, 3rd prize in the Jerusalem Academy wind competition in 2015 and 2nd prize in the Jerusalem Academy wind competition in 2016. Vered has been a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation's scholarships since 2011.

Jaime Mora, Tenor Saxophone, Costa Rica

Born in Barva de Heredia, Costa Rica, Jaime Mora holds master’s degrees in Saxophone and Chamber Music from the F.A. Bonporti conservatory of Trento, Italy; and a B.A in Saxophone performance and education from Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica. Mr. Mora is recipient of several prizes and awards, including first prize in the Salieri Competition, first prize in the Città Piove di Sacco Competition, and a Gold Medal at the World Music Competition. Mr. Mora has toured around the world with diverse chamber ensembles, and has attended several master classes in his native country Costa Rica, as well as Mexico, China, and across Europe.

Ayala Rollia, Baritone Saxophone, Israel

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Ayala Rollia holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem, a B.A. from The Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, and a masters from the F.A. Bonporti Conservatorio di Trento in Italy. In addition to being a recipient of the American Israel Foundation scholarship, Rollia has taken 2nd Prize in the first Israeli Saxophone Competition, 2nd Prize Jerusalem Academy wind competition, and scholarship winner in the Faenza SaxArts Festival. Rollia has been named an “Outstanding Musician” in the IDF Education and Youth Corps in Israel, and has participated in masterclasses and festivals across Europe, Israel and the United States.