Meet our Members

Featured Member: Kyle Thomas Payton

How did you come to join QUO?
I joined QUO in 2010 after a couple of years of searching online for a LGBT orchestra in the NYC area. Growing up in NC there were no such groups, and I always dreamed of being a part of something so special. I sent them an email request to join, thus beginning my journey with them. I started as a second violinist until Phong recruited me over to the dark side of the first violins, lol! I performed in as many concerts, collaborations, etc as I possibly could. Eventually I became the group’s librarian which was an awesome learning experience. Shortly before my hiatus from QUO in 2014, they even awarded me the Artist Director’s Service Award which I still display proudly in my home! A note to anyone thinking of joining…DO IT!
How long have you been playing your instrument(s)?
I’ve had an interest in the arts from a very early age as a way to express myself. I gravitated to drawing and painting first, then theatre shortly after. When I moved to North Carolina in 1996 and enrolled in school I was placed into orchestra as my elective, as there were no other options. I began with cello for about three years before switching to violin shortly after, and I have been playing off and on ever since. I immediately fell in love with this new form of expression and I’m thankful every day for my “accidental” introduction to it.
What musical symbol/term best describes you and why?
Hmm, never thought about this before to be honest. I think Con Brio (with spirit) best describes my personality. Fun, care- free, smiles, and usually tons of laughter. Plus I can be super silly, friends in and out of QUO would probably agree.
What is your favorite place to take friends visiting NYC?
Honestly I love taking my friends on a walking tour of the various neighborhoods in NYC, because that is how I discovered and fell in love with it when I moved back here! I’ve been known to stroll from one end to the other, finding new places and landmarks along the way.
From Aaron Patterson:
If you could meet any composer in history who would it be and what would you ask them?
This is an easy one, hands down I would love to meet Johann Sebastian Bach and I would love to ask him to confirm if in fact the Chaconne was written as a tribute to his late wife.





Featured Member: Aaron Patterson


How did you come to join QUO?

I first heard about QUO when I met Eric Hayslett (French horn) through a mutual friend from college. He had just moved to NYC and recently joined. I first played with QUO on a Fall 2011 concert as a tenor saxophonist for a Broadway medley programmed.

How long have you been playing your instrument(s)?

I began playing saxophone in 5th grade (1991) while attending elementary school in Pennsylvania. The summer before 6th grade, I started piano lessons on my 12th birthday! I found my passion for doubling in high school when I had an opportunity to play for a production of “West Side Story.” My private teacher taught me clarinet basics as well as saxophone. Later in college as an undergraduate music education major, I took some flute and oboe lessons, too.

What musical symbol best describes you and why?

What a fun question. Hmmm…

I honestly don’t know. Maybe a sforzando (sfz) or Flatterzunge (flz; flutter-tonguing). I suppose they both make a note or phrase stand out with clear contrast – I like to think I am similarly individual and outgoing.

What is your favorite place to take friends visiting NYC?

In Manhattan, I would say my favorite places to take friends visiting the city are a walk through the Village, the market at Grand Central, and Pisticci, a fantastic Italian restaurant near Manhattan School of Music. Living and working in Brooklyn now, I would also add the DUMBO waterfront and the absolute best Lebanese restaurant in the city – Bay Ridge’s Tanoreen.

From the previous member Brian Harrington:

Who is your favorite composer and what is your favorite piece to play/listen to?

My favorite composer is Shostakovich. My favorite piece to play is Fernande Decruck’s Sonata for Saxophone and Orchestra; my favorite pieces to listen to are Beethoven’s 3rd and Grieg’s Piano Concerto.

Featured Member: Brian Harrington

Brian Harrington – First Violin
How did you come to join QUO?
Once upon a time, back in 2008, I was out of work and working Temp jobs. While working an
assignment, I met Ben Solis (who also plays in QUO). We became friends working together and shortly
after I learned Ben was also a musician. I saw Ben was playing in QUO, and I asked him if they needed
any string players. Ben said, absolutely! I came by for a few rehearsals in 2010 but wasn’t able to play
because my schedule wasn’t stable. I finally played my first QUO concert in 2011 and have been around
ever since.
How long have you been playing your instrument(s)?
My musical journey began when I was 12 years old. I started off in a small music school in Brooklyn
playing piano. I auditioned for LaGuardia High School (the Fame High School) and got in for piano. While
at LaGuardia, I was introduced to the violin and have been playing ever since. In total I’ve been playing
instruments for about 24 years. Fun fact, I also picked up viola, flute, clarinet, and bassoon in High
School, College and after College. Violin and viola are the two I play the most, while the others have
been more recreational. Although, I did play clarinet and bassoon in a concert band for about 3 years.
What musical symbol best describes you and why?
I feel like I’m taking one of those online quizzes, but I’d go with the Dal Segno symbol or D.S. for short. It
kind of looks like a sign for Geminis, which is my sign. Dal Segno indicates that you should go back and
repeat the section played from the beginning. If you’ve ever hung out with me, and survived, you’ve
most likely had a great time wanting more (get your minds out of the gutter). If you’ve hung out with me
once, the 2 nd time will be just as good, if not better. In relation to being a Gemini two is always better
than one! Why not listen to something great twice?!
What is your favorite place to take friends visiting NYC?
I have to admit, most of my friends that visit NYC have either lived here or visited before and know the
lay of the land. I don’t have a favorite place to take them, however, we always find a good place to go to
Brunch with a great unlimited food and drinks package. My recent adventure was to Maya on the Upper
East Side. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest going. It was about $49.00 for two hours unlimited food
and drinks. You will definitely leave stuffed and ready for bed.
(From QUO Member Brian Shaw): What has been your favorite musical experience to date?
While I was in college, I auditioned for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. I didn’t think I
would get in, but figured I’ve got nothing to lose. Imagine my surprise when I received mail letting me
know I made the cut. To make things even more fantastic, the orchestra would be playing Tchaikovsky
Symphony Nos. 5 at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Lukas Foss! I had heard of Lukas Foss before and
saw some of his performances and was extremely nervous for the first rehearsal. To my surprise, there
were a couple other musicians that I went to High School with playing as well which made me feel at
ease. Lukas Foss was very gentle, with a warm and welcoming personality. He never once raised his
voice at us, but was able to get us to make music, not play notes. The orchestral musician’s level of
professionalism and dedication encouraged me to step up my game and bring the best Brian I could. I
was pleased with myself and the level of music and musicianship I was able to contribute.

Previously Featured Members

  • Álvaro Rodas

  • Adrienne Lloyd

  • Alan Hyde

  • Alix Raspé

  • Alva Bostick

  • Andre Gillard

  • Andrew Berman

  • Andy Holland

  • Bjorn Berkhout

  • Brian Shaw

  • Brooks Berg

  • Bryan Tallevi

  • Bryanne Pashley

  • Charlie Scatamacchia

  • Christian Smythe

  • Christina Rose Rahn

  • Clint Arndt

  • Craig Devereaux

  • Darcy Leon

  • David Lohman

  • Drew Acquaviva

  • Eric Hayslett

  • Erin Kulick

  • Fran Novak

  • Frederick Hodges

  • George Gehring

  • Holly Seefeldt

  • Ian Shafer

  • Jasmine Rault

  • Jason Svatek

  • Jay Varga

  • Jenn Forese

  • Jim Babcock

  • Jim Theobald

  • Joe Caldarise

  • Julie Desbordes

  • Laura Flanagan

  • Liann Wadewitz

  • Ligia Mie Sakurai

  • Lisa LoFaso

  • Matthew Hadley

  • Michael Shattner

  • Navida Stein

  • Nick Johnson

  • Phong Ta

  • Rodney Azagra

  • Ron Nahass

  • Sam Nedel

  • Scott Oaks

  • Seth Bedford

  • Stephanie Stattel

  • Steven Petrucelli

  • Thomas Lai

  • Travis Fraser

  • Vasanth Subramaniam