New River Ensemble

New River Ensemble

Song as space. Song as texture. Song as spirit. Song as Earth.           

                               Does the Earth sing?  Do you?    – Susan Weed
New River Ensemble taps into the musical current of our time, presenting an integration of styles and periods of music. Performing our own music and that of others, we create an educational context to encourage the practice of music as an integral part of being human: music is for everyone! NRE offers vital, varied music-making for our time. 

NRE’s “We Are Music: How To Navigate In A Musical Universe” workshop presents engaging music to listen to and ponder. Our seminars offer listening and playing tools that will empower your choices to engage with music in general, but also with music that is new to you as a listener, as a maker of music, as a teller of stories, and as a creative person. “We Are Music” accesses the artist in everyone, and is flexibly designed for learning communities of all kinds, for children through adult, for musicians and non-musicians. For more information please contact us at

Brendan Cooney, jazz and classical pianist, lives in Philadelphia. He spends his spare time on the bluegrass banjo in several bands and playing trombone in the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a Balkan dance band. Brendan composes for many of his ensembles, including his student ensembles, and he works as an arranger for several pop groups. He currently teaches jazz at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia and works as the choir conductor and jazz band co-director at Friends Music Camp in the summers.

Martha Hyde, clarinetist/composer/vocalist is a multiple woodwind player who has lived in New York City for almost 30 years. In that time her professional career has placed her in venues as varied as St. John the Divine Cathedral, CBGB’s, Avery Fisher Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage.    She appears regularly in Broadway pits and at Radio City Music Hall and has performed with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Antonio Banderas, Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Williams. She is on several Broadway cast albums as well as three recordings with the Gotham Wind Symphony. She teaches at several schools in her area. Her compositions span the styles of American jazz and classical and Appalachian music.

Lisa Liske-Doorandish, cellist and improvisor, lives in the mountains of southwest Virginia. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician, and with New River Ensemble to bring vital performances of music for small and unusual ensembles before the public, including a public that may not usually listen to instruments from the classical tradition. Her books on cello technique and repertoire for beginner cellists are works in progress. Lisa teaches cellists ages 3-adult through her private cello studio, Community Cello Works, with a thoughtful pedagogy based in her years of Suzuki teacher training but including a flexible repertoire and awareness of the revolutionary, diverse approaches to cello playing that are now at liberty world-wide.