About Duo fantaisie en Echo
Duo fantaisie en Echo is a viola da gamba duo featuring Rachel Cama and Phillip W. Serna, deriving its name from Pièces a deux violes du premier livre (1686) by French gambist Marin Marais.
Raised in beautiful rural Pennsylvania, Rachel began studying ‘cello, voice and choral singing at a young age. Upon graduating from high school, she continued her education in ‘cello and music history, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pennsylvania State University. She also studied studio art, writing and Italian language.
Currently, Rachel performs on viola da gamba and Baroque ‘cello throughout the country and abroad. She can also be heard as a professional choral singer in liturgical settings. Active on viola da gamba and Baroque ‘cello as a soloist and continuo player, she has collaborated with a variety of chamber ensembles including The Buxtehude Consort, Long & Away, Music for a While and The Sprightly Companions. She is the artistic director of Cascata, an early music ensemble specializing in the performance of seventeenth-century dramatic vocal music and virtuosic instrumental repertoire. Increasingly in demand as a teacher, Rachel has instructed viola da gamba at workshops in New England, Toronto, at the Amherst Early Music Festival, at Brandeis University and at Case Western Reserve University. She is active in promoting the viola da gamba through outreach programs that have been presented to young children, public high school string students and college students.
Rachel was the winner of a Young Artist Grant-in-Aid from the Viola da Gamba Society of America and has been awarded several scholarships for both her performing talents and academic writing in the field of early music. She completed both a Masters degree in Musicology at Brandeis University and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Early Music at the Longy School of Music. Her principal teachers of viola da gamba have been Sarah Mead, Jane Hershey and Catharina Meints. She is indebted to her current teacher and mentor, viola da gambist Sarah Cunningham. For more information on Rachel Cama, visit http://www.rachelcama.com/.
Phillip performs on double bass with numerous Midwest orchestras as well as on violas da gamba and other period instrument Early Music ensembles including Ars Antigua, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, the Callipygian Players, the Chicago Early Music Consort, Duo fantaisie en Echo, Harmonie, Madison Bach Musicians, the Newberry Consort, the Oriana Singers, the Second City Musick, the Secret of the Muses, the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols, and many others. In performance, Phillip has appeared on Chicago’s 98.7FM WFMT, Wisconsin Public Radio and Milwaukee Public Radio. On viol, he continues to appear as a recitalist performing old works and premiering new works for viol, as a concert soloist performing concerti, as well as a soloist performing works including Bach’s Sonatas, St. Matthew Passion, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 and Cantatas 76, 106 & 198. Phillip is the founder and music director of the Early Music outreach program Viols in Our Schools, Early Music America’s Outreach Award recipient of 2010. In addition to teaching privately around the Chicago area, Phillip is instructor of double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Masters and Doctorate degrees from Northwestern University School of Music where he studied viola da gamba with Newberry Consort founder Mary Springfels. Phillip continues to study the viol at workshops and master classes with instructors including Erin Headley, Wieland Kuijken, Catherina Meints, Gail Ann Schroeder, Christel Thielmann and Brent Wissick. For more information on Phillip W. Serna, visit http://www.phillipwserna.com/.