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Aloha: Hello to baby Hugo, welcome to our new musicians Carrie Schafer, Robert Johnson, and Audrey Pride, and welcome back to Chuck Frayer, GRS Interim President/CEO

Aloha. The word is a multi-purpose greeting, which we extend to these new faces in the GRSMA circle.

Cute Kid Alert! Jo and Will Preece welcomed a new addition to their family in 2022. Hello Hugo! Even though he’s only a few months old, Hugo has quite the following on social media, thanks to his “Best of the Week” photos. Read a bit more about Hugo Preece’s parents, violinist Jo and cellist Will, in this issue’s GRSMA Musician Profile.

Aloha Hugo.jpg

We extend a warm welcome to trumpeter Carrie Schafer, bass player Robert Johnson, and violinist Audrey Pride to the GRSMA family. Carrie Schafer says that she is thrilled to be playing in Grand Rapids! She is from Chicago, studied at Northwestern University and Colburn School of Music, and is currently in the Masters program at Michigan State. Carrie has held temporary positions with the St. Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony, and she has been a substitute trumpet player with the Detroit Symphony since 2021.     

Robert Johnson truly is a Michigan guy! He is from Traverse City, studied at Central Michigan and Michigan State, and has performed with the Kalamazoo, Lansing, and West Michigan orchestras. Robert has been working for Grand Rapids Violins since 2021, training under GRSMA bass player Kevin Flannery and his business partner Matt Noykos. 

Violinist Audrey Pride is excited to have relocated this month to the thriving arts community of Grand Rapids. She is originally from Cincinnati, attended Indiana University and Northwestern University, and was a violinist with the Chicago Civic Orchestra. Audrey has held positions with the Dayton Philharmonic and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Finally we say welcome back to Chuck Frayer, as the former GRS Board Chair has been named Interim President/CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony. With the departure of Mary Tuuk Kuras as GRS President/CEO (Aloha: Farewell), Chuck has graciously agreed to serve in this capacity until a successor has been named. GRSMA was glad to get to know Chuck Frayer with our January 2020 interview (

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