The Gichigami Trio is violinist Laurie Bastian, cellist Josh Aerie, and pianist Sam Black. Formed in 2006, the Gichigami have quickly established themselves throughout the northern Midwest, with concert appearances at the Bayfield (Mostly) Schubert Festival, American Guild of Organists, University of Minnesota Duluth and College of St. Scholastica recital series, Matinee Musicale, and Northshore Chamber Society. The Trio enjoys exploring new music and delights audiences with adventuresome programming combining contemporary works with staples of the piano trio repertoire. All three members are established teachers and solo recitalists.

Laurie Bastian – Violin & Viola: Laurie Bastian is a Duluth, Minnesota native who started playing the violin at the age of seven. She has been a violinist in the Duluth/Superior Symphony Orchestra since 1979, and has been Principal Second Violinist since 1987. Also, she has been Principal Second Violinist of the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra since it was founded in 1986.

Laurie is a member of the Highland String Quartet, and plays baroque violin in the College of St. Scholastica Early Music Orchestra. Along with Sam Black, pianist, and Josh Aerie, cellist, she is a founding member of the Gichigami Piano Trio. The Trio was formed in 2006 and has since played recitals throughout the Arrowhead region and in northern Wisconsin. Laurie received her Bachelor of Arts in Violin Performance from the College of St. Scholastica. She has taught violin and viola for the UMD Lake Superior Suzuki Talent Education Program since 1986, and has performed for several years as a fiddler in a country rock band.

Josh Aerie – Cello & Conductor: Josh is a cellist, symphonic conductor, music educator and arts advocate. Josh’s career highlights span a wide array of credits and accomplishments, including major-label recordings heard throughout the country, nationally syndicated television appearances, premier performances as both conductor and cellist, numerous awards and appointments to leadership positions in the arts.

            As a cellist, Josh has performed throughout the country as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. He is a founding member of the Sylvan Trio and the Gichigami Piano Trio. He has numerous recording credits, including on the United Artists, Innova, and Vitamin Records labels, and on film soundtracks. He has appeared on nationally syndicated television programs and national tours at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tanglewood, Strathmore Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian museums. He is currently working with Cincinnati composer Rick Sowash to record an album of new music featuring the cello.

            Josh is Music Director with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, Indiana. The CSO is the state’s oldest symphony, and Josh is honored to be the fifth Music Director in its nearly 100-year legacy. In addition, Josh frequently guest-conducts throughout the Midwest. Recent appearances as guest conductor include with the Elkhart Symphony, the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Notre Dame Symphony, Notre Dame Collegium Musicum and Grammy Award winners Third Coast Percussion.

            Recently, Josh served as mentor for the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, taught Advanced Conducting at Saint Mary’s College, was Music Director of the Hyde Park Youth Symphony in Chicago and Artistic Director of the Elkhart County Youth Honors Orchestra program at Goshen College.

            In addition to performing and conducting, Josh is currently Executive Director of The Music Village, community musical arts center and school. TMV celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse local and global communities in the heart of downtown South Bend, Indiana.

            In 2013, Josh relocated to South Bend from Duluth, Minnesota where he served on the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the College of St. Scholastica, and Mesabi Range College. Previously, he was Artistic Director and Conductor of the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, the Red Cedar Symphony Orchestra, and the Duluth Community Orchestra. In 2010 he co-founded the North Shore Philharmonic, a summer festival orchestra, and in 2007 he founded the Woodland Chamber Music Workshop, an annual immersive opportunity for adult musicians of all abilities.

            An outspoken proponent for music and arts in education and the community, Josh served as Chair of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Board of Directors and was Advisor to the Minnesota State Arts Board. In 2010 he was awarded a McKnight/ARAC Artist Fellowship Grant, and in 2009 he was selected as a Twenty Under 40 Award recipient in the Duluth News Tribune’s annual recognition of 20 community leaders under the age of forty. Similarly, in 2016 Josh was selected as a Forty Under 40 Award recipient in St. Joseph County, Indiana.

            Josh received his Master of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Colorado where he was the cellist in the Graduate String Quartet, a fellowship program with the Grammy Award-winning Takacs Quartet. Josh completed his undergraduate work at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College where he received both a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Anthropology.

            For more information please visit Josh’s website,

Sam Black – Piano & Voice: Samuel Black has lived most of his life in Oklahoma City. He began playing the piano when he was seven, and has never quit. He studied in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kentucky, before moving to northeastern Minnesota in 1995.

As pianist, organist, conductor, and singer, he has made most of his career performing wherever he happens to be at the moment.  He has also taught writing and literature at a variety of high schools and colleges in his path. He currently writes about musical performances for the Duluth News Tribune, teaches writing at The College of St. Scholastica, directs music and/or handbells for the Duluth Congregational Church and the Knife River Lutheran Church, and performs as often as possible in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.

Betty Braunstein – Flute: Flutist Betty Braunstein is a member of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and a chamber music recitalist. Previously an instructor at The University of Minnesota, Duluth and Northland College, Ashland, Betty now teaches students of all ages and ability in the Twin Ports community of Duluth and Superior as well as at her home in Ashland, Wisconsin. Her musical roots are classical with branches to latin (including Argentine Tango) and celtic styles.

            Betty has a fun, eclectic teaching style and a knack for quickly assessing and teaching the skills necessary to help musicians reach their next level of musical development. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance and Music Therapy from the University of the Pacific after studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her Masters degree in Music Performance was earned at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she studied with Julia Bogorad-Kogan. She currently enjoys coaching sessions from Immanuel Davis at the University of Minnesota.

                        Please visit Betty’s website for more information:

            Kevin Miescke – French Horn: Dr. Kevin Miescke is delighted to be returning for his third year as an

             instructor at the Woodland Chamber Music Workshop, where he coaches ensembles, performs on the faculty

             recitals, and presents lectures and workshops on many topics relating to performance. In his off time from

             WCMW, Kevin serves as Instructor of Horn and Lecturer at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. He

             joined the faculty there in the Fall of 2016, where he works privately with all the horn students, coaches brass

             chamber ensembles, and teaches educational instrumental methods courses. Kevin also serves as the assistant

             Director of EIU’s summer music program, the Eastern Music Camp.

                        Kevin’s performing career has spanned a wide variety of genres and has taken him to many

             different states and countries performing in jazz big bands, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras,

             and early music ensembles. He has performed with orchestras such as the San Antonio Symphony,

             Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony

             Orchestra, and the Milikin-Decature Symphony Orchestra.

                        Kevin is also an active participant in the early music world, and is a founding member of the

             Austin Baroque Orchestra. He continues to perform on natural horns with this historical ensemble

             several times each year. 

                        In addition to his regular performance with the EIU Faculty Brass Quintet, Kevin is also a

             member of the Skylark Horn Quartet. This group, functioning as a non-profit ensemble under the

             California Arts Council, work to perform and promote new music by American composers, as well as

             standards from our rich history of American popular song. This quartet was also a featured group at

             the Haus Marteau Brass Festival in Hoff, Germany in the summer of 2016.

                        During his time as a student, Kevin earned the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Music Education

             from the University of Nevada (2009), a Master of Music in Horn Performance from the University of

             Texas (2012), and a Doctor of Music in Horn Performance and Literature from Indiana University


                        Kevin is originally from Lake Tahoe, CA in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He feels extremely

             lucky to have grown up in such an amazing place that instilled in him a love for the outdoors that

             continues today with hiking, biking, running, fishing, skiing, camping, and a general love of being


                        Please visit for more information.

             Rose Sciaroni – Violin: Rose is a passionate violinist and pedagogue who has enjoyed a career as both

             teacher and player in California, Nevada, Texas, and Indiana. As a violinist, Rose has played in the sections of

             numerous orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, Monterey Symphony Orchestra, and Reno

             Philharmonic Orchestra.

                        Before moving to Bloomington, Indiana in 2012, Rose lived in Austin, Texas where she played as a

             freelance orchestral musician, taught violin at the Armstrong Community Music School, and taught private

             lessons in three local schools. Rose has also enjoyed coaching chamber music.

                        In addition to her work with the Woodland Chamber Music Workshop, she has worked with the

             Austin Chamber Music Center as a chamber music coach for both their Summer Festival Workshop and their 

             year-round Chamber Music Program. Along with her musical training from the University of Oregon,

             University of Nevada, Reno, and Indiana University, Rose has extensive training as a violin pedagogue. This

             includes Suzuki teacher training with Ellie Albers and Edward Kreitman and violin pedagogy with Mimi

             Zweig and Brenda Brenner.

                        Currently Rose is a Doctoral candidate at Indiana University. Her full-time teaching appointments

             include working with elementary-aged students through the Fairview Violin Project and with pre-college

             students through the Indiana University String Academy. When she’s not playing and teaching, Rose enjoys

             reading, philosophizing, cooking, and a number of outdoor sports.

Betty Braunstein


The Gichigami Trio

Sam Black (piano), Laurie Bastian (violin/viola), Josh Aerie (cello)

WCMW Artist-Faculty in Residence:

The Gichigami Trio, Betty Braunstein, Kevin Miescke, & Rose Sciaroni

Kevin Miescke

French horn

Rose Sciaroni


2020 Artist-Faculty:

The Gichigami Trio, Betty Braunstein, Kevin Miescke, & Rose Sciaroni