Hailing from Richardson, Texas, Samuel Park is a Dallas-based musician, teacher, producer, and arts administrator. Sam began his career with Bridge the Gap in 2015 as the Director of Education and rose to the position of President and CEO in 2017. An esteemed horn player, he regularly performs with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Meadows Wind Ensemble, SYZYGY, and various chamber ensembles.
Sam’s expansive knowledge of repertoire orchestral and otherwise makes him a versatile music producer for Dallas recording artists. As a teacher, Sam maintains a studio of young players in Dallas and Plano, and teaches masterclasses throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.
He is also a fan of marching band and drum corps, having worked as a marching technician with the Highland Park High School band for two years and taught summer band leadership camps in Austin, Fort Worth, Katy, and Fort Bend.
Through Bridge the Gap, Sam synergizes all his musical interests into an avenue that benefits everyone in the community. Sam is currently pursuing his B.M. in Music Education at the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU.
Harrison Schumann was born in Houston, Texas and began his musical career at the age of 8 in Cody, Wyoming. He was inspired to pick up the violin when he was told that his great-great-grandfather had played traditional folk music on the instrument. With this musical heritage in mind, Harrison has continued to practice and perform on the violin in classical, folk, and other styles.
He now attends Southern Methodist University where he is pursuing duel degrees in music and geophysics as a Meadows and Second Century Scholar. Harrison has won awards at folk music competitions across the nation and has recently performed as a part of the Texas Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, Meadows Symphony Orchestra, SYZYGY New Music Ensemble, Meadows World Music Ensemble, and various country music bands.
community outreach coordinator
Braden Wallace is a Computer Science and Music double major from Dallas, Texas. Braden has been playing the trombone since 2009. A student at Southern Methodist University, he currently studies trombone at the Meadows School of the Arts with John Kitzman, and studies Computer Science at the Lyle School of Engineering.
In addition to being a Second Century Scholar, Braden has played with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, the Meadows Wind Ensemble, the Meadows Opera Theatre, and is a member of the Mustang Band.
Braden is beginning his second year on staff with Bridge the Gap, and undertaking a new role as Community Relations Coordinator. He organizes collaborations with other Dallas organizations and books weekly performances at Mockingbird Station every Friday at 6:00 PM.
director of education
Miranda Macias is a musician and teacher in Dallas, Texas. A student at Southern Methodist University, Miranda is a music education major and studies bassoon with Wilfred Roberts, former principal bassoonist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, Miranda is on staff as Director of Education with Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, a student-led 501(c) organization. With Bridge the Gap, Miranda organizes music education classes for children in Dallas ISD and teaching opportunities for SMU students. Miranda is also a member of the Young Music Educators’ Association at SMU, through which she regularly attends teaching clinics with experienced and renowned music educators.
As a young teacher, Miranda has already gained a range of experience. Miranda has taught Drum Major clinics in Frisco, serves as a marching and music technician at Lone Star High School and Highland Park High School, teaches with Bocal Majority summer camps, and teaches bassoon lessons in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD.
Beyond her teaching endeavors, Miranda regularly performs with the SMU Meadows Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and plays trombone for the SMU Mustang Band.
Miranda loves to teach others about music and impact great young minds to become passionate patrons of the arts.
A native Texan, Lauren Vandergriff is a teacher and musician based in Dallas. She is currently under the tutelage of Greg Hustis, former principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, at Southern Methodist University. As Education Consultant of Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, Lauren works with Director of Education, Miranda Macias, to organize music education classes for children in Dallas ISD and teaching opportunities for SMU students. In addition, Lauren attends numerous music education clinics as a member of the Young Music Educators Association at SMU.
As a performer, Lauren has performed in master classes led by renowned horn players such as Richard Deane, Julie Landsman, David Jolley, Jeffrey Lang, and Jeff Kirschen. Other performance opportunities include New York State School of Orchestral Studies, SMU Horn Ensemble, Mustang Band, and Meadows Wind Ensemble. Lauren is pursuing a B.A. in Mathematics as well as a B.M. in Music Education.
Brian Boydston is a trumpet player from Keller, Texas. A student of Tom Booth, Assistant Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, at Southern Methodist University, Brian is pursuing a B.M. in Trumpet Performance and a B.M. in Music Education.
As Development Chair, Brian works to support Bridge the Gap's programs by seeking out and applying for grants, building relationships with donors, and securing sponsors for Bridge the Gap events. In addition to his work with Bridge the Gap, Brian is a private instructor in Keller ISD.
Brian achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2014, and he has performed as Principal Trumpet under Larry Livingston's baton in both the 2016 TMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra and 2016 Bands of America Honor Orchestra. Brian regularly performs with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Meadows Wind Ensemble, SYZYGY, SMU Brass Ensemble, and the Mustang Band. He can be reached at email@example.com.
corporate giving director
Francis Ramas-Smith is a Viola Performance Major from Houston, Texas. He currently studies at The Meadows School of the Arts with Barbara Sudweeks, and has also studied with Larry Wheeler, Mike Willer, and Wayne Brooks.
In 2017, Francis attended the Miami Music Festival to study with Robert Diaz head viola professor from Curtis. Past performing experiences include the Max Aronoff Viola Institute, Virtuosi Of Houston, Idyllwild Festival of the Arts, Tanglewood, and Interlochen. Francis also performed with the Honor Orchestra of America for two years under the direction of Franz Krager and Larry Livingston.
At SMU, he performs with SYZYGY, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, World Music Ensemble, Emerging Sounds, and two chamber quartets.
Jeff Tullis is a double bassist, guitarist, and arranger in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He studies at SMU Meadows School of the Arts with Brian Perry, Jamal Mohamed, Kevin Hanlon, Derrick Horne, and many others.
As a bassist, he plays across Texas (DFW, Austin, Houston) with the Flying Balalaika Brothers, Four Strings Attached string quartet, and leads his own rock, world, and classical ensembles. Jeff has also appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland with the Paschal Jazz Ensemble, toured Italy with the award-winning Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, and has been playing musicals, festivals, parties, studio sessions, and concerts in DFW since he was fourteen.
Jeff’s arrangements and songs have been commissioned and performed by Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, Meadows World Music Ensemble, SMU piano faculty, Dallas Symphony and Dallas Opera string musicians, Irving Lyric Theater singers, Four Strings Attached string quartet, Daggett Montessori School Orchestra, University Christian Church Music Ministry, Paschal String Quartet, and Thielke Jazz Combo.