Lorry Black, Percussion

Lorry Black is a freelance percussionist and timpanist in the Los Angeles area. Lorry currently holds the Principal Percussion Position with the American Youth Symphony and regularly subs with orchestras including the Santa Monica Symphony, The Jacaranda Music Ensemble, and Torrance Symphony. As a freelancer in Los Angeles, Lorry has had the privilege to collaborate with such local greats as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, David Newman, and James Conlon. Lorry has performed in masterclasses for acclaimed musicians such as Evelyn Glennie, Ji Hye Jung, and Naoko Takada and is an alumnus of the Oberlin Percussion Institute, Banff Festival Orchestra, and Idyllwild Festival Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Lorry holds a bachelors degree in music from UCLA and a masters degree in orchestral percussion from USC.  He will be continuing his studies in the fall as doctoral candidate in the field of sacred music at USC where the bulk of his personal research will be in the field of music of the Holocaust. His principal teachers include Mitchell Peters, James Babor, and Joseph Pereira.  

Katie Norring, Piano

A native of Los Angeles, pianist Kathryn Norring recently completed her DMA in Piano Performance at USC studying with Professor Bernadene Blaha, and will graduate in May.  There she developed a diverse range of specialties with minors in Harpsichord Performance, Theory and Analysis, and Music Technology.  Kathryn performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician, and her recordings have been featured on KUSC 91.5’s program “Thornton Center Stage.”  She especially enjoys working as an orchestral pianist.  Her work with the American Youth Symphony, Young Musicians’ Foundation, Downey Symphony, and USC Symphony has allowed her to play under the baton of notable conductors such as John Williams, James Conlon, David Newman, Gerard Schwartz, and Carl St. Clair.  Kathryn is on the faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, where she teaches piano and theory. 

Phil Popham, Oboe

Los Angeles-based oboist Phil Popham is the English hornist for the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He also served as English horn for nine seasons with the Midland Symphony Orchestra and six seasons as Second Oboe/English horn of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Phil is also Co-Founder/Oboe of Helix Collective and Classical Revolution: Los Angeles. He may be heard on several film and television soundtracks, including The Wars of Other Men, Asterix and Obelix: Take Britannia, and USA Network's The Moment. He has also performed with the Golden State Pops, Orchestra Santa Monica, New Valley, Southeast, Rio Hondo, Grand Rapids, New World, South Bend, Jackson, and Lansing Symphonies. As a composer, Phil is Composer-in-Residence at the Tahoe Chamber Music Society, He has had his pieces premieres and performed throughout the country and at international conventions including the New World Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Tahoe Chamber Music Society, and the White Lake Chamber Music Festival.

Sarah Robinson, Flute

A founding member of Helix Collective, Sarah is author of Clubbing for Classical Musicians, a how-to guide for performing in alternative venues, and co-director of Classical Revolution: L.A. She performs frequently as a chamber, orchestral and recording musician in Los Angeles. She can be heard on the soundtracks to the films Pressure Man, Monroe, Driving Thought, Toxic Temptation, and Bandit. Sarah served as Principal Flute with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra and section flute with the Adrian Symphony. She has performed with the West Michigan, Traverse City, Jackson, and Long Bay Symphonies, the South Carolina Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra August, and the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop Orchestra.

    Los Angeles-based Helix Collective performs a high-energy, out-of-the-box mix of world, classical and rock n' roll. At performances you will find yourself dancing, singing, banging on tables and always having a fantastic time! The ensemble is at home in nightclubs and on the concert stage from a residency at Los Angeles’s venerable Silverlake Lounge to performances for the West Michigan and Pacific Symphonies. Helix "has a little something for everyone: those who like their classics straight up, with a contemporary edge to it, or with populist appeal” (Audiophile Audition Magazine). Called "dizzyingly virtuosic [with] exquisite musicianship and world-class range" by The Free Times and praised for their "beyond-the-ordinary programming," the flexible ensemble includes flute/piccolo/alto flute, oboe/English horn, cello, piano and percussion. The group has released two critically acclaimed albums. All In was released in 2009 followed by World Dance Club in 2013.

   This season Helix Collective is hosted by the Pacific Symphony, the West Michigan Symphony, the Tahoe Chamber Music Festival, the Unexpected Film and Arts Festival and serves as ensemble-in-residence of Classical Revolution: L.A. Recent engagements include the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Live at Laguna Beach, the White Lake Chamber Music Festival, 21-Sounds Contemporary Music Series and Classical Revolution chapters around the country.


The Co-Founders

Helix Collective was founded in 2009 by Sarah Robinson, Phil Popham, and Meghan Schaut, as a traditional classical trio. They re-invented the concert experience with their first program All In, then revolutionized the music itself in World Dance Club and The Cocktail Stories. Although Meghan no longer performs with the ensemble, she is still active on the board, fashion coordinating, and always there in spirit. :)

Recipient of the 2014 American Prize in Conducting, Angel Velez currently serves on the faculties of Santa Monica College and Malibu High School, as well as director and co-founder of the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive workshops with film composer/conductor, David Newman.  In 2014, he was named winner of the national audition for the position of Assistant Conductor, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and Music Director, Cape Cod Youth Orchestra.

Angel has extensive experience as a conductor, working with orchestras such as the Berlin Sinfonietta, Budapest Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, Illinois Valley Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Yakima Symphony Chamber, Los Angeles studio orchestras and many others.  As a conductor/orchestrator/percussionist in the entertainment industry, Angel has worked on projects such as Family Guy, Jane the Virgin, James Bond: Goldeneye for Wii, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels and others.  He has held teaching positions at Taylor University and most recently Marian University where he was the director of bands and head of the percussion program.

Velez serves as an Associates Board Member for Education Through Music-Los Angeles, co-chair of the Education Committee for the Academy of Scoring Arts, and music consultant for the Ventura County Arts Council. He studied extensively with conducting pedagogues Donald Thulean and Kenneth Kiesler, holds degrees from Butler University, Berklee College of Music, and University of Southern California.  He lives in Southern California, enjoys learning about wine and surfs every chance he gets.

Angel Velez, Conductor