WHO WE ARE
Now in its tenth season, District5 has established itself as one of the most innovative chamber music ensembles in the greater Washington DC area. Each show combines their distinct blend of passion, humor, and virtuosity with music you won’t hear anywhere else.
They recently commissioned the “Pandemic Suite,” a collection of short wind quintets by South African and American composers, recorded a new work by award-winning DC composer Jessica Krash, and were the recipients of a Chamber Music America ‘Classical Commission’ with Cypriot composer Evis Sammoutis. Together with the group’s ‘Transcriber-in-Residence’ David Plylar, they have brought new life to nearly 100 original transcriptions, many of which feature little-known works and composers. They recorded their debut album of the complete Chopin preludes (available on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify) and will release their latest album, “Forgotten Dances, Vol. 1” in 2024.
District5 has appeared at venues like “The REACH” at the Kennedy Center, Music at Dumbarton Oaks, the Barns at Wolftrap, the U.S. Department of State, the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, the American Revolution Institute, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Capitol Fringe, the Chesapeake Music Festival, and the District New Music Coalition Conference.
District5 also enjoys sharing its love for chamber music with young musicians. They have designed educational programs for the Virginia Arts Fest, DC Youth Orchestra Program, American Youth Philharmonic, and the UMBC Wind Ensemble, and served as Ensemble-In-Residence at the University of Maryland’s High School Music Academy.
LAURA KAUFMAN MOWRY
Laura Kaufman Mowry is a soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician who has been hailed by the Washington Post for “absolutely gorgeous flute-playing.” She will serve as Acting Principal Flute of the Maryland Symphony in their 23-24 season. Laura has performed with a variety of renowned ensembles, including the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, and Smithsonian Chamber Players among many others as a guest musician.
Laura is dedicated to fostering the talents of young musicians. She maintains a private flute studio, and has coached wind players at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, American Youth Philharmonic, and the University of Maryland High School Academy. Laura has received national recognition from prize-winning performances at the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, National Society of Arts and Letters Wind Competition, New York Flute Club Competition, Flute Society of Washington Young Artist Competition, Pasadena Instrumental Competition, etc...
Laura holds degrees from Eastman School of Music, The Colburn School, and the University of Maryland.
Alison Lowell is a passionate arts advocate. She is a founding member of District5 and is the Director of the Loboe Project, a platform to commission and promote works for the extended-range oboe. Previously, Alison served as Principal Oboist of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic in South Africa where she promoted works by local composers, organized national chamber tours, and designed outreach initiatives. Alison was also the Managing Director of Out of Context, a Los Angeles-based new music ensemble for six years. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, and the University of Maryland, where she received her doctorate.
When not performing, Alison serves artists as a Supervisory Copyright Specialist with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. In this role she leads a team of expert performing arts examiners who analyze sound recordings, screenplays, and musical compositions. Alison resides in Maryland with her husband, composer and fellow Eastman alum David Plylar, and her daughters Adelaide and Penelope.
Originally from Arlington Heights, IL, clarinetist Amanda Eich moved to Washington, D.C. in 2017 to join the United States Navy Band, where she currently serves as acting E-flat clarinet. She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science with honors in water resources engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Music with an Arts Leadership Program Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers include Kenneth Grant, David Harris and John Bruce Yeh.
Amanda was a two-time fellow at the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, WA, and participated in the Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Trollhättan, Sweden, where she took part in a masterclass series with Yehuda Gilad. She has performed locally with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Choralis Foundation, and in several recitals with soprano duo-partner Amy Broadbent.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, skiing, and sharing pictures of her dogs.
Bassoonist Matthew Gregoire is originally from Dover, New Hampshire. He moved to the DC area in the spring of 2020 to join the bassoon section of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, with whom he has performed at prominent venues in the DMV area, including The White House, and most notably, at the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration of President Biden in 2021. Prior to joining the Band, he was a member of The Orchestra Now at Bard College, and was a regular substitute for the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts. He has also participated in numerous summer programs around the country, including the Chautauqua Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Vermont Mozart Festival, and Colorado College Summer Music Festival.
Matthew holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music, where he studied with John Hunt and Frank Morelli, respectively.
Matthew joined District5 in February of 2022.
Josh Thompson is a horn player hailing from Spring, Texas. An avid chamber musician, he is a member of the local wind quintet District5.
He has held fellowships at various summer programs including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Norfolk (CT) Chamber Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He also attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar, performing in Carnegie Hall.
A graduate of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and the Yale School of Music, Thompson studied with Gail Williams, Jonathan Boen, and William Purvis.