Alexandra “Sandra” Chappell is currently pursuing a DMA degree in Clarinet at the Catholic University of America (CUA) with minor courses in Piano and Piano Pedagogy. She studies clarinet with Eugene Mondie of the NSO. Former clarinet teachers were Sidney Forrest and James Van Slyke, plus occasional coachings with Steven Barta and Alan Balter. She is Principal Clarinetist of the CUA Symphony Orchestra and Opera Orchestra, and performed at the Kennedy Center for a sold-out gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of the music school.
Sandra received her Master of Music degree from The Peabody Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from Washburn University where she was awarded that year’s “Most Outstanding Musician Award”. While in school, she held Principal Clarinetist positions in the Peabody Opera Orchestra, Peabody Wind Ensemble, Washburn Concert Band, and played in the Topeka Symphony. Later, she was an Adjunct Instructor at Washburn University and taught clarinet, music appreciation, keyboard theory, master classes, and performed as clarinet soloist on faculty recitals and with the concert band.
For her 20-year military band career, she was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal as Principal Clarinetist and first Concertmistress of the U.S. Naval Academy Band, having performed for presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries. She played major solo passages under Maestro Leonard Slatkin for the Naval Academy’s 150th Anniversary Gala, as well as under Frederick Fennell, James Barnes, David Holsinger, Robert Jager, Karel Husa, and Anthony Maiello. Having led the USNA Woodwind Quintet, she performed for concert series, special events, and many school instrument demonstration concerts. She was a clarinet soloist with the USNA Concert Band and also on recital series performing solos, duets, quartets, and in clarinet choir.
Sandra has a private music studio for clarinet and piano students in the Annapolis area and is a freelance clarinetist who was selected to record band music for Alfred and Belwin music publishing companies with top band performers in the Washington D.C. region. Aside from her degree performances, she performs in the Virginia Grand Military Band concert series and the Wind Works of Washington.