The Hunt Valley Wind Ensemble's mission is to provide an opportunity for adult amateur musicians to rehearse and perform challenging wind band repertoire while providing live music for the local community and beyond.
(in score order)
Double Reeds (Oboe/Bassoon)
Head Band Conductor
Sarah-Culp Abrams is thrilled to begin her journey as the Head Conductor of the Hunt Valley Wind Ensemble!
Sarah is a New Jersey native, and recently moved from Ocean County, NJ to the Baltimore, MD area to pursue a graduate degree in Wind Conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, studying under Dr. Harlan Parker. Prior to attending The Peabody Institute, Sarah earned a Bachelor of Music in music education from the William Paterson University of New Jersey (2013) and a Master of Music in music education from Rutgers University (2019)
Before returning to full time graduate studies in the fall of 2023, Sarah served as the Director of Bands at Manchester Township High School in Manchester, NJ from 2016-2023 where she directed the marching band, concert band, jazz band, and pit orchestra for the school musical.
Bands under her direction have received superior and advanced ratings at music festivals all around the northeast. In May of 2023, her concert band received the “Best Overall Band” placement at the Music in the Parks Festival in Hershey, PA. She is a passionate educator and advocate for music programs in schools.
Sarah was also named Associate Conductor and Assistant Director of the Toms River Municipal Band in June of 2021, a group she previously served as principal trumpet in since 2013. Sarah has also performed at the Atlantic Brass Quintet seminar, in Boston, MA, and with the Central Jersey Wind Ensemble.
Sarah resides in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore with her husband, and in her spare time enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and making music with others.
Sarah would like to thank the Hunt Valley Wind Ensemble board and members for this incredible opportunity to make music and foster wonderful connections through community band!
Originally from Long Island, Abhinn began his undergraduate education at Hofstra University as a Euphonium Performance major studying with Michael Salzman. He was the recipient of the Stephen P. Saltzman Endowed Scholarship, an annual award for undergraduate Euphonium players demonstrating excellence in performance. During his time at Hofstra, he also began studying independently and performing as a soloist under the guidance of Aaron Vanderweele. Abhinn transferred to the Peabody Institute of Music to complete his undergraduate Euphonium studies with Dr. Steven Kellne. He has performed at Peabody as principal Euphonium of the Peabody Wind Ensemble, and Brass Band, and as a member of the Peabody Concert Orchestra, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Trombone Ensemble. It was at the Peabody Institute that he also began formally studying Wind Conducting with Dr. Harlan D. Parker.
After graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Euphonium Performance, Abhinn returned to Peabody and began pursuing two Master’s degrees in Wind Conducting and Euphonium Performance, continuing his studies with Dr. Harlan D. Parker, and Dr. Steven Kellner respectively.
After completing his Graduate degrees in 2018, Abhinn returned to the Peabody Institute as a Doctoral Candidate in Wind Conducting, and was awarded the Wind Conducting Graduate Assistantship. He taught Beginner conducting courses, assisted with intermediate and advanced conducting courses taught by Dr. Harlan Parker, and gave numerous recitals with the Peabody Wind Ensemble along with his duties as the music director for the Johns Hopkins Wind Ensemble. After receiving a GPD from Peabody, Abhinn began serving as the Music director of the Baltimore Symphonic Band at CCBC Essex where he also teaches applied lessons.
Outside of music, Abhinn enjoys cooking, road trips, and is an avid hockey and baseball fan. You can also hear him as one of the voices of WBJC, Classical Radio Maryland!
Interim Band Conductor
Mateo Mendez is an oboist, woodwind doubler, and educator hailing from Forestville, New York and currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. He currently serves as Manager of Education and Community Engagement for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and holds a playing position as third oboe and English Horn in the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra in Bozeman, Montana. Additional posts include principal oboe of the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra in Warren, Pennsylvania and second oboe of the Mount Vernon Virtuosi. He has been featured as a soloist with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lancaster Town Band, the Fredonia Camerata, and the Eastman Treble Chorus. As an educator, Mateo has served as the director of the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble, horn instructor of the Western New York Alumni and Chadwick Bay Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, and interim band director of the instrumental music program at Forestville Central School, teaching grades 4-12. He also maintains a small studio of woodwind and brass students. Mateo holds a bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s degree in oboe performance from the Peabody Institute.
In his spare time, Mateo enjoys playing board and video games, trivia, listening to the latest releases in hip-hop and metal, and playing trumpet and saxophone in the Fredonia-based band Karrot Kake.
Founding Band Conductor
Matthew T. Benner is the Conductor of the Hunt Valley Wind Ensemble. Matthew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Millersville University, and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Towson University. Through his career, Matthew has worked with several bands, including the Towson University Concert Band. He is currently teaching instrumental music at Beaufort High School in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Personally, Matthew currently resides South Carolina with his wife (Elaine), daughter (Clara), son (Felix) and two dogs (Bianca and Nigel). In his (non-existent) spare time, he is an active curler, board game aficionado, and DCI (Drum Corps International) enthusiast.
Founder & President
Jenn Ambrosiano is the founder and president of the Hunt Valley Wind Ensemble. Jenn started the organization in 2016, which was originally known as the Hunt Valley Symphonic Band, for the areas of Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Timonium, and beyond, as a way to give back to the community through music.
Jenn’s primary instrument is flute and she has been part of many local community music organizations around the state of Maryland, including other community bands and various flute choirs. Jenn has a deep love for music that stems back from her childhood starting with the incredible music teachers she had in school growing up on Long Island. In college, Jenn discovered playing in concert bands doesn’t have to end with high school or college when she found a few local community groups to join. Those groups helped her realize that playing an instrument can be a life long pursuit. Her passion for community music has grown deep since college and Jenn often finds herself serving on various non-profit boards to help promote and spread community music locally and beyond.
In addition to her involvement with the band, Jenn also plays with other community music groups, coaches field hockey, is a Girl Scout leader, and serves on her homeowners board of directors. Jenn lives in Cockeysville with her husband and is a stay-at-home mother to her three children.