The Upside is one of L.A.'s Premier classical/jazz crossover ensembles and were winners of the 2014 Beverly Hills Competition. Three graduates of the country's top conservatories have come together to collaborate on music from Bach to Brubeck. Appearances include a feature at the Zipper Concert Hall with guest soloist Jim Walker, the CBS sound stage, the JAM! 2013 Festival and the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Beverly Hills. The Upside combine a classical sensitivity with contemporary harmonies and improvisation. Their unique timbres set them apart from a standard jazz trio.
Canadian-born flutist Diana Morgan was acting piccolo and 3rd flute with the San Diego Symphony for the 2014-2015 season. Ms. Morgan has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, among others. She recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group conducted by John Adams as part of the Green Umbrella Series. Ms. Morgan was second flute with the Star Wars in Concert national tour in 2009 and 2010 international tour. She has participated in numerous national and international festivals, including Arizona MusicFest, the Artosphere Festival, Spoleto Festival (USA), and in Canada, the National Youth Orchestra and National Academy Orchestra. Ms. Morgan received a Graduate Certificate in Performance from the University of Southern California and her master’s from Carnegie Mellon University. Her principal teachers include Jim Walker, Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza and Dr. Amy Hamilton. Ms. Morgan is an active teacher and clinician and is an adjudicator for the Colburn School flute auditions. Her students have been accepted at prominent conservatories and colleges across the country.
Stephen Pfeifer attended California State University Northridge where he studied with Oscar Meza, Assistant Principal Double Bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was under Mr. Meza’s tutelage that Stephen became a member of the well-known American Youth and Principal Bass of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Symphony. After Graduating from CSUN, Stephen was accepted to one of the top music schools in the country, The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he achieved a Masters in Music. Here Mr. Pfeifer studied with Donald Palma founding member and Bassist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In addition to freelancing throughout the greater Boston area, Stephen was a member of the Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Bruce Hangen, and The Cape Cod Symphony with Maestro Jung-Ho Pak. At the end of his time in Boston, Mr. Pfeifer was accepted in the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival where he toured Europe with Maestro Chistoph Eschenbach and later in the festival worked with other well known conductors such as Heinrich Schiff, Mikhail Pletnev, Herbert Blomstedt and Kolja Blacher. Mr. Pfeifer moved back to California in 2008 and now lives in Altadena with his wife and daughter. He maintains a private teaching studio with many students throughout the Pasadena, San Marino, Diamond Bar, and San Gabriel areas. He is also a Los Angeles Philharmonic Teaching Artist with the Harmony Project, a non-profit organization that provides underprivileged students with music lessons and instruments free of charge. As an active chamber musician Stephen performs with many different ensembles such as Definiens, Symbiosis Ensemble, Wild Up, and The Upside. Mr. Pfeifer often works in the numerous recording studios through Los Angeles and is a substitute musician with Southern California Orchestras such as Long Beach Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, San Bernardino Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Derek Tywoniuk is a Los Angeles-based percussionist, composer, and educator. As a performer, he has appeared with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, David Robertson, Matthias Pintscher, and Gustavo Dudamel. An avid advocate of new music, in addition to his work with The Upside, he is a member of the LA-based new music collective wild Up, as well as the Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble. With the latter, he has recorded two albums on the Yarlung Records label. As a composer, his music has been published by C.F. Peters, recorded on the Bridge and Yarlung Record labels, and performed internationally by soloists such as Nancy Zeltsman, Fumito Nunoya, and Beverley Johnston, as well as groups such as wild Up and Trio Céleste. Derek holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied under Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner, and an artist diploma and Master of Music degree from The Colburn Conservatory of Music in the Master of Music degree program, where he studied with Jack van Geem. He is currently working toward a PhD in music composition at UCLA.