Meaghan Heinrich
Oboe and English Horn
 Bonnie Whiting Smith
C. Neil Parsons
Bass Trombone
Zara Lawler

Who We Are
Asterisk combines musical virtuosity and a signature interdisciplinary approach to create a dynamic and unique concert experience. Through a daring repertoire of solo and chamber works ranging from intimate to expansive, meditative to slapstick, and profound to quirky, the uniquely talented musicians of Asterisk make new connections to other artistic disciplines and to their audiences.

The members of Asterisk work in a constant state of exploration, collaborating with composers and with each other to create works that take as many directions as there are possibilities. Each piece of music is a starting point for a creative metamorphosis, which may include adding text, choreography, or additional instruments to the original. Through improvisation and experimentation, Asterisk discovers visceral, meaningful connections between music, words, and movement and translates them into a spectacular stage performance. Asterisk is distinguished not only by the ensemble's level of artistry, but also by their ability to engage and communicate with audiences of all ages. Audience members are not merely spectators; they are drawn in to be a part of the performance experience from beginning to end.

Currently based in New Birmingbloomdiegoyork, NY/AL/IN/CA, Asterisk has been featured at the Music X Festival at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Marshall University, the Henderson Fine Arts Center (Henderson, KY), and the Rockland Conservatory (Spring Valley, NY). Individually, the members of Asterisk are noted chamber musicians and soloists, and have performed with such eminent ensembles as the Houston Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and at venues including Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Severance Hall, Benaroya Hall and the Kennedy Center.

Who We Were
The Asterisk aesthetic stems from the members' involvement with Tales & Scales, a not-for-profit, national touring company based in Evansville, Indiana. As performers and Co-Artistic Directors of Tales & Scales, they were committed to true artistic outreach, bringing newly-created musical performances of the highest quality to children and family audiences. These new works brought timeless tales to life through a unique combination of contemporary music, dance, and theatre. Collaboration was essential to their mission, and they worked closely with other artists such as composers Randall Woolf and Jerome Kitzke, choreographers Nusha Martynuk and Carter McAdams, and directors Gary Race and Michael Burnham.

As Tales & Scales, Zara, Meaghan, Neil and Bonnie gave hundreds of performances and workshops each year, appearing in school gymnasiums and auditoriums, as well as in more formal venues such as the Kravis Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. They were regularly featured as soloists with orchestras nationwide, including the Dallas, Oregon, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra and many others.

Often, after a show, parents and teachers would approach the performers, relating how they themselves became enthralled. The musicians were convinced that through similar interdisciplinary means, they could provide adventurous, new music outreach for people over the age of twelve. They set to work developing programs, memorizing and choreographing music, and eating a lot of ice cream. In 2007, they began performing under the moniker Ampersand, and after parting ways with Tales & Scales in 2008, they moved their collective index finger one key to the right, landing firmly on Asterisk.