Boulder Altitude Directive

The Boulder Altitude Directive (B.A.D. Ensemble) is a group of six of the College of Music’s elite/professional performers conducted by Prof. Carter Pann (through a gift to the Composition Department).  The B.A.D. Ensemble will be premiering and recording the works of newly-commissioned student composers on our Pendulum New Music Series during the 2017/18 season. Listen to their most recent performance.


  • Carter Pann, Artistic Director
  • Renée Hemsing Patten, Violin
  • Jake Saunders, Cello
  • Brice Smith, Flute
  • Conor Brown, Clarinet
  • Jieun Lee, Piano
  • Jake Henneford, Percussion

Carter Pann

Carter Pann (2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Music) has written  for and worked with musicians around the world, garnering performances by ensembles such as the London Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, many radio symphonies around Europe, the Seattle Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, the youth orchestras of New York and Chicago, and countless wind ensembles.

Brice Smith

Brice Smith has a deep passion for teaching and community engagement through classical music. He studies with Christina Jennings as a Doctor of Musical Arts and Pedagogy candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He completed a Master of Music in Flute Performance and a Master of Music in Chamber Music with Amy Porter at the University of Michigan, as well as a Performer Diploma under the direction of Thomas Robertello at Indiana University. Brice received a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, Violin Performance and German language at the University of Arkansas. He has performed in many professional bands and orchestras, including the New World Symphony and National Repertory Orchestra. As a soloist, Brice has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center, with the Arkansas Philharmonic and with the University of Michigan's Camerata Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed at the National Flute Association's Convention as a member of the Colorado Flute Orchestra. As a collegiate music instructor, Brice has taught masterclasses and lessons at Adams State University, Siena Heights University and for the Crescendo Detroit Program for young students. Administratively, he has served as the Artistic and Development Assistant at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Brice currently plays in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet, under the guidance of Yoshiyuka Ishikawa and the Boulder Altitude Directive new music ensemble, directed by Carter Pann.

Conor Abbott Brown

Conor Abbott Brown is a composer and clarinetist from Altona, Colorado.  His music is informed by the sweeping prairies, big sky, and jagged peaks of the American West.  His compositions often feature complex, driving rhythms, sustained tension, and ornamentation inspired by folk music from around the world.  Brown has had works commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, groundbreaking amplified chamber orchestra Dogs of Desire,  clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer, the American Symphony Orchestra, Contemporaneous, Ars Nova Singers, the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and many others.  His work Early Winter Spires was recently released on the record Scenes From Home by clarinetist Kellan Toohey.  Brown's composition Ladun hiihan laulajille was presented at the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. in commemoration of the centenary of Finnish indepence and will receive repeat performances in Helsinki, Finland, and in New York City at Carnegie Hall in the Fall of 2018.  As a performer, Brown has appeared as the guest principal clarinetist of the American Symphony Orchestra, and currently holds the position of clarinetist with the Boulder Altitude Directive, a chamber ensemble dedicated to performing the works of living composers.  Brown holds an MM in music composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as a BA in dance and a BM in music composition from Bard College and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Renée Hemsing Patten

Renée Hemsing Patten is a violinist, violist, and passionate chamber musician, with a particular devotion to both early music and music by living composers. She enjoys traveling to perform in diverse capacities throughout the US and abroad: most recently on Baroque viola at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, and at International Baroque Masterclasses in Austria. As a violinist and founding member of Ajax Quartet, former graduate Quartet-in-Residence under Takacs Quartet, she enjoyed successes in tours and competitions, including recitals in the United Kingdom and in Finland, and won the silver medal at the Coltman National Chamber Music Competition. She is a native of New Mexico, where she earned her undergraduate degree in violin. Renée earned her masters degree in violin at the University of North Texas where she studied both Baroque & modern violin. She is principal viola of Boulder Bach Ensemble, the violinist of Boulder Altitude Directive, and a doctoral candidate in violin performance at CU Boulder.

Jake Saunders

Cellist Jake Saunders is a native of Boise, Idaho. As a performer, curator, educator, artistic director, and new music advocate, Saunders engages diverse communities through inclusive programming and distinctive collaboration.

Saunders is a founding member and the Artistic Director of 208 ensemble, the first professional ensemble in Boise, Idaho dedicated to the advocacy and performance of music written by living composers. Since their inception in 2014, 208 ensemble has presented the Idaho-premiere of more than 40 contemporary works to diverse and enthusiastic audiences. In 2018, 208 ensemble introduced their flagship project, Avant-Garden, designed to commission chamber music annually from emerging and underrepresented composers and cultivate an accessible, collaborative environment for the performance of contemporary art in Boise and beyond. Additionally, Saunders is the creator of Boise Cello Collective, a collaborative project among some of Idaho’s preeminent cellists specializing in the performance of classical, contemporary, and popular music in nontraditional venues. Saunders serves as the group’s director, arranger, and principal cellist. Boise Cello Collective has presented two world premieres, including a quintet for piano and four cellos by Idahoan composer Dave Earnest and “eMerging” for cello octet by Evan Ware.

In September 2016, Saunders was appointed principal cellist of Symphony Tacoma, a position he held until August 2018. Additionally, Saunders has served as principal cellist with the Opera Idaho Orchestra, Boise State University Symphony Orchestra, University of Michigan’s University Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West’s Festival Orchestra, and the University of Colorado Boulder University Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician, he has been a contributor to the City of Trees Chamber Music Series and Classical Revolution: Boise. Until May 2014, Saunders performed with the Boise Philharmonic and as an inaugural member of the Boise State Graduate String Quartet Fellowship (Ezra Quartet).

Saunders has attended music festivals in the United States and abroad, including the Blackbird Creative Lab, Music Academy of the West, the Castleman Quartet Programs, LyricaFest, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Astona International Festival (CH), and the International Music Academy at Pilsen (CZ). Former chamber music mentors include members of the Cleveland, Takacs, Cavani, Zemlinksy, Fry Street, and Ying Quartets, as well as eighth blackbird, Charles Castleman, Laura Bossert, and Terry King. Saunders has studied extensively with Dr. Brian Hodges, Richard Aaron, Mark Rudoff, and Samuel Smith.

Saunders is currently a Teaching Assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is pursuing the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance. Additionally, Saunders holds a MM in music performance from Boise State University and a BM in cello performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance, where he studied with Richard Aaron.

Jake Henneford

Jake Henneford is an active chamber and orchestral percussionist in Boulder, Colorado with a passion for new contemporary music. As a member of the B.A.D. Ensemble at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Henneford helps to promote and premiere new works by the university’s students and faculty. Henneford has premiered several chamber works for percussion and has commissioned and premiered several duos for flute/voice and percussion in the Minnesota area. In 2013, Henneford was given the opportunity to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in the New Literature Session, promoting and performing several works written in the last 5 years for percussion ensemble. As a solo percussionist, Henneford has taken part in masterclasses with Bob Becker, Daniella Geneva, and marimbist Naoko Takada who described his playing as “nuanced and expressive.”
Henneford is a founding member of the contemporary percussion ensemble, the MinusOne Quartet. This group has performed together at PASIC, the Concordia College Day of Percussion, and several recitals in the Midwest. Currently, the group is working on several performances of John Luther Adams’ “Strange and Sacred Noise”, which they will perform later this year at the Oregon Fringe Festival. Other composers central to the MinusOne Quartet’s repertoire include John Cage, Henry Cowell, Toru Takemitsu, and the quartet’s own Mitchell Carlstrom.
As an orchestral musician, Henneford has held positions with the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Helena Symphony, and Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra while also freelancing with orchestras in the Northern Colorado Area.
As an educator, Henneford has taught students ages 6-75. As a faculty member at the Bass Clef School of Music in Great Falls, Mt. Henneford oversaw the percussion program, as well as giving lessons in music theory and piano. Outside the classroom, Henneford participated as an adjudicator for the Great Falls Public Schools Solo and Ensemble District Music Festival.
Henneford holds a B.M. from Concordia College in Percussion Performance and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Percussion at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His teachers include Lauree Wenger, Dr. David Eyler, and is currently studying with Dr. Douglas Walter. Henneford resides in Boulder, Colorado with his partner and enjoys cooking, hiking, and reading Stephen King.