Victoria Petro-Eschler is the Executive Director of Salty Cricket Composers Collective. Particularly passionate about music and its potential to impact society for positive outcomes, Victoria holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy (East Carolina University, 2002), a Master of Arts in Musicology (Brandeis University, 2009), and a Master of International Studies with an emphasis on International Nonprofit Management (North Carolina State University, 2013). Victoria is determined to bring the highest quality programing and opportunities to the Salt Lake Valley and all of Utah. When not engaged with musical endeavors, Victoria loves spending time with her 4 amazing children and 2 lovable mutts.
Dr. Benny Bidwell is the Music Theory Specialist with Salty Cricket. Benny grew up with music as a major influence in his life. He spent his formative years in Rexburg, ID taking piano lessons from his mom and being involved in his family theatre in West Yellowstone, MT. He was an oboist and English horn player in college and community orchestras, and has since gone on to study serious composition and music theory at the University of Utah. He has experience working with Warner Music Group as an assistant sound engineer and composes regularly, including works for orchestra and band, chamber groups, singers and choirs, and electronics and other media (he even wrote a piece for toys!). Benny currently teaches music theory, ear training, and music technology courses for the University of Utah. He currently resides in Salt Lake City with his wife, Katie, and his three adorable rascals, Samantha, Gregory, and Millie.
Olivia Torgersen is Salty Cricket’s percussion teaching artist and body percussion specialist. Looking forward to a career in arts administration and nonprofit work, Olivia is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Performance with an emphasis in percussion at the University of Utah. She is the recipient of the Utah Union Music Service Scholarship because of her innovative approach to fostering a love of music through body percussion. Olivia performed as a featured soloist with both the Utah Symphony and the Lyceum Youth Orchestra and as an ensemble member in the University of Utah Wind Ensemble, Philharmonia, and Utah Percussion Ensemble. In 2018, Olivia performed in the world premiere recording of David Maslanka Symphony no. 10. Olivia believes in music’s ability to inspire, connect, and empower, and continually seeks opportunities to magnify and explore the social impact of music. When Olivia is not playing or listening to music, she loves to hike, watch movies, and attend concerts.
Audrey Lund works as a string teaching artist at Salty Cricket. She is a three time winner and performer on the Utah Symphony Youth Guild Auditions Honors Recital. She has also won Honorable Mention, Third, Second and First Place award in the Utah Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition. She received the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award, and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Instrumental Performance and minor in Art and Music Technology. While attending she was a member of the Mount Olympus and O. C. Tanner Honors String Quartets, and served as Concertmaster of the Utah Philharmonia. Audrey Lund enjoys composing and has written works for fixed media electronics as well for solo violin and live electronics. She is also a visual artist and has won numerous awards for her art work. In addition to performing locally, she currently works as an audio engineer, and is a cofounder of the local media production company Digital Content Helix LLC.
Alexis Harris works with Salty Cricket as a string teaching artist and music production specialist. She began her music studies at the Cleveland Institute of music, and began playing violin at age 5. She attended high school at a fine arts boarding school, Interlochen Arts Academy, and graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor in music with emphasis in composition and educational leadership. Alexis went on to study at Berklee School of Music, where she discovered her love for being a studio musician and performing video game music. Throughout her career, Alexis has studied with renowned teachers including Russian violinist Julia Bushkova and Boston Pops violinist Sandra Kott. Once Alexis was invited to go on tour opening for prominent hip hop artist Blackalicious with rapper Fuze the MC. In 2013, Alexis moved to Salt Lake City and helped pilot an El Sistema program for children to learn music and music theory. After multiple years in the Bay Area, we are excited that Alexis is back in Salt Lake City to be on our team! She is nurturing, enthusiastic, and encouraging in her instruction. She believes that by giving students the proper tools and guidance, they have the capabilities to solve musical puzzles for themselves, enabling them to be more self-reliant. Most of all, Alexis believes that instilling a love of music that lasts a lifetime, and providing a well rounded musical education with real life applications is the best gift she can provide.