Good Grief!

a surprisingly upbeat and humorous take on the five stages of grief

Shock: Part 1

Gesualdo/Plylar (1611, trn. 2011/17) Fantasy Transcription of Moro, lasso, al mio duolo

Ruth Crawford Seeger (1953) Quintet, mvt. 1

Denial: Part 2

Frédéric Chopin/Plylar (1839) Préludes, op. 28 - Prelude No. 3

Frédéric Chopin/Plylar (1839) Préludes, op. 28 - Prelude No. 7

Alexander Zemlinsky (1939) Humoresque

Anger: Part 3

Henri Tomasi (1959) 5 Danses Profanes et Sacrées; Mvt 1

Frédéric Chopin/Plylar (1839) Préludes, op. 28 - Prelude No. 2

Bargaining: Part 4

Edward Grieg/Plylar (1886) Lyric Pieces, op. 43 - IV. Liden Fugl (Little Bird)

Liszt/Plylar (1857) Faust Symphony S. 108; Gretchen

Depression: Part 5

Frédéric Chopin/Plylar (1839) Préludes, op. 28 - Prelude No. 6

Bach/Liszt/Plylar (1854) Prelude “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen," S. 179 (Weeping, Lamenting, Worrying, Fearing)

Acceptance: Part 6

Johannes Sebastian Bach (1707) Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4

Frédéric Chopin/Plylar (1839) Préludes, op. 28 - Prelude No. 9



District5 is a daring, Washington DC-based wind quintet that specializes in new music and new transcriptions. They are recipients of a 2016 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant with composer Evis Sammoutis.  Recent appearances include concerts at the U.S. Department of State, Library of Congress, Barns at Wolf Trap, DC Kosciuszko Foundation, Anderson House, Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, and the Washington Arts Club. In 2014, they gave the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's ROTARY Woodwind Quintet.

District5 enjoys sharing its passion for chamber music with young musicians; they have designed educational programs for the DC Youth Orchestra Program, the American Youth Philharmonic, the UMBC Wind Ensemble, and the Virginia Arts Festival. At the University of Maryland, District5 served as the Ensemble-in-Residence for both the 2016 and 2017 High School Music Academy and was UMD's Graduate Fellowship Wind Quintet from 2013-15.

District5 recently released their debut album, the complete Chopin preludes, transcribed by David Plylar. This exciting new album is available on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Upcoming engagements include a recording project with DC composer Jessica Krash and the launch of “Musical Postcards;” an international chamber music exchange with composers from the US and South Africa.


Laura Kaufman Mowry is a soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician who has been hailed by the Washington Post for “absolutely gorgeous flute-playing.”

Mowry has performed with a variety of renowned ensembles, including the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, Smithsonian Chamber Players, among others. Laura performs in District5, a DC-based wind quintet dedicated to innovative ways of presenting classical music.

Laura is dedicated to fostering the talents of young musicians. She maintains a private flute studio, and has coached wind players at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, American Youth Philharmonic, and the University of Maryland High School Academy.  She is also the Director of the American Youth Philharmonic Flute Ensemble.

Laura has received national recognition from prize-winning performances at the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, National Society of Arts and Letters Wind Competition, New York Flute Club Competition, Flute Society of Washington Young Artist Competition, among others. Her experiences have inspired her to assist other musicians with competition preparation and overcoming performance anxiety.  Laura holds degrees in Flute Performance from Eastman School of Music, The Colburn School, and the University of Maryland.


Alison Lowell is a passionate arts advocate. During her tenure as Principal Oboist of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa, she premiered new works at the National Arts Festival, Classic FM Johannesburg, the Unyazi Electronic Music Festival and was a featured concerto soloist. In 2009, Alison was the recipient of the prestigious “Investing in Artists” grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation for an extended-range oboe. She founded the “Loboe Project” as a series of commissions and performances of works written specifically for her; she presented the "Loboe" through concerts at the 2013 (Redlands, California) and 2015 (Tokyo, Japan) International Double Reed Society Conferences. Alison has performed at festivals such as the Lucerne Music Festival, Ensemble Modern Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Sarasota Music Festival, among others.

An active chamber musician, Alison has performed with the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble, the 21st Century Consort, the Washington Metropolitan Opera, the Monday Evening Concert Series and the Baltimore Composers Forum. Alison holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California and her Doctorate from the University of Maryland.


Hailing from Crestwood, Kentucky, clarinetist Alexander Bullard began his musical training at age 11. Following his graduation from South Oldham High School in 2011, he attended DePaul University in Chicago, graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance. After graduating DePaul, in 2016 he earned a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In June 2016, he joined The President’s Own United States Marine Band, where he is currently a member of the clarinet section. Notable teachers include Stephen Williamson, principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony, Larry Combs, Julie DeRoche, and Wagner Campos of DePaul University, and Daniel Gilbert and Chad Burrow of the University of Michigan.


Bassoonist Sean Gordon is an active freelancer in Washington, DC and beyond. He has performed with such orchestras as the National, Baltimore, and Charleston Symphonies and many more. During the summers Sean performs as a member of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in Chautauqua, NY. He has previously participated in the Sarasota Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and National Repertory Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Sean has performed with such groups as Windsync and the local wind quintet/hip hop collaboration, Classically Dope. He also enjoys teaching a small studio of talented young bassoonists out of his home in Chevy Chase, MD. Sean holds a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory and an MM from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.


Josh Thompson is a horn player hailing from Spring, Texas. An avid chamber musician, he is a member of the local wind quintet District5.

He has held fellowships at various summer programs including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Norfolk (CT) Chamber Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He also attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar, performing in Carnegie Hall.

A graduate of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and the Yale School of Music, Thompson studied with Gail Williams, Jonathan Boen, and William Purvis.