The ensemble’s name, Anna’s Ghost, refers to the legend of Anna, the resident ghost of Vermont College of Fine Arts, whose story you can read about here.

Keith Bulter Jr. (drums)
Ethan Foote (bass)
Oscar Suh-Rodriguez (guitar)
Jacquay Smith (vocals)
Aaron Wyanski (piano)


Keith Butler Jr., drums (right middle)

Having come of age in the cultural melting pot of Wilmington, North Carolina, Keith Butler, Jr. has deep roots in many musical traditions. Due in no small part to his versatility and creativity on the drum set, he has become a mainstay of the Washington D.C. music scene, performing with some of the area’s top bandleaders, including Brian Settles, Saltman/Knowles, Amy K. Bormet,  Sarah Hughes, Luke Stewart, Elijah Jamal Balbed, Alex Hamburger, and Stephen Arnold. Butler was also a founding member of adventure music ensemble The New World, and is a member/composer of avant-jazz quartet ¡FIASCO! Butler has composed scores for DC productions of the plays Vietgone, and Venus (a staged reading,) both directed by Natsu Onoda-Power as well as Classic Red, a new play by DC playwright Abigail Chase. Butler released his debut album, ​Greener Grasses, in April of 2019, and is currently in the finishing stages of his second album. Butler is also a 2022 graduate of the MFA in Music Composition program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Ethan Foote, bass (bottom left)

Ethan Foote is a composer, bassist, songwriter, and arranger from Washington, D.C. His works have been performed by Invoke, Quince Ensemble, Loadbang, The Curtis Chamber Orchestra, Fuse Ensemble, himself, and others. Recent premieres include Will There Be Jazz In Hell? (for mixed ensemble) by Fuse Ensemble; Life Over Death (for mixed ensemble) by earspace; and Canyons in Gehinnom (for cello and piano) by cellist Katie Weissman and pianist Michael McNeil. His 2022 work for chamber orchestra, Wild Requiem, was awarded the William Klenz Prize in Music Composition by the Department of Music at Duke University. Ethan is beyond thrilled to be playing new work with great musicians and to be reunited with the whole VCFA family.


Jaquay Smith, vocals (top middle)

A Jamaican-American from Prince George’s County, Maryland with a passion for God and music, Jaquay Smith is a storyteller, wrapping big ideas and concepts into small bite-sized packages.  Her stories are imaginative, bringing ideas and inspiration from her personal Faith, traditions, family, and nature. Her music merges multiple genres (musical theatre, classical, folk, gospel, and jazz) to create a music style of her own. From Music Matters with JAQ content and choral music to books and singer-songwriter tunes, Jaquay’s goal is to use multiple mediums to spread the love of Jesus to every soul on the planet.

Smith holds a BA in Economics from University of Maryland College Park and a MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she isn’t working on her own projects, you can find her singing with local choirs, artists, and composers, hiking with her dog, Gizmo, sipping on ginger tea, reading a book, or watching Sci-Fi and Fantasy films.

“As a mostly self-taught musician with music as a second career, my time at VCFA was monumental for me and its music composition community will forever hold a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to see old friends, meet new ones, and hear and sing some great music!”
— Jaquay Smith


Oscar Suh-Rodriguez, guitar (top-right)

Oscar Suh-Rodriguez is a guitarist, composer, and music educator based in New Jersey.

After acquiring his BFA in Jazz Performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2013, Oscar went on to tour the US and Europe as a sideman for various artists. While working as a funk, rock, and blues player, he continued his solo guitar and jazz studies under guitarists Pedro Rodriguez, John Stowell, Gene Bertoncini, and Vic Juris. He received his MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2022, where he studied under Ravi Krishnaswami, John Mallia, and Carla Kihlstedt.

Currently, Oscar resides in northern New Jersey where he continues to freelance as a sideman, perform regularly as a solo guitarist, and teach select private lessons.

Oscar is founder of and lead producer for the indie record label Kidokoro Records.


Aaron Wyanski, piano (left middle)

Aaron Wyanski, composer, pianist, and speculative musicologist, combines elements of jazz, classical, mid-century lounge, and free improvisation to create a deeply personal artistic voice that explores memory, perspective, and vulnerability. 

His song cycle Three Benedictions was premiered at Carnegie Hall by Yoon Sun Choi and Jacob Sacks, and he has been a featured composer at New Music Miami and the Hartford New Music Festival. He has been commissioned by many ensembles and performers including Duo Refracta, Plus-Minus Ensemble, Roger Zahab, Krista Kopper, and the Amaranth Quartet. Wyanski has been awarded several residencies by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as grants from the Richard Kountz Fund and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. 

Wyanski coined the title “speculative musicologist” to describe his ongoing project Schoenberg in Hi-Fi–a series of albums that explore a speculative reality in which Schoenberg’s music was intentionally marketed as “new sounds” as part of the LP boom in midcentury America. The project has been described as “a truly unexpected development,” “a party I’m sorry I missed,” and “a true masterpiece of sonic exploration” by the blogs Transitional Technology, Slippedisc, and Planet Singer respectively. But the most meaningful endorsement comes from Schoenberg’s last living child, Larry, who wrote in an email: “Today I listened to your arrangement and realization of my father’s Op. 19. I enjoyed and appreciated your authentic work. I then read some comments you made and that very much reinforced my feelings.”

An active educator, Wyanski is currently Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Maine at Farmington, and maintains a small private studio. He is also Director of Education for the Monson Seminar, a residential course for Pell-eligible and first-generation college students that he co-founded with Kristen Case, in partnership with Monson Arts. Previous positions include adjunct faculty at Sweet Briar College and the Hartt School. He holds a DMA in Music Composition from the Hartt School, an MFA in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, a BM in Jazz Studies from Purchase College, and an AS in Music Performance from Schenectady County Community College, where he was selected as one of fifty distinguished alumni as part of SCCC’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.