Young Artists Program

Amy Sue Barston, Cello (Swarthmore, PA)

Praised as “passionate and elegant” by The New York Times, cellist Amy Sue Barston has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on stages all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia, Bargemusic, Caramoor, Haan Hall (Jerusalem), The Banff Centre (Canada), The International Musicians Seminar (England), The Power House (Australia), and Chicago’s Symphony Center. Amy is also a devoted teacher: in her home, at the New York School for Strings, as a guest teacher at Juilliard, and at numerous summer music festivals. Several of her students commute for lessons from hundreds of miles away, some from as far away as Alaska and Japan. Amy’s upcoming schedule includes solo and chamber music performances in England, Sydney, New Zealand, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, Wisconsin, Rochester, Denver, Chicago, and Germany. Amy also has a brand new CD out and available, which she had the honor to record with Grammy Award-winning contemporary classical music producer, Judith Sherman.

 

Elisa Barston, Violin & Viola (Seattle, WA)

Praised for her “glowing sound” and “technical aplomb” (The Strad), violinist Elisa Barston is the Seattle Symphony’s Principal Second Violin. Prior to the appointment, she served as the Associate Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons and was a first violin section member of The Cleveland Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician, Barston has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, appearing with the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis and Taipei symphony orchestras, among many others. In 1986, she made her European debut with the English Chamber Orchestra at the request of Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Barston studied at the University of Southern California and Indiana University.  photo © Larey McDaniel

 

 

 

Dr. Quinton Morris, Chamber Music (Renton, WA)

Dr. Quinton Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, educator, entrepreneur, radio host, and filmmaker. He has performed solo concertos, recitals and presented masterclasses and lectures at some of the world’s most respected venues, including the Seattle Symphony, Carnegie Hall (New York), TEDxSeattle, Seattle Art Museum, Roberts Project Art Museum (Los Angeles), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), the Louvre Museum (Paris), National Normal Taiwan University (Taiwan), Dong-eui University (Korea), the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the University of Paris, Monash University (Australia) and Tumaini University (Tanzania), among many others.

He has received numerous awards for his artistic and community service including the Distinguished and Audience Favorite Awards at the Ibla International Competition, the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award, the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and Hall of Fame Alumni Award from Renton High School. As a filmmaker, he has received the top prize at the European Independent Film Awards (Paris), the Bronze Award at the Global Music Awards in Los Angeles and high honors at the New York Film Awards.

Dr. Morris founded Key to Change in 2017 with the goal of providing underserved youth and students of color living in South King County with opportunities to take violin and viola lessons. Since the inception of Key to Change, hundreds of students have had an opportunity to take music lessons, participate in numerous musical outreach activities and learn in a diverse and inclusive environment. At the beginning of the global pandemic, Dr. Morris led a successful pivot from in-person to online lessons resulting in the string studio’s student enrollment quadrupling and retaining over 90% of students who enrolled in the program.

Dr. Morris is an Associate Professor of Violin at Seattle University, where he is the first tenured music professor in over 40 years. He is the second living Black violinist in United States history to receive tenure and promotion at the university level. He is also the Artist-Scholar in Residence at Classical King FM 98.1, where he hosts the radio and video show Unmute The Voices. He is also the former co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission.

A native of Renton, Washington, Dr. Morris holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; a Master of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently finishing a graduate diploma in business at the Harvard Extension School. In his spare time, he enjoys watching football, spending time with his family, traveling, wine tasting and collecting toy red cars.

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Violin and Viola

Ruth Marie Ballance (Renton, WA)

Ruth Marie Ballance is a violinist, teacher, and a resident of the Seattle area.  She has previously been on faculty at Samford University, where she was a member of the Samford University Quartet; University of Alabama—Birmingham; STEP Birmingham; Hochstein School of Music and Dance in Rochester, NY; Cleveland Institute of Music and Broadway School of Music and the Arts in Ohio; Credo Chamber Music at Oberlin College; and Austin Chamber Music Center Summer Workshop.  Ruth Marie studied violin with Leonard Posner, Linda Cerone, David Russell, and Paul Kantor among others, and received the Cleveland Institute of Music Jerome Gross Prize in Violin in 2001.  A 2011 recipient of the Suzuki Association of the Americas Certificate of Achievement, she has taken Suzuki teacher training with Ronda Cole, Edmund Sprunger, Alice Joy Lewis, Patricia D’Ercole, Carol Dallinger, Nancy Jackson, Cathryn Lee, and Christie Felsing.  Ms. Ballance has been published several times in the American Suzuki Journal and has presented at both the SAA Conference and the ASTA Conference. She has performed as a concerto soloist with the Austin Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and the Huntsville Youth Orchestra among others, as well as performing as a member of the Alaska Quartet in several states.

RBrasch-Reagan-japan-seattle-suzuki-instituteeagan Brasch (Farmington, CT)

Reagan Brasch grew up in the Suzuki method studying with Paula Woyton in Texas. She graduated with a bachelors of music in violin performance and received her masters in music with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Denver. After teaching with Denver Talent Education for five years with James Maurer, she moved to Chicago to teach at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) under the direction of Gilda Barston. She has had additional Suzuki training from Linda Fiore, Joanne Bath, Ann Smelser, Michele George, Doris Preucil, and Pat D’Ercole. Mrs. Brasch gives both private and group instruction in Suzuki. She also is the program director of the early childhood Musikgarten classes to toddlers and preschoolers, as well as Events Coordinator for MIC’s Suzuki Program. She was awarded Outstanding Teacher by the Alliance for Early Childhood and the Certificate of Achievement Award from the SAA. Mrs. Brasch has taught extensively at Suzuki institutes and workshops around the country.

 

Gaye DetzerGaye Detzer (Vashon, WA)

Gaye Detzer has been a Suzuki teacher for more than 30 years and currently maintains a private studio. She has taught violin classes and chamber music at Suzuki institutes in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, as well as at Vivace! Chamber Players. Gaye plays violin and viola with the Arioso Ensemble and the Vashon-Maury Chamber Orchestra and is also the music director of the Vashon Youth String Orchestra and the Teen String Ensemble. Her family has four Suzuki children, one of whom graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is now making a career as a cellist. Another is part of a rock band that has toured the United States and Europe.

Yasuko Eastman (Victoria, B.C.)

Yasuko Eastman began teaching the Suzuki Method in 1963 in Japan. In 1966, she arrived in Edmonton, Canada, to help establish the Suzuki program there at the recommendation of Dr. Suzuki. Yasuko moved to Victoria with her family in 1985, where she continues to enjoy teaching at home. Yasuko’s former students are active as professional and amateur musicians and are contributing to the world in diverse ways. She has served as concertmaster of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra since 1996, and is also a founding member of the Galiano Ensemble of Victoria and first violinist of the Heron Quartet. Yasuko’s teachers include Koichi Hasegawa, Shinichi Suzuki, Thomas Rolston, and members of the Hungarian String Quartet. She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education from the Osaka College of Music, and a Master of Music from the University of Alberta. Yasuko enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, designing, and drawing.

Daniel Gee Cordova (Austin, TX)

Daniel Gee Cordova is founder and director of the Austin Suzuki Music School. He has extensively studied the Suzuki Method in Violin, Viola and Suzuki Early Childhood Education with a broad scope of teachers. He holds degrees from the Crane School of Music – SUNY Potsdam and the University of Texas at Austin. In May 2012, Daniel was awarded the Suzuki Association of the America’s Certificate of Achievement, a recognition given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in their teaching.

Daniel is an active clinician giving presentations at National Conferences as well as guest teacher at workshops around the country. He has presented at many conferences including the SAA, ASTA, Texas Music Educator’s Conference, and Texas Orchestra Director’s Association Conference, as well as for the SAA Parents As Partners Online. Daniel has been invited to guest conduct the Texas Region Middle School String Orchestras for Region 11 in San Antonio and Region 18 in Austin.

In the summers, Daniel serves a Director for the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute and has been on faculty for different Suzuki Institutes around the country including the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, the Ozark Suzuki Institute, Acadiana Suzuki Institute, Ithaca Suzuki Institute, Northern California Suzuki Institute, and the Chicago Suzuki Institute.

Daniel performs regularly serving as Assistant Principal Viola with the Austin Opera. Mr. Gee Cordova previously served as Orchestra Director at Chisholm Trail Middle School in Round Rock ISD from 2009-2019 infusing the Suzuki approach to students within the public school system.  Daniel enjoys spending time with his husband Jerry and their terriers Bamboo and Tristan, and finding the best tacos in Austin.

 

Tracy Helming Wiggin (Seattle, WA)

Tracy Helming Wiggin is a registered SAA Suzuki Teacher Trainer. She received a Master’s Degree in music performance from Yale University, and completed registered Suzuki training in all 10 of the violin books, including long term training with Teri Einfeldt at the Hartt School of Music. She has been teaching violin and chamber music since 1990, both in her studio, Momentum Music School, as well as at institutes and workshops around the Northwest and Alaska. She also teaches Suzuki Early Childhood Education classes. Tracy got to experience the Suzuki journey as a parent with her two children. 

 

Lisa Humphrey (Bellingham, WA)

Lisa Humphrey has taught Suzuki violin and viola for over 15 years. She received her Suzuki violin training from Teri Einfeldt and Linda Fiore and her Suzuki viola training from Betsy Stuen-Walker. Formerly on the faculty of the Hartt School of Music, she currently runs the Humphrey Music School in Bellingham, Washington, where she maintains a studio of 50+ students. Lisa’s students have performed with the National Youth Symphony USA, at Carnegie Hall, and at the Sydney Opera House. Lisa has a masters degree in viola performance from Indiana University, where she completed additional teacher training with Mimi Zweig, and a Bachelors degree in viola performance from the Hartt School of Music. Also an avid performer, she has performed solo, chamber, and orchestral music around the country and throughout Russia and Armenia. She has performed as guest artist with both the Emerson String Quartet and the Leontovich String Quartet (NYC). Lisa has recently recorded and released a series of viola sonatas, along with pianist Adam Whiting, available through Google Play. In her free time, she practices with her 9 year old (viola and piano) and 6 year old (cello and piano). She is a yoga enthusiast and incorporates whole body balance and awareness into her lessons.

 

Cathy Lee (San Francisco, CA)

San Francisco based violin teacher Cathryn S. Lee has taught families and teachers around the world since 1976. She is respected for teaching all ages and levels using her detailed and practical “best of both worlds” approach inspired by her studies with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and her “traditional” studies with concert artist Dame Camilla Wicks. As a teacher trainer, Cathryn has taught and lectured at SAA National conferences, Leadership Summits, Suzuki Method World Conferences, the first International Suzuki Teacher Trainer Conference in 2009 and most recently at the 16th World Conference.  She has given master classes and pedagogy classes in Australia, Canada, England, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and throughout the United States.  Cathryn is also a guest lecturer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Cathryn is the author of Bow Exercises, Bow Strokes and the Bow Stroke Excerpt books. In 1977, Cathryn founded the Suzuki Music Studio of San Francisco where she continues to teach students and train teachers.  Her students have held titled chairs in numerous youth and school orchestras and placed in competitions including the Junior Bach Festival.  Cathryn has a B.A. in Performance and Composition, M. A. in Performance from San Francisco College for Women and a teaching certificate from the Talent Education Institute in Japan.  She and her husband raised their sons, Whitney, an actor/singer/violinist in New York City and Corin, a violinist and graduate of Juilliard and Yale University.

 

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Allen Lieb (New York, NY)

Allen Lieb received his M.M. in Performance from SIU/Edwardsville, studying Suzuki pedagogy with John Kendall. He holds a Teacher Training Certificate from the Talent Education Research Institute in Japan following several years’ instruction with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. A registered Teacher-Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas since 1981, Allen has taught at institutes, workshops and conferences across the US, Canada, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In July 2017, Allen will become CEO of the International Suzuki Association. He is Chair of the ISA and SAA Violin Committees, a member of the SAA Heritage Committee and a frequent contributor to the SAA Journal. Currently residing in New York City, Allen is Head of the Violin Department and Instructor for the Teacher-Training Seminar at The School for Strings. He is also a violin instructor at The Diller-Quaile School of Music where he was a recipient of the 2012 Clifford/Levy Creativity Grant. For 13 years Allen served as Curriculum Coordinator for the Newark Early Strings Program, a Suzuki-based violin program jointly sponsored by the Newark Public Schools and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, for which he was recognized with the 2008 Samuel Antek Award for Music Education.

Sandra-Payton-Japan-Seattle-Suzuki-InstituteSandra Payton (Bellingham, WA)

Sandra Payton has been a life-long member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has taught several generations of Suzuki violin students. She is a longtime faculty member at the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute and has enjoyed seeing her grandchildren develop their musical talents as they participate at institute.

 

Satoko Robert (New York, NY)

Satoko Robert earned a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Massachusetts and an Artist Diploma from Kyoto University of Art and Music. She received most of her Suzuki teacher training from Dr. William Starr. Satoko has taught violin and viola for over 50 years and also performs and coaches chamber ensembles. She was an assistant professor of music education at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Satoko volunteers as a bilingual liaison to the SAA and ISA, and she has taught at many Suzuki institutes and workshops across the United States and Japan. The two things Satoko loves most, besides her family and her work as a Suzuki teacher, are chamber music and dogs.

 

Caroline Salisbury (San Gabriel, CA)

Carrie Salisbury is the creator of StringsPop, a unique online summer camp and monthly workshops for teens and tweens, with a support network and training for innovative string teachers.  She is a performing musician and private violin and viola teacher based in Los Angeles. Her students perform regularly as Crescendo Strings, an all-ages multi-level violin and viola group with First Inversion, a premiere teen ensemble known for creating and performing their own arrangements. You can follow her students’ projects on Instagram at @stringspop. Carrie holds a B.M. in viola performance and currently studies performance, orchestral playing and viola pedagogy with Dr. Mick Wetzel. A Suzuki trained teacher for more than 20 years, she now serves as President of the Suzuki Music Association of California – Los Angeles Branch. She is the parent to three young Suzuki string students with her husband, pianist-composer Benjamin Salisbury. Their family music videos are posted on youtube at Salisbury Family Music Videos.

Lucy-Shaw-Japan-Seattle-Suzuki-InstituteLucy Shaw (Redmond, WA)

Lucy Shaw is an active performer, Suzuki teacher, and clinician currently based in the Seattle, WA area. A native of Nova Scotia, Canada, she received her Bachelor degree at the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatte Conservatory of Music at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, and her Master of Music in Violin Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. Important musical influences include Sergiu Luca, Francis Chaplin, Sydney Harth and Jean-Jacques Kantorow. For eighteen years Lucy was owner/director of the Village Violin School in Houston where she was an active member of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association coordinating annual teacher development seminars, Suzuki graduations, and workshops. As a guest teacher and clinician, Lucy has taught at workshops and institutes in Canada, Mexico and throughout the continental United States. An ardent supporter of the SAA, Lucy served as violin coordinator for the Suzuki Association of the America’s 2008 National Conference and has served on the SAA Board of Directors.

Stacy Smith (TX)

Stacy Smith, violin, is a Suzuki Strings Specialist in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district in Fort Worth, Texas. Formerly the Faculty and Artistic Director of the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Suzuki Program Director at the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City, Utah, and President of the Suzuki Association of Utah, Stacy has a degree in Violin Performance from the University of Utah where she studied with Gerald Elias and Mischa Boguslavsky. Ms. Smith has completed hundreds of hours of Suzuki training, primarily with Edmund Sprunger, Jeanne Grover, Linda Fiore, Mark Mutter, Cathy Lee, Carey Beth Hockett and others, and is truly passionate about Suzuki Education. Stacy has presented educational sessions to both parents and teachers at state, national and international Suzuki conferences and conventions and is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Stacy is on faculty at Suzuki workshops and institutes across the United States and Canda, and is a featured presenter for the Suzuki Association of the America’s “Parents as Partners” series. In April of 2018, Stacy was awarded the Suzuki Association of the America’s Certificate of Achievement, an award given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in their teaching. Stacy is a Suzuki mom to five children: a violist, two violinists, a pianist, and a bassist, all of whom provide her most in-depth Suzuki training.

 

 

Edmund Sprunger (St. Louis, MO)

A former student of Dr. Shin’ichi Suzuki, Suzuki Method™ originator, Edmund Sprunger has taught violin for more than 30 years, including over 300 workshops and master classes throughout North America, South America, and Europe; and is a Registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  He has presented sessions at numerous state, national, and international conferences.  Mr. Sprunger holds a BA in music from Goshen College, where he studied violin with Lon Sherer, and piano and piano pedagogy with Marvin Blickenstaff.  Also trained as a psychotherapist, he holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan and has done post-degree training with the Michigan and St. Louis psychoanalytic institutes.  Additional violin studies have been with Chihiro Kudo, Reinaldo Couto (Alexander Technique/Violin), Kent Perry, and Anna Martin. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and as Chair of the American String Teachers Association’s [ASTA] Committee on Studio Instruction.  In 2004 he received an ASTA Citation for Leadership and Merit.  For several years he served as Director of the Child Development Program at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.  In addition to his studio teaching, he is a psychotherapist in private practice. His books, Helping Parents Practice:  Ideas for Making It Easier (Vol. 1) and Building Violin Skills: A Set of Plans Designed to Help Parents and Children Construct Positive Practices, are available from yespublishing.com.

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 Cello

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Blake Brasch (Farmington, CT)

A respected teacher, Blake’s students have been selected to participate in master classes at the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) conference in Minnesota, and have served as principal players at Evanston Township, New Trier, and Stevenson High School as well as in the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra.  In addition, his students have been prize-winners in the Society of American Musicians (SAM) competition and have gone on to study music at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Stanford University, Yale University and Indiana University, among others. As an administrator, Blake has served as a staff member of the Denver Suzuki Institute and has been part of the administrative team of a Suzuki Institute each summer.  He currently serves as Administrative Director of the Chicago Suzuki Institute and coordinates the MIC Mid-Winter Suzuki workshops. 

 

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David Holmes (Minneapolis, MN)

David Holmes grew up in Texas but has lived in Minneapolis since 1993. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas (1993).   A Suzuki teacher for 20 years, David has been a guest clinician at over 50 Suzuki institutes in 10 states.  He has completed coursework in all 10 Suzuki books as well as the Suzuki Principles in Action course.  David has presented at the Suzuki National Conference twice, most recently in 2014 on the subject of sautillé.  He was awarded the Master Studio Teacher Award in 2014 from the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA). As cello columnist for the award-winning MNSOTA Journal for the past 10 years, David has published numerous articles on cello pedagogy.  He has been published in the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) journal.   David taught at the Augsburg College Suzuki Talent Education Program from 1994-2014.  He currently teaches at the North Star Cello Academy in the twin cities. David is the cellist in the Northern Lights String Quartet, is an artist member of Thursday Musical, has been principal cellist of the Minnetonka and Bloomington Symphonies, and has performed with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.

 

 

Dr. Alice Ann M. O’Neill (Cincinnati, OH)

Dr. Alice Ann M. O’Neill has extensive experience performing in professional orchestras and chamber ensembles, and as a solo cellist throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S.  Dr. O’Neill is a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas and shares her gifts at clinics, workshops, and institutes and presents at international education and research conferences. Her articles are published in The Journal of Research in Music Education, the American Suzuki Journal, and the Vincentian Heritage Journal.

Dr. O’Neill’s young cellists have appeared on the National Public Radio show “From the Top,” and won top prizes at the St. Paul’s String Quartet and Fischoff chamber music competitions. Her cellists have continued their studies at Rice University-Shepherd School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, OSU, Catholic University of America, Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, Indiana University, Harvard and the Juilliard School. Dr. O’Neill currently teaches at Mount St. Joseph Talent Education in Cincinnati, Ohio, and also teaches cello, pedagogy, coaches chamber music and supervises pre-service music teachers at Mount St. Joseph University. She is a Catholic nun and member of the Sisters of Charity. 

 

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Barbara Wampner (San Francisco, CA)

Barbara Wampner is active as a registered Suzuki cello teacher trainer and has a private studio of approximately twenty cello students, age four to adult, in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has taught at summer institutes and conferences in the Japan, North and South America, Korea, Australia, and Europe. Currently, she serves as Suzuki Association of the Americas representative to the ISA International Cello Committee. She has been invited to collaborate in cello pedagogy sessions at the SF Conservatory of Music and directs the Suzuki School of Music at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. Her students have graduated in cello performance from Northwestern University, Indiana University, and Juilliard. She holds a B.M.E. degree from Northwestern University and an M.A. degree from San Francisco State University with cello studies with Margaret Rowell. In 1976 she received a teacher certificate from Dr. Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. For thirteen years she taught instrumental music in the San Francisco Unified School District middle schools.

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Suzuki Early Childhood Education

 

Danette Warren (Sugarland,TX)

Danette Warren is the Director of Dolce Music Studio, home of Dolce Strings and Dolce Babies, where she teaches violin, viola and Suzuki Early Childhood classes. She also co-directs the Dolce Strings Touring Ensemble. She is an SAA Registered SECE Teacher Trainer. As one of the teachers who taught SECE classes at the 16th World Convention in Japan, she also had the privilege of speaking and presenting the SECE curriculum in depth. A sought-after clinician at institutes, workshops, festivals and schools, she has been teaching for over 30 years, and has held positions such as President of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association (now Southeast Texas Suzuki Association), and state board member of Texas Music Teachers Association. She has received the Houston Music Teachers Association President’s “Bravo” award and was also awarded “Teacher of the Year”. She has been published in the American Suzuki Journal, contributed a video to Parents and Partners Online, and has presented at numerous SAA Conferences and Leadership Retreats. She is currently the SECE Coordinator for the 2018 SAA Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Indiana University, where she studied violin with Tadeusz Wronski and Josef Gingold. She has had the great privilege of studying SECE with the creators of the curriculum, Dorothy Jones and Sharon Jones. Danette also performs with the Möbius Chamber Ensemble and as a freelance violinist and violist in the greater Houston area. 

 

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Orchestra

 

Dr. Christopher T. F. Hanson (Seattle, WA)

Conductor, violinist, composer, pedagogue, and musicologist, Christopher T. F. Hanson enjoys working with a large and eclectic group of ensembles in the state of Texas and abroad. Hanson holds three master’s degrees from Texas State University in music history, music theory, and music composition. He completed his PhD at Texas State University, with a focus on teacher and student agency; as well as, a master’s in applied philosophy and ethics, with a focus on the transformative powers of fine arts education.

As a violinist and composer, Hanson has premiered several works in multiple genres and serves as the chief arranger and first violinist of the Sacred Ensemble with Dr. Shana Mashego. Hanson currently serves as assistant professor and director of music education and orchestral activities at Seattle Pacific University.

 

Bruce Walker, Jr. (Richland, WA)

Bruce Walker is an Associate Professor of Music at Columbia Basin College, Music Director for the Yakima Youth Symphony, President of the Washington state chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. He was named the 2021 Music Educator of the Year by the Washington State Music Educators Association and was recently elected to the Executive Board for the Washington Music Educators Association for the 2022-2024 biennium. Previously, he worked as a faculty member with the Youth Excellence on Stage Academy in collaboration with American Voices, a US non-government, non-profit, cultural exchange organization. Through this organization, he has conducted, traveled, and taught cello in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

As a conductor, Mr. Walker has participated in some of the finest conducting workshops and music festivals across the United States such as the Marrowstone Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, various workshops sponsored by the Conductor’s Guild, Astoria Music Festival, Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop, and the University of Oregon Orchestral Conducting Institute. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Central Washington University Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, and the Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Memorable for his unique style of positive student engagement, analogies, and his knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, Mr. Walker is also in high demand as an adjudicator and guest conductor for many All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the United States, most recently conducting the 2021 Nevada All-State Symphony Orchestra.

As a cellist, Mr. Walker remains active as a teacher and performer. He has appeared as soloist with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the Oregon East Symphony. He is an on-call cellist to the Oregon East Symphony, Walla Walla Symphony, Mid-Columbia Symphony, and Yakima Symphony.

Mr. Walker earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Music
degree from Central Washington University focusing on Orchestral Conducting and Cello Performance. He has completed coursework for his Doctorate of Music Arts degree in Music Education through Boston University. His primary teachers have been Kangho Lee and John Michel (cello), Dr. Jeffery Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Kenneth Woods, and Lawrence Golan (conducting), and Dr. Beth Cantrell, Priscilla Jones, Dr. Andrea Yun, and the late H. Glenda Piek (Suzuki cello).

When not in the classroom, on the podium working with ensembles, or teaching cello lessons, he enjoys hiking and traveling around the Pacific Northwest, enjoying time outside around a BBQ pit and smoker sampling new culinary creations, or shopping for and admiring argyle socks. 

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 Enrichment courses

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Dr. Jared Ballance, Dalcroze (Kent, WA)

Jared Ballance is a dedicated performer and teacher in many fields.  His cello playing has been praised by Cleveland Plain Dealer for its “poetic and dramatic panache”.  He has performed chamber music with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and was the cellist of the Samford String Quartet and the Brandywine Trio.  He currently performs as a member of the Ballance Duo and in a piano trio with William Chapman Nyaho and Ruth Marie Ballance. Dr. Ballance teaches Dalcroze extensively with his own students, for the National Children’s Chorus, at summer music programs, and teacher workshops. He holds the Dalcroze Certificate from the Juilliard School ad the Dalcroze License from Carnegie Mello University.  He studied Dalcroze and pedagogy with David Brown at CIM, with Robert Abramson and Daniel Cataneo at Juilliard, with Anne Farber and Lisa Parker at Longy, and with Dr. Stephen Moore and Annabel Joseph at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned BM and MM degrees in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Studying with Desmond Hoebig and Richard Aaron, and a DMA in cello performance and literature and MM in music theory pedagogy from the Eastman School of Music.

 

Catherine Ludlow, Dance (Seattle, WA)

Catherine Ludlow has been studying French Baroque dance for about five years, and Renaissance repertoire for many more.  Her love of historical dance stems from her long-term interest in music history and historical performance.

A native of Northern New Jersey, Catherine came to Seattle to pursue a doctorate in musicology at the University of Washington, where she is now a doctoral candidate.  Her current research focuses on the impact of Realist set design in Parisian opera c. 1900, with occasional forays into early film as well as French Baroque opera and dance. 

 

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 Collaborative pianists

Adam Whiting

Adam Whiting is a coach/accompanist at the Cleveland School of the Arts and The Music Settlement. Until recently, he was a staff accompanist at the Cleveland Institute of music; he was hired for this position upon graduation from CIM in the spring of 2005 with a double-masters degree in piano performance and accompanying. After 20 years and purchasing 5 properties in Cleveland, he considers himself a transplant, but still spends summertime in the Pacific Northwest to see family and friends and accompany the Oregon Suzuki Institute and the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute.

Allyson Kramer (Seattle, WA)

Allyson holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Western Washington University and University of Minnesota. Allyson loves working with musicians at every level whether it be teaching in her private studio, or accompanying. Most typically, Allyson serves as accompanist for teachers’ studios in the Seattle area, WMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest, and Seattle Young Artists Adjudications. She has served as accompanist for the Japan Seattle Suzuki Institute for over twenty years.

Hillary Nordwell (Bellevue, WA)

Hillary Nordwell is a recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was a featured soloist and chamber musician in many concert venues. She enjoys coaching chamber music and educating children and families through her Comfy Concert series. Hillary is well acquainted with the Suzuki triangle, having begun her Suzuki experience as a young piano student, beginning her teacher training in 2007 with Caroline Fraser, and embarking on Suzuki parenting in 2014. 

Hillary has a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance, magna cum laude, from Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI, where she studied with Catherine Kautsky and was honored for three consecutive years with the Marjory Irvin Prize for “excellence in solo piano and chamber music.” She earned her masters degree in Chamber Music Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Paul Hersh, Jodi Levitz, Axel Strauss, and Mark Sokol and participated in master classes with renowned artists Menahem Pressler and Paul Katz. Hillary has performed chamber music throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Austria, Germany, and Sweden.  In 2006, she was invited as pianist of the Eusebius Duo to perform in Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall, New York), following the duo’s success as first prize winners of the CMFONE International Chamber Music Competition. 

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Erin Rushforth, Director (San Antonio, TX)

Erin Rushforth is a registered Suzuki violin teacher with an eye for detail and a penchant for planning. She grew up as a Suzuki kid in Rochester, MN, and studied in high school with Mary West of the MacPhail Center for Music. Erin earned her MA in French studies from Brigham Young University. She has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Liz Arbus, Linda Fiore, Cathy Lee, Pat d’Ercole, and Ann Montzka Smelser. Erin’s other projects include working as Patient Coordinator for HeartGift San Antonio and teaching early-morning scripture classes to high school students. When she isn’t working, you may find her running, hiking, planning trips to Spain, reading, or otherwise avoiding the laundry.

 

Chloe Ross-Massey, Assistant Director (Concord, CA)

Chloe Ross-Massey is the founder and director of The Studio Violin, a Suzuki violin school located in the East Bay of the SF Bay area. Chloe grew up in Seattle and attended Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute as a child, along with playing in the Seattle Youth Symphonies for many years. She attended The Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA under the tutelage of the late Janet Packer, and earned her Certificate of Violin Performance. Upon moving back to Seattle, Chloe became a section violinist with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra for two seasons before moving to California.

Chloe believes wholeheartedly in the magic of the Suzuki Method. She studies Suzuki violin pedagogy with Charles Krigbaum and has taken extensive training with Diana Volodka Staggs, Edward Kreitman, Ann Montzka Smelser, Teri Eindfeld, and Kathleen Spring. She is a registered Suzuki teacher and an active member of her local SAA chapter, The Suzuki Association of Northern California.

When not teaching, Chloe enjoys spending time with her two dogs and mountain biking with her husband. 

 

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What keeps us coming back is the quality of teachers.
JSSI is always well-run, we feel very well supported, and we will definitely attend again, whether in person/virtual.

Mariska

Seize the opportunity to study with our world-class faculty at JSSI 2022!