LASI is proud to announce a phenomenal faculty line-up for our 2017 Institute. 

2017 LASI & CMW Faculty List

Teacher Training Faculty


Guitar Faculty


Violin & Viola Faculty


Cello & Bass Faculty


Piano Faculty


Chamber Music Workshop Faculty


Enrichment Class Faculty





Faculty Bios: 

April Losey, Director:  April Losey grew up as a Suzuki student and has been an active Suzuki teacher for over twenty years. She has taken extensive teacher training in both violin and viola, continuing to be passionate about finding ways to inspire kids to learn. Ms. Losey graduated with a M.M. in Viola Performance from Arizona State University, a B.A. in Music from Washington Adventist University, and has studied privately with Donald McInnes. In addition to freelancing throughout the Los Angeles area, April is a member of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra and San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. She is a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and maintains an active private studio in Redlands, CA. In her spare time April makes handmade artisan jewelry and competes in dog agility with her two dogs.

Edmund Sprunger, Violin Faculty: Edmund Sprunger is a registered SAA teacher trainer. He has presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences and taught hundreds of workshops throughout North and South America. He holds a BA in music from Goshen College—violin with Lon Sherer, and piano and piano pedagogy with Marvin Blickenstaff. Also trained as a psychotherapist, Mr. Sprunger holds a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan and extensive post-degree training with the Michigan and St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institutes. Additional violin studies with Chihiro Kudo and Reinaldo Couto (Alexander Technique/Violin). He has served on the SAA board, was chair of ASTA’s Committee on Studio Instruction, and in 2004 received the ASTA Citation for Leadership and Merit. He is author of Helping Parents Practice,and Building Violin Skill, and is the past editor of the Violin Forum for American String Teacher. He sees child and adult patients at the Schiele Clinic and serves as director of the Child Development Program at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.

Diana Galindo, Piano Faculty: Diana Galindo has garnered international recognition as a pianist, singer and master teacher in 4 continents. She has appeared in numerous piano and vocal performances in Australia, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Puerto Rico and Peru. Since receiving a B.Music in Piano Performance and a minor in Voice from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Ms. Galindo has been a featured presenter at conferences world-wide. Principal piano teachers include Andrew Mihalso, Paul Parmelee and master class instruction with Larry Graham. She continued graduate studies with Miquel Farré of Barcelona. At the local level, as well as in International competition, she generates gold medal student winners in piano. She was elected to the National Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and was the SAA Piano Conference Coordinator in 2002 in Minneapolis. A former faculty member of Northern Arizona University as Instructor in Piano, Galindo currently teaches through her studio in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Ann Montzka Smelser, Violin Faculty: Ann Montzka Smelser began playing violin at the age of 3 with the help of her mother and father, Marilyn and Arthur Montzka. Later she studied under Kazuko Numanami and Sarah Hersh at the Oberlin College Suzuki Program and later with Rebecca Sandrok and Pierre Menard.

In between receiving her Bachelors of Music Education and Masters in Performance and Pedagogue at Northern Illinois University, Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. After college, Ann toured extensively with the Ruggieri String Quartet to all four corners of the United States through Columbia Artists Management. Ann has performed in many orchestras and chamber ensembles and is currently principal 2nd violinist with Camerata Chicago and concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

In 2003 Ann received the Hester Byron Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2013 was inducted into the Sycamore Music Booster Hall of Fame and was honored to recieve the Legacy Award. Ann is a lifetime member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has been invited to present at several SAA Conferences. Ann has served as coordinator of the Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas in 2006 and 2008 and is currently co-coordinator for Violin at the 2014 and 2016 National Suzuki Conferences to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ann became a Registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer in 2005 and currently teaches Suzuki Pedagogy at both Wheaton College and Northern Illinois University. Ann teaches about 35 private students and is director of the NIU, CSA Suzuki Strings Program. Ann enjoys working with Suzuki families and teachers at Suzuki Institutes and workshops throughout the United States. Ann was a guest teacher at the 2010 International String Conference in Singapore and has given Teacher Training courses in Lima, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico City. Ann lives in DeKalb, IL with her children Benjamin and Genevieve, her husband, Linc, and her Golden Retriever, Chloe.

Sarah Bylander Montzka, Viola & Violin Faculty: Sarah Bylander Montzka is the Associate Director of the Suzuki program at the Music Institute of Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University (MM) and The Cleveland Institute of Music (BM), earning degrees in viola performance. Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is a past board member of the Society of American Musicians. She is the founder and director of MIC's annual Violapalooza! workshop and teaches at workshops and institutes from Duluth to Tanzania. Previously, Sarah taught in the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Music Program—designed to reach economically-challenged children. She has also worked in the administrative field as Coordinator of Education Programs for the Jacksonville Symphony and Associate Director of the Colorado Suzuki Institute. Sarah has performed as a section violist in orchestras including the Jacksonville, Charleston and Savannah Symphonies.

Abbey Hansen, Cello Faculty: Cellist, artist-teacher and SAA registered Cello Teacher Trainer, Abbey Hansen, maintains an active teaching and performing schedule in the Cleveland area. Ms. Hansen serves as full-time faculty at the at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to her work with Suzuki students, she conducts a two-year graduate Suzuki teacher-training program, part of a unique dual Master’s degree in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy. Prior to her appointment at CIM, Ms. Hansen served on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, Rockford College Music Academy, Community School of the Arts at Northern Illinois University and Music Academy at Lawrence University.
An in-demand guest clinician, Ms. Hansen has taught and lectured at workshops and institutes in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado and Haiti. Ms. Hansen has also performed in several chamber music ensembles in the Chicagoland area and has been featured on faculty and alumni recitals throughout the Midwest. In 2006, she had the privilege of performing in a friendship concert at the Suzuki Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. In 2016 Ms. Hansen became the youngest ever registered Suzuki Cello Teacher Trainer. She is also the recipient of the Suzuki Association of the Americas’ Level 1 Certificate of Achievement for excellence in Suzuki education.
Ms. Hansen’s students have served as principal players in Chicago area youth orchestras, Interlochen and Blue Lake summer camps, and were selected to join the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Hansen Studio cellists have placed in Chicagoland competitions including Granquist, Protege Philharmonic, Rockford Women’s Club and Midwest Young Artists and have continued their cello studies at top universities such as Amhurst, Drake, Brown and University of Illinois.
Ms. Hansen grew up in Iowa City, IA and began her cello studies in the public school system. She graduated from Lawrence University earning a Bachelors of Music in cello performance. She continued her education as a Dutton Low Strings Fellow at Northern Illinois University, earning both a Masters of Music (Cello Performance and Pedagogy) and a Performers Certificate. Ms. Hansen has registered Suzuki training with Gilda Barston, Pam Devenport, Nancy Hair, Carol Tarr and Jean Dexter. Her primary cello teachers include Betsy Hawtrey, Janet Anthony and Marc Johnson. Ms. Hansen lives in Cleveland Heights, OH with her husband, two Suzuki cellist children, and two Havanese dogs.

Jeremy Dittus, Dalcroze Faculty: Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze Education Specialist. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs and presented Dalcroze masterclasses throughout the United States, Europe and South East Asia. He currently directs the Dalcroze School of the Rockies Dalcroze Academy teacher-training center at Metropolitan State University of Denver where he serves on the faculty. He currently serves on l’Collège de l’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze.

Dr. Dittus is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. The DSR offers Dalcroze Education classes (Eurhythmics and Rhythmic-Solfège) for children (pre-kindergarten through high school), adult enrichment classes, full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License, in addition to post-License/pre-Diplôme courses. He recently has published books on Dalcroze Education: Embodying Music: A Textbook for Dalcroze Teacher Training, and five books that correspond to the Rhythmic-Solfège youth program in place at the Dalcroze School of the Rockies. 

Avi Friedlander, Cello Faculty:  Avi Friedlander is the founder and director of Suzuki Talent Education Program of Birmingham (STEP Birmingham).  Mr. Friedlander currently teaches at both STEP Birmingham and the Alabama School of Fine Arts and formerly taught at Emory University, Birmingham Southern College and Andrews University in Michigan.  He received his Master’s and Bachelor’s of Music performance degrees from The University of Michigan, and pursued his professional studies degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Friedlander is the former Assistant Principal cellist of the Atlanta Opera and member of The New World Symphony. He has been trained in the Suzuki methods with Dr. Tanya Carey, Pam Devenport, Rick Mooney, Nancy Hair and Gilda Barston. Mr. Friedlander has also studied Early Child Development with Ed Sprunger, teaching group classes with Carey Beth Hockett and Terry Durbin, Music Mind Games by Elizabeth Cunha and cello pedagogy with Irene Sharp. Mr. Friedlander has also studied improvisation with Ellen Rowe at the University of Michigan and Eugene Friesen from the Berkely College of Music in Boston. His primary teachers have included Anthony Elliott, Stephen Geber, Tanya Carey and David Premo. He has also studied with Richard Aaron, Eric Kim, Yehuda Hanani and Hans Jensen. Mr. Friedlander has taught at workshops and festivals around the country and has performed and recorded music from classical to rock. Mr. Friedlander currently performs with String Theory Birmingham and writes his own arrangements for solo cello and ensembles from Jimi Hendrix to Pearl Jam.

Andrea Cannon, Guitar Faculty: Andrea grew up in the Washington, DC area and began her guitar studies with noted Jazz Virtuoso Rick Whitehead of the USAF Band. She was selected as Outstanding Soloist and named to the All-Star Jazz Ensemble at the James Madison University Jazz Festival. She also received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for young musicians.

An alumna of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music Performance program, she studied with William G. Leavitt, Laurence Baione and Jon Damien.  She served as Berklee Regional Admissions Alumni Representative earning recognition for Outstanding Service and Rep of the Year. Post-Collegiate studies include extensive Suzuki Method pedagogy courses in both guitar and early childhood education with grants for Teacher Excellence from the Suzuki Association and Music Teachers National Association.  These grants also enabled her to pursue intensive study in applied performance with Robert Guthrie of Southern Methodist University.

She directs the program at Guitar Arts Studio in Houston, Texas, featuring lessons, theory and ensemble for guitarists as well as Suzuki-based Early Childhood Music Courses. Student Awards include: State and Local Music Teacher’s Association Performance Contest Winners; Texas MTA State Theory Test Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals as well as numerous Guitar Ensemble Festival awards.Student ensembles have performed events with Van Cliburn (MTNA National Conference); in the GFA Youth Showcase (Ithaca, 2009); and William Kanengiser (University of Texas at Dallas Guitar Festival 2010) Our Students were featured in the MTNA’s National Journal, the American Suzuki Journal and on the cover of Texas Music Teacher Magazine.

Andrea is a noted clinician and author.  She has conducted workshops and master classes extensively throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Central and South America. Her articles have appeared in Soundboard, American Music Teacher and the American Suzuki Journal.  Guitar arrangements and materials are distributed through CannonSong Media.

Jim Lee, Cello Faculty: Jim Lee received an early musical influence from his father, a successful violinist in Seoul, Korea, and started Suzuki cello training at the age of 8. Since then, he has had the privilege of studying under renowned cellists Hans Jensen from Northwestern University, and Tchaikovsky Competition winner Suren Bagratuni at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Pursuing his passion for chamber music, Mr. Lee has had the opportunity to receive additional chamber music training under world renowned chamber groups such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Borromero String Quartet, and the Ying Quartet.  He performs regularly with his cello quartet, Quatracelli.  Mr. Lee has had the privilege to start his own cello program at the Loma Linda Academy and has also taught at the National Cello Institute.  He has been with PCM since 2002.

Megan Shung Smith, Violin & Jazz Faculty: Megan Shung Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music with honors, studying under David Updegraff. While at CIM, Megan also earned a Suzuki Pedagogy Certification through Book Four from the Suzuki Association of America under the tutelage of Kimberly Meier-Sims. Upon graduation, she continued her studies with Paul Kantor in Houston, TX for two years. Past mentors include Richard Schwabe and Henry Gronnier at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. Megan’s honors include the 2011 Dr. Jerome D. Gross Prize in Violin from the Cleveland Institute of Music and 2008 International House of Blues Foundation Ambassador Scholarship.

Megan is currently on faculty at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and a strings field supervisor for Education Through Music Los Angeles, an organization committed to providing quality music education in public schools. She’s taught at numerous Institutes including the LA Suzuki Institute and the Advanced Suzuki Institute at Stanford. In the past, Megan has taught at La Canada School of Music, The Village School (Houston, TX), Fort Bend Independent School District (Houston TX), and the Cleveland School of the Arts (Cleveland, OH).

An active performer and studio musician in the Los Angeles area, Megan performs regularly as concertmaster of the Lake Avenue Chamber Orchestra in Pasadena, and Musical Theater West in Long Beach. In addition, She is adept at non-traditional performance practices and styles, including jazz, rock, pop, and experimental music. She currently studies Gypsy Jazz with Dutch jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis.  Artist collaborations have included Kimbra, tyDi, Dalal and other film composers in the LA area. She is currently the electric 5-string violinist for Iridas, an electro-chamber ensemble, whose goal is to create and encourage more meaningful hybridization of modern classical music and populist music.

As an educator, Megan’s primary mission is to create for her students a strong technical foundation with roots in various styles and ideologies. Her hope is to cultivate not only solid performers but also empowered and informed listeners to encourage creativity and experimentation beyond the boundaries of ordinary musicianship.

Tami Iskendarian, Violin Faculty: Violinist Tami Iskenderian is an avid chamber musician and pedagogue. After attending the Colburn School of Performing Arts, she continued studies at the University of Texas at Austin (BMus) and the Royal Academy of Music in London (MMus with Distinction). While at the Royal Academy, she also earned a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) Teaching Diploma. Under full scholarships awarded by the Raffy Manoukian Foundation and the Starling Foundation, she completed her studies with the guidance of principal teachers Gyorgy Pauk and Brian Lewis. Additionally, she studied chamber music extensively with Thomas Brandis and the members of the Miro and Endellion String Quartets.

Ms. Iskenderian has concertized throughout southern France, Holland, Germany, England, Texas and New York as a soloist and chamber musician. As a featured Young Artist at the 2003 Starling DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School, she performed at a young age for such noted pedagogues as Paul Kantor, Donald Weilerstein and Won-Bin Yim. She has performed with multiple orchestras, including the London Contemporary Orchestra, Orchestra Europa and the Austin Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, she has appeared with the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmerman, and the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Iskenderian has collaborated with the Royal Academy Soloists alongside violinist Clio Gould and has appeared in concert at London’s Wigmore Hall and at Kings Place. She has performed the Shostakovich Octet alongside members of the Miro Quartet, and served as the 2nd violinist in the Galitzin Quartet in London. As a quartet musician, she participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme International Academy of String Quartets, working with Sebastian Hammen and Isabel Charisius in Aldeburgh, UK. Further studies were done with the Debussy Quartet by invitation to attend the Chamber Music Academy of Vivion and Académie d’été du Quatuor Debussy in Bourg Saint Andeol, as well as with the members of the Ysaye Quartet at the Zeist International Music Days.

In 2007, she was the first prize winner of the Crescendo Music Awards Competition and she was invited as a guest recitalist and master class teacher in the Mary and David Green Recital Series in Ottawa, Kansas. She has performed in master classes for Glenn Dicterow, Cho-Liang Lin, Pinchas Zukerman, Ruggiero Ricci and Pamela Frank, among others. Ms. Iskenderian has also performed for Governor Gray Davis, El Presidente de México Vincente Fox and President George W. Bush. Summer music festivals attended include IMS Prussia Cove Seminar in Cornwall, England, the Holland Music Sessions, London Master Classes, Pinchas Zukerman Young Artist Programme and the ENCORE School for Strings.

As an educator, Ms. Iskenderian is a registered Suzuki teacher and has trained primarily with Linda Fiore since 2006. She is also a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California. Over the years she has undertaken extensive studies of alternative techniques such as the Alexander Technique and Power Brain Education for kids, and incorporates principles of these in her teaching. She has taught privately in London and Texas, and has maintained her own private studio in Santa Monica since 2010. She joined the faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory in 2012.

Lucy Lewis, Violin & Viola Faculty: Dr. Lucy Lewis enjoys an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, and teaching clinician, and has appeared in these roles throughout the United States and internationally. At California State University San Bernardino, Dr. Lewis is Assistant Professor of Orchestral Music Education, and oversees the instruction of applied violin and viola, conducting the orchestral studies program, coaching string chamber music, and teaching string methods and pedagogy. At Loma Linda Academy, Dr. Lewis is the Director of the String Program, she conducts the Loma Linda Academy Symphony Orchestra, and also maintains a small private studio.  Previously, Dr. Lewis has been on the faculties of the Preucil School of Music, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory Preparatory Department, Southwestern and Lake Michigan Colleges, the Citadel Dance & Music Center, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Association’s Mentor Program, and has been a guest clinician and performer at several music festivals.  Dr. Lewis also holds a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Piotr Milewski, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Scott Conklin. At the University of Iowa, Dr. Lewis also completed a cognate area in viola performance and pedagogy with Christine Rutledge, and a cognate area in orchestral conducting with William LaRue Jones.

Samantha Steitz, Musicianship Faculty: Samantha is primarily a classical pianist and Suzuki Method Instructor based in Los Angeles. She is currently President-Elect of the Suzuki Music Association of California-LA Board, the 2015/2016 Chair of Suzuki Graduation Committee and a faculty member of the Pasadena Suzuki Music Program (PSMP). Samantha maintains an active private studio in South Pasadena, where she teaches children ages three and above. In addition, she is a member of theMusic Teachers Association of California and participates in their Certificate of Merit Program. Samantha also is a clinician at Suzuki workshops and institutes. 

Born and raised in Manhattan, NY, Samantha began Suzuki instruction of piano at the age of five at Mannes College of Music with Li-Chen Hwang. Later, she studied under Thomas Osuga and participated in various festivals in NYC and the northeast. While earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at Scripps College, she worked with Hao Huang, developing a deep love for the classical repertoire. Samantha had the distinct privilege to study solo piano and chamber music in Vienna, Austria, in 2009 with Genie Russo and Carolyn Hague. She was the winner of the Claremont Concert Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2010 and the Gladys Pattison Music Award in 2011. 

Samantha  is a firm believer in continuing teacher education, and has studied with renowned Suzuki pedagogues over the years, most notably Mary Craig Powell. Teaching is not simply an occupation to Samantha, but rather a vocation and a heartfelt opportunity to positively shape her students into fine human beings and musicians.

Theresa Plotnick, Violin & Viola Faculty: Theresa Plotnick combines an array of performance experience with a dedication to furthering young students. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Ms. Plotnick earned a music degree at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She played professionally in orchestras in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio; Caracas, Venezuela; and Erie, Pennsylvania before moving to Calgary, Alberta.

Ms. Plotnick has performed frequently as a freelance violist with such groups as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Bach Society, Calgary Festival Chorus, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra, and Red Deer Symphony. She has performed with many local chamber groups and is a founding and current member of the Allegro String Quartet.

Theresa spent over a decade as faculty member of the Suzuki Talent Education Society of Calgary and then served as coordinator of the junior academy program at Mount Royal College. She is a frequent clinician and adjudicator at workshops, summer programs, and festivals. She cofounded the Amici String Program, where she currently teaches a large violin and viola studio.

Anna Halperin, Piano Faculty: A native of Guilford, CT, Anna Halperin received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, Anna was a graduate teaching fellow and a recipient of both the Frieda Derdeyn Bambas Piano Award and the Martha M. Boucher Piano Scholarship. She was chosen by the School of Music for the Provost’s Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year. She has studied piano pedagogy with Dr. Jane Magrath, Dr. Barbara Fast, and Dr. Deborah Martin, and her studio teachers include Dr. Jeongwon Ham and Phiroze Mehta. She has done Suzuki training with Mary Craig Powell. Anna currently resides on the piano faculty at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas.

Anna has performed in numerous solo recitals and masterclasses and was a recent performer in the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. A member and adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association, she has collaborated on presentations at state and national MTNA conferences on topics such as Technology in the Music Classroom and Liszt for the Advancing High School Pianist.

Sarah Dudas, Violin Faculty: An enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated teacher with over 15 years of experience, Dr. Sarah Dudas recently relocated to Southern California after performing and teaching within the greater Baltimore/Washington area. While maintaining her own private studio out of her home in Baltimore, past appointments also included substitute and part-time teaching positions at Peabody Preparatory of Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), The Academy of Fine Arts (Gaithersburg, MD) and Cadek Conservatory (Chattanooga, TN). Dr. Dudas’s students regularly participated in the ASTACAP (American String Teacher Certificate of Achievement Program) and received placements in area youth orchestras such as MCYO (Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras) and PVYO (Potomac Valley Youth Orchestras.) Her former teachers include Jan Sloman (Dallas, TX), James Buswell (Boston, MA), Hagai Shaham (Tel Aviv, Israel), and Kathleen Winkler (Houston, TX). She received her Suzuki Pedagogy training under the tutelage of Nancy Lokken (Minneapolis, MN) and Charles Krigbaum (Dallas, TX).

In addition to teaching, Dr. Dudas performed regularly throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, frequently subbing with ensembles such as the Maryland Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She spent three years as a section violinist at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene under the baton of Helmuth Rilling and is a former member of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.

Dr. Dudas received her Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Master of Music from New England Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts and Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Originally from Texas, Dr. Dudas has had opportunities to live and work in a variety of US cities and musical environments, including Dallas, Boston, Chattanooga, Los Angeles, and Baltimore/Washington DC. She and her husband welcomed daughter Sylvia in the fall of 2014.

Trina Carey Hodgson, Chamber Music Faculty: Trina Carey Hodgson has enjoyed a varied and distinguished musical career. For more than three decades Trina has honed her craft of musician and teacher. She has performed as both soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the United States.

Mrs. Hodgson’s performing career has taken her around the U.S. and Europe. She was principal cellist with the Graz Opera Orchestra and toured with them throughout Austria and Italy. She was a member of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway. While with them, she toured all over Scandinavia and northern Europe. She is a charter member of the Haydn String Quartet and the Amore Chamber Players as well as the professional cello quartet, Quatracelli! She has performed with John Tesh, Joel Grey, Michael Bolton, Ed Asner and Rene Auberjonois. Her love of Irish music even took her to play in a Celtic Band. Mrs. Hodgson has recorded with the Bergen Philharmonic, the Norwegian Radio and the Pasadena Symphony. Movie credits include “True Identity” and “Steal Big, Steal Little.” Video game recording credits include Bio Quest. Currently, Mrs. Hodgson plays in the Pasadena (CA) Symphony and freelances in Los Angeles.

For nearly twenty years, Trina directed the Pasadena based cello program, A-Cello-Rondo. She is a popular clinician at institutes and workshops around the world, including Korea, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, South America, and the United States. Mrs. Hodgson was invited to represent the American Suzuki Teachers at a special performance at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Nagoya, Japan. Her students attend major music schools and have successful careers in orchestras and universities around the country.

Drawing upon the performance and teaching insights into group dynamics, communication and creativity which she gained over the course of her musical career, Trina has created programs that help others enhance their leadership, decision making and communication skills. As a group facilitator, consultant and key-note speaker, Trina integrates musical performance into workshops and presentations in settings that range from the corporate conference room to school music programs.

Mrs. Hodgson studied at the Eastman School of Music with Robert Sylvester, and received her Bachelor of Music degree at University of Illinois, studying with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. She received her Master of Arts degree at UC Santa Barbara, studying with Ronald Leonard. Other teachers include Tanya Carey, Alan Harris, Karl Fruh, Paul Katz and Irene Sharp.

She is currently serving on the board of the Los Angeles Violoncello Society, the MTAC scholarship committee, and is a member the orchestra committee of the Pasadena Symphony. Past service includes the boards of LA-ASTA and the Suzuki Music Association of California, and SAA Conference Cello Coordinator.

Wendy Waggener, Violin Faculty: Wendy Waggener earned degrees in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and New England Conservatory.  She maintains a private studio in Claremont, in addition to performing with the Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, and coaching Intermezzo Orchestra and Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra. She completed her Alexander Technique training with Robyn Avalon in Santa Fe and Midori Shinkai in Kyoto, and has worked with musicians at Meadowmount School of Music, Montecito International Music Festival, La Sierra University, and the Coburn School, in addition to teaching classes and private lessons.