What an amazing group of faculty we have for 2018! Read on!
Beth Cantrell – Cello – Teacher Trainer
ELIZABETH CANTRELL, “Dr. Beth”, has taught children and adults at Suzuki Institutes and workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years. She is currently adjunct faculty at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Locally, she maintains a private studio at Crozet Arts. In addition to teaching, Dr. Cantrell has performed with Opera on the James, the Charlottesville Chamber Orchestra, the Waynesboro Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, Roanoke Symphony, and the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra. Dr. Cantrell earned degrees in cello performance and music history from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, and the University of Georgia. Prior to moving to Virginia with her family in 2001, she was principal cellist for the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and was on the faculty of Kennesaw State University. She was active in the Atlanta area for 18 years as a teacher, chamber and orchestral performer, adjudicator, and recording studio musician.
SARA BENNETT WOLFE is the Director of SBW Suzuki Cello Studio in Norwalk CT, and is also cello faculty at the Greenwich Suzuki Academy. She was Cello Department Head at the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk CT from 2012-2016. In summers, Sara is on faculty at the Westchester and Ithaca Suzuki Institutes, and she has taught at Kinhaven Music School’s Junior Session since 2011.
Previous teaching positions include the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Sato Center for Suzuki Studies, Westminster Conservatory of Westminster Choir College, Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts—Extension Division, Point CounterPoint Chamber Music Camp, and Ithaca College, where she was the graduate teaching assistant to cello professor Elizabeth Simkin. Sara is in demand as a cello clinician, directs the annual Fairfield County CelloFest, and was the Guest Artist at Montana State University’s 2013 Cello Festival.
Sara earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance from Rutgers University. She completed a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and also earned a Master’s degree in Cello Performance from Ithaca College. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance with distinction from Indiana University.
Sara has held the position of Principal Cellist with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Opera in the Ozarks, and the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed with the Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra, Symphony of Westchester, Norwalk Symphony, Canton Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. Sara is a founding member of the Thales Piano Trio, and concertizes regularly throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic with her duo partner, pianist Heather Adelsberger. She has recently participated in commercial recordings and premieres for two new choral works in New York City, where she is an active freelancer.
Sara’s primary teachers include Jonathan Spitz, Merry Peckham, Elizabeth Simkin, and Emilio Colon. She has completed Suzuki Teacher Training with Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Pam Devenport, Melissa Kraut, and Mark Mutter. Sara is a winner of the Mason Gross School of the Arts Chamber Music competition, the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale competition, and the Brevard Music Center’s Advanced Chamber Music Fellowship.
Sara believes deeply in the power of music education to teach students about love, discipline, and endurance. She enjoys being an integral part of her students’ “village,” and is thrilled to witness each small step as she and their parents guide them towards growing into Dr. Suzuki’s image of “noble human beings.”
Julie Sonne – Cello
Bio coming soon!
John began his cello studies at the age of 7, and grew up in Dallas, TX. He attended Bryan Adams High School where he was a member of the National Honors Orchestra. He received both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from Louisiana State University in Cello Performance. He also pursued a Doctoral degree in cello performance at North Texas University where he studied with Adolfo Odnoposoff. He has taught and freelanced as a cellist for many years in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
He is a member of the Faculty at the Suzuki Music School in Fayetteville, AR, where he began teaching in 1993 and currently teaches. He also works as a cello coach for String Coalition. He has spent time in Suzuki Teacher Training with Rick Mooney, Jean Dexter, and Nancy Hare. His students love his devotion to teaching and encouraging young people to love music and love the cello!
William Kossler is a gifted guitarist in demand internationally as both a teacher and performer. He holds Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of South Carolina where he studied with Christopher Berg. William has placed as a finalist in regional and national competitions and received positive reviews for his compelling performances. He is the author of several publications on guitar pedagogy and his articles have appeared in Soundboard (the Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America), The Suzuki Journal (the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas) and several other publications. He has conducted Long Term Artist Residencies with both the South Carolina and Tennessee Arts Commissions. As a recipient of a Rotary International Scholarship he spent a year in Japan studying with pedagogue Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. A co-author of the Suzuki Guitar Method, Mr. Kossler has conducted pedagogy workshops for guitarists throughout the United States, South America, Canada, Europe and Australia. He currently directs a Suzuki program in Winston-Salem with his wife Lauren, a violinist, teaches guitar at Piedmont International University and has served on the North Carolina Arts Council’s Touring Artists Directory as a performer on the guitar, lute, and vihuela.
Charles Krigbaum – Violin – Teacher Trainer
Charles Krigbaum is a Suzuki Talent Education specialist and is the founder and Director of the North Texas School of Talent Education, a Suzuki violin and viola program located in Plano, Texas. Founded in 2001, NTSTE offers expert instruction in violin and viola, along with a full array of musical experiences designed to provide an extraordinary musical education for children ages 3 – 18, preparing students for a lifetime of music making at the highest level, regardless of professional aspirations.
He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Schwob School of Music where he studied viola with Manuel Diaz, a former student of the legendary William Primrose, and the father of international viola superstar and President of the Curtis Institute of Music, Roberto Diaz. He received his Master of Music degree, summa cum laude, at the University of Texas at Arlington where he studied viola as a student of Catherine Forbes and studied early childhood music education and music learning theory with Dr. Diane Lange. Charles has also studied violin pedagogy at Indiana University with Mimi Zweig and has completed hundreds of hours of Suzuki teacher training at the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
During his many summers at ASI, and at Institutes and workshops worldwide, Charles has studied pedagogy and Suzuki philosophy with some of the most illustrious Suzuki Teacher Trainers in the world, including: Barbara Barber, Helen Brunner, Linda Case, Ronda Cole, Carol Dallinger, Teri Einfeldt, Alice Joy Lewis, Edmund Sprunger, and Tom Wermuth. He has been profoundly influenced and inspired by his principal mentors Nancy Lokken, Edward Kreitman, and Kerstin Wartberg.
His students have consistently won high recognition in many solo competitions and contests, and are often selected to participate in prestigious performing groups including various All-Region Orchestras, all levels of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, and the Texas Music Educations Association’s All-State Orchestra.
Charles has won many awards for his scholarship, musicianship, and abilities as both a performer and as a teacher. National achievements include winning the American Suzuki Institute’s Shinichi Suzuki Scholar Award in 2004 and 2005, national finalist in the Music Teachers Nation Association Studio Teachers scholarship competition, Most Outstanding Graduate Student (University of Texas at Arlington), and membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society. In 2010, Charles became one of the first teachers in the country to earn the Certificate of Achievement from the Suzuki Association of the Americas, an award given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to lifelong learning and excellence in their teaching.
In 2014, Charles became a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. He has taught at workshops and Institutes throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Germany; he is also past President of the North Texas Suzuki Association, a Chapter Affiliate of the SAA.
As a professional musician, he has played viola and violin in a wide array of orchestras, chamber groups, and many other diverse performing ensembles across the country. His multi-faceted career includes teaching, performing, administration, conducting research in the field of string pedagogy, writing, and presenting lectures and workshops on various topics.
Esther Fellows – Violin – Teacher Trainer
Esther Fellows is a performer as well as teacher of violin, viola, and piano. In July, 2015, Esther became a Suzuki Teacher Trainer, the only one in Oklahoma. In addition to her position of Violin/Viola Instructor at Oral Roberts University and maintaining her own private studio, she is a section First Violinist with the Signature Symphony (Tulsa, OK) and Assistant Concertmaster of the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra (OK), Principal Viola with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra (AR), as well as section violist in the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra (OK). As of August, 2015, she is First Violin in the Signature String Quartet. Esther received her BMEd from the University of Colorado, where her teachers included Abraham Chavez (violin), Oswald Lehnert (violin), and Guy Duckworth (piano), and Storm Bull (piano).
Highlights from her extensive musical credentials include becoming the first SAA Teacher Trainer in Oklahoma, being nationally certified by Music Teachers National Association on violin, viola, and piano (certification through recital, lesson videotapes, examination, and Pedagogy Notebook), registered in Suzuki training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA), advanced violin training at the Starling-Delay Symposium, at The Juilliard School. Esther has held the positions of Parliamentarian, President of Tulsa Accredited Music Teachers Association, as well as Chair of Scholarship Auditions, Recording Secretary and Chair of the Sonatina Competition for TAMTA. She is a member of Hyechka Club of Tulsa, Tulsa Accredited Music Teachers Association, Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, Suzuki Association of the Americas, American String Teachers Association, American Viola Society and the American Federation of Musicians. She is published in American Music Teacher and the American String Teachers Association. Esther is also listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of American Education, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
Daniel Gee currently resides in Austin, Texas where he directs the Austin Suzuki Music School. In addition to having private lessons, group classes, and workshops with guest teachers, also hosts a Suzuki Early Childhood Music class for children ages 0-3.
Daniel has been the Orchestra Director at Chisholm Trail Middle School in Round Rock ISD since 2009, which serves about one hundred twenty sixth grade violin, viola, cello, bass and harp students. As a fervent believer and advocate for the Suzuki in the Schools movement, Daniel bases his school curriculum on Suzuki Method principles and pedagogy.
Additionally, Daniel is the director of the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute, which had its inaugural year in 2013. www.austinsuzukiinstitute.com
Daniel Gee received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Music Performance, from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York College at Potsdam in 2006 and his Master of Music in Music and Human Learning from The Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with Dr. Bob Duke and Dr. Laurie Scott. His principal violin instructors include Dr. Sarah Hersh, Brian Lewis, Dr. Laurie Scott, and Sandy Yamamoto. He has also studied viola with John Largess of the Miro Quartet.
Daniel’s Suzuki training has included courses with Dr. Sarah Hersh, Linda Fiore, Nancy Lokken, Teri Einfeldt, Ed Sprunger, Doris Preucil, Mark Mutter, William Preucil, Bill Dick, Dr. Laurie Scott, Betsy Stuen-Walker, and Ed Kreitman. He has also taken three stages of Suzuki ECE training with Dorothy Jones and cello books 1 and 2 with Dr. Melissa Kraut.
Mr. Gee is an active member in professional organizations such as the American String Teachers’ Association, the Music Educators’ National Conference, New York State School Music Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA) and the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA).
Daniel is an active clinician giving presentations at National Conferences as well as guest teacher at workshops around the country. Most recently he has been asked to teach at the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association Winter Workshop, the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Spring Workshop, and for Katy ISD. He has presented at the Suzuki Association of the Americas conferences (2010, 2012) ASTA conference in Santa Clara in 2010, Texas Music Educator’s Conference (2014, 2016), Texas Orchestra Director’s Association Conference (2015, 2016), and did web conference presentations for the SAA Parents As Partners (2012, 2013, 2016) 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 has been on faculty of Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Draper, UT and the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute.
Outside of teaching and performing, Daniel enjoys spending time with his terrier mutt, Bamboo, and finding the best tacos in Austin.
Rachel Ringeisen – Violin, Orchestra
Rachel Ringeisen serves as orchestra director at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock ISD and conducts the Camerata Orchestra as part of the Austin Youth Orchestra program. A violinist since age 5, she maintains a private violin/viola studio and is a regular clinician at Suzuki music festivals throughout central Texas. In addition to teaching, Rachel performs regularly in the Austin area and with the Waco Symphony Orchestra.
Rachel completed her Music and Human Learning degree (M.M) as a Sarah and Ernest Butler Excellence scholar, where she was the Preschool Coordinator for the University of Texas String Project and taught in a pilot string program at UT Elementary School. Additionally, Rachel developed an interdisciplinary curriculum in music and phonemic awareness as her master’s thesis. She was chosen as the UT representative to attend the 2011 Global Music Camp in Ghana.
Rachel received a B.M. in violin performance and pedagogy from the Wheaton College Conservatory (IL), where she was Concertmaster of the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, Senior Class Representative, a Presidential Honors Award recipient and a Memorial Merit Scholar. Rachel has studied the violin with Professors Sandy Yamamoto, Anne Akiko Meyers, Paul Zafer, Dr. Lee Joiner, and Elizabeth Suh-Lane. She is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and Texas Music Educators Association.
Rhea Edelman is currently finishing her DMA at the University of North Texas under the instruction of Dr. Felix Olschofka. In addition to teaching at the Suzuki school, Rhea is a Teaching Fellow at UNT where she teaches string pedagogy.
Raised in Portland, Oregon, Rhea graduated magna cum laude from Whitman College with BAs in both music and biochemistry. In 2008, she completed her M.M. in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with David Updegraff and Kimberly Meier-Sims.
While at CIM, Rhea taught Suzuki violin extensively through both the Sato Center and the Solon Center for the Arts, where she maintained a large private studio. Rhea has also been a guest clinician at workshops across the country, including Texas, Ohio, Arkansas and Maine. She spent four summers on the violin faculty of the Encore/Coda summer music camp in Sweden, Maine where she was head of the string department and chamber music coordinator.
Along with teaching, Rhea enjoys playing as a member of several regional orchestras including Dallas Bach and Abilene Philharmonic.
In addition to modern violin, Rhea studies Baroque violin with Cynthia Roberts and has a related field of Early Music. She performs with Dallas Bach and has toured internationally with the Baroque group Musica Angelica. She has studied with members of the Tafelmusik orchestra at TBSI and at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.
While attendingWhitman College, Rhea was a NCAA Division III competitive swimmer and is also an accomplished equestrian. In addition to music, Rhea enjoys spending time with her fiancé and their two rescue dogs.
Eric Ryan-Johnson has taught Irish fiddle at workshops including the Ottawa Suzuki Institute Mid-Southwest in Kansas, the Greenville Texas Suzuki Workshop, the Northwest Arkansas Suzuki Winter Workshop and the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreats and Youth Camps in the Dallas-area. Many of his Irish fiddle students have studied in master classes with Irish fiddlers such as Kevin Burke, Daire Bracken and Brendan Mulvihill.
In 1969, at age four Eric began studying Suzuki violin from Ernie Stanke in Madison, WI. He earned his Bachelor of Music-Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Craig Timmerman, Kay Slone, Marilyn O’Boyle and Alice Joy Lewis, and has registered teacher-training in the Suzuki method. He is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). Prior to moving to Tulsa, Eric was Assistant Director of Early Childhood Arts at MacPhail Center in Minneapolis and was a member of the Suzuki faculty.
Eric currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife Kara and son Seamus, and performs as a member of the Tulsa band, Cairde na Gael. He teaches both Suzuki violin and traditional Irish fiddle out of his home studio. He also conducts both the Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble at Booker T. Washington High School, the number one public high school in Oklahoma
Wendy Tangen-Foster is past-president of the Suzuki Association of Minnesota and currently directs Ms. Wendy’s Suzuki Violin Studio in St. Paul where children and adults learn sensitivity, confidence, and expressivity as part of a joyfully vibrant community of families. She is also the former director of the Suzuki Strings Program at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music and a former instructor at HeartStrings Studio in River Falls, Wisconsin, where she worked with Joan Molloy.
With over 20 years of Suzuki teaching experience, Wendy’s students are recognized for their dedication to music, their strong technical foundation, and their passion for performing. Her teaching style is characterized by an animated, enthusiastic, and relentlessly positive, yet rigorous approach with students and parents. Her ability to integrate high artistic standards with creativity, humor, excitement, and fun has made her a sought-after guest clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops across the U.S. One of Wendy’s strengths is teaching Group Classes where she inspires and creates breakthroughs for students of all ages, levels, and experiences.
Wendy began her Suzuki teacher-training in high school with LeRoy Bauer, Deborah Goolsby, and Craig Timmerman, and furthered her studies with Jacqueline Maurer, Carol Smith, Pat D’Ercole, Kathleen Spring, Joanne Bath, Edmund Sprunger, Joseph Kaminsky, Nancy Lokken, Alice Joy Lewis, and Ronda Cole.
Wendy developed her deep passion for chamber music after studying with the Philadelphia String Quartet, the Lafayette Quartet, and the Apple Hill Quartet. While studying at the Lionel Hampton School of Music, she fell in love with jazz and improvisation and went on to study with jazz-violinist Randy Sabien. She joined his swing band Rhythm and Bows achieving acclaim in the Midwest and performing as invited guest artists at the International Jazz Educators Conference in 2012. Wendy has also studied improvisation with Christian Howes (jazz violin) at the Creative Strings Workshop in Ohio.
Wendy has toured nationally with rock/blues bands, performs and records as a freelance musician in the Twin Cities, and incorporates “alternative” violin styles into her Suzuki curriculum. Currently, you can find Wendy onstage performing with Charanga Tropical, a nine-piece salsa ensemble, and Rogue Tango, a 4-piece band that plays a blend of tango, jazz, rumba, and flamenco music. Wendy makes her home in Northeast Minneapolis where she enjoys running, cooking spicy meals, listening and dancing to music, watching stand-up comedians on Netflix, and playing Backgammon.
Daina Volodka Staggs has been involved with Suzuki Talent Education for over thirty years, as a student and teacher, and now as a parent. Daina’s musical journey began at a young age through violin studies with world-renowned Suzuki author and pedagogue Edward Kreitman at the Western Springs School of Talent Education. She completed her studies at WSSTE with Tom Wermuth, a Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award winner and 2010 American String Teachers Association Illinois Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Staggs began her Suzuki teacher training at the age of 16 under Edward Kreitman, during which time she acted as student tutor at WSSTE, offering practice help to parents of excelling students. Mrs. Staggs has performed as a soloist in London, Paris, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, as a member of the Chicago Consort, the advanced violin ensemble at the Western Springs School of Talent Education. Mrs. Staggs also participated in master classes with William Starr, Almita Vamos, James Stern, Victor Aitay, and Joseph Golan.
After graduation from Downers Grove South High School, Mrs. Staggs attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she earned the Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance while studying with violin professor Mark Bjork, a student of Josef Gingold. She studied chamber music with Korey Konkol and Tanya Remenikova. During her years at the UofM-TC, Mrs. Staggs also participated in intensive study of orchestral repertoire with former Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis. Mrs. Staggs played in master classes for renowned pedagogue and Israeli violinist and professor Yair Kless. Upon graduation, she returned to the Chicago area and became a member of the faculty at WSSTE, where she taught for fifteen years. Mrs. Staggs continued her violin studies in Chicago with Vermeer Quartet violinist Matthias Tacke, Pacifica Quartet violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson, and the illustrious violin expert, Roland Vamos.
Mrs. Staggs has completed hundreds of hours of Suzuki teacher training with some of the most prestigious Suzuki teacher trainers in the world, including Nancy Jackson, Ronda Cole, Alice Joy Lewis, Kerstin Wartberg, Carol Dallinger, Tom Wermuth, Linda Case, Helen Brunner, Kimberley Meyer-Sims, Ann Montzka-Smelser, and has pursued in-depth study with her primary mentors Edward Kreitman and Nancy Lokken. In addition to her extensive Suzuki training, Mrs. Staggs has also received Level One Certification for Early Childhood Music in Music Learning Theory with internationally recognized scholar, Dr. Edwin E. Gordon. In May 2010, she 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. In 2013, Mrs. Staggs became a registered Suzuki Violin Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Mrs. Staggs has taught at many Suzuki Institutes, workshops, and master classes. She has also lectured on important topics regarding violin pedagogy, early childhood music education, and the Suzuki Method. Mrs. Staggs’ students have won many honors, including solo opportunities with the Allegro!!! violin performance ensemble and the Chicago Consort, as well as honors recitals at summer Suzuki Institutes and master classes throughout the Chicagoland area. Her students participate in all levels of the Chicago Youth Symphony, and her students have won distinctions as principal members of the Illinois Music Educators Association festival orchestras.
In the fall of 2014, Mrs. Staggs became the Co-Director of the North Texas School of Talent Education, a Suzuki violin and viola program founded by Charles Krigbaum in 2001. Her studio is located in Frisco, TX, where she lives with her husband Jeremiah, son Rokas, and dog Blanche.
Stacy Smith is the President of the Suzuki Association of Utah and is the Suzuki Violin Chair at the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. Stacy also serves as the Faculty Liason for the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, and has both presented at the SAA Biennial Conference and authored articles for the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Stacy has a degree in Violin Performance from the University of Utah, and has completed Suzuki Training with Edmund Sprunger, Jeanne Grover, Linda Fiore, Gail Johansen, Cathy Lee and others. She maintains a studio of 20+ violin students and is raising five musical children.
Treesa Gold began studying violin at age two with renowned Suzuki pedagogue, Alice Joy Lewis. She remained under the tutelage of Mrs. Lewis until she left for the Interlochen Arts Academy where she studied under Hal Grossman and received her High School Diploma. Mrs. Gold earned a Bachelor of Music and a Performer’s Diploma with Paul Biss at Indiana University, during which, she won a national audition with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, where she played from 2004 to 2006. She frequently performs with the Richmond Symphony and other orchestras on the east coast. She has been given the honor of briefly taking on the studio of Alice Joy Lewis, teaching at Sound Encounters, the Ottawa Suzuki Strings Institute, the University of Evansville Suzuki Workshop with Carol Dallinger, the Augsburg College Suzuki Talent Education Workshop with Nancy Lokken, the Cedros-UP International Festival in Mexico City, and an orchestral excerpts class at the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program. She also enjoys a residency at the Omaha Conservatory of Music Summer Institute with Goldrush, an endeavor that melds a traditional rock band with instruments and techniques of the classical music world. When Treesa is not performing, teaching, or practicing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Matt (double bass player, and librarian with RSO), and her two dogs, Ringo & Rubeus.
Bio coming soon!