SAA’s 16th Biennial Conference—Clinicians

November 15, 2013, ASJ 42.1
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American Suzuki Journal 42.1

Previously printed in American Suzuki Journal 42.1. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2013 Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Vicki Blechta

Vicki Blechta received a BM in performance from McGill University and a MM in performance from the University of Toronto. Her teachers have included Jeanne Baxtresser, André Jaunet and Louis Moyse. After eighteen years at the Royal Conservatory of Music, she founded the Toronto Flute School in 1998. She was chair of the Suzuki Association of Ontario from 2007-2010. Ms Blechta has performed in Canada and abroad and has been featured in broadcasts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Canada and the BBC. Her ensemble Musica Viva has toured in Europe and the United Kingdom and released two CDs.

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Sarah Bylander Montzka

Sarah Bylander Montzka (viola/violin) 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). Sarah is a past chair of the SAA Board of Directors and a past board member of the Society of American Musicians. Sarah was the recipient of the 2018-19 IL ASTA “Outstanding Studio Teacher” award, given annually to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in the teaching of strings in a one-on-one setting. She is the founder of MIC’s Violapalooza! workshop and teaches at workshops and institutes from Duluth to Tanzania. Previously, Sarah 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.

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David Evenchick

David bases his musical activities as a teacher, teacher trainer and performer in Guelph, Canada, where he is a faculty member of the Suzuki String School of Guelph.

He performed as principal cellist of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, and now performs for solo recitals organizations, such as the Guelph Connections Concerts and also is a member of the Magisterra Soloists based in London Ontario.

Internationally David is in demand in North America and Latin America, particularly as a Certified Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas.   He has also been very active with the Suzuki Association as a presenter and coordinator for their biannual conferences.

David has a particular interest in the research and performance of compositions of the great Croatian cello pedagogue, Rudolf Matz. He has been awarded the Anne T. Clearly Fellowship for International Doctoral Research from The University of Iowa for his study of this composer/teacher, and he continues to perform Matz’s solo works.

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Sasha Garver

Dr. Sasha Garver teaches at the Preucil School in Iowa City. Sasha was Suzuki flute and piano faculty at Community School for Music and Arts and Dominican University of California from 20012-2015. Former chair of the music program at Northern New Mexico University. Second flute/solo piccolo of the Macau Orchestra (07-09). While in Asia, she studied at TERI with Mr. Takahashi. She has training in Suzuki Flute Books 1-9 and Practicum.  Sasha has taught at SAA and Suzuki World Conferences, Desert Suzuki Institute, Mexico City Suzuki Institute, Santa Fe Suzuki Institute, Regis University and Colorado Christian University.


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Gail Gebhart

Gail Gebhart maintains an active private studio, as well as teaching at Wayne State University and accompanying extensively throughout the Detroit metropolitan area.

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Alyssa Hardie Beckmann

Alyssa Hardie Beckmann was raised a Suzuki student and has been an active teacher for two decades, studying with many teacher trainers including her mother Julia Hardie, William Preucil, Teri Einfeldt and Carol Smith. Ms. Beckmann was Upper Strings Coordinator of the Greenwich Suzuki Academy, where she taught violin, viola and chamber music. She has served on the faculty of the American Suzuki Institute, the Colorado Suzuki Institute and the Point Counterpoint Festival among others. Ms. Beckmann holds degrees from Vanderbilt (BM), and Boston Universities (MM), in Viola and Violin Performance. She was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for three summers, and has performed in masterclasses for the Juilliard, Takacs and Guarneri String Quartets. Ms. Beckmann is a substitute with the Kansas City and St. Louis Symphonies. In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with her cellist husband Matt Beckmann and their two children.

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Kevin Hart

Kevin S. Hart teaches guitar in Laramie, WY. He retired from teaching at the University of Wyoming for over 30 years to focus on his Suzuki studio. He has taught at institutes and workshops in Beaver Creek, CO, Ann Arbor, MI, Denver,CO, and Houston, TX. He served as the Assistant Guitar Area Coordinator for the 2012 SAA Conference, the Guitar Area Coordinator for the 2014 SAA Conference, and is the director of the Laramie Guitar Ensemble. He is the director of the Laramie Suzuki Guitar Institute.

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James Hutchins

James Hutchins lives in Maryland, with his wonderful and gorgeous wife and his fabulous and entertaining son. He grew up in the Suzuki Method, has been a Suzuki teacher for over 25 years and is a proud Suzuki dad. James is a registered teacher trainer who has taught at workshops and classes around the world, including Japan, South Korea, Iceland, Peru, Lithuania, Singapore, Malaysia, Bermuda, the Bahamas and throughout the States. His studio has performed for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House, at the National Zoo and Aquarium, the U.S. and Maryland State Capitols, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Millennium Stage and with the National Symphony at The Kennedy Center. They have also played the National Anthem for the Orioles, Wizards and Nationals. James also had the honor of performing for Dr. and Mrs. Suzuki at their home in Japan.

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Nikki Lemire

Nikki Lemireteaches at MacPhail Center for Music–Minneapolis in the Suzuki and individual instruction departments. Nikki received her performance degrees from Augsburg College and Northwestern University. Nikki also maintains an active performance career with many ensembles in Minnesota and North Dakota.

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Jessica Meyer Foskitt

A dedicated teacher of violin and chamber music, Jessica Meyer Foskitt is committed to enriching her students’ lives through music.  Mrs. Foskitt has completed extensive training in Suzuki Pedagogy culminating in her long-term training with Teri Einfeldt at the Hartt School. She currently teaches at the Hartt Commuinty Division where she coached the string trio awarded first prize in the 2011 Rayburn Chamber Music Competition.  In addition to teaching at Hartt, Mrs. Foskitt also teaches at Bay Path University, and Westfield State University. Other teaching experience includes several summer Suzuki institutes and workshops across the country. Mrs. Foskitt performs with the Hartford and Springfield symphony orchestras and Infinitango, a Hartford based Tango ensemble. Mrs. Foskitt received her MM from the University of Hartford in violin performance.

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Tracy Rowell

Tracy Rowell is an active performer and teacher in the Cleveland area. She teaches at Oberlin College & Conservatory as well as for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Sato Center for Suzuki Studies. During the summers, Tracy enjoys teaching for programs such as Peabody Bass Works, George Vance’s Summer Bass Workshops, the Kansas City Bass Workshop, and the New Orleans Suzuki Institute. Formerly the assistant principal bassist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Ontario, Ms. Rowell currently serves as principal bass in the Cleveland chamber orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland. She may be heard as a soloist on Telemann’s Grillen-Symphonie as recorded with Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s Baroque orchestra, and she has been a featured soloist with the Canton (OH) Symphony. Ms. Rowell studied with Paul Ellison at Rice University and with Edwin Barker at Boston University.

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Carlynn Savot

Carlynn Savot, cellist, teaches and performs in the Twin Cities, where she is on faculty at St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul, the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, and Concordia University – St. Paul. She performs with The Bishop String Quartet and Strains New Music Ensemble and has presented a number of contemporary works in collaboration with their composers, including the commissioned piece Built on Gravel by Ruby Fulton (supported by the Zachs Endowment Fund). Dr. Savot holds performance degrees from St. Olaf College, the University of Hartford, and the University of Connecticut, where her doctoral studies emphasized the work of women composers and gender perspectives in musical analysis.

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Mary Halverson Waldo

Mary Halverson Waldo received a BA in Music from the College of St Scholastica, and an MM in Performance of Early Music (Recorder and Flauto Traverso), from the New England Conservatory. Ms. Waldo is a seasoned performer in a variety of chamber groups. A registered SAA and ESA Recorder Teacher Trainer, she trained with Katherine White, Pandora Bryce, David Gerry, Kim Lorimier, Rebecca Paluzzi, and Edward Kreitman. She has served on the faculty at the MacPhail Center for Music, Saint Paul Conservatory, Whitewater Early Music Festival and a variety of international Suzuki Institutes and Festivals. Mary and her husband’s three lively Suzuki kids are now grown up and are still engaged in music.

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