Lisa Rushton Smith

Violin, Viola Teacher

Lisa Rushton Smith

SAA Member

Lisa Rushton Smith is a versatile performer, creative administrator and dedicated teacher.  A violinist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra since 1998, additional roles with the organization have included Personnel Manager, player representative on the Music Director Search and Orchestra Committees and violin/viola for the Ensembles in the Schools educational outreach program. Adding to her administrative experience, she served on the Ellensburg Arts Commission, which supports public art installations, promotes First Friday Art Walk and creates opportunities for local artists and musicians and was President of Kittitas Valley Music Education Parents (KVMEP), a non-profit established to support local school orchestra programs.  

As a member and manager of the Aardvark String Quartet, Lisa can be heard on the 2007 CD “Tranquillo: A Northwest Celebration.” In 2011, she founded Zephyr String Ensemble and Violin Studio which provides live music for various events and string lessons to all ages. Lisa has also taught for Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA), coached viola for the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra, and has adjudicated regional Solo and Ensemble contests. In 2014 she was delighted to be the Central Washington University Preparatory Strings Summer Camp Director.  Lisa has also freelanced for several Pacific Northwest orchestras, including Wenatchee, Mid-Columbia, Everett Philharmonic, Oregon East, Walla Walla, Synergia Northwest symphonies and recently toured China with the American Festival Orchestra.  

Lisa was a Farrell Merit scholar graduating with a Bachelor of Music from Central Washington University. While there, she served as the Orchestra Manager/Librarian, Orchestra Festival Coordinator and taught in the Preparatory Strings Program. She studied with Carrie Rehkopf, then continued violin studies post-graduation with Ronald Patterson of the University of Washington and Denise Dillenbeck, concertmaster of YSO.  In her commitment to lifelong learning, Lisa recently returned to CWU to complete a masters degree in Viola Performance and Pedagogy studying with Michelle Rahn.