Geri has been teaching the Suzuki Method since 1972. She is a graduate from the Interlochen
Arts Academy and has her Bachelor and Masters from the University of Michigan. Her
training in Suzuki Method was with leading experts from the US, and with Dr. Shinichi
Suzuki in Japan. She is a registered teacher trainer for the SAA and a course facilitator
for the "Every Child Can" introductory course.
Geri has served on both SAA and ASTA Board of Directors. She was named MASTA's teacher
of the year in 1990. She received the National ASTA "Citation for Leadership & Merit"
in 2005. Her students performed for the opening of the 2007 National ASTA Conference
in Detroit, MI., and are featured in the ASTA "Advocating for Strings" DVD. Geri is
also the Recipient of the MASTA 2012 Career Achievement Award.
Originally from Ann Arbor Michigan, Geri and her husband Gary recently moved to Charlotte,
North Carolina where she has started a new Suzuki Program. Geri invites you to visit
her website www.geriarnold.com.
Steven Bowman, Violin/Fiddle
Steven Bowman is from Memphis, TN and has been playing and teaching violin and fiddle
for 15 years. He received his Bachelor of Music in 2010 from the University of Memphis
in Violin Performance. He is currently working towards a Master of Christian Education
degree at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Steven studied violin with Cande
Schumann, Pak-Chung Cheng and Timothy Shiu and has had Suzuki Teacher Training with
Kimberly Meier-Sims, Libby Armour and Carrie Reuning-Hummel.
Steven currently has an extensive Suzuki violin studio in Memphis, but also works
extensively with the Annie Moses Band out of Nashville TN. He has taught violin, fiddle
and bluegrass ensembles since 2007 for their Fine Arts Summer Academy programs in
Memphis, Nashville and Raleigh, NC. In January of 2012, Steven had the privilege of
soloing in a performance with the Annie Moses Band at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Even though Steven has a heavy background in classical violin studies, his true passion
lies in alternative styles of string playing such as bluegrass, Celtic and jazz fiddling.
He has written, recorded and performed with “newgrass” band Will Tell and currently
writes and tours with “Loser’s Way Home”- a Memphis alternative band. Steven is also
a session fiddler, recording for many artists in Memphis and Nashville. When he is
not busy teaching, fiddling or touring Steven enjoys film critique, coffee and spending
time with family and friends.
Ruth Valente Burgess, Cello
Ruth Valente Burgess, a native of San Antonio, TX, has been the principal cellist
of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since September 2008. Prior to moving to Memphis,
Ms.Valente was a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for two years. During that
time she completed a MM at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Her previous
studies included a year abroad in Germany, studying at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg
im Breisgau, and a BM from Indiana University. Ms.Valente’s principal teachers include
Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Adriana Contino, Natasha Brofsky, and Donna Davis.
She has also attended many summer festivals, which have allowed her to travel extensively.
While on tour with the Schleswig-Holstein Orchester Academie, she has performed in
Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Japan. Other summer festivals
have included Chautauqua, Bowdoin, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
Matthew Cummings, Orff
Matt Cummings earned his B.M.E. from Loyola University and his M.M.E. from the University
of Memphis. He has completed all 3 levels of Orff training and Master Class. Mr. Cummings
is the Orff Music Specialist at South Park Elementary and Director of Music at St.
Michael's Catholic Church.
Saundra D'Amato, Music History
Saundra D'Amato has taught Suzuki piano, group piano classes and musicianship classes
at The University of Memphis Community Music School for 18 years. After graduating
from Yale University (with a B.A. and a M.M.), she played oboe in the Boston area,
and taught Suzuki piano and Providence, RI. After a two-year stint with the Colorado
Symphony, she taught in Springfield, MA before moving to Memphis in 1992. She is
also the second oboist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Memphis
Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
Caroline Fraser, Piano
Caroline is from Aberdeen, Scotland. She graduated from Edinburgh University with
a Bachelor of Music degree and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London obtaining
diplomas L.R.A.M. (in piano teaching) and A.R.C.M. (in violin teaching). She obtained
a Masters Degree in Music with Kodaly Emphasis, from Holy Names University in Oakland,
Caroline started to teach using the Suzuki Method in 1974 in California. She pioneered the Suzuki Method in Peru (1981) and from 1992 until 1999 she was a lecturer in music
theory at Holy Names University, where she directed the Summer Suzuki Teacher Training
Institute. Caroline has been a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas
She now lives in Lima, Peru where is she is the President of the Suzuki Association
of Peru and a Latin American Liaison for the SAA. Caroline has traveled to give pedagogy
courses in the United States, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and in Latin America:
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Mexico, Paraguay and Puerto Rico. Caroline has taught at World Conferences, and given
presentations on music reading at SAA and European Conferences.
Edward Murray, World Drumming
Ed Murray holds the B.M. from New England Conservatory. He has studied with Vic Firth,
Buster Bailey, and Allen Abel. Mr. Murray is a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
and serves as adjunct instructor at Rhodes College. He performs in the salsa band,
"Caliente" and frequently for Broadway touring productions at the Orpheum Theatre.
Greg Morris, Violin
Originally from Jamestown, New York, Greg Morris received a Bachelor of Music degree
from Albany State University and his Master of Music degree in violin pedagogy from
the University of Memphis. He studied Suzuki Pedagogy in Matsumoto, Japan, as well
as studying with John Kendall and Yuko Honda. Greg has been a member of the Memphis
Symphony since 1979 and has been an instructor of Suzuki violin at the University
of Memphis since 1980. He is currently the coordinator of the Suzuki String Program
at the University of Memphis. Greg is also a violinist with the Summer Symphony at
Lakeside, Ohio, where he has played since 1984. Greg also performs on both violin
and viola in chamber music ensembles. In 1996, he was a guest musician at the Prague
International Music Festival and concertmaster of the Ameropa Chamber Orchestra at
that festival in the Czech Republic. As an undergraduate, he studied keyboard history
and worked for organ builder Leonard Carlson in Albany, New York. When Greg isn’t
fiddling around, he enjoys golf, sailing and travel.
Marilyn O'Boyle, Violin
Marilyn O'Boyle has been involved with the Suzuki Movement since 1972 when she started
a Suzuki violin program in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has also started programs in Lima,
Peru, where she lived from 1982 - 1984, and in Santiago, Chile, where she lived from
1986 - 1989. She has also conducted long-term teacher training courses through the
University of Nebraska, where she was an Associate Professor of Music from 1980 -
1986. She has trained teachers in Lima, Peru, Santiago, Chile and other Latin American
cities. While in Nebraska she directed the Eastern Nebraska Summer Suzuki Institute,
has directed six summer Institutes in Latin America and continues her involvement
with these programs every year. She has attended four International Suzuki conferences
and numerous Suzuki Teachers Conferences in the United States. She teaches at many
Suzuki Institutes every summer and is presently the Director of the New Mexico Suzuki
Institute. After directing the Suzuki Program at the MacPhail Center for the Arts
in Minneapolis, Minnesota for six years, Marilyn returned to her home town, Albuquerque,
New Mexico where she now teaches at her home studio. She is currently serving a three
year term on the SAA Board of Directors, and she is a registered SAA Teacher Trainer.
Marilyn is the mother of five and grandmother of eight!
Karla Philipp, Bass/Orchestra
Karla Philipp holds the B. M. in Music Education from the University of Arizona, and
the M. M. in Double Bass performance from Memphis State University (now the University
of Memphis). An active performer, she has performed with the Tucson Symphony, the
Arizona Light Opera, the Memphis Symphony, the Tupelo Symphony, and is currently in
the Jackson, TN. Symphony. In addition, she is a freelance performer in the Memphis
Ms. Philipp is a 1998 recipient of the Rotary Award for Teacher Excellence. She has
also received multiple outstanding teaching awards from the Tennessee Governors School
For The Arts. She has had the privilege of doing clinics, summer music camps and
workshops around the U. S.
Karla recently retired after 30 years of teaching strings for the Memphis City Schools.
She is currently the conductor of two Memphis Youth Symphony Program orchestras, the
Memphis Youth String Ensemble and the Memphis Youth String Sinfonia. In addition
she is an adjunct instructor in music education at the University of Memphis where
she teaches the strings method class and supervises student teachers.
Hannah Schmidt, Cello/Music Theory
Hannah grew up studying under the Suzuki program at Bellevue Baptist Church's Performing
Arts Center. She was involved in various ensembles through the program and really
believes that the love she has for music is a direct result of the ministry that the
school has. Hannah received her Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Rudi
E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. She is currently working
towards a master’s degree, also in cello performance, and taking courses in Suzuki
pedagogy during the summers. She has studied cello primarily with Leonardo Altino
and has taken Suzuki courses with Pamela Devenport, Grace Field, Barbara Wampner,
and Libby Armour. When she isn't teaching, practicing, and studying, she enjoys performing
with local and regional symphonies. She performed as principle cellist of the Delta
Symphony until 2011 and now plays, whenever possible, with the Memphis Symphony, Arkansas
Symphony, and Eroica Ensemble. She also really loves chamber music! Hannah has been
teaching at Bellevue's School of Performing Arts since 2004 and has loved seeing the
cello program grow! While expecting hard work, she wants her students to have a great
time and learn to love music as they grow as young musicians. She believes that the
pursuit of music in a child's life can give him or her the self-esteem and discipline
to be successful in any area of life. Hannah is married to Kevin Schmidt, and is the
proud mother of Asher.
Jennifer Booke (J.B.) Taylor, Piano
Jennifer Brooke (J.B.) Taylor has been active as a piano teacher, performer, and professional
church musician for over 15 years. For the past seven years, she served as a Suzuki
piano faculty member and Assistant Director of the Suzuki Talent Education department
at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. Her teachers have included Donna
Kurtz, Linda Sabak, Leonard Mastrogiacomo, and Victoria McArthur. She has completed
Suzuki teacher training with Fay Adams, Yasuko Joichi, Doris Koppelman, and Mary Craig
As a Suzuki student, J.B. received numerous awards, including the grand prizes in
both the Young Keyboard Artist Association’s and the American Music Scholarship Association’s
International Piano Competitions. In 2004, J.B. was selected as a Shinichi Suzuki
Scholar by the American Suzuki Institute. She has also served as a faculty member
and guest clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops in Ohio, Minnesota, Alaska,
and Tennessee. In addition, J.B. is a former board member of the Suzuki Association
J.B. holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Accounting from West Virginia
Wesleyan College and a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Florida
State University. She also earned a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial
Management from Florida State. She and her husband Mark relocated to Lexington, Kentucky
in late 2009 where she has started a new private studio, Suzuki Piano of Lexington.
Irene B. Wade, Viola
Irene Wade has been a violist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1979. She
was Principal violist in the Lincoln (NE) Symphony, and has played with the Jackson
Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, and
Roanoke Symphony orchestras. She graduated from the Eastman School of Music with distinction,
attended Oberlin Conservatory and College, and received a diploma from the North Carolina
School of the Arts. Ms. Wade was a graduate teaching assistant at Memphis State University
and also at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned the Master of Music
degree. Other academic awards include the National Honor Society and a four year National
Ms. Wade teaches violin and viola in the Suzuki String Program at the University of
Memphis Community Music School, and has maintained a private studio since 1995. She
has been recognized as an Outstanding Teacher by the faculty and students of the Tennessee
Governor’s School for the Arts.