*Carrie Ann Bark served as the Education Director for Porterville Summer Strings. She received her Bachelor’s in violin performance at the Jacob School of Music in Bloomington, IN in 2009, and masters with certification in music education, also at Jacobs, in May 2013. As a music teacher, she currently works with Education Through Music-LA in four different elementary schools in the Burbank area, while teaching violin privately in LA. On the weekends she assists her husband, Elliott Bark, in leading the Bethel Vision Youth Orchestra as a strings coach. To continue her skills as a performer, she plays for the orchestras of Bethel Church as concertmaster, of Sarang Church in Anaheim, and for the Orange County Symphony, also in Anaheim. Finally, she is performing for and helping her husband manage the performing group Ensemble Christo which is a branch of the Christian Music Foundation started by the couple in response to the vision that brought them to Southern California.
Composer and conductor *Elliott Bark’s music has been described as “…abrasive…outbursts…
*Lauren Bell graduated from IU in May 2010 with a performance degree. She continued on to receive another degree in Music Education, also from IU. She is now successfully teaching in Mason City, Iowa at Mason City High School as it’s new Orchestra Director.
Josiah Coe, violist, is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studied with Alan De Veritch and Stephen Wyrczynski. Josiah plays in many orchestras throughout southern Indiana and northern Kentucky including Evansville Philharmonic, Owensboro Symphony and Terre Haute Symphony orchestras. He also stays very active as a chamber musician and has performed throughout the U.S. in concerts and festivals including the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival and School. As a soloist, Josiah has given recitals at festivals throughout the U.S. and in Europe including the Aspen Music Festival, Le Feste di Musica in Fiesole Italy and Music X in Blonay Switzerland.
Jared Cooper, cellist, began his musical studies at the age of six on piano and began studying cello at age eleven. At the age of fifteen, he began studying with Phil Ince of the Tulsa Symphony. As an orchestral musician, he has held positions with orchestras such as the Signature Symphony and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he is highly sought after to give chamber recitals and premiere new music. Mr. Cooper received his bachelor of music degree at Texas Tech University under the tutelage of Jeffrey Lastrapes and is currently pursuing his master of music degree at Lynn University studying with David Cole.
*Samuel Daunt grew up in Davis, California, and began playing viola in the fourth grade at the Davis Waldorf School. He went on to play in the Sacramento Youth Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony’s Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). As a member of the SFSYO, he earned the position of principal violist and went on a tour of Western Europe in 2004. Samuel attended Indiana University (IU), where he studied viola performance with Alan DeVeritch. He graduated from IU in 2010 with majors in Music and Business with a minor in Spanish. He was formerly a member of Teach for America’s 2010 Corps and teaches Business Math and Computer Graphics at Grants High School in Grants, New Mexico. Samuel now works with the New York City Department of Education.
*Erik Deddens joined the Porterville Summer Strings for Summer 2011. He is an avid musician who enjoys both jazz and classical music. He studied at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is currently studying at the University of Kansas.
*Rachyl Duffy earned her Master of Music degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Paul Coletti. She was the youngest member of the Winston-Salem Symphony, and has taken masterclasses with Kim Kashkashian, Heidi Castleman, and Robert Vernon. Rachyl performed the Bartok Viola Concerto as a soloist with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra in 2013, reviewed by Peter Perret in Classical Voice of North Carolina. He writes, “Rachyl Duffy was splendid… bravely tackling the many soliloquies and floating effortlessly above the large orchestra. Her intonation was impeccable, her tone warm and passionate and her vibrato expressive and suited to the mood of the moment.” Rachyl holds a Bachelor of Music degree from UNCSA (the University of North Carolina School of the Arts), where she studied with Sheila Browne on full scholarship. Rachyl is an enthusiastic chamber musician and a passionate teacher. She has a special interest for helping those in need, and sees her students and colleagues as unique individuals with fresh viewpoints on life and music.
A native of Brazil, Dr. Douglas Ferreira earned his Bachelor of Music in Bass Performance at Sao Paulo State University. He moved to the United States of America where he earned his Master of Music in Bass Performance at Lynn University Conservatory of Music. He earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Bass Performance from Michigan State University. Douglas has performed widely with orchestras in Brazil and the United States including; The Florida Grand Opera, The Palm Beach Symphony, International Chamber Soloists, Orquestra Experimental de Repertório, and the Orquestra Acadêmica de São Paulo. In 2004 Dr. Ferreira was a winner in the Orquestra Experimental de Repertório Competition. He has appeared as soloist with the Karkoarko Chamber Orchestra and the Sao Paulo State University Experimental Orchestra.Dr. Ferreira has taught at Lynn University Preparatory Music School, Michigan State University, and Kalamazoo College. Douglas has studied with Jack Budrow, Rodney Whitaker, Valerie Albright, Shigeru Ishikawa, Mark Morton, and Timothy Cobb, Principal bass of New York Philharmonic. Currently, Dr. Ferreira performs with Miami City Ballet and teaches throughout south Florida.
*Jared Lee Fischer has studied piano with distinguished musicians such as André De Groote, Evelyne Brancart, and Edmund Battersby, and holds a degree in piano performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. An active performer, he concertizes regularly in both solo and chamber recitals on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Midwest. Jared is also a committed pedagogue. He is a founder of Porterville Summer Strings, has taught piano for over ten years to students of all ages and levels, and continues to be involved in a wide variety of teaching engagements in addition to maintaining his own private studio. During the summer of 2010 he taught music theory at House of Peace orphanage in southern India. In addition to his studies and engagements in classical music, Jared is an avid rock ‘n’ roll musician. He has developed a unique style of playing that draws upon his eclectic taste in popular, folk, rock, and independent music, and plays often in such projects.
*Asher Kelly is an experienced orchestral and chamber musician who has performed across the United States. A native to Pensacola, Florida, James attended the Jacobs School of music at Indiana University. While teaching in the Gulf Coast region, Asher also performs with orchestras from the same region such as the Sinfonia Gulf Coast. Before graduating, Asher had been principal oboist of Indiana University Orchestras as well as being the oboist in the ‘fortzando’ wind quintet, also based in Bloomington. Asher has also served as oboist (as well as English horn) with the Chauttauqua Festival Orchestra, the Sewannee Symphony, and the Masterworks Festival Orchestra. His past instructors have included Linda Strommen (faculty at Indiana University), Claire Weddle (formerly of the Pensacola Symphony), Jan Eberle (faculty at Michigan State University), and Eric Ohlsson (faculty at Florida State University).
Canadian violinist, Grace Kim is an active orchestral, solo, and collaborative artist. She has played in Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra under Fabio Luisi and in Germany with the Moritzburg Festival Academy under Alondra de la Parra. She is currently on tour playing Latin American music with the Petar Jankovic Ensemble playing concerts in the United States, Serbia, and Slovenia. Alongside performing, Grace enjoys sharing her experience and love for music through the medium of teaching. She has taught for the Indiana University Summer String Academy and is faculty for Porterville Summer Strings. She has received both her B.M. and M.M. from Indiana University under the tutelage of Kevork Mardirossian and Mauricio Fuks. Throughout her musical studies Grace has worked with such celebrated artists as Tokyo String Quartet’s Martin Beaver, Tango legend Pablo Ziegler, and world-renowned Classical guitarist Ernesto Bitetti. In her free time she enjoys improvising on the violin, painting, cooking, and practicing yoga.
Los Angeles-born pianist IRENE KIM is an avid believer that the arts are a manifestation of humanity and its creativity and aspires to let music travel to where its resounding compassion is much needed. Her “dazzling” yet “stylistically pure” performances have been heard across North America and overseas in recitals and with the Washington Youth, Los Angeles Korean Chamber, Southwestern Youth Music Festival, and Young Musicians Foundation orchestras, and Rio Hondo Symphony in venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Library of Congress, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Centro Cultural del Antiguo Instituto. As a musician of curiosity, she has collaborated extensively, most notably with vocalists, cellists, violinists, and percussionists. Her professional training has been centered at the Peabody Conservatory, where she recently received her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Peabody Conservatory.
American-Italian violinist Benjamin Hoffman is an avid leader. A recent appearance as concertmaster with the Yale Philharmonia under the baton of John Adams at Avery Fisher Hall in New York was hailed as “bold, spirited, and technically impressive” by The New York Times. Benjamin was selected as a fellow for the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy program, and performed in the orchestra in January of this year. Equally at home as a chamber musician, Mr. Hoffman has played alongside mentors Peter Frankl, Wolfram Christ, Jorja Fleezanis, and Gary Hoffman, and recently performed Aaron Jay Kernis’s “Mozart en Route” and Hindemith’s “Kammermusik Nr. 1” at Carnegie Hall. Benjamin also gives concerts with his mother, father, and sister as part of the piano quartet Onibatan. As a soloist, Benjamin enjoys performing music ranging from Vivaldi to Bach, Mozart and Korngold, as well as contemporary premieres with orchestra. He recently premiered a double concerto by his father, Joel Hoffman, with his sister as the cello soloist in the National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing. Mr. Hoffman began studying the violin at age four under the tutelage of his mother, and continued his studies with Gabriel Pegis of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Latica Honda- Rosenberg at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany and Alexander Kerr at Indiana University Bloomington. He is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale University, where his principal studies are with Ani Kavafian.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Zachary Mansell began playing the cello at age seven. He holds his Master of Music degree in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music, with Mark Kosower and Melissa Kraut respectively. Previously, he studied with Emilio Colon at Indiana University where he received a Bachelor of Music degree, as well as Martha Gerschefski from Atlanta. Mr. Mansell recently performed Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra of Georgia. Additionally he was awarded winner of the 2012 Cleveland Cello Society Scholarship Competition. Mr. Mansell has performed concerts in Europe, North America, and Asia. In past summers, Mr. Mansell has been a participant of the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany, National Orchestral Institute, Round Top International Festival Institute, and the Indiana University Summer Music Festival, where he had the privilege to work with esteemed conductors including Michael Stern, Leonard Slatkin, and Christoph Eschenbach. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Mansell has performed with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, he performed Dohnanyi’s Second Piano Quintet with Peter Salaff, Carolyn Warner, and Mark Jackobs, all faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has also performed in master classes with Chris Adkins, Zuill Bailey, Stefan Popov, and Lynn Harrell. In his spare time, Mr. Mansell enjoys eating, staying in shape, and watching good movies.
Justino Perez is an Alum from the very first Porterville Summer Strings Camp. He graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Music Composition obtaining honors and was the recipient of the Van Duzer Scholarship, Fulkerson Scholarship, President of the Music Club, a Presidential Scholar, and the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award with Most Individual Artistic Achievement. At HSU, Mr. Perez had the honor of developing and teaching his own music theory lab courses. Also an active composer, Justino studied Composition with renown composers Stacy Garrop and David Rakowski and has participated in the Fresh Inc festival for new music premiering two new works including Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, at The Ravinia Music Festival, as well as I Just Lost to Myself at Hide and Seek, written for The Eclipse Trio. He also frequently premieres works with many student ensembles. Most recently he was a finalist for the Prestigious Morton Gould young composers award. Mr. Perez currently teaches several hundred students full time in Wheatridge CO, plays bass and cello with the Boulder Symphony, The Denver Pops Orchestra, and is composer in residence at The Golden Chamber Orchestra. Most importantly, Justino is working on a new method book containing all original music meant to inspire imagination and passion for music all while honing reading and ensemble skills through experiential music, and writing music for an online playlist of original music meant to inspire imaginative listening in youth (available at http://www.justinoperez.com/#!
Born in Macau, Vijeta Sathyaraj started playing the violin in the Philippines at the age of 3. By age 6, she was studying with Basilio Manalo and was featured on Philippine National Television. She went on to study with Fan Ting at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and later with Dennis Kim. She graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy, studying with Vesna Gruppman, and earned BA and BM degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and an MM and PPC from Lynn University where she studied with Carol Cole. Former mentors include Midori, Milan Vitek, Andrew Jennings, Sally Thomas, and Ann Setzer.
Gregory Smith is the Executive Director of the faculty for Porterville Summer Strings. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in music (piano)and an outside field (math) from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2014. His teachers and mentors include Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Evelyne Brancart, Edward Auer, and André Watts. He worked at the Jacobs School of Music as a Piano Technician. Gregory just recently completed a move to Porterville, CA in order to continue his work with Porterville Summer Strings.
Formerly the Publicity and Marketing Director for PSS, *Matthew Smith has been an active performer, teacher, and clinician for many years now. He graduated from Indiana University (IU) in 2011 with a Master’s in Guitar and outside field in Arts Administration. He recently held positions as an Associate Instructor of Guitar and was Adjunct Faculty at IU. He taught elementary school in Memphis, TN through the nationally recognized program Teach For America in 2011. His recent artistic engagements include being invited to perform and teach at the famous Stax Records in Memphis. He has taught a wide variety of ages and ability levels and continues to further his musical training through workshops, master classes, and individual study. He was one of 8 students to receive full scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival to study with Sharon Isbin and has was chosen to participate in workshops with nuevo tango sensation Pablo Ziegler. He has collaborated in recording sessions through Indiana University’s Latin American Music Center and assisted in the production of the inaugural Indiana Guitar Festival and Competition. Matthew is now completing his degree in dentistry from Meharry Medical College.
Rodelyn Lipumano-Smith is a violinist of 21 years and is a proud alumnus of the Porterville Unified School District, and participated in the local string program under the directorship of Pam Aucutt and Dr. Michael Allard. After 3 years of studying violin performance at the IU Jacob School of Music, she changed majors to acquire her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in African American Diaspora studies and music. She recently completed a move to Porterville, CA where she’ll be working in school district as a member of the elementary strings team.
Originally a Kansas City native, Evan Spieker is currently a Master’s student at the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music who began studying double bass at the age of 11. Evan was a member of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, and in 2007, he received an Emerson Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 2011, he received his Bachelor’s degree in double bass performance from Indiana University, while studying under the tutelage of one of the world’s finest pedagogues, Lawrence Hurst. He was also given opportunities to study with Jeffrey Turner, Peter Lloyd, and Owen Lee. While Evan’s studies primarily lie in classical music, he also has experience with jazz. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and has a tremendous passion for cooking and indulging in comfort foods of all kinds. Evan’s studies in music have led him to Austria, Hungary, the Czech republic, Italy, and Greece.
Irish-born violinist Alison Stewart has been honing her violin skills since the early age of six. Raised in Canada, Alison began her studies with the Suzuki method. In middle and high school she was the recipient of numerous awards and winner of local music competitions. Alison received her Bachelor and Masters of Music in violin performance, as well as her Performer Diploma from Indiana University where she studied with Mauricio Fuks and Kevork Mardirossian. There, she also studied violin/viola pedagogy with the renowned Mimi Zweig. A versatile musician, Alison is also an adept Irish fiddler who loves to teach as well as perform. Besides her own private students, she has been on faculty at the IU Summer String Academy, Tulsa Fiddle Camp, and the Oklahoma Performing Arts program. Alison has played with numerous orchestras including the Regina and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras in Canada, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Tulsa Opera. She is also a proud founding member of the Tulsa-based Cameron String Quartet. Alison has been broadcast as a member of ensembles on CBC in Canada, and on a Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor in the USA. She has had the honor of playing in the Berlin Philharmonie, and at the Ravinia Festival as a member of Festival orchestras.
Meghan Yost began playing viola at age ten in the New Jersey public school system. As a chamber musician, she was a Young Artist at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School; a founding member of the Petar Jankovic Ensemble; has twice been a fellow at Garth Newel Music Center; toured Alaska and Canada aboard the M. S. Oosterdam as a member of the Adagio String Quartet; and performed and recorded live in concert with violinist Elmar Oliveira as a member of the Golden Rule Chamber Orchestra. Expanding the possibilities of small ensemble playing for a violist, she spent a year performing across the United States with indie-folk rock band River City Extension, including live recording sessions with Audiotree, Little Elephant Room, and Daytrotter. Yost currently freelances throughout Georgia, Florida, and Alabama and has toured China and Brazil. As an educator, she is Viola Teaching Artist at the Atlanta Music Project, an El Sistema inspired program; was a Mentor at The Program for Maine Students; and studied violin and viola pedagogy under Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig at Indiana University’s String Academy. Yost received her Bachelor of Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Alan deVeritch; and her Master of Music from Lynn Conservatory of Music under Ralph Fielding. This will be Meghan’s fourth summer teaching at Porterville Summer Strings.
Paul Addison Young is a native of Indianapolis where he began cello lessons at the age of eight. He is a founding faculty member and cello instructor of Porterville Summer Strings, and is currently teaching elementary and middle schools strings within PUSD. From 2009-2013 Paul was a member of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (KY) and simultaneously served as faculty member and cello instructor for the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO) of Indianapolis, where he maintained private studios, taught group classes, and coached chamber music.. Paul has been a cello clinician through Music For All for the National Honors Orchestra of America, and has conducted sectionals with the Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis (SYOGI), New World Youth Orchestra (NWYO), Musical Arts Youth Orchestra (MAYO), and Butler Community Arts School (BCAS). From 2013-2015, Mr. Young was the orchestra director BASIS Charter School in Chandler, Arizona and served as a conductor of the East Valley Youth Symphony (2014). During his time in Arizona, he was invited to conduct the cello choir at ASTA Arizona’s 2013 Cellobration concert, and has adjudicated and held sectionals for AMEA Regional and All-State Orchestras at the elementary, junior high, and high school level. Paul is currently the Associate Principal cellist of Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with the Tulare County Symphony. Paul received a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.