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Strings

A student of any age or level of playing can find his or her home here. Beginners and advanced players alike are able to learn and grow in their abilities to communicate through the lyrical nature and beauty of stringed instruments. Private lessons are offered in violin, viola, cello, and bass, along with semi-private lessons and group classes.

In addition to weekly lessons, students may enroll in a variety of ensembles, both large and small. For those who prefer smaller ensembles, chamber music is an option at any age and level. Custom ensembles can be created to match students' skill level and musical interests. Developing and advanced youth string players may want to audition for the Indian Hill Music Youth Orchestra. Plus, Our summer instrumental program, SummerDayMusic, includes a full orchestra as part of the core curriculum.

Cynthia Forbes
cello

B.A., Anthropology, Harvard University; M.M., Syracuse University. Principal teachers: George Neikrug and Benjamin Zander

Cynthia Forbes celloCynthia Forbes performs in New England area ensembles and orchestras, and has appeared as concerto soloist with Boston Virtuosi, New England String Ensemble, and Syracuse Camerata. She records for documentaries and films, premieres new works, and performs in summer festivals and chamber music projects. Cynthia has been on the faculty at Oak Meadow Montessori, Boston Latin School, and Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She directs two long-running chamber ensembles at Indian Hill and is a coach for our adult program, SummerNightMusic. Her cello students and ensembles perform in outreach concerts, youth orchestras, and concerto competitions.

Cynthia believes that J.S. Bach is possibly our greatest teacher and imparts this to her students, all the while cultivating their knowledge and love of music from the Renaissance to the present and encouraging chamber music sensibilities from the earliest stages of study.

Angel Hernandez
violin, viola

Violin studies at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory, Havana, Cuba

Angel Hernandez Dominguez, a native of Cuba, has performed with Mexico’s Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra, Queretaro Philharmonic, and the OFUNAM Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1994, he joined the faculty at the Cultural Institute in Tepic, Mexico, marking the beginning of almost two decades devoted to teaching and mentoring young violinists. He is also on the string faculty at Cushing Academy and Shrewsbury Public Schools. Since he moved to the United States in 2006, Angel has maintained an active performance schedule as a member of the Nashaway Trio, the Bach Consort, Trio Nuevo, Orchestra of Indian Hill, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. He also builds and repairs string instruments from his violin shop.

Susan Jensen
violin

B.M. Cincinnati College-Conservatory; M.M. University of Southern California (Alpert Merit Scholar, George Kast Merit Achievement Award recipient). Principal instructors: Dorothy DeLay and Eudice Shapiro

Susan Jensen violinSusan Jensen’s teaching experience includes starting an orchestra program at the Pasadena Conservatory, where she also taught privately. Most recently she was a tenure-track professor at University of Missouri, where she taught private lessons, coached chamber music, and performed in faculty ensembles. She is comfortable teaching all ages and experience levels. Susan has extensive performing experience in traditional classical and early baroque music as well as modern, experimental, and microtonal music, plus jazz, pop, and rock styles. Working with many of today’s leading composers, she has commissioned, premiered, and recorded intriguing solo works, including the Grammy-nominated Concerto for Violin with Gamelan by Bill Alves. Her collaborations with composers have also led to the creation of works like the Ninth String Quartet by renowned American composer Samuel Adler, premiered and recorded while she was a member of the Esterhazy String Quartet. As a performer, Susan has traveled the globe and has recorded with many fine artists, such as Italian keyboard specialist Enrico Baiano, opera legends Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, popular music icons Aerosmith, Ringo Starr, Dave Brubeck, Brian Wilson, Reba McEntire, Harry Connick, Jr., and Garth Brooks as well as film and television composing greats Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Thomas Newman, Mark Snow, Mike Post, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfmann, W. G. “Snuffy” Walden, and Jeff Beal. Susan has also been an active studio musician in Los Angeles, participating in numerous Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, and BMI winning films, television shows, and musical albums. Her credits include West Wing, Boston Public, Charmed, Oh Brother Where Are Thou, Matrix I,II and III, Ice Age, Freaky Friday, John Q, Beethoven IV, X-Files, Pollock, and many others.

"My teaching philosophy is summed up in four parts: consistency, discipline, respect, and humor. Consistency is how you play every time you practice – whatever you do consistently will be your output. Discipline is the focus and effort you put into being consistent and the willingness to follow through. Respect the art form, its history, traditions, and evolution and respect yourself, your colleagues, your teachers and the composers – your fellow human beings. A healthy dose of humor keeps things in perspective and makes it fun!"

Laurel Martin
fiddle

Formal study with master fiddler Seamus Connolly under the auspices of a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Laurel Martin is a traditional Irish fiddler, known in the music community for her graceful, lyrical playing style. She has performed with many great traditional Irish musicians in America and in Ireland, and she cherishes the friendship and musical inspiration they bring to her life. Laurel has been a member of the fiddle ensemble "Childsplay" since 1999, and has toured and recorded with them. With her mentor Seamus Connolly, she co-authored a traditional Irish tune book and accompanying CD, "Forget Me Not," published by Mel Bay in 2002. Her acclaimed solo CD, "The Groves," was released in 2006. In addition to Indian Hill, Laurel has been on the faculty at Boston College, Phillips Academy Andover, and Wellesley College.

Laurel is a devoted teacher who derives great joy from passing along the old tradition of Irish fiddling. She believes that, “Striving to listen, understand, and play music well is an endeavor that brings us surprising riches.”

Dorcas McCall
violin, viola

Wellesley College; New England Conservatory. Recipient of several awards and fellowships for both academic and performance excellence.

Dorcas McCall has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals in Boston, New York, and London, and appeared as a guest artist at the Hot Springs and Merrimack Valley Chamber Music festivals. She has also been featured as a soloist on WGBH radio in Boston and WQXR in New York. An avid champion of the viola, Dorcas was a founding member of the Boston Viola Quartet, which has been featured at the International Viola Congress, Boston’s First Night Festival, and on numerous concert series throughout Greater Boston. She enjoys a very active performance schedule with Orchestra of Indian Hill, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, the Handel and Haydn Society, and many other ensembles throughout New England. She also teaches at Boston College.

Dorcas has a passion for teaching students of all ages and abilities. Although she encourages the traditional method of each lesson including scales, an etude, and a piece from the classical repertoire, she loves the challenge of tailoring lessons to individual needs and embraces students who prefer or require a different approach. She also employs her knowledge of yoga and breathing techniques to place strong emphasis on correct form and relaxation, while incorporating music theory and history, and still greatly encouraging expression. Her goal is a well-rounded student, whose instrument ultimately becomes a mere extension of the physical and emotional self, thereby freeing the student to experience the deepest joys of music-making.

Justin Meyer
bass

B.A. in Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.M., Longy School of Music under Charlie Banacos. Additional studies at Berklee College of Music

Justin Meyer performs throughout New England in a wide variety of musical settings. In addition to leading his own bands, he has played and/or recorded with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, The Four Freshman, The New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Bucky Pizzarelli, David Amram, Toni Lynn Washington, Chris Trapper, Greg Hopkins, and Jerry Bergonzi, among many others.

"My goal as a teacher is for my students to have fun playing the kinds of music that they want to play, and to become better musicians as they do so. Students should also make an active effort to practice as regularly as their schedules will allow. I teach both the electric and the acoustic bass, and have had students who have been interested in everything from classical and jazz to bluegrass, pop, and rock of all sorts. One of the best things about playing bass is that there are numerous playing opportunities available to the advancing student. Fortunately, the principles of good bass playing apply to all genres of music!"

Caroline Reiner-Williams
cello

B.M. in Cello Performance, Atlantic Union College; M.M. in Cello Pedagogy, Longy School of Music

C Reiner WilliamsCaroline Reiner-Williams enjoys a busy schedule as both performer and teacher. Prior to her studies at the Longy School of Music, she toured the U.S., Canada, England, France, Russia, Spain, and Portugal as a member of several chamber ensembles, including the Boston Youth Symphony. Today she is active throughout New England as a chamber and orchestral musician, performing regularly with the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra and Bangor Symphony Orchestra. As an orchestral player, she has shared the stage with renowned soloists, such as Alisa Weilerstein and Stefan Jackiw, as well as legendary folk artists Noel Paul Stookey and Jonathan Edwards. In 2009, Caroline founded the Nashaway Trio with her husband, violinist Angel Hernandez, and pianist Roy Imperio. She is also a founding member of Trio Nuevo, along with violinists Leah Zelnick and Angel Hernandez. Caroline is on the faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Shrewsbury Public Schools. She previously taught at the Brooks School, North Andover; the Fay School, Southborough; and the Bancroft School, Worcester.

Bethany Stephan
violin

B.M. and Performance Certificate, University of Denver; Suzuki Association of the Americas Teacher Training (Books 1-8); M.M., Carnegie Mellon University. Principal teachers: Andres Cardenes, Linda Wang, and Mary West

Bethany Stephan’s varied performance and teaching career has taken her around the globe, including Austria, Iceland, Central America, and Spain. Her current orchestra positions include Orchestra of Indian Hill, Albany Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and the Santo Domingo Music Festival Orchestra (Dominican Republic). She has also performed with artists such as Josh Groban, Ben Folds, and the Transiberian Orchestra. Bethany's teaching career of over fifteen years has included teaching both traditional lessons and the Suzuki Method. She is also experienced in coaching chamber music, teaching group classes, leading orchestral sectionals, and substitute teaching orchestra ensembles. Her previous faculty experience includes the Lamont Pre-College Academy (Denver), the Mounds View School District Summer Orchestra Program (St. Paul, MN), Sewickley Academy (Pittsburgh), Pittsburgh Music Academy, and in Panama through the Orchestra of the Americas. In addition to teaching private lessons at Indian Hill Music, Bethany teaches group violin classes at our Ayer Shirley After School Program. As a lover of many music genres, she enjoys fiddling in the American and Irish style. When not performing or teaching, Bethany can be found in nature, with many good books, or social dancing.

“Learning how to play the violin is fun, challenging, and extremely rewarding. I strive to teach my students how to play the instrument well, and through this, develop valuable life skills, such as empathy, communication, self- discipline, critical thinking, small muscle coordination, patience, cultural understanding, innovation, and creativity. I believe that the best way to learn is in a calm, nurturing, and fun environment.” Bethany adds that she does her best to cater to individual needs while expecting her students to try their best.

Timothy Terranella
cello and flute, Strings Department Chair

Artist Diploma, Boston Conservatory, B.M. Curtis Institute of Music, M.M. (flute) Boston Conservatory. Principal teachers Leonard Rose, Orlando Cole, Mischa Nieland, Ronald Thomas

Tim Terranella has performed as both cellist and flutist with many of Boston's most prestigious musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Esplanade Pops, New Hampshire Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, Symphony New Hampshire, Boston Academy of Music, Claflin Hill Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Bostonian Chamber Players. He has also performed and recorded in the New York area as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Tim has dedicated much of his professional experience to teaching the cello and flute and coaching chamber ensembles. He has served on the faculties of Boston University, Buckingham and Nichols School, and the Groton School.

Anabelle Tirado
violin

B.M. in Violin Performance, Bowling Green State University; M.A., Boston Conservatory. Principal teachers: Sharan Leventhal, Marylou Speaker Churchill, David Gillis, Eugene Phillips

Anabelle Tirado began taking violin lessons at the age 11 and attended the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts Middle School/High School and the Center for the Musically Talented. In 2004, she studied music and art in Ghana, Africa, and has performed exclusively for the promotion of world peace. An active freelancer, Anabelle appears with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, Lexington Symphony, and Portland Symphony, among other ensembles. She has participated in the summer festivals at the Chautauqua School and the Meadowmount School for Strings. Her teaching experience includes working with a variety of ages and levels in private lessons, chamber music coaching, group classes, and classroom learning. She has been on the faculty at Bowling Green State University’s Creative Arts program, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Suzuki Institute of Boston. In addition to offering private lessons at Indian Hill, Anabelle teaches group violin in our Ayer Shirley After School Music Program and coaches the Camerata and Sinfonia sectionals for the Indian Hill Music Youth Orchestra.

Anabelle’s philosophy for teaching violin stems from a combination of her own teaching and performing experience as well as inspiration from her favorite teachers. Having studied non-violent communication, she believes in creating a safe, encouraging and supportive environment for her students to learn at their best pace. She understands that each student is unique in their learning styles and she strives to cater to their goals while also maintaining the discipline and dedication that the instrument demands.

Alexander Vavilov
viola, violin

Music Diploma, Kiev Glier College of Music; B.M. and M.M., Boston Conservatory; Graduate Diploma, New England Conservatory. Principal teachers: Patricia McCarty and Kim Kashkashian

VavilovAlexander Vavilov is an avid chamber musician, recitalist, and orchestra performer who has played under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Kurt Mazur, Rafael Fruhbek de Burgos, and David Zinman. In 2003, he won 1st prize in the Massachussets ASTA Competition advancing to the national semifinals and finals. Today Alexander is principal viola of the Atlantic Symphony, and performs regularly with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera, Portland Symphony, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Chorale, Plymouth Philharmonic, and other area ensembles. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Borromeo String Quartet (as a winner of their NEC guest artist award) and with prominent chamber musicians, such as Lynn Chang, Barbara Westphal, Ronald Leonard, James Buswell, and Rhonda Rider. His summer festival appearances include Tanglewood, Sarasota, and Meadowmount.

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