Faculty

2018 Institute Faculty

 Violin

Jazz Improvisation

Viola

Cello

Orchestra

Eurythmics

Accompanists

Little Bach Double on the faculty recital

Little Bach Double
on the faculty recital

Meet the Faculty




Kristy Baker (accompanist) has been an accompanist for the Atlanta Suzuki Institute for many years and is one of the accompanists for North Atlanta Talent Education. She is a certified middle school teacher and has been the musical director for Crabapple Middle School’s productions of “Wizard of Oz”, “A Night of the Arts”, “Seussical the Musical” and “Alice in Wonderland”. She is a self-taught musician. She is also a Suzuki mom to her daughter (violin) and son (cello).

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Joanna Binford (viola/violin) is currently the Coordinator of the Suzuki Program at the Academy of Music, based in Norfolk VA. She freelances in the Hampton Roads area and performs frequently with the Virginia Symphony. Awarded the Kentucky Chapter of the American String Teachers Association 2013 “Outstanding Service” award and District 7 KMEA “Outstanding College/University Music Teacher of the Year”, she is a sought after Suzuki institute and workshop clinician around the country. Ms. Binford is a member of the Suzuki Teachers Association of Hampton Roads. She prepared viola students to perform on the STAHR tour of Peru (June 2014). In addition to her Suzuki classes, Ms Binford also teaches a Fiddling in D class, coaches chamber music and offers an Improvisation Techniques Workshop, upon request. She is featured on several recordings, including the 2016 release of “Almost Home” by the Endless Road Strings, an ensemble specializing in alternative styles.

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Reagan Brasch (violin) graduated with a Bachelors of Music in violin performance and received her Masters in Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Denver. After teaching with Denver Talent Education for five years with James Maurer, she moved to Chicago to teach at the Music Institute of Chicago under the direction of Gilda Barston. Mrs. Brasch gives both private and group instruction in Suzuki. She also teaches early childhood musikgarten classes to toddlers and preschoolers as the part of the Music Institute’s SMART Start program. Her most recently published article was in the Suzuki Journal concerning teaching pretwinklers. Mrs. Brasch has taught extensively at Suzuki institutes and workshops around the country.

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Amanda Brown (accompanist) received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of Georgia. An accomplished vocal coach and pianist, she currently teaches and accompanies at North Atlanta Talent Education in Roswell, Georgia. She is also a Suzuki mom to her sons, Graham and Ellis.

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Carey Cheney (cello teacher trainer) a native of Canada, has been teaching and performing for over30 years. She is a Registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, having taught all units of cello training as well as many enrichment courses throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. She holds the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance from the University of Utah, and a Master of Music in cello performance from the University of Texas at Austin. While there she studied cello and pedagogy with Phyllis Young and taught in the Texas String Project. She teaches at many institutes in the US and Canada, and at workshops and conferences in Italy, Japan, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. . Also, Carey has been a presenter at the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conferences and Retreats, and at the American String Teacher’s Association National Conferences. Carey has recorded eight audio CDs and prepared six of the eight volumes of her series, Solos For Young Cellists published by Summy-Birchard, a subsidiary of Alfred Music Co. Inc.

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Anne Donaldson (violin) received her Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with David Updegraff, and her Master’s degree from Northwestern University, where she was the teaching assistant of Blair Milton. Her primary training in the Suzuki Method has been under Carrie Reuning-Hummel and Ronda Cole. As a guest clinician, she has taught for the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, Birmingham Young Artist Workshops, the Suzuki Association of Georgia, and the Columbus Suzuki Institute, and this summer she will join the faculty of the Ithaca Suzuki Institute. Ms. Donaldson was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2012 and was co-founder and Assistant Director of STEP, the Suzuki Talent Education Program of Birmingham for 6 years. Currently living in Washington, D.C., Ms. Donaldson plays frequently with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as running a private Suzuki studio. In her (very limited!) spare time, Anne enjoys flying trapeze and playing traditional Irish music.

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Teri Einfeldt (violin teacher trainer) is the Chair of the Suzuki Department at The Hartt School Community Division of The University of Hartford, where she maintains a studio of 26 students from ages 4 to 18. In her role as adjunct professor at The Hartt School, she instructs Master of Music candidates in Suzuki pedagogy. For more than twenty years, Ms. Einfeldt has been shaping these components into a program which is now considered a national model for teaching the Suzuki method within a university setting. In an effort to provide year-round opportunities in the greater Hartford area, in 1988 Ms. Einfeldt founded the Hartt Suzuki Institute, a weeklong summer workshop for children as well as teachers.
Born and raised in Kingston, New York, Ms. Einfeldt began her study of violin at the age of 7 in the public schools. As a child and growing musician, she enjoyed playing chamber music and participating in orchestra. While at Ithaca College, she studied violin with Thomas Michalak, and began Suzuki training with Sanford Reuning, one of a small group of educators who pioneered the Suzuki method in the United States.
A Suzuki Association of the Americas registered teacher trainer, Ms. Einfeldt is a frequent clinician at weekend string workshops and summer Suzuki Institutes throughout the United States and Canada. She has participated and presented at several international conferences of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, at the Pan Pacific Suzuki Conference in Sydney, Australia, and at the Suzuki World Conference in Turin, Italy. She has also lectured before the Connecticut chapter of American String Teachers Association.
In addition to her busy teaching, training, and lecturing schedule, Ms. Einfeldt continues to be an active performer. A devoted chamber musician, she also plays frequently with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She is the former Assistant Concertmistress of both the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. Not surprisingly, Ms. Einfeldt has designed the Hartt Suzuki program to offer ample opportunities for students to participate in the orchestra and chamber music activities that she has always loved. She delights in beginning young quartets and developing them through high school.
Teri is a past chair of the SAA. She continues to be an active member in her roles as chair of the Teacher Development Committee and the Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) Committee.

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Chris Fiore (cello) began his cello studies when he was four years old with his parents, both of whom are established Suzuki Teachers. At the age of 12, Chris began double bass lessons with his father, and has continued to play bass as a secondary instrument. When he was 16, Chris attended the Hartt School of Music where he studied with Pamela Devenport, currently part of the faculty at the School for Strings in New York City. He transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Music to finish his Bachelor’s degree, where he studied with former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Stephen Geber. After graduating from CIM, Chris was accepted into the Masters of Music program at DePaul University, where he received his Master’s Degree in Performance studying with Stephen Balderston, former member of the Chicago Symphony. Chris is also a fully registered Suzuki teacher, and has received training with world renowned Suzuki Pedagogue Tanya Carey. Chris currently performs and teaches in the Chicago area.

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Dr. Samara Humbert-Hughes (violin) currently serves as the Director of the Suzuki Strings Program at the University of South Carolina. Prior to South Carolina, Dr. Humbert-Hughes lived in England with her husband from where she taught private and group class lessons with the Cambridge Suzuki Groups and at Royal Air Force Mildenhall. While in England Dr. Humbert-Hughes also performed with the Cambridge Philharmonic and the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra. Before living in England, Dr. Humbert-Hughes taught at the Centenary Suzuki School at Centenary College in Shreveport, LA from and served as its Acting Director from 2009-2011. During her time in Louisiana, she was also an active performer on viola and violin with the Shreveport Symphony, the Texarkana Symphony, the Longview Symphony, and the Shreveport Opera Orchestra. Prior to living in Louisiana, Dr. Humbert-Hughes was actively teaching and performing in Eugene, OR, where she received her Master of Music & Doctorate of Musical Arts with a Supporting Area in String Pedagogy. Dr. Humbert-Hughes also holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

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Leah Jacobson (orchestra) began her Suzuki musical studies at the age of three under her mother, Dr. Gloria Jacobson, and later under ASO violinist David Dillard. Leah attended the University of Georgia where she received a Bachelor in Music Performance in violin. She studied with Levon Ambartsumian and Shakhida Azimkhodjaeva. Simultaneously, she also earned a Bachelor of Arts in piano under Dr. Martha Thomas. After UGA, Leah went on to Georgia State University, where she graduated with a Masters in Music Performance in violin under Dr. Christos Galileas. She studied chamber music under Dr. Brandt Fredricksen and Martha Gerschefski, and conducting under Maestro Michael Palmer. Leah then went on to receive extensive Suzuki training from clinicians all over the country. Leah now lives in Los Angeles and keeps an active Suzuki violin studio in addition to performing with her trio, Luna Strings West, and recording for numerous commercials and trailers. She also still manages SODA – a string orchestra for young players located in Decatur, GA – that she founded in 2010.

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Kirsten Marshall (violin), Director of the Orchestral Program and violin instructor, is on the faculty of Ithaca (NY) Talent Education (ITE), as well as Lecturer in violin performance at Ithaca College. Ms. Marshall received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with majors in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy. Ms. Marshall also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University, with an emphasis in strings. Her conducting studies were with David Einfeldt (Hartt School of Music, Connecticut), Carl Topilow and Louis Lane (CIM). She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.
Ms. Marshall has conducted the 2014, 2012 and 1998 Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas at the biennial Suzuki Association Conferences, as well as conducting the faculty orchestras for the youth piano soloist in both the 2008 and 2010 conferences. She has also been a featured conductor at Suzuki institutes and All-State festivals across the United States. An avid supporter of contemporary music, Ms. Marshall co-commissioned and premiered a new sonata for violin and piano by Robert Paterson. Additionally, she composes and arranges for string orchestras. She also conducted and produced two premiere string orchestra pieces on a CD released by ITE (Bach to the Future).
Ms. Marshall is an active violinist in the Ithaca area and is a member (David and Lesli Sagan chair) of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca’s professional ensemble. She is frequently sought after as a string clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops across the United States. Her high-energy style blends humor and passion, engaging players at the highest level for riveting performances.

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Martin Norgaard (violin/jazz improvisation) is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he is collaborating with faculty in mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and physics to investigate the cognitive processes underlying improvisation. He received the Dean’s Early Career Award in recognition of “outstanding work” as a faculty member of Georgia State University. In 2013 he presented his research in Toronto and Vienna, Austria and organized a symposium at GSU entitled The Improvising Brain. Papers from the symposium were featured in a special issue of Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain for which Dr. Norgaard served as guest editor and a follow-up symposium, The Improvising Brain II – Multiple Perspectives, took place March 2015. Dr. Norgaard is the author of ten jazz string method books for Mel Bay Publications including Jazz Fiddle Wizard and Jazz Fiddle/Viola/Cello Wizard Junior and the composer of several string orchestra pieces for The FJH Music Company and Alfred Music Publishing.
Born and raised in Denmark, Dr. Norgaard moved to the United States to study jazz performance at William Paterson University, and Queens College in New York, where his instructors included Rufus Reid, Hal Galper, Jimmy Heath and others. He then moved to Nashville where taught jazz and commercial strings at Belmont University and Vanderbilt University, where he directed the Belmont Jazz String Quartet and Jazz String Septet, which were featured at the International Association for Jazz Education 2001 conference, MENC 2002 and ASTA 2003. Prior to his appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Norgaard received a PhD in music and human learning from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Robert Duke and Laurie Scott.

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Laura Simna (Eurhythmics/violin) holds an M.M. in Violin Performance from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in String Pedagogy from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in Music from Case Western Reserve University with studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She received her Suzuki training from Ronda Cole, Martha Shackford, and Tom Wermuth. Laura has also taken extensive Dalcroze Eurhythmics training at the Cleveland Institute of Music and at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the concertmaster of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra and performs with many ensembles in a wide range of styles, including classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass. Her students of all ages have received numerous scholarships, awards, and top rankings in musical competitions and events. Former students have gone on to degree studies in music performance, music therapy, and music education.
Laura currently teaches at the Baldwin Wallace University Suzuki Center, and also runs her own studio, North Olmsted Talent Education. She serves as an Education Consultant for the Cleveland Orchestra, teaching and lecturing in their Education Outreach programs and workshops. Laura has written and implemented successful music-based curricula for schools and education programs, including music and movement, music and literacy, and music and math courses.

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