Connie Hadlock (ID) Violin
Connie Hadlock of Caldwell, Idaho, began teaching in 1977 under the founder of the Idaho Suzuki Institute, June Itami. In 2005, she started the first orchestra at her high school Alma Mater. She taught for three years in the Caldwell school district, 5th-8th grade orchestras. She has served on the faculty at Suzuki Institutes in Utah, California, Montana, and Idaho. During the past 30 years, she has served as both co-director and director of the Idaho Suzuki Institute, now in its 43rd year and has been an advisor/coach for a high school auxiliary/dance team. Connie continues teaching violin/viola lessons in her private studio as well as performing with various ensembles and the Symphonia at the College of Idaho. She enjoys traveling the country and spending time with her 22 grandchildren.
Cathryn Lee (CA) Violin
San Francisco based violin teacher Cathryn S. Lee has taught families and teachers around the world since 1976. She is respected for teaching all ages and levels using her detailed and practical "best of both worlds" approach inspired by her studies with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and her "traditional" studies with concert artist Dame Camilla Wicks. As a teacher trainer, Cathryn has taught and lectured at SAA National conferences, Suzuki Teacher Trainer Conference in 2009 and most recently at the 16th World Conference in 2013. Cathryn is the author of Bow Exercises, Bow Strokes, and the Bow Stroke Excerpts books. In 1977, Cathryn founded the Suzuki Music Studio of San Francisco where she continues to teach students and train teachers. Cathryn has a B.A. in Performance and Composition, M.A. in Performance from San Francisco College for Women and a teaching certificate from the Talent Education Institute in Japan.
Neil Fong Gilfillan (TX) Cello
Cellist Neil Fong Gilfillan hails from Arlington, Texas, where he studied with Elizabeth Morrow at the University of Texas at Arlington and co-founded the cello rock group The 440 Alliance. Since earning his Master’s in Cello Performance minoring in Music Education at the University of North Texas under Nikola Ruzevic, he has held positions as an assistant orchestra director (Denton ISD), cello teacher (Suzuki Royal Oak), and performer on stage with groups such as the Las Colinas and Lansing Symphony Orchestras. He continues to learn as a full-time teacher and performer, training in the Suzuki Method (with Tanya Carey and Andrea Yun) and creative string playing with jazz violinist Christian Howes. Neil finds real joy in helping his students access the cello with ease and confidence, instructing classical and modern styles, both in the studio and through his content online. He is a co-founder of Chili Dog Strings--the only string studio in Frisco, Texas, named after a dog. His cello adventures are shared across social media @chilidogstrings, on chilidogstrings.com
, and on YouTube.
Irene Mitchell (TX) Violin/Viola
Irene Mitchell was fortunate to experience a diversity of cultures in her youth, living in ten countries throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia. This shaped her appreciation for a wide range of music, eventually leading her to earn a B.M. and MME at the University of North Texas. After exploring theatre, violin performance and orchestral conducting, she discovered her life-long passion in teaching the Suzuki method. Irene studied twice with Dr. Shin'ichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, returning to establish Suzuki Strings of Dallas in 1981. Irene teaches violin and viola in her home studio in Dallas, TX, and serves as a clinician for Suzuki programs throughout the world.
Daniel Gee (TX) Violin/Viola
Daniel Gee currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he teaches Suzuki violin, viola, and Early Childhood with the Suzuki Strings of Austin. He also serves as Orchestra Director at Chisholm Trail Middle School in Round Rock ISD and directs the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute, which had its inaugural year in 2013. He is an active performer serving as Assistant Principal Violist with Austin Opera Orchestra. Daniel is an active clinician giving presentations at national conferences, as well as a guest teacher at workshops around the country. He is a frequent presenter, having given sessions at the Texas Orchestra Director's Association Conference in 2015 and 2016, Texas Music Educators Association Conference 2014 and 2016, Suzuki Association of the Americas conferences in 2010 and 2012, and ASTA conference in Santa Clara in 2010. He did web conference presentations for the SAA Parents As Partners in 2012, 2013, and 2016. In the summers, Daniel has taught at various summer programs such as the Utah Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute, the Ozark Suzuki Institute, and the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute. In May 2012, Mr. Gee was awarded the Suzuki Association of the America’s Certificate of Achievement, an award given to teachers who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in their teaching. Outside of teaching, Daniel enjoys spending time with his dogs, Bamboo and Tristan, and finding the best tacos in Austin.
Charles Regauer (LA) Violin/Viola
Charles Regauer, a native of Brazil, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil and a Master’s degree in Music from the University of New Mexico with double concentration in Viola Performance and Violin Pedagogy. He attended several music festivals in Brazil, where he had the opportunity to learn from great teachers as Eric Rosenblith, Richard Young, Ori Kam, Paul Biss, Rainer Moog, Clara Takarabe, Renée Moore-Skerik and Timothy Deighton. In the year 2008, he won the SESI/Fundarte concerto competition for young soloists, where he performed a solo with the orchestra in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Charles Regauer has been teaching violin and viola since 2006 and completed the Suzuki Violin Long Term-Training with Susan Kempter. He has continued his teacher training in viola with Elizabeth Stuen Walker, Bill Preucil and Sarah Montzka. He has attended other teaching courses with Mimi Zweig, Barbara Barber, Winifred Crock, Nancy Jackson, Pat D’Ercole, Doris Preucil, Laurie Scott, Mark Mutter and Pat D’Ercole. He has taught in Suzuki workshops in Brazil, Mexico and the United States; having fun learning and teaching, sometimes dressed as Gandalf or Waldo, playing scales, movie songs, Bach Minuets, leading the viola groups or teaching master classes. Currently, he works at the Centenary College of Louisiana as a violin/viola instructor and administrator to the Centenary Suzuki School in Shreveport, LA.
Christine Balfa (LA) Fiddle
is one of Cajun music's most talented and revered vocalists and guitar players. She began playing music as a teenager with her father, Dewey Balfa, and has continued her family legacy in a major way. Christine is founding director of the non-profit organization, Louisiana Folk Roots, an organization dedicated to preserving Louisiana's valuable cultural landscape. Christine leads the powerhouse Cajun band, Balfa Toujours, and plays rhythm guitar with Grammy-nominated band, Bonsoir Catin. She is fluent in Cajun French and in 2014 obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Christine teaches the ASO&C Do-Re-ME!
program at Church Point Elementary, Central Rayne Kindergarten, Crowley Kindergarten, and Epiphany Day School.
Anya Burgess (LA) Fiddle
Anya Burgess is a graduate of Indiana University's violin making program, and has been servicing the needs of string players in South Louisiana since 2002. From her shop, SOLA Violins
, in downtown Lafayette, LA, she sells, rents, and repairs violins, violas, cellos, and bows and accessories. Anya enjoys working with players of all ages and abilities, from students to professionals, Classical to Cajun. Anya also plays the fiddle professionally with two Grammy-nominated Cajun bands, the Magnolia Sisters and Bonsoir Catin. Her love of playing violin is a great compliment to her love of building and working on stringed instruments. She is a member of the Violin Society of America and the Grammy's Recording Academy.
Bonnie Camos (LA) Art
Bonnie Camos is a visual artist, curator, arts educator, and native of Lafayette, LA. For 25 years, Bonnie has been professionally exhibiting her art and actively participating in the cultural communities where she resides, having served on the boards of the Acadiana Arts Council and the Louisiana Crafts Guild. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was an artist-in-residence at Louisiana Artworks in New Orleans in March 2007. Bonnie was chosen as an official artist for Festival International de Louisiane in collaboration with Craig “Whoojoo” McCullen to create the official art piece and poster for the year 2010. She also created the “Games of Acadiana” poster in 2012 for the Miles’ Perret Cancer Services Center. Her work shifts from acrylics to her current images using encaustic and mixed media assemblages. Bonnie teaches children’s art classes in addition to conducting summer arts programs for the Children’s Museum of Acadiana and the Acadiana Symphony cultural camp.Leah Twilley (LA) Dance
Leah Twilley is a first grade teacher at Green T. Lindon. She received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at UL Lafayette. For over 10 years she has enjoyed teaching and choreographing for various studios in the Lafayette area. She has trained with Finis Jhung, Bill Hastings, Jasmine Bertrand-Vale, Jessica Henke, Beverly Spell and Karen Segura. Additionally she has participated in intensives with Ohio Dance Theatre, The Ailey School in New York City, and has taken classes at Lou Conte, Giordano Dance, Broadway Dance Center and Steps. She has co-directed and written the children’s ballet, Into the Sea and was a resident artist at AcA for her production, Getting Out of Limbo. Leah is excited to be a part of the container for creativity at Basin Arts and is eager to share her passion of movement with you.Lauren Baker (LA) Director/Violin
Lauren Baker studied violin performance at Oberlin College and also holds a BA in Communications from Spring Hill College. At the age of 12, Ms. Baker played her first solo with the Mobile Symphony performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto with her mother, Nancy Head, who was her first teacher. She continued her studies with Harold Wolf and then at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of David Cerone and Stephen Staryk. She has maintained a violin studio in Lafayette since 1986. Members of her studio range in age from 4 to 18 and have performed several times with the ASO as part of the Educational Concert Series. Several of her students have been members of the ASO. Her students have also enjoyed master classes with many guest artists including the Cavani String Quartet, David Cerone, Midori and Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg and have been accepted to some of the country’s leading summer programs and conservatories. She has served on the faculties of many Suzuki institutes across the country. Since 1988, Ms. Baker has been concertmaster of the Acadiana Symphony. Her commitment to the ASO has also included Orchestra Committee Chair and terms on the Board of Directors as Orchestra Representative. She has been a member of many orchestras, often holding principal positions. She is a widely sought-after freelance musician and is co-owner of “Vermilion Strings” (vermilionstrings.net
) which provides musicians for special events. Ms. Baker is committed to creating an environment of learning excellence for all string students. ASSI is a critical part of this environment, and she is most grateful for those who support it, from students and their parents, parent & teacher volunteers, ASSI sponsors, and our fabulous faculty!
Molly Goforth (LA) Cello
Molly Goforth is an active chamber and orchestral musician, performing in over 50 events annually. Ms. Goforth is the principal cellist of the Baton Rouge Symphony, cello faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and at McNeese State University, and is a frequent performer of chamber music with her faculty colleagues at UL-Lafayette and the Baton Rouge-based group Magnolia Strings. She has worked as a recording artist for various groups, including Bonsoir Catin and Marc Broussard, both Grammy nominated. Ms. Goforth also maintains an active private studio in addition to teaching high school string orchestra at O. Comeaux High School. Her private students are regularly accepted into the Louisiana All-State Orchestra, the LPSS Gifted & Talented program, participate in the Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra, UL-Lafayette Orchestra, and are employed by various churches and other organizations as gigging musicians.