Meet our Instructors
Geoffrey Herd, Violin
Geoffrey Herd, Violin
Violinist Geoffrey Herd has given performances in the United States, Latin America and Asia, and is frequently sought after as recitalist and chamber musician. Mr. Herd has performed recitals at venues such as the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum of Art in Boston and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Herd has collaborated with some of the finest musicians of our time including Ani Kavafian, Clive Greensmith, James Dunham and Laurie Smukler. Mr. Herd has also performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Thailand Philharmonic, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Ithaca College Symphony, the Amherst Symphony, the Finger Lakes Symphony, the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, and the Longmont Symphony.
A strong proponent of new music, Mr. Herd was a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Vicennium Void. The group was the dedicatee of many works and were Artists-in-Residence at the Thailand International Composition Festival in June 2014 and 2015. Mr. Herd returned to the festival in 2016 as a soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic performing John Corigiliano’s Red Violin Concerto. Additionally, Mr. Herd has given a number of premiers including the NY premier of Pierre Jalbert’s Wild Ambrosia, and world premieres of Daniel Knagg’s Ancient Ruins, and Chris Walczak’s Incorporeal Spaces.
Equally committed to expanding the reach of classical music, Mr. Herd is the founder and director of the Geneva Music Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Each summer, the Festival presents internationally acclaimed artists in venues throughout the Finger Lakes and has quickly become one of the area’s leading arts organizations. The festival also champions diversity in the arts through culturally diverse programming and donates educational concerts to local school districts.
Mr. Herd joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in August 2016 where he has built a thriving studio, attracting students from around the globe. His students frequently participate in some of the nation’s top music festivals including the Aspen, Brevard, Sarasota, and Wintergreen festivals and are frequent competition winners throughout the country. Mr. Herd studied at Rice University, Yale School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music with Ani Kavafian, Paul Kantor, William Preucil and David Updegraff.
Note: special tuition rate applies.
Wesley Baldwin, Cello
Wesley Baldwin, Cellist
Cellist Wesley Baldwin is a co-director of the Knoxville Suzuki Academy. Initially taught cello classes in the Suzuki method as a child, Dr. Baldwin has been active teaching his own cello classes for more than three decades. His Suzuki teacher training has been with Melissa Kraut. Wesley holds a BA, cum laude, from Yale College, a Master of Music degree (with honors) from the New England Conservatory, and a DMA in cello performance from the University of Maryland.
A passionate teacher, Wesley has taught at the University of Maryland and Florida International University, where he was artist-in-residence with the Plymouth Quartet. He serves now as the Professor of Cello at the University of Tennessee, where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise. His former students play and teach throughout the United States.
Dr. Baldwin founded and directs the Tennessee Cello Workshop, an annual three-day gathering of more than 170 cellists of all ages from throughout the United States held each February. His interest in education has also led him to serve as Conductor of the Knoxville Youth Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2018.
He performs throughout the United States and Europe as soloist and chamber musician. As a soloist he has appeared with the Laredo Philharmonic, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Symphony of the Mountains, and the Aberdeen, Bemidji, Bryan, Chattanooga, Florence, Johnson City, Hot Springs, Knoxville, La Porte, Oak Ridge, Manchester, New River Valley, Salisbury, Wintergreen, and Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestras, among others. His passionate and charismatic performances have garnered much critical acclaim.
An advocate for great music from all eras, Mr. Baldwin is one of the only performers of several little known and new concerti for cello, including recently those by Wagenseil, Jacob T.V., Behzad Ranjbaran, and Alan Shulman. His recording of music for cello by Alan Shulman, released by Albany records in 2010, enjoyed widespread critical acclaim. He has also recorded for the Naxos, Zyode, and Innova labels. His most recent CD release, his fourth on the Centaur label, features the chamber music of Arthur Honegger.
Wesley was the founder of the Plymouth String Quartet, with whom he was a top prize-winner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and a finalist in the Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition. He was also cellist of the James Piano Quartet for five years, with residencies at both Sweet Briar College and the Wintergreen Festival. Solo and chamber music performing honors Baldwin has received include the Prix Mercure, Homer Ulrich Awards, and a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Performing Artist Fellowship.
As a member and principal cellist of the New World Symphony, Baldwin performed with many of the world’s great conductors and toured Japan, Scotland, England, Argentina, and Brazil. His orchestral colleagues there selected him as the recipient of the New World Symphony’s Community Board Award for artistic integrity and leadership. Wesley now serves on New World Symphony regional audition committee panels most years in different cities in the U.S.
Dr. Baldwin has performed chamber music at the Aspen, Cazenovia, Hot Springs, Ojai, Sandpoint, Mainly Mozart, May in Miami, Skaneateles, and Sub-tropics Music Festivals, and internationally in Italy, France, Monte Carlo, Spain, Austria, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica. His most recent international concert activity saw him performing as a recitalist in cities throughout China.
In the summers he performs and teaches at the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, the ARIA International Academy, and the Wintergreen Festival, where he is principal cellist of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, and serves on the cello and chamber music faculty.
Dr. Baldwin plays on a cello by J.B. Vuillaume.
Wesley lives in Knoxville with his wife (soprano Melisa Barrick Baldwin), and four wonderful children.
Note: special tuition rate applies.
William Shaub, violin
William Shaub, violin
Violinist William Shaub was appointed Concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017. Since his concerto debut with the Canton Symphony Orchestra at age 12 he has captivated audiences as a soloist, in recitals, and from the concertmaster chair. The winner of an inaugural Academy Fellowship with the New York Philharmonic and a graduate of the Juilliard School, he has been praised in the press as “a wonderful ambassador for music” (Cleveland Classical) and for performances “full of passion and energy, exquisitely rendered with refined details that escape one in recordings”. He made his recital debut in New York as one of ten “Exceptional Young Artists” at the 2013 Starling-DeLay Symposium at Juilliard.
William Shaub’s solo appearances include recent performances with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Suburban Symphony Orchestra, and in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Severance Hall in Cleveland, and Sanders Theatre at Harvard. He made his concerto debut with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in 2019 under the baton of conductor Mei-Ann Chen, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. In addition to performing as substitute with the New York Philharmonic, he has served as guest Leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (U.K.) and as concertmaster of festival
orchestras, including Spoleto and the Music Academy of the West.
His commitments to chamber music include performances at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Vail Dance Festival, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Da Camera of Houston, and the Focus! Festival for contemporary music at Juilliard. As a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, he was featured in the Takács String Quartet Seminar and studied with the famed Takács Quartet. He has performed at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with members of the New York Philharmonic, and enjoys collaborations with artists such as Robert Levin, Jon Kimura Parker, Robin Sutherland,
Cho-Liang Lin, Desmond Hoebig, Ritchie Hawley, and Kevin Class. He has also toured internationally as a member of the critically-acclaimed ensemble Sejong Soloists. A recipient of the Louis Persinger Scholarship as a student at the Juilliard School, William Shaub studied with Cho-Liang Lin and Masao Kawasaki at Juilliard, receiving the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years. He also studied with Emilio Llinas, Stephen Clapp, and chamber music with Sylvia Rosenberg. Prior to his appointment as concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, he was a student in the coveted Artist Diploma program at Rice University. His commitments to community service and outreach include organizing a tenyear series of benefit concerts for the United Nations’ Adopt-a-Minefield Campaign, through which more than 40 prosthetic limbs were purchased for landmine victims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together with his colleagues in the violin section of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, he organized a memorable benefit concert featuring J.S. Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, benefiting FISH Hospitality Pantries.
William Shaub performs on a violin made by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, from 1865.
Note: special tuition rate applies. Limited availability.
Sarah Ringer, Violin
Sarah Ringer, Violin
Before moving to Knoxville, in addition to maintaining a private studio, Sarah taught on the college level, running performance classes, coaching chamber music groups, and teaching the violin studio at Covenant College, Lookout Mtn. GA, for four years. During the same time she also taught music theory and string techniques classes at Lee University in Cleveland, TN.
She has served as a guest clinician at the Girls Preparatory School Summer String Camp, the Residential Summer Strings Camp in Tasmania, Australia, and the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra String Camp.
In addition to teaching, Sarah is an active performer. She has held positions with the Chattanooga Symphony and the New Hampshire Philharmonic (principle 2nd Violin) and currently holds positions in the Knoxville Symphony and the Oak Ridge Symphony. She is also an avid chamber musician, and before moving to Knoxville performed on the Aliento Chamber series and with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Principle String Quartet, performed in the Chattanooga area with the Con Brio ensemble, and presented collaborative faculty recitals at Covenant College and Lee University. Since moving to Knoxville, she has presented concerts with the Inner Voices String Quartet, the Oak Ridge String Quartet, and appeared as a soloist on the Friends of Music and the Arts series.
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Cameron Rehberg, Violin and Viola
Cameron Rehberg, Violin and Viola
An in demand orchestral violist, Mr. Rehberg has played with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, Irving Symphony Orchestra, Texas Festival Orchestra, and Sewanee Symphony. Cameron Rehberg has extensive experience in performing contemporary music, having premiered several pieces from UNT’s and UT’s composition programs, in addition to collaborating with and working on living composers works. Cameron is a sought after chamber musician having collaborated with artist such as Carol Rodland, Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Nancy Buck, Eric Reed, Eric Wong, Stephen Balderston, Erica Kiesewetter, and Brett Shurtliffe. Cameron has also collaborated with popular artists Tim McGraw, Josh Groban, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra.
At UNT Cameron Rehberg was very involved with the Baroque Orchestra playing on period instruments under the direction of Paul Leenhouts. Cameron Rehberg was in high demand with the jazz department at UNT, regularly collaborating with students, faculty and jazz musicians in the area. Mr. Rehberg is as comfortable playing jazz and popular music, as he is on a baroque period instrument, or performing contemporary music, as well as the classical chamber and symphonic canon. It’s easy to see why Mr. Rehberg gives some of the best viola and violin lessons in Knoxville, TN.
Anna Dye, Violin & Viola
Anna Dye, Violin & Viola
Anna holds a B.M. in Viola Performance summa cum laude from Shenandoah Conservatory, a Professional Performance Certificate from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Music degree in from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied under the tutelage of renowned performer and pedagogue, Hillary Herndon, and was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a member of the Graduate String Quartet.
Clarice Shaub, Violin
Clarice Shaub, Violin
Violinist and teacher Clarice Shaub has established herself as a highly respected teacher and versatile musician of the 21st century, with a repertoire spanning music across genres and periods. A graduate of Arizona State University, where she studied with acclaimed professor Danwen Jiang, she received her undergraduate and a dual master’s degree in performance and pedagogy. She also studied with Grigory Kalinovsky and Arkady Fomin, and has participated in masterclasses with the Juilliard Quartet, the Ying Quartet, and world-renowned pedagogue Mimi Zweig. Ms. Shaub has performed as soloist and in recitals at prestigious halls across the U.S., including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, where she was invited to perform in 2014 as part of the InterHarmony Concert Series. She has also devoted much of her professional career to the advancement of contemporary music and composers. Her contemporary music festival credits include the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes, Annual PRISMS New Music Festival, the American Composer Alliance concert series, the Society of Composers Incorporated Conference, the Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman Conference, and the ASU West New Music Festival. Other festival appearances include Pablo Casals (Prades, France) and the HARPA International Academy in Reykjavik, Iceland, where she served as Principal Second Violin of the festival orchestra. In addition to performing regularly with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra as a substitute, she has performed with orchestras throughout East Tennessee and is currently Principal Second Violin of the Brevard Philharmonic in North Carolina. While studying at Arizona State University, she performed as Principal Second Violin with the ProMusica Orchestra and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble. A violinist and violist, Ms. Shaub’s extensive background and research in the study of musical pedagogy gives her a broad range of capabilities. Students of all ages, backgrounds, and diverse goals are welcome in her studio and thrive under her teaching philosophy.
Jeanine Wilkinson, Cello
Jeanine Wilkinson, Cello
Currently Jeanine serves as the Director of Operations for the Tennessee Cello Workshop and previously as adjunct music faculty at both Tennessee Tech University and the Cookeville campus of Nashville State Community College. Along with her colleague and friend she also has a successful wedding business called A Touch of Classical.
As an advocate and supporter of music education, Jeanine teaches a thriving studio of young cellists. Her students consistently win chairs in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras, East TN Jr. and Sr. Clinics, as well as TNMEA All State Orchestra.
In 2016 Jeanine founded the Inner Voices String Quartet, comprised of four classically-trained musicians whose careers blissfully collided in Knoxville. This group of dynamic women are inspired and dedicated to providing audiences a unique listening experience of high quality music in a contemporary and modern way. Highlight performances included their debut in a former gas station and then later in an avant-garde hair salon, where not only was unique programming celebrated but also an emphasis on women in music.
Sarah Miller, cello
Sarah Miller, cello
Sarah Miller is the newest Core Cellist of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and is a recent graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied under Dr. Melissa Kraut. Sarah obtained her Undergraduate Performance degree and Master’s Performance degree at CIM, as well as a minor in Suzuki Pedagogy and full Suzuki teaching certification. Originally from Long Island, NY, Sarah began studies at the age of four at a local Suzuki school and later trained in the Precollege division at the Manhattan School of Music with Deborah Park.
As a soloist, Sarah has won first prize in the 2017 Tennessee Cello Workshop Competition and in the 2019 “Getting To Carnegie” competition, where she not only had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, but also won a trip to the US Virgin Islands to give a concert tour. Sarah has also won prizes in the New York Music Competition, the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition, the Cleveland Cello Society Concerto Competition, and the Island Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, among others. Sarah has been selected as a semifinalist in the 2018 and 2019 Ann and Charles Eisemann International Young Artist’s Competition and the 2019 Mondavi Young Artists Competition, and selected as a finalist in the 2019 Emerging Soloist Competition and the 2020 Mika Hasler Competition. Sarah made her orchestral solo debut in 2018 with the South Shore Symphony in New York, playing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.
Sarah has had the pleasure of collaborating with world-renowned musicians in chamber music settings, such as Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Joe Burgstaller, Frank Morelli, Zuill Bailey, Shannon Lee, Chaconne Klaverenga, and Sara Daneshpour.
Sarah joined the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in 2021, and is also a contract member with the Akron Symphony Orchestra as the 3rd chair cello in Akron, Ohio, since 2018. In the past, Sarah has held positions with numerous other orchestras, including being Principal Cellist in the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra and Assistant Principal Cellist in the South Shore Symphony. Sarah substitutes with many regional and national orchestras, such as the New World Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, and the Cleveland Playhouse Square Theatre orchestra, among others. She is delighted to be teaching at the Knoxville Suzuki Academy.
This past summer, Sarah released her debut album called “Hymns of Grace”, a project that she worked on with her friends during the pandemic lockdown. Sarah loves to write and play original arrangements, and especially loves to play in cello quartet arrangements. When she is not at her cello, Sarah loves to hike, swim, and play ultimate Frisbee.
Clara Cowan, Cello
Clara Cowan, Cellist
Clara Cowan is a cello instructor for the Knoxville Suzuki Academy. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 2019 with a degree in cello performance and was given the title as the outstanding graduate in Strings. She was also chosen as the student performer for the Arts and Sciences graduation for which she played her own composition, a meditation on the Tennessee Waltz. She has had Suzuki teacher training with Avi Friedlander and Carey Cheney. Clara has been honored with the JoshuaHenry Bow Prize at the Tennessee Cello Workshop Competitions, a fellowship at Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy, and being a member of the honors string quartet at Wintergreen Summer Music Academy. She has had the privilege to lead the Brevard Orchestra cello section as principal cellist, has professionally assisted the University of Tennessee cello section in multiple rehearsals and performances, and has worked as a volunteer cello teacher at the Joy of Music School. While all of these honors have been gratefully and humbly received, Clara’s true musical joy comes from simply sitting down and playing her cello. Whether it be by herself, with friends, at church, or for those in difficult places who truly need music, the joy that a simple tune can bring to the eye of a small child or an elderly person will always supply enough reason to continue teaching this beautiful craft. Clara’s mission is to share the spark of music with her students and anyone willing to learn and to pass the torch of this skill on to future generations of teachers and students.
Alyssa Burnette, Piano
Alyssa Burnette, Piano
Mrs. Burnette began her Suzuki piano study at the age of 4 with Roberta Honadle in Rochester, New York. She continued her piano studies in high school at the Eastman School of Music with Howard Spindler where she was a recipient of the Howard Hanson Award.
She received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Carson Newman University where she was a recipient of the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. She went on to receive a Masters in Piano Performance from the University of Tennessee under the instruction of David Northington. While at UT, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant under Pat Carter.
Mrs.Burnette received Suzuki training from Mary Craig Powell and Fay Adams. She has served as staff pianist and piano instructor at Augusta State University, Carson Newman University, and the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Burnette has been teaching Suzuki piano since 2002.
Mrs. Burnette is the proud wife of Ben and mom to Chase and Karli.
Livi Cheney, Cello and Bass
Livi Cheney, Cellist
Cellist Livingston Cheney is an instructor at Knoxville Suzuki Academy, of cello and bass classes. He performs throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Poland as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. Livi has performed as a guest artist at the National Cello Institute in California, the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Chicago Suzuki Institute, the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Gore Bay Museum, the Ottawa Pops Orchestra, the Festival Los Cedros in Mexico City, and the Sinfonietta Polonia in Poland.
Born to two Suzuki cello teachers, Carey and Elliott Cheney, Livi grew up a Suzuki student, beginning to play cello at the age of 3. He received his Suzuki teacher training in all 10 volumes by the age of 20, the youngest cellist ever to do so. Livi has completed Suzuki training with the renowned teachers David Evenchick, Jean Dexter, Pamela Devenport, Carey Cheney, and Avi Friedlander. Livi is continuously repeating teacher training to get the insights of other teachers as well. An excellent Suzuki instructor, Livi teaches both cello and bass classes at the Knoxville Suzuki Academy.
Livi has also studied performance with acclaimed cellists Colin Carr, Philippe Muller, Lawrence Lesser, and Eric Kim. Additionally, Livi has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cello performance from University of Ottawa, Canada with Paul Marleyn and University of Tennessee, Knoxville with Dr. Wesley Baldwin respectively.
Livi is an enthusiast for new music and crossover into other genres, and has collaborated in electroacoustic ensemble with DJ Spooky in a lecture performance at the University of Tennessee and studied jazz with bass professor Jon Hamar, also at UTK. He actively pursues performances outside of his comfort zone.
Livi is also well-read in psychology and is planning to pursue a degree in it in the future. Livi loves to explore nature and paint and actively practices meditation and yoga, which he feels pairs with studying music wonderfully.
Adam Ayers, Cello
Adam Ayers, Cellist
Adam Ayers is a Wisconsin native who joined the Knoxville Symphony orchestra as a core section member in Fall 2021. He began his study of the cello at a very young age, and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree studying with Uri Vardi. He also completed a Master’s Degree at Indiana University studying with Peter Stumpf. He has attended numerous music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and the Philadelphia International Music Festival, and was also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2016-2019 as a section and principal cellist. Adam has also performed with the Madison and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras.
While in these orchestras, Adam played under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, Edo de Waart, Ken-David Masur, Marin Alsop, Jesús López Cobos, Michael Stern, Fabien Gabel, Cristian Măcelaru, Edward Gardner, and Joshua Weilerstein, among others.
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