ASU School of Music String Project

Award-winning member of the National String Project Consortium, offering low-cost, high-quality instruction on violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

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Teacher bios

Diana Aleman Romero (violin)

Diana Aleman Romero (violin)

Diana Aleman Romero is a music education major at Arizona State University.

Teresa Bejar

Teresa Bejar

Teresa Bejar is a music therapy major in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Elena Boyd (Violin)

Elena Boyd (Violin)

Elena Boyd is a sophomore in Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University, where she studies Physics and Russian. She is from Tempe, Arizona, and began playing violin when she was seven years old and won free lessons in a raffle. The rest is history! She started playing in orchestras when she was 9 years old. Growing up, she played in Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Youth Symphony of the Southwest, and she now plays in the ASU Philharmonia Orchestra. She loves pushing the boundaries of traditional classical violin. She has played in a jazz ensemble for 6 years and also enjoys playing bluegrass fiddle. In her free time, she loves to jam on the guitar with her friends. This is Elena's second year as a teacher in the String Project.

Danielle Brister (Violin)

Danielle Brister (Violin)

For as long as Danielle Brister can remember, music has been an integral part in her life. Starting on the violin at the age of 9, Danielle instantly fell in love with music and further pursued the piano and guitar as well. For more than 10 years, consisting of numerous hours of practice, recitals, youth symphony rehearsals, concerts, competitions, serving as concertmaster and teaching private lessons, music has been more than a simple extracurricular activity for Danielle; it is a passion that she truly enjoys and cherishes. Although Danielle is currently pursuing a double STEM bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biological Sciences through Barrett, The Honors College, she continues to integrate music in her life, playing violin and piano through the ASU Philharmonia and as a pit orchestra member for the Valley Youth Theatre. From her well-rounded past experience of working with and teaching students of all ages, Danielle has developed a true passion for creating effective ways to tailor her teaching to fit each of her unique students; she truly loves seeing her students reach their full potential. When Danielle is not practicing an instrument, you may catch her at home, playing with her dog Juno, in the kitchen, cooking and experimenting with new recipes, or in the lab, conducting research on the mechanisms of aging.

Xue Chen (Cello)

Xue Chen (Cello)

Xue Chen is a doctoral student in instrumental performance in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Lauren Coleman (Bass)

Lauren Coleman (Bass)

Lauren Coleman is a Junior at Barrett, the Honors College studying Secondary Education (History) with minors in Mathematics and Spanish and a certificate in Environmental Education. Lauren has played bass for 11 years. Growing up in Gilbert, Arizona, Lauren played in Metropolitan Youth Symphony and Youth Symphony of the Southwest in addition to participating in their school orchestra and choir programs as the President of Music Council at Gilbert Classical Academy. At ASU, Lauren has performed with Philharmonia and Choral Union and has greatly enjoyed teaching for String Project for the past three years. Outside of music, Lauren is an avid environmentalist and loves hiking and spending time in nature.  

 

Izayah Dutcher (violin)

Izayah Dutcher (violin)

Izayah Dutcher completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance at ASU in 2018, under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Swartz, and is currently in the second year of his Master of Music degree at ASU. He has studied music and violin performance for fifteen years, and has been teaching for almost ten. He has been an instructor for the String Project since 2014.

Rachel Einecker (Viola)

Rachel Einecker (Viola)

Rachel Einecker is a freshman in Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she is currently studying Environmental Science. She is from Mesa, Arizona, and started playing viola when she was 9 years old. In junior high she performed in junior high festival orchestras. In high school she was principal player in her school’s Chamber and Full Symphony Orchestras, participated in All-Region orchestras, and soloed for Youth Symphony of the Southwest. She is currently in ASU Philharmonia Orchestra and Youth Symphony of the Southwest.

Courtney Ferry (Viola)

Courtney Ferry (Viola)

Courtney Ferry is a native to the greater Seattle area of Washington state, but is currently a senior at ASU studying Viola Performance with a minor in Mathematics. She has been teaching through the String Project since her freshman year. Her previous and current music experiences include participating in the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, attending TYSA's Evergreen Music Festival, soloing with a TYSA orchestra, attending Marrowstone Music Festival, and many solo, chamber, and orchestral performances here at ASU. 

Diana Gomez (violin)

Diana Gomez (violin)

Diana Gomez is a freshman studying music therapy and is also a Barrett, the Honors College student. She has performed in the local MusicaNova Orchestra and has travelled to China for a music festival in which she played mariachi music. Diana was in the ASU mariachi and currently plays in the Philharmonia.

Montserrat Hernandez Demesa (violin)

Montserrat Hernandez Demesa (violin)

Montserrat Hernandez Demesa is a  music education major at Arizona State University.

Alexander Kantzos (Viola)

Alexander Kantzos (Viola)

Alexander Kantzos is a music education major in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Savanna Lee (violin)

Savanna Lee (violin)

Savanna Lee is a sophomore currently attending Arizona State University as a Political Science major. She just returned from a 4 month volunteer trip to teach English in China and loves working with kids. She began playing the violin in the 4th grade in a district orchestra and fell in love. She has now been playing for nearly 10 years. Savanna also plays the piano, organ and ukulele and loves anything to do with music!

Karissa Lepley (violin)

Karissa Lepley (violin)

Karissa Lepley is a violinist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. Currently she is a Global Studies major participating in ASU's Philharmonia. She has been playing the violin for nine years. Throughout her earlier music career she participated in her school's symphony and chamber orchestra as a principal player. For two years she took part in Kentucky's All-State commonwealth and symphony orchestra. In 2016, she toured Europe with Kentucky's Ambassadors of Music. While she enjoys playing in an ensemble, she also enjoys teaching younger students about the wonderful world of music. In high school, she volunteered as a violin/viola tutor for three years, a passion with which she continued in college through the ASU String Project. This is her second year as a string project instructor.

Mei Liu (violin)

Mei Liu (violin)

Mei Liu was born and raised in Dalian, China and came to Arizona State University for her undergraduate studies in 2018. She has been playing the violin for fourteen years and has learned piano for about eight years. She is currently a sophomore double majoring in music performance and psychology. She is also a member of the ASU Symphony Orchestra.

Sophia Murillo (Violin)

Sophia Murillo (Violin)

Sofia Murillo is a junior in Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University double-majoring in Women & Gender Studies and Political Science and minoring in French. She is from Surprise, Arizona, and began playing violin when she was in kindergarten and has continuously studied privately since that time. Throughout middle school and high school she participated in the West Valley Youth Orchestra and the Phoenix Youth Symphony for a total of 8 years and now plays in the ASU Philharmonia. Over the summers the past few years, she has taken part in several string quartet camps, taking on leadership roles within the quartets she was a part of. This is Sofia’s third year as a teacher in the String Project.

Raul Niño (Guitar)

Raul Niño (Guitar)

Raul Niño is an undergraduate student completing his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Raul plays the guitar and has been playing since he was a teenager, having his own band throughout high school. Raul's main instrument is the guitar but he also enjoys learning to play new instruments such as the violin, cello, and saxophone. Raul has been teaching and performing across the valley for many years. Raul is a very versatile playing in various musical styles such as rock, classical, jazz, and pop. He has studied at Phoenix College where he learned jazz, and at Glendale Community College where he focused on classical guitar. He currently teaches at Guitar Center and at Scottsdale Studio of Music. Raul has a passion for teaching and looks forward to one day having a successful career in teaching band and orchestra.

Tamara Olson (Violin)

Tamara Olson (Violin)

Tamara Olson plays violin in the ASU Philharmonia orchestra.

Claire Reid (Bass)

Claire Reid (Bass)

Claire Reid is an undergraduate student majoring in music therapy in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Sanem Reinhardt (Violin)

Sanem Reinhardt (Violin)

Sanem Reinhardt is an undergraduate student majoring in performance (orchestral instrument) in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Ashley Stull (Cello)

Ashley Stull (Cello)

Ashley Stull is an undergraduate music education major in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Angie Valencia (Violin)

Angie Valencia (Violin)

Angie Valencia is a violinist and third year music education major with a minor in Mexican American studies. Angie works for Arizona State University's String Project where she teaches students one on one and dedicates her Saturday mornings to student teaching classes in hopes of bettering herself as a future educator. Additionally she has taught at Davis Elementary School’s mariachi camp in Tucson every summer since she graduated high school. Angie plays violin in the local mariachi Tierra Azteca and believes that music should be accessible to all.

Alvin Valentin-Hickey (violin)

Alvin Valentin-Hickey (violin)

Alvin Valentin-Hickey is a music education major at Arizona State University.

Isabel Verdugo (Cello)

Isabel Verdugo (Cello)

Isabel Verdugo is an undergraduate student majoring in music education in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Jamie Wu

Jamie Wu

Jamie Wu is a graduate student in performance (performance pedagogy) in the School of Music at Arizona State University.

Ahmet Yildirim (Violin)

Ahmet Yildirim (Violin)

Ahmet Yildirim is an undergraduate student majoring in psychology at Arizona State University.