Violin & Viola Teachers
Antonio Cevallos is an avid teacher, performer and sought after recording artist. Currently, he is a contracted musician with the San Antonio Symphony and also performs locally with the Austin Symphony and Austin Lyric Opera. Additionally, in 2022 he joined the San Diego Symphony as substitute musician.
Originally from Chicago, Antonio began his musical studies at age 3 and made his solo orchestral debut at 17 performing Saint Saens Violin Concerto #3. As a young performer, opportunities brought Antonio to Canada, Spain, Portugal, China, South Korea and Ecuador. Antonio has performed on some of the worlds best stages including Chicago Symphony Hall and The Seoul Arts Center. Locally, Antonio has also performed on Texas main stages such as the Long Center in Austin and the Tobin Center in San Antonio.
Antonio holds a Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance from The Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Masters Degree in Violin Performance with a Minor in String Pedagogy from The University of Texas, Austin . His Principal teachers include, Mark Zinger, Stefan Hersh, Vadim Gluzman and Daniel Ching.
Alex Caplis-Tuttle grew up in San Antonio, Texas where she began her violin studies at the age of 10. In 2014 she graduated from Texas State University, San Marcos with a B.M. in Music Performance, magna cum laude.
During her time at Texas State, she performed with the Texas State Symphony Orchestra, the Texas State Opera Orchestra, and the Common Experience – Julliard Joins Texas State. In addition, she has performed with the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra and the Myriad String Quartet, and continues to perform in the central Texas area. Alex holds her certifications in Suzuki Books 1-3, and has maintained private violin studios in San Antonio and San Marcos, TX.
John Holguin grew up in El Paso, TX and received a B.M. in Music Education, cum laude in 2005. During his time at the University of Texas at El Paso, John spent four years as a member of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and performed occasionally with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra in New Mexico and the Symphony Orchestra in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
John completed his Masters of Music degree from Boston University, where he worked as a graduate assistant and orchestra manager while performing around the New England area.
In addition to being a classically trained violist, John began performing with Mariachi Los Pasajeros of El Paso in 2001, and in 2007 helped form and co-direct Mariachi Boston of Massachusetts. John was also a member of Mariachi Tamazula of Austin, TX until 2010. John now calls Austin home and continues to perform with symphony orchestras around the Austin area and teaches privately.
Isaac Fuentes is a violist and educator in Austin, Texas. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. While at UT, he studied viola with Roger Myers, chamber music under the Miró quartet, performed new music with the UT New Music ensemble, and frequently held the position of principal viola with the UT Symphony Orchestra. Isaac has attended several competitive music festivals, including the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival and the Round Top Festival Institute where he received numerous distinctions and special opportunities. Isaac continues to perform around the Austin area today, with an upcoming solo performance in collaboration with the UT Experimental and Electronic Music Studio.
Isaac was born in San Antonio, Texas. He began playing the viola at age 9 through his school’s strings program and quickly fell in love with the instrument. His love of music continues today, and he aspires to continue sharing the gift of music through performance and education. Outside of teaching and performing, Isaac enjoys composing, songwriting, watching movies, and designing clothes.
Dr. Amy Harris
Dr. Amy Harris is an experienced violin and viola teacher with over ten years of experience helping students excel on their instrument. In that time she has gotten students to play well using Suzuki Talent Education, as well as more traditional methodologies and texts. She has had students accepted to Texas All-State Orchestra for the past four years, and has been asked to give tutorials of these pieces to classes and online to help them prepare for Texas Region and All-State auditions.
She began her own violin studies at the age of three with Peggy Fasing. Upon graduation from High School, she went to the University of Northern Colorado and continued her violin studies with Professor Richard Fuchs, from there going to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to study violin with Piotr Milewski, and after a few years off, she then went to the University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music to study violin performance with Vincent Frittelli. She won awards at each school, including the Angie Southard Convocation Award (2000), the CCM Chamber Music Award (2003), and the Best Instrumental Performance at the Sydney M. Wright Competition (2009).
During her studies and after, she was able to attend several different summer music festivals including; Brevard Music Festival, Round Top, and the Henry Mancini Institute. She was also accepted to play with the National Repertory Orchestra for two different summer seasons in Breckenridge, Colorado.
As a professional musician, she has played with many different orchestras and chamber groups, including the Colorado Springs Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Greeley Philharmonic, and the Austin Symphony.
She maintains professional memberships with Suzuki Institute of the Americas, Texas Music Educators Association, Pi Kappa Lambda honorary music fraternity, and the Delta Omicron music fraternity.
Mariam Hembrook was born in the country of Georgia where she begun to study the best traditions of the strong Russian violin school at the age of 6. She got her Master Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Texas in Austin and during her course of study she has participated in many festivals and master courses such as Saluzzo, Viana do Castelo and Heifetz International festival among others.
She has lived, performed and taught violin all over the world, including USA, Germany, Italy and Thailand where she was a professor at the local University’s Music College. She has also performed a leading role in a Vortex Theater production of a modern opera “The Music of Erica Zahn” which has got great reviews and was later produced into a short film. Mariam lives and teaches in Austin where she regularly performs with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Opera, Ballet Austin, Chorus Austin, Conspirare, collaborates with local artists such as Graham Reynolds and others, plays with several chamber ensembles and does solo concerts.
She teaches all ages and levels and has a very high success rate in getting students into All-Region and other orchestras. She would like to welcome new students to share her knowledge and love of music. Mariam is a true believer in Ludwig van Beethoven’s words: "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”
Naomi Frausto has been a dedicated music educator in Texas for over twenty years. She taught middle school orchestra with the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso and in 2008, relocated to Austin to establish her private studio. Naomi works closely with school orchestra programs throughout the Austin area, as well as the Austin Youth Orchestra. She was an instructor at the Texas State Strings Camp from 2008 to 2016, and has been an adjudicator for Region 22, Region 18, Region 26, and Region 32. Following her devotion to mariachi music, Naomi has been a guest clinician at mariachi conferences throughout the Southwest. Most recently, she was invited to perform in a presentation on mariachi music for the students of Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In addition to being a devoted educator, Naomi is also an accomplished and diverse violinist. Her professional career began at the age of 15 when she started performing with mariachi groups in El Paso. Her mariachi career spanned twenty years and included performing with Mariachi Oro Del Sol, Mariachi Femenil Las Caponeras, Mariachi Los Pasajeros, and Mariachi Tamazula. Some of Naomi’s mariachi performances have been in festivals in Nice, France, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex., Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mex., as well as throughout the United States. Highlights from her mariachi years are performing on stage with legendary stars such as Mexican film star and “Queen of Ranchera Music,” Lola Beltran, Beatriz Adriana, performing alongside the world-renown Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, and recording an arrangement of Stephin Merritt's song, “Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” for the documentary, “Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields.”
Naomi studied violin with Laurence Gibson and went on to become a member of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Juarez Symphony Orchestra (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico), Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, Temple Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, and occasionally performs with the Waco Symphony. Naomi also loves playing in the orchestras of operas and musicals; most notably in orchestras accompanying Broadway stars Jennifer Holliday, Yvonne Elliman, Leslie Odom, Jr., Barry Dennen, and Chuck Wagner. She also appeared with orchestras accompanying stars such as Renée Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Branford Marsalis, The Eagles, Asleep At The Wheel, Boz Scaggs, and Marco Antonio Solis.
Naomi continues to maintain her private violin/viola studio and performs regularly with symphonies throughout Texas and with Musical Discovery Chamber Players of Austin. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at El Paso, her educator’s certification with the Texas Education Agency, and has memberships with the Texas Music Educators Association and the American String Teacher's Association.
Nathan Smith is a violinist and violist from Austin, Texas. After graduating from Oberlin
Conservatory with a bachelor's in violin performance in 2020, he studied viola performance at
The University of Houston, graduating with a master's in 2022. While attending the University of
Houston, Nathan was a member of the Tomatz graduate string quartet, with which he studied
contemporary works by Lowell Liebermann and Caroline Shaw. After his studies in Houston, Nathan moved back to his hometown of Austin and began teaching.
Nathan’s teaching style is tailored specifically to each student individually and focused
on finding a balance between fun and hard work that will ultimately lead to each student's
success. He has experience teaching students of different backgrounds, skill levels, and ages
on violin as well as viola, and also has experience coaching string quartets. From this
experience, as well as his own studies, Nathan knows firsthand the patient dedication required
to teach the tradition of classical music.
Haley Dietz, a native of State College, PA, is a classically trained violinist whose passions include both teaching and performing. Haley began studying the violin at age 5 after seeing another little girl playing violin on Sesame Street. She studied with Irina Muresanu at the University of Maryland and then William Fedkenheuer at the University of Texas. Haley has a passion for teaching and has taught both private lessons and in sectional settings. She held positions with Austin Soundwaves and Westlake High School and currently maintains her own private studio. Haley strives to create a learning environment that is both structured and engaging and believes that personal betterment is equally as important as musical achievement. Haley’s ultimate goal in her teaching is to instill a lifelong love of music in her students.
Dr. Rylie Harrod
Dr. Rylie Harrod is a freelance performer and educator based in the Austin, Texas region. Rylie is currently the Director of the Young Artist Division of Texas Strings Festival, a one-week intensive string camp geared towards young string students. She is the owner and director of Harrod-Corral String Studio, offering private cello instruction for students ages 5+ and is also a regular Chamber Music coach for CHAMPS and Austin Chamber Music Center. A large part of Rylie's hands-on teacher training was provided by the University of Texas String Project, where she served on the faculty for five years. She is currently the Principal Cellist of the Waco Symphony Orchestra and is also a substitute player for both the San Antonio Symphony and the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
Rylie was a scholarship recipient and completed her Bachelors degree in Cello Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. After four rainy years in London, Rylie moved to Tempe, Arizona where she was the Teaching Assistant to Thomas Landschoot while working on her Masters of Music degree at Arizona State University. While living in Arizona, Rylie was a regular substitute player for the Phoenix Symphony and the Tucson Symphony. College summers were spent at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and at the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.
She greatly enjoys collaborating with musicians and artists from many different genres and walks of life. Next on Rylie's calendar will be performing with DJ, songwriter and record producer, Kygo. She has most recently recorded projects with local Austin folk singer George Enslee, and American Southern Rock group Whisky Meyer. Some of her favorite performances were getting to share the stage with Yo Yo Ma on multiple occasions, and playing with the band Guster, her long-time favorite alternative rock group from New England.
Her free time is spent hanging out with her dogs and husband, Moe-Bear, Pebble, and Andrew who is a violinist and the Assistant Orchestra Director at LASA High School. She greatly enjoys going to the gym and mountain biking, eating all the tacos Austin has to offer and drinking (possibly a little bit too much) coffee!
Dr. Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Sook-Hee Lee is a dedicated performer and independent teacher residing in the Austin, TX area. She completed a DMA in Cello Performance at the University of Texas at Austin studying with Joshua Gindele of the Miro Quartet, and is currently a faculty member at Texas Lutheran University.
Past studies have included degrees from Rice University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as training in the Juilliard Pre-College division. Her principal teachers have included Norman Fischer, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Timothy Eddy, Hyung-Won Chang, Andre Emelianoff, and Michael Kannen.
Nominated by Austin Critics Table Award for Best Instrumentalist in 2009 for her performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, she is also committed to playing cello across many music genres and enjoys exploring the many possibilities of sound. This commitment has led to performances across North America, Asia, and Europe.
Elizabeth was a prize-winner in the Yonkers Enrico Fermi Concerto Competition resulting in a performance with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra at just 15 years old. She has also been a featured soloist with the Balcones Community Orchestra, the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Chamber Players. With a passion for chamber music, Elizabeth has also performed as a chamber musician and recitalist in esteemed halls including the Overture Center, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. In addition, In addition she has performed in masterclasses for Mstislav Rostropovich, Paul Katz, Desmond Hoebig, Colin Carr and Lynn Harrell.
As a chamber musician, she has performed with artists Ian Swensen, Jorja Fleezanis, Bonnie Hampton, Joel Krosnick, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, eighth blackbird, Bang On A Can AllStars, and the Colorfield Ensemble. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Sonorous Ensemble, and Okean Trio premiering many newly composed works. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Austin Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, and the San Francisco Lyric Opera. She has also ventured beyond classical music and has recorded and toured with the bands Future of Forestry, Fernando Ortega, as well as recorded for independent artists. You can follow her on social media and YouTube @cellomoji or check out her website at https://www.cellomoji.com
Dr. James Burch
Dr. Burch received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance (DMA) degree from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied cello with Bion Tsang and chamber music with members of the Miro Quartet. He also has degrees from Southern Methodist University and Georgia State University where he received his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance respectively.
Dr. Burch’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association.
In his spare time, Dr. Burch spends time with his wife Abby and their two sons, Charlie and Jack. He is also passionate about strength training, where his long-term goal is to squat 600 pounds.
Emily Theile is an experienced chamber player and orchestral musician, having served in the sections of multiple professional orchestras, including the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, the Central Texas Philharmonic, and as the principal cellist of the Texas State University Symphony Orchestra. In Austin, Emily is in demand as a private teacher and recording artist of multiple genres, from jazz to metal music. In her teaching, she incorporates movement-based pedagogy and kinesthetics, and believes in fostering strong communication, anti-anxiety, and critical thinking skills in her students. Emily received her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance and Pedagogy from Texas State University, and also holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Music and English from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Greetings! I'm a professional freelance bassist living in Austin. I have my bachelor's degree in music performance from the University of Northern Colorado. For the past 8 years, I've been working full time as a rhythm section mercenary, performing music in Austin and around the US ranging from country, swing, and rock and roll, to jazz, tango, classical, and world music. I have 20 years of experience teaching private lessons, 6 of those working with students in EISD. Playing the bass has been my life, and sharing some of that experience through lessons is something I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do, has often been deeply rewarding, and is also something I have come to appreciate as a part of my own musical education and development.
Ali Cook is a professional instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, arranger, and teacher and can be seen regularly performing orchestral, tango, opera, chamber, and new music across the country.
Ali has toured Russia with the National Symphony Orchestra as well as Germany, Turkey, Spain, and Austria with the Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
While earning her Master's at Indiana University she won a Tanglewood fellowship as well as the double bass concerto competition, performing Bottesini's Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestra.
Ali holds a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, and a Professional Orchestral Studies degree from Manhattan School of Music.
She has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Washington Ballet, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, the Alabama Symphony, and at the Salzburger Festspiele.