Deidre Fominaya Bacco President
Deidre Fominaya Bacco, and her husband, Sam (Principal Percussionist), moved to Tennessee in 1982, to play with the Nashville Symphony. During the 32 years she played with the symphony, she participated in 26 recording, 7 Grammy wins and 15 Grammy nominations. She holds a performance degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and has been a student of Eloy Fominaya (her father), Myron Kartman, Paul Makara, and Camilla Wicks. Prior to moving to Nashville, she played with the the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham String Quartet, Concertmaster of the Hidden Valley Opera Company in Carmel, California, the San Jose Symphony and the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico in Toluca, Mexico. She has also Deidre is a founding member of the Suzuki Center of Nashville, a member of the faculty at St. Cecilia Academy, and the W.O. Smith School, as well having assisted with Early Suzuki Childhood Education classes in East Nashville and Franklin, TN. She has taught at several workshops and festivals in the area and around the US. She began her interest in the Suzuki Method in 1986 as a Suzuki parent of her 4 year old daughter, taking lessons with her sister, Toni Ferguson, a respected Suzuki teacher in Nashville and a founding members of the MTSA organization.
Deidre Bacco has the following registered training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and maintains an active membership with the SAA. She has taken several courses more than once, to have the opportunity to work with some of her most inspiring violin teachers...
Zachary Ebin Vice President / President Elect
Dr. Zachary Ebin is the Director of the Suzuki Program at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Dr. Ebin holds a BA and an MA from Brandeis University, an MM from the Boston Conservatory, and a PhD from York University.
In high demand as a guest clinician Dr. Ebin has taught and lectured all over North America at conferences, institutes, and workshops. His main fields of interest include: music education, string pedagogy, Suzuki pedagogy, music cognition and perception, and historical musicology. His research has appeared in journals such as the American String Teacher and the American Suzuki Journal, and has been presented at conferences such as the NYS-SL chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society and the International Conference on Music Cognition and Perception.
In 2015, Dr. Ebin founded the Silent Voices Project. In the project, young composers write chamber music based on poems written by children during the Holocaust. The Silent Voices Project has been performed in both Canada and the United States, and is available as a recording.
Before relocating to Nashville, Dr. Ebin founded and directed Arco Violini, an advanced precollege string orchestra dedicated to giving back to the community through performances at hospitals, senior residences, and charity events in Ontario. Dr. Ebin led Arco Violini in over 40 performances including two television appearances. Dr. Ebin currently serves as the music director of the Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra.
As a violinist, Dr. Ebin has performed extensively in the United States, Israel, and Canada. He has studied with Leslie Fayette, Jocheved Schifter, Lazar Gosman, Daniel Stepner, Joseph McGauley, and Jacques Israelievitch. Dr. Ebin’s debut recording is a collection of forgotten works of Ukrainian composers, titled Dreams: A Revival of Ukrainian Music. From 2014-2016 Dr. Ebin served as the artistic director of the Belfountain Music Festival, an annual chamber music festival in Caledon, Ontario.
Anna Lisa Hoepfinger Secretary
Anna Lisa Hoepfinger is one of two teachers who began the Suzuki program at the W.O. Smith Music School. This program is part of Nashville Symphony's "One Note One Neighborhood" program since 2009. Since 2009 Anna Lisa has also served on the MTSA board. In 2002 when she moved to Nashville to join the Nashville Symphony, she also taught Suzuki in Franklin with Jeanette Long at the Suzuki School in Franklin and became a member of the MTSA.
Anna Lisa plays first violin with the Nashville Symphony, and previously with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo in Brazil, and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach.
In East Nashville she plays with the chamber music group "Eastwood Ensemble." The Eastwood Ensemble performs at the Eastwood Christian Church in community concerts to benefit local charities and also performs in historic homes throughout East Nashville.
Her Suzuki training includes courses with Edward Kreitman, author of "Teaching from the Balance Point", Michele George (Suzuki Book 1), Rebecca Sandrok (Suzuki Book 2), and Ronda Cole (Suzuki Books 3, 4 and Overview Books 1-6). She also studied Suzuki violin as a child with Carol Dallinger at the University of Evansville.
Anna Lisa has a Master's degree in Music Performance from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Performance from Oberlin Conservatory. She studied violin performance under Paul Kantor, Roland Vamos and Almita Vamos.
Andra Prewett Tresurer
Andra Prewett holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from Lawrence University. Ms. Prewett toured nationally for three years playing fiddle with her band, Tin Horse, which lead her to move to Tennessee in 2010. She has since build up a private studio of over 30 violin and viola students. Originally from Chicago, she has performed with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, and various theater companies and rock bands throughout the Midwest. She is the Director of the Franklin Suzuki Academy in Franklin, TN. She has completed long-term teacher training with Ed Kreitman at the Western Springs School of Talent Education, and Carol Smith at the Blair School of Music. Her principal teachers include Matthew Michelic, Peter Slowik, Roland Vamos, and Li-Kuo Chang.
Christia Chambers Member At-Large
Christia Chambers made her orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008. A graduate with honors in Viola Performance at the University of Michigan, Mrs. Chambers received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Akron with honors as well. She is the recipient of numerous competition awards and scholarships. Besides being a grand prize winner of the prestigious Tuesday Musical Scholarship Performance Competition, she was awarded the Arden J. Yockey Scholarship for Strings, the Winifred Collins Scholarship for Music Education and was a James B. Angell Scholar. A lifelong musician, beginning violin at the age of four, Mrs. Chambers is passionate about music education. She has dedicated herself to the pursuit of serious string pedagogy and has been a violin instructor for over 10 years. In addition to her large studio of students in Music City Strings Academy, Mrs. Chambers has also been a workshop clinician for the Suzuki Talent Education Program - Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama and a faculty member of the South Carolina Suzuki Institute at the University of South Carolina in Aiken, South Carolina.
Toni Ferguson Member At-Large
Mrs. Toni Ferguson is a professional violinist with over 30 years of performing and teaching experience. She performs frequently as a freelance musician around Nashville, playing in various regional orchestras and recording sessions. Mrs. Ferguson is the Co Director of the Suzuki Center of Nashville on the Dominican Campus, and the director of the St. Cecilia Chamber Ensemble. She also teaches private lessons through The Overbrook School, St. Cecilia Academy, The Harpeth Hall School, Montgomery Bell Academy along with maintaining a private studio.
Mrs. Ferguson is one of the founding members of the Middle Tennessee Suzuki Association and the Founder and former Director of the Austin Peay Continuing Education Suzuki After-School Program, (now community music school)- in Clarksville, Tennessee and The Belmont College Suzuki Program. She is currently on the Board of Directors. Of the MTSA.
In addition to teaching full time, Mrs. Ferguson has professional experience with each of the following groups: Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Middle Tennessee Philharmonic, Cape Cod Monomoy Theatre Orchestra, Nashville Children's Theatre Orchestra, Tennessee Repertory Theatre Orchestra, Craig Duncan Orchestra, The Wedding Company, Nashville Silver Strings, Blackwire (Rock), Augusta Symphony Orchestra (Ga.), Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra(S.C.), freelance work for weddings, church services and private parties across the state.
Television and Recording Credits: Music Video for Trisha Yearwood- "This Is Me You're Talking To"; Orchestral Contractor for BBC/PBS production of "The Battle of Hood and Bismarck"; 615 Music Library/Vitamin Records-String Quartet Tributes to the following bands: Foo Fighters, Slayer, System of a Down, Sade, Santana, Weezer, Elton John; "South Pacific" production Momomoy Theatre Chatham Massachusetts for local MA television station; "Think About" series for South Carolina Public Television "Making Music Come Alive."
Mrs. Ferguson attended The University of South Carolina, where she received a Bachelor of Music Education (USC String Project) and the Maria Monckton scholarship. She has also attended the American Suzuki Institute- University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and currently holds 14 registered Teacher Training Units as well as the Every Child Can course. Mrs. Ferguson has been awarded twice, the Tennessee Governors School For the Arts Outstanding Teacher Award.
Mrs. Ferguson is married to recording artist, Jim Ferguson and they have one daughter.
Sarah Mitchell Member At-Large
Sarah Mitchell is a Southern native, having "grown up" in Alabama, Tennessee and Texas, and began studying the violin at age four and a half as a Suzuki student of the late Dr. Michael Gattozzi at the University of Alabama. After moving to Tennessee, she continued her violin study with Mary Kathryn Vanosdale at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. Her other teachers have included Soh-Hyun Park Altino, Beverly Shin, Julianna Waller and William Hayden. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Western Kentucky University and began her Suzuki violin teacher training at the University of Memphis with Kimberly Meier-Sims, earning a Master of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy while completing violin units 1-10. Her violin teacher training also includes courses and workshops with Lorraine Fink, Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Carol Smith, Mark Bjork, Hiroko Driver, Joseph Kaminsky, Mary Cay Neal and Terry Durbin. In addition to her violin study, Sarah has also trained with Dorothy and Sharon Jones to become a Suzuki Early Childhood Education teacher.
In 2003, Sarah was invited to help launch the Pre-College String Program at Western Kentucky University teaching Suzuki violin and beginning viola, and to help introduce string education in the Bowling Green/Warren County public schools as Professional-in-Residence. While in Bowling Green, she was a member of the Bowling Green-Western Symphony Orchestra and the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra, and played with the Owensboro Symphony on occasion.
For the past ten years, she has been a full-time faculty at Buffalo Suzuki Strings in New York, teaching Suzuki students from birth through 18 years of age. Her advanced students have been invited to perform at the Suzuki Association of the Americas conference, and around the world as members the Buffalo Suzuki Strings Friendship Touring Ensemble. Besides her violin teaching at BSS, she served as lead teacher for the Suzuki Early Childhood Education program for infants and toddlers and directed the Fiddle Club performing group made up of violin, viola, cello and guitar students. Sarah enjoys fiddling, and as a fiddler has performed with Brother Trouble, Danny Potter and Rory Feek. She is very excited to be back home in Middle Tennessee!