Begin Nora, violin
Begin Nora is a born and raised PNW musician and teacher. She has been involved with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, Symphony Tacoma, Seattle Rock Orchestra and Quartet Evolution for many years. Most recently her teaching career has involved work with the Everett School District, Edmonds School District, Off the Wall School of Music, and Puget Sound Music Academy. Nora enjoys helping her students achieve greater overall confidence and proficiency with their instrumental studies.
Eleanor Legault, violin
Eleanor Legault enjoys a multi-faceted career as an educator, researcher, and performer. She has performed with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Evansville Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Lafayette Symphony, and Danville Symphony, and was a soloist with the Ravenna Strings Orchestra. Eleanor has performed internationally at the Tafelmusik Winter Institute, Urbino Musica Antica Festival, Interharmony Music Festival, Jeune Academie de l’orchestra, and the Zodiac Music Festival. As an avid educator, she has taught privately and coached ensembles at Shorecrest and Shorewood High School, Cornish College for the Arts Summer Programs, and served as Associate Instructor at the Indiana University Historical Performance Institute. Eleanor is a founding member of the ensemble Duo Moda, a historical violin and cello duo dedicated to researching and recording unknown works from the Classical and Romantic era. Eleanor holds a Master of Music in Historical Violin Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Arts from Lawrence Conservatory.
Daniel Mullikin, cello
Daniel Mullikin is a multi-instrumentalist with a diverse professional history ranging from orchestral and chamber performance, film and television scoring, composition and accompaniment for dance, private and group instruction, lutherie, and audio engineering. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Redlands, CA and studied the Kodály Method at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary.
Kelsey Mines, bass (upright and electric)
A Seattle native, Kelsey Mines is a performer, composer, and teacher of the electric and double bass. Kelsey earned her Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from the University of Washington. She went on to complete a Masters in Double Bass Performance from Arizona State University under the direction of Catalin Rotaru. A recipient of the Holland Scholarship, Kelsey has followed her passion for the double bass to the Netherlands, where she studied at Prince Claus Conservatoire before returning to Seattle where she now teaches and performs a variety of styles, from jazz to classical to pop. Kelsey was awarded the Earshot Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2019. Wherever she may be, Kelsey aspires to create, collaborate, and perform music that enriches and enlivens the world around her.
Alicia Suarez, flute
Alicia maintains a vibrant studio of private students at her home studio in NE Seattle as well as coaching the flutists at Lakeside Middle and Upper schools, Roosevelt High School as well as Eckstein and Robert Eagle Staff Middle Schools. She has been the flute coach of the of Seattle Youth Symphony Summer Music program in Shoreline for the past two years. An active performer, Alicia has performed with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific NW Ballet, Paramount Theatre and Fifth Avenue Theatre orchestras, most recently having performed Wicked at the Paramount Theater and with the Seattle Symphony for the Harry Potter Prizoner of Azkaban performances at Benaroya Hall. She is an experienced orchestral studio recording artist on flute, piccolo, alto flute and bass flute. She has also been called to play pennywhistle, recorder, ethnic flutes and pan pipes in her 30 year career as a professional flutist. In 1992 Alicia commissioned and performed "Sprindrift" for piccolo and piano by composer Ken Benshoof. She received her Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude) and Master of Music in flute performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Mary Kantor, clarinet
Clarinetist Mary Kantor maintains an active career as an orchestra and chamber musician as well as teacher. She was principal clarinetist with the Bellevue Philharmonic from 1999 to 2011. They re-formed in 2014 as the Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra with the same personnel and the same conductor. She is currently Board President. As a Seattle Pacific University faculty member, she has participated in faculty recitals, Clarinet Choir Concerts, and their annual chamber music recital concerts. The annual “Clarinetissimo” organized by Sean Osborn and co-hosted by Ms Kantor at SPU is a Washington State clarinet highlight every year. As a soloist, she has performed the Mozart Concerto and Richard Strauss’ Duet-Concertino with Philharmonia Northwest. She has also performed as a section player with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and the Austrian Radio Orchestra. Recent chamber music performances include “Pierrot Lunaire” with the University of Puget Sound faculty in October of 2019, a concert entitled “People of the Drum” with the Seattle Peace Chorus in November, that featured a lengthy bass clarinet solo depicting the Orca, and a chamber music concert with her own group, called “Tipping Point” in January and February of 2020. She has received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington and graduated from the Academy of Music in Vienna with Honors in clarinet performance, where she was in the class of Rudolf Jettel. As an educator, she coaches the Seattle Youth Symphony, Cascade Youth Symphony, and Bellevue Youth Symphony. She has also been on the faculty of Seattle Pacific University as clarinet professor from 1999 to the present. In addition, she maintains a private clarinet studio, many of whom go on to graduate from music schools such as Indiana University, Peabody, University of Michigan, etc. As the Washington state chair for the International Clarinet Association, she has published numerous articles in the Clarinet Magazine, and served as adjudicator.
Neil Welch, saxophone
Neil is a co-founder of the Seattle Saxophone Institute music camp series and a former Program Coordinator for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) Jazz Scholars education program. Neil is proud to have an award-winning private saxophone studio that welcomes students of all ages and levels of ability. Neil has over 15 years of experience as a private educator, including classroom instruction, college level instruction, and non-profit work for Seattle’s leading music education organizations. He believes strongly in the power of mentorship, and knows that private lessons provide students an opportunity to grow as artists and as people. He values joyful learning as the cornerstone of his life as a teacher. Lessons are tailored towards the ever-evolving needs of each student. Neil has a passion for teaching and community-building, and always works hard to create a fun, engaging environment for each and every member of his studio.
Daren Weissfisch, oboe
Daren Weissfisch is a conductor, oboist and educator who has conducted professional and student ensembles in the United States, Mexico and Europe for over a decade. From 2013 to 2019 he was the artistic director, conductor and oboe teacher of the Sinaloa Esperanza Azteca Symphony Orchestra and Choir, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico whose mission is to make better human beings through music. The program was open to anyone from the ages of 6 to 20+ and offered the opportunity to study music free of charge. In his seven-year tenure as artistic director, Daren worked with over 300 kids and young adults to build self-esteem, instill a love for music, and reinforce values including team work, honesty, integrity, discipline, and determination.
Francine Peterson, bassoonist
Francine Peterson, bassoonist, is an active freelancer and she maintains a large private studio in the Seattle area. Francine is the professor of bassoon at Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound. Francine is principal bassoon of northwest sinfonietta. She plays extra with the Seattle symphony, 5th Ave. Theater, the Paramount theater, as well as other groups in the Puget Sound.
Adrian Van Batenburg, drums and percussion
Adrian Van Batenburg is a drummer, music educator, and composer based in Seattle. Adrian has led his own band, Gems, for more than 10 years and has been a consistent performer in the Seattle music scene with a variety of projects. With two decades of teaching experience, he has many ways to inspire his students with an upbeat educational teaching method developing listening skills, technique, musical styles such as Jazz-Rock-Pop-Country, as well as sight reading and personal expression on the drumset. His lessons are fun, engaging, and always aim to bring out the best in his students. Adrian has a BM degree in Jazz Studies with a focus on drum set from the University of North Texas. His influences include Art Blakey, Ringo Starr, Cindy Blackman, John Bonham, Questlove, Tré Cool, and rising stars on YouTube like Anika Nilles.
Harumi Makiyama, piano
Harumi leads an active professional life in the Seattle area as a concert and freelance pianist, piano teacher, adjudicator, and collaborative artist. She is now in her 6th season with Lakeside School Concert Choir and Middle School Choir, where she currently serves as a collaborative pianist. In her accompanying career, she also served for the Seattle Jewish Chorale for eleven years and Northwest Girlchoir for nine years. With a passion for teaching young people and thirty years of experience as a piano teacher, in addition to running a private piano studio, she has taught at Chopin Academy of Music, Academy of Music Northwest, and University of Washington and served on the collaborative staff at Central Washington University. She earned her Doctor of Musical Art degree in Piano Performance from University of Washington, Graduate Diploma and Master of Music degrees from New England Conservatory of Music, and M.M. and B.M. degrees from Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan. Her doctoral dissertation, Mental Preparation for Piano Performance Using Principles of Aikido, explores ways to alleviate Musical Performance Anxiety (MPA) through ancient Shinto and Zen wisdom found in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, which directly translates as “The Way of Harmony.” She is happy to work with students experiencing MPA.
Katie Stevenson, voice and piano
Mezzo-soprano Katie Stevenson has performed in concerts and operas across Europe, Canada and the US before moving to Seattle in 2015. In Seattle she has performed with Puget Sound Concert Opera, the Ladies’ Musical Club, Seattle Opera Guild, Seattle Modern Opera Company, N.O.I.S.E., and Seattle Art Song Society. She has taught private voice and piano students of all ages for the past 20 years, through The Piano School of NYC, Ivy Music Inc NYC, and currently at Lakeside School in Seattle. She is on the board of the Puget Sound Chapter of the National Association of Teachers in Singing and also works as a church music director in Federal Way. Katie emphasizes good singing technique and musicianship in her lessons, and encourages her students to explore a variety of genres such as classical, musical theatre, jazz, and pop music.
Eric Patterson, digital music production
After more than a decade of playing and teaching in Los Angeles, Eric recently relocated back home to Seattle. Since graduating from USC, Eric has pursued professional jazz and music education with equal passion. While in Southern California, Eric directed the award-winning combos at Downey High School, and was on faculty with Children’s Music Workshop. Eric played saxophone in clubs, restaurants, and at weddings up and down the West Coast. Eric was the tenor saxophonist in James Gang, one of the most in-demand private event bands in the country. Eric now teaches the jazz band and digital music production at Lakeside School in Seattle.