Click on a musician to learn about them!

Mary Barba


Mary Barba is the founder and instructor of the Holistic Music Education Institute in Beverly, MA. Mary teaches classical strings, piano, and ukulele to students of all ages and abilities. She holds a Master of Music Education from Illinois State University, where she completed an assistantship leading their String Project, and she holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire, where she worked with their Youth Symphony Orchestras. Mary also founded and conducts the Beverly Study Orchestra, an orchestra for beginning and intermediate adult string learners. 

As an orchestral Violist, Mary plays with ensembles such as the North Shore Philharmonic, New Hampshire Philharmonic, Ideas Not Theories, New England Ballet Ensemble, Nashua Choral Society, and other orchestras and pits throughout New England.

Along with teaching and performing, Mary is also interested in research and professional writing. She currently holds a seat on the American String Teachers Journal Editorial Committee. Her thesis, "Philosophy of Music Education," explores some of her main research interests: educational philosophy, string pedagogy, and emotional literacy. Her other research interests include tensionless playing, sustainable practice, intrinsic motivation, lifelong learning, and trauma-informed instruction. 

Zachary Brennan


Zac is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying bass and composition. 

He is a member of the UMASS Symphony Orchestra, performs with the Amherst College Symphony Orchestra, and contributes to a variety of other ensembles around Massachusetts in the classical world and beyond. 

Karyn Crouthamel


Karyn Crouthamel teaches cello privately from her in-home studio in Chelmsford MA. The Crouthamel Cello Studio's goal is to bring her students and other string players in the community to play in small ensembles, just as she had many ensemble opportunities growing up in a very musical family outside of Syracuse NY. She then continued to play during college in the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra (NC).  She had the wonderful opportunity to be the cellist for UNCW's select choir and travel around Germany, performing in many old cathedrals, as well as other venues. 

After college, she played in small ensembles and recorded with several guitarists in Seattle, while pursuing her love of rowing. Finally now settling into MA,  she has returned to her roots and love of music while raising her 4 children. All of whom are finding their own path with music and dance! And she is thrilled to be part of the North Worcester County Symphony Orchestra, while also playing in area pit orchestras and the Firebird Pops Orchestra.

Cecilia Osborne


Cecelia is a Berklee graduate from Missouri with a classical background in both violin and viola. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Viola Performance and a minor in psychology from Berklee College of Music in 2020. Upon moving to Boston for school, she was asked to play in a concert at MIT for the 5-time Grammy Award-winning musician Jacob Collier in 2016 and was invited back for his Djesse Vol.1 debut concert at the same venue in 2018. She has played in ensembles with numerous artists including The Piano Guys, Tigran Hamasyan, Trio Globo, and (most recently) the 8-Bit Big Band. 

Throughout the duration of her college experience, she performed with the Berklee World Strings led by Grammy winner Eugene Friesen. Her musical passions lie in ensemble work and folk music, having done folk studies with acclaimed bluegrass fiddler Darol Anger, Celtic cellist Natalie Haas, and the multi-genre multi-instrumentalist Dr David Wallace, the latter being her primary private instructor for all four years. Both of Cecelia’s parents are music teachers and her family fostered her creative musical interests from the beginning, resulting in Cecelia winning her first Missouri Fiddle contest at the age of 9. Cecelia finds her diversity to be her greatest asset and wishes to spread love and expression through music! 

Debby Greenebaum


Violinist Debby Greenebaum is a freelance performer in Worcester MA and received a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Violin Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Arts in Education from Lesley University.  Debby received her Suzuki training at the School for Strings in NYC and worked as an intern with American violinist and music educator Roberta Guaspari Tzavaras, helping her prepare violin students from East Harlem for performances at Lincoln Center and The White House. 

Before moving to the Worcester area in 2009, Debby taught violin and chamber music at the Smith College Campus School and was the Director of Violin Programs in the Holyoke Public Schools and at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton. Having played with the Springfield and New Hampshire Symphonies, the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi in NYC, she is currently Director of the Greenwood Music Camp’s Junior Camp and on the faculty of the Joy of Music Program and Neighborhood Strings in Worcester, MA. 

Elizabeth Jacoby


Elizabeth Jacoby earned a Master of Music from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Music from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She performed in the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the  Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Fredericksburg String Quartet. She has taught elementary and middle school orchestras in New Jersey and Virginia. Currently, she teaches violin with the Upbeat Strings Program with the Nashua, NH school district, teaches with the Community Lesson Program at Fitchburg State University, and plays violin in the Fitchburg State Community Orchestra.  

Theresa Jaques


Theresa (Cleary) Jaques is a professional violist, violinist, and music educator. As the youngest of four children in a musical family, she began her musical studies at age 6 with choral training before starting violin lessons at age 8. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance from UMass Lowell as well as a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Gordon College and has studied with Loren Pearson, Scott Woolweaver, and Elliott Markow; other influential musical coaches include Dr. Richard Bunbury and Ricardo Slevira. 

Theresa is a highly sought-after freelancer and is known for her vibrancy, positivity, and intuition as a performer. An active orchestral violist, she is currently the principal violist for both the New Hampshire Philharmonic and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. She frequently performs with other regional groups including the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, Portsmouth Pro Musica, and other orchestras, chamber groups, and theater pits. She is also delighted to play viola in the Portsmouth Symphony String Quartet and has performed for and participated in masterclasses with the Borromeo String Quartet, the Harlem String Quartet, and Jeanne Bamberger. She has performed solos with the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, the Southeastern Alumni Symphony Orchestra, and the New Hampshire Philharmonic. 

As an educator, Theresa is dedicated to fostering a love of music in her students. She has taught strings in the Fall River Public Schools, outreach programs including the UMass Lowell String Project and Up With Music, and privately in programs with the Chelmsford and Milton Public Schools. She has adjudicated for the Junior and Senior SEMSBA Festivals, MMEA Junior and Senior District Festivals, and the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras and managed the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra in both 2021 and 2022. Currently, Theresa is the 6th-grade orchestra director, grades 4-6 strings teacher, and general music teacher at the Mill Pond School in Westborough, MA, and maintains a private lesson studio in Ipswich, MA. 

Outside of traditional violin/viola, Theresa enjoys playing as a studio musician in recording sessions and was a member of two locally successful bands (As The Sparrow and Arms & Ears), both of which have toured eastern U.S., performed in some of the largest venues in Boston, and opened for national acts including Rooney and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Original music by both of these groups can be heard across all streaming platforms. When she is not playing or teaching, Theresa enjoys animals, visual art, traveling, and spending time with her family and her husband, Rob.

Frantz Kjoniksen 


Frantz Kjoniksen enjoys a career as both a violinist and a violist. Frantz started playing the violin at the age of 9 through their public school program but didn’t start learning the viola until the age of 16. They study with Prof. Elizabeth Chang at UMass Amherst, where they are currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance. Through UMass, they also privately teach a handful of college-aged violinists and violists. Outside of NWCSO, Frantz frequently performs with the Keene Chamber Orchestra, and with several other chamber groups in Western Massachusetts. Their hobbies include hiking, skiing, cooking, and reading.  

Silvija Kristapsons


Silvija is a violist and violinist based in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a B.M. in Music Education from Boston University. Her teachers include Boston Symphony Orchestra members Michael Zaretsky and Edward Gazouleas. Silvija is a former member of the Brookline Symphony and performs as a freelance musician throughout New England.  

Tinson Lam


Tinson is a music educator, arts administrator, and professional musician from Lowell. Mr. Lam completed his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education with vocal & instrumental emphases from Asbury University in Kentucky and received his Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Leadership and Management from Shenandoah University in Virginia. 

During his undergraduate studies, Mr. Lam signed on as a violin instructor for the Bluegrass Arts Collective for three years. Mr. Lam currently teaches general music, orchestra, and choir in the Lowell Public School District, performs for weddings/special events, and is an active member of several orchestras in the Greater Boston area,  most notably the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and Firebird Pops Orchestra. 

Mr. Lam also teaches private voice, violin, & viola lessons in Chelmsford. He is passionate about arts integration in education, youth development, & arts community engagement and empowerment.

Spencer Lee


Spencer Lee, violinist, and violist, enjoys a varied and stimulating career as a chamber musician, teacher, and freelance performer. Born in Eastern Massachusetts, Spencer has performed in venues such as Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and the Massachusetts State House; he also had the privilege of attending the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in 2020, where he performed in a masterclass for Julia Glenn. He has also attended Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival for several years as a scholarship student.

Spencer has collaborated with artists such as Nardo Poy, Cailin Marcel Manson, and Andrew Megill and is currently a student of Elizabeth Chang at UMass Amherst; he was previously a student of Christopher Memoli.

Ashlee Liebenow 


Ashlee grew up in southcentral Pennsylvania and moved to the Boston area several years ago. She currently lives in Bolton with her husband and son. Ashlee earned her BA in English from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a Senior Director of Global Briefings at Cision, where she and her colleagues produce news briefings for government and corporate clients. A violinist for more than 30 years, Ashlee also plays in the New Philharmonia Orchestra based in Newton, Mass. She enjoys reading, hiking, camping, and attending live music concerts.  

David Lookwhy


David Lookwhy graduated from UMass Amherst in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance and Music Education. During his time at the university, David studied under Juilliard cellists: Astrid Schween, Edward Aaron, and Gregory Beaver. David has been teaching violin, viola, and cello privately for seven years. A high school orchestra director of Holden, Massachusetts, David believes in making music engaging by mixing in standard repertoire with arrangements of pieces that students would like to play from their own lives. David wants to make music interesting and accessible to students of all ages. 

Kris Lucander


Kris Lucander is a Music Educator, Double Bassist, and electric Bassist from Westminster, MA. A Graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Kris started teaching in Shirley, MA at the Lura White Elementary School in 1994 & has been teaching in the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District since 1995. He has successfully taught at all levels in grades K 12, but has spent most of his time within the  Elementary School, teaching general music, & is director of all Choral ensembles,  Beginner/Advanced Concert Bands, Wind Ensembles, and Jazz Bands. The ensembles have enjoyed several years of great numbers of students, have been given very high awards at festivals, and perform at several concerts and events in the school and community each year. He has over 30 years of experience in running the after-school lesson program. Kris has also taught privately at Cushing Academy as a double bass instructor and as a jazz band director at Bentley College.

As both a sought-after double and electric bassist, Kris has extensive experience playing/singing in a wide variety of situations for years. He has played in several club/wedding bands, rock and roll, several small jazz trios/groups, and original, funk, folk, and blues bands. His experience also includes playing in several orchestras, string groups, big bands, pit orchestras for musicals, and concert bands. Some of the artists/groups he has played and/or recorded with include the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, Worcester Jazz Orchestra, Mark Fisher, Mr. Strickland, Retro Stew, Alliance, Elizabeth Lorrey, the Rafters, Montachusett Chorale, the Odyssey Cruise Ship, a Billy Joel Tribute Band, Westminster Town Band, Leominster Colonial Band, and much more including the Kris Lucander Jazz Trio. Lucander has held the bass positions in over 85 different musical productions at several theaters through Boston and Central Massachusetts, including Theater at the Mount, Oakmont Reg. H.S., and Cushing Academy. Kris has two original jazz recordings of his own, and his 3rd jazz recording is due in the spring of ’23, he has recorded on over 35 recordings for others.

Natalia McDermott


Natalia McDermott is a freelance cellist in the Greater Boston area. She began playing cello through the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program and went on to study music education at UMass Lowell.  She has played with NWCSO since 2021. In addition to being a member of NWCSO, Natalia is also the principal cellist of the Firebird Pops Orchestra.

Natalia teaches private lessons in Lowell and works within the Concord school district. 

Christine Mello


Christine Mello is a multi-genre Cellist and Music Educator who is passionate about bringing the power and beauty of music-making to wider and more diverse audiences. Native to Philadelphia, she first began studying the cello at St. Maria Goretti High School for Girls with cellist James Cooper. Later she studied at Temple University and in the cello studio at Curtis Institute of Music with Orlando Cole and Metta Watts. 

Mello actively performs in various orchestras, and theater groups, and in solo recital engagements in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City, including off-Broadway readings of new musicals. Mello, co-owner of the record label 2622, released classical recordings on all major platforms with Pianists Tom Fosnocht and João Paulo Casarotti with more to come. 

In addition to classical recording groups Mello is the cellist/vocalist/co-songwriter for the art-pop band The Tristans and the professor-rock duo Mello & Holaday whose singles are available on all streaming platforms. Mello is currently cello faculty at the Westminster Conservatory of Music and yes, Mello is her real last name. 

Cynthia Schilling


Cynthia holds a BM in piano performance and a BA and MFA in graphic design. She has performed solo piano and chamber music in the Bowdoin International Music Festival and has played violin and viola in the UMass Symphony Orchestra, Baroque Ensemble, Fitchburg State University Community Orchestra, and ensembles and pit orchestras throughout the community. She enjoys teaching music lessons in the Fitchburg State Community Music Program and the Joy of Music Program. 

Hildur Schilling


Hildur Schilling received a full scholarship (Artistic Achievement Award) to study violin and viola performance at Meadow School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, where she also majored in psychology. She earned a doctorate in cognitive psychology from UMass Amherst and is a Professor of Psychological Science at Fitchburg State, where she conducts the Fitchburg State Community Orchestra. 

Hildur played violin/viola in the Waco Symphony, the East Texas Symphony, the Wichita Falls Symphony, the  Thayer Symphony, the Manchester Music Festival, the Killington Music Festival, and in over 50 musical theater productions.  

Eleanor Sturm


Eleanor Sturm, violinist, studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the studio of Elizabeth Chang and will receive a Bachelor of Music in violin performance with a certificate in arts management in May 2023. 

Eleanor began violin studies at age 7 in Carson City, Nevada with Sue Jesch, performing with many local groups including the Carson City Symphony, CC Symphony Youth Strings, and the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestras. During her nine years with the RPYO, she served as concertmaster and principal second of the Youth Symphony Orchestra with performances in Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, and Walt Disney Hall. 

Eleanor was selected all four years of high school to the Nevada All-State Orchestra, earning the position of concertmaster her senior year. In past summers she has attended the Luzerne Music Center in New York, the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont. Eleanor currently performs with the UMass Amherst Symphony Orchestra, the Opus One Chamber Orchestra, and often as concertmaster with TOCCATA-Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. 

In addition to her undergraduate coursework, Eleanor works as a teaching assistant for the aural skills department at UMass Amherst, organizes chamber music concerts at Applewood retirement community, and has become a Suzuki-certified violin teacher.