Valerie Doerrfeld, 'cello

Bio coming soon.     


Stephanie Hsu, Violin/Viola

Denise Dillenbeck, violin

Jennifer Moultine is a teacher and performer living in Ellensburg, WA. Taking a rather winding path away from and back to Central Washington, Jen has studied music, performed throughout the Pacific Northwest, been a baker, lived in the jungles of Ecuador, managed a crisis hotline in Olympia, WA, studied public health and writing at The Evergreen State College, worked as a music librarian, and been a stay-at-home mom, among other things. Jen has been a member of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra since 1999, teaches privately in Ellensburg and Yakima, and joined Yakima Music en Accion, an El Sistema inspired music and social change program in Yakima, WA, as a Teaching Artist in January of 2014. Jen also plays baroque cello, performing regularly with the faculty of Central Washington University and other early music performers in CWU’s Musica Antiqua series.

Stephanie Lin Hsu is the Founding Director of Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA), a tuition-free social program based in Yakima, WA that is modeled after Venezuela's El Sistema. Based at Yakima’s Garfield Elementary School, YAMA uses daily, intensive orchestral training for at-risk children as a vehicle for healthy community-building and positive social development. Stephanie was trained through the New England Conservatory of Music's Sistema Fellows Program, an executive training program in non-profit strategy and in El Sistema pedagogy and philosophy. She trained at Sistema sites across Venezuela and throughout the U.S. before launching the YAMA program in January 2013. Prior to this, Stephanie worked as an educator and organizer in New York, serving as a member of the faculty at CITYterm at The Masters School, a lab school in Dobbs Ferry, New York and as a community organizer with Chinatown Youth Initiatives in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Educational Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology from Swarthmore College. Her formal music education includes violin studies with William DePasquale, late Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Peggy Klinger of Hoff-Barthelson Music School, as well as chamber music studies with cellist David Geber and pianist Gerald Robbins of the Manhattan School of Music. Stephanie served as Concertmaster of the New York Youth Symphony in its 41st Carnegie Hall Season, and has received awards for her work as an artist and activist, including the Rosengarten String Scholarship through the New York Youth Symphony, Garrigues Music Scholarship at Swarthmore College, and the Edward Said / Audre Lorde Scholar-Activism Award. Stephanie currently performs as a violist of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra; as a member of La Cantina, an eclectic Latin music group; with Yakima’s Son Jarocho group Cazador; and, of course, with Garfield Elementary’s very own YAMA Orchestra.

Denise Dillenbeck has played for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Pennsylvania Ballet Theater, the Philly Pops, and many other orchestras across the U.S. She is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony. As a member of the Oregon Symphony, she was a featured soloist for several concerts, and has served as concertmaster for orchestras across the country and in England. As a member of new music group Third Angle, she gave world premiere performances of works by many of today's leading composers. She was also the Lead Teaching Artist in the Philadelphia Orchestra's Community Partnership Program, where she led urban elementary school students in experiential music learning, and directed workshops on aesthetic education for classroom teachers and music educators.


 Denise formed the Areté Trio with Oregon Symphony principal cello Nancy Ives and pianist John Pickett. She has performed and coached chamber music on concert series and at festivals around the country and abroad, such as the American Church of Paris, Westminster Choir College, Bravo Summer String Institute, Max Aronoff Viola Institute, the Quartet Program at Bucknell University, and Central Washington University. She has recorded solo and chamber works for the Albion and KOCH International labels. She holds a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory where she studied with James Buswell, and a Master of Music from the University of Minnesota where she was Sally O'Reilly's teaching assistant and worked with Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis. She was a fellow at Aspen, dean of Charles Castleman's Quartet Program, program coordinator at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Strings International Music Festival, and has played for the Oregon Bach Festival, Ernest Bloch Festival, Chautauqua Music Institute, Musicorda, and the International Congress of Strings. The San Francisco Chronicle hails her playing as "simply first-rate".
Meet Our Musicians

Kara Hunnicutt, 'cello

Vanessa Moss, violin

Rebecca Stamm is a versatile musician, having already twenty years as a freelance artist at a young age. Since booking her first professional gig at the age of twelve, she has continued to strive for musical excellence in all areas of her career. Rebecca began her musical studies at age four as a pianist, and while it quickly became her secondary instrument when the violin entered her life, she carried her piano studies all the way through her masters degree. As a pianist in high school she began winning competitions and accompanying other musicians and choirs, and dabbled in jazz piano becoming the jazz pianist for various groups in her high school. Rebecca continued to perform as an accompanist consistently throughout her undergraduate and graduate years and taught piano classes at Washington State University as a teacher’s assistant. Today she is the accompanist for the Wapato School District. Her abilities in piano have greatly aided her throughout her musical endeavors as both a violinist and vocalist.

She began her violin studies at age eight in the Suzuki method, under the tutelage of Linda Peterson, now an instructor at the Seattle Suzuki Institute. At age of three the violin spoke to Rebecca when she heard one for the first time, and decided then she would learn to play the violin. At age eleven, she decided to pursue the career of an orchestral musician, and has not looked back since. In high school she won competitions and served as concertmaster for the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra for five years. She attended Central Washington University for her Bachelors and obtained her degree in Violin Performance, and often held the concertmaster position in the orchestras during her time there. Her teachers include Carrie Rehkopf and Heather Netz. During her undergraduate degree she was asked to perform part of the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra. She went on to earn her Masters of Arts at Washington State University, studying under Dr. Meredith Arksey. Rebecca performed as concertmaster throughout her stay at Washington State University, and was frequently featured as a soloist with the orchestra. While there she competed in a competition for Oregon East Symphony and won, giving her the opportunity to perform the not often heard Concert Fantasy for Solo Violin written by her favorite composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. She has also performed often as second principal and assistant concertmaster for the Oregon East Symphony. In 2004 while still in high school she won a position with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and has been there since, and has served both as second principal and second assistant principal often. On occasion she performs with the Walla Walla Symphony as well as the Washington-Idaho Symphony. Since 2012, Rebecca has performed as an auxiliary violinist with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and is contracted with them regularly. In addition to holding a private teaching studio in both piano and violin in Toppenish, Rebecca also serves as a coach for the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra and is frequently asked to adjudicate for local and regional musical events. She is also a part of the Zephyr String Ensemble, a local group comprised of musicians from all over the valley that perform for weddings and special occasions.

In her spare musical time, Rebecca has enjoyed being a soprano and has studied opera with notable instructors such as Diane Thueson Reich and Dawn Kasprow Wolski. She performed in the opera Dido and Aeneas as a chorus member and as an understudy to a secondary lead role while attending Central Washington University. In 2008 Rebecca soloed with the Sunnyside High School orchestra singing “O Mio Babbino Caro”. Prior to college she discovered she had something special in her voice quite by accident when she pretended to sing opera and something resembling opera came out. Voice is the instrument Rebecca uses purely for her own enjoyment. She uses all of her instruments on a regular basis on the worship team at her church, and finds much fulfillment in using her music in ways other than on a professional level.  

Rebecca’s other interests include theatre, visual art creation, cooking, hiking, Zumba, making people laugh, and doing whatever it is to always be on the quest for learning and a student of life.

Bret Smith, 'Cello

Barbara Riley, Violin/Viola

Dr. Bret Smith is Associate Professor in the Central Washington University Music Department.  A graduate of the University of Washington and the University of Michigan, he is a member of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and faculty advisor of the CWU Preparatory Program. With wide experience in chamber music, orchestral and studio playing, he is also an avid multi-instrumentalist and may be seen in a variety of places with his electric bass, guitar, and banjo.  As conductor and arranger, he has collaborated on the Synergia Northwest benefit concert series, collaborating with some of the Northwest's most acclaimed contemporary rock and popular artists.



Lisa Rushton Smith founded Zephyr String Ensemble and Violin Studio in 2011. She has served in many music administrative roles, including Yakima Symphony Orchestra (YSO) Personnel Manager, Aardvark String Quartet Manager, CWU Orchestra Manager/Librarian, and CWU Orchestra Festival Coordinator.  She was a player representative on the YSO Music Director Search Committee in 2010 and recently completed her term on the Ellensburg Arts Commission.  She is in her 2nd term as a player representative on the YSO orchestra committee and was delighted to be the 2014 CWU Prep Strings Summer Camp Director. Lisa also recently became President for the Kittitas Valley Music Education Parents (KVMEP).

     

Lisa received her Bachelor of Music from Central Washington University in 2002, where she was a Farrell Merit Scholar. While there, she studied with Carrie Rehkopf, then continued violin studies after graduation with Ronald Patterson and Denise Dillenbeck.  As a member of the Aardvark String Quartet, she started playing viola as well, and is heard on the 2007 CD "Tranquillo: A Northwest Celebration." Currently, Lisa teaches private violin and viola lessons in Ellensburg and continues to complete Suzuki teaching certification. A violinist with the YSO, she joined in 1998 as a scholarship student. Lisa has freelanced for several Pacific Northwest orchestras, including Wenatchee, Mid-Columbia, Everett Philharmonic, Oregon East, Walla Walla and Synergia Northwest symphonies.  

Barb Riley lives in Ellensburg, Washington and plays violin and viola in the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the Zephyr String Ensemble as well as with her Celtic trio, Prairie Spring. She free-lanced for many years in Seattle, playing regularly at the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theatres in musical productions and in pick-up orchestras for touring artists. Barbara also maintains a private studio of violin and viola students and directs the Early Beginners classes through the Preparatory Strings Department at Central Washington University in Ellensburg​.

    

Jessica Jasper has been a member of Spokane Symphony since the 2012-2013 season.  She has also played with Northwest Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra based in the Seattle area, since 2013.  She is proud to have recently earned her Master’s degree in viola performance from the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Korey Konkol.  During her time there, she performed Benjamin Britten's Lachrymae with the University of Minnesota orchestra and studied chamber music with the Parker Quartet and Käthe Jarke – the former cellist of the Shanghai String Quartet.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from Central Washington University.  During her time there she won the College of Arts and Humanities Award for Live Music Performance, the Tom Gause Award for Music Performance and first place in the Helen Crowe Snelling music scholarship competition. In the summer of 2010 she studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and performed solo recitals as part of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program.  A native of the Seattle area, Jessica recently bought a home in Cle Elum, WA, and has a private violin and viola studio there.  She is enjoying newlywed life with her husband, violist Tim Betts, and their dog, Marty.
Zephyr String Ensemble

Kara Hunnicutt, M.M., M.Ed., is the founder and director of Ellensburg School Orchestra program since 2007.  Beginning with only 25 students, the program has grown to over 100 students in the district’s five schools in the past ten years, providing string education for students from second grade through twelfth grade. Conductor of the Icicle Creek Youth Symphony since 2011, Hunnicutt was the founder of the Icicle Creek Academy Orchestra in 2005, and founded the music camp in 1988 that is now Icicle Creek Summer Symphony.  She conducts five Ellensburg school orchestras during the year, and conducts summer camp orchestras at Icicle and Central Washington University’s Prep Strings. She has been the principal cellist of the Yakima Symphony since 1990.  Solo appearances with Mid-Columbia, Wenatchee, Yakima and Lake Chelan Bach Fest orchestras have featured concertos by Dvorak, Schumann, Lalo, Bloch, Respighi, Walker and Haydn.  She taught orchestra classes in the Wenatchee school district 1999-2007, was on the faculty at Woods House Conservatory of Music in Wenatchee, and Icicle Creek Music Center in Leavenworth.  She was awarded the Outstanding Performing Artist Award by NCW Allied Arts and has performed with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and the Spokane Symphony, and as principal cellist with the Wenatchee, Federal Way, Tacoma, Everett, Mid-Columbia and Orchestra Seattle symphonies. She attended Seattle Pacific University, Oberlin Conservatory, Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Music Festival.  Ms. Hunnicutt earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California with legendary cellists Gabor Rejto and Ronald Leonard, and a Master of Education from Central Washington University.  In March 2007 Kara premiered a new cello concerto, In A Time Of Peace, Three Songs for Cello and Orchestra by Dr. Gwyneth Walker in Richland with the Mid-Columbia Symphony.

Jessica Jasper, viola

Rebecca Stamm, violin

A native of Washington State, Vanessa is establishing herself in the Pacific Northwest as a versatile orchestral musician, chamber player, soloist, and educator.  She collaborates with orchestras across states, serving as Assistant Concertmaster of the Salem Symphony, first violinist with the Yakima Symphony, and regularly performing with groups including the Spokane Symphony, Auburn Symphony, Newport Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony.  In 2014, Vanessa was invited to tour with the Fairbanks Symphony to South Korea for the Gumi International Music Festival.  As a soloist and chamber musician, Vanessa has been seen performing with Cascadia Music’s Pipestone Orchestra and is a frequent guest artist to Twisp Work’s Spartan Project (Twisp, WA) and the Washington Allegro Vivaci Ensemble (Bellingham, WA). She was featured soloist with Central Chamber Orchestra, as well as the recipient of the 2013 Achievement in Live Performance award for her performance of Vaughn William’s Lark Ascending. As violinist of the Mundana Trio, Vanessa toured to New York City, placing second at the National level of the Music Teachers National Association Competition. As an educator, Vanessa is committed to sharing her passion and the discipline of musical practice through both her private studio and  El Sistema inspired programs, working with both Portland’s BRAVO Orchestras and Yakima’s Yakima Music En Accion (YAMA).  She is thrilled to be joining YAMA’s incredible team next year as a teaching artist.  Vanessa is a graduate of Central Washington University, her primary teachers have included Carrie Rehkopf-Michel and Denise Dillenbeck.  

Jennifer Moultine, 'Cello

Lisa Rushton Smith, Violin/Viola