Faculty 2014

Gerall Hieser, Co-Director, cello. Graduate of Temple University and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Member of chamber ensembles in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, including the Madison String Quartet in which staff member Evelyn Estava is a violinist.


June Gunter, Co-Director, woodwinds & early music.Graduate of Oberlin. Studied at the Baroque Performance Institute. Formerly flutist with the New Jersey State Opera Orchestra. Performs and teaches in North Carolina. Awarded "excellence in the teaching of music" by the North Carolina School of the Arts. Has toured with Opera Carolina. Currently Chair of Fine Arts Department at The O'Neal School.


Elizabeth Acker, piano, holds a BFA from York University and is a performer, accompanist, teacher and coach. In Toronto her engagements span classical and contemporary orchestral and chamber music, musical theatre, contemporary music and jazz.



Gael Abbasi, cello. Studied at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Teachers include Orlando Cole and Janos Starker. Studied chamber music with the Borodin Trio. Founding member of Strings for Schools, Inc., String Variations, the Independence Duo and the Trio International. Performs in chamber groups in the Philadelphia area. She also plays the viola.


Carl Anderson, clarinet. Graduate of Louisiana State University. Studied with Domenic DeCaprio, Paul Dirksmeyer, George Waln and Robert Marcellus. Prof. Emeritus at Jacksonville (AL) State University. Principal of Gadsden Symphony Orchestra,Cheaha Chamber Players and the Chamber Players of the South.



Lydia Busler-Blais, horn, composer, began her career performing at age 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and composing music for high school dance troupes. Based in Montpelier, VT, she now has an impressive record of perfomances with prominent artists. Her many compositions from opera to to chamber works have earned awards and been performed nationally.
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Evelyn Estava, violin. Began her studies in Venezuela and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. Soloist with orchestras from Venezuela to Mexico and New Jersey. Studied chamber music with Josef Gingold, Philip Setzer, Lawrence Dutton and Arnold Steinhardt. As a winner of Artists International Special Presentation Award, she made her New York debut recital in 2005, at Weill Recital Hall. Currently concertmaster of the Plainfield Symphony and member of the Madison String Quartet (with Gerall Hieser).


Daniel Gladstone, violin and viola. On leave 2014. Studied at Mannes College and with William Kroll, Kim Kashkashian and Eriko Sato. Coaches chamber ensembles and teaches in New York City and on Eastern Long Island. In the bucolic hinterlands, he has served as music critic (for the East Hampton Star), impresario (founding the NorthForkestra), recitalist, orchestral musician and member of a professional string quartet.


David Iskowitz, piano, is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory. He David Iskowitzdirects a school for music and art, the Westerhoff School, in Metuchen, New Jersey, and also teaches piano and chamber music, and accompanies for the music department at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Performances throughout the New York metropolitan area, often in collaboration with instrumentalists and singers.


Barbara Jaffe, violin & viola. Obtained Masters from the Eastman School of Music under Donald Weilerstein. Formerly with the Shelbourne Quartet in Great Falls, MT and Bradley University Quartet in Peoria, IL. Currently with the Opera Delaware Orchestra, the Elysian Camerata, Arioso and Fairmount String Quartets. Teaches at her home studio and at Haverford/Bryn Mawr Colleges.


Louise Jaffe, viola. Received a Bachelor's in Viola from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and a Master's in Viola Performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied viola with Heidi Castleman, and chamber music with the Cleveland String Quartet. She has performed in many chamber recitals in the US and Switzerland, and is a member of several chamber groups and orchestras in Pennsylvania. She maintains an active teaching studio.


Megan Murphy Kenny, violin. On leave 2014. After graduating from Notre Dame with a BA in violin performance and anthropology, she earned a Master's degree in violin performance from the Yale School of Music. She currently teaches privately and at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, Red Lodge Music Festival, Red Lodge, MT, and the Snyder Music Academy, Fayetteville, NC. Her musical experience ranges from MT to IN, ME, MA, NY and NC.


Murray Kidd, (voice, tenor) directs the Polymnia Choral Society in Melrose, MA. He studied conducting at the University of the Pacific and completed his masters degree at New England Conservatory, where he studied Historic Performance Practice with Daniel Pinkham. He currently conducts and teaches conducting and voice at UMASS Lowell, and has voice studios at NEC and privately. He has performed as a solist with Boston Baroque, Handel & Haydn Society, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and Coro Allegro. More...


Louisa Marks, cello. BFA and BMEd, Carnegie-Mellon U. Further study with Luigi Silva and George Neikrug. Member of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Opera Delaware; DSO Principal 'cellist 1971-97. Delaware Trio cellist 1972-85. Former principal cellist of the Austin Symphony, and former member of the Florida and Louisville Orchestras. Private teacher, Newark, DE. Member of VMAC staff since 1981.



Samuel Thompson, violin/viola. The winner of a Participation Prize at the 2011 Padova International Music, Samuel Thompson enjoys a versatile life that includes solo, chamber music, orchestral and interdisciplinary performance and arts journalism. He made his east coast recital debut at the 2006 New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas and has performed throughout North America in venues including Koerner Hall (Toronto), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), the Wortham Theatre Center (Houston) and the historic Dock Street Theatre (Charleston) during the inaugural season of the Colour of Music Festival.


Craig Vandewater, bassoon. Studied with Arthur Weisberg. Holds degrees from both Stony Brook and Yale. Has been a member of the Nassau Symphony, the El Paso Symphony and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. Has taught at The Ross School of East Hampton and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp of Twin Lakes, Michigan. Currently performing with Summertrios and the North Shore Pro Musica. More at http://CraigsReeds.com.


Darlene Vandewater, oboe. Week 1 only. A resident of Maryland, she studied at Towson University for a degree in Music Education. Her teachers included Paul Covey, Lloyd Shorter and Leslie Starr. Darlene is a member of the Graceful Occasions wind quartet, and performs in pit orchestras for musicals and operas, solos at area churches and other freelance work. She teaches oboe privately.



Dana Weiderhold, violin. Dana Weiderhold received her B.M in violin performance from West Chester University, PA and her M.M. from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD in 2008. Ms. Weiderhold was concertmaster of the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra in addition to the WCU Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a featured soloist with both ensembles as well as the Newark Symphony Orchestra. In May of 2008, Dana represented UMD as an ambassador to Venezuela providing private lessons and orchestral coaching to the students of “El Sistema”. She has most recently been accepted into the Doctorate program at University of Maryland.



Bill Tulp, art, went to school at East Carolina University where he studied painting and printmaking and received a degree in fine arts. Has taught art in the public schools and Lyndon State College and has presented many art classes and workshops to audiences of all ages. At VMAC he has led us in making masks, glass mosaics, and block printing,




The faculty coach us primarily from within the group, while playing with us.
But not entirely...