Faculty 2015

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.



Anastasia Abu Bakar, piano and harpsichord, has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Germany and Italy. Originally a piano major, she earned a Bachelor of Music in harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Music in the harpsichord/basso continuo studio of Eva Maria Pollerus at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, in Frankfurt am Main, and participates in masterclasses on the harpsichord and the fortepiano with Jesper Christensen. She is originally from Malaysia, and will be at VMAC for week 3. (Town Square Delaware December 11, 2013 By ChristyEagletonFleming)


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, 2015. 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.


Susan Shaw, bassoon, is the Principal Bassoonist with the Allentown Symphony and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia in the Lehigh Valley andwith the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. She has also performed in the Broadway pit orchestras for “Carousel,” “King and I,” and “Miss Saigon.” Some other longterm affiliations include the Little Orchestra Society, the Lake George Opera, and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra. Along with an active performing career, Ms. Shaw directs a band program in the public school system of White Plains, New York. Susan Shaw is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. Major studies have been with Stephen Maxym, of the Metropolitan Opera, and Jane Taylor, of the Dorian Quintet.



Benjamin Shute, violin, has performed internationally as concerto soloist, recitalist, and concertmaster of the Boston Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory (DMA, BMus) and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (KA), having studied under Rainer Kussmaul (first concertmaster, Berliner Philharmoniker), Bernhard Forck (concertmaster, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin), Lucy Chapman, Masuko Ushioda and Lee Snyder. As a teacher, he has served on the faculties of Dickinson College, Cairn University, Cecil College, and summer festivals in the States, Europe, and Asia. Also active on period instruments, he served as co-founder/director of the New England Conservatory Early Music Society and performs as a member of the Highlands Duo with harpsichordist Anastasia Abu Bakar. He will be with us for week 3.



Andreia Torain teaches all levels of violin, plus beginner viola, to both children and adults at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she also serves as chamber music coach and teaches Suzuki group classes. When not teaching or coordinating the Suzuki violin program for the school’s six branches, she can be found freelancing with chamber ensembles (Fairmount. e.g.) and orchestras (Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Riverside Symphonia, and the Delaware Valley Philharmonic among others). Andreia has a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Ithaca College and a Master of Music in String Pedagogy from Temple University. She will be at VMAC for weeks 1 and 2.



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.
On leave 2015.


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.



Elizabeth (Liz) Wright, violin, of Bethlehem, PA completed her Bachelors at University of Michigan and her Masters at Manhattan School of Music. She held Principal and Concertmaster positions at both schools. Her primary teachers were Aaron Berofsky, Andrew Jennings, and Laurie Smukler. She has held positions in the Lansing and Midland Symphony Orchestras (MI) and has also performed with the Toledo Symphony (OH). Her string quartet is the two-time winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition. She has held fellowships at Colorado College Summer Music Festival and National Repertory Orchestra. Liz is a deep believer in education and teaches students of all ages in New York City.



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...