Wesley Catherine Hamilton is a violist, violinist, educator, and music theorist based in Baltimore, Maryland. Wesley is pursuing a Master's degree in Viola Performance and Pedagogy at Peabody Conservatory in Johns Hopkins University. She graduated with the class of 2020 from the University of Georgia with two undergraduate degrees in Music Performance and Music Theory, Summa Cum Laude. Wesley is currently teaching viola and violin lessons at Mike’s Music in Ellicot City, Maryland.
Wesley spent the 2020-2021 school year as an itinerate teacher in the Richmond County Orchestra Program in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. She was responsible for orchestra programs at Goshen Elementary, McBean Elementary, Hains Elementary, Pine Hill Middle, Butler High, and Cross Creek High School. During this year, she taught both face-to-face and online instruction at each school in addition to her private studio.
An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Wesley has performed as a section viola with the Augusta Symphony, Aiken Symphony, North Georgia Chamber Symphony, and has held assistant principal positions with the UGA Symphony Orchestra and UGA Opera Orchestra. In addition to her ensemble experience, Wesley has been a finalist of both the UGA Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and the UGA Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition. She has participated in masterclasses with Jordan Bak, Roberto Diaz, Ivo van der Werff, Victoria Chiang, Edward Klorman, Jenny Snyder-Kozoroz, Erika Eckert, Daphne Gerling, and Hillary Herndon.
Wesley has attended the Brevard Music Center for five summers during her high school and college careers in 2015-2017, 2019, and 2021 where she studied with Maggie Snyder and Jenny Snyder-Kozoroz. At Brevard, Wesley performed with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and the Brevard Camerata where she has held principal positions. Additionally, she attended the Montecito International Summer Music Festival in 2018 where she studied with Yizak Schotten.
Wesley is mother to Zelda, her sweet and amazing cat. In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games, socializing with friends, walking in nature, attempting to be funny, and napping.
Kat Dillon has been a professional violinist, singer, and stage performer for over 20 years in a broad variety of musical arenas. She started learning violin at the age of 12 and later studied classical violin under famed violinist Mischa Lefkowitz. Her first professional work was as a violinist in Tehachapi, CA Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16. Through high school, she performed simultaneously as a member of both Bakersfield CA Symphony Orchestra and Antelope College Symphony Orchestra. During her college career, she performed classical violin as a member of Washington State University Orchestra (go Cougars!) and later with West Chester University Orchestra in Pennsylvania.
After college, she turned to power-rock style music and joined the Trans-Siberian Orchestra-inspired group Wizards of Winter as lead violinist. She toured with the band for 3 seasons, from Maine to Maryland, playing the entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra catalogue as well as a variety of original material. She transitioned her style in 2012 to Irish fiddle and joined the Trad-Celtic group Burning Bridget Cleary. Kat toured with the band across the entire north-eastern seaboard performing both traditional Celtic as well as bluegrass style fiddle. As both a violinist and vocalist, she is credited for her performance on the band’s popular studio album, ‘Pressed For Time.’
In 2013, Kat fronted her own namesake band, Kat and the Mad Dogz. The wildly popular Pennsylvania-based rock/country cover group performed over 100 shows per year and specialized in hits spanning the 1970’s to 2000’s. During this time, Kat perfected her signature “back bend” move, defying gravity while performing the fiddle solo to ‘Devil Went Down To Georgia.’
By 2016, Kat discovered her love of neon and became the lead singer of M80, one of the top 80’s rock bands in Pennsylvania. With M80, Kat sang and played electric violin in venues ranging from MusikFest to Atlantic City. 2 years later, Kat was selected as lead singer of The Reflex, the Washington D.C. area’s top 80’s cover band. The band has been voted DC’s best cover band by Washington City Paper and was the headlining act at the MGM Grand in National Harbor for New Year’s Eve in 2019. There, Kat performed a duet of the hit 80’s song ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ side by side with the song’s original artist, Tiffany.
In the winter of 2020, Kat joined forces with The American Rogues, a Celtic Rock group based out of Maryland and Canada. They recently performed for the Annual Navy SEAL's Muster in Ft. Pierce, FL and are scheduled to perform in Scotland and Quebec, among other locations. Kat plays the violin and sings a few tunes as well!
Kat applies her wide range of musical experience to personally tailor lesson plans that best fit each student’s taste and style. She believes that students best learn when playing the music they love the most and adapts each of her lessons to provide the most fun, optimal learning experience.
Eric Allard studied violin performance under Christina Khimm-Rosand at the Manhattan School of Music for three years before switching career paths and attending the Maryland Institute College of Art where he earned a Masters in the Art of Teaching. While MICA is a visual arts based school, Eric uses the pedagogy he studied in the MAT program combined with the violin mastery he learned at MSM to instruct students of all ages in violin.
Elizabeth Robbins began studying the viola at age 9 and the flute at age 10, and has experience performing and teaching strings and woodwinds. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Ithaca College, where she studied flute with Kelly Covert. She spent one semester at the Ithaca College London Center, taking lessons with Susan Milan at the Royal College of Music. After completing her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth moved to southern Maryland, where she taught pre-k through fifth grade band, strings, chorus, and general music for four years at St. Mary’s County Public Schools. While in Maryland, she earned her Master of Music in Music Education from Boston University. In 2010 she played Griffes’s Poem for Flute and Orchestra with the Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland In Concert as the winner of the COSMIC Young Artist Competition.
Elizabeth earned her PhD in music education at Temple University in 2019. While at Temple, she worked as a TA in the music education department, which included serving as a graduate conductor of the Night Owls Community Band and teaching Woodwind Methods to undergraduate and graduate students. She also taught as an adjunct and supervised student teachers at West Chester University. During her doctoral studies, she was a member of the viola faculty for the Music Education Pathways program at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, PA and was a member of the flute faculty at Ferrwood Music Camp in Drums, PA. Elizabeth is happy to be back in Maryland, teaching 4th-6th grade band and orchestra in Prince George’s County Public Schools.
Asa Zimmerman is a violinist and violist based in Cockeysville, Maryland. In this capacity, they perform with a number of ensembles, including The Smithsonian Chamber Players, The Washington Bach Consort,The Thirteen, Tempesta di Mare, the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Modern Musick, Musica Spira, Burning River Baroque, Bach Akademie Charlotte, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Baltimore Choral Arts, BaRock Band, Tazzina Drammatica, the Baltimore Baroque Band, and Charm City Baroque. Asa has been teaching violin and viola for more than a decade in various capacities, including positions with the Peabody Preparatory and Musical Empowerment. Asa holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Master of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory. They are currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Peabody.
Megan (Meg) Bradshaw began her violin studies at the age of 7 with Irina Briskin and later with late BSO violinist John Merrill.Throughout high school, Meg participated in All State, All County, Baltimore Symphony Side by Side, and performed the first movement of Mozart’s 3rd Violin Concerto with her school orchestra.
While pursuing a BA at UMBC, Meg studied with Dr. Airi Yoshioka, performed in the UMBC Symphony Orchestra, various string ensembles, recitals and masterclasses-most recently for Daniel Heifetz. In the summer of 2018, Meg participated in UMBC based music festival, Festival Baltimore, where her quartet performed Tchaikovsky’s 2nd String Quartet.
Mairead Alexander, from Greenbelt, Maryland, will graduate from UMBC in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance, where she has studied under Dr. Airi Yoshioka.
During her time at UMBC, Mairead has enjoyed performing chamber music with her piano quintet, as well as UMBC Symphony Orchestra, while expanding her technique through baroque violin, and performing a number of contemporary works written by student composers. During the spring of 2019, Mairead’s string quartet was selected to perform for the conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop. In October of 2019, Mairead was a soloist with the UMBC Collegium baroque ensemble, performing a double violin concerto with renowned Canadian baroque violinist, Aisslinn Nosky. Currently, Mairead is preparing to give her B.A. senior recital in May of 2020, with a program featuring the works of Saint-Saens, Bach, and Prokofiev.
To supplement the demands of her classical repertoire, Mairead also enjoys playing in the style of traditional Irish fiddle, and studied under Irish fiddle player and composer, Mr. Connie O’Connell at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland during the spring of 2018. During her summers, Mairead has performed at multiple chamber and orchestra festivals in the United States as well as in Europe, including National Music Festival in Maryland, Catskill High Peaks chamber festival in upstate New York, and this past summer, Prague Summer Nights festival in the Czech Republic. In addition to her freelancing and performance career, Mairead is the primary violin and viola teacher at Wolfe Street Academy in Baltimore City, teaching elementary school classes through the Bridges Music Program since the fall of 2015. Mairead’s teaching is grounded in the joy of music-making, with the ultimate aim of fostering a lifelong love of music in her students.
Michael Bradshaw, a Baltimore based cellist and educator, began his cello studies at the age of 6. Over the years his primary teachers have included Barbara Van Patten, Amy Frost-Baumgarten, and Gita Ladd. Throughout high school in Fairfax county Virginia, Michael was principal of his school orchestras, and won auditions for Junior District and Senior Regional Orchestras. As a cello performance major at UMBC, Michael served as principal cellist of the UMBC symphony, and was a two-time winner of the concerto competition performing the Schumann cello concerto and the final movement of Elgar cello concerto with the orchestra. Michael has attended Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro North Carolina, Endless Mountain Music Festival in Mansfield Pennsylvania, Festival Baltimore, and Orfeo Music Festival in Vipitino/Sterzing Italy. While at these festivals and as a student, Michael had the opportunity to perform for preeminent musicians including Lynn Harrell, Midori, Asiya Korepanova, Gerard Schwarz, Julian Schwarz, Matthew Sharp, members of the Dover string quartet, American Brass Quintet, and Trio des Alpes.
For almost a decade, Michael has performed solo, chamber, and orchestral music across the country as well as in Europe, appearing with groups such as the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and with other renowned artists including members of the UMBC music faculty, and members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing and freelancing, Michael is a dedicated educator teaching cello, as well as violin, viola, and piano, believing that a solid technical foundation and well rounded understanding and application of theory are paramount in musical and personal development.