Allison Chambers, Cello

Chicago Cello Teacher

Chicagoland native Allison Chambers fell in love with the cello at the age of nine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst College in music education, where she studied with Edward Moore. While at Elmhurst, Allison was selected as the 2012 Elmhurst College Philharmonic Concerto Competition Winner, performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, she spent a year substitute teaching as a high school orchestra director.

Wishing to devote more time to her cello, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University under the tutelage of Richard Hirschl. She was awarded her degree in May 2016 and is embarking on an exciting career path in music that encompasses performance, teaching, and arts management. Allison is currently a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and enjoys teaching privately. When she isn’t behind her cello, you can find Allison spending time with loved ones, exploring the outdoors, or curled up with a good book. 

Tonia Miki, Piano

Chicago Piano Teacher

Pianist Tonia Miki has been actively performing both solo and collaborative repertoire throughout the United States, Spain, The Czech Republic, China and Japan.   
Currently as an accompanist at Northwestern University, Miki works in the vocal studios of W. Stephen Smith and Nancy Gustafson.  Her other collaborations include NU Symphonic Band Ensemble, and the "Joy Trio" which was invited to perform at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert as an outstanding chamber ensemble at NU.
In the 2016 season Miki served as a répétiteur and ensemble pianist for Chicago Fringe Opera, on their production of Song from the Uproar by Missy Mazzoli, as well as Chamber Opera Initiative of Northwestern University, on their production of "The Old Maid and the Thief" and "Le Docteur Miracle".  
Miki's passion for the collaborative field extends to her teaching.  As a non-major piano instructor, Miki has conducted a pedagogical project to introduce ensemble experience to amateur instrumentalists.  The project will be presented at The Illinois State Music Teachers Conference in November .

A graduate from Northwestern University with a Master of Music degree and recipient of an Eckstein Fund Fellowship, Miki completed her bachelors degree from Manhattan School of Music where she received a Presidential Award.  Her major teachers include Alan Chow, Solomon Mikowsky, Alexandre Moutouzkine. 

Aside from piano and music, Miki is enthusiastic about baking.  She brings her sweet treats to rehearsals and parties and also caters for receptions and special occasions. 

Ariel Patkin, Violin and Viola

Violin Lessons Chicago

Ariel Patkin is an enthusiastic teacher and performer who enjoys sharing her lifelong love of music with others. Beginning as a Suzuki violin student at age three, she later discovered the charm of the viola and went on to perform on both instruments throughout the United States, Canada, and Italy. Before graduating from high school, Ms. Patkin had already performed as a soloist with two orchestras, and attended several highly regarded summer music festivals, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ms. Patkin has the great privilege of collaborating with and learning from world-class musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her love of orchestral playing, Ms. Patkin is passionate about chamber music, and especially enjoys performing with quartets and in baroque ensembles. She has also performed and premiered numerous contemporary works as a soloist and  a member of several new music ensembles, including the Hartt School’s Foot In The Door ensemble.

An active proponent of musician wellness, Ms. Patkin studies The Alexander Technique and received Suzuki training at the Colorado Suzuki Institute. She holds an M.M. in Viola Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder and an B.M. from The Hartt School.

Sun Chang, Piano

Sun Chang returned to Chicago from a year of study abroad in London at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Rustem Hayroudinoff. Recent appearances were with Camerata Chicago under the direction of Droston Hall playing Rhapsody in Blue for a series of an all Gershwin program featuring Sylvia McNair. This October, Sun will be on Live from WFMT -Chicago’s Classical Radio Station.

Piano Lessons Chicago

Born in South Korea, Sun immigrated to the US at age eight in search of better musical opportunities. In Seattle she studied with Dr. Peter Mack for ten years, during which she won most of the major local competitions. She was chosen as Seattle Chamber Music Society’s four emerging artists, and gave a series of concerts in the Greater Seattle Area. She was one of seven finalists in the Music Teacher’s National Association’s Senior Solo and Junior Solo competitions.

At Northwestern University in Illinois, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, she studies with Alan Chow, who in turn was a student of Menahem Pressler and Nelita True. She won the two major scholarship competitions in the area – the Luminarts Cultural Foundation Fellowship, as well as the Jerome and Elaine Neremberg Foundation Scholarship from the Women’s Club of Musicians.

Sun is a versatile musician. Some of her recent projects include a mini recital of Bach’s organ preludes as part of WFMT Chicago’s Bach Organ Project, a recital with violinist Miki Nagahara at the Chicago Cultural Center, playing a double harpsichord concerto with Northwestern’s Baroque Music Ensemble, and premiering new works.

Rachel Cirvencic, Violin and Piano

Piano Violin Lessons Chicago

Rachel Cirvencic began taking piano and violin lessons at the age of 5. Homeschooled and growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, she took piano lessons with Gerardo Teissonnière in the Preparatory Department and studied violin in the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was a member of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra throughout her high school career as a violinist and during her junior year, she began taking viola lessons with Lisa Boyko of the Cleveland Orchestra and join the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra for her senior year. Rachel also thoroughly enjoys chamber music as a pianist and attended the Credo Chamber Music Festival in Oberlin, Ohio, for the summer sessions of '11, '12, '13, and '15. A recent graduate of Wheaton College in May, 2016, Rachel is pursuing a healthcare certificate while accompanying and teaching piano, violin, and viola.

Molly Rife, Cello

Cello Lessons

A native of Tucson, Arizona, Molly Rife began playing the cello at age 11. Growing up in a family full of musicians, it was no surprise that she developed a passion for music as a youngster. Molly decided to brave the cold and is now an active performer and teacher in Chicago. Molly holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Thomas Landschoot. She received her Master of Music degree in Performance from DePaul University under the tutelage of Stephen Balderston. 

Molly currently holds a position with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and plays frequently with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic Orchestra. Molly is also a member of 42nd Parallel, a conductorless chamber orchestra founded by her colleagues in Chicago. An advocate of contemporary music, Molly has performed, recorded, and collaborated with many local Chicago composers and the contemporary ensemble Fonema Consort. Molly has performed at venues such as the Merle Reskin Theatre, Constellation, the Greenhouse Theatre, and the Redmoon Theatre.

Molly is enthusiastic about various genres of music. She has performed and recorded with local Chicago bands and artists, including the Grammy-nominated band Sidewalk Chalk, B Forrest, America's Got Talent Semifinalist Sharon Irving, Isaiah Oby, YONEE, and Aryk Crowder. She has also appeared on recordings for the Shedd Aquarium Aquatic show One World: Make a Difference, Sam I Am Film’s movie Scrooge and Marley, and Team Starkid’s album and production Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier. Molly has performed at many local Chicago venues, including the House of Blues, Double Door, and Martyrs. She has also performed at many local festivals, including the Logan Square Arts Festival, Classical Revolution, and the Wabash Arts Crawl.

In addition to performing, Molly loves to teach aspiring cellists of all ages. Along with City Strings, Molly currently teaches private cello lessons at Southport Performing Arts Conservatory and Terra Sounds School of Music and Arts. She has also taught at the Merit School of Music, Music For Kids, Sherry-Brener Ltd., and Linton Milano Music Center.

Madeline Capistran, Violin

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, violinist Madeline Capistran began studying violin at age 9 with her mother, Jane Linde Capistran.  As a teenager, she continued her studies with Sally O'Reilly at the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Capistran holds a B.M. in violin performance from Michigan State University and a M.M. in violin performance from DePaul University, where she studied with Ilya Kaler.  As an active orchestral and chamber musician, Ms. Capistran was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for four years, and has attended such summer programs as Musicorda, Meadowmount, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute.  She has performed in master classes for the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Janet Sung, and has appeared as part of the “Noontime Concert Series” at the University of Chicago.  As a soloist, Ms. Capistran has performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphony, on National Public Radio's show "From the Top" with pianist Christopher O'Riley, and most recently with Chicago’s Logan Chamber Players. Ms. Capistran is also in her third season as Assistant Concertmaster of Orchestra Iowa in Cedar Rapids, IA, and in her first season playing with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.  She is currently living in Chicago where she teaches, free-lances, and performs regularly with the New Millennium Orchestra, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Access Contemporary Music, and as concertmaster of Chamber Opera Chicago.  

Violin Lessons Chicago

Bruno Silva, Violin and Viola

Bruno Silva began studying viola in 2004 in his native Brazil at the Escola de Musica de Brasilia.  After one year, he placed in a solo competition and had the opportunity to perform with the Orquestra Sinfonica da Escola de Musica de Brasilia, performing the G Major Viola Concerto by Telemann.  He graduated from the conservatory in two and a half years, a program which normally takes eight years, and then enrolled in the University of Brasilia.

Bruno has gained much experience as an orchestral and chamber musician.  As viola principal, he performed with the Skokie Valley Symphony, 42nd Parallel, Bensenville Chamber
Orchestra, Renovo String Orchestra, North Park University Symphony Orchestra, Brasilia Philharmonic, University of Brasilia String Orchestra, Art-Brasilia Orchestra, among others.  As section player, Bruno has worked with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro (one of Brazilian’s top Orchestras), Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonic Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, among others.  As a soloist, Bruno has won top prizes and has performed with Midwest Young Artists, Orquestra Sinfonica da Escola de Musica de Brasilia, North Park University Symphony Orchestra, Mode Ensemble and the Orquestra Art-Brasilia.  He performed at various orchestras in both summer and winter music festivals.  Recently, Bruno was invited to perform in Italy for a 2 week long festival called Orvieto Musica.

Bruno worked under conductors such as Cliff Colnot, Ricardo Muti, Susanna Malkki, Alastair Willis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Andrew Davis, Jaap Van Zweden,  Mei-Ann Chen, Alex Klein, Harry Bicket, among others. With the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Bruno had the opportunity of working closely with Yo-Yo Ma.  Since 2006 Bruno has been teaching violin and viola.  Bruno was a founding member of the YOURS (Youth Orchestra Urban Rita Simon) Project Chicago, which is a music program for unprivileged students, where he worked until 2012. Bruno Completed his undergraduate in music performance at North Park University where he studied with Charles Pikler, Chicago Symphony principal viola and his MM at DePaul University, studying with Rami Solomonow, Lyric Opera of Chicago former viola principal and current Chicago Chamber Players musician. Bruno was a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons.  As a chamber music coach, Bruno has worked with groups at Main South High School, Lane Tech High School, Wheeling High School, and others. Today, Bruno is a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion, Principal Violist of Skokie Valley Symphony, and a freelance violist. He plays in many Orchestras around Chicago area.  Bruno also teaches private lessons and judges many student competitions.

Chicago Violin and Viola Lessons

Victor Sotelo, Cello

Chicago Cello and Suzuki Lessons

Victor Sotelo is a Chicago based cellist whose performances have taken him across the United States and abroad. He is a top prizewinner in numerous competitions including Protégé International and Alexander & Buono International Competitions. Mr. Sotelo made his professional debut in 2002 performing the Dvorak Concerto with the Louisville Orchestra. The following year, he was invited as a guest performer for the American Cello Congress as a result of being a finalist for the ASTA National Solo Competition. In 2010, he made his Carnegie Hall recital debut. Mr. Sotelo has had the privilege of closely collaborating in ensembles with eminent artists including Yo Yo Ma, Carter Brey, and Midori Goto at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He has been heard in string quartet radio broadcasts from the Rush Hour and Dame Myra Hess concert series for WFMT Chicago. His chamber discography includes an album of some previously unrecorded works entitled, “Folks and Fantasies: The Chamber Music of William Grant Still & Clifford Julstrom”, released in 2013. Additional chamber concert collaborations have included members of Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Colorado symphony orchestras.  

Mr. Sotelo is a current member of South Bend Symphony and Chicago Arts Orchestra as well as a substitute member for Grant Park Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Chicago Sinfonietta. Additionally, he has performed with New World Symphony and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Beinen School of Music, under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen. He has previously worked in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Miklós Perényi, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, and Ralph Kirshbaum. 

Dorthy White Okpebholo, Violin and Viola

Chicago Suzuki Violin Lessons

Violinist and violist, Dorthy White Okpebholo, maintains an active career as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and educator. From a young age, her orchestral experiences have taken her across the and United States of America and the world, including Carnegie, Music, and Orchestra Halls. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Columbus Symphony (OH), Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Sinfonietta, Camerata Chicago, Jackson Symphony (TN), Sphinx Virtuosi, Aspen Music Festival, and Lancaster Music Festival. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many accomplished artists, including, cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. As a soloist, she won second place in the 2003 Geraldine B. Gee International Viola Competition and has been a semi-finalist in the National Sphinx Competition.  She has also appeared of several commercially released albums. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Masao Kawasaki and Catherine Carroll.