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Our Director

vera pictureVera McCoy-Sulentic (violin) is Director of the Suzuki Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. . She has been a registered teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas since 1991 and conducts long term Suzuki teacher training at SIUE. A frequent clinician at Suzuki workshops, she has traveled throughout the United States and Canada, and has taught in Bermuda, Sweden, Taiwan, and Brazil. She was the recipient of SIUE's Excellence in Teaching award in 1996 and has been a faculty member and director of the SIUE Suzuki Program since 1997. Additionally, she has ten years of string teaching experience in the public schools of Edwardsville, Illinois and Eugene, Oregon.

In 1988, Vera earned a Masters in Music Education from SIUE which included long term teacher training with John Kendall. Other Suzuki training has been with Mihoko Hirata, Yuko Mori, Evelyn Hermann, and Doris Pruecil. Academic degrees include a B. M in Music Education from the University of Oregon and a B. A. in French from the University of Iowa.

Faculty Teachers

carrie pictureCarrie Grace Beisler (violin) grew up as a "Suzuki kid" in Minneapolis, Minnesota, studying with Nancy Lokken at Augsburg College and graduating from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance in 2011. At the U of Iowa, she studied with Dr. Scott Conklin, played in the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Baroque Ensemble. Other performing experience includes the Quad Cities Symphony, Southeast Iowa Symphony, Ottumwa Symphony, Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Cedar Rapids Theater Pit Orchestra, and Lyric Arts Main Street Stage Pit Orchestra.

In May 2013, Carrie graduated with her Master's Degree in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Minnesota, studying under Professor Mark Bjork. In addition to her long term training at the University of Minnesota, she has taken additional Suzuki training in Books 1-8 with Carol Dallinger, Alice Joy Lewis, Nancy Jackson, and Christie Felsing.

Carrie has gained extensive experience in arts administration during her internships with the Minnesota Youth Symphonies and the Colorado Suzuki Institute in Beaver Creek, CO. Her most recent teaching appointment was with the faculty of St. Joseph's School of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.

linda pictureLinda Bristol (violin and viola) earned her BME from Lindenwood College and her MME from SIUE. She also is a pianist. In 2012, she retired from teaching orchestra in the Edwardsville School District after 16 years of teaching at the middle school and elementary levels. Before teaching in Edwardsville, Linda taught in Parkway, Hazelwood and several private schools in the area. She studied Suzuki pedagogy with John Kendall and Carol Smith. Linda has been a faculty teacher in the SIUE Suzuki Program since 2002. Linda's three children all went through the Suzuki Program at SIUE. Her daughter, Heather, is a Suzuki teacher in Missoula, Montana.

allison pictureAllison Huebner-Woerner (violin and viola) earned her BSEd in Music Education from the University of Missouri at Columbia and her MM in violin performance from SIUE. She did doctoral studies at the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she was John McLeod's doctoral assistant. She did long-term Suzuki teacher training with John Kendall and Carol Smith and has been a faculty member of the SIUE Suzuki program since 1994. She is Founder and Director of St. Charles Suzuki Strings, now called Ballwin Strings. She has played in numerous St. Louis-area orchestras and string quartets, including the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Florissant Valley Orchestra, for which she served as concertmaster and soloist. Allison is the esteemed and hard-working director of our Tour Group!

stephanie pictureStephanie Hunt (cello) is a versatile musician, performing on both modern and baroque cello. She plays frequently as a continuo cellist and was the continuo cellist for the Tanglewood Music Center's Bach Festival. Stephanie is a member of Trio Lumea, a piano trio that performs on historical instruments. Trio Lumea has performed throughout the Netherlands and was recently invited to perform at the Royaumont Abbey in France.

Stephanie has attended a number of music festivals, some of which include Festivalensemble Stuttgart, the Meadowmount School, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and two summers as a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in modern cello summa cum laude from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music and received a Master of Music in modern cello from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. She graduated with both a Bachelor of Music honours and a Master of Music in baroque cello from the Utrecht Conservatory (Netherlands). Her teachers include Viola de Hoog, Norman Fischer, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Ross Harbaugh, and Monique Bartels. After living five years in the Netherlands, Stephanie returned to the States and is teaching cello privately in St. Louis and through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Suzuki program.

erika pictureErika Lord-Castillo (violin, viola) has been a faculty teacher in the SIU-Edwardsville Suzuki Program since 2009. Erika grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, Sciences and Arts from the University of Iowa in 2005. She holds a Master's in Music Education from SIUE, and studied Suzuki pedagogy Violin Books 1-10 with Vera McCoy-Sulentic. Erika has also completed Suzuki teacher training with Michelle Higa George, Moshe Neumann, Judy Bossuat, Nancy Jackson, and Christie Felsing. After graduating from Iowa, she lived in Corvallis, Oregon for two years, where she taught privately and in the Corvallis Public Schools through the Corvallis Youth Symphony's Elementary Strings Program. Erika also spent three years teaching elementary through high school orchestra in the Ferguson-Florissant School District in North St. Louis County. Erika has performed with numerous community orchestras in Iowa and in Oregon, and with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. Erika's violin teachers include Annette-Barbara Vogel, Katie Wolfe, and Lenora Anop. Erika presented her Masters Thesis at the American String Teachers Association national conference in March 2011, and her article, "John Kendall's Early Contributions to Suzuki Education in the United States" was published in the American Suzuki Journal in Fall 2012.

vicki pictureVicki Lottes (violin, viola) grew up in a Cincinnati musical family with 12 children and she graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BME) and Indiana University (MM studying with Josef Gingold). For 32 years Vicki taught orchestra and string classes in Massachusetts and Missouri public schools, most recently 20 years with the Parkway School District (St. Louis County) at the high school. middle school. and elementary levels. She helped Parkway grow their Suzuki program for all third grade students in 18 schools. Vicki trained with John Kendall and Vera McCoy-Sulentic at SIUE. She is a member of the SAA and taught Suzuki violin and viola students at her home studio in West St. Louis County for 6 years. Vicki has taught private lessons at SIUE since 2007, and co-directed the SIUE Summer String Camp for eight years. Vicki is the mother of two boys who studied Suzuki violin and cello.

Adjunct and Group Class Teachers

courtney pictureCourtney King, a native of Oswego, Illinois, holds a Bachelor of Flute Performance from DePaul University (2000) in Chicago where she studied under Mary Stolper, soloist and chamber performer and regularly performed for Donald Peck, former principal flutist in the CSO. She was a member of the US Air Force Band of Flight stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base until 2004. She also performed with the US Air Force Band of Mid-America at Scott AFB for recordings and touring until 2007. Courtney has played for Presidents, U.S. and foreign dignitaries, veterans and Americans of all ages! Even with all that excitement, she decided staying home with her children was way more fun! Today, she is a homeschooling mother of 3 amazing kids (all in this program!) She holds a small flute studio from her home and performs Flute/Piccolo in the Belleville Philharmonic.

Daniel Mieloch moved to Illinois in 2003 to attend SIUE and earn his Master's Degree in Conducting after attaining his Bachelor's Degrees in Music Education and Violin Performance from Lebanon Valley College. Daniel Mieloch is Director of Orchestras at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Daniel has been honored to work with the SIUE Suzuki Department since the spring of 2010 and is the Principal Conductor of the Edwardsville Youth Orchestra.

Emily Rockers is a 2013 of SIUE, with a Master's Degree in Violin Performance. She began her violin studies at the age of three at the Community Music School (CMS) at Webster University. Along with workshops and group classes at CMS, Emily was also a member of the CMS String Orchestra, Young People's Concert Orchestra, and Young People's Symphonic Orchestra. She then went on to perform with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (200-2004). While obtaining her Bachelor's Degree from University of Missouri-St. Louis, Emily performed with the Lincoln Symphony in Nebraska and did recording work-one that was a charity CD project with all of the profits going to Catholic Urban Programs in East St. Louis. Most recently Emily went on tour with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and performed a concert alongside the Black Eyed Peas that became a TV special that featured the 'I Am First' Robotics Tournament at the end of April 2011. As a child, Emily attended numerous Suzuki workshops in Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee. She had the privileged opportunity to have two private lessons with John Kendall. Emily has studied with Rose Martin (1989-2000); Manuel Ramos (2000-2004); David Neely (2004-2005); John McGrosso, David Gillham, and the Arianna String Quartet (2005-2010).

Lan Sin Kimler, piano accompanist, has been a sought out accompanist since 1998. Lansin's previous teaching experience were at Mckendree University and Southwestern Illinois College. She has accompanied for various middle and high schools in their orchestras and choirs for concerts, recitals as well as contests in southern Illinois and St Louis metropolitan area since 1998. Lansin has been the main accompanist for Parkway Central Middle School since Spring of 2010, where they have won several state competitions and many touring opportunities. She has also played for the students in Suzuki String Program at SIUE and travelled with the tour group for a few years until spring 2008. In 2010, Lansin taught and accompanied at St Louis school of Music, and recorded 4 cds for the Stl ocarina. Mrs Kimler  is currently teaching in the Keyboard Development Program at SIUE, accompanies at Parkway Central Middle school and is the pianist for Third Baptist Church of St Louis and its choir.

Graduate Students-2013-2014

Gretchen Grube graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) in May 2012.She performed with the UWSP Symphony Orchestra and Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Gretchen was concert mistress of the UWSP Symphony Orchestra for two years. She was involved in the Very Young Composers Project of Stevens Point. The program is led by Jon Deak, a New York Philharmonic Bassist, and Robert Rosen, Faculty of UWSP. The Very Young Composers Project teaches music composition to fourth and fifth grade students. Gretchen also enjoys scrapbooking, playing with her cat, and eating ice cream!

Khrystyne Steele began playing violin when she was five years old for the Southern Illinois Saluki Suzuki Program in Carbondale, Illinois. Prior to attending Lindenwood University, she was a member of the Mellado Conservatory for twelve years. During her college career at Lindenwood, she served in the Lindenwood University String Ensemble, Lindenwood Trio, Missouri All-Collegiate Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Lindenwood Symphonic Orchestra. Outside of her academic work, she actively maintained the office of Treasurer of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference (CMENC) and served as President of the Kappa Nu Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for women. She is also a member of the national honor society Alpha Lambda Delta. Khrystyne is a member of the St. Louis Civic Orchestra and the Saint Louis Philharmonic Orchestra.


ellen pictureEllen Singh has had a lifelong joy of and experience with music and young children. She has been a licensed Kindermusik educator since 2004. A graduate of both the University of Evansville (B.S. in Sociology and Interpersonal Communications) and the University of Illinois (Master's Degree in Social Work), she has a broad spectrum of educational and clinical experiences including child development, group dynamics, and relationship building which are essential in teaching music to children and their families. Musically, she has her foundations in many years of piano and flute lessons as well as having taught herself to play electric bass guitar. She has performed in various groups throughout high school and college. Additionally, she has enjoyed the opportunities of performing (flute) in her church and in various community orchestras throughout the country.

As a licensed Kindermusik educator, Ellen brings the love of music, movement, and learning to children and families in this community, in partnership with the SIUE Suzuki program, in her Kindermusik classes. Her greatest love is being a mother of her four young children.

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