Svend Rønning is Chair of the String Division at Pacific Lutheran University and Professor of Music.
Dr. Rønning is a native of the Pacific Northwest and holds his own undergraduate degree in violin performance from PLU, which he earned in 1989. He subsequently earned a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University.
He is of the most active violinists in the Puget Sound, serving as Concertmaster of Symphony Tacoma, as well as performing frequently as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. Dr. Rønning is also Artistic Director of the Second City Chamber Series, Tacoma's award winning producer of chamber music concerts and chamber music educational programs.
Svend Rønning has appeared in venues around the world, including the Aspen, Eastern, Harkness, Jerusalem, Methow, Pacific, Rhode Island, Spoleto and Wintergreen Music Festivals and has served as Concertmaster of various orchestras including the Charlottesville Symphony, the San Jose Symphony, the Spoleto U.S.A. Chamber Orchestra, and the Tacoma Opera Orchestra. As soloist, he has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the Charlottesville Symphony, the Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Seattle, and Symphony Tacoma. His prior teaching appointments have included faculty positions at the Eastern Music Festival, the Shenandoah Conservatory, and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Rønning's teachers include Syoko Aki, Sidney Harth, Jaap Schröder, and Ann Tremaine. His own students have gone on to other music programs at Indiana University, Boston University, the North Carolina School for the Arts, Western Washington University, the University of Virginia, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Yale School of Music as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. Several students now occupy positions in such organizations in leading orchestras around the United States, with some former students active as popular and folk musicians and soloists. Others teach Music in public and private schools around the country while many others are employed in diverse non-music careers from Film Direction to Law to Medicine.
The String Academy Orchestra camp would like to welcome Dr. Nathan Jasinski as our special guest artist this year. He is currently cello professor at Eastern Kentucky University.
Cellist Nathan Jasinski has given solo performances in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and throughout the U.S. A recent highlight includes a performance of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Keweenaw Symphony in Michigan. He performs regularly with the Appalachia Piano Trio, as continuo/solo cellist with the Kentucky Bach Choir, and as a solo recitalist. From 2003-2008, Nathan was a member of the Eero Trio (clarinet, cello, piano).
An enthusiastic educator, Dr. Jasinski frequently gives master classes at educational venues throughout the country. He joined the music faculty at Eastern Kentucky University in 2006. Prior to this appointment, he taught at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Snow College in Ephraim, UT. His love of teaching has led to his working with young musicians at the Interlochen and Steven Foster music camps. He is currently president of the Kentucky Cello Club, an organization that promotes cello playing and teaching throughout the region.
Cellist Nathan Chan discovered his talent for music at an early age through conducting. Before he was two, he could emulate the styles of conductors he saw on music videos such as Seiji Ozawa, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, using a chopstick as a baton. As a toddler, his imitations were so intuitively musical that he caught the attention of San Francisco Opera Assistant Conductor Sara Jobin. Under her eye, he made his debut as a conductor at age three, leading the San Jose Chamber Orchestra in a set of Mozart variations, despite not yet being able to read music. This was followed by a guest appearance with the Palo Alto Philharmonic a year later, conducting the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
Initially drawn to the sounds of low strings, he began formal music lessons with cellist Irene Sharp at age five. He later studied with Sieun Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Nathan Chan has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, James Gaffigan, Donato Cabrera, Alexander Prior, Alasdair Neale, Edwin Outwater, Laura Jackson, and David Allen Miller, among others. He also participated in the Emmy-award winning NPR program From The Top and NPR's Performance Today with Fred Child. In 2009, he was featured in The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, a three-part British series documenting a global search for talented musicians, in which Nathan and three other performers gave the world premiere of the Velesslavista Quadruple Concerto, composed by Alexander Prior.
Mr. Chan has performed benefit concerts for the American Alzheimer's Association and the Friends of Children with Special Needs, among others. For his contributions to the community, he won the Peninsula Arts Council’s Ray Lorenzato Diamond Arts Award in 2007.
In 2006, Nathan Chan appeared in The Music in Me, a documentary that aired on HBO and won the Peabody Award. This program led to a performance in Carnegie Hall and caught the attention of the legendary soul singer Roberta Flack, who invited Nathan to collaborate on her project of Beatles songs for Sony Records.
Nathan Chan was named a 2012 Davidson Fellow for his project entitled, "The Importance of Passion” and was awarded a $25,000 scholarship as part of this prestigious honor.
While in New York City, he made his debut in Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) playing Haydn's Cello Concerto in C Major and with the Juilliard Orchestra performing Strauss' Don Quixote as the winner of the 2013 Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition, led by Maestro Leonard Slatkin.
In 2015, Mr. Chan was chosen to participate in Classe d'Excellence du Violoncelle with world renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon in association with Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France.
Nathan won the 2015 Aspen Low Strings Concerto Competition playing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major and was a recipient of the 2016 Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award at Tanglewood.
Nathan is a strong proponent of using technology and media to attract others into the classical world and is committed to his fast growing Internet presence; to date, he has over 7 million views on YouTube. (http://youtube.com/nathanchancello)
He recently joined the Seattle Symphony as their new Third Chair Cello.
Mariya's multifaceted career as a performer, teacher, and entrepreneur has taken her to stages and schools around the world.
She has given solo performances at festivals she attended on scholarship in Spain, Austria, Texas, and Vermont. Mariya has also organized and embarked on several solo recital tours throughout Washington State.
As a player, Mariya has worked with the Berklee College of Music film scoring department, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and with the Commonwealth Lyric Theatre.
Outside of performing, Mariya is also an enthusiastic teacher, and has served as faculty at the Evergreen Music Festival, Ellensburg Summer String Academy, and the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint in Idaho.
But outside of these engagements, Mariya is best known for her social media involvement; her music account on Instagram has 25k followers, several business partnerships, and has been featured in Strings Magazine and the Boston Voyager.
David Drassal earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s in Music Music education at Central Washington University. He served as appointed conductor in the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestras since 2010, but began his service from 2007 to 2010 as a professional violin coach.
Maestro Drassal began his teaching career in the Bellevue School District at Highland Middle School and Sammamish High School. He taught at Tyee Middle School since 2013. He was the recipient of the PTSA Outstanding Educator Award at both Highland and Tyee Middle School. String player enrollment at Tyee exponentially increased from 140 string students to over 230 string players within a couple of years and continues to be a very stable and strong music program to this day. At contests and festivals, Mr. Drassal’s ensembles consistently place in the top three ranks and regularly receives invitations to play at prestigious venues. Tyee’s latest appearance was at the Washington Music Educators Conference in 2016. David Drassal’s orchestra students feed into the Award-Winning Newport High School orchestra program.
As a freelance violinist, David Drassal performed with many chamber groups, string quartets, and performed with Federal Way and Sammamish Symphony. He spends some of his time adjudicating orchestra festivals and guest conducting around the Puget Sound. David Drassal resides in Renton, Washington.
Jeanee Maucotel is the Director of Orchestras at Cascade Middle School and Auburn High School in the Auburn School District. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education from Brigham Young University and is also a Suzuki Certified Teacher.
She is in her third year teaching in the Auburn School District, and has enjoyed teaching students grades 5th-12th, with more than 120 students in her orchestra program per year. She has enjoyed preparing and taking her students to perform at various festivals including the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association String Orchestra Festival, the Central Washington University Orchestra Festival, and other regional festivals, consistently receiving high ratings on their performances. Jeanee has also enjoyed bringing in select artists to work with her students such as the international conductor of St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Pirola, the young violinist prodigy, Steven Waarts, and the Violin Professor at Seattle University, Dr. Quinton Morris.
Jeanee began her musical career as both a pianist and cellist. She studied piano for 17 years, competing and placing in various regional contests, and studied with Washington State and National certified Piano Instructor Diane Nichols. She studied cello under Dr. Julie Bevan, PhD and Dr. Michelle Kesler, PhD.
In her early twenties, Jeanee became Suzuki-certified and has been teaching Suzuki Cello lessons privately for many years, with students successfully auditioning and accepted into college music schools such as Central Washington University.
Jeanee has enjoyed joining with several other private Suzuki Teachers in King County, working with the South Sound Suzuki Strings. She conducts their youth orchestra, which has performed in exciting venues such as the Puyallup Fair and at half time at Cheney Stadium for the Tacoma Rainier’s baseball games. She has also directed the orchestra for a masterclass with Dr. Terry Durbin, the energetic and influential director of the Suzuki String Program at the University of Louisville.
In addition to teaching and conducting, Jeanee also enjoys performing. She is currently the Principal Cellist of the Seattle Ensign Symphony and Chorus, and has performed with award-winning artists such as Jennifer Thomas, Gentry, Hillary Weeks, Dallin Bayles, and Alex Boye.
An avid gardener and reader of poetry, Ms. Maucotel currently resides in Kent, WA.
Christi Chang is an orchestra teacher in the Bellevue School District. She holds an M.A. and a B.A. in Music Education from Central Washington University and is a Nationally Board Certified orchestra teacher.
In her fourteen years of teaching, she has taught orchestra in grades 5-12. Over a thousand 5th graders have started playing a stringed instrument in her class. Currently teaching at Chinook Middle School, she teaches over 150 students per year.
Starting the violin at 2 and a half, she learned through the Suzuki method before becoming a private Suzuki teacher in her teens. She went on to perform in the US, Germany, Africa and Central Asia before her first public school position in Renton.
In addition to her teaching and planning for classes, Mrs. Chang regularly adjudicates Solo and Ensemble Contest and Large Orchestra Group festivals in the area. She is active in the world of music teachers, having served as her region’s secretary, treasurer, and managing the Washington Music Educator's Association All-State Orchestra.
During her time as a high school orchestra teacher in Renton, Mrs. Chang was recognized by the news media for her achievement in a founding a program that provided private instrument lessons to underprivileged elementary students. High school students were trained to tutor elementary students. The program saw over 100 students each year. Christi Chang was invited to the American String Teachers Association conference in Atlanta; where she presented on the success of her tutoring program.
Christi Chang worked with former Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwarz, New Jersey Symphony conductor, Jeff Grogan, and international conductor of the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Pirola. She taught at Bellevue High School and currently teaches at Chinook Middle School. Her groups regularly receive high marks at contest. A highlight of her career was conducting at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Mrs. Chang lives in Renton with her husband and three children.
Chase Chang holds an M. M. in Conducting from Brigham Young University, a B.A. and B.M. in Music Education from the University of Washington, and is a National Board certified teacher in music.
He studied with former Associate Concert Master of the Seattle Symphony and Western Washington University String Professor, Walter Schwede, studied oboe with principal Chicago Symphony oboist, Alex Klein, and studied conducting with Kory Katseanes (director of School of Music at BYU and conductor).
His mentors included music educator and composer Mark Jasinski, Jim Rice (WMEA past president and retired music educator), Tim Salzman (director of the University of Washington bands), Arthur Shaw (retired conductor; Western Washington Univeristy and Rogue Valley Symphony).
Mr. Chang worked with nationally known composer, Richard Meyer, and premiered "A Keltic Feast" with his middle school orchestra in 2008. "A Keltic Feast" is now a published piece performed by many orchestras around the nation.
Mr. Chang conducted the Academy Orchestra in the Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO). He conducted orchestras and taught music theory at the St. Martin's University Summer Music camp. He coached winds and strings for the Tacoma Youth Symphony, Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, and Everett Youth Symphony. He held positions as the artistic director and principal conductor of the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Chang held principal oboe position in the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra.
He has taught orchestra, band, and choir in the public schools since 1998. Mr. Chang has been sought as a clinician, judge, and guest conductor around the Puget Sound area.
In the Bellevue School District, Mr. Chang directed the orchestras at Tyee Middle School, Bellevue High School, is the currently the director of the Odle Middle School Orchestras. He currently serves a 2-year term as the Orchestra Curriculum Officer of the Washington Music Educator's Association.
Mr. Chang is currently the Principal Symphony Conductor for the Seattle Ensign Symphony and Chorus with performances at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.
Hey! I’m Dave, and I’ve been the director at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center for 21 years. I love to see the positive changes in the campers and guests who visit Lazy F and the improvements in the facilities and grounds through the years. I grew up in Minnesota and am an avid fan of all sports teams from that area. I keep waiting for that elusive Viking Super Bowl victory. . .
I am married to Heather and we have two wonderful kids who are both in college. I am also known as the Ringmaster!
Fun fact: My twin brother the Rinkmaster helps in the winter to keep our ice skating rink in good shape.