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. 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. He held positions as the artistic director and principal conductor of the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra. 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.
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.
Joyce A. Ramée, violist, is active throughout the Northwest as clinician, recitalist, teacher and coach. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Ms. Ramée was a student of Max Aronoff and Joseph dePasquale. She performed under notable conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf, Robert Shaw and Eugene Ormandy; later studies were with eminent violist Sol Greitzer, and as a fellowship scholar at Tanglewood and Waterloo Festivals. Since 1987 she has been a faculty member at the University of Puget Sound, teaching viola, music education string techniques and community music violin. In 1990, Ms. Ramée co-founded the Max Aronoff Viola Institute, a nationally recognized educational program for violists, and she served as its director throughout its 28-year history. Ms. Ramée is a founding member of both the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and the Auburn Symphony, and has performed as soloist in major concertos with several northwest orchestras. She is currently the violist in two professional chamber ensembles, the Cathedral Trio and the Aronoff Chamber Players. Joyce lives in Seattle with her husband, French hornist Rodger Burnett, and their five cats.
Janice is an active performer and coach in greater Seattle area. She began playing the piano at age five and cello at nine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Cello Performance from National Tainan University, Taiwan and her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Washington under Toby Saks. Janice performs regularly with Puget Sound Concert Opera, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to freelancing, Janice also serves as pianist at Kennydale United Methodist Church.
2/2018 - Summer String Academy is proud to introduce our new staff member, Annie Daulton!
Annie Daulton brings a wealth of professional knowledge with her experience in adolescent pedagogy and professional symphony experience. Belonging to the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, one of the largest youth symphonies in the United States, she is Assistant Conductor for the Tacoma String Symphony and Tacoma String Philharmonic. In addition to the podium, Ms. Daulton's professional expertise is utilized in coaching violins and chamber music ensembles.
As principal conductor, Annie Daulton directs the Intermezzo orchestra of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra Association, where she also manages the ensemble's tours. Ms. Daulton specializes in developing outstanding youth orchestras and participation continues to increase in numbers. A highlight includes collaboration with members of the Seattle Rock Orchestra.
Annie Daulton teaches elementary string orchestra and at Reeves Middle School. Hosting festivals at Reeves, regular clinics from professional guest artists, and a trip to the Seattle Opera are some examples of her commitment to a well rounded young musician.
Ms. Daulton is a violinist for the Olympia Symphony and enjoys playing in an assortment of professional ensembles throughout the Puget Sound area. She regularly adjudicates orchestra festivals and contests. Ms. Daulton is an advocate professional development and presented to the Music Education department at Pacific Lutheran University. Ms. Daulton is a member of the Washington Music Educator's Association, National Association for Music Education, and American String Teacher's Association. Annie Daulton resides in Tacoma, Washington.
3/2018 - Welcome Mariya Ksondzyk!
Originally from Ukraine, violist Mariya Ksondzyk divides her time between professional performance and teaching.
Mariya Ksondzyk performed at Texas Music Festival, Sommerakademie Lilienfeld in Austria, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the AIMS Festival in Spain.
A passionate solo performer, Mariya toured Washington State to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
Mariya has performed in masterclasses for artists such as Roger Tapping, James Ehnes, and The Miro Quartet. Mariya is currently in graduate school at The Boston Conservatory where she studies with Rictor Noren.
Outside of performing, Mariya is an enthusiastic teacher, and has worked in local camps and music schools.
In her spare time, she loves to record folk music covers on her YouTube channel, and runs an active music
account on Instagram, which has 21,000 followers and has been featured in Strings Magazine and Boston Voyager.
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.