Violin & Viola
Wilinda began teaching piano lessons at the age of 13, continuing through college and into graduate school, when she began teaching violin lessons. However, having been taught in the traditional method of that era, her passion for reaching every child and teaching to and for each child began with her introduction
into Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy of teaching. That beginning was in 1975 while teaching her own children, and continuous training at workshops and seminars has increased her ability and solidified her teaching skills.She has been a master teacher at numerous workshops in the United States (Wisconsin, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida) and has been on the faculty of the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute in DC for many years. Previous to founding T.A.S.T.E. with Joey O’Donnell and Georgia Schmidt, Wilinda had a private Suzuki studio in Madison, WI, and was at Meredith College from 1987-2011, leading the Suzuki program 1989-2011. Many of her students have become outstanding professional musicians and all are outstanding human beings, excelling in their chosen professions and leading in their communities.
Georgia Schmidt was a Suzuki kid, taking lessons from Kyoko Fuller in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She received her teacher-training, books 1A through book 8, at the American Suzuki Institute in Wisconsin. She also has taken and registered the Suzuki overview, books 1 through 4, with Ronda Cole. She taught Suzuki violin while getting her degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, under Everett Goodwin. After getting her BME, she went on to develop her own program in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she taught 60 students. She is currently a Suzuki mom and teacher, teaching her own two children, as well as a small studio with students ranging from 4 years of age to 17.
Erika Atchley began studying Suzuki violin with her mother at age four and continued her studies with Tyrone Grieve at the University of Wisconsin Madison at age eleven. She furthered her studies in High School and College with Elaine Richey at the North Carolina School of the Arts where she was the recipient of the Osborne Scholarship. After NCSA, Ms. Atchley received her Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music where she was a student of Mitchell Stern. She has also studied with Burton Kaplan and Joey Corpus.
After graduating, Ms. Atchley stayed in New York City to pursue teaching, chamber music and orchestral opportunities in the New York area.
Erika has held teaching positions at the Lucy Moses School of Music in New York City, the Queensborough College Suzuki Program in New York City, and the Huntington Suzuki Program on Long Island. She has also been a regular clinician at the Meredith College Suzuki Program. Erika has been a featured concerto soloist with the Park Avenue Chamber Orchestra and the Bar Harbor Festival Chamber Orchestra. She is also a former member of the first violin section of both the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Atchley has performed as a chamber musician throughout Europe and the United States. She has recorded on the Koch, Newport Classics, Relix and Atlantic labels. Currently Ms. Atchley is Principle Second violin of the Bar Harbor Festival Chamber Orchestra in New York City and Maine, and is a regular extra player with the North Carolina Symphony.
Erika also has an alter ego as a rock and roll violinist. She has performed and recorded with several bands including Modern English, Clutch, Illuminate, The New Creatures, Violet, singers Jimmie Earl Perry, Barry White and Harry Connick Jr, as well as guitarist Rick Dufay. She has also collaborated with music producer Jack Douglas.
Joey O'Donnell (violin and viola) started playing the viola in the Chesapeake, VA, public schools in a class that met for 20 minutes twice a week. Though he didn't have formal lessons until high school, he enjoyed playing so much that he naturally decided to pursue a degree in Viola Performance at East Carolina University. Over the course of his time there, he came to know Joanne Bath, one of the earliest adopters of the Suzuki Method in America. He fell in love with the Suzuki Method when he was asked to help staff the North Carolina Suzuki Institute in the summer following completion of his Masters in Viola Performance. He decided to stay on at ECU to do long-term teacher training with Joanne.
Since then he's taught in the Greene County Public Schools, the Meredith College Suzuki program, a home studio, and numerous summer camps and institutes including the North Carolina Suzuki Institute and the Blue Ridge Suzuki Camp.
As a teacher, Joey believes that there is far more to be gained through music than simply the ability to play an instrument -- music is a training ground for life skills such as problem solving, sensitivity, critical thinking, confidence, hand-eye coordination, and many other cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal skills.
As a performer, Joey specializes in the Baroque viola, performing throughout the country with groups such as the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Wild Rose, the Seicento String Band, the acclaimed chamber choir Seraphic Fire. He's made a number of appearances at the Berkeley Music Festival and Exhibition in Berkeley, CA. In addition to his early music work, Joey enjoys playing for English Country Dances for Sun Assembly Dance in Durham and plays for both touring and locally-produced musicals.
Cellist, Erica Leavell, grew up in New Jersey where at an early age, she began her studies with former Philadelphia Orchestra principal cellist William Stokking. She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Alan Stepansky. She then attended New York University where she earned her Master’s of Music degree under the tutelage of Artist Faculty member Marion Feldman. Following NYU, Erica attended the School for Strings in New York, where she completed a two-year teacher training program with Pamela Devenport and became registered in the Suzuki Method through Book 8.
Erica Leavell enjoys performing in a wide variety of settings and genres. She has performed as a member of the band Sillyheart, has been featured at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, and has performed with conductors such as Marco Armiliato of the Met Opera. Her numerous chamber music engagements include serving as principal cellist with the Inscape Chamber Orchestra, The Port Deposit Candlelight Tour, and St. Timothy’s Concert series. Erica has also performed at a variety of venues including the Kimmel Center, Lowe Theater, and Carnegie Hall.
Erica Leavell is an avid teacher and has enjoyed sharing her love of music with students of all ages. She has served as an adjunct professor at New York University, and is now on the faculty of the Duke University String School. Erica is also a cello instructor at Kidznotes, a program for under-served youth in the tradition School for Children in Durham.
Rosalind Leavell began studying cello at age six with former Principal Cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra William Stokking. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, and is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in Cello Performance at the University of Minnesota.
In addition to studying Cello Pedagogy with Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota, Rosalind received her long-term Suzuki Cello training through Book 4 with Dr. Melissa Kraut at the Cleveland Institute of Music. A passionate teacher, Rosalind has experience teaching students of all levels. She was on the faculty of the Yinghua Academy Conservatory of Music and was the Graduate Teaching Assistant of Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota.
In recent years, Rosalind has won first prizes at the Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition, the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, the Mary West Solo Competition, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra’s Masters Concerto and Aria Competition, and the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has been featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio and has performed as a soloist with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra.
Rosalind has performed as a Substitute Cellist with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she was the Principal Cellist of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Rosalind’s principal teachers include William Stokking, Marion Feldman, Stephen Geber, Richard Weiss, Melissa Kraut, and most recently, Tanya Remenikova.