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Mary Walters teaches a thriving cello studio in Seattle, Washington, and directs the Alaska Cello Intensive cello choir in Fairbanks, Alaska. During her tenure as ACI choir director, the group has performed throughout Interior Alaska, including performances inside Denali National Park. The ACI choir has also worked with and performed alongside the Portland Cello Project. Mary has been a clinician at institutes and workshops around the country, including the Chicago Suzuki Institute, Fairbanks Suzuki Institute, Hawaii Suzuki Institute, Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, Alaska Cello Intensive, and as a teaching assistant at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. In 2018, she directed the first cello choir ever held at the Suzuki Association of the Americas conference.


Prior to moving to Seattle, Mary was a member of the cello faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago. Mary has performed with the Seattle Symphony and as a studio recording musician can be heard on dozens of Hollywood film, television, and video game soundtracks. She has also previously been a member of the Northwest Indiana Symphony and a substitute cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony. Mary completed her master’s degree in cello performance and pedagogy at Northern Illinois University and her bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the University of Oregon Clark Honors College.


During graduate school Mary held a graduate fellowship position in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Since 2008 she has served on the board of the Suzuki Education and Research Association, which oversees the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute International.

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Hailed by Cincinnati City Beat as “extraordinarily evocative” for his performances and hailed by the Salisbury Post as playing with “great beauty and extraordinary brilliance,” for his Sibelius Violin Concerto, Dr. Bryan Emmon Hall has enjoyed success as both a performer and teacher. Bryan has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra, Austin Civic Orchestra, Central Texas Orchestra, Juneau String Ensemble, Cincinnati Accent Festival Orchestra, and many others. Dr. Hall has performed extensively in the United States and abroad as a chamber, orchestra, violinist, violist, and conductor.

Most recently Bryan Hall has appeared on stage at Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Chatter Chamber Series in New Mexico, University of Houston, Western Washington University, Colburn Performing Arts School, Stanford University, South by Southwest Festival in Austin, University of California at Santa Barbara, Gumi, Korea; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Beirut, Lebanon; Erbil, Iraq; Bali, Indonesia; and Pörtschach, Austria. Bryan Hall has performed in the sections of leading professional orchestras including the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Round Rock Symphony, Juneau Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

Bryan attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts during high school where he studied with Nicholas Mann, Joseph Genualdi, and Kevin Lawrence. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied with Kurt Sassmannshaus. He completed both his Masters and Doctoral degrees at The University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music, under the tutelage of Brian Lewis. Other significant teachers at Texas include David Kim and Anne Epperson. Bryan Hall has won numerous awards including Starling Scholarship at UT and CCM, Baur Scholarship Competition, and the Young Texas Rising Stars Competition.

Dr. Hall is a deeply committed teacher who began teaching privately while still in high school. In Cincinnati, he taught violin and school orchestra for numerous elementary, middle, and high schools in the area where he started over 200 new violin students. Bryan has a passion for teaching people of all ages and skill levels. Bryan Hall held the position of Violin Teaching Assistant for the totality of his graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his collegiate teaching duties, he also taught in the famous UT Austin String Project at the pre-college level. Dr. Hall has been on faculty at numerous summer festivals including Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival (where he is artistic director), Seattle-Japan Suzuki Institute, 6th Asian International Suzuki Institute in Bali Indonesia, Honolulu Suzuki Institute, Fairbanks Suzuki Institute, UAF Summer Academy, UT Austin Longhorn Band Camp, Brian Lewis Young Artist Program in Kansas, American Voices YES Academy (Youth Excellence on Stage) held in Beirut, Lebanon and Erbil, Kurdistan, University of San Jose, Costa Rica Masterclass Series, and the Seattle Young Artist Coleman/ James studio. Bryan also enjoys playing different styles of music in his Persian Classical/ Independent Rock Band called Tehranosaurus that actively tours around the United States and abroad.      

Dr. Hall serves on the faculty of The University of Alaska Fairbanks as the violin/ viola professor and pedagogy coordinator.  Also he is Concertmaster of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the Fairbanks Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra. Dr. Hall is president of the Alaska ASTA Chapter 2015-2016.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick, a native of Bourbonnais, Illinois, graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2013, where he earned his degree in Music Education. He has been completing his master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been an active member in orchestras across Illinois and Indiana, including the Northbrook Symphony and Terre Haute Symphony. He has also served as assistant principal cellist for the Classical Symphony Orchestra of Chicago and Indiana University Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, he was the assistant principal cellist for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and attended the Aspen Music Festival. Currently, he is the principal cellist of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Juneau Symphony. His notable teachers have included Emilio Colón, Marc Coppey, Helga Winold, Richard Aaron, and Daniel McDonough of the Jupiter String Quartet.

Programs Mr. Fitzpatrick has taught in include the Indiana University Pre-College String Academy, Concord Junior High and High School in Elkhart, Indiana, and at the Assumption Senior Girls' National School in Walkinstown, Ireland. He was the Orchestra Director at Limestone Middle School in Herscher, Illinois, and is currently teaching cello and music education and performs with the Alaska Trio at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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The first Grand Prize winner of the Emmanuel Feuermann Memorial International Cello Solo Competition, Anthony Elliott continues to garner critical acclaim for his performances as a concert cellist and soloist.  Presently he is a Professor of Cello at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  He has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, and the CBC Toronto Orchestra, just to name a few.  A number of his CD recordings are available at www.cdbaby.com, and his recent recording of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations is available from Block M Records at ITunes.

He has appeared at major festivals including Sitka Summer Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, Musicorda, New York’s Bargemusic Series, Chamber Music International of Dallas, Houston’s DaCamera Series, the Victoria International Festival, Kent/Blossom Festival, Aria International Festival, and the Gateways Festival.  Chamber music appearances have included collaborations with the present and former concertmasters of such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony.

Also an acclaimed conductor, he has conducted symphony, opera, choirs, ballet, and chamber orchestras.  His multi-faceted career has taken him to 49 states, Canada, Japan, China, England, France, Holland, Germany, and Austria.

Cello students of Anthony Elliott hold prominent positions in major symphony orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, as well as the Chiara, Pacifica, Anderson, Jupiter, Degas, and DaPonte String Quartets.  Many have won important competitions and awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant.  He has given master classes at the Aspen School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, the Meadowmount School, and the Interlochen Arts Academy. 

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Paula Sokol-Elliott began violin studies at the age of five with her father, the renowned teacher and conductor, Vilem Sokol. After attending the University of Washington on a Breechman Scholarship, Paula graduated with honors from Indiana University where she studied with the legendary Josef Gingold. Stanislav Skrowaczewski invited her to join the Minnesota Orchestra, where she recorded the complete works of Ravel and Bartok for Vox Records. She also performed as violinist with the Vancouver Symphony, and as associate concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony. Paula won the Saunderson Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Los Angeles, CA. and was 1st violin of the Leclair String Quartet which toured and recorded for the CBC  (Canadaian Broadcasting Corporation).


Chamber music coaches and teachers include Jamie Loredo, Ruggiero Ricci, Gyorgy Sebok, Michael Kuttner of the Hungarian String Quartet, Robert Koff of the Juilliard Quartet, and Bernard Goldschmidt of the Cleveland Orchestra. Her performances include appearances with the West Point Grey Chamber Players, Vancouver Chamber Players, Bach Festival at Mt. Angel, OR., Michigan Chamber Players, and the Chelsea Chamber Players. Paula has been on the faculties of the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, the Marrowstone Music Festival, McPhail College, the New Brunswick Music Festival, and the Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO. Solo appearances include the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Youth Symphony, the New Brunswck Chamber Orchestra, the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony, and the Flint Symphony where she received a glowing review for her performance of John William’s masterful violin solo Remembrances from Stephen Speilberg’s Schindler’s List.

Paula’s lifelong commitment to teaching began at the age of ten.  She continuesto mentor her students in the exploration of the violin and viola repertoire and the technical challenges that each of these instruments present.

Currently Paula performs as Concertmaster of the Dexter Community Orchestra and plays several concerts a year with the Chelsea Chamber Players.

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Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melissa Solomon came from a family of professional musicians and developed an early passion for music. She immigrated to the United States after receiving a full scholarship to study at Interlochen Arts Academy.

She graduated from the Juilliard School in New York City where she studied cello with Timothy Eddy and chamber music with Robert Mann, Earl Carlyss and Jonathan Feldman.

Melissa has always had a passion for teaching and firmly believes that music has the power to inspire, heal and connect people. While she was studying at Juilliard, she participated in the Juilliard’s Community Fellowship Program, bringing music to diverse audiences throughout the New York metropolitan area.

She developed a thriving private teaching studio in Pasadena, CA and started the cello program at Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena. Later, she founded Project C.E.L.L.O where she directed her cello orchestra and ensembles. Her years teaching in Pasadena were the most rewarding up to that point, both as a musician and as a teacher. Working with a variety of wonderful children and their families – whether they just played the cello for the joy of it or went on to major in music in college – was inspiring, fascinating,
and fulfilling every day.

Ms. Solomon has worked as an instructor at the Colorado Suzuki Institute, the Lone Star Young Artists Program at DFW WOW Suzuki Institute, Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Suzuki Strings by the Bay summer institute in Berkeley, National Cello Institute Winter workshop in Pomona and other workshops in Texas. She gained all her Suzuki teacher training at the Colorado and Chicago Suzuki Institutes with Pamela Devenport, Nancy Hair, Sally Gross. Carol Tarr and Jean Dexter, and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music with Rick Mooney.


Melissa has performed in the United States, Europe and South Africa, including New York, London, Florence,
Edinburgh, Johannesburg and Cape Town. She has appeared at music festivals, among them the Accademia Chigiana (Italy), the Edinburgh International Festival (Scotland), the Bucknell Quartet Program (Pennsylvania) and the Franschoek Chamber Music Festival (South Africa). Highlights included a solo recital at Lincoln Center’s Paul Hall (NY), performances at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi (Italy) and leading the Juilliard Symphony celli at Carnegie Hall (NY) under the baton of James de Priest.

After well over a decade in California, Melissa now lives in Austin, TX with her Brazilian husband and two delightful children aged 5 and 3. When she is not teaching, she loves to write, think about and discuss all sorts of ideas and topics with friends, and most of all, spend precious time with her family.

Alaska Cello Intensive