Members of the Board of Directors are elected by SAGWA's voting membership. SAGWA's Board of Directors is comprised of nine individuals, of whom at least five must be active teachers using the Suzuki approach. Among the teachers there must be at least one teacher from each SAGWA instrument division (a Division Chair). At least two board members must be lay-parents of students receiving musical instruction from teachers using the Suzuki approach.
The Board terms are two years in length and include eight or nine meetings per year, typically on Sunday afternoons. Board members are responsible for membership, finance, marketing, fundraising, website, newsletter and operational aspects as an umbrella organization for the various institutes and divisions.
As the mother of two young strings students, I have garnered an appreciation for the importance of studying music for the developing child. Aspects of musicianship such as hard work and attention to detail are only two of the many characteristics promoted by the early study of music. However, these characteristics may be the ones most lacking in many educational settings today. The Suzuki Method, with its focus on the whole child, is a philosophy in which I believe and endorse. As a member of the Board of SAGWA, I plan to continue maintaining its high level of support for students and teachers and in extending its educational reach. I plan to continue seeking out available grant monies so the Board will continue to bring the best teachers and musicians to the students of the greater Washington area and additionally continue in the growth of its scholarship program.
Stephanie Bramble is a registered Suzuki Piano Instructor, mezzo soprano and early childhood music specialist. She did her undergraduate work at The American University and St. Mary's College of Maryland (a public honors college) where she studied Piano and Voice. She did her graduate work at The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where she studied Opera and Italian. Ms. Bramble has 26 years of teaching experience from preschool through preparatory and undergraduate levels.
Her former positions include the Levine School of Music Assistant Voice Faculty Chair, Suzuki Piano, Theory and Voice Instructor as well as Voice Class Grant recipient for Program Development; Prince Georges Community College Chair for Applied Suzuki Studies including Piano, Violin, Cello, Harp ,Guitar and Flute. She was a Voice Instructor and Summer Musical Theatre Camp Co-coordinator as well as choreographer at the College of Southern Maryland. Ms. Bramble has taught Summer Workshops at The University of Miami, Beaver College, Shenandoah Conservatory, Westminster Choir College, The College of Southern Maryland and Catholic University. She also served on the Executive Board for MTACC and was the Fall Festival/Monster Concert Chair.
Ms. Bramble has been a frequent soloist in the Washington, DC area and sang with the Washington Opera for 10 seasons as well as Opera Vivente, The Washington Savoy Yards, Des Moines Metro Opera,The Little Theatre of Alexandria, The Lyceum and Church of The Epiphany Concert series to name a few. She made her European Opera debut in 1998 and spent 3 Seasons with The Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy. She was a regional finalist in the Met Council Auditions and the winner of the Colonial Dames Scholarship Competition.
Ms. Bramble teaches Suzuki Piano and Classical Voice at her home studio in Arlington, Virginia that she shares with her 3 furry children, Poverina, Clara Schumann and Bella. (2 cats and a dog) She is also the current National Piano Guild Chair for Fairfax/Northern Va, and the Co-Chair for the Piano Division of the Suzuki Association of The Greater Washington Area and is an active
Danielle Dotson comes from a large Suzuki family in Sydney, Australia, where Suzuki music was a way of life. She learned piano and violin all the way through, accompanied her brother and sisters on violin and cello, attended the Matsumoto summer schools in 1984, performed in many Pan-Pacific and International conferences, and started teaching Suzuki piano in 1989. She is registered and accredited with the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (STEAA) in Sydney as a piano teacher and a violin teacher.
Danielle has completed the Associate and Licentiate of Music certifications with the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB). She completed an MA (International Education) at the University of Georgetown in 2008. Danielle has 3 young children and currently teaches privately in Arlington, VA, in Cheverly, MD, and with the Levine School.
She has served on the SAGWA Board since 2007 as website liaison, marketing director and as board chair from late 2012.
M. Science, Oxford University; BA, University of Utah; studied with Mr. Toshio Takahashi, Talent Education Institute (Matsumoto, Japan). Certified Teacher, Suzuki Flute Method levels 1A-12 and has been teaching Suzuki Method for 20 years. Co-developed and introduced K-6 materials for use in Utah's public schools. Former humanitarian aid administrator in Mali, Africa.
Stephanie Sims Flack received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Louisiana State University and Master of Arts degree from Indiana University where her teachers included Sally O’Reilly, Kevork Mardirossian and Henryk Kowalski. She studied violin pedagogy with Sally O’Reilly (Louisiana State University) and Marla Mutschler (Arizona State University) and received her initial Suzuki teacher training at the British Suzuki Institute in London, England where she achieved accreditation, level three, through the European Suzuki Association examinations. Stephanie is continuing her pedagogical training with Suzuki teacher trainer, Ronda Cole, and has attended the Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York in 2009 and 2011.
As a professional violinist, Stephanie has performed with many symphony orchestras including the Cambridge Philharmonic (England), Ely Sinfonia (England), Arizona Opera Orchestra, and Baton Rouge Symphony, and is currently a member of the first violin section of the McLean Orchestra as well as a freelance violinist with chamber groups and orchestras throughout the metropolitan Washington DC area. In addition, Stephanie founded and performs with String Quartet of Northern Virginia (www.northernvirginiastringquartet.com/).
She has served on the board of directors for Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area since 2006 serving as treasurer from 2007-2009 and board chair from 2010-2012. She teaches at Burgundy Farm Country Day School and maintains a private violin studio at her home in Alexandria, Virginia where she resides with husband, Sean and daughters, Emily and Shannon.
Naomi Kusano, who has served on the SAGWA Piano Committee since 2007, began studying the piano with her mother when she was two. Naomi was introduced to the Suzuki Method in the early 70’s while studying the violin in Japan. After graduating with a degree in piano from the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “L.Cherubini” di Firenze in Italy, Naomi completed the fifth and last level of European Suzuki teacher training at the British Suzuki Institute (BSI), England, obtaining a diploma from the European Suzuki Association (Dip.ESA). Additional Suzuki training includes study with Dr. Suzuki, Dr. Kataoka and Mr. Takahashi at the Talent Education Research Institute (TERI). A former faculty member at the Levine School of Music, Naomi has maintained a Suzuki piano studio in Chevy Chase MD since 2007. Naomi, who is committed to life-long learning, has taught Suzuki piano and Music Mind Games at workshops and institutes in Italy, Holland, England, Iceland, Canada and US.
Rhonda Migdail a mother of three who has been a Suzuki parent for ten years and has always believed that musical study is a vital part of each child’s education. Her youngest child, Caitlin, 14, is a Suzuki violinist and has performed with the Washington Suzuki Strings Advanced Ensemble at the White House. Her son, Andrew, who is now 27, studied classical and electric guitar, and her daughter Stephanie, 23, studied piano and voice. As a teenager, Stephanie participated in the Washington National Opera summer camp and continued her love of music at Pitzer College where she was a member of the all-womens’ a capella group, the Women’s Blue and White.
Rhonda is Of Counsel to the law firm of Keightley & Ashner where she practices employee benefits law. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys reading, volunteering at her childrens’ school, and of course, listening to music!
A native of the Washington D.C. region, violinist Chris Sanchez began his musical studies at age seven, completing the Suzuki curriculum within five years and continuing his childhood studies with David Salness at the University of Maryland and at the Meadowmount School in New York. He has earned performance degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park (BM) and the University of Georgia (MM). His major teachers have included Ronda Cole, Sally Thomas, David Salness, Dr. Levon Ambartsumian, Charles Castleman, and Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley of the Guarneri String Quartet.
Mr. Sanchez has held numerous orchestral leadership positions throughout his career, currently serving as Principal 2nd Violin of the Apollo Chamber Orchestra and the Opera Camerata of Washington. He has made numerous appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Lyceum, and Constitution Hall, and has cut several important recordings with the Ambartsumian Russian Chamber Orchestra. Currently, he serves as one of the principal conductors of the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra.
Mr. Sanchez invests his pedagogical skills wholeheartedly in his Suzuki studio, Sanchez Suzuki Strings, LLC, for which he teaches in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Columbia, MD.
Heidi Schuller resides in Alexandria, VA, where she teaches privately and at the Levine School of Music (Arlington campus). She holds a BA in music, from the State University of NY at Plattsburgh, and an MBA in arts management from Binghamton University, NY. She has held arts management positions in public relations and marketing for the Detroit Institute of Arts, University of Lowell, MA, and U.S. Marine Band in Washington, DC.
Roger Taylor is a registered Suzuki guitar instructor teaching in Arlington, Virginia. He has a long career as a musician and guitar instructor beginning in the 80's. Roger began teaching Suzuki after a positive introduction to the method when he sought violin lessons for his daughter and, with his son wanting to play guitar, found there were no instructors in the area. He now has a studio of about twenty students, and has been teaching Suzuki guitar for four years. Roger also has a jazz trio, Anita's Jazz Hat, and can be heard playing from time to time at local venues.
Keri Tomenko has been participating in SAGWA events for almost 25 years, first as a violin student and now as a teacher. Keri has a BA in Music, Columbia Union College and a MM in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy, University of Maryland under the leadership of Ronda Cole. During her studies at the University of Maryland, Keri had the opportunity to administer and teach in the Suzuki program. Currently, Keri is on the music faculty of Washington Adventist University and maintains a home studio in Takoma Park, MD.