Musicians – Cello

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Ruth Berry
cello, Artistic Director of In Praise of Music

Ruth Berry, cello

Ruth is cellist and founding member of the Fenimore String Quartet, the Magellan String Quartet, the Continuo Collective of the South, and Trio d’Esprit. She gives recitals of popular classics with Ensembles Intermezzo, performs with and is Artistic Director of the musician-run chamber orchestra, Lyra Vivace, and manages a unique musician booking service, In Praise of Music. During the summers, she performs with Glimmerglass Opera, where she specializes in solo continuo work for 17th- and 18th-century repertoire.

Ruth has designed entertaining educational programs for chamber ensembles: Her Tin Pail Tales interactive performances for pre-school children are popular at Early Childhood learning centers and other literacy development programs; her Global Navigation with the Magellan String Quartet programs were for many years enjoyed by K-6 graders throughout the state of Georgia.

She has taught cello, music theory and music appreciation at Georgia Southern University during the 18-year faculty residency of the Magellan String Quartet. She has taught at Mansfield University, did research for the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and wrote program notes for Encore. Ruth has performed in masterclasses for Yo Yo Ma and Janos Starker, held several principal cello positions (including 16 years as Principal Cello of the Augusta Symphony and over 20 years of the Augusta Opera) and has recorded with the Syracuse Society for New Music. She has worked as education director and grants administrator with the Greenville (SC) Symphony, and has worked as orchestra personnel manager for the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra and the Binghamton Philharmonic.

Ruth received a B.Mus from Boston University (where she studied cello with Leslie Parnas and received the Edwin E. Stein Award for Excellence in the Arts). Her graduate degree and studies at Cornell University were in musicology, analytical techniques and performance practice. A native of upstate New York, she is the proud owner of the historic Kitt Shipman Catlin Memorial Chapel in Springfield Center, NY.

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Christine Crookall
cello

Christine Crookall is currently a Professor of Music in the Music Department at Augusta University, Georgia. Christine teaches applied cello lessons, music history, humanities, ear training, sightsinging, and string methods. From 1999 to 2001 Christine Crookall served as Director for the University of Texas String Project, a nationally respected teacher-training program for graduate and undergraduate students at The University of Texas in Austin.

Christine Crookall earned her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Cello Performance at The University of Texas at Austin where she studied cello and pedagogy with internationally acclaimed pedagogue Professor Phyllis Young. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Crookall started playing cello with Audrey Nodwell at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia with former Emerson Quartet cellist Eric Wilson.

Christine has given workshops and masterclasses at public schools, universities and summer conferences located in Western Canada, Texas, Georgia and Europe. She has also performed in solo and chamber music recitals in Canada, the United States and Europe. Dr. Crookall was a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2001, and is currently a member of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta and Trio Augusta.

Christine lives in Evans, GA with her husband Ryan Kho and their son Aidan.

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Lisa Pham
cello

Lisa Pham began studying Violoncello at the University of North Georgia where she received her Associate of Arts in Music. She moved to Augusta in 2012 to further her music studies and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Augusta University. She often performs with various chamber ensembles and orchestras in the South East. During the summer, she works as a Camp Counselor at Laurel Ridge Music Camp, and during the school year, she is an Orchestra Director at East Aiken School of the Arts.

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Justin Resley
cello

bio-justinresley

Justin Resley comes from a musical family in West Texas and New Mexico where most all of his family play an instrument (fiddle, guitar, etc.) He left El Paso to go to center city Philadelphia and study with the late Orlando Cole of the Curtis String Quartet, from there he moved to Cleveland to study with the prinicpal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Stephen Geber at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he graduated with a BM and MM.

Justin played with Cleveland Opera and Ballet while going back to school for Cardiovascular Perfusion at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He worked at INOVA Fairfax Hospital for 14 years before moving to Augusta to become the chief Perfusionist at the Medical College of Georgia. He has played with Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Augusta Opera, as well as The South Carolina Philharmonic. Currently he is a staff perfusionist at University Hospital and is on the search committee for the new conductor of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta.

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Amy Sawicz
cello

Amy Sawicz, cello

Amy is a native of Augusta, GA.  She has studied cello with Ruth Berry, Douglas Graves and David Starkweather. She is a certified Kindermusik instructor and  holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University in music performance. She is currently working on a degree in Nursing.

Amy has been performing and teaching in the Augusta area for the past 5 years, and is employed at both Augusta State University and Carolina Music Academy.  When she has spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and play with her dogs.


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