Musicians – Viola

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Jonathan Aceto
violin, viola, conductor, composer

Jonathan Aceto - violin, viola, conductor, composer

Dr. Jonathan Aceto holds performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Arizona State University and has studied with Eric Rosenblith, Catherine Tait, Ronald Copes and Dr. Marla Mutschler. He has received training the chamber music from members of the Juilliard and Fine Arts String Quartets and at summer festivals, including Kneisel Hall, Yellowbarn and Meadowmount.

Jonathan has extensive experience in higher education, teaching at Augusta State University, the University of South Carolina at Aiken, Mercer University and Georgia Southern University. He has taught at several summer institutes, including the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Augusta State University Conservatory Orchestra Camp and the Maine A.S.T.A. Summer Conference. Currently, he teaches at East Georgia State College and is the Director of the Statesboro String Program.

Jonathan’s experience extends to orchestral playing, having performed in numerous professional orchestras including the Phoenix and Hilton Head Symphonies and the Heidelberg Festival Orchestra. He has been concertmaster of the North Arkansas and Macon Symphonies and the Augusta Opera Company and is equally at home leading the second violin section, having been principal second of the Augusta Symphony for eight years. Jonathan enjoys playing opera and had the rare experience of performing Wagner’s Ring Cycle twice as a long-time member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra. He has also performed in the orchestra for the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, and its American counterpart, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.

Another source of pride for Jonathan is playing chamber music. He has been a member of the Magellan String Quartet, which has performed over much of Eastern America, from Valdosta, GA. to Saranac, N.Y., and abroad, including Vienna, Prague, Bavaria and Xalapa, Mexico. Jonathan is also a founding member of the chamber orchestra Lyra Vivace and the piano trio Trio d’Esprit.

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Jennifer Parker
violin, vocalist, viola, mandolin, guitar

Jennifer Parker - violin, voice, viola, mandolin and guitar

Jennifer Parker, an Augusta native, started her musical journey at the age of 10 when starting violin through the Richmond County Orchestra program. At the age of 12, Jennifer picked up the guitar and began writing songs, and has been a singer-songwriter ever since. Throughout her teens, Jennifer also picked up the bass, piano, ukuleles, viola, and more. An avid bluegrass and folk music lover, Jennifer has played with bands such as the Tom Miller Project and Mamie Foreman and The Rosebuds, and has also recorded with local Augusta bands, the Radar Cinema, Jokers & Thieves, and Mann Ray.

Jennifer is often a featured performer with Event Horizons. She is also a part of the Sand Hills String Band, the Augusta State University (ASU) Orchestra, and is a student assistant for the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras. Jennifer is also a strings teacher at East Aiken School for the Arts, a secretary and violin teacher at the Carolina Academy of Music, and teaches private lessons in the Augusta area for violin, guitar, and mandolin.

Jennifer received a degree from ASU as a Music Education major, and studied with Laura Tomlin and Carl Purdy. She is currently Assistant Orchestra Director at Durham Middle School in Acworth, GA.

Carl Purdy
viola, violin, mandolin, guitar, pennywhistle, banjo, harmonica, bagpipes, recorder, composer

Carl Purdy - viola, violin, mandolin, guitar, pennywhistle, harmonica, bagpipes, recorder, composer

Carl’s versatility as an instrumentalist and vocalist has enabled him to perform many styles of music, including Classical, Jazz, Traditional British Isles, Classic American Folk, New Age Country Western, and Bluegrass. Carl is violist and founding member of the Magellan String Quartet and Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. He also performs as principal viola with the Augusta Opera and Augusta Choral Society.

At Augusta State University, Carl teaches viola, humanities, and directs the Sand Hills String Band. Carl also performs as soloist and chamber musician on the faculty of the International Music Festival at Vale Veneto, Brazil. He has recorded and toured internationally on the viola, jazz violin and viola, recorder, classical guitar, and folk guitar, in addition to composing and arranging for symphonies and chamber ensembles.

Carl performed with the members of the Franciscan Chamber Players in residence at the Summer Music Monterey music camp for many years, during which they recorded a compact disc with legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He developed his talents as a folk musician with the Boston-based Celtic band, St. James Gate, while attending New England Conservatory of Music in the 1980s. He was the principal violist of the La Crosse Symphony in Wisconsin before moving to Georgia for the position of Principal Viola with the Augusta Symphony.

Carl studied viola with Heidi Castleman and Walter Trampler at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Stan Pylant
viola, violin, conductor, vocalist

Stan Pylant - Viola, Violin, Conductor, Vocalist

Since 1994, Stan Pylant has performed as a violist with the Augusta Symphony (Symphony Orchestra Augusta), and with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra since 2000. He frequently supports the CSRA professional music culture by performing with local accompanying orchestras for professional and community productions, including the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Choral Society.

Stan is a minister at First Baptist Church of Augusta, GA, where he was called to serve in 1993. Before moving to Augusta, Stan served as church minister in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma; everywhere Stan has served, the regional professional orchestras have been grateful for his availability to perform on both viola and violin.

Stan is also a gifted vocalist (tenor), and travels throughout the USA and internationally to perform with and lead several distinguished choruses, including the CenturyMen and Sons of Jubal.

Stan received a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Master of Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctorate in Worship Studies from the Institute of Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also a licensed multi-instrument private pilot!

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Debra Schab
violin, viola

Debra Schab - violin, viola

Debra currently performs violin and viola with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Pops, Augusta Opera, and Augusta Choral Society, and the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. She is on the Athens Academy music faculty and teaches orchestra for grades ranging from 2 through 12. In addition to her position at the Academy, she has an active private studio of over 50 violinists and violists.

Prior to her work at the Academy, Debra was fifth grade orchestra teacher in Clarke County. She has taught Suzuki violin for over 22 years (receiving extensive Suzuki training from Alice Joy Lewis, Kay Sloan and Almita Vamo), including work as the director of Suzuki programs at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, and Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, and is currently on faculty of the Morningside College Suzuki Institute and Advanced String Camp in Sioux City, Iowa.

She is often a clinician for Suzuki workshops in a region that expands from Georgia to Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Illinois and Iowa. Debra was a violinist in the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for over 10 years and while living in Savannah, served on the educational staff of the Savannah Symphony and directed the Savannah Symphony’s Junior String Ensemble.

She also taught violin, string methods/pedagogy and directed the Suzuki Program at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia, and at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. Prior to her faculty positions in Athens GA, Debra had time to perform with the Hilton Head Chamber Orchestra, Augusta, Charleston and Greenville Symphonies. Debra received her Master’s degree in violin performance from Western Illinois University and Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Karl Schab
viola, conductor

Karl Schab - viola, conductor

Karl Schab founded and directed the Athens String Ensemble from 1996-2000 and was appointed the first Music Director of the Athens Youth Symphony in November, 2000. He has been a member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra since 1984 and travels to Colorado during the summers, where he works as Principal Violist of the Crested Butte Music Festival. Karl also travels to perform with various orchestras in the South East, including the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society, Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Augusta, Charleston and Savannah Symphonies.

Following his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and completion as Master’s degree in viola performance from Indiana University, Karl took positions with the Venezuelan National Symphony and the Pro-Arte Quartet of Caracas, touring extensively in Latin America and performing the entire cycle of Beethoven string quartets.

Settling in the Atlanta area in 1980, he continued his chamber music work with the Atlanta Virtuosi and became Principal violist of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Chattanooga Symphony. Karl studied viola and violin with Abraham Skernick, Richard Young, and Dorothy Mauney.

Karl and his wife, Debra, a violinist, share their home in Athens, GA with eight cats and countless students. His hobbies include building and restoring harpsichords and golfing.

Angela Shaw
violin, viola

Angela Shaw - violin, viola

Angela regularly performs with the Augusta Opera, Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, and Augusta Choral Society. She is often guest violinist and violist with the Magellan String Quartet and the Kiokee Quintet. Angela teaches private violin/viola lessons at the Carolina String Academy in Aiken and the Augusta State University Conservatory Program.

She attended Augusta State University, where she received a Bachelor in Music Education. She was violin pupil of Dr. Angela Morgan, and studied viola with Carl Purdy. Angela is an Augusta, Georgia, native.  Angela lives in Augusta with her husband, double bassist Travis Shaw, and their daughter Caeden.

Laurin Smith
violin, viola, conductor

Laurin Smith’s distinguished music background includes two higher education degrees in both violin and viola, studies with Itzhak Perlman, Masao Kawasaki, Dorothy Delay, and Andrew Galos, and experiences performing as a violinist, violist and conductor in Europe, Asia, and across the U.S.A. (including orchestra director and chamber music coach along with the Colorado String Quartet at Soundfest in Falmouth, MA)

Laurin makes his home in northern Georgia, is the music director and conductor of the North Georgia Chamber Symphony, and works as adjunct professor of violin, viola, and string division director at the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

Additionally, Laurin regularly travels to perform with several southeastern professional music ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Augusta Choral Society, Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra, and the Augusta Opera. He also serves the southeastern professional music culture by performing with and leading various regional chamber music and educational organizations, including work as both performer and teacher at the Laurel Ridge Music Camp.


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