Community Music School
Hugh Hodgson School of Music
250 River Road, Room 230
Athens, GA 30602-7287
(706) 542-2894
ugacms@uga.edu


 

 










 

 

 

CMS Faculty

 

 

The Community Music School faculty includes primarily graduate music students enrolled in the UGA Hodgson School of Music, as well as professional musicians from the surrounding community. Please take a moment to get to know our Professional Teachers:

 

Kristin Jutras, CMS Director

Kristin Jutras, Director of the UGA Community Music School, began studying the violin through the Suzuki Method at the age of 4 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.   She continued her studies at Eastman, receiving both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance as well as a Performer's Certificate.   While pursuing her degrees, she also began her Suzuki Method Teacher training at Eastman, and has since completed training at Texas Christian University, Atlanta Suzuki Institute, Ithaca Suzuki Institute, and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.  Kristin is a past President of the Suzuki Association of Georgia and was recently awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Prior to focusing on her teaching career, Kristin had a 16-year orchestral career as a full-time member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  As a member of these ensembles, she performed in Carnegie Hall numerous times, professionally recorded much of the standard orchestral repertoire, performed with many of the worlds leading soloists, and went on three European tours with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Kristin has also been an active chamber musician performing regularly with colleagues on the Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty, including duo recitals with her husband, pianist Dr. Pete Jutras, as part of the 2nd Thursday Series and Faculty Artist Recital Series. She has also performed as a member of the faculty string quartet.

 

Rachael Fischer, Violin

Violinist Rachael Fischer currently maintains an active schedule as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator.
An avid chamber musician, Dr. Fischer has performed across the United States and in Europe. She is a founding member of the Piedmont Camerata, the resident ensemble of Piedmont College, which began its first season of chamber music performances for piano and strings in August 2014. Other recent performances include recitals with the Aspen String Trio, clarinetist Jon Manasse, pianist Peter Miyamoto, and members of the University of Georgia string faculty. She has also been invited to perform for regional, national, and international events in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, France, Scotland, and Slovenia as part of a violin and saxophone duo.
A dedicated teacher, Dr. Fischer maintains a full violin studio and assists in chamber music coaching at the University of Georgia Community Music School. She has completed Suzuki teacher training at the Atlanta Suzuki Institute with Carrie Reuning-Hummel and Kimberly Meier-Sims, and has taken supplemental courses with Edward Kreitman and Edmund Sprunger. She currently serves as the President of the Suzuki Association of Georgia. In addition to her violin teaching, Dr. Fischer is a member of the music faculties of Georgia Gwinnett College and Piedmont College, and is an associate director of the University of Georgia Summer Music Camps.

 

Rebecca Floyd, Violin and Viola

Rebecca Floyd has over ten years of teaching experience, much of it on the faculty of CMS where she teaches violin, viola, Suzuki group classes, and parent education courses. From 2012-2014, Rebecca taught at Parker Elementary School's Suzuki Strings Program in Houston, TX. At Parker, A Title I Magnet school with an amazing music program, she taught 50 private violin students from kindergarten to fifth grade, as well as daily group classes for students of various levels. Rebecca has also taught courses at Piedmont College and Gainesvile STate University. She frequently performs in the Altanta and Athens areas, and currently plays with the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra. Rebecca truly believes, as Dr. Suzuki did, that children are products of their environment, and she strives to create an environment that wil enable her students to have positive musical experiences and "beautiful hearts." Rebeca has copleted Suzuki training with Lynn Baughman, Ed Kreitman, Betsy Stuen-Walker, Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Laurie Scott, and Teri Einfeldt. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance in 2005 and her Master of Arts in Musicology with a certificate in Women's Studies in 2009, both at the University of Georgia.



 

Keiko Ishibashi, Violin

Keiko Ishibashi began her violin studies at the age of 4 in the Suzuki Method in McLean, VA. She relocated to Japan at age 7. After receiving her BM in Music Performance at Musashino Music Conservatory in Tokyo, Japan, she extended her studies to Jazz performance. She studied with Matt Glaser and received a DM in Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music. In 2004, Keiko moved to New York City and began performing with many recording artists and produced original music. She worked as a producer and arranger for CMH Records which releases string chamber music in the style of Jazz, Rock and Electronic music. Keiko has performed with Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Cee Lo Green, and Christian McBride with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. She has also performed as an opener for The Roots and Black-Eyed Peas.
Mrs. Ishibashi has completed Suzuki Violin training courses through Book 4 with Marilyn O'Boyle, Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Edward Kreitman, and Edmund Sprunger. She has been a Suzuki instructor at the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center and the Academy of Music School in Norfolk, VA. She is a member of the Suzuki ASsociation of the Americas (SAA) and the Suzuki Teachers Association of Hampton Roads, VA.



Pete Jutras, Keyboard Kids Advisor

Pete Jutras is an Associate Professor of Piano and the Piano Pedagogy Specialits at the University of Georgia. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Clavier Companion magazine, a leading piano pedagogy journal. His writings have been published in The Journal of Research in Music Education, The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and Keyboard Companion.
Dr. Jutras is a frequent presenter at conferences across the country and around the world. His recent presentations include the ISME World Conference and national conferences of CMS, MENC, and MTNA in locations such as Albuquerque, Atlanta, Beijing, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Portland.
A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Jutras holds the B.M. degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music, the M. M. degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, and the Ph.D in music education with an emphasis in piano pedagogy from the University of North Texas. Prior to his UGA appointment, he was visiting lecturer at Southern Methodist University and taught at Richmond Community College and at the Meadows School of the Arts Community Education Division of SMU where he developed a series of piano classes for adults.


Connie Muscenti, New Horizons Piano Coordinator

Connie Muscenti, new to Athens, is delighted to be continuing her commitment to lifelong learning and adult music education. She received her B. A. in Music Education at Duquesne University, with a focus on piano and strings, and a Masters in Music Ed at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has taught general music, choral music, and drama in public schools in Virginia, and lauched a new elementary string education program in Pennsylvania while also teaching private and group piano in her home studio. Connie's current teaching focus is lifelong learning for adults of all ages and backgrounds. She promotes a learning environment for adult beginners and those returning to the piano who want to play music for enjoyment and personal enrichment. Her recent initiative to learn to play the cello helps her relate to the challenges facing adult beginner students.
Connie performs many genres of music, including chamber music, piano duo, international, folk, and jazz, and founded "Allodola", an Italian traditional music ensemble. Her love of collaborative music playing prompted her to create collaborative opportunities for her students as well. The on-going piano club she established in Virginia continues to provide supportive performance opportunities for adults of all ages and musical backgrounds. To further support non-professional musicians, she recently founded the Nelson County Community Orchestra of Virginia.
Connie is a member of the National Association for Music Education, American Music Teachers Association, the Georgia Music Teachers Association, and the New Horizons International Music Association.



  Kathleen Powell, Chamber Music Coordinator,
New Horizons Orchestra Director, and Billing Manager

Kathleen Powell formerly served as assistant principal first violin of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and as second violinist of the Ceruti String Quartet, and performed regularly with the Memphis Chamber Society. She received a B.M. in Violin Performance from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and a M.M in Violin Performance from Rice University.
In Memphis, Kathleen helped found the Rhodes College Chamber Music Camp and was also a co-founder of Chamber Music for Strings - chamber music workshops for junior and senior high school string players. She also served as a coordinator for the University of Memphis summer music camp, and administrator for the Memphis Youth Symphony Program.
At CMS, Ms. Powell works with the string chamber music program, the New Horizons Orchestra (an orchestra for adults either coming back to their instrument or learning to play one for the first time), and assists with billing. In 2014 she started a CMS chamber music mini-camp, funded in part by a grant from ACMP - The Chamber Music Network.



Melinda Smith, Early Childhood Instructor

Originally from Lenoir, NC, Melinda Smith received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. She has served as a private music instructor, Music Minister, Children's Choir director, preschool teacher at Friendship Presbyterian School, Mom n' Me class instructor in Harford Community College in Bel air Maryland, and Assistant Director of Athens Singing Christmas Tree - a production involving a 300-member cast including children, youth, an adult choir, orchestra, and actors.
Currently, in addition to her role as Musikgarten Coordinator for the UGA Community Music School, Melinda serves as a private vocal and piano teacher at Chick Music and maintains her own private studio in her home. She is also an assistant director of the Adult Choir at Prince Avenue Baptist Church, leads a ladies ensemble, and sings solos in church, weddings, and other public events.
Melinda is married to her high school sweetheart, Tim Smith. They have 3 daughters, Nicole, Adrienne, and Danielle, and live in Bogart, GA.

 

Faculty members of the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music participate in the Community Music School by teaching master classes, observing lessons, mentoring CMS faculty, and assisting with CMS class curricula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
   
 


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