BME – Drake University
Xavier Quinn is cellist and teacher originally from Chicago, Illinois. He began studying violin at age 4 with the Suzuki method and switched to cello in 5th grade. Before college, he was a student in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Merit School of Music, and the People’s Music School studying with Michelle Morales and Paula Kosower. Xavier studied cello with Dr. Ashley Sidon at Drake University, where he received his Bachelor’s in Music Education in 2016. While at Drake University, he participated in master classes, played in the Drake Symphony Orchestra, the chamber ensemble, and several chamber groups. He also was committed to developing outreach events for the arts on and off campus. He has spent his summers during and after college working at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Perlman Music Program.
Xavier currently teaches orchestra in the West Des Moines Community Schools and maintains a private cello studio. He also performs with the Des Moines and Simpson College Community Orchestras, and plays locally in chamber groups.
MA – University of Iowa
PD – Hartt School
BM – Ewha Womans University
Yoo-Jung Chang received her Bachelor of Music degree from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. As a full scholarship recipient, she earned her Graduate Professional Diploma at the Hartt School and Master of Art Degree at University of Iowa. She was featured as a soloist with the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra as the second prize of the Gail Newby Concerto Competition. Yoo-Jung is also the winner of the Nan-Pa Music Competition, the Korean Brahms Association Competition and the Seoul Baroque Chamber Orchestra Competition. She has performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra(IL), the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (CT), the International Chamber Soloists Ensemble(NY), the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra (OH,) the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra(CA) and the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra (Graz, Austria). Her principal teachers include Anthony Arnone, Hannah Holman, MihaiTetel, Eleonore Schoenfeld. Currently, Yoo-Jung is on faculty at Grinnell College and Des Moines Symphony Academy in Iowa, as a cello instructor.
Wendy is originally from Waukesha Wisconsin, and started playing cello at the age of 10 in the school orchestra program. At 14, she was playing with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and at 16 she left home to attend Interlochen Arts Academy for her Junior and Senior years of high school. After graduating, she moved to Iowa to pursue a music degree under the guidance of cello professor Anthony Arnone at the University of Iowa. That fall, she joined the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra under a one year contract. The following year she joined with Waterloo Cedar Falls symphony (5 year member), and the Dubuque Symphony (3 year member), and freelanced with several other local groups. After her sophomore year of college, she married her high school sweetheart, David Enters, who served as the principal bassist in the Des Moines Symphony for 12 years. In 2006, she joined the Des Moines Symphony cello section. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2007 earning a Bachelors of Arts in Cello Performance and a minor in Business. In 2008, she joined Orchestra Iowa (5 year member), and was the Music Librarian for one full season. She left her librarian position to be a stay-at-home mom when her first child was born in May of 2010.
Dave and Wendy currently live in North Liberty with their 2 young kids, Adalyn and Ethan. In addition to playing in the symphony, she is a self taught VBA developer, and works from home as a technical analyst for SA Ignite, located in Chicago. Dave and Wendy also run a small business selling products they created for the game of Pinochle on Amazon.com.
George Work, professor of cello, holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees of music and a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he also served as teaching assistant to Robert Sylvester. His principal teachers include Robert Sylvester, Paul Katz, Ronald Leonard, Gabor Rejto and Carol Work.
In 1981, he joined the Ames Piano Quartet, in residence at Iowa State University. The Quartet has released fourteen critically acclaimed CD recordings, one on the Musical Heritage label, five on Albany Records, and the others on Dorian/Sono Luminus Recordings. It has appeared in concert throughout the United States and Canada. International appearances include Salzburg, Austria, Paris and Marseilles, France, Taipei, Tainan, Kashiong and Taichung, Taiwan, Merida, Mexico, Havana, Cuba and Kaliningrad, Russia. The group has also been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today,” WQXR’s “The Listening Room,” and has appeared on a special edition of “St. Paul Sunday” commemorating the 50th anniversary of WOI radio. This latter led to an invitation to tape a second “St. Paul Sunday,” which aired nationally for the first time in November 1999.
George Work has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras in the Midwest, as well as in Taiwan, R.O.C. and Kaliningrad, Russia. A faculty member at the a Brevard Music Center in North Carolina from 1998-2002, George Work was also chosen to be an artist faculty member at the first-ever Schlern International Music Festival, held in Voels am Schlern, Italy, in the summer of 2003. In addition to concertizing with the Ames Piano Quartet, George Work is also a member of the Belin String Quartet and the Des Moines Symphony.
MM – Ohio University
BM – University of Arizona
Michele Senger has been a member of the string teaching staff in the West Des Moines Community Schools since 1998. She is currently an Orchestra Director at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School and Valley High School. Michele is a member of the Des Moines Symphony and conducts the Des Moines Symphony Youth Philharmonic. Michele directed the intermediate and advanced orchestras for the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute (DASI) from 2000-2009. Prior to moving to West Des Moines, Michele taught in the Amphitheater Public Schools in Tucson, Arizona. She was also a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly with “Go for Baroque” and the Marelle String Quartet. Michele was instructor of cello and bass at Pima Community College and maintained a large private studio of cello and bass students. She has spent summers performing with the Marelle String Quartet and coaching chamber music and teaching cello at various festivals throughout the U.S. including the Chamber Music in the Mountains at Echo Glen and the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University. Michele has a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Arizona and a Master of Music from Ohio University. Her major professors included Gordon Epperson, Leighton Conkling, and George Sopkin.
Mary Pshonik has been a member of the Des Moines Symphony since 1993 and earned her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Iowa State University. She teaches private lessons and coaches chamber music at the Des Moines Symphony Academy, and freelances in the Des Moines area.
PhD – University of Arizona
Julie Sturm joined the music theory faculty of the Department of Music at Iowa State University in 2010. Dr. Sturm is a Fulbright scholar, studying German Harmonielehre (instructional texts in music theory) from 1990-91. Her PhD in music theory is from the University of Arizona.
As a cellist with international experience including concertos, recitals and orchestral performances, Julie also holds degrees in cello performance from the San Francisco Conservatory and Indiana University. Among her many and varied performance credentials, she has collaborated with the Munich Philharmonic, has toured Israel, Germany and the Canary Islands with Orchester der Nationen, has been the soloist in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in Taejon, South Korea, and has appeared as a recitalist in Mexico City, Berlin, Munich, Passau, Los Angeles and Boston, in addition to her more recent appearances in Iowa.
Dr. Sturm has held the principal cello chair of the Des Moines Symphony since 1998, during which time she has also held professorships at Drake University and Grinnell College, where she has taught cello, chamber music and music theory. Prior to moving her career to Iowa, Julie directed the chamber music and theory programs at The Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Mass.
She plays a cello made by the Hungarian luthier Janos Spiegel.
Sandra Tatge has been a music educator in Iowa for 42 years. She obtained a BME from Drake University where she studied cello under John Ehrlich. She has been a member of the Des Moines Symphony cello section since 1965, and has maintained a private cello studio of some 20 students for over 40 years as well.
She is active as a cellist doing many gigs in the Des Moines area. She was co-chair of the Des Moines Symphony Young Artist’s Competition for 12 years, and she and her co-chair were chose in 1991 as the national winners of the Outstanding Education Award from the American Symphony League Conference that year.
She has taught strings in the Des Moines Public Schools at all levels for 27 years, taking a 14 year hiatus 1983-1998 to raise her two children. During this time period, she established a thriving orchestral program for the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute, with which she is associated. This program was absorbed into the Des Moines Symphony Academy orchestra program 5 years ago. Thirteen years ago she re-entered public school education as the director of the Roosevelt Orchestra program in Des Moines. The Roosevelt Orchestra program under her direction has won many national awards at various festivals around the country, and many of the students from the program have advanced to important placements at major music colleges and universities throughout the country. She also directed orchestras and taught cello for 5 years at the Colorado Suzuki Institute when located in Snowmass, Colorado from 2001-2006.
In 2010, she was chosen as “Classroom teacher of the Year” by her colleagues in the Iowa String Teachers Association, a designation of which she is very proud. She currently is busy around the state as a judge for the Iowa High School Music Association, as well as several competitions occurring around the state.
Paul Virgilio was born in 1991 and grew up in Pleasant Valley, New York. He started playing the cello was he was ten years old and currently studies at Drake University.