Marion Peraza de Webb | Director of Peraza Music Workshop and Teacher
Marion Peraza de Webb was born into a family of teachers in the small Venezuelan university town of Barquisimeto. Not only her parents, but most of her aunts and uncles on both sides were teachers or university professors. Music was also a family-wide endeavor. Her brother, Javier, a cellist, is a founding member of El Sistema, a publicly financed, voluntary sector music education program in Venezuela, originally called Social Action for Music. And Julietta, her sister is a performing violinist and conductor of the youth orchestra in their hometown. Incidentally, the present conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, was one of Julietta’s pupils!
As with her older siblings, it was a given that Marion would play an instrument. Marion attributes much of her love of music to the environment in which she was reared. The Bach Suites were a constant accompaniment to daily life. Growing up in El Sistema exposed her to the compositions of Beethoven and Mozart and Wagner, making their music, and the music of many others, an important part of who she was even as a child.
When she was selected to be part of the Latin American Violin Academy, she made the weekly six-hour bus ride to her lessons with her father, an experience she remembers with fondness as having provided precious parent-child bonding time. While not trained specifically in the Suzuki Method as a child, her father’s involvement with her musical training left a profound impression upon Marion. Luckily, most people do not need to travel twelve hours round trip to take a violin lesson, but the Suzuki method does attempt to emulate the kind of parental engagement Marion came to understand so intimately through this experience.
As a member of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (Caracas), Marion toured Japan, USA, Mexico, Brazil, France and Spain, and participated in seven CD recordings for the Dorian Records label. She has also played solo works with all of the major Venezuelan orchestras, as well as with orchestras in the US and Canada. As the first violin of the Cuarteto de Cuerdas America, Marion played numerous performances in festivals and concert series in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany and the United States, among other places. In 1998, Marion won the Miami University Concerto Competition and was awarded the Battel Stoeckel Trust Award at Yale University. Two years later, she won the Grand Prize and Honor Award in the Annual Competition of Spanish and Latin American Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and a year later was also recognized as the Ohio Latino Arts Association’s Performing Artist of the Year Award 2001.
She performs regularly with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra in Detroit. She works with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra coaching their high school chamber music group: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Noveau Chamber Players.
Marion feels passionate about music, and it is that passion that she hopes to pass on to her students. The way children think, how they interact with music and build confidence and mature through performance, are elements Marion focuses on as a teacher of primarily young children. She considers the Suzuki Method the best approach for teaching young children to play the violin. Suzuki’s philosophy is methodical musically but also relates to the child as a unique learning individual.
Her principal teachers include Jose Francisco Del Castillo (Simón Bolívar Conservatory), Margaret Pardee (Juilliard School), the Tokyo Quartet, and the Vermeer Quartet.
Marion is married to Garin Webb, a jazz musician; together they have two boys, Ari, the cellist, and Eli, who plays the violin.
Sujin Kim | Coach and Accompanist
Sujin Kim is a DMA candidate in piano performance at the College-Conservatory of Music where she received a full scholarship to study piano with Michael Chertock. She holds a master’s degree in piano performance from CCM and completed a bachelor’s degree at Kyungwon University in South Korea with a summa cum laude. Ms. Kim has performed in the United States, Czech Republic, and South Korea and as a soloist with the CCM Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Collegium Musician. Ms. Kim is an active chamber musician and collaborative pianist, she has performed with the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra and in numerous recitals with singers, instrumentalists and choirs including the Cincinnati Camerata, Clermont Festival Choral, Vocal Art Ensemble, UC Women’s Chorus and Forest-Aires Women’s Chorus.
Sujin Kim has been awarded fellowships from festivals such as Prague International Piano Institution, Accent, Grandin festival, Music 08 summer festival. Along with her passion for performance, she is an enthusiastic teacher maintaining a strong, successful studio of private students.
Currently, Ms. Kim serves as the director of music at Sycamore Presbyterian Church and as the artistic director of Forest-Aires Women’s Chorus. She also teaches at Northern Kentucky University in the prep department while also finishing her DMA.
Sujin resides with her husband Noel and their son Noel in Cincinnati.
Johann Bast | Coach
Johann Bast graduated from Florida State University. His teachers include Young-Nam Kim, Gerardo Ribeiro, Karen Clarke and Eliot Chapo. After his studies he performed all over the United States, Europe and Japan. He joined the Florida Orchestra for two seasons after which he toured with the Mantovani Orchestra as Concertmaster and then did several National Broadway tours including Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard and also toured with New York City Opera. After settling in South Florida, he was a member of the Palm Beach Opera for twenty five years. With over thirty years of teaching experience, Mr. Bast’s students have gone on to play in All State Orchestras and competitions and been awarded scholarships at the University level. A recent arrival in Cincinnati, he is looking forward to new musical endeavors both teaching and performing.
Phillip Roberts | Theory
Phillip Roberts is a composer and performer with a strong penchant for music theory. From his home state of Virginia comes the musical heritage of the Shenandoah Valley, lending an air of Americana to much of Roberts’ music. His preference for the driving rhythms and soulful harmonies comes from his current residency in Cincinnati, the birthplace of funk. At Miami University, Roberts is an adjunct instructor for the undergraduate music theory curriculum. During the summer, he teaches music theory and composition courses at Interlochen Arts Camp, as well as assisting with the electronic music studios and classes. Roberts has fulfilled commissions from such ensembles as the James Madison University Chorale, the Luray Main Street Singers, and the University of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He has also played as a collaborative pianist for the aforementioned choirs, the first with which he toured England in the summer of 2010. Having given recitals as a pianist, an organist, and others featuring his own compositions, Roberts feels equally at home in several disciplines.
Roberts recently finished his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He also holds degrees from James Madison University and Bowling Green State University. John Hilliard, Marilyn Shrude, and Michael Fiday are among the composers with whom he has studied.
Ellen Harrison | Theory
The music of American composer Ellen Ruth Harrison has received numerous honors and awards from organizations such as the American Guild of Organists, the Fromm Music Foundation, the IBLA European International Music Foundation, the International League of Women Composers, the Ohio Arts Council, the Rebecca Clarke Society, SPECTRI SONORI, and UC Berkeley. Her works have been widely performed both in the United States and abroad by a diverse range of performers such as the Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players, concert:nova, Earplay, the Empyrean Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet, Octagon, Parnassus, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
Harrison was born and raised in Streator, Illinois. She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and chair of music theory and composition in CCM’s Preparatory Department. As a recipient of a Jacob K. Javits fellowship, she earned her doctorate in composition from the University of California, Berkeley, where her teachers included Edwin Dugger, Richard Felciano, Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson. She spent two years studying in Paris supported by U.C. Berkeley’s Prix de Paris and attended composer workshops at IRCAM. She also studied with Milko Kelemen at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, and with Thomas Frederickson and Paul Zonn at the University of Illinois.
Penned for instrumental and vocal ensembles of various sizes, Harrison’s compositions are inspired by diverse experiences and circumstances. Echoing her evocatively titled movements, her music at times seems to dip into distant and antique sonic realms to portray a series of contrasting moods and atmospheres. At other times the tone is more jocular as she juxtaposes impetuous activity with infernal calm at multiple levels, presenting an extraordinary variety of textures, melodic materials, and expressive gestures.