Julia Adams, violist of the Portland String Quartet, was born in NYC but attended formative school years in Greensboro, NC,
under the tutelage of Kim Harriman, her mentor and a past president of ASTA.
She graduated from Oberlin College with a double degree in Music and Spanish,
and went on to earn her MA degree in Music Performance from San Francisco State College under Laszlo Varga,
David Schneider and Ferenc Molnar. She also had the privilege of studying privately with Lillian Fuchs in her home in NYC.
Julia came to Maine as a member of Music In Maine, a Title Three program under the direction of Paul Vermel,
and went on to be principal violist of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and violist of the Portland String Quartet with whom
she was Artist in Residence at USM and then at Colby College for 20 years.
She and her colleagues in the PSQ received honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Colby College
and the prestigious Acclaim Award from Chamber Music America. She has served on the applied faculties of Colby,
Bates and Bowdoin colleges and currently teaches chamber music at The Waynflete School and the Portland Conservatory of Music
in addition to having an active viola studio in her home.
With the PSQ she continues a national and international performing career.
Rebecca Edmondson, TEMPO: The Eastern Maine Pops Orchestra
founder and conductor, received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Masters of Music in Music Education from the University of Maine. Her teaching experience includes both private and public schools in Pennsylvania and Maine. Mrs. Edmondson has been teaching instrumental and vocal music at the Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor since 1990. Her original fiddle compositions placed first in 2015 (The Rumble Seat Bounce) and second in 2013 (Brambly Dance) in a national competition hosted by the Nebraska ASTA. In December 2012, Mrs. Edmondson was chosen as the representative for the state of Maine as one of fifty, nation wide, in SBO's "50 Directors Who Make a Difference." In 2006, Mrs. Edmondson's music program received national recognition as being one of twelve in the United States designated as being a Model Music Education Program by MENC: The National Association of Music Education (Blakeslee, Brown and Hofmann. Model Music Programs: Ideas for Everyone. Maryland: MENC/Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2008: 24-29).
In addition to conducting TEMPO, her experience extends to conducting the pit orchestra for the MDI High School musical productions (2005-2016) and the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra (2006-2010). She has initiated school programs such as class violin in grade two (in 1998), the Swallowtail Fiddlers (2002) (Teaching Music 15 [June 2008]: 32-34), a show choir known as ‘The Show Stoppers!’ (2009), and class dulcimer in grade 5 (2014). Mrs. Edmondson was one of twenty educators who launched the program Discovering Strings and Orchestra developed by ASTA with a grant from NAMM (American String Teacher 58 [August 2008]: 54) and has contributed lesson plans to ASTA for this DSO project. Mrs. Edmondson authored the article, “Beginning Violin: Pizzicato vs. Arco” (American String Teacher 55 [February 2005]: 50-53) and “A Manual for Music Educators: Beginning and Augmenting the K-8 Strings Program.” She has contributed to the advancement of music education by serving as a clinician several times at the MMEA All-State Conference. She is currently on staff at The Acadia School of Traditional Music and Arts.
I have a B.A. in music from Yale University (1986) and a B.M. in music education from the University of Southern Maine (1994).
I taught strings, general music, band, and chorus in the Waterville and Skowhegan public schools from 1994 to 1998, then strings at Mt. Merici Academy in Waterville from 1998 to 2005.
Since 2005, I have taught private violin and viola lessons at my home in Bowdoinham and have performed with the Maine Music Society, Maine Pro Musica, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra,
the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and in musical theater productions with various groups in the midcoast.
Sarah Hoag began Suzuki violin studies at age four with Margaret Hopkins in Waterboro, Maine and
continued studies with Ronald Lantz of the Portland String Quartet. In the fall of 2013, Sarah graduated
Cum Laude from Ithaca College, NY with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of
Music in Music Education. At Ithaca, Sarah studied violin with Nicholas DiEugenio, and performed with
the Ithaca College Symphony and Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Meyer. While junior
student teaching, Sarah taught K-6 grade private and group lessons under the direction of Julie Carr at St.
Mary’s School in Cortland, NY. During her senior student teaching, she taught grades 6-12 at Cazenovia High School
in Cazenovia, NY.
Currently, Sarah is teaching violin and viola privately in Southern Maine at her private studio located
in the Biddeford Pepperell Mill as well as group violin classes at Kennebunk Elementary School. She is
now in her third year teaching at Saco Middle School as the general music and orchestra teacher grades
In the summers, she is involved with the Portland String Quartet Workshop at St. Joseph’s College in
Standish and is a chamber music coach and counselor at Southern Maine String Camp in Winthrop. In her free
time she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, 4wheeling, and riding her motorcycle.
Robert Lehmann is Professor of Music and Director of Strings Studies and Orchestral Activities at the
University of Southern Maine School of Music where he conducts the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra
and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his duties at USM,
he is Music Director of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and the White Mountain Bach Festival in New Hampshire.
He holds degrees in Violin Performance from the University of the Pacific,
the Eastman School and Boston University and has been a fellow at the American Academy of Conducting
at the Aspen Festival and at the Conductors Institute at Bard College. Dr. Lehmann has concertized as
violinist and conductor, in his native Mexico, throughout the US, Puerto Rico and in Europe and Ukraine.
He has been of frequent guest conductor with the Portland Symphony, Portland Ballet, and has conducted
All-State and Festival Orchestras from Maine to California and Hawaii. He has also been an adjudicator the
National Orchestra Festival at the ASTA National Convention.
Prior to his appointment at USM, he was Music Director of the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard,
and on the conducting staff of the Greater Boston and the Empire State Youth Orchestras.
He is first violinist of the Meliora Quartet and concertmaster of the Opera Maine and the Choral Art Society.
He is in demand as a performer, conductor, teacher and adjudicator and is listed in Who's Who in American Music.
His CD, “Chamber Music for String by Manuel M. Ponce” was issued by Centaur Records in 2009.
He has given numerous word premieres including Elliot Schwartz's' "Concerto VI: Mr. Jefferson"
and Portland Ballet’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. His 2012 performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3,
was named the top performance event of the Portland concert season by the Portland Press Herald.
This year, he will conduct this Portland Ballet's Victorian Nutcracker and make his guest conducting debut with
the Greensboro Symphony. Dr. Lehmann resides in Scarborough, Maine with his wife Kim,
a violist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and their two sons, Eric and Alex.
Aaron Pettengill's life-long fascination with the violin was sparked in the third grade when
he first heard a live orchestra.
As a student Aaron took advantage of every musical opportunity he could.
Before graduating high school, he became concertmaster of both the Maine All-State Orchestra
and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. And when he attended the University of Southern Maine,
he was concertmaster of the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra. He was the recipient of many honors.
He received the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ Scholarship, he performed as the Featured Young Artist
at the White Mountain Bach Festival, and at USM he performed in the Honors recital and as a winner of
the Concerto Competition.
Currently, Aaron teaches and performs all over the state of Maine.
He's a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and he has also performed
with many other professional groups such as Maine Music Society, Maine State Music Theater,
Portland Ballet, and Opera Maine. He’s been teaching private lessons for nearly 10 years and
he taught for one year in Lewiston Public Schools. He has also conducted for multiple workshops in the state.
Aaron owes a lot to his past teachers.
Among his violin teachers are Anne Wilkinson,
Deirdre Oehrtmann, Ronald Lantz, and Robert Lehmann.
He also studied composition with Daniel Sonenberg.
Alice St. Clair is a graduate in violin performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. She has also studied jazz violin at the Berklee College of Music and grew up as a Suzuki violinist. After building a career in Boston that included freelance orchestral performance, a thriving private studio, and chamber music coaching, Ms. St. Clair moved to Eastport, Maine, where she founded Eastport Strings in 2001 and helped to create a vibrant musical community. In addition to her continuing role as the artistic director for Eastport Strings, she is concertmaster of the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra and maintains a private teaching studio. She spent five years teaching general music for Maine Indian Education at the Beatrice Rafferty School, received Suzuki Cello 1 certification, and studied pedagogy with Alice Kanack and Mimi Zweig.
Ms. St. Clair has recently been developing a curriculum for her new Paper Orchestra Program designed as a beginning step in rural music education. Having just become a certified teacher for Creative Ability Development, Alice is excited to spread this knowledge and incorporate this into her personal pedagogy which already emphasizes improvisation and musical exploration.
Yasmin Craig Vitalius received her Bachelor of Arts in Music, Science and Technology from Stanford University with a double concentration in violin performance and composition. Upon graduation, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study Turkish Folk music in Ankara, Turkey where she also performed with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra. She received her Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music under teachers Zvi Zeitlin and Ilya Kayler. Ms. Vitalius was a fellow with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas from 2001-2004.
Yasmin Craig Vitalius is a member of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and maintains a full private studio. She has concertized with the Meliora String Quartet and the Improvisational String Quartet. She regularly presents informative, in-depth musical discussions in the community under a series called “Inside the Music.” Ms. Vitalius is on the violin faculty at Bowdoin College and the director of the New England Suzuki Institute.
Matthew Watras is a music teacher at Lisbon Community School in Lisbon, Maine. He teaches general music for grades K through fifth grade. He also teaches the string ensembles for the school district, currently include students from third grade through high school.
Mr. Watras graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in violin performance in 1991. He also graduated from Boston University with a Master’s degree is violin performance in 1994.
Mr. Watras is a violinist in the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Watras also performs with various ensembles as a musician.
Anne holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Western Michigan University and a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine. She has been a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the Warren Chamber Orchestra, all in the Midwest. After moving to Maine in 1984, she developed a string program in the Saco and Dayton Schools which now numbers over 240 students. In addition to her position as Orchestra Director for Saco Schools and Thornton Academy, she is part-time faculty at the University of Southern Maine, and served as the Orchestra co-chair for the York County Junior High Festival and the District 1 Honors Music Festival. She has been on the faculty at UMO Summer Youth Music Camp and the Thornton Academy Arts Camp. She is a frequent guest conductor for regional music festivals, low string adjudicator for the All-State Music Festival, plays in a string quartet and performs regularly in local orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Anne was on the faculty of the Southern Maine String Camp since 1993 and has served as the Director since 2000. When not getting ready for school and string camp, you will find Anne tending to her bees.