The String Department’s mission is to help students achieve technical proficiency on their instruments. Our experienced faculty work with students on balanced posture, beautiful tone production, accurate intonation, and musicianship skills. At the same time, students master a sequential body of musical repertoire. The string department offers instruction in both solo repertoire and chamber music to beginners through advanced players of all ages.
Our Suzuki Program integrates group lessons and performance with private lessons and parental participation to help young students naturally develop proficiency with their instrument.
One-on-one instruction is the perfect way to build your musical foundation, fine-tune your talent, and express yourself. Lessons are available for all ages and abilities.
> Call 414-276-5760 to schedule a sample lesson with an expert teacher.
Instruments & Disciplines Offered
Cello · Harp · String Bass · Viola · Violin
Classical · Suzuki
Tuition for private instruction ranges from $32-$35 per 30-minute lesson, $48-$52.50 for a 45-minute lesson, or $64-$70 for 60-minute lessons. View a full list of policies and student benefits here.
We offer customized instruction whether you’re a beginning Suzuki student, preparing for a youth orchestra audition, or dusting off your instrument after years of inactivity. In addition to classical string training, students can pursue fiddle music or jazz bass.
Learn more about Suzuki classes & lessons | MORE INFO
Available for brass, orchestral percussion, piano, strings, and woodwinds. Experience a new level of performance. Enroll yourself or your young musician in a Chamber Music Ensemble to explore new repertoire, performance techniques, and a way to make new friends. Ensembles forming throughout the semester. Three years minimum experience on an instrument and good note reading skills required.
Resident faculty ensembles include the classical Prometheus Trio and the Philomusica string quartet (Jeanyi Kim and Alexander “Sascha” Mandl, violins).
The teaching artists for strings are gifted performers and skilled in nurturing students’ musical talents.
Gretchen Grube Rebar
Chair — String Department, Violin
Gretchen Grube Rebar holds a B.M. in Violin Performance with Suzuki Pedagogy from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). She recently completed her M.M. in Violin Performance with Suzuki Pedagogy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Ms. Gretchen received her Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) training from Sharon Jones, developer of the SECE curriculum.
Ms. Gretchen was involved in the Very Young Composers Project of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This program teaches music composition to 4th and 5th grade students. Ms. Gretchen also enjoys playing with her cat, scrapbooking, and eating ice cream!
Cello, Suzuki, General Music
April Dannelly-Schenck is a private cello teacher and performer who moved to the Milwaukee area from St. Louis, MO. Mrs. Dannelly-Schenck has been teaching cello since 2006, and recently completed her training through Book 5 of the Suzuki method. While living in St. Louis, she taught private instruction in cello at Lindenwood University, and private cello lessons from her home and at the Community Music School of Webster Groves. As a teacher, April believes that her mission is to help every student create joy through music, both in their own life as well as the lives of their family and community.
April has always been an active chamber musician and orchestral performer. She is currently the assistant principal cellist in the Menomonee Falls Symphony, and a regular substitute cellist with the Wisconsin Philharmonic, Festival City Symphony, and Illinois Symphony Orchestra. In St. Louis, April served as the principal cellist in the St. Louis Civic Orchestra, and as a section cellist of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Being drawn to string quartet music, she was a member of the Dorian Quartet, with whom she performed in the Oberlin Honors Recital in 2006. The following year the quartet was selected to showcase the Oberlin Conservatory in a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The Dorian Quartet was honored to be chosen as semi-finalists in the Plowman Chamber Competition, and also received Honorable Mention in the Ohio String Teacher’s Association Chamber Competition.
Having a passion for both music performance and music academia, Mrs. Dannelly-Schenck received a Bachelor’s degree in cello performance with a music theory minor from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and then went on to complete Master’s degrees in cello performance (MM) and in music theory (MA) from UW-Madison. Throughout her three years at UW, she taught Aural Skills and Theory as a teaching assistant for the freshman music theory course. She taught upper level Music Theory during her years as a professor at Lindenwood University.
Violin and Viola, General Music
Luis Fernandez was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began violin studies through the El Sistema music program. He earned the Master of Music degree at the University of Florida, where he served as first violin of the Nuevo Mundo quartet-in-residence. Most recently Luis studied at the University of Miami, where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental performance.
Luis was a long-time member of South Beach Chamber Ensemble and the Miami City Ballet Orchestra. Most recently he was a member of Amarillo Symphony and the Associate Concertmaster of Lubbock Symphony.
He served as the music teacher at Valencia Elementary School, where he instituted an after-school strings program. He was also Director of the Violin Program at St. Philip’s School, and served on the faculty of the Community Arts Program and Greater Miami Youth Symphony. In 2013 Luis was appointed Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Florida. He has been on the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp faculty since 2008.
WCM faculty member since 1971. Phillip Grossman is a retired music veteran of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section, of which he was a member since 1970. He has been a member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music faculty since 1971. His B.M. Violin Performance degree is from Indiana University. Mr. Grossman’s teachers at the University were Josef Gingold, Daniel Guilet and William Primrose.
Bass, Jazz Institute
WCM faculty member since 1998. A member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet, Mr. Hamann attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, winning first place in the Jazz Studies Scholarship competition four years in a row. He has worked as a clinician and jazz festival judge in the Milwaukee, Kenosha and Waukesha public schools as well as at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison and UW-Green Bay. Performing with such well-known artists as Frank Morgan, Marlena Shaw, Steve Allen, and Eric Alexander, he has toured throughout the Midwest and has appeared at Jazz Yantra in Bombay, India. Jeff is also the bassist on Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know show, airing Saturdays on Wisconsin Public Radio and broadcast nationally on NPR stations. He can be heard on the 2005 We Six CD Bird Say.
Dr. Alexander Mandl
WCM faculty member since 2003. D.M.A., UW-Madison; M.M., Yale University; B.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University. Brazilian violinist and conductor, Alexander "Sascha" Mandl has performed worldwide at renowned halls, including Alice Tully, the Memorial of Latin America, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Carnegie Music Hall. He is the Concertmaster of the Kenosha Symphony and the Racine Symphony orchestras, and Assistant Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. A faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Carroll University, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Mandl has also performed and taught extensively at international festivals with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Erick Friedman, Sidney Harth, Aldo Parisot, Joao Carlos Martins and Mathieu Dufour. Educated at Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University and UW-Madison, Dr. Mandl is the recipient of the Ivan Galamian Award, the Carnegie Tradition Award and the Yale Alumni Prize. His primary teachers include Sidney Harth, Erick Friedman and Vartan Manoogian.
WCM faculty member since 2005. Violinist Tatiana Migliaccio was born in the Ukraine and graduated from the Musical College of Ternopil. She later completed study at the Lviv Conservatory with degrees in Master of Chamber Music Performance and Pedagogy. Tatiana began her music career playing in the Lviv Symphony and toured with the orchestra to Poland, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Estonia. After coming to the United States in 1994 and initially settling in Illinois, she became a member of numerous orchestras, including the Rockford Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet and the University of Chicago Orchestras. She also taught Suzuki violin at the Rockford College Music Academy. In 2005 Tatiana became a member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music faculty, successively teaching violin, music theory and chamber music to WCM students. Along with her teaching, Tatiana currently plays in the Wisconsin Philharmonic, Green Bay, Kenosha and Festival City Symphony Orchestras. Her musical career was inspired by her wonderful teachers Alexander Tatarinzev, Eleanor Stanlis and Mr. Mark Zinger.
WCM faculty since 2012. Kelsey Molinari completed her bachelors and masters of music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. She has participated in numerous music festivals through the world and has performed in famed concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She has worked with some of today’s leading conductors, including Gustavo Dudamel, James Levine, Paavo Järvi, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Charles Dutoit, Esa Peka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach, among others. During the 2008-2009 season, Kelsey performed as acting substitute principal harpist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Kelsey has performed as guest principal harpist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on its tour to Europe in 2011 and tour to Caracas, Venezuela in 2012. Kelsey’s solo performances have drawn critical acclaim. The Chicago Tribune described her as “a splendid harpist.” The Chicago Sun-Times dubbed her an “outstanding soloist.” Kelsey is the principal harpist of several orchestra throughout the Midwest and is an active chamber, orchestral and solo performer and teacher.
Bass, Jazz Institute
WCM faculty member since 1981. Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance. Regional Freelance performer and teacher as well as leader of his own small ensembles. Has performed with top jazz artists in the United States, including Buddy Montgomery, Melvin Rhyne, Frank Morgan, Berkeley Fudge, David Hazeltine, Brian Lynch, Manty Ellis, Wille Pickens, Ali Ryerson, Greg Abate, Von Freeman, and Henry Johnson. Mr. Paolo can be heard on the CD On the Edge with The Luis Diaz Quintet, WYMS radio sampler CD with Berkeley Fudge on "On a Misty Night" and Jeanne Woodall’s It’s Never too Late. He is currently on faculty teaching Jazz Bass, Theory and Performance at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, private teaching, clinician for the Jazz Experience for Milwaukee Public Schools, and at various colleges.
Violin, Suzuki, Early Childhood
Anna Rasmussen is an active chamber and orchestral musician and has been a Suzuki teacher since 2007. She has played with several orchestras in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas, including Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Western Piedmont Symphony, Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and Waco Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Rasmussen loves the collaboration of chamber music. She was the first violinist in the Spiritoso Quartet, has played in several chamber ensembles with other faculty members of the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT, and regularly performs with her husband, Charlie. She has recorded tracks for Paul Bogaev, and, as a member of the Spiritoso Quartet, she premiered a string quartet by Elise Grant in 2015.
Ms. Rasmussen received her Master’s in Violin Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baylor University. Her violin teachers include Fabian Lopez, Eka Gogichashvili, and Julia Hardie. She has done Suzuki Teacher Training with Julia Hardie, Mark Mutter, and long-term training with Allen Lieb at the School for Strings in New York City. She has taught at Suzuki, traditional, and El Sistema-inspired schools in Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas.
Cello, Suzuki, General Music
Charlie Rasmussen enjoys an active career as both a modern and Baroque cellist and as a teacher at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Mr. Rasmussen was previously on faculty at the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, CT where he taught private and group cello lessons, musicianship classes, and coached chamber ensembles. Mr. Rasmussen strives to help his students develop a lifelong passion for music and cello playing.
Mr. Rasmussen holds a Masters of Music in Cello Performance from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG), where he was a graduate assistant and studied with Dr. Alexander Ezerman. He also received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from UNCG. Before his studies at UNCG, Mr. Rasmussen graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in music from Luther College where he studied with Dr. Eric Kutz. Mr. Rasmussen studied the Suzuki Method with Carol Tarr at the University of Denver, and he is trained to teach Books 1-10 through the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Mr. Rasmussen performed as cellist in the Spiritoso Quartet from 2015-2016 and the Immer String Quartet while he was a student at UNCG. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Rasmussen has served as a principal cellist of the Danville Symphony Orchestra (VA), University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, and the Luther College Philharmonia. He has also performed with the Fayetteville and Norwalk Symphonies. An advocate of new music, Mr. Rasmussen performed in the premiere of Alejandro Rutty’s Cantabile Hop at the 2012 North Carolina Music Teacher’s Association in Chapel Hill and premiered a string quartet by Elise Grant in 2015. He has recorded for Grammy Award-winning Broadway and film composer Paul Bogaev.
As a Baroque cellist, Mr. Rasmussen has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival with the New York Continuo Collective and with American Bach Soloists where he participated in the Academy program. Mr. Rasmussen has soloed with Greensboro Early Music and presented solo recitals through the Seabury Academy of the Arts in Norwalk, CT. He attended Phoebe Carrai’s Baroque Cello Bootcamp and the Magnolia Institute where he studied with Brent Wissick. He currently performs in the Vitali Ensemble with Baroque Guitarist Meredith Connie.
Courtney Sharp has over 20 years of experience as a cellist. She holds a Masters of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, an Artist’s Diploma from the College of Charleston, and a Bachelors of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music at Case Western Reserve University. She was also a National Finalist at the MTNA competition. Ms. Sharp’s strongest passions include chamber music, orchestral performance, solo playing, and teaching.
Violin and Viola, Suzuki, General Music
Natalie Stawarski is from Downers Grove, Illinois where she began playing violin at the age of 9 through her elementary school music program. She has gained a Bachelor of Music from Millikin University, where she studied under Georgia Hornbacker, and then went to study with Dr. Sarah Gentry at Illinois State university while pursuing a master’s degree. Natalie furthered her education by going to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she became trained in Suzuki up to book 8 under Vera McCoy Sulentic, and continued studying violin under Dr. Lenora Anop. Natalie has participated and performed in various classical, bluegrass, and free improv ensembles, as well as doing work within the recording studio at Millikin University. Natalie has also performed at the International Chamber Music Festival in Kyustendil, Bulgaria.
Viola and Violin, Suzuki, General Music
Mrs. Stodola started as a Suzuki violin instructor in Lubbock, Texas in 2002 after receiving short-term training at the American Suzuki Institute from Nancy Lokken. Inspired to learn more, Mrs. Stodola received a MME with an emphasis in Suzuki violin from the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point. During her time in Stevens Point she worked with Professor Pat D'Ercole, and was awarded the Margery Aber Talent Education Scholarship for two consecutive years. After completing her degree, she pursued Sonata Repertoire training with Tom Wermuth, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education with ECE pioneer, Dorothy Jones.
Mrs. Stodola has taught Suzuki violin in Milwaukee since 2005. She has taught independently and on the faculties of North Shore Suzuki Strings and Barcel Suzuki String Academy. Most recently, she joined the Conservatory Suzuki faculty in August of 2014. Mrs. Stodola has been a clinician at workshops throughout Wisconsin, and served as interim faculty for the Aber Suzuki Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She maintains involvement with the Suzuki Association of Wisconsin where in 2010, she served as organizational chairperson for their biennial workshop.
Mrs. Stodola holds a MM in violin performance from Texas Tech University studying under John Gilbert, and a BM in violin performance from the University of Minnesota studying with Sally O'Reilly. She also studied with Jerome Franke of the Milwaukee Symphony and Klara Fenyo-Bahcall, professor of violin at UW-Oshkosh. An avid performer, she served as concertmaster of the Green Bay Civic Symphony from 2007-2011, and is now currently a member of the Wisconsin Philharmonic
Marie Sinco Warren
Marie Sinco Warren is a cellist and teacher with a focus on outreach and youth advocacy. An active chamber musician, she has commissioned, premiered, and recorded new works throughout the country. Mrs. Warren has worked with composers such as Douglas Boyce, Augusta Read Thomas, and Duncan Youngerman, and toured with new music series such as Wireless!, and the North Carolina International Orchestra. Before turning her attention to pedagogy she performed extensively with the North Carolina Symphony, as well as regional orchestras such as Winston Salem Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, and Green Bay Symphony. Since then she has served with the Greater Milwaukee ‘el Sistema, a full scholarship outreach strings program; she was an Assistant Advocate with the homeless youth shelter, Pathfinders MKE; and as a Resident Advisor with the homeless youth shelter, Covenant House NYC. In addition to her duties at the Wisconsin Conservatory Mrs. Warren is the Applied Cello Professor at Carroll University as well as Adjunct Professor of Cello at Mount Mary University. She holds a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) from University of South Florida, a Master of Music (M.M.) from Florida State University, and the Professional Artist Certificate (P.A.C.) From University of North Carolina School of the Arts.