Co-Founded by Rachel Huch, Marlene Moses, and James Rhodes, Western Reserve Chamber Festival is a collaborative effort to bring together students and faculty from all over Northeast Ohio.
In it's inaugural year, the Western Reserve Chamber Festival was thrilled to have 50 students from over 14 different Northeast Ohio cities and three different states and. Last summer WRCF was able to serve over 100 students from all over Ohio.
Our world class faculty includes teachers from all over Northeast Ohio as well as Michigan and New York.
Richard Weiss, Cellist from The Cleveland Orchestra
Richard Weiss is first assistant principal cello of The Cleveland Orchestra. For the 2009-2010 season, he served as acting principal. A native of Los Angeles, California, he won first prize in the Music Teachers National Association competition. At the Tanglewood Festival, he was the Young Artist contest winner and concerto soloist. While attending the Eastman School on full merit scholarship, he won a position in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. During his senior year, he was appointed to The Cleveland Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist many times with The Cleveland Orchestra, and his repertoire includes concertos by Beethoven (Triple), Brahms (Double), Dvořák, Haydn, Lalo, Rósza, Saint-Saëns (both A and D minor), Schumann, and Tchaikovsky. He is a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio, which performs both locally and on tour.
Mr. Weiss teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he is co-chair of the cello department. He also serves as president of the Cleveland Cello Society. He coaches the cello sections of the CIM Orchestras, the New World Symphony in Miami, and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. He has performed and taught at several music festivals, including Aspen, Pensacola, Reno, Kent/Blossom, and the Cleveland International Music Festival. With Cleveland Orchestra colleagues Joela Jones, Max Dimoff, and Don Miller, he recorded Claude Bolling’s Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio.
Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni
Violin/Viola: Rachel Huch
Andrea Belding Elson
Erika Pinkerton Sloos
Donna Jelen- Chamber Orchestra
Rachel A. Huch Co-Founder/Director Violin/Viola
Rachel Huch has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on tours throughout the United States, Europe, and South America, and has shared the stage with artists of nearly every musical genre including Joshua Bell, Bobby McFerrin, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Stefon Harris, Kanye West, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bolton, The Who, Sarah McLachlan and Marvin Hamlisch. Ms. Huch is a laureate of various national and international competitions, including the Richardson, Arriaga, and Kauder competitions, receiving various awards as both a soloist and chamber musician.
In addition to her live performances, Ms. Huch has an active recording career and has been featured on television, radio, films, eCards, and numerous studio albums. Her recordings include Classical, Pop, Rock, and Country albums with artists such as Lauren Lanzaretta, The Vig, Philip Fox Band, Pat Madden & Sally Potter, Welshly Arms, and Michael Bolton, and she can be heard on various American Greetings applications, ecards, albums, and shows.
Ms. Huch has been invited to perform with orchestras throughout the US including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Jackson, and Akron Symphony Orchestras, and formerly served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Opera Theater Orchestra. As a chamber musician she has performed with the International Chamber Soloists and extensively in a number of string quartets, most recently as first violinist of the Azalea Quartet. Ms. Huch spent ten years on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has also served on faculty at the University of Akron.
Currently Ms. Huch performs with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. She is on faculty at Cleveland State University where she teaches Violin, Viola, and Chamber Music and is Co-Director of the Western Reserve Chamber Festival which she helped found in 2014. She also maintains a thriving private studio, from which her students regularly receive top honors in adjudicated events, and acceptance into the highest level of youth ensembles and festivals. Ms. Huch is frequently sought out as a guest artist and adjudicator for schools and festivals throughout the United States.
Photo Credit: Susan Bestul
Dr. Marlene Moses Co-Founder/Director Violin/Viola
Dr. Marlene Moses is currently Director of the Western ReserveSuzuki School and Co-Director of the Western Reserve Chamber Festival. Prior to holding these position, Dr. Moses served on
faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music Sato Center for Suzuki Studies as a violin and viola instructor. Dr. Moses has served on faculty of the Suzuki Music Columbus Summer Institute, the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute, the International Music Festival. Additionally, Dr. Moses has served as chamber coach for the Chamber Music Connection and has also taught at various workshops around the country.
As a Chamber Musician, Dr. Moses performs throughout the Cleveland and Akron area as a member of the Arion Quartet and the Moses Duo. Dr. Moses also performs as a member of the Summit Choral Society Chamber Orchestra and is a former member of the Akron Symphony Orchestra viola section.
Dr. Moses is a Past President of the Suzuki Association of Ohio and has served on the Board of the Suzuki Association of Northeast Ohio. Dr. Moses is also a frequent Presenter at Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference.
Dr. Moses resides in Stow, Ohio with her husband Greg and their two daughters, Hannah who is a the cellist of the award winning Callisto Quartet, and Aurelia who still enjoys music while pursuing the field of Chemistry and Forensic Science.
James Rhodes Co-Founder/Viola
James Rhodes, violist, is a sought after performer and music educator. He has performed in concerts throughout the United States and Europe and regularly performs throughout Northeast Ohio in the Bluewater Chamber Orchestra and NoExit, Cleveland's Premeir new music ensemble. He is also a cofounder of the DadBand, a two viola, two cello crossover string quartet.
As a teacher Mr. Rhodes has served on the faculties of the Timberline Middle School in Alpine and the Cleveland Music School Settlement. He currently is the music director at Hudson Montessori School in Hudson, Ohio where he directs the Conservatory of Music, teaches Suzuki viola and violin, directs ensembles, coaches chamber music, and teaches classroom music to students ages 3-14.
Mr. Rhodes holds degrees from Cal State Fullerton and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Mari Sato, Violin
Violinist Mari Sato has enjoyed a rich and varied career as a chamber musician based in Cleveland. For twenty-four years, she was the second violinist of the award-winning Cavani String Quartet. During her tenure with the Cavani Quartet, Mari gave concerts on major series, including Carnegie Hall, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Festival de L’Epau in France, and the Honolulu Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Sato is honored to have collaborated with many distinguished artists including members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Emerson, St. Lawrence String Quartets, the Weilerstein Trio and Itzhak Perlman. Music festival appearances and residencies include The Aspen Music Festival, The New World Symphony, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Perlman Music Program, ChamberFest Cleveland, and Encore Chamber Music.
Formerly on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music 1995-2018, Mari Sato and her colleagues coached many outstanding young musicians. Former chamber music students include members of the Jupiter, Daedalus, Aeolus, Miró, Fry Street and Afiara Quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, St. Paul, Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. Since 2018, Ms. Sato has been coaching chamber music at the Oberlin Conservatory.
Erika Pinkerton Sloos, Violin/Viola
Erika Sloos holds degrees from Vanderbilt University as well as the Eastman School of Music where she attended as a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Graduate Arts Award. Her former teachers include: Dr. Carolyn Huebl, Juliana Athayde, Amy Barlowe, and Dr. Marlene Moses.
An active chamber musician, Mrs. Sloos grew up playing piano trios with her dad (a pianist) and sister (a cellist) and has served in the Montgomery String Quartet and Highland String Quartet among others. Mrs. Sloos was previously violin and viola instructor at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, teaches and performed with the Rochester Philharmonic.
Currently, Mrs. Sloos is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, serves as a violin and viola instructor for Queens Community Music. as well as a teacher for Sistema Kingston.
Donna Jelen, Chamber Orchestra
Donna Jelen is the Director of Orchestras and Music Department Chair at Shaker Heights High School and the Conductor of the String Sinfonia at the Cleveland Institute of Music. A native of Cassatt, South Carolina, Ms. Jelen attended the North Carolina School of the Arts for high school and holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Houston Moores School of Music, and Cleveland State University. Her primary violin teachers have included Gregory Fulkerson, Erich Eichhorn, Fredell Lack, David Russell, and Roland and Almita Vamos. Ms. Jelen was selected as one of ten Conducting Fellows at the Juilliard School’s 2011 Conducting Workshop for Music Educators and has studied conducting with Timothy Weiss, David Effron, George Stelluto, and Virginia Allen. Ms. Jelen has conducted orchestral performances to enthusiastic audiences in major US cities as well as in Italy, France, Spain, China, Austria, and Hungary. In 2017, her Chamber Orchestra at Shaker Heights High School won the 2nd runner-up prize in the National Orchestra Cup competition at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center.
Andrea Belding Elson, Violin/Viola
Andréa Belding Elson, violinist, received a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music under David Russell. In her junior year she was awarded the 2003 CIM Dr. Jerome Gross Award in Violin. As a senior, Andréa was appointed concertmaster of the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, where she made her professional concerto debut performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto in 2004. She subsequently earned a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at CIM under Stephen Rose and Kimberly Meier-Sims. Andréa maintains a private studio in Bay Village and Solon where she teaches both violin and viola. Andréa was recently reappointed concertmaster of the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall of 2017 under the direction of Maestro Dr. Liva. She was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra for five seasons, and the first violinist of the Black River String Quartet from Elyria, Ohio, for 12 years. She still plays concerts with CSO, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, and occasionally has subbed as concertmaster of the Heights Chamber Orchestra. She performs concertos frequently with the Lorain County Civic Orchestra. She is a founding member of the JAY trio (formerly the Aurora Trio). Andréa was a founding member of the Azalea Quartet and a finalist in both the 2010 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition and the 2010 Hugo Kauder International String Quartet Competition
Tara Hanish, Cello
Tara Hanish is an avid performer and educator currently based in NYC. She is currently on faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, JCC Thurnauer School of Music, Suzuki on the Island, and the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at Queens College. She is also a sought-after performer and session musician for composing, arranging and recording.
Ms. Hanish served as the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Akron Symphony, maintained a private studio, and was on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has also served as Principal Cellist of the Suburban Symphony, and performed regularly with the Erie Philharmonic, Canton Symphony, Cleveland Opera Theater and Ohio Valley Symphony. She is also a member of the acclaimed symphonic indie-rock band Seafair and the ecclectic jazz/folk ensemble, Cellocentric.
As a chamber musician, Tara is a founding member of the Azalea String Quartet, a group that received accolades and high awards at the Hugo Kauder International String Quartet Competition and the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in 2010. The Azalea Quartet is currently featured in numerous American Greetings recordings for eCards, applications, and soundtracks.
Equally versed in the non-classical scene, Tara plays cello for the Cleveland-based rock band Seafair and the NYC-based alternative cello duo, The Whiskey Girls. As a back-up musician, Tara has performed with notable artists like The Foo Fighters, Michael Bublé, Kanye West, Josh Groban, Barry Manilow, Smokey Robinson, and The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2008, she performed at the Grammy Awards with the Foo Fighters as a You Tube My Grammy Moment winner.
Ms. Hanish holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Miami, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her principal instructors included Richard Aaron, Ross Harbaugh, Anthony Elliott and Louis Potter. Ms. Hanish is a registered Suzuki teacher, and received teacher training with Tanya Carey, Barbara Wampner, and Pamela Davenport through the School for Strings.
Derek Snyder, Cello
Derek Snyder has appeared as soloist with orchestras in both the United States and Europe, and as a chamber musician has collaborated with members of some of the country’s most exciting ensembles, including the Cavani and Cleveland String Quartets, and the Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal and Baltimore Symphonies. In addition to being a founder and cellist in the nuevo tango band the Oblivion Project, he is a member of DadBand, performs often with the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra and is a board member of the Cleveland Cello Society.
His arrangements of the music of Graham Nash and Bootsy Collins have been performed by the Contemporary Youth Orchestra with the composers. He has created numerous transcriptions and arrangements for cello ensembles, focusing primarily on the music of Dave Brubeck and Astor Piazzolla. His arrangements of music by Brubeck can be heard on the Naxos label as preformed by the Yale Cellos and are published by Cellocelli Music. (Derek is also the founder of Cellocelli Music, www.cellocelli.com, a source for unique and contemporary sheet music and recordings for string players).
Derek’s principal teachers have been Tanya Carey, Erling Blondal Bengtsson (University of Michigan), Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr (New England Conservatory). Derek is a member of the Suzuki faculty at the Cleveland Music School Settlement and also teaches privately in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.