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Strings Alumni

Raquel Ravaglioli (2014)

BM in Violin Performance and Music Therapy
Raquel is a Board Certified Music Therapist, currently completing her Master of Arts degree in Creative Arts Therapies, Music Therapy option at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec

Raquel works at Step-By-Step as a Music Therapist serving children, teens, and adults with a variety of abilities.  Other experience in the field of music therapy includes working with students who have cochlear implants and other socio-emotional needs, trauma induced adolescents, older adult psychiatric patients, adult medical patients, field service work in Jamaica, and an internship at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.  Raquel also works at Santa Monica Conservatory as an experienced music teacher.  She has provided private and group musical instruction for over 10 years, and is currently in the process of building her own private practice to include private musical instruction, adapted music lessons, and music therapy for individual students and groups of clients. Raquel has been playing the violin for almost 25 years, as she continues her professional career as a violinist as a member of the Local 47 Musicians Union of Los Angeles.  She has performed and/or recorded around the world in venues including Capitol Records, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler, and in Viterbo, Italy.  In her spare time, Raquel enjoys being physically active, trying delicious cuisine, and spending time with friends and family.  Raquel looks forward to continuing her development as a musician, educator, music therapist, and person in the years to come.  

Erik Urbina (2011)

BM in Cello Performance and Music Management
As an orchestral musician, Erik has performed with orchestras throughout the Central Valley and foothills of California, including The Motherlode Symphony Orchestra, Zion Chamber Orchestra, Merced Symphony, Townsend Opera and more. As a soloist, Erik performed the Haydn concerto for cello in D major with the Motherlode Symphony orchestra in Sutter Creek, California. In addition, The Mother Lode Friends of Music invited him to perform two chamber concerts collaborating with flutist Laurel Zucker and violinist Corina Stoian. Erik performs recitals regularly, performing a combination of standard and new works for cello.

A passionate educator, Erik maintains teaching studios in Stockton, Tracy, Mountain House and the Bay Area Academy of Music in Pleasanton. He enjoys working with students who are as young as three to those who are grandparents. Side projects include working with singer/songwriter Marirose Powell and her band to perform rock music. Aside from music, Erik enjoys cooking, baking, exercising and spending time with his family.

Lizzie Jones (2010)

BM in Violin Performance
Ms. Jones graduated from University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music in 2010 with her B.M. in Violin Performance.  She continued her studies at The Boston Conservatory in Violin Performance where she expanded her performance through musical theater, opera, and chamber music. During her time at Boston Conservatory, her clarinet trio won the Honors Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and 2012 performing Stravinsky's L'Hitsoire du Soldat and Schikele's Serenade for Three. In Boston Conservatory's Honors Solo String Competition, Ms. Jones was a finalist performing Penderecki's Sonata No. 2 in 2012. After receiving her M.M. in Violin Performance, she has been involved with the Speakeasy Theater (Boston, MA), Commonwealth Lyric Theater (Boston, MA), Lowell House Opera (Cambridge, MA), and Gloriae Dei Artes (Orleans, MA). 

Since March 2014, Ms. Jones has been performing with Videri String Quartet, which "is a classically-trained quartet specializing in performing high-quality arrangements of video game music for audiences of all ages. Videri's core artistic objectives are to explore ways in which video game music connects with its listeners, to celebrate the dynamic link between music and storytelling, and to make classical music more accessible to children and young adults by exposing them to popular video game scores rooted in classical music traditions" (Rosie Samter, founder and violist).

Along with their own concerts, Videri has been invited to perform at video game conventions such as Boston Festival of Indie Games (2014, 2015), Geek Central (2014), and Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco (2013-2015). In October 2015, they were asked to perform at Harmonix Studios (creators of the game "Rock Band") for their team's release party of a game exclusively for Apple TV.    

This past summer, the quartet was invited to Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music as a fellowship quartet, where they were coached by Lenny Matczynski (director of Apple Hill) for fourteen days on both Haydn Op. 20, No.4 and video game music arrangements. At the end of the session, the quartet put on their own performance of Haydn and video game music at Apple Hill with a full house in the center's concert space. Videri String Quartet is currently working on recording an album that will include both classical music and video game music, and is set to be released in 2016. You can visit their website at 

Keith Kroesen (2009)

BM in Cello Performance and Music Education
Since graduating from University of the Pacific, Keith Kroesen has been living in Denver Colorado and working on his graduate degree at University of Denver in Suzuki Pedagogy. While attending University of Denver, he has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Musicology Department, working with Dr. Antonia Banducci, Dr. Sarah Morelli, and Dr. Jack Sheinbaum. As part of the chamber program, Keith has been a member of the Tesseract String Quartet for two years, and for the past year has been dedicated to performing chamber music of the 20th century. Their recent achievement has been performing for the Denver community George Crumb's Black Angels, an eccentric work for electric string quartet.  For the past two years, Keith has also been involved with the Denver Talent Education, a cooperative Suzuki school. After graduating University of Denver in spring 2011, Keith plans to teach music in public schools as well as in a private studio setting. In July, he will be teaching and directing the cello orchestra at the Rocky Mountain Cello Festival.

Helen Graham (2007)

BM in Violin Performance
Helen Graham earned her Bachelor's of Music in Violin Performance from University of the Pacific in 2007. She then relocated to Denver, Colorado, and at the University of Denver she studied with Colorado Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams and earned her Masters of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy.  In June of 2009, Ms. Graham returned to her hometown of Yuba City, California to continue to teach and perform both violin and viola. Looking to contribute to and broaden the musical community of the Yuba Sutter area, Ms. Graham and her colleague Rebekah Hood founded the Veridian Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Ms. Graham not only serves as concertmaster of the orchestra, but is also a member of the Veridian Symphony Alliance- a board of directors dedicated to the growth and longevity of the orchestra. In 2009 Ms. Graham and Ms. Hood also opened the North Valley Suzuki Music School in Yuba City, offering both private lessons and group lessons. The mission of the school is to allow families of any financial means to become a part of the Suzuki family, and for them to enjoy all of the benefits, opportunities, and joy that music provides. Through her teaching, Ms. Graham hopes to help motivate and inspire students to pursue their love of music.

Shawn Alger (2005)

BM in Double Bass Performance and Music History 

After graduating from University of the Pacific, Shawn Alger spent two years at the University of Oregon earning an MA in Musicology where his thesis, Music in Colorado Mining Towns, was nominated by the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance for the WAGS/UMI distinguished Master's Thesis Award Competition. After graduating from Oregon in 2009, he enrolled at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he recently completed a MM in Double Bass Performance. His primary teacher at Peabody was Jeff Weisner, and he received additional instruction from notable bassists Paul DeNola, Paul Johnson, Ira Gold, and Harold Robinson. In addition to his studies, he was a member of the Peabody Viol Consort.  Shawn is currently teaching double bass at the Waldorf School of Baltimore. Next year he will begin his DMA studies in Double Bass Performance at the University of Maryland under the tutelage of Anthony Manzo.