Charlotte,
North Carolina

July 23-27, 2018
(Orientation July 22)

Faculty

2018 Faculty

Violin
Mark O'Connor
Maggie O'Connor
Daisy Jopling
Leonor Falcon
Kate Lee
Jamie Laval
Glen Alexander

Viola
Pamela Hamilton
Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin

Cello
Alan Black

Double Bass
Geoffrey Saunders
Teacher Training
Mark O'Connor

Orchestra Director
Ulli Reiner

Guitar and Mandolin
Joe Smart
Forrest O'Connor

Dance
Vivian Hopkins

*faculty subject to change*


A New School of American String Playing - The American System and the
"O'Connor Method." Solo books of sequenced tunes and exercises featuring
technique, creativity, theory, improvisation and ear training. "America
On Strings" is sequenced orchestrations designed for elementary, middle
and high school level orchestras. The O'Connor Method includes musical literature that represents all of the Americas - Mexico, Canada and every region of the United States - and many musical styles - classical, folk, Latin, rock, ragtime, etc. Teacher Training takes place around the country.

Mr. O'Connor, a multi Grammy winning violinist and composer, has
composed nine full length concertos that have received more performances
than any other concertos composed in the last 50 years. His near iconic
“Appalachia Waltz” is one of the most performed string pieces written
since Barber's Adagio.

Mark O'Connor
Violinist and American fiddler Maggie O'Connor frequently performs with
her husband Mark O'Connor, and she is also a member of the Grammy Award
winning O'Connor Band.  Maggie has appeared as guest soloist with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony and many other symphony orchestras performing with her husband on his composition "Strings and Threads Suite". The couple has performed violin duos around the world, including the Leopold Auer Music Academy in Hungary as well as the Berlin Konzerthaus centennial celebration of Yehudi Menuhin. In the O'Connor Band, Maggie performs on fiddle and vocals. The group's first album "Coming Home" won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year at the 59th Grammy Awards, where the group also performed for the Pre-Telecast Ceremony.  Along with performing, Maggie is also working as co-director at the O'Connor Method String Camp Charlotte featuring the O'Connor Method lesson book series that is rising in popularity each year. She is also featured on her and her husband's album "Duo." Maggie has Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Maggie also makes violin peg necklaces to provide scholarships for students at O'Connor Method String Camps. Find out more at
www.maggieoconnorviolin.com

Maggie O'Connor
Kate Lee's passion and dedication has afforded her great respect in the music community as a vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter. Whether performing her original material or backing up a major entertainer, Lee brings a wealth of stylistic understanding and a unique, discerning sense of phrasing to both the stage and studio. She is an energetic young woman with extensive musical scholarship and experience. Along with her recording projects with Wisewater and the O'Connor Family Band, she also has recorded several solo albums, the most recent of which was produced by Kris Wilkinson and featured some of Nashville’s top session musicians, including Bryan Sutton, Viktor Krauss, John Gardner, Gary Prim, and Tim Lauer. She has played violin and sung background vocals for many world-class entertainers, including Rod Stewart, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill, Sugarland, Amy Grant, Trace Adkins, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Mary J. Blige, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Lucy Hale, Little Big Town, Katherine Jenkins, Idina Menzel, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, LeeAnn Rimes, Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, Dan and Shay, Michael W. Smith, Mark O'Connor, Mary Gauthier, Kathy Mattea, Alison Brown, John Cowan, Claire Lynch, and Emmylou Harris.​ She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee and is a founding member of the Americana duo Wisewater along with Forrest O’Connor, and is a member of the Grammy Award winning Mark O'Connor Band.
Kate Lee O'Connor
Nashville-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, and mandolinist Forrest O’Connor has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Kenny Loggins, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Alison Brown, Melissa Ferrick, Carl Jackson, and his dad, fiddler Mark O'Connor. A former Tennessee state mandolin champion, O’Connor has embarked on numerous national tours over the last several years with the critically acclaimed Appalachian Christmas program as well as with his own duo, Wisewater, featuring vocalist and fiddler Kate Lee.
O’Connor and Lee have recently teamed up with Mark and Maggie O’Connor to form the Mark O’Connor Band, which won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year in 2017. The Family Band also features Joe Smart on guitar/vocals and Geoff Saunders on bass, banjo, and vocals. O’Connor graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sociomusicology from Harvard University. He is also a co-founder of the music webcasting company Concert Window, Inc., which has developed into one of the leading webcasting platforms for musicians and has been featured on TED as well as in The Examiner, TechCrunch, The Boston Herald, Complex, Evolver.fm, and BostInnovation.

Forrest O'Connor
Geoffrey Saunders, originally from Hartford, CT, is a versatile performer who is experienced in a range of styles and genres. Geoff has received degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM, Jazz Bass Performance) and the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami (MM, Jazz Pedagogy). He has a DMA in Jazz Studies at the Frost School, where he was a Teaching Assistant and member of the award-winning Concert Jazz Band. Also at Frost, Geoff was a fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute where he has worked closely and performed with such notable artists as Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Gloria Estefan, Steve Miller, Larry Rosen, Phil Ramone, Dave Grusin, Terence Blanchard, and Mark O’Connor. He plays in the Grammy winning Mark O'Connor Band, who won for "Best Bluegrass Album" in 2016. Geoff has served as faculty member at the Mark O’Connor/Berklee Summer String Program and the O'Connor Method Camp NYC. ​
Geoffrey Saunders
National award winning guitarist and fiddler Joe Smart is a multi-faceted instrumentalist with a Master Guitar Certificate from Berklee College of Music. He has recorded on and produced numerous albums ranging from bluegrass, folk, Norteño, jazz, country, pop, and rock. In addition to performing in several countries, with multiple groups, as well as with iconic musicians such as Mark O’Connor, Brad Davis, Barbara Lamb, and Los Canarios De Michoacán, he has an extensive background in teaching and championing music education. Joe has taught for nearly 20 years in private lessons and at string camps such as the Northwest Strings Camp, Booher Music Camp, and the Murphy Method Jam Camp and recently became a certified O’Connor Method teacher. Joe also performs with the Grammy Award winning Mark O'Connor Band.
Joe Smart
The GRAMMY Award-winning Mark O'Connor Band, featuring iconic fiddler and composer Mark O'Connor, puts on an engaging, dynamic show showcasing compelling arrangements, virtuosic solos, and tight vocal harmonies. Their debut album, Coming Home, reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2017. In addition to Mark, the band features Maggie O'Connor (fiddle/vocals), Forrest O'Connor (mandolin/guitar/vocals), and Kate Lee (fiddle/vocals) as well as Joe Smart (guitar) and Geoff Saunders (bass/banjo). The band had their debut performance at the O'Connor Method Camp NYC and is the band in residence. Find out more at  www.oconnorband.com


Mark O'Connor Band
Pamela is an inspirational figure in the realm of creative music. She is an accomplished vocalist, violist, and violinist, having played both instruments since grade school. She recieved a Professional Diploma at the Mannes College of Music/The New School in NYC, is a certified teacher and instructor for the O'Connor Method - A New American School of String Playing, and is the Jazz violin instructor for the Middle School Jazz Academy for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Education Department. She has taught and developed string orchestra and ensembles for Harlem Children's Zone/Promise Academy Charter School for over ten years. Pamela has studied at Stanford University Summer Jazz Workshop in Palo Alto, CA, Miami University in Oxford, OH, and other schools of music. She has also studied Jazz Vocals and Strings in New York, North Carolina, and California. Her greatest experiences, however, have come in the professional performance fields. Pamela has performed and shared the stage with a variety of luminaries from the Jazz, R&B, and Gospel worlds. These artists include Mark O'Connor, John Blake, Jr., Darol Anger, Turtle Island String Quartet, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Newport Jazz Festival with Louis Bellson, Stephane Grappelli, Oscar Peterson, Earl Klugh and Spiro Gyra, gospel artists Kim Burrell, Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence and R&B artists Al Green Bette Midler and War. She also has her own jazz ensbmble, The Pamela Hamilton Group, which has performed in and around the New York City area. 


Pamela Hamilton
A native of Venezuela, violinist Leonor Falcon has a very diverse background in performing music of different genres. As a classical musician, she has appeared as a soloist with Virtousi de Caracas, as a chamber musician both in Venezuela and Switzerland with different groups, and also back home she was part of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela and founder of the Magical Mystery Band, with which she played Beatles arrangements all over the country and in Argentina, United Kingdom and Curacao at different festivals. In Switzerland, she was a co-founder of the chamber orchestra Camerata Candela that focused on Latin American contemporary repertoire and folk music.
She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from IUDEM (University of Music of Venezuela), studied under Virginie Roibilliard at Mozarteum de Caracas and holds a Master of Music degree from the Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland and a Master of Jazz performance degree from Queens College in New York city. Leonor spends her time teaching at the MindBuilders Creative ArtsCenter in the Bronx and performing around the city with different projects which include latin american, classical, jazz and original music. 



Leonor Falcon
Ulli Reiner, a Grammy Education Award semi-finalist for 2016, top ten finalist for 2017 and a semi-finalist for 2018, is an adjunct faculty member of Palomar College, Concertmaster of the Palomar College Symphony Orchestra, Applied Music Instructor of Violin and Viola Studies; Concertmaster of the Poway Symphony Orchestra and Founder and Orchestra Manager; Concertmaster of the Poway Symphonette and Conductor/Founder and soloist. She is also the Orchestra Director for the Poway Unified School District since 1983. Ms. Reiner’s ensembles receive invitations to perform in festivals around the world. As a music educator, Ms. Reiner shares her love of music with young people as the Orchestra Director with the Bernardo Heights and Twin Peaks Middle Schools in the Poway Unified School District. In addition to her instrumental students, she teaches music appreciation to non-music students. She co-founded the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of San Diego and is the Artistic Director of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra’s String School and Adult Music School. Appointed in 2011, Ms. Reiner conducts the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s Symphonic Strings Orchestra. She is currently working with American composer and violinist, Mark O’Connor, is certified in Books I-IV of the O'Connor Method and will be teaching at the 2017 O'Connor Method Camp NYC. Ulli was instrumental in adopting the O’Connor Method into the instrumental music programs in the Poway Unified School District this year.
Ulli Reiner
Classical/rock violinist Daisy Jopling was born in London, and now lives in NY. She has toured the world with her own band, the Daisy Jopling band, and with the creative string trio “Triology”. She has recorded 8 CDS, 2 with BMG RCA Victor. Her latest album “Awakening”, consisting of her own original music, was released worldwide on February 3rd 2017 under the label Fleur de Son Classics with Naxos Worldwide Distribution. Her Solo work has included playing a concerto at the Royal Albert Hall in London at the age of 14, playing twice before 30,000 people at the opening of the Vienna Festival, and touring with her band to 23 stunning concert halls in China. Her DJ Band tours in the 2017/18 season include Norway, Austria, Slovenia, England, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the US. She will perform her original "Awakening" Show at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on August 27th 2017. Since living in NY Daisy has become passionate about music education, and invites young talent to perform on major stages alongside world class musicians. In 2016 she included 3 students from the O’Connor Method Camp in her “Awakening” Show, scored for orchestra, solo singers, and youth choir, enhanced by custom made lighting design and projections. Daisy is a big fan of the O'Connor Method, and is thrilled to be teaching on the O’Connor Method Camp!
Daisy Jopling
Hailed by the New York Times as “dizzyingly versatile… an eclectic with an ear for texture… strikingly original and soulful”, LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin) divides his time between composing for the concert stage, contemporary dance & film, leading his own ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband, as well as a busy career as a freelance violist, violinist & musical arranger. Ljova is the author of more than 70 compositions for classical, jazz, and folk ensembles, as well as scores to four feature and over a dozen short films. Ljova released his acclaimed solo debut recording, Vjola: World On Four Strings, on Kapustnik Records, in 2006. Previously, he has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on the bestselling Sony Classical CD “Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon”, and with The Andalucian Dogs on the Deutsche Grammophon CD “Ayre”, featuring the music of Luciano Berio and Osvaldo Golijov. (Both CDs were nominated for several Grammy awards.) Ljova has taught as guest faculty at The Banff Centre in Canada focusing equally on composition, arranging, and viola performance. Ljova is on the viola & chamber music faculty of the Special Music School in New York City.
LJOVA (Lev) Zhurbin
One of the premier performers of traditional Celtic music on the international music scene today, Jamie Laval creates rapt audiences with his passionate, virtuosic performances, uncanny imitation of Highland bagpipes, and engaging stories. “One of the hottest fiddlers out there” (Asheville Citizen-Times) and “The next Alasdair Fraser” (Press & Post), Laval performed for Her Majesty the Queen, appeared on Dave Matthews' platinum Some Devil album, and presented a TEDx Talk on the value of the arts in our communities. Murmurs and Drones, Laval’s third and most recent album, won the popular vote for “Best World Traditional Album” in the 2012 Independent Music Awards.

Currently making his home in Tryon, North Carolina, Jamie studied classical violin at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in British Columbia. During the earlier years of his career he performed with the Victoria Symphony, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Opera, and recorded numerous movie sound tracks. In 2002 Jamie won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship which launched his full-time career in Celtic music. Jamie is a self-managed touring artist maintaining an average of 80 engagements per year throughout the U.S. and Britain. He is also a skilled composer, arranger of symphonic scores, public speaker, and devoted educator.

Jamie Laval
Glen Alexander has been teaching fiddle for 30 years and is well known regionally for his contributions, awarded this year by the NCBMA, he continues to preserve fiddling for the future. He has won many times at fiddle contests, the most coveted wins from Galax VA, where he's won four times. He has also recorded on 350 CD's. You can catch him at The Violin Shoppe in Charlotte which he co-owns with his business partner David McGuirt or find him playing with The Little Big Swing Band or The Fiddler and the Flutist with Sharon Fogarty.
    

Glen Alexander
Alan Black is in his twenty-eighth season as Principal Cellist with the Charlotte Symphony. His performance experience covers the complete spectrum of music; from classical music including chamber music, solo recitals, and concertos with the Charlotte Symphony, to appearing on stage as a soloist and chamber musician with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Bobby McFerrin, Van Cliburn Gold Medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu, and fiddler Mark O’Connor. He has performed all over the Southeast, including chamber music concerts at famed Spivey Hall near Atlanta, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. In addition, he has performed recitals and concerts in Europe with violinist Liviu Prunaru, Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and recording artist and pianist Dana Protopopescu, formerly on the faculty of the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles in Brussels. From 2006-2008 Alan coached and performed with Liviu and Dana in the Corso Internazionale di Musica da Camera in Tuscania, Italy. In December 2006, Alan traveled to Belgium to play a four recital tour with Dana that was sponsored in part by a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Mecklenburg County. Alan graduated in 1980 from UCLA, and received a Masters Degree from Indiana University in 1983, where he was a teaching assistant to Fritz Magg. Other teachers include former Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Ronald Leonard, Jeffrey Solow, Gary Hoffman, and most recently, David Hardy, Principal Cellist of the National Symphony in Washington D.C. As a student he also appeared in masterclasses with such notable musicians as Leonard Bernstein, James Buswell, Bernard Greenhouse, and Janos Starker.
Mr. Black performs on a 1995 Moes & Moes cello, originally built for and owned by Yo-Yo Ma.


Alan Black 
Vivian Hopkins is a North Carolina native having grown up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Wilkes County where Bluegrass and Old Time Traditional Fiddle tunes were played daily around her home. The dancing just came natural and Vivian can't remember a time when she wasn't dancing, flat-footing, buck dancing and clogging to the music of her dad's bluegrass band. Her craft won her countless awards through the years including Virginia State Champion, North Carolina State Champion and many more. She taught motion and dance to elementary school students along with more than twenty years of teaching clogging in her own dance studio before retiring completely from teaching in 2008. Today Vivian enjoys dancing for the fun of it and sharing the joys of dancing with others of all ages. Vivian is a member of the North Carolina Humanities Council's Road Scholar Speakers Bureau and is currently President of the North Carolina Bluegrass Music Association. Her past history and music research has included the study of bluegrass and old time music cultures of the Southern Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to dancing, she is an accomplished writer, visual artist and also plays upright bass. Vivian lives in Gold Hill, NC. 
Vivian Hopkins