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 Phyllis Freeman, director (violin/viola)

Ms. Freeman is the director of the Maryland Talent Education Center and she is very active as a performer, teacher and entrepreneur.  From 1987 to 2012 she was on the faculty of the preparatory division of the Peabody Institute where she taught violin and group classes. She created, and from 2002-2011 directed, a highly successful Suzuki strings program at the first charter school in the state of Maryland, the Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School.

In addition to her administrative and teaching positions, she is the principal viola for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and a member of the National Philharmonic. Ms. Freeman is also the founder and CEO of Molto Legato, LLC a company which is involved in the field of new media for the classical music industry. This includes filming and producing DVDs, like “May I Help You Tune”, featuring Ronda Cole and documentaries about the Suzuki method in the US. Her newest project is the creation of a new interactive web portal called www.ClassicalMusicCity.com, which is designed to provide information, resources and networking for and about classical music for parents, students, teachers and performers.

Her latest venture is a website to support students, teachers and parents in learning to play and teach the violin.  Please visit www.ViolinPractice.com to view this exceptional resource.


    Troy Stuart                      Troy Stuart, cello                 

Graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Peabody Conservatory. Stuart was chosen to be a member of the prestigious New York String Orchestra, under the direction of famed violinist/conductor Alexander Schneider. The principal cellist in the Gateways Chamber Players, he is co-founder and artistic director of the Phoenix Chamber Orchestra. Stuart was invited to participate at the televised Kennedy Center Honors in honor of Alexander Schneider and the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center. He received the Friedberg Lecture/Artist Award and was the first recipient of the Martell Cordon Bleu Award presented by actor/musician Dudley Moore. Stuart presently tours with The Ritz Chamber Players.

In addition to teaching at the Maryland Talent Education Center, he also teaches at the Peabody Institute and in New York City at Mannes in the preparatory division and at the Baltimore School for the Arts.  His students have gone on to prestigious conservatories and careers in music.  Students include Kevin McFarland, who is the cellist for the JACK string quartet.



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  Jennifer Houck, violin/viola

Jennifer Houck, 25,  is from Middletown, Maryland.  She began studying the violin at age 7.  From the age of 7-17 she studied with Phyllis Freeman at the Maryland Talent Education Center. Following that, she studied with Dr. James Stern at the University of Maryland, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Performance degree in 2008.  Most recently, Jennifer has been attending Carnegie Mellon University, where she graduated with her Master’s in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Andres Cardenes.

She has attended summer festivals at Encore, the Heifetz Institute, Meadowmount, the National Orchestral Institute, the National Repertory Orchestra, and Eastern Music Festival.  She has studied with many teachers from different colleges and conservatories including David Updegraff, Shirley Givens, David Salness, Marjorie Bagley, and Christopher Wu, as well as participated in master classes with Andrew Manze, Mimi Zweig, and Elizabeth Schultz.


Megann Greenlees, 2005, Music Major, Undergrad and Masters at Cleveland Institute of Music Megann Greenlees, violin/viola, chamber music, music therapy

Megann Greenlees is originally from Maryland and is a graduate of the Maryland Talent Education Center.  She has spent the last 9 years in Cleveland, Ohio where she was attending the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in viola performance. During her time at CIM, she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey and became Suzuki certified in Books 1-10 on violin with Kimberly Meier-Sims.  She has played in several regional orchestras in Ohio, including Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, and Erie Philharmonic.  Ms. Greenlees was also a member of the Black River String Quartet (quartet-in-residence at Lorain County Community College). From 2009-2012 Megann taught private violin and viola lessons in the Lakewood middle and high schools.  Megann has attended Cleveland State for the past 2 years to receive a degree in music therapy and is now a certified music therapist.