Lisa Barksdale

Resident Musician

Lisa Barksdale joined the CMW team in 2012 as an Associate Resident Musician in the Daily Orchestra Program. She also teaches privately at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.  Lisa earned her Master of Music and Performance Diploma at Boston University under the guidance of violinist Lucia Lin.  Prior to that she earned a Bachelor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied with Vartan Manoogian.  On her modern violin Lisa enjoys playing chamber music with the CMW players, serving as a substitute for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, and exploring new music from the 20th century and beyond.  She equally enjoys traveling back to the time of gut strings with her Baroque violin, which she studies with Judson Griffin.

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Laura Cetilia

Resident Musician

Laura Cetilia, cellist, is a CMW fellow alum (class of ’08) and a resident musician teaching cello, media lab, and curating the Ars Subtilior concert series which focuses on subtlety in experimental music. Outside of CMW, she performs avant garde music in her duo Suna No Onna with violist Robin Streb and electroacoustic improvisation with her partner, Mark Cetilia, in their group Mem1. Mem1 has held artist residencies and performed throughout the U.S., Italy, Norway, Israel, England, and the Netherlands. Laura is also co-curator of the experimental music series Ctrl+Alt+Repeat (established in Los Angeles in 2004) and co-owner of the Estuary Ltd. record label, which features handmade limited edition releases.

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Minna Choi

Fellowship Program Director / Resident Musician


Minna Choi, violinist, is the Fellowship Program Director at Community MusicWorks. She has been a resident musician with the organization since 1998 and was a founding member of the Providence String Quartet. Minna graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA in Philosophy and received a Masters in Violin Performance from the Hartt School of Music in 2006. Her influential teachers include Eric Rosenblith, Katie Lansdale, and Lois Finkel. She has performed with the Boston Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra and with the Miami, Borromeo and St. Lawrence String Quartets.

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Elizabeth Cox

Communications & Administration Manager

liz_webGrowing up in Boston, Liz Cox attended Boston University as a communications major until she quit to play drums and sing in a rock band. Her ensemble recorded on the Subpop label, toured worldwide and scored the film Four Rooms, collaborating with director Quentin Tarentino. Liz performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and provided the singing voice for Bridget Fonda in the film Grace of My Heart. Liz later returned to finish her degree at the University of Rhode Island and began working at CMW in 2006. She still rocks the drum kit with CMW students and as a volunteer teaching for Girls Rock!RI. This past summer, she attended The Fine Arts Work Center where she engaged with award-winning writers Joan Wickersham and Andre Dubus III.

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Jesse Holstein

Associate Director / Senior Resident Musician

jesse_holstein_webJesse Holstein, violinist & violist, was a founding member of the Providence String Quartet and has been a resident musician since 2001. Prior to studying with Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin and James Buswell at the New England Conservatory, he worked with Philipp Naegele in Northampton, MA. Aside from being an active recitalist and chamber musician, he has served as Concertmaster of the New Bedford Symphony since 2003. Each summer Jesse teaches and performs at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire, and is on the faculty at the Greenwood Music Camp, where studied as a teenager. In 2009, Jesse was a Violin Professeur at L’Ecole de Musique, Dessaix Baptiste in Jacmel, Haiti. In 2012, an interview with Jesse was published in Strings Magazine about his teaching philosophy. He is on the faculty at Brown University, where he teaches chamber music.

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Chloë Kline

Education Director / Resident Musician

Chloë Kline, violist, received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she was a student of Martha Katz. Other influential teachers include Karen Tuttle, Roberto Diaz, and Richard Young. Between 1998 and 2000, Chloë performed across the United States and Europe as a member of the Lipatti String Quartet. In 2006, she performed solo and chamber works across Palestine as part of the Al Khamandjati Festival. Chloe received her Master’s degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2005, and joined CMW the following year as a member of the Fellowship Program’s pilot class.

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Kelly Reed

Managing Director

Before coming to Community MusicWorks, Kel29515231086_7be08daeeb_zly served as the Administrative Director of A Far Cry, a self-conducted chamber orchestra in Boston that serves as Chamber Orchestra in Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is in partnership with New England Conservatory.  Prior to that, she served as Director of Operations of the renowned Emmanuel Church in Boston. In addition to management, Kelly has taught a variety of humanities courses, including writing, literature and music history, at Northeastern University and the Art Institute of Boston.  Kelly is a member of the Community Advisory Board of Boston’s public radio station WGBH,  and the Board of Friends of A Far Cry, and helped establish the non-profit organization Urban Neighborhood Design Alliance.  In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, gardening and her one addiction: the New York Times crossword.

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Bryony Romer

Institutional Relations

bryony_romerBryony has many years of experience in fundraising, organizational development, strategic planning, and project management. Prior to founding Bryony Romer Consulting, she was a managing director at David Bury & Associates, where she advised leading arts and educational organizations on implementing effective development programs, building organizational capacity, realizing institutional funding opportunities, and developing strategic plans. Her clients have included Meet The Composer, Creative Capital, Chamber Music America, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, and the Center of Creative Arts.

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Hannah Ross

Associate Resident Musician

Violist Hannah Ross joined the Community MusicWorks staff in 2014 as a member of the Fellowship Program. In autumn 2016, Hannah began her new role at CMW as an Associate Resident Musician, joining the Daily Orchestra Program teaching team and performing with the MusicWorks Collective. Prior to Rhode Island life, Hannah studied for six years at The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, Hannah led a multidisciplinary student-run initiative to Arusha, Tanzania, going a total of five times. Hannah’s experience teaching in Tanzania sparked her excitement in collaborating with artists in fields outside of music; most recently, Hannah has worked with Trinity Repertory Company, Doppelgänger Dance Collective, Festival Ballet Providence, and Bay Pointe Ballet in San Francisco.

Hannah was recently appointed assistant principal viola of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. Hannah is also on faculty at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School and manages a private studio from her home. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys hanging with her cat and baking treats for the CMW staff.

Sebastian Ruth

Founder & Artistic Director / Resident Musician

SebastianSebastian Ruth, violinist & violist, is CMW’s Founder & Artistic Director. A graduate ofBrown University, Sebastian has been a member of the Wild Ginger Philharmonic and the Boston Philharmonic. As a member of the Providence String Quartet, he has performed in Providence, Boston, Los Angeles, Banff, and New York, and with members of the Borromeo, Muir, Miro, Orion, and Turtle Island String Quartets, with pianist Jonathan Biss and violist Kim Kashkashian.

In 2003, under the auspices of a fellowship from The Rhode Island Foundation, Sebastian participated in a two-week violin master class at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Influential teachers include Eric Rosenblith, Rolfe Sokol, Lois Finkel, Pamela Gearhart, Mela Tenenbaum, and Kim Kashkashian. During a three-month sabbatical in 2010 Sebastian immersed himself in an exploration of gypsy and klezmer traditions, including a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

Sebastian is the recipient of a 2010 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, recognized for “forging a new, multifaceted role beyond the concert hall for the twenty-first-century musician”, and an honorary doctorate degree from Brown University in May 2012. Starting in 2013, Sebastian has served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale School of Music, where he has designed and taught courses exploring the theoretical foundations of Community MusicWorks.

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Katie Sklar

Development Director

KatieA graduate of Tufts University and New England Conservatory, Katie has over 20 years of experience in fundraising, special events, and board relations.  She has worked for some of the top arts, medical, and community service organizations in the country, including New England Conservatory, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Women & Infants Hospital, Amos House, and Butler Hospital.  In addition, Katie is the founder of KLSConnects, a philanthropy consulting firm, specializing on strategic planning, case statements, feasibility studies, annual and capital campaigns.  Katie serves on the Board of Overseers of New England Conservatory and the Miriam Hospital Women’s Association.

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Chase Spruill

Resident Musician

Chase Spruill, violinist, was an artist-in-residence at Sacramento State University before becoming a resident musician at CMW in 2012. As an advocate for education and contemporary chamber music, he’s collaborated with notable artists in field such as composers Steven Mackey, Alexandra Gardner and Michael Nyman. He currently tours as a duo with pianist and longtime director of the Philip Glass Ensemble Michael Riesman, premiering and recording new Philip Glass concert works for violin and piano arranged especially for the pair. In addition to a career in music, he has also won acclaim as a budding screenwriter, taking 2nd place in the 2009 Slamdance Teleplay Competition for an original television pilot script he wrote. The award led to him developing scripts for the Ilya Salkind Company, Silver Pictures and Warner Bros.

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Donald Tarallo

Graphic Design Consultant

Donald_TaralloDonald Tarallo has his BA in Studio Arts and Graphic Design from Clark University, his MFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and he studied under Wolfgang Weingart at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland. He has worked as a graphic designer and photographer in Oslo, Norway, and as an identity designer in Seoul, Korea. Since 1998, he has maintained a freelance practice and has worked on the development of new identity systems for Sotheby’s, Icograda and the Hong Kong Design Institute. Don has taught graphic design at Clark University, Rhode Island School of Design, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, and the Samsung Art and Design Institute. He is the recipient of a Marion and Jasper Whiting fellowship for typographic research in Rome, Italy. His work has been awarded by the AIGA and published in China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Don is an Associate Professor at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts.

Born and raised in Worcester, Don has lived in Norway, Switzerland, China, and Korea. His hobbies include hiking, cooking, and photography, and his musical interests range from classical to folk, soul, and The Clash.

Don began work for Community MusicWorks in 2003. View Don’s work at

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Adrienne Taylor

Daily Orchestra Program Director / Resident Musician

Adrienne Taylor, cellist, is Director of CMW’s Daily Orchestra Program. A graduate of Indiana University and Northwestern University, Adrienne studied cello with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Hans Jørgen Jensen and Janos Starker. Formerly assistant principal cello of Portugal’s Orquestra do Norte, Adrienne has performed internationally as well as in the major concert halls of the U.S., including the New World Center in Miami Beach, the Harris Theatre in Chicago and Carnegie Hall. In addition to performing classical music, Adrienne seeks out opportunities to collaborate with musicians from other genres. In 2013 Adrienne recorded for the CD Kilimanjaro, which features the music of singer-songwriter Benvindo Cruz, who was nominated for best composer by the Cape Verde Music Awards in 2014 for that album.

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Alexander (Zan) Berry, cello (2016-2018)

Zan received his MM Cello Performance degree from the University of Michigan in 2014. Since then, he has been an active performer and pedagogue in the music scene of Ann Arbor, MI. An avid supporter of contemporary music, he seeks to perform the works of living composers as much as possible. While in Ann Arbor, Zan performed with Aepex Contemporary Performance. He has also recently participated in the Bang on a Can Summer festival, the New Music on the Point festival, and the Fresh Inc. festival and has worked with composers such as Steve Reich, John Luther Adams, Bright Sheng, YehudiWyner, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. Zan has also performed with the Arbor Composers Collective as well as accompanied modern improvisation dance classes at the University of Michigan. Zan teaches privately and served as the Cello Mentor for Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Youth Ensembles. Recently, he led a week-long workshop at the Cultural Arts Strings Camp in Manchester, MI. In addition to playing the cello, Zan enjoys singing, hiking, and practicing yoga.

Ashley Frith, viola (2016-2018)

dsc01720Ashley was recently enrolled in a masters program at The Boston Conservatory, where she studied with Lila Brown. There, she was the principal violist of the baroque ensemble, and active in the contemporary music program. Ashley studied viola with Kathie Aagaard, and chamber music with Scott Kluksdahl and Svetozar Ivanov at the University of South Florida. She has served as a teaching artist with the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and with El Sistema Somerville and Revolution of Hope in Boston. For the past few years, Ashley has been studying the use of sound as a healing modality, in combination with mindfulness and nutrition, to help those suffering from mental illness. She also volunteers with Tunefoolery, an organization committed to promoting mental health recovery through music.

Josie Davis, violin (2015-2017)

A native of Waldoboro, Maine, violinist Josie Davis began her musical studies at the age ofsix with Janet Ciano and Gilda Joffe. She recently graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory’s Double Degree Program where she was a student of David Bowlin. At Oberlin, she appeared as the concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, as a member of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, and performed in Carnegie Hall with the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, New York University’s String Quartet Seminar, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared on NPR’s From the Top. Josie is committed to using music as a way to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds. She has taught and performed in Panama and India. In addition to music, Josie enjoys sailing, hiking, cooking, making pottery, and exploring the coast of Maine.

Kate Outterbridge, violin (2015-2017)

Violinist Kate Outterbridge recently earned her Masters of Music and Masters of ChamberMusic from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Aaron Berofsky. Prior to that, she earned her Bachelors of Music degree at Boston University, where she studied with Bayla Keyes. Kate enjoys learning and performing a variety of musical styles, including early baroque performance practice, exploring sounds and experimentation with newly composed music, keeping up with her Irish fiddling, and most recently learning Indian Carnatic violin. Kate has been a participant in many notable music festivals including Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestra Institute, and Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, where she has had the opportunity to learn from world-class artists. Kate particularly enjoys the communal aspect of violin playing, and aims to focus her energies on developing classical music in urban communities as a means of empowerment. Aside from music, Kate enjoys cooking and baking, especially for friends and family.

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