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Cello Faculty

Stephanie Chiao

Stephanie Chiao, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, is passionate about sharing music through teaching and performing. She started playing piano at the age of six through the Suzuki method and cello through a traditional method, which had a profound impact not only on her musical development but also on her philosophy of teaching and learning. She believes all can learn music and that learning music benefits students of all ages. Moreover, she believes that all students have a talent that is developed through a nurturing environment.  As an alumnus of both the Crowden School and the San Francisco Conservatory preparatory program, she is a witness firsthand of the necessity of a supportive, skilled private studio teacher in conjunction with an outstanding school that will help motivate students to succeed.

As a seasoned teacher who has taught both in the private studio and in the public schools, Stephanie is a compassionate teacher that will work with students to reach their potential by combining high quality instruction with opportunities for students to perform. She holds high expectations for all students with a firm, yet consistent approach. As the past president of the Stockton Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA), she helped organize opportunities for students to perform in adjudications and recitals. She is certified in Suzuki and Orff Pedagogy and is an American String Teacher’s Association Certificate of Achievement Program (ASTACAP) adjudicator who has adjudicated recitals sponsored by the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA). As the past Vice President of the San Joaquin County Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra, she helped found the County Honor Orchestra for middle school students. She is committed to providing students with the best opportunities in order for them to give outstanding performances.

Stephanie offers a unique combination of expertise in teaching coupled with a strong training and performance background. She possesses a master’s degree in music from Boston University, and is currently the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Stockton Symphony. She was a semi-finalist of the Grace Vamos Cello Competition, and a recipient of the Mendocino Festival Musician’s Scholarship program. She has performed with the Merced Symphony, the Folsom Symphony, with the Stockton Chorale and in solo and chamber music recitals. She also has performed with the Junior Bach Festival, Friends of Chamber Music in Sutter Creek and with the Townsend Opera Players. She was the Principal cellist of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. She also has toured in Europe with the Oakland Youth Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She was taught by Millie Rosner, Irene Sharp, Margaret Tait, Harvey Shapiro, Andor Toth Jr., Peter Rejto, and Catharina Meintz. She also was coached by Herbert Blomstedt, Alisdaire Neale, Peter Jaffe, Louis Lane, Michael Morgan, Paul Polivnic, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolf, Judy Bossuat, Gregory Fulkerson, Felix Galamir, Jeffrey Irvine, Andrew Luchansky, Marilyn McDonald, Roland and Almita Vamos, the Audubon String Quartet, the Alexander String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, and the St. Petersburg String Quartet. As an avid chamber musician, she performed at weddings and special events with Les Trois Papillon, a trio featuring flute, oboe, and cello. She is also the founder of the Vivace String Trio and Cantabile, a cello ensemble formed by her students. She also has taught at The University of Pacific Music Camp as the cello sectional coach and as a chamber music coach at the Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop. Through a culmination of training and performing, she believes in lifelong music making of high quality music, a goal that she aspires to instill in all students.