Dr. Kristin Pfeifer Yu currently serves as Lecturer of Violin and Director and Master Teacher of the South Georgia String Project at Valdosta State University. Dr. Yu received her Doctor of Music from Florida State University, where she studied and served as graduate teaching assistant to Eliot Chapo, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony, Opera Naples, and Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Yu has participated in numerous summer festivals such as the Brevard Music Center, Chautauqua Music Festival, Le Domaine Forget, Indiana University String Academy, and Colorado College Summer Music Festival, among others. Dr. Yu is a registered Suzuki teacher and received her Suzuki teacher training at the University of Louisville, the Atlanta Suzuki Institute, and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. She received her training from notable Suzuki teachers such as Hiroko Driver-Lippman, Ed Kreitman, Nancy Lokken, Susan Baer, and Teri Einfeldt. Dr. Yu has also worked as a teaching assistant and Master Teacher at the University of Kentucky String Project. Her experience with the Suzuki Method and Paul Rolland’s String Project, allowed Dr. Yu to take the initiative in starting the Character Center String Academy, an afterschool enrichment program for grade school students in Tallahassee, FL. In 2012, Dr. Yu helped start an outreach chamber music program for the Okaloosa and Walton County Schools. More recently in May 2014, she performed for the Rosemary Beach Foundation’s “Music in Pictures” with violinist Dr. Benjamin Sung, violist Dr. Pamela Ryan, and cellist Greg Sauer. Dr. Yu received her bachelor and master degrees from the University of Kentucky, where she was a member of the Verdi String Quartet, one of the fellowship string quartets in residence. As an avid chamber musician, she has had the opportunity to work with members of St. Martin in the Fields, the Ying Quartet, members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ahn Trio, and Trio Solis, among others. In 2015, Dr. Yu and VSU’s Azalea String Quartet and Dr. Tod Leavitt premiered a bass quintet by Frank Proto at the ISB Convention in Fort Collins, Colorado. In June 2016, the Azalea String Quartet collaborated with Dr. Shannon Lowe at the International Double Reed Society Conference in a recital, entitled, “Potpourri: Music for Bassoon and Strings”. Dr. Pfeifer’s published doctoral treatise is entitled Augusta Read Thomas’s “Sun Threads” for String Quartet: A Study and Performer’s Guide. As an advocate for new music, Dr. Pfeifer continues to expand and explore 21st Century compositions for solo violin as well as repertoire for mixed instrumentation with the traditional string quartet. Her former teachers and mentors include pedagogue Almita Vamos, Michael Davis, Margaret and Benjamin Karp, Daniel Mason, Stefan Hersh, and Corinne Stillwell.
Dr. Laurel Yu, Assistant Professor of Viola at Valdosta State University. Dr. Yu is an active lecturer, chamber musician, performer, and teaching artist. At VSU, he currently performs with VSU’s Quartet in Residence, the Azalea String Quartet, and is Principal Viola with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Yu currently teaches some of VSU’s most popular music courses including Music in Film and the Development of Rock and Roll. His other duties include Administrator of the South Georgia String Project and Personnel Manager for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Yu earned his Doctor of Music and college teaching certificate from Florida State University, where he was graduate teaching assistant and assistant chamber music coordinator. A graduate of Boston University and the Interlochen Arts Academy, his former teachers and mentors include Dr. Pamela Ryan, Corinne Stillwell, Eliot Chapo, Ed Gazouleas, Michelle LaCourse, and David Holland. As a chamber musician, Dr. Yu has had the privilege to work with the Muir String Quartet, Raphael Hillyer, George Neikrug, Beth Newdome, Carolyn Bridger, and Deloise Lima. With diverse performance activities, Dr. Yu is currently violist with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Chamber Players, violist for the Anon Ensemble, Principal Viola and Artistic Administrator for Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Principal Viola of the Albany Symphony Orchestra (GA), and member of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. As a collaborative performer, he has performed chamber recitals at multiple national conferences such as the National Flute Association, the International Double Reed Society, and the International Society of Bassists convention. Most recently, Dr. Yu recorded an album of strings and bassoon chamber music with bassoonist and colleague Shannon Lowe. Dr. Yu’s summers have been spent at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Indiana University String Academy, the Brevard Music Center, and the Florida State University String Orchestra Camp. As an active advocate for music and music education, Dr. Yu is on the board for the Artist Series of Tallahassee and works with Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s education programs to development community engagement opportunities in the public school systems of Northwest Florida. As a teacher, Dr. Yu’s students have been accepted into undergraduate and graduate programs across the country. He is regularly invited to present lectures across the Southeast, including multiple presentations at the American String Teachers Association conferences, the Florida Orchestra Association’s annual conference, Florida Music Education Association’s annual conference, and was the key presenter at the Florida Chapter of the American String Teachers Association conference. In high demand as a clinician, Dr. Yu frequently gives audition workshops, violin/viola set-up clinics, master classes, All-State clinics, and chamber music pedagogy workshops around Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.