Centenary Suzuki Institute

June 5-8, 2024

2024 Faculty

We are honored to announce our faculty for the 2024 Centenary Suzuki Institute:

Joanna Binford, Viola

Joanna Binford is currently a viola and violin instructor with the Suzuki Strings Program at the Academy of Music, based in Norfolk, VA. She freelances in the Hampton Roads area and performs frequently with the Virginia Symphony.

Her education includes an M.M in Viola Performance, B.M. The University of Kentucky; post degree viola studies with Paul Neubauer (The Juilliard School); solo and chamber music studies included participation at Banff and Kneisel Hall summer festivals, violist of the Endless Road Strings, Niles Graduate String Quartet (Univ. of Kentucky) and participation in the Lexington Baroque Ensemble.

Awarded the Kentucky Chapter of the American String Teachers Association 2013 “Outstanding Service” award and District 7 KMEA “Outstanding College/University Music Teacher of the Year”, she is a sought after Suzuki institute and workshop clinician around the country. Ms. Binford is a member of the Suzuki Teachers Association of Hampton Roads. She prepared viola students to perform on the STAHR tour of Peru (June 2014). In addition to her Suzuki classes, Ms Binford also teaches a Fiddling in D class, coaches chamber music and offers an Improvisation Techniques Workshop, upon request. She is featured on several recordings, including the 2016 release of “Almost Home” by the Endless Road Strings, an ensemble specializing in alternative styles.

In addition, Ms. Binford has served as a back-up musician for celebrities such as Arlo Guthrie, Mark O’Connor, Dave Brubeck, Anne Murray, Bob Hope, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Ray Price, David Gates, Dinah Shore, Ann Hampton Callaway, Natalie Cole, Stewart Copeland, and the Moody Blues. As a member of the Lastinger Ensemble, she appeared in the movie Simpatico, which starred Jeff Bridges and Sharon Stone.

Jillienne Bowers, Violin

Violinist Jillienne Bowers began her musical studies at the age of eight in her native town of Seal Beach, California. After two years at Chapman University in Orange County, California, she ventured to the east coast to continue her studies. Jillienne received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of John’s Hopkins University and pursued graduate studies earning her Master of Music degree from the University of Boston. She later completed her Post-Baccalaureate in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University. During this time, she studied with Janice Radford—Luna, Dr. David Margetts, Charles Libove, Raphael Druian, Camilla Wicks and Paul Kantor. She was also fortunate to work under Alexander Schneider in the New York String Orchestra for two years allowing her to perform in Carnegie Hall in New York and the National Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. She has given solo performances and chamber recitals in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and abroad, in Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, and Germany. Currently, Jillienne performs with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra as 4th chair first- section violinist and has been a member for 30 years.

Jillienne’ s introduction to the Suzuki philosophy began after a friend gave her the book, “Nurtured with Love” by Shinichi Suzuki. Deeply influenced by this man’s philosophy, that every child can learn to play a musical instrument, Jillienne sought out training in this method beginning with Joanne Bath. Future training were with Suzuki trainers, Nancy Lokken, Ronda Cole, Alice-Joy Lewis, Wendy Azrak, Linda Stieg, Kimberly Meier-Sims, Linda Fiore, Linda Case, Tuesday’s with John Kendall, and Master teacher, Cathryn Lee. She teaches thirty students in her home town as well as in Toledo, Ohio. Some of these students have successfully pursued musical careers while others have pursued other successful careers. She is a proud mum of three grown boys, Christopher, Colin, and Charles, all raised to play musical instruments. She currently resides in Adrian, MI, with her husband, Bryan and their miniature dachshund, Vinnie. In her spare time, Jillienne loves spending time outdoors in the summer or winter, swimming, walking her dog, skiing, gardening, or reading.

Stacy Garner, Violin

Stacy Garner, violin, is a Suzuki Violin Teacher Trainer and a Suzuki Strings Specialist in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD in North Texas, where she teaches private and group Suzuki lessons and co-conducts the HEB Suzuki Strings Elementary Honor Orchestra. Formerly the Faculty and Artistic Director of the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Suzuki Program Director at the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City, Utah, and President of the Suzuki Association of Utah, Stacy has a degree in Violin Performance from the University of Utah where she studied with Gerald Elias and Mischa Boguslavsky. Ms. Garner has completed hundreds of hours of Suzuki training, primarily with Edmund Sprunger, Jeanne Grover, Linda Fiore, Mark Mutter, Cathy Lee, Carey Beth Hockett and others, and is truly passionate about Suzuki Education.

Stacy has presented educational sessions to both parents and teachers at state, national and international Suzuki conferences and conventions and is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Stacy is on faculty at Suzuki workshops and institutes across the United States and internationally, and has been featured presenter for the Suzuki Association of the America’s “Parents as Partners” series. In April of 2018, Stacy was awarded the Suzuki Association of the America’s Certificate of Achievement, an award given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in their teaching, and in 2023, Stacy became a Violin Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Stacy is a Suzuki mom to five children: a violist, a violinist, a pianist, and two double bassists, all of whom provide her most in-depth Suzuki training.

Irene Mitchell, Violin

Irene Mitchell was fortunate to experience a diversity of cultures in her youth, living in ten countries throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia. This shaped her appreciation for a wide range of music, eventually leading her to earn a BM and MME at the University of North Texas. After exploring theatre, violin performance and orchestral conducting, she discovered her life-long passion in teaching the Suzuki method. Irene studied twice with Dr. Shin’ichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan; returning to establish Suzuki Strings of Dallas in 1981. Irene teaches in her home studio in Dallas, TX, and serves as a clinician for Suzuki programs throughout the world.

Molly Goforth, Cello

Molly Goforth is a cellist and teacher based in the Lafayette area. She is principal cellist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and also plays with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. She teaches applied cello lessons at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and at McNeese State University. As a performer, she gives regular chamber music and solo performances throughout Louisiana.

Molly received her Master’s degree in cello performance from DePaul University in Chicago and her Bachelor’s degree from University of Louisville. Her teachers have included Stephen Balderston, Alan Harris, Craig Hultgren, Alice Ann O’Neill and Paul York.

Nicolette Solomon, Violin

Nicolette Solomon, Director Emeritus of the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, was born in Laingsburg, South Africa. She began her violin training with Neil McKay in Port Elizabeth, continuing her studies with Pierre de Groote at the College of Music in Cape Town, and completing her University studies under the tutelage of Alan Solomon. She obtained a Bachelor of Music (Honors) and Higher Education Diploma (Post Graduate) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 1975 she played at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Scotland and later toured Europe and Israel. She has played in the International Festival Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London and performed in Israel, Taiwan and Hong Kong with Harmonia Juventia. She studied Chamber Music from 1974–1981 with Betty Pack and Alan Solomon. She has also been both an Adjudicator and Examiner for music competitions and examinations in South Africa and the USA. After her introduction to the Suzuki method, she became a fervent proponent and pioneer of the method in South Africa, founding and directing the Solomon Suzuki School in Johannesburg in 1980. She expanded her training with Christophe Bossuat in Lyon, France, and in 1992 she studied with Dr. Suzuki himself at the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. While in Japan, she taught at a private studio in Nagano City, Japan and at Shinshu University. In 1994, she attended the International Strings workshop in France, playing in the Eduard Melckus Baroque Ensemble. She has led violin and viola workshops and master classes internationally, and trained and conducted String Orchestras in South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand and throughout the USA and Central America. In 2000 she emigrated to the United States, where she served as string specialist and then Director of the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas. She is married to Carl van Wyk, has two adult children and two grandchildren, and divides her time between their home in Dallas, their retreat in Dripping Springs and her teaching commitments internationally. 

Anya Burgess, Fiddle

Anya Burgess is a graduate of Indiana University’s violin making program, and has been servicing the needs of string players in South Louisiana since 2002. From her shop, SOLA Violins, in downtown Lafayette, LA, she sells, rents, and repairs violins, violas, cellos, and bows and accessories. Anya enjoys working with players of all ages and abilities, from students to professionals, Classical to Cajun. Anya also plays the fiddle professionally with two Grammy-nominated Cajun bands, the Magnolia Sisters and Bonsoir Catin. Her love of playing violin is a great compliment to her love of building and working on stringed instruments. She is a member of the Violin Society of America and the Grammy’s Recording Academy.

Joy Yang, Choir/Orff

Joy is an energetic and caring music teacher of eleven years with experience teaching band, choir, elementary and general music across three different states!  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Music from Southern Utah University and a master’s degree in Music Education from Boston University. Joy is currently pursuing certification in both Orff and Kodàly music teaching methods and has two children in the Suzuki program.

Administrative staff

Daniel Santelices, Chamber Program Director


(318) 773-8673

Madelyn Stewart

Assistant to the Dean to the Hurley School of Music

(318) 869 5235


Charles Regauer, Suzuki Institute Director


(505) 504-8456