Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, violinist Emily Botel has performed throughout North America and Europe with the belief that music is a powerful tool to create connection and community. She is passionate about reaching new audiences through small ensemble and chamber orchestra performance. Emily is a founder and violinist with the unconducted, chamber orchestra One Found Sound, the baroque ensemble Musa and is a member of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Emily has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Academy Orchestra and has performed at various festivals such as Aldeburgh, Banff, National Repertory Orchestra, Lake Tahoe, Spoleto USA.
Emily earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Studies as a member of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra. Emily has coached the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, taught at the Enriching Lives through Music program in San Rafael and in Belize, as a fellow with the organization MusAid. Emily is a registered Suzuki teacher and has a private teaching studio in San Francisco.
Emily is also a registered yoga teacher and enjoys finding ways to counter the hours of violin playing through activities like spontaneous dance parties, snacking, and frolics on beaches and mountains. Emily is a proud dog mama to Theo, the adorable toy Schnauzer. Theo loves quartet rehearsals at Emily's apartment, but hates the E string and double stops. Emily now wishes she played cello. Helen is teaching her.
Violist Julie Michael strives to bring the same spirit of sincerity to the performance of music of all eras. A native of Columbus, Ohio, she can be heard performing with a variety of Bay Area ensembles ranging from sfSound to the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Her passion for new music has led her to collaborate with many composers, to participate in the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and to teach a course on contemporary chamber music at McGill University. A Suzuki-trained teacher and a certified Global Leader of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Julie has taught at the University of Panama as well as at a number of El Sistema-inspired programs in North America, including Harmony Project San Francisco.
Julie holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.M.) and McGill University (M.M., Graduate Diploma), where her principal teachers were Yizhak Schotten and André Roy. Continuing her education at programs such as Bowdoin International Music Festival and Tibor Varga Academy (Switzerland), she has studied with Carol Rodland, Nobuko Imai, and Jean Sulem.
Violinist Abigail Shiman finds joy making music in collaborative ensembles with an intent to connect and engage audiences. She is a member of the unconducted chamber orchestra One Found Sound, a frequent Post:Ballet collaborator, and a regular performer with a variety of Bay Area bands. She has performed in a number of diverse venues across the world including The Fillmore, The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Stanford’s Anderson Gallery, Alte Weberei Ahrenshoop, and Viracocha. Abigail received her M.M. at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with Ian Swensen. She has participated in the Colorado Quartet Summer Seminar, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and International Orchestra Institute Attergau, and others. She received undergraduate degrees from Bard College in Violin Performance and German Studies, studying with Erica Kiesewetter and working closely with the Colorado Quartet.
A passionate educator and Suzuki teacher, Abigail has been a resident teacher in the San Francisco Public Schools, a teaching artist at Summer Music West, a string coach with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and a teaching assistant at New England Conservatory’s Project Step Classes. She is presently on violin faculty at the Community Music Center of San Francisco.
Helen Newby continually seeks ways to expand the technical and expressive boundaries of her instrument through close collaboration with other innovative performers and composers. She received her Bachelor’s in Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and her Master’s in Cello Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her principal cello teachers have included Darrett Adkins, Jennifer Culp and Rachael Lonergan.
Helen's passion for collaboration and experimentation has led her to premiere a huge number of new works by both emerging and established composers. Her premiere solo album, featuring commissions by David Bird, Danny Clay, Adam Hirsch, Kurt Isaacson and Haley Shaw, is set to release early next year. She has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore, the DiMenna Center, Green Mill and the Norwegian Academy of Music. Helen is a founding member of string trio Chartreuse, string quartet Amaranth, jazz sextet deturtle, and experimental noise quartet HK&tCS. She is a guest performer with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
In addition to an active career as a performer, Helen is equally dedicated to education and pedagogy. She maintains a private studio in Berkeley and is on faculty at The Crowden School.