|Lessons & Instructors
The Violin Shop has accomplished instructors for violin, viola, cello & bass for all ages and abilities. Please contact the instructors directly for availability & rates.
Paula Simmons – Viola, & Chamber Music
Paula Simmons received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Viterbo College, a fine arts college in La Crosse, Wisconsin. And her Master of Music in Viola Performance from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Before moving to San Diego, she performed with the El Paso Symphony, the Pro Musica Chamber Ensemble in El Paso Texas, and the Jacksonville Symphony in Jacksonville Florida. Since moving to California, Ms. Simmons has freelanced extensively in the San Diego area and the Baja with a variety of orchestras, chamber ensembles and guest performers including Starlight Theatre, San Diego Comic Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra de Baja, Camarata de Ensenada, the Bolshoi and San Francisco Ballet, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Dion Warwick, Natalie Cole, and Michael Crawford. For several years Paula was also the primary orchestra conductor of the Civic Youth Orchestra Organization. In November 2008 she became the founding conductor for the North Coast Strings, an adult beginners orchestra, sponsored by The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad. It is the goal of this nationwide adult program to welcome complete beginners to string performance as well as those that have returned to their instruments after a number of years. Starting in Jan 2016 she will be the director of a chamber music program for adults, hosted at the Violin Shop.
Victoria Bietz studied with Mark Kaplan at University of California, Los Angeles where she received her B.A in Violin Performance. In order to explore life outside of sunny Southern California, she went to The Boston Conservatory for her Masters in Music. After two years enduring the cold, Victoria moved back to San Diego as a freelance violinist. She has played with San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Luscious Noise, Classics for Kids, Orchestra Nova, California Chamber Orchestra, Starlight Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Opera Pacific, among others. Victoria grew up in the Eastern San Diego mountains of Jamul. Her musical family fostered her interest in the violin and she became heavily involved in San Diego Youth Symphony for ten years, and was Concertmaster for three. Victoria has been teaching in San Diego since 2005 and uses Suzuki and Mark O’Connor books combined with traditional teaching. She is currently accepting students of all ages and all levels. Most recently, Victoria became a member of the Suzuki Association and became certified in Suzuki Book 1. Contact Victoria to schedule a trial lesson, rates & other information.
Jisun Yang – Violin
Jisun Yang has been the Assistant Concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony since 2005. Before coming to San Diego she was a violinist in the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She also held the position of Concertmaster of the Spoleto Festival and Opera Orchestra in 2003. Jisun is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Oberlin College Conservatory where she studied with David Cerone, David Updegraff, William Preucil, and Almita and Roland Vamos.
Wendy Loeb – Violin
Wendy Loeb has just finished her inaugural year of violin teaching in San Diego. It was a strange but invigorating feeling to be starting over again after 25 years in Richmond, VA. She spent the last 13 years teaching violin at the Collegiate School grades K-12. Wendy holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in violin performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she studied with Berl Senofsky and Charles Libove. She has also completed the course work for her doctorate in violin pedagogy. Having completed Suzuki Violin courses, she is a registered Suzuki Violin Teacher, though she takes more of an eclectic approach. Wendy was an active performer in the Richmond music scene and played with the Richmond Symphony for 14 years. Many of her students played in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Programs and have held many principal positions, as well as in their county and regional orchestras. Several of her students have placed in the Richmond Symphony Concerto Competition. Though she loves to teach advanced techniques, she has a particular love for getting beginners off to a great start with a solid foundation.
Ondrej Lewit- Violin & Viola
Born in Prague (Czech Republic), Ondrej Lewit graduated at State Conservatory of Music (BA) and at Academy of Performing Arts – HAMU (MA). As a member of Camerata Pragensis, Camerata Nova, concertmaster of J. Suk’s Chamber Orchestra and especially as a first violin of Cuartetto Cassoviae played in many cities of European continent and made recordings for the Czechoslovak Radio and Television, Italian RAI and recording companies such as Supraphon, Opus and Edigsa. In 1983 immigrated to Spain, where he became the concertmaster of Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) and later also leader of OST Chamber Orchestra, playing in numerous occasions as a soloist. He was a violin teacher and chamber music coach at Santa Cruz Conservatory as well as at OST’s Academy of Orchestral Studies (Director and Chair of the String Department). As a guest concertmaster he played with orchestras in Barcelona, Sabadell, La Coruna, Bilbao and Valladolid. From 1988 to 1992 he was an Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra member, chamber music player and a faculty at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. In 2005 was appointed concertmaster of Baja California Orchestra and violin teacher at Conservatory of Music in Tijuana, positions he held until 2010. As a performer in Southern California area he played with California Consort and California Chamber Orchestra (concertmaster and assistant concertmaster), Hutchins Consort, Encore Trio, violin and piano duo recitals with I. Bendetsky and most recently with Quartetto Sorrento. He has his private violin and viola studio in San Diego.
Victoria Eicher – Violin
Victoria Eicher grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and began playing violin at the age of four in the Suzuki program at MacPhail Center for the Arts. Victoria is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s School of Music where she studied with Mary West, Young-Nam Kim and Lea Foli. A scholarship recipient to the National Orchestral Institute (Baltimore), she has played under the batons of Kenneth Jean, Yoel Levi and Catehrine Comet. Before moving to San Diego in 1993, Victoria was Assistant Concertmaster in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Victoria serves as Assistant Principal 2nd Violin in the LaJolla Symphony and plays sonatas and chamber works with Pianist Nadja O’Hagan. She has performed with the Orquestra de Baja, Mariachi Champaña Nevin, Caprice Strings, and in chamber ensemble programs throughout San Diego. Victoria teaches violin students in an after-school session at Marshall Middle School and has recently joined the North Coast Strings staff as a violin coach for beginning adult students. As the Outreach Director for the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, Ms. Eicher performs in community and school music programs and coaches Mariachi violin students. Her husband Noel studies classical guitar and her three children enjoy playing drums, tennis, lacrosse and downhill biking.
Joe McNalley – Bass